How will the accelerating impact of networked information and communications technologies change our lives and our world? Researchers from Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center conduct interviews with participants at major international gatherings, asking them to share their expectations for the future. Imagining the Internet also conducts documentary coverage of global conferences and special events, providing multimedia reports about important policy discussions and workshops and speculative speeches about the future of human networks. The links below will lead you to audio and/or video interview collections, including many quotable predictions shared by people from all walks of life, many of them at the top of their field.
Imagining the Internet has recorded documentary coverage at Global Internet Governance Forum sessions since the initial meeting in 2006. The meetings are mandated by processes generated out of the World Summit on the Information Society and they are facilitated by a United Nations secretariat that is based in Geneva, Switzerland. They bring together people from industry, the technology sector, government, academic and civil society in non-binding, multi stakeholder discussions of key issues. These conferences are staged in global locations such as Athens, Rio de Janeiro, Hyderabad, Sharm el Sheikh, Vilnius, Nairobi and Baku. Among the thousands of people recorded at these events are Tim Berners-Lee, Jerry Yang, Bruce Schneier, Robert Kahn, the top Internet policy leaders at Cisco, Verizon, Google, Microsoft, AT&T, Facebook and other major corporations, and non-governmental organization and legislative leaders from across the globe.
Imagining the Internet completed full documentary multimedia coverage of the Internet Society’s 25th Anniversary conference in Los Angeles in September 2017 and its 20th Anniversary Global INET conference in Geneva, Switzerland in April 2012. ISOC revealed a report on challenging trends for the future of the Internet at the 25th anniversary conference. The theme of the 20th anniversary conference was “Imagining the Future Internet.” Included here are the details of 20 different conference sessions, among them the naming of the inaugural class of the Internet Hall of Fame, panel sessions on key issues to the future of the Internet and keynote talks by Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales, Google Vice President Vint Cerf, ARPANET pioneer scientist Leonard Kleinrock, Mozilla leader Mitchell Baker, Internet Society CEO Lynn St. Amour, the ITU’s leader, Hamadoun Touré, and more.
This link leads to complete journalistic coverage of most of the meetings of the US national Internet Governance Forum – IGF-USA. These events bring together civil society, government, business and technology leaders, most of them based out of the Washington, DC, area, where the events are held. Plenary sessions and workshops were documented by teams of Imagining the Internet researchers including faculty, staff, undergraduate students and alumni from Elon University.
Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center awards the Areté Medallion to highly distinguished humanist innovators, change agents and thought leaders who have dedicated their lives to initiating and sustaining significant contributions that have positively impacted the global future. The inaugural honoree was Internet pioneer Vint Cerf. See two hours of video and dozens of photos as well as a written account from events held in his honor September 30, 2016. WWW innovator Tim Berners-Lee was honored in 2018.
Imagining the Internet sent video teams to the induction ceremonies of the Internet Hall of Fame in Geneva in 2012, in Berlin in 2013, Hong Kong in 2014 and Los Angeles in 2017. The Internet Society appoints a board of advisors to consider nominees in three categories: Pioneers, Global Connectors and Innovators. Video highlights from the acceptance speeches and brief biographies on each inductee are featured. (There were no inductions in 2015, 2016.) See interviews with dozens of Internet innovators.
The WTPF and WSIS were hosted by the United Nations May 13-17, 2013. These international forums brought together telecommunications ministers, government policy experts and business representatives for discussions of issues tied to the future of communications networks. Also on hand in as observers were technologists, academics, representatives of non-governmental organizations and members of civil society. Dozens of leaders shared their views about the future of the Internet.
Coverage of 22 separate events at FutureWeb, a conference created by Imagining the Internet to bring people together at the WWW2010 global gathering to discuss the challenges and opportunities looming in the future. More than 1,000 people – primarily the members of the World Wide Web Consortium, W3C, who continue to evolve the Web to meet new needs – met in Raleigh, NC, USA in April 2010 for these events. Among the speakers are Tim Berners-Lee, Vint Cerf, Danny Weitzner, danah boyd, Doc Searls, Carl Malamud, Paul Jones, Cathy Davidson, Andrew McLaughlin, Marc Rotenberg, James Hendler, Nigel Shadbolt, Lee Rainie and Chris DiBona.
Dozens of video interviews with top global communications policy leaders were conducted by Imagining the Internet at the ministerial meeting of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) set to specifically focus on “The Future of the Internet Economy.” The events of the conference took place in Seoul, Korea, June 16-18, 2008. Among those interviewed are Ambassador David Gross, Hamadoun Touré, Gwen Hinze, Kevin Martin, Peter Kim, Joseph Alhadeff and Parminder Jeet Singh.
An interdisciplinary group of about 40 futurists, technology architects, academics, journalists and entrepreneurs met at SRI International in 2006 to discuss synthetic worlds, the geospatial Web, Net neutrality and much more. Imagining the Internet set up individual interviews with participants to probe the key issues and emerging advances they see in our future. Among them are Esther Dyson, Jamais Cascio, John Smart, Randy Farmer, Raph Koster, Robert Scoble, Mike Liebhold, David Smith and Sibley Verbeck.
Two short films and 22 interviews were recorded at this international conference on accelerating change. The events were held at Stanford University in September 2005. Interview participants classified themselves as research scientists, entrepreneurs or business leaders, authors or journalists, and technology developers or administrators. They shared their hopes and fears for the future in a series of interviews. This site includes the entire series of individual interviews and the short films that quickly sum up key points made by various participants. Among those interviewed are world-class futures thinkers Vernor Vinge, George Gilder, Douglas Engelbart, Patrick Lincoln, Thomas Malone and Alex Lightman. A hot topic of discussion at the event was the possibility for a “technological singularity.”