Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Future of Internet economy, OECD Ministerial in Seoul

Here in Seoul, South Korea, the OECD is in day one of a formal two day ministerial on the Future of the Internet Economy. The formal programme runs for three days, including a preliminary day for stakeholder inputs from civil society, business and the technical community.

During this time they will debate the issues in front of the OECD countries, and the rest of the world to ensure internet access and its benefits expands beyond its current elitist and predominantly western centricity.

Thus the current 1.2 billion people with Internet access is only 20% of the world population.

The OECD, and their Ministers first got involved in debating the policy and regulatory frameworks around the Internet 10 years ago in Ottawa, establishing policies promoting online activities in areas such as privacy, security, taxation and consumer protection.

Given the Internet has become a critical utility infrastructure, the OECD Seoul Ministerial is being seen as an opportunity to address the role of the Internet in the 21st century and the direction of the Internet economy.

There are 1500 participants including Ministers and high level officials from Communications, Economy, Industry and Trade portfolios from 47 countries as well as leaders from all stakeholder communities.

The stakeholder forums allow people in the business, Internet technical community, civil society and organised labour to exchange ideas on major policy issues for the growth of the Internet economy.

These in turn are fed into the formal part of the agenda, which includes Ministerial input.

New Zealand Delegation
I am here as part of the New Zealand delegation. David Cunliffe is here in his Minister of Communication portfolio. He is very good in this role - understands the bigger issues and gets down into the detail really well- especially around access, broadband regulation, and the need for the NZ digital stakeholders at all levels - government - business and civil society - to start delivering a lot more in terms of social and economic transformation.

As for myself, the big learning for me is a new acronym A2K - it means "access to knowledge", and encompasses a bunch of ideas, concepts and potential policy frameworks around giving people access not just to broadband but to knowledge frameworks.

Round Table One

There is much more - but I need to concentrate - Laurence Lessig is about the speak as part of Round Table One.

YouTube - OECD
Note: the OECD are runnng a spot on YouTube offering peole the chance to comment on their ideas on "How can the Internet make the world a better place?' You might want to have a go, here


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