The recent World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunisia (16-18 November), was billed as 'the summit of solutions'. It focused on two key issues: Internet governance and bridging the 'digital divide' between rich and poor nations.
Writing for BBC Online, Indian journalist Amit Jain says any hopes of major change in either sector were unrealistic.
Instead, he says, the summit's best outcomes were that the 20,000 delegates broadly agreed that information and communication technologies are vital to development, and that they embraced new ideas for bridging the digital divide.
Although the summit has not fully resolved any of the "knotty issues" up for discussion, writes Jain, it has "enabled the various sectors striving to bridge the digital divide to find ways to collaborate".
Jain concludes that, "the most effective exchange of ideas doesn't necessarily take place in lofty academic discussions, it's the chance encounters … that may lead to the most creative outcomes."