May 17th

World Information Society Day -

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World Information Society Day, which falls on the 17th of May each year, is a globally recognized event coordinated by the United Nations. Its primary focus is to highlight the significance of the Internet and other information and communication technologies.

On this day, discussions revolve around the impact of these technologies, including the digital divide, Internet control, and strategies to provide equitable information access to all individuals worldwide.

History of World Information Society Day

The story of World Information Society Day starts with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which was established in 1865 to foster connectivity in global communication. The ITU celebrated its centennial in 1969 on the 17th of May. From that day onward, this date has been marked annually as World Telecommunication Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about the societal and economic transformations brought about by digital technologies such as the internet.

The marking of the day took a different turn in 2005 during the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis. Here, a proposal was made to the UN General Assembly to rename the day as World Information Society Day, shifting its emphasis on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and addressing the broad spectrum of issues relevant to the Information Society.

The UN General Assembly responded positively, adopting a resolution in March of 2006 that formally set up World Information Society Day. Since then, every 17th of May has been globally observed with different themes, aiming to highlight the potential benefits ICTs can bring to societies and economies while also exploring solutions to reduce the digital divide.

World Information Society Day Timeline

Establishment of ITU

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) was established to facilitate international connectivity in communications networks.

Creation of ARPANET

The creation of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), the predecessor of the internet.

Birth of the Internet

The ARPANET officially changes to using the Internet Protocol, creating the internet as we know it.

Introduction of the World Wide Web

The World Wide Web becomes publicly available, dramatically expanding the use and reach of the internet.

Digital Divide Recognized

The United Nations recognizes the global 'digital divide' - the gap between those with and without internet access, especially in developing nations.

World Summit on Information Society

The United Nations holds the World Summit on Information Society to discuss how to reduce the digital divide.

First World Information Society Day

The first World Information Society Day was celebrated.

Ideas to Celebrate World Information Society Day

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Webinar on the Importance of Information Society

Organize an online webinar, where experts in the field discuss the role of Information Society in today's world. This can include topics like data protection, technology advancements, and the influence of the internet on society.

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Interactive Tech Exhibition

Set up an exhibition showcasing various technology innovations both at the local and global levels. This can be used to highlight the positive changes brought about by advancements in technology, allowing people to understand the practical implications.

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Coding Workshop

Establish a coding workshop for kids and teens to spark their interest in technology. This will help the younger generation to understand the underlying principles of the Information Society and may inspire them to be future innovators.

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Donate to Information Society Projects

On this day, consider making donations to Information Society-related initiatives. This could include non-profit organizations that teach coding to underprivileged youth, or those that work towards making technology more accessible to different communities.

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Virtual Reality Experience

Arrange a virtual reality experience demonstrating the 'day in life' in a fully integrated information society. It would provide a hands-on understanding of the importance and functionality of such societies.

5 Interesting Facts About World Information Society Day


Previously Known As

Before becoming World Information Society Day, the event was celebrated as World Telecommunication Day to mark the founding of the International Telecommunication Union on 17th May 1865.


Reason for Celebration

The purpose of the day is to raise global awareness of societal changes brought about by the internet and new technologies and to help reduce the digital divide.


Annual Themes

Every year the United Nations and the International Telecommunication Union develop a theme for the day, which highlights a specific area of information and communication technology.


Global Participation

Countries all around the world participate in celebrating this day by organizing various national programmes, including workshops, seminars, and cultural events.


Role in SDGs

The celebration of World Information Society Day aligns with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in promoting innovation and access to technology as a means to promote inclusivity and equality.

World Information Society Day FAQs

Next World Information Society Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 May 17th Wednesday
2024 May 17th Friday
2025 May 17th Saturday
2026 May 17th Sunday
2027 May 17th Monday
What is the pattern? Every May 17th

World Information Society Day Word Search

  • Digital
  • Internet
  • Information
  • Society
  • Technology
  • Globalization