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2015 11 10 OPEN FORUM - ITU Workshop Room 2 FINISHED

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Tenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in João Pessoa, Brazil, from 10 to 13 November 2015. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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>> TOMAS LAMANAUSKAS: So, good morning, ladies and gentlemen.  So I think we'll start -- we'll start this morning's session at the open forum on SMEs and entrepreneurship, and the first thing before I introduce the agenda, I would like to encourage everyone at the table please take a seat at the table.  It's not a discussion -- it's not just a presentation to listen, but we'd actually like to have it a discussion among how we can work together and how these issues could be resolved, so I'd really encourage everyone to take a seat at the table, and then -- and with that, also, I would like to introduce Deputy Secretary General Malcolm Johnson to open this session, please. 

     >> MALCOLM JOHNSON: Thank you very much, Tomas.  Good morning, everybody.  Thank you for coming.  I know there's lots of these workshops on at the same time, so nice to see you here.  So in ITU, we -- we have a new initiative, which we called Emerge, and we wanted to tell you a little bit about it this morning and to encourage some more participation in it.  The idea is to really look at ways we can encourage entrepreneurial startup companies to participate in ITU and to help these businesses get off the ground. 

     Many countries, especially developing countries, they don't have too many large companies.  They -- if they do have them, they tend to be multi-nationals, and they have their headquarters in a developed country, so we don't see a lot of participation from many developing countries, and actually, it's quite evident in Latin America.

     I've asked why that's the case, and I'm told that it's because many of the companies that are operating and working in Latin America are multinationals, and they have their membership of ITU back in the home country, so we don't get -- I mean, even if the people would like to participate in ITU, they're not allowed to because it's people from the home country that goes to the meetings in ITU. 

     And we've had this difficulty for some time, so what we're looking to do is to create a new level of membership for small and start-up companies.  You know, ITU is a fee-based organization, so that companies wanting to participate in ITU, they need to pay a membership fee.  This fee is clearly too much for small companies, especially start-up companies.  Apparently the minimum fee is 10,000 Swiss francs, or U.S. dollars a year, so that's too much for many of the small companies that exist in many developing countries.

     So we're looking to encourage more participation in the work of ITU from these small start-up companies, and looking to introduce a new membership fee, which is a much smaller fee, something to the level that we charge universities to participate in ITU.

     So a university in a developing country, they'd pay 2,000 Swiss francs or U.S. dollars.  It's about the same, $2,000 a year.  That's what universities pay, and we found that that's quite attractive for universities.  We have over 100 universities now members of the ITU, and that membership is increasing quite a lot.  It's a snowball effect.  As people get to know about it, then they tend to join.  So we want to have some sort of similar no-level fee for startup companies to be able to join ITU and in joining, they would be able to benefit linking up to the very large membership we have in ITU.  We have 193 governments and around 700 private-sector entities, so it would be beneficial to some of these small companies to be able to participate in the work of ITU, and this is what this initiative is all about.  It's looking to help the small companies to really get off the ground, give them the opportunity to link with some of the larger ICT companies we have in ITU, but also with the universities that we have in ITU and give them a chance to really get their products recognized, especially if it becomes the basis for an ITU standard.  So this is very much what this Emerge initiative is about, and this is what we want to tell you about in this session and also to have any feedback from you on what we could do better to encourage these companies to participate in ITU and ways that we could facilitate their participation.

     So with that, I'll hand it over to Tomas to take us a bit more into the depth of the issue.  Tomas

     >> TOMAS LAMANAUSKAS:  Thank you, very much, Malcolm.  The short presentation here is about what we just launched around months ago, which we called the Emerge Partnership, and with the purpose that Malcolm described, which is basically encourage and support facilitating governments, and I'll explain more, and other stakeholders to start up in an emerging market, so with a focus to emerging markets, the ones who are -- want to sell their products, ICT products or services into the emerging markets.

     So in terms of the why the Emerge Partnership and why we felt it's needed, again, Malcolm covered that, but basically we realized that ICT across system is vastly changing.  It's no longer just about established players, about few big companies, but it's about a multitude of players that and the economy that innovate, that produce products were and if you look at SME in general, this is where the jobs are and this is where the growth is, but also when you look at sector, a lot of various solutions in parts of the world are coming from startups, entrepreneurs, and emerging companies.

     So in that way, many governments around the world, they see the need to support the ecosystems and they see the need to support their companies to be not just to be consumers of the Internet, not just to be connected to the Internet and obtain information, but to contribute to that, and a lot of discussions in this IGF is about how to create local content, local services, and that's also through, again, theselocal entrepreneurs.

     Again, in many countries this is a recognition that there is huge gaps of what's needed and what can be offered in terms of funding, skills, education, knowledge, and also links and networks, so in that regard, we felt there was a need for us to again initiate that work that would help those to overcome those challenges.

     So basically, vision of the Emerge Partnership is to ensure that rich innovation ecosystems resulting in small, young, and nimble firms with high gross potential in the ICT technology and Internet sectors so basically helping everywhere around the world to create the ecosystems.

     The focus here is to identify, help countries to create -- to establish key elements needed for robust ecosystems, and especially empowering SMEs and micro enterprises in these sectors, help also solutions and firms addressing special areas including connectivity challenges and encouraging deployment of E&M public services and so on, again, helping to find and -- find investment and financing for these growths -- high-growth firms, and also helped to build a human capacity in this regard.  So objectives of the partnership when we started it was to mobilize, because we realized that ITU, you know, we have a certain very strong role in that, being able to have people in the ICT sector, it's not a job for organization alone, and it's important to bring all the stakeholders in this area around the table.

     So the objective of this partnership was mobilize a group of key partners who are supporting these entrepreneurial ecosystems and proactive in this area, and have dialogue among them and other stakeholders, and part of this dialogue is today, then defining what are the critical government policies needed to enable the innovation entrepreneurship, identify what funding and investment models are needed, help with knowledge building, so intelligence gathering, research and analysis in this area, support of existing networks, and raise awareness of importance of innovation entrepreneurship if we want to address all these challenges that we need to have in the development.  Again, another topic that's important for this year's IGF.

     So the primary audience of this partnership is government policymakers, those of industry, economy, national development, as well as national regulators, the innovation entrepreneurship development practitioners, and public-private-sector procurement specialists, development specialists and so on.  What we're trying to say when you say primary and secondary audience is that basically, you know, a lotof initiatives help direct SMEs, we're helping those who help the SMEs, so we help to enable the people, including governments, innovation centers, accelerators in their own countries to help SMEs.

     So with that, just, again, around a month ago in Budapest, during the ITU Telecom World, we together with partners launched the Emerge Initiative and are bringing the key stakeholders around the table.  You can find also more information about this, including supporting organizations in our Emerge Partnership, so it is Emergepartnership.org, new portal, and again the information on who are the -- our key partners here, so at the moment, we have eight organizations, so -- that includes accelerators, private-sector companies, includes, of course, us and other international organizations, includes regional organizations such as Startup Europe, and as well as industry alliances around the world, information technology, and we have a few more partners that we are discussing and who are also getting ready to join the partnership as well.

     So what are the next plans?  So, first of all, the big value of the -- the core value of the partnership to start with is, of course, the key stakeholders are coming together and that they share experiences and that that partnership access to -- acts as a clearing house for anyone who is interested thousand help build entrepreneurship ecosystems in their own country, but we're also planning tangible outcomes for 2016, so we'll have our -- first of all, our planning of work will take in online discussions, but we're planning a physical meeting in March 2016, it will be together with a summit that encourages -- that features awards -- features awards for the entrepreneurs and also helps them develop via sustainable business models, and then we plan the -- next year we plan the publication first Emerge Partnership's publication as well.  This first publication we're combining from all the partners, and -- on this area, that would draw on grass-roots, local, national, and international perspectives how we could encourage entrepreneurship and innovation in all the markets, especially emerging markets.  Some topics will be why we need to support SMEs, what is the role of ICTs in that ecosystem, how SMEs could help us innovate for achieving global good and achieving development goals and what is the role of social entrepreneurship, how we could build a culture of innovation in the various ecosystems, how SMEs could contribute to this sector, again, you know, how it could lead the growth, how financing could be mobilizing, and last but not least, what policymakers need to do to grow this in their own countries.

     Again, that is -- the most important part here is why we're here and what's -- what we expect from this discussion, so basically, you know, the idea here today was to present this initiative but also discuss with you what are the needs in your countries and your -- from either in your country and from you -- from your perspective as a stakeholder, be it from SME itself, be it from academia, be it from, you know, other organizations.

     Also -- so how we can help more, what are the areas, what is -- can you hear me?  What --

     >> ANDREA SAKS:  There's feedback from the other room, and we're having trouble hearing you back here. 

     >> TOMAS LAMANAUSKAS: Andrea, my encouragement from the very beginning was -- I think that will be much better. 

     >> ANDREA SAKS: They're going to check it out and see if they --

     >> TOMAS LAMANAUSKAS: Thanks a lot.  Another idea, if your organization is working that area, is how could you -- how could you partner and how -- maybe how could you become part of that network and also how we -- maybe you could contribute to our work, especially publications.

     So another thing -- so we'll have a few -- couple of meetings next year as well that will be featuring this theme, so as I mentioned already, the first Emerge Partners' meeting in March, but also our ITU Telecom World annual event that took place in October, next year it will be November.  It also has a revamped focus on small and medium enterprises, how to encourage -- how to encourage them, but also how to feature products in small-medium enterprises, both coming from emerging markets but also targeting emerging markets, so I would also encourage you to join those activities.

     So with that, that is the presentation, but I think the best value of the session would be to make it as interactive as possible, so I don't know if you agree with that.  Before we go into the more specific questions, I would encourage the people -- you know, maybe we could start with the people across this table, just introduce yourself, which organization are you from, and then, you know, why do you think -- whether you think this topic is important and you think -- you know, we think how the SMEs and entrepreneurs in the ICT sector could bebetter encouraged and what is needed for that, you know.  If you're okay with that, maybe you could start from my right and introduce yourself.

     >> ARIEL GRAZIER: Okay.  Good morning.  I am Ariel Grazier from CABASE Argentina, the Internet Association of Argentina, and we, as an association, cover all the new SMEs and startups and entrepreneurs that develop applications, new services in Argentina, and also we run the IXPs in all country, 16 we have now running, and we coordinate it first to develop all the aspect of Internet, so it's important to have this initiative.  Sometimes for small companies it's very difficult, not just for the fees, and it's a good it's a good idea to have a cheaperfee.  The small companies and startups have to have a lots of people to attend different meetings to get a better agenda, so maybe it's a way to start the relationship with the ITU through -- perhapsin our case, through our association or directly as an SME.  I think it's a thing that we need to search a way to do it. 

     >> TOMAS LAMANAUSKAS:  Okay. 

     >> TIJANI BEN JEMAA: Yes.  Thank you.  Sorry.  So my name is Tijani Ben Jemaa.  I'm from Tunisia and the executive director of theMediterranean Federation of Internet Associations.  I am also the North African coordinator of the African Civil Society for Information Society, which is a network of associations of the -- in Africa, so I am 100% Civil Society.  Thank you.

     >> AJMAL AYAN: Good morning.  My name is Ajmal Ayan.  I'm from Afghanistan.  I work for the state-owned enterprise as a vice president of the Afghan Telecom.  We are a company dealing with different business services in Afghanistan in supporting the entrepreneurs, these small- and medium-sized companies.  We support them with providing them with telecom infrastructure and other services that we reach the people who are remote, and we support the idea and the theme of the entrepreneurs for the social impact because we have to care for the planet and the people, so when we talk of sustainable development, we do have to look for the impact on the society, so I think it's worth discussing topic.  Thank you. 

     >> WOUT de MATRIS: My name is Wout de Matris.  To add to the confusion of putting on another hat than at the rest of the conference, but I'm also co-owner of a company in the Netherlands called SME Cyber Security Advice Netherlands, and I'll speak in that capacity here.  What I can do basically is share at a later point or now, what you'd like, on the way this is handled in the Netherlands and perhaps say more about the programs, and I can share some experience I had in The Gambia in 2014how they handled this topic there.  In the Netherlands, they had programs which the state funds which small SMEs give a little extra push in the last phase of the project, that they can get some money to finalize it and present it if it's okay, they get some money and then they present it when -- a year later when it's all ready, so there are institutions for that that accommodate that sort of new emerging companies, which is probably easier to do in a developed country than in other countries, but it starts a thought to start somewhere, and that's perhaps where the example of The Gambia that I was able to visit in March 2014 where I was contacted by the ICT Department of the two universities and said can you come give a presentation, and I said, of course I can do that, but it was a convention where young entrepreneurs who just got out of that department started their own companies and could present themselves to their local government, and the politics behind it, I'll leave it behind, but not everyone in government was happy with the whole conference.  There was a lot of things going on in the background, but the fact is that the -- in other parts really supported it, and these young entrepreneurs that were 20, 21, had a whole day to present their young, emerging companies, and it was supported by the company's money who supported it, and there was a young company that came back from the U.S. and started a school support system for all the local schools, so they made sure they got connected to the Internet and they had a student following system so that actually the level of education there went up within two yearsI understand.

     So that is perhaps somebody would you like to reach out to when you -- and I will be gladly later exchange and introduce you.  Thank you. 

     >> MARK CARVELL: Okay.  Thank you, Mark CarvellUnited Kingdom Government, Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and good morning, everybody, and thanks very much to the ITU team for introducing this initiative.  I'm -- it's new to me, so I don't have any official government view on that, but from my first take, speaking perhaps more personally, it seems to be a very valuable step for the ITU to take within the context of advancing the contribution of ICTs to sustainable development and enlisting capacity-building support for new entrepreneurs, and emerging companies in a very dynamic sector worldwide, which is going to have an important role for many developing countries and small island developing states in the future as their economies develop and their digital strategies start to crystallize with the support of governments and sector meetings of the ITU.

     So I feel very positive about this, and we can certainly take this initiative away from us in the government, and also the organization of the CTO, see if the CTO would have some interest in helping to advance this initiative and promote awareness of it and so on, so that's my initial reaction, and look forward to hearing more about the project and the run-up to the meetings that you've described and so on, and will certainly consider from the government perspective how we can assist with engagement and assisting promote of it.  Thank you.

-- promotement of it. 

     >> GABRIEL: Good morning.  I'm Gabriel.  I'm international relations student of the Federal University of Paraiba, and I see -- I was thinking here about it, and I was glad to hear about the ITU program on universities, but I see it from this point.  Most of the universities here in Brazil and most of the objective of the students in Brazil is to go to a federal university, and I don't know how the ITU deals with the fact they have to talk first with the government, then go into the university.  I don't know how to deal with that.

     That -- I see one of the causes, the universities don't have much contact with organizations, you know, it's pretty hard for us to engage with some startup or entrepreneur or any kind of business because we have to -- we need support of the government, and in the actual moment of this country, I don't know how can we go on that, you know -- not talking about startups, I'm only 18, but I've been talking with a friend about engaging in a startup, but, you know, the economics of Brazil is good, okay, it has an important part of the international scenario, but for us now at this moment it's pretty hard, so we don't -- we can't even open a startup here, we don't have money for that. It's pretty hard for us.  It's pretty hard to engage in that, and it makes me feel real good to know that the ITU is worried about reducing the fee so we can engage in this kind of project.  Thank you. 

     >> MALCOLM JOHNSON:  Thanks for that comment.  Let me just answer you straight away on that before we move any further.  A few years back, I was very keen to get universities participating in ITU.  I think we're the only UN agency where universities can be members, and it started in 2011, so it was originally $2,000 a year for a developing country to join one sector, and we have three sectors, you know.  We have standards and development, so the minimum was $6,000 a year for a university in a developing country.

     Even though that's a lot less than what companies pay -- companies pay $32,000 just to join one sector.  It still was difficult for universities, some universities, so now it's been further reduced, so it's just $2,000 to join all three sectors of the ITU, and we're picking up new academia members quite regularly, so we have 100 now.  I think we just had the 100th recently, and they're from all over the world.  It's a really nice mix as well because you've got universities of the stature of Tokyo University right down to Science and Technology Institute, so it's a nice mix, and we've got a lot more joining now that we've got the fee down to that level.

     And also, that -- they can link up with -- with the other members of the ITU.  That's the big advantage they find, you know, that they can link up with our sector members, industry members, operators and vendors, both from the telecom side and the ITside.  We have quite a lot of new companies joining that are not telecom, originally telecom companies.

     So it gives them a chance to network, and some of the universities are actually proposing some of their own research to be incorporated into an ITU standard, and they can even have a patent on the technology and still have it included in the ITU standard, as long as they make it available on reasonable, nondiscriminatory terms, so it's a good opportunity for universities to make some money as well.

     But many universities don't know they can become members of the ITU, they don't know what the benefits are, so getting the message across has been a challenge.  And we have a presentation on the website.  Whenever I go somewhere, I try and visit the university and try and explain what the advantages are, and we usually pick up members that way, so we'd be very keen to see more members joining from this region, Latin America.  We don't have a lot of participation, unfortunately, so it's a very easy process.  The university can apply directly online to the ITU, so you don't need to go through the government.  So the application comes to ITU, and then we just check with the government to make sure it's a bona fide university, and then it's just a question of paying the fee, and then you can participate.  Of course, you've got the expense of participation, but we now provide remote participation in many of our meetings, so you can participate from home.  You don't have to travel to the meeting, and that remote participation is working quite well.  You make interventions and present documents remotely.

It's not just a case of listening.  So that cost is low, and universities can also send interns to the organization for a period of one to six months.  We give them an actual project to do, so especially if it's related to their area of research, so it's of great benefit to the universities.  So I hope that your university will become a member. 

     >> ANDREA SAKS: Hello.  I'm Andrea Saks, and I work with the International Telecommunications Bureau because basically my responsibility is being the chairman of the Joint Coordination Activity on Accessibility and Human Factors.  We are accessible within the means of our ability to pay for things, but I -- when we get people who have disabilities, we include them, and that also means in remote participation because we've just completed a standard that is accessible remote participation.  We've also just completed a standard that deals with accessible meetings, and we welcome persons with disabilities, especially students, because most people do not really think about the fact that probably one of the most untapped resources are students who have disabilities who can listen remotely, who can actually come and be accommodated by our organization, and Mr. Malcolm Johnson and I have worked very hard on this, and I really support this particular project because we need the young to come in.  We've got enough of us people here with the gray hair, we want to get the young people in to be a part of standardization, because without standards, we do not connect, and we need to have international standards. 

     >> LARA PACE: Good morning.  Lara Pace, Global Cyber Security Capacity Center at the University of Oxford.  I don't think we're formally a member, but we cooperate with the ITU.  We've started the conversation about joining and becoming a member.  Back to your question about this initiative, thank you so much for the presentation.  Our interest is cybersecurity capacity-building, so any initiative that is going to support the development of SMEs in -- you know, in country and out for us is obviously a very positive initiative because we see them working very closely with governments and driving the actual capacity-building activity, so I just wanted to say that I think it's a very positive initiative, and this is the first time I'm hearing about it, so like Mark, that is my initial reaction.  Thank you. 

     >> TAYLOR ROBERTS Hello.  My name's Taylor Roberts.  I'm a researcher of the same organization.  Just to briefly add on to that, a lot of the capacity-building reviews that we've conducted, we started to notice that there is a skills development of those that come out of university that doesn't necessarily reflect the industrial environment in which they operate.  They're not enabled to be able to use the skills that they've founded in university and apply them in a very productive way, are and I think that this sort of initiative would provide that sort of springboard to be able to really become a positive contributing member of the industrial base, so well done.

     >> SALLY LONG Hello.  I'm Sally Long.  I'm with the Open Group.  I am the forum director for the Open Group's Trusted Technology Forum, and thank you for the presentation on this partnership.  I'm also working with the East-West Institute and Bruce McConnell on supply chain and cyber securities, and I think he's mentioned through that your initiative, and I think it's really important to consider partnerships, especially with standards.  We just created the Open Group Trusted Technology Provider standard and put it through ISO as 20243.  That is all about product integrity and supply chain security best practices for ICT providers, and so when you look at the SMEs that are providing the ICT as well, there is a real need, as you -- as your presentation illustrated, to bring them up to speed with what the big guys are doing because, you know, normal standards organizations are the big vendors, and so to get them up to speed, adopting what they've created as a standard as a best practice is really very important.

     So I love the idea of collaboration, even if it's between ITU, Open Group, East-West, even a layer above where we can promote the samethings and proliferate good standards I think is really important effort.  Thank you. 

     >> SYED ISMAIL SHAH My name is Syed Ismail Shah, and I am the chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority.  We are the regulator for the telecom sector.  I think this is a very important initiative that ITU has taken.  The earlier one we are also following on that, which is with the collaboration and membership for the academic institutions.  This -- these opportunities will give the startup a chance to go and meet the -- as mentioned, the bigger companies and also give them access to the much-needed funding.

     From our part, we have actually -- in July we held a session -- we had an ITU representative, the regional office, representative in Pakistan, and we gathered all the economic institutions, and he talked to them about the initiative that is -- that are being talked about for the academic institution.  We are holding another training session to 26th February, and we will be very pleased to start all the startup companies and hold a session for them so that they can also know more about this program and the opportunities that can be offered, and if there can be any other help that you can think of, we are there to support.  Thank you. 

     >> OMAR MANSOOR ANSARI Hi, everyone.  My name is Omar Mansoor Ansari. I'm an entrepreneur based in Kabul, Afghanistan.  I run a technology company called TechNation, and I'm chairing the National ICT Alliance of Afghanistan.  Entrepreneurship in startups, that's one of the core areas we are working on in Kabul.  We just started with business incubators and accelerators in Kabul.  We're doing a program called Ibtikaar, which is a business incubator with Ministry of Communications and IT in the World Bank, but we're also planning to expand this, especially to universities, which are disconnected with the industry.  They're teaching things which are not required by the market.  That's outdated curricula, and the teaching methodology.  That's one of our greatest challenge.

     When people -- young people graduate, they don't find a job in the market, so what we want to do is to set up incubators in the universities which are mentored young people from the universities come, and the mentorship provided by the industry leaders, CEOs who are already in business for years, and share with them some practical experiences they have had, you know, by being entrepreneurs.

     The other issue or problem would be that finding -- identifying the people to mentor.  We have CEOs, but there will be, like, a number of people who would not want to mentor because they would think, you know, if -- let's say if it's IT companies and the entrepreneur is -- is CEO for IT company, you would think that the new startups would become their competitors at some point in the future.  If they provide the mentorship and teach them skills, so that needs to be changed.  I mean, we need to develop a culture of sharing experiences with the new generation. 

     The other issue, part of the entrepreneurs might not be good mentors.  That's another challenge we're facing, but apart from the mentorship, the other issue we are facing in Afghanistan is that when they -- from an incubator, let's say, there's no mechanism available for them to access some seed funding for which they can start.  We don't have venture capitalists in Afghanistan, we don't have investors, there are banks which have, like, very complicated mechanism of providing loans and stuff, so that's a problem.

     In order to resolve this, we planned Startup Afghanistan, which will be something like Startup Chile, or Startup Brazil, there is a Startup India, Malaysia.  These are programs that provide support to startup incubators.  What we do at Startup Afghanistan is incubator acceleration.  At the acceleration, we plan to provide access to funding in market to the new startups so they can -- they can start their work.  Thank you very much. 

     >> MALCOLM JOHNSON: A lot of great examples.  Next.

     >> JANVIER NGNOULAYE: I'm Janvier Ngnoulaye.  I'm a lecturer in ICT at the University of Yaounde in Cameroon.  I'm also an active member of AfriNIC and Internet Society.  I sit here with my capacity of teacher to follow the discussion.  I want to say that our university -- our university are really disconnected about what is going on with the development of the technology, or development of policy.  I come with -- I come to attend this open forum with a question, how can our university be part of ITU project or ITU opportunities?  Maybe the discussion -- through the discussion, I can get the answer -- the answer of this question, so I'm here to follow what is going through the discussion to see if our university can get some opportunities to be connected -- to be part of what is going on.  Thank you. 

     >> MOHAMED: Hello.  My name is Mohamed.  I'm a CEO for a nonprofit organization in India and UAE.  We are into child online protection, and we are a member of ITU COP.  I'm here to urge our SMEs to also take care about the child online protection aspects of the -- you know, the well-being of children on the Internet because there are many aspects, as we know, cyberbullying, to child exploitation materials online, to inappropriate contact, a lot of issues with the children is facing online, so we need to have a collaborated and comprehensive approach to tackle these issues, the global issue, and from my experience, I have seen Europe, U.S., and UK, and to some extent Australia is doing wonderful in this area.

     Where we found an issue in Africa, some countries having zero capacity on tackling the particular issue, so we need to have a comprehensive cross-border kind of collaboration in this area where ITU really is taking a lead of that by making the consortium called ITUCOP, and definitely we'll see how we can collaborate.  Thank you very much.

     >> MALCOLM JOHNSON: Thanks a lot.  Also, I would like to see -- as I encouraged in the beginning, thank you -- for the audience to come around the table, but if there's someone from the audience who would also like to contribute further how we could work better and encourage SMEs, both SMEs and academia to participate in this work and benefit from that work, please. 

     >> SYED ISMAIL SHAH:  One other suggestion I forgot to give was sometime it may be a little difficult for an individual startup to become a member, so if you can also have, like, a group membership that can work under an umbrella.  Many of the universities, at least I know in Pakistan, they also have incubation center where they have these startups.  They can also be brought in through those academic institutions also, so I have these too suggestions that I brought. 

     >> ADEEL SADIQ Good morning, everyone.  I'm Adeel, and I am working for Huawei Technologies Pakistan.  I have a request, a question, and suggestion.  My request is for (Inaudible) and ITU to please change your upcoming workshop because it is clashing.  I think your ideas are more or less same with them.  And now my suggestion to ITU is please make section of Emerge program because what I believe is the promotion of the entrepreneurial and ecosystems that demand in Pakistan and Afghanistan may not be the same for UK and USA, for example.  To improve the efficiency of your program, this particular section might be segmented according to continents or developing countries, whatever you wish it is better for them.

     And now finally my question is to what exactly is the criteria of joining that Emerge Partnership?  You said it is for the small organization, small entrepreneurs, so what exactly the -- how do you define "small"?  Is it according assets, number of people who arestarting up that company, or where do you put the limit to that?

     >> TOMAS LAMANAUSKAS:  Thank you, and I think it's time to wrap up. I see here five minutes, but I see some people from the next session coming up, so I think I will try to -- we'll try to come to the conclusions.  So first of all, thanks a lot for everyone's contribution.  This is an open forum.  It was indeed an open forum in terms we heard a lot of suggestions, ideas, and examples to follow up, including specific convenience, including specific examples.  For example, the needs of mentorship, and I think that's exactly where Emerge Partnership can contribute, help identify proper, appropriate mentors, you know, both national and internationally, and also, you know, bring other stakeholders to the table.  At the same time, just answering some of the questions very quickly.  So we don't define -- you know, we don't have a very specific definition for SME.  We always talk about small companies with some growth potential, one to grow, one to resolve solutions.  They're not that established, so they still need some support and a leg up, so that's how we try to work.  Emerge Partnershipitself usually doesn't -- we don't combine the company themselves but the people who work to help them, soagain, anyone who works in that ecosystem is very welcome to join.  And, again, there's no strict criteria, but just please identify interest.

     And as Malcolm already -- also explained, you know, another -- there were some questions about academia membership.  So also we really welcome academia.  There are various ways to contribute, and I would like to see more of you from academia in ITU work as well.

     So with that, we have here also -- Malcolm, me, and also our regional director, so people from the region as well is good contact, so let's chat after the session, exchange contacts, and see how we can all work together from there.  Thanks a lot, everyone.  I'm sorry, Malcolm. 

     >> MALCOLM JAMES: Just to thank you all as well for coming.  I see 20 people standing in the back of the room for the next session, so I'll be very short, but thank you for your interest, and if -- if you want more information on this or on the academia membership, if you could give us your contact details and we'll send you some more information.  And look forward to seeing you in ITU.  Thanks very much. 

     (Applause)

     (Session concluded at 1204)

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