Meet the jurors

Nevena Alexandrova

Agricultural Extension Officer, Policies and capacities for Innovation Unit leader, Office of Innovation, FAO

Dr. Nevena Alexandrova-Stefanova is a highly qualified FAO technical officer with a strong background in agricultural biotechnologies, biosafety, knowledge-sharing and risk-benefit analysis of frontier technologies. She holds a PhD in marker-assisted plant biotechnologies and has over 12 years of experience in research, project management, and science communication.

For 10 years, Dr. Alexandrova-Stefanova worked at FAO’s Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, focusing on policy advice and knowledge sharing for sustainable and inclusive agrifood system transformation with a focus on digitalization and innovation systems.  Since 2018, she has been with FAO Headquarters, supporting countries in transforming their national agrifood systems pathways through innovation, and promoting access to knowledge and services for smallholder farmers and supporting national agricultural innovation systems, including research and advisory services.

Dr. Alexandrova-Stefanova is a leading expert on foresight methodologies and their application in the agrifood systems, in particular in emerging agrifood technologies and innovations and innovation ecosystems. She serves as the FAO alternate focal point of the UN Future Labs community of practice and is leading global foresight studies on emerging technologies and innovations for agri-food systems.

In her current role, Dr. Alexandrova-Stefanova assists countries in developing evidence-based and future-oriented policies in and building capacities for agricultural innovation.

Cristina Bueti

Counsellor, ITU

Cristina Bueti is the ITU Focal Point on Smart Sustainable Cities. She is also the Counsellor of ITU-T Study Group 20 “Internet of things (IoT) and smart cities and communities (SC&C)” and the Counsellor of the Focus Group on metaverse at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). She also serves as TSB/ITU focal point for Latin America. Cristina Bueti graduated from the Faculty of Political Science, Law and International Cooperation and Development of the University of Florence, where she completed postgraduate studies in International Cooperation and Telecommunications Law in Europe. She ​also holds a specialization in Environmental Law with a special focus on Telecommunications. In 2003, Ms. Bueti built on her academic credentials by completing a specialized course in peace keeping and international cooperation with special focus on telecommunications at the Faculty of Laws, University of Malta, before joining the International Telecommunication Union in Geneva in January 2004. As part of the International Women’s Day 2016, she was named as one of the twenty Geneva-based inspirational women working to protect the environment. She has authored over 40 reports on telecommunication issues. A native Italian speaker, Cristina is also fluent in English, French and Spanish.

Shane He

Program Manager and Strategist, Nokia

Dr. Shane HE currently participates in several industry standards bodies related with metaverse and Internet of Things (IoT), in ITU-T, 3GPP, oneM2M, etc. Shane takes leadership role on metaverse and IoT related standardization activities in ITU-T including Vice-chairman of Focus Group on metaverse, ITU-T Study Group 20 Vice-chairman, and WP1/20 Vice-chairman. She is also serving in the role of Chair of the Requirements & Domain Models (RDM) Working Group of oneM2M, focus on information model and IoT enablement for metaverse. As a program manager and strategist in Nokia S&T (Strategy and Technology), she is leading internal programs on vertical industry enablement, focus on metaverse and media ecosystem landscape, as well as 5G/5G-Advanced networks and new services to enable vertical domains (Industrial IoT, Smart Cities, Automotive, Powe Utilities, etc.)​


Hideo Imanaka

Managing Expert, Standardization Promotion Office, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT)

​He received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Mie University in 2001. He joined Telecommunication Network Laboratories, NTT, in 1987. In 2004, he started international standardization activities in ITU-T and the APT standardization program (ASTAP) in NTT Service Integration Laboratories. He was in charge of standardization strategy planning of the entire NTT Group in NTT Research and Development Planning Department from 2010 to 2015. Since joining NTT Advanced Technology Corporation (NTT-AT) in 2015, he has been engaged in standardization consulting. He was the rapporteur of Question 1 of SG13 from 2006 to 2010 for the Next-Generation Network and Internet Protocol television standardization work in ITU-T, the chairman of the Internet of Things (IoT) working group in ASTAP from 2012 to 2016 for IoT and smart grid standardization work, and the vice-chairman of Focus Group on IMT-2020 in 2015 for pre-standardization of 5G (fifth-generation mobile communication) networks. He is currently the rapporteur of Question 8 of SG16 in ITU-T for standardization of Immersive Live Experience and the vice-rapporteur of Question 3 of SG1 in ITU-D for international deployment of emergency telecommunications and disaster relief solutions. He is also the vice-chair of ITU-D SG2, the co-chair of Working Party 3 of SG16, the vice-chair of ITU Focus Group on metaverse, the chair of WG5 of FG-MV.

Hyoung Jun Kim

Vice-Chair of NoW in ITU-T, Chair of ITU-T Study Group 20, Research Fellow, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), Korea (Rep. of).

Dr. Hyoung Jun Kim began his career in 1988  at the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI)  where he currently holds the position of Research Fellow. Previously,  he served as Senior Vice-President and led the Intelligent Convergence Research Lab at ETRI. Over the course of 35 years, Dr. Kim has gained research experience in a range of ETRI divisions, such as the Info-Communications Technology Division, IT Strategy Research Division, Information & Telecommunications Technology Division, and Protocol Engineering Centre. Presently , he also serves as the Chairman of both ITU-T SG20 and the APT Standardization Program (ASTAP) within the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity, and Vice Chairman of Network of Women in ITU-T. In the past, he has held roles as Vice-chair of SG20 and SG13, Rapporteur of Q25/16 since 2004, Vice-Chairman of the Focus Group on M2M Service Layers, Chairman of WP2 of the same Focus Group in ITU-T SG11, and Vice-Chairman of the Focus Group on Future Networks in ITU-T SG13. Dr. Kim’s research and academic achievements are extensive, with over 450 standard proposals, more than 150 academic journal and conference papers, over 100 patents, and 20 official technology transfers to domestic companies under his belt. He has received three National President’s citations in 2003, 2009 and 2023, in addition to numerous Certificates of Appreciation from international standard-related organizations, including ITU-T. Notably, Dr. Kim earned his second and third National President’s Award at the “World Standards Day 2009 in Korea and 2023 in Korea” in recognition of his dedication to international standardization.​

Craig Meyer

Director of Special Projects and Innovation, Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, South Africa

Meet Craig Meyer, a dynamic leader in the field of ICT and Digital Communication, currently serving as the Director of Special Projects and Innovation at the Department of Communication and Digital Technologies in Pretoria, South Africa. With over 25 years of experience and a diverse educational background including a BA Honours degree in International Relations, an Honours degree in Visual Communication from the AAA School of Advertising, and a Management diploma from the Cape University of Technology, Craig is a seasoned professional at the forefront of technological innovation.

Currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Digital Knowledge Economic Studies at WITS, Craig’s passion for continuous learning and exploration is limitless. His expertise lies in strategic ICT planning and implementation within the national government sector, with a particular focus on fostering growth and development in the SMME ICT industry.

Notable among Craig’s achievements is his role as the brainchild behind the groundbreaking Digitech ICT SMME program, which garnered global recognition with a prestigious award at the 2023 G20 Conference in India. The program has since been nominated for the esteemed 2024 WSIS Award for e-Business, further solidifying Craig’s reputation as a trailblazer in the field.

Having previously served as a technical advisor to the Minister of Telecommunications, Craig brings a wealth of experience in cultivating government-corporate partnerships and crafting innovative digital communication strategies.

Sylvia Poll Ahrens

Head of the Digital Society Division, Telecommunication Development Bureau, ITU

Since January 2020, Sylvia Poll is the Head of the Digital Society Division in the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This Division focuses on digital inclusion, and digital innovation ecosystems. Before that, she was for five years the Head of the ITU Project Support Division.

Sylvia Poll was the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations Office in Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland from 2010 to 2014, where she was the main focal point for Costa Rica, on sport for development and peace, as well as ITU, WIPO, WHO and IOM. Prior to this position, she was the Latin America Regional Manager of Executive Programs at the INCAE Business School and a manager at a Costa Rican communications company. Ms. Poll was also an accomplished elite swimmer. She represented Costa Rica in two Olympic Games, Seoul, Korea 1988 and Barcelona, Spain, 1992. She won a silver medal, the first Olympic medal ever at that time, for Costa Rica and Central America, in addition to winning over 600 medals at national, regional and world swimming competitions. She was chosen the Best Athlete in Latin America two years in a row, in 1988 and 1989. Since 2010 she is a Member of the international organization “Peace and Sport”, as one of their “Champions of Peace”, a special Sport Ambassador, to help build sustainable peace through sport. She has also written on sport in different media outlets and worked as an expert swimming commentator during the broadcasting of the recent Rio Olympic Games 2016.  Ms. Poll holds a Master in Business Administration and an Executive Master in International Negotiations and Policy Making.

Ziqin Sang

CICT, China

Mr. Ziqin SANG joined Wuhan Research Institute of Posts and Telecommunications after obtaining his PhD in pattern recognition and intelligent system in 1998. Since 2010, he has led a division of Smart City Innovative Research in the State Key Laboratory of Optical Communication Technologies and Networks. He is active in domestic and international standardization development organizations. He is currently a vice chair of ITU-T SG20 and a vice chair of CCSA TC10. He led and contributed to a dozen of ITU-T Recommendations. As a WG9 co-chair of ITU Focus Group on Metaverse, he works on “Metaverse Standardization Roadmap” which will be beneficial to metaverse standardization in ITU-T study groups, other SDOs, consortium and fora. He is among the editorial board of IET Smart Cities, MDPI Smart Cities, and MDPI Standards.

Sarah Segrest

VIP of Community, Virbela’s Open Campus

Sarah (she/her) is an emerging technology specialist, humanist, learning futurist, artist, community leader and equity advocate. She has led corporate and education strategies for future planning and technology adoption for over a decade. The last four years of her career have been in partnership with Virbela, in which she serves as the VIP of Community in the free, public metaverse of Open Campus, built on the Virbela VR platform. Sarah founded her consultancy, Octosmos, to focus her work specifically on technology and organizations that benefit humanity, enhance learning and support equity. With a specialization in XR technology, virtual worlds, AI, Web3 and blockchain, Sarah also serves as the Chief Learning Officer for the National Collaborative for Digital Equity (NCDE), advising and supporting the non-profit on emerging technologies for equity. 

Anish Sethi

Chief, Digital Solutions Centre, UNICC

Mr. Anish Sethi was appointed Chief of Digital Solutions Centre in October 2022. Mr. Sethi was previously appointed Chief, Clients and Projects Division in October 2020 and was already serving as Chief, Clients and Projects Division since October 2018. In this role, he was responsible for professional services at UNICC, including oversight of new services and products as well as development of strategic partnerships with technology and international development organizations. He led the Business Relationship Management function, which manages, strengthens and grows UNICC’s Client base. He also headed the Project Delivery unit responsible for managing and delivering all Client and UNICC projects, including all consulting engagements. Mr. Sethi is the administrative head of the UNICC New York office.

Mr. Sethi joined UNICC in 2005 and has been involved in several Client professional consulting engagements, including strategizing and managing cross-cultural teams to deliver large mission-critical client services and project office initiatives.

Mr. Sethi has over twenty-eight years of experience in the various aspects of information and communication technology businesses and has an educational background in Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

Over the years, he has engaged in strategy and execution of professional services in the areas of Program and Portfolio Management, business and process management, enterprise architectures, portals, knowledge and search solutions, business intelligence solutions, team collaboration and messaging and enterprise planning.