The era in which we live is often referred to as the ‘information society’, characterised by the widespread use of technologies designed to transmit all kinds of information in ever shorter timescales. In this context, new information and telecommunication technologies play a fundamental role in the development of human, social and economic activities.
17 May marks the World Telecommunications and Information Society Dayset up by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) a United Nations agency specialising in this field. Amongst other things, the ITU deals with the allocation of radio spectrum and global satellite orbits and contributes to improving access to communication and information technologies worldwide. The date chosen for the celebration is a tribute to the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention on 17 May 1865 and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.
The aim of the day is to highlight the contribution made by the Internet and information and communication technologies to societies and economies, and to emphasise the need to bridge the digital divide that is causing a rift in knowledge acquisition. The development of electronic technologies applied to telecommunications offers a glimpse of scenarios that would have been unthinkable only a short time ago, yet what is important is to consider such technologies for what they are, that is tools, good or bad, depending on the use that is made of them.
The day 2022 dedicates particular attention to “Digital technologies for the older persons and healthy ageing”. The ageing of the global population will be the defining demographic trend of the 21st century—yet our societies struggle to see the opportunities that this trend can unfold. Telecommunications and information communication technologies (ICTs) have a role to play in achieving healthier ageing, but also in helping people build smarter cities, combat age-based discrimination at the workplace, ensure financial inclusion of older persons, and support millions of caregivers across the world.