The three-day Bangladesh School of Internet Governance (bdSIG) 2023 drew to a close in the capital on Saturday.
The seventh edition of the grant program brought together 61 grantees – youth and professionals from the private sector, government, academia, civil society and the media – to help them shape the future of the internet by bridging the gap between technology and… close policy.
The bdSIG, a community development initiative of the Bangladesh Internet Governance Forum (BIGF), kicked off Thursday at Daffodil International University (DIU) in Dhakas Savar with sessions on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of Things, big data, AR and VR.
DIU lecturers Arid Hasan led the session “Artificial Intelligence in Natural Language Processing”, Musabbir Hasan “Data Science” and Assistant Professor Apurba Ghosh the session “Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Technology”.
DIU Vice-Chancellor Professor M. Lutfar Rahman, AHM Bazlur Rahman, Founder of BIGF, and Mohammad Abdul Haque Anu, Founder and Secretary General of the Forum, addressed the final session of the day.
On Friday, at the YWCA Guest House and Training Center in Mohammadpur, Bazlur, also CEO of Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Community, gave presentations to the fellows on important internet topics including the internet ecosystem; political, legal, economic, socio-cultural and technical dimensions of Internet Governance as well as the local intersections of Internet Governance and Sustainable Development Goals.
He also conducted interactive conversations on the key players in the areas of internet governance, digital infrastructure and adoption, digital rights, human rights, digital economy, digital divide and geopolitical positioning.
Rezaul Islam, Quality Assurance Manager of BGD-eGOV CIRT, spoke about cyber security and Bangladesh’s preparedness.
Mamunur Rashid, Advisor at Enhancement of Bangla Language, chaired the Bangla Language in the Digital World session.
Also, Anu spoke about the activities of BIGF and its communities including Bangladesh Women IGF, Bangladesh Youth IGF and Bangladesh Kid’s IGF.
He highlighted the aims and purposes of the bdSIG and updated attendees on the school’s meetings from 2017 to date.
“No matter what age you are and what stage of your career you are in, we have a program for you. At bdSIG we want to listen to everyone and encourage them to learn with us and spread the knowledge,” called Anu.
“Over the years, the bdSIG and BIGF have evolved into platforms where we share knowledge and ideas, connect and strengthen bonds.”
Nazmul Hasan Majumder, Vice Chair of the bdSIG, discussed the school’s activities over the past seven years in creating a digital talent pool of 602 scholars through networking, mentoring and collaboration.
“The bdSIG scholarship holders are selected in a multi-stage selection process. The selection committee strives for diversity in terms of subject, geography, age and gender.”
“We take a multi-stakeholder approach as we want our grantees – whether they work in technology, academia, civil society, business or government – to understand how to collaborate with other stakeholders to advocate for key Internet-related issues.”
Ashrafur Rahman Piaus, Secretary General of bdSIG, discussed international scholarship opportunities and challenges for participants to equip them with the knowledge they need to join a global community of like-minded people after the program.
Faisal Ahmed Bhubon, Secretary General of Bangladesh Youth IGF, spoke about his platform’s activities over the past two years.
The program ended today with an understanding of Smart Bangladesh, Freelancing and Monetization, the digital economy in Bangladesh, the Digital Security Act, the proposed Data Protection Act, the Global Digital Compact and the grantees describing their learnings from the program and their plans for the multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder knowledge beyond the grant.
Hasanul Haq Inu MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Chairman of the BIGF, was present at the closing session.