attends United Nations
Janna Anderson, Bryan Baker and Erin Barnett were in Athens, Greece, Oct. 30-Nov. 2 to gather ethnographic interviews with some of the world's networked-communications leaders to add to the collection of predictive materials in the Imagining the Internet initiative at Elon.
Anderson is an assistant professor in the School of Communications; Baker is senior audio producer for the office of television services; Barnett is a sophomore Honors Fellow. They interviewed 26 internet stakeholders from 16 nations (Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bulgaria, Canada, Ethiopia, France, India, Italy, Jamaica, Moldova, Nigeria, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States).
Among the interviewees were Vint Cerf (current ICANN chairman, Google's chief internet evangelist, one of the "fathers of the internet" and star of many sessions at the conference), Markus Kummer, executive coordinator for the UN Working Group on Internet Governance, and other conference participants and panelists, including representatives of Amnesty International, Sun Microsystems, government and academia.
The Athens Internet Governance Forum is the first of five annual global events focused on discussion of the overarching issues tied to the future of information and communications technologies, including control over the internet architecture and numbering and naming system, security, intellectual property, openness, connectivity, cost and multilingualism.
More than 1,200 participants shared information, experiences and best practices in the course of multiple workshops and main-session events. Leading participants also formed what UN officials are calling "dynamic coalitions" to work on issues between now and the next IGF meeting in Rio de Janeiro in 2007. The IGF series of conferences was born out of the 2003 and 2005 meetings of the World Summit on the Information Society, also sponsored by the United Nations.
The interviews gathered by the Imagining the Internet crew will be edited into podcasts, vodcasts and a film and added to the thousands of pages of research already online as part of the Elon site "Imagining the Internet: A History and Forecast": http://www.imaginingtheinternet.org.
Anderson also attended a separate event while in Greece – the GigaNet conference in Athens Oct. 29. The Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet) is a new communications channel for the discussion of deeper analysis and better research into issues tied to internet diffusion and regulation.
GigaNet's four principal objectives are to: support the establishment of a global cohort of scholars specializing on Internet governance issues; promote the development of Internet governance as a recognized, interdisciplinary field of study; advance theoretical and applied research on Internet governance, broadly defined; and facilitate informed dialogue on policy issues and related matters between scholars and Internet governance stakeholders (governments, international organizations, the private sector, and civil society).
GigaNet panels were led by Peng Hwa Ang of the Singapore Research Center; Milton Mueller of Syracuse University and the Internet Governance Project; and William J. Drake of the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.
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