The interplay between digitalisation and depopulation in SEE+
21 SeptemberSep 2020 15:00 - 15:45
Depopulation is one of the major challenges faced by SEE+ countries. More and more villages are empty, as people are either moving abroad or concentrating in big cities. Studies show that digital technologies and digitalisation have contributed to this trend: Instead of delivering on the promise of decentralisation and the ‘end of geography’, they led to more centralisation in a few major cities where digital industries are centred. What needs to be done to reverse these trends? As the COVID-19 crisis is focusing our attention on the need to redesign work, global supply chains, and cities, could this offer the framework for the region to capitalise on the potential of digital technologies and address its depopulation challenges? What can the digital industry do?
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Ana Chiriță | Strategic Projects Director of Moldovan Association of Information and Communications Technology Companies & Project Director, Tekwill (contributor)
Ana Chirita is the Strategic projects director of Moldovan Association of Information and Communications Technology Companies, Tekwill Project Director. As an advocate for the Moldovan IT community, she plays an important role in developing Moldova’s ICT industry. For the last 11 years Ana has actively been involved in a series of initiatives aiming to advance the competitiveness of the ICT sector and promote the ICT as a core enabler for national economic development. Under her leadership the Association became an important voice of the industry and a viable platform of dialogue and collaboration between the private sector, Government and development partners. Within the Association, Ana manages to attract all the interested stakeholders and needed resources in order to address important for industry challenges. The projects she is managing – Moldova ICT Summit, IT Career Promotion Campaign, Smart Classroom, Educational Initiatives, improving the legal and fiscal framework for ICT companies and many others – are meant to produce impact and strengthen the trust in Moldovan ICT industry. Starting 2015 Ana coordinates the Development of ICT Excellence Center in Moldova Project – Tekwill financed by USAID and Sweden. Starting 2020, Ana supervises Startup City Cahul financed by EU and Sweden.
Francine Pickup | Resident Representative, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Serbia
Ms. Francine Pickup has been the UNDP Resident Representative in Serbia since May 2019. She was previously the UNDP Resident Representative ai in India and Deputy Country Director of UNDP Indonesia, where she successfully established new innovative financing initiatives and engagement with the private sector on SDGs. Before that, she worked as the Strategic Planning Advisor at UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, and as Advisor to the Deputy Special Representative to the Secretary General for Iraq. Ms. Pickup joined the United Nations in 2002, working with OCHA, as well as UNSCO, FAO and ILO in New York and in Central Asia, Palestine and Lebanon. Aside from the UN, she has worked with several development organisations, including Amnesty International, Oxfam, and the World Bank. Ms. Pickup received her undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University and her Masters and PhD in Development Studies from the London School of Economics. She has publications on topics, including innovative financing, aid effectiveness, humanitarian aid policy, economies in transition, livelihoods, the informal economy and gender and development.
Ian McFarlane | Deputy Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) (contributor)
Mr. Ian McFarlane has started his duty as Deputy Regional Director of the UNFPA Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia in Istanbul in 2016.g From 2012 to 2016 Ian served as UNFPA Representative in Moldova and Country Director for Albania. Before being appointed to the Republic of Moldova, Ian served as UNFPA Representative in Nepal (2009-2012). Earlier he worked as Deputy Representative for UNFPA in Ghana (2006-2008) and as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Executive Director (Programme) in the Office of the Executive Director for UNFPA in New York. As a Policy Specialist in the United Nations Development Group Office in New York (1998-2004), he was part of the inter-agency team providing support to UN reform and the Resident Coordinator System. Ian gained experience in the NGO sector: during 1997-1998 he was the Country Representative in Haiti for Intermon, a Spanish NGO and member of Oxfam International, and in 1994-1997 he worked for Actionaid, as a Policy Researcher and then (sponsored by the British Government and UNDP) was seconded to UNDP Geneva to enhance collaboration between UNDP and NGOs in Europe and globally. Ian has a Bachelor's degree in Modern Languages (French and Spanish) from the University of Cambridge and a Master's Degree from the Institute of Latin American Studies/London School of Economics in the Political Economy of Latin America. Ian is married and has 4 children.
Marina Bzovîi | Executive Director, Moldovan Association of Information and Communications Technology Companies (co-moderator)
Marina Bzovîi is the Executive Director of the Moldovan National Association of ICT Companies, an umbrella association uniting 43 companies, established in 2006 it has become a major player in the associative sector on the Moldovan market. Marina is a legal professional with a solid academic formation specializing in civil and commercial law with a keen interest in data protection, e-commerce, IT and communications law. She previously worked as a Junior Associate for one of the top law firms in Chisinau. As a representative of ATIC she was involved in the discussions with Public Authorities related to legal barriers and draft laws affecting the ICT sector, including the draft law on Data Protection. Within the Association, Marina strengthened the cooperation between EuroISPA and ATIC, stimulating and promoting the knowledge on strategy, analysis of political and legislative documents on future European legislation related to Data Protection, E-commerce, Intermediary Liability, Copyright, E-evidence and Net neutrality.
Nataša Perućica | Researcher, DiploFoundation (co-moderator)
Nataša Perućica is a researcher at DiploFoundation and is part of Diplo’s Data and AI Team. In her role, she conducts research on artificial intelligence, sustainable development, human rights as well as other digital policy related topics. She received both her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Master’s degree in International Relations - Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution from the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium. Between 2017 and 2018, Nataša worked as an analyst at Thomson Reuters where she conducted research on financing of terrorism, corruption, and other financial crimes as well as violations of human rights. Previously, she interned at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Serbia to the United Nations in Geneva where she focused on the work of the Human Rights Council and at the Embassy of Malta to the Kingdom of Belgium and NATO in Brussels.
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