A world-class programme of interactive debates with informed opinion, expert speakers and international perspectives. Explore the key issues shaping the industry on the theme of “Smart digital transformation, global opportunities”.

Key sessions and topics

  • Transforming the ICT sector: how the rapid growth of digital technologies is affecting traditional telcos, new internet players, niche markets, new global sectors and the roles of government. What are the opportunities in terms of new business models for telcos, the impact of 5G and IoT, new regulatory policies, or back-end innovation?
  • Shaping smart industries: how digital is creating new industry sectors and players through vertical markets, new technologies and applications. What is the future of smart cities, Industry 4.0, AI, digital finance, connected cars and the creative economy?
  • Digital citizens first: the impact of transformation on us as individuals, citizens and societies. How can we make sure that the benefits of the digital economy are available to all – in areas such as digital content, public administration, data ownership and eSkills?

Leadership Summit

Smart technologies are changing our world. From transport to power, financial services to health, education to manufacturing or urban planning, smart digital transformation is underway. The potential for social, economic and human development is enormous. But what will the smart societies of the future look like? What do smart projects of today have to tell us about our smart world of tomorrow? And given the highly-complex, interconnected nature of ICT systems driving smart transformation, are we prepared for the increasing risks of attack, accident or natural disaster to citizens, companies and countries?

The Leadership Summit at ITU Telecom World 2017 brings together ministers, regulators and private sector representatives at the highest level to debate the opportunities and challenges of smart digital transformation – setting the scene for the four days of Forum discussions that follow.

Visions of smart societiesBuilding a resilient digital future

Session formats


Forum - keynotes

Thought-leadership and international perspectives at the highest level as leaders from public and private sectors share key messages and insights.

Panel Sessions

Forum - panel sessions

Experts drawn from public, private and research sectors explore the core issues facing ICTs today from contrasting perspectives. Interactive, free of presentations or pre-set agendas and often passionate, panel sessions encourage contributions and questions from delegates on the stage and in the audience.


Forum - dialogues

Targeted conversation and knowledge exchange between SMEs and government or industry representatives on frameworks for accelerating ICT innovation.

Plenary Sessions

Forum - plenary sessions

Leaders from government and industry offer their personal viewpoints and powerful insider insights on key issues within the ICT industry, kicking off lively debate at plenary sessions open to all participants.


Forum - roundtables

Ministers, regulators or CEOs share experiences, success stories and case studies from the perspective of their countries or organizations to personal viewpoints and powerful insider insights on future directions within the ICT industry, kicking off debate at the highest level on policies, perspectives and best practices from across the globe.

Partner Sessions

Forum - sponsored sessions

Forum sessions or facilitated workshops organized by ITU but shaped by input and contributions from interested companies, associations or organizations.