The Institute of Social Informatics and Technological Innovations (ISITI) successfully kick-started the sixth eBorneo Knowledge Fair 2017 (eBKF6 2017) on 25 October 2017. The knowledge fair this year marks yet another milestone for ISITI as this not only is this the second time that ISITI is organising the knowledge fair in Ba’Kelalan, the Heart of Borneo, but this year marks the first time that the knowledge fair has introduced the Borneo Drive-Thru workshop to the participants.
The Borneo Drive-Thru workshop, which started in Lawas on 24 October 2017 before making its way to Long Semadoh before ending the journey in Ba’Kalalan, allowed participants to experience the terrain of the highlands as well as the gave them an insight to the lives of the highland communities in Sarawak.
eBKF6 2017, a three-day event, which runs from 25-28 October 2017, officially commenced with a series of workshops in various areas of Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) and are all relevant to the goals and objectives of the knowledge fair which is to promote research that innovates with technologies in order to address the challenges and opportunities that remote and isolated indigenous communities face.
The event also saw the representation from various stakeholders such as Sarawak Museum, WWF-Malaysia, Forum Masyarakat Adat Dataran Tinggi Borneo (FORMADAT), NanoMalaysia Berhad, MAXIS, researchers from UNIMAS, UPM, Cornell University, Cambridge and University of London, as well as members from the indigenous communities from Ba’Kelalan, Bario and Long Lamai.
One of the highlights of the event was the welcoming ceremony, which saw the members of the Ba’Kelalan community welcoming all the delegates with several local performances. Community representative, Ketua Kampung Mr Yudan Meru also welcomed the participants to the event. Professor Dr Narayanan Kulathuramaiyer, Director of ISITI, UNIMAS, highlighted the aims and objectives of the eBKF6 2017 during his welcoming speech at the event.
The keynote speech entitled “Safeguarding the interests of the poor and marginalised: rhetoric and reality of the euphoria of global ICT4D initiatives designed to deliver the SDGs” was delivered by Professor Dr Tim Unwin from University of London.
The eBKF6 this year aims at working on several areas of interest to the indigenous community, particularly the Lun Bawang community in Ba’Kelalan, and the rest of the world as a whole.