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IEEE Standards Association Fellowship Program Highlights from the WSIS Forum 2018

The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) recently held a Fellowship Program for future leaders at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum, held from 19 – 23 March 2018. As part of IEEE SA’s capacity-building activities, this program invites university students and young professionals from developing and emerging economies to attend global technology policy events. Participants have an active role on the IEEE SA team, experience the event first-hand, and network with individuals from around the globe. This program is part of the overall IEEE Standards Fellowship Program (ISFP).

Participants in this year’s program were Meher Bnouni and Ichrak Mars from the IEEE Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Activities (SIGHT), Tunisia.

“The IEEE SA Fellowship Program for future leaders provides an excellent opportunity for individuals from developing and emerging economies to gain invaluable insight and connections to further their education, humanitarian activities and professional development,” said Justin Caso, technology policy programs senior manager for the IEEE SA.

During the WSIS Forum, Ichrak and Meher participated in the second annual WSIS Forum Hackathon entitled “Hack Against Hunger”. They worked with a group of students and young professionals from four different countries to develop a platform to connect farmers. Through this platform, farmers can share expertise, seeds, and unused equipment. “Our participation in the hackathon provided an opportunity to work with a culturally and linguistically diverse group that further opened our world view and added value to a final solution,” said Mars.

“The IEEE SA Fellowship Program provided me with the opportunity to connect with technologists and policymakers, working to shape the spectrum of ICTs,” said Bnouni. “It was very insightful to see several initiatives around the world working towards the same goal of implementing ICTs to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from both a technological and social perspective.”

“As a software engineering student and AI enthusiast working in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning field, I had the opportunity to converse with meeting attendees how AI is making significant waves across the globe and how it will increasingly change and reshape the way people live their daily lives,” said Mars. “Discussions centered around the emergence of AI and the IEEE Ethically Aligned Design documents, as well as the importance of regulating this exponentially evolving field through the IEEE P7000™ standards series,” added Bnouni.

Photo, L-R
Paul Cunningham, President, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology; Karen Bartleson, 2018 IEEE Past President; Karen McCabe, Senior Director, Technology Policy and International Affairs, IEEE Standards Association; Meher Bnouni, IEEE Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Activities (SIGHT); Ichrak Mars, IEEE Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Activities (SIGHT)

For more information about the IEEE SA Fellowship Program, please contact Jodi Haasz, International Affairs Senior Manager.

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