The world is under tremendous pressure as challenges keeps increasing. The time has come for us to come together to pave a pathway for a sustainable future. At one end the developmental stressors such as extreme poverty, food insecurities, lack of quality education is hindering socio-economic progress of the people, while at the other end the impact of climate change is threating the future of the planet. The Institute of Social Informatics and Technological Innovations (ISITI) is positioned to play an instrumental role to address the development challenges. The niche areas of the institute have been aligned with the vision statement of the institute “an inclusive knowledge society comprised of communities that are inspired to innovate with technology towards sustainable development”. The four niche areas are -Community Sustainability, ICT for Development (ICT4D), Socio-Technical Innovation and Indigenous Knowledge Management. ISITI has undertaken several projects catering to these specific niche areas and it is noteworthy to highlight the alignment of the key focus areas of the institute can be seen to actively contributing to fourteen of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the United Nations which includes - Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities. .
ISITI started operations in April 2011, and was upgraded from the Centre of Excellence for Rural Informatics; the Centre was established given the success of our flagship bridging-the-digital-divide pilot project, eBario. A key focus of ISITI is to bridge the technology-people’s gap; in particular, encompassing technological innovations for indigenous communities.
ISITI’s pioneering efforts towards sustainable development dates back to 1999 with the launching of a multi award-winning ‘eBario project’. The project introduced ICT infrastructures and internet access to Bario - a remote village in the Borneo Island of Malaysia. The social impact that came along with this intervention is remarkable as it connected the once isolated communities to the world and opened various opportunities for socio-economic growth. The thriving tourism business and a self-sustaining community in Bario is an outcome that speaks of our success in achieving the SDG indicators.