Luís Goes Pinheiro
- Organisation: Secretary of State Assistant and of Administrative Modernisation
Sixteen years have passed since the UN World Summit on the Information Society (UN WSIS), a conference in Geneva that would bring about the World Summit Awards. We celebrate them today as a means to achieve the main goal for all those present at that meeting: to make Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) available to everyone and help close the gap between those included and those excluded from the digital revolution.
We have seen tremendous progress since then when it comes to the reach, capacity, and development of ICTs – big data, predictive analysis, cloud computing and other elements recall previously existing concepts and build tools to transform them to suit the needs of an ever more demanding society with the objective of promoting its sustainability and prosperity. There is no better example of that fact than the Sustainable Development Goals, for which Portugal has found its own way to promote and reward with initiatives such as GovTech – a challenge that started in 2018 (and will continue in 2019) and which envisages rewarding creative and innovative business solutions that address one of the 17 SDGs.
Driving innovation, building solid networks and engaging a diverse set of stakeholders is much of what we have done in Portugal with programs such as SIMPLEX (and its rebrand since 2016, SIMPLEX+) and the National Participatory Budget, both pioneer programs of their own right. It is by having that perspective that innovation is a never-ending story and that we will meet the future with the tools that we create today that we welcome the World Summit Awards and signal that we embrace its spirit of celebrating diversity and innovation to solve common problems – because by making the lives of our citizens better, by improving the business environment and by making public services more efficient through the implementation of the once-only principle, by sharing and reusing information, and by being able to implement predictive tools, we are building the foundations for a more sustainable and prosper future for all. Thank you for choosing Portugal, and please do come again: our doors are open, and we have a firm commitment not to leave anyone behind.