Every 3 years, the International Conference on Digital Landscape (ICDL) was held with contemporary topics which have global relevance with localized focus. It has gathered digital luminaries across the globe, visionary policy makers, major corporates and meticulous learners at a single collaborative platform for shared knowledge and benefits. ICDL has produced specific and implementable recommendations for Government and civil society that had helped the Indian digital library communities to develop skills, shape their knowledge and reach out to international collaborations.

The sixth edition of the International Conference on Digital Landscape – ICDL 2019, themed ‘Digital Transformation for an Agile Environment’ was held at The India Habitat Centre IHC, New Delhi in November 6–8, 2019.

The main attractions were the thematic events, workshops, presentations, deep-dive panel sessions, special events on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and international exhibition. ICDL 2019 features workshops on contemporary topics such as addressing SDGs through data analytics and AI, knowledge and innovation management, and social media analytics. Theme-based events at the conference included presentations and discussions on various themes and issues relevant to national and international importance such as India’s new National Digital library, digital empowerment, research data management, digital publishing, open access, information access for all, digital transformation in public libraries, and the digitization of indigenous knowledge toward sustainability. The conference comprised a total of 27 conference breakaway sessions, 5 plenaries, 14 thematic sessions, and 3 workshops.

The event not only addressed the perspectives on digital transformation in libraries, but also focussed on technology interventions in achieving SDGs through special session on Digitalization in Water, Agriculture, and Industry sector where digital transformation is undergoing a paradigm shift. Distinguished panel of experts from corporate sectors presented their best practices in these sessions and highlighted how in order to achieve SDGs, digital disruptions, application of analytics, artificial intelligence and IoT applications are taking place in manufacturing and service oriented industries in many processes.

Shri Sanjay Dhotre, Hon’ble Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology; Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, inaugurated the event. Also present was Ms Christine Mackenzie, President, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions; Mr Nitin Desai, Chairman, TERI; Mr Nikhil Seth, Assistant Secretary General, United Nations and Executive Director, UNITAR; Mr Amit Kumar, Senior Fellow and Senior Director, TERI; and Dr P K Bhattacharya, Fellow & Associate Director​, TERI.

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The conference hosted an exhibition of 32 distinguished publishers, software companies, and online service providers from India and abroad which presented the latest technological developments, online services and initiatives throughout the world.

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Image 3: ICDL 2019 Inauguration of Exhibition

The conference attended by more than 600 global delegates brought together 190 leading experts and digital luminaries from more than 10 countries. They discussed the ideas and innovations on changing the scenario. The conference was live-streamed to reach out to a wider set of audience globally. Opinion Polls were conducted to ascertain the views of the participants on topical issues. The participants, including online viewers who participated in the conference through livestreaming, took part in the polls. Further to these a series of webinars and virtual conferences were organised by experts using ICDL 2019 Digital Engagement Platforms (DEP). A LinkedIn group was created to carry forward these important discussions.

Delegates at ICDL 2019

Mr Shashi Shekhar Vempati, CEO, Prasar Bharati, Government of India delivered the valedictory address.  Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI; Dr P K Bhattacharya, Fellow & Associate Director TERI; Dr Shantanu Ganguly, Fellow, TERI; Prof. Michael Seadle, Director, Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin, Germany; Mr Hal Kirkwood, Bodleian Business Librarian, Said Business School, University of Oxford. President, Special Library Association (SLA), Ms Kalpana Dasgupta, Advisory Board Member, READ Global and Former Director, Central Secretariat Library, Government of India; and Dr Alka Suri, Director, DESIDOC, Defence Research and Development Organization, Ministry of Defence, Government of India also graced the valedictory session with their presence.

ICDL 2019 Valedictory function

ICDL continues to explore new challenging areas in contemporary development and bridge the digital divide created.