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Professor John Steffens and David Neely intervened during the 23rd Infopoverty World Conference


There's a need for practical approaches to sustainable development that require local empowerment and interdependence rather than dependency. Collaboration is needed at all levels, from local communities to international organizations such as the UN, to maximize benefits to society. The focus must be on pooling efforts and resources to overcome challenges and mitigate negative impacts, prioritizing collective well-being over individual interests.



JOHN STEFFENS, Assistant Vice President Emeritus, University of Oklahoma, USA


“I’ve been reflecting all day, about the expertise that has been brought forward. I am on with several things, especially with the fact of moving info practicality not only talking about our commitments towards getting interdependent systems, first of all, assets development and local levels, sustainable development but then drawing from external to that without having a team of 10 people dripping around the world. That increases that asset locally and they are in control.
It helps development move in that scale of independent and intra-dependent and dependent. Historically, nationally and internationally it has created dependency rather than intra-dependency. We don’t want people to be on their own and try to do it independently but we want an independent intra-relational correlation effort to be done always with the commitment to the development of the individual and the total society throughout. There is an emphasis on that and also the challenge to the UN and all the programs of the UN, that we operate in cooperation and collaboration:
- Cooperation is about what we know of each other and what we are doing.
- Collaboration is about us doing it together.

This togetherness involves people at all levels from the local one to the developing country level, and we are always maximizing what happens at a local level for the benefit of mankind, in all of these areas. We have to do it with the attitude and the emotional part of “it’s not personal”: we don’t have great corruption, competition, and all those kinds of forces, but we do have it for the economic activity and delivery of services to people. There was a lot of emphasis in this conference for that. It is a great challenge for us all and keep the negative forces from being able to be a great influence on whoever moves there. It makes a lot of difference with what we do with resources whether they are money material or attitudinal: those all have to be shared in collaborative plans and ways.”


DAVID NEELY, President and CEO, Affecting Change International (ACI), USA


Thank you, Pierpaolo for the opportunity of each entity represented today, to participate in today’s conference. 

As we near the conclusion of this year’s conference, I believe it’s appropriate to reflect on the importance of the ideas shared today.  
We are all doing our best to fight information poverty and bridge the digital divide across the globe, at the same time addressing the challenges posed by artificial intelligence systems. 
Today, we have explored creative strategies, shared important insights, and hopefully established meaningful partnerships in pursuit of a world where access to information is critical to sustaining positive global change.

As we work hard to find inclusive solutions, it’s important to recognize the indispensable role of the faith-based community as a vital partner in advancing our shared vision of a more equitable and connected society. 
Faith-based organizations are based on compassion, empathy, and a deep sense of social responsibility. 
We possess a unique capacity to mobilize resources, inspire action, and foster community resilience in the face of adversity.
It's within the culture of faith that we find a profound commitment to serving, encouraging, and empowering those who are marginalized, oppressed, and disenfranchised. 
Using our extensive networks, moral authority, and unwavering dedication to social justice, faith-based organizations are uniquely positioned, to affect real sustainable change, in communities where the digital divide is greatest.
The faith-based community offers a wealth of invaluable assets, from physical infrastructure such as churches, schools, hospitals, and community centers, to intangible resources such as trust, solidarity, and spiritual guidance. 
By utilizing these assets, together with our technological innovations and policy frameworks, we can amplify and multiply the impact of our interventions, and accelerate progress towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.
Let’s embrace a holistic approach that leverages the complementary strengths of diverse stakeholders, including governments, civil society, private sector entities, and the faith-based community. 
would encourage all of us to cultivate high-value partnerships that are grounded in mutual respect, understanding, and shared values, allowing each sector to bring unique perspectives and contributions to the table.
In closing, we must reaffirm our commitment to advance a more inclusive, prosperous, and information-rich world. 
By engaging the collective power of our global partnerships, including the unwavering resolve of the faith-based community, we can transform the vision of Infopoverty eradication into a tangible reality for generations to come.
As we return to our respective areas of operation, let’s go with a renewed sense of purpose, - a solid determination - to utilize all available technologies, including AI, to reduce individual and community dependency on outside aid, and to increase their ability to be self-sustaining.
The leadership of Affecting Change International appreciates everyone who participated today for your dedication, contributions, and commitment to the pursuit of a better world. 
In partnership, we can continue to strive towards a future where information is accessible to everyone. Thank you.

**


The FINAL DECLARATION of the 23rd Infopoverty World Conference is now available! The Plan of Action including a list of projects and proposals that emerged from the discussion will be available soon. STAY TUNED!


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