Bell Labs and the Marconi Society sponsored the ‘Symposium on Transformative Digital Technologies’ on February 3 in Kampala, Uganda, as a culmination of the 2015 Celestini program. ‘Future Networks’ was the theme of the event, which was the largest ICT event of the area for the past 5 years. The highlight was the Celestini Prize, which “honors the demonstration of innovation and blue-sky thinking in developing a telecom-based solution to a socioeconomic challenge” selected by a panel that included Bob Tkach, Guilhem de Valicourt and Joseph Kakande from Bell Labs, as well as other local judges.
The Marconi Society has long recognized the many seminal contributions of Bell Labs in Communications Technologies: nine current or former Bell Labs researchers have received the prestigious Marconi Prize, and another three the Marconi Lifetime Achievement award, one of whom was Claude Shannon. The symposium in Kampala was a result of both organizations’ interests in deploying the power of information and communications networks to solving global ‘human need’ problems. The Celestini program has been lauded by many communications luminaries including Vint Cerf, Google Chief Internet Evangelist and co-inventor of TCP/IP, reiterating the credit it reflects on both Bell Labs & the Marconi Society.