The inaugural session of the Information Society Forum took place in Brussels on 13 July 1995. The meeting was held under the auspices of the European Commission, represented by Mr. Martin Bangemann, Commissioner responsible for industrial affairs, information technologies and telecommunications. The aim of the Information Society Forum is to contribute to an open debate and a reflection on the challenges - social, societal, cultural and linguistic - of the information society. It will also recommend priority projects to be implemented by the Commission. A total of 124 members have been drawn from a wide range of groups including: users, network operators, academia, trade unions, family associations, parliamentarians, industry, the public sector and consumer groups. At the inaugural meeting, the Forum elected Mrs. Birgitta Carlsson (Sweden, Telia AB Teleservices) as chairperson and Mr. Roberto Carneiro (Portugal, Televisao Independente - TVI) and Mrs. Caroline Kerstiens (European Bureau of Consumers Unions - BEUC) as co-chairpersons. A number of position papers were circulated and working groups were set up covering the following themes: - Impact on economy and employment; - Basic social and democratic values in the virtual community; - Influence on public services, especially the health care systems; - Education and training in the information society; - The sustainable development of technology and infrastructure; - The cultural dimension and the future of the media. The Forum will submit an annual report to the Commission which will assess the progress made in the development of the Information Society.