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IGF 2018 - Day 2 - Salle VIII - WS450 Fostering Digital Social Innovation in the Global South

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Thirteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Paris, France, from 12 to 14 November 2018. 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. 



>> JANIS GERLACH:  All right, everybody.  We are going to get started here.  If you are in this room, you are now participating in workshop number 450, excuse me, we are getting started here.  Thank you.  If you are here now, you are participating in workshop 450, foster digital social innovation in the global south.

Thank you for being here.

We have a 90 minutes to close out the second day of IGF.  Thanks for being here.  My name is Janis Gerlach, senior public policy manager at the Wikimedia Foundation which hosts and supports wikipedia.  I'm not the only organizer of the session.  I'm here joined by Sandra Cortesi from Berkman Klein Center and the Norwegian Business School in Oslo.  We are here to talk about digital social innovation, but since we are a sort of cozy smallish group, maybe we can go through the room and do a quick introduction, everybody say their name, where they are from, what they do, short line, and after that, we will have Christian talk about the actual concept of digital social innovation, what this is all about and hear from a couple of speakers, what they do in this context and their approach to the topic.  Why don't we start with our two co‑organizers.

>> Hi, I'm Sandra Cortesi, from the Berkman Klein Centre for Internet and Society at Harvard University, leading the use of media project but also doing mostly Latin America work.

>> I'm from Jamaica, I run a small software firm called hacker hostile, we go into emerging, developing markets and train software engineers there.

>> Stefan from key wicks, we do Internet content for people without Internet access which means off‑line distributions.

>> I'm from Ethiopia, Pan Africa university, we did on the issue of digital, bridging the digital divide particularly in the African and global south.

>> Hello, everyone, my name is Lois and I'm from Uganda, I work with collaboration international ICT policy, we do research and promote digital rights in Africa.

>> I'm Alexa and I'm joining my colleagues, Sandra and Andreas from the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University.

>> Hello, all, I'm part of the Steering Committee of connect network and Professor at university of Chile.

>> Good afternoon, I'm Christian Fieseler, and I'm Professor in Oslo, for communication management, and I'm happy to work together with Sandra and Jan on this topic here today on digital social innovation.

>> Good afternoon, I'm a fellow at the Centre for Internet and Society and work with Sandra and Alexa at the media team.  I'm originally from Colombia and do research in Latin America.

>> Good afternoon, my name is Jorge Vargas and I work for the Wikimedia Foundation, in emerging markets, handle portfolio of Latin America as well as work around other partnerships in global scale on policy.

>> Good afternoon, I'm Sarah Jenner, Internet and media researcher based in Zurich, Switzerland.

>> Good afternoon, I'm Carlton Samuel, teach part time at university of West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, work in development mostly focused in developing people for the digital economy.

>> I'm from Hong Kong, Pindar Wong, I'm here as Steering Committee member of the digital Asia hub, research based technology in Hong Kong, my current interest is in cryptocurrencies.

>> Hi, everyone, I'm Ricardo Zapata, from Colombia.  I'm currently studying public policy and Internet technologies.

>> Hi, I'm Rafael, from Mexico, I study public policy at school of governance in Berlin.

>> Hi, I'm from the United States and I'm currently studying at American university focusing on ICT.

>> Hi, I'm Evan, I work in marketing manager for tech policy consultants partnership based in London.

>> Good afternoon, I'm with the UN Secretariat, department of social affairs division for public institutions and digital governments supporting also the IGF Secretariat.

>> Hello, good afternoon, I'm IGF fellow 2018 and I'm currently interested in data science and digital inclusion.  Thank you.

>> Good afternoon, I'm Louisa from the Institute for Research and Internet and Society, based in Brazil.  We are interested on digital rights as well, and currently we are studying digital inclusion and digital literacy.

>> Good afternoon, I'm Daphne, I work for the Dutch Government for the Ministry of economic affairs and climate policy.

>> Good afternoon, I'm from Uganda.  My organization works with Internet Society Uganda chapter as Secretary‑General and I'm here as 2018 IGF Ambassador.  Thank you.

>> Good afternoon.  I'm Thomas Wilson and I study politics at the university of Sussex in England.

>> Hi, I'm Deepak, Delhi, India, Government affairs.  That is my day job, night job is global Chair of IGF initiative and I've been involved in internal policy for more than 20 years now.

>> Good afternoon, my name is Ria, I head up a foundation and my interest is in technology and development for the Caribbean.

>> Hello, I'm Alan Barrett from AfriNIC, the Internet registry allocating IP numbers in Africa.  We are interested in general development in Africa.

>> Hello, I'm Michaela, graduated in political economy, working at Uber in their user operations team in New York.  I'm just here to learn about different topics regarding the Internet.  I'm also interested in how innovation is rolling out in Latin America, Asia, China in particular.  Yes.

>> Hi, I'm Hannah, I'm researching Internet access in college in London.

>> JANIS GERLACH:  Thank you, everybody, for this short round of introductions, we definitely fulfill the IGF's requirements for diversity and multistakeholder approach.

This is really exciting.  I want to kick it off here now or throw the ball to Christian to actually tell us about digital social innovation, what is this about, Christian?


>> A little bit of technical hiccup.  Here we go.

>> CHRISTIAN FIESELER: So, what we thought to do is kind of like give you a little bit of an idea what the term might mean for us, but we of course are interested in learning from you how we can define digital social innovation, what that might be and how technology might help to solve grand challenges like poverty, like inclusion, like access to knowledge.

The idea or at least our kind of like working definition of digital social inclusion is the idea of turning around maybe a little bit the idea of creating top down solutions, essentially giving ready made solutions to people but thinking how can we maybe empower people to, for instance, come up with innovative products, services, processes, business models, and by people we mean people who we would normally not readily conceptualize as entrepreneurs, right.  Think about people who get access to technology, you told me the story of maker spaces where on one day you had the maker bot, the next day it was gone, on the third day it was reassembled and standing there because kids were interested in learning technology and getting to play around with it.  The idea would be to talk today about how can we use the creative potentials of technology to empower people, to essentially improve maybe well‑being, the agency of socially disadvantaged people.

Of course, there can be many many fields where we could potentially think about technology, helping challenges like starting from empowering people to maybe create their own entrepreneurial projects around Government accountability, Civil Society accountability like open data projects, agriculture ideas of for instance giving farmers local language information via telephones or so, kind of like how to farm, how to do agriculture, how to do participatory economies, is there anything where we could use that to empower people in the global south, going to manufacturing the potentials of maker spaces, maker bots, media, so many of course ideas and fields for us to explore.

And the idea behind that today would be to talk about how can we empower people better, right?  I think also the idea would be to talk a little bit about skills, if you don't mind, in that let me try to conceptualize a little about what we are talking.

Coming up with entrepreneurial solutions has a lot to do with ideation, how do we enable people to come up with creative ideas, foster creative skills, especially in kids and young people, in youth, and not only help them to be creative, but think about the next steps, right, making them able to prototype the ideas, have something tangible for them to show, maybe something to collaborate on that idea, and also giving them the, and I don't want to sound too academic but giving them the means of production, thinking about whether there is any way of fabrication, meaning that if there are any ready access to scale the idea, maybe media products, maybe any kind of candy craft but what is the technology to enable access to knowledge but also enable access to production.

The big question there when we try to foster more digital social innovation would be how can we do that in a sustainable manner, because of course there is different kinds of like innovation, ideally would look at ways of innovation that also foster the United Nations development goals and sustain ability goals, can be combined entrepreneurship with equal solution, social solution but sustainable solution in terms of the careers which we are building when we ask people to act entrepreneurial with digital technology, is there anything we need to consider when we talk about the scalability of entrepreneurial activities.

Yesterday we had a session chaired by Sandra where we talked about young people and their entrepreneurial activities like on media, on for instance video game streaming, blogging and the ideas is always how easily can that be scaled.  Can we think about maybe business models services which are not only companies of one, but where we essentially create little cooperatives, little firms, how can we go from enabling just one person to make a living to having people maybe build little communities of practice, little firms, something like that.  Then the idea how to be considered success and how do we combine if we talk about social innovation, combine entrepreneurial success, monetary success with the social mission.

It is only like talking that, so is it about creating good business, or is it creating social business, is where I think we think that the one should not exclude the other, that we think about essentially making something which is long term, economically feasible.  A good way to consider that would be to think about how do we enable people in terms of skills.

That is now a little playful, but we tend to discuss a lot about safe practices, the idea to be able to participate, but that is essentially in our definition at least for today the grounds in which essentially entrepreneurship could grow, but the seed would be for instance enabling creative practices like instilling maybe also the desire to come up with ideas, to be entrepreneurial, to rejigger business, to learn about technology in the hope to grow that into something sustainability, into something sustainable.

That is what we think are also strategic practices or strategic skills meaning it's on the one hand of course always advisable and good to talk about how can people create with technology content, how can they bring content on the Internet, how can they use maker spaces.  But I think when we talk about enabling, empowering people we need to talk about scaling skills, business skills, like growing your creativity, your content production into something which might enable you but also maybe your friends, your colleagues in making a living, finding a payback from entrepreneurial skills, that has to do with not only getting a good product out but also placing the product, making the product heard, making people excited about the product, positioning itself.

And many different components actually fall under that.  In the last two days we discussed a lot the idea of, for instance, artificial intelligence, how can artificial intelligences of any kind help their or do they actually counteract the idea of people being entrepreneurial, something there might not be a market anymore when everything can be done by, or to the opposite, could that be a good tool to skill people to become more entrepreneurial, then the idea of platforms, right, the idea like being, our dear friends from Wikimedia talking about that, how can knowledge platforms, open platforms or closed platforms, we need to do that discussion, how can they help to give people knowledge, access to knowledge but also access to markets in a way, because a lot of markets are in a way somewhat, not always may be easy for people.  A important question when we talk about the global south is looking at mobile first solutions, solutions which are in a way lightweight and that they can be enabled through minimal technology like mobile, but also having enough of a technological capability or technological affordance so that people are not only consumers of content, but can also create content themselves.

Kind of like clothing and that is more like the discussion to be coming, the idea when we talk now about digital social innovation with all of you learning also from all of you guys, would be to maybe grow a little, but put a little seed into the ground and kind of like let something grow, right, like think a little bit about how we can help grow entrepreneurial ecosystems through digital technology, and a important part at least in our definition of that is that entrepreneurial activity needs a little gardening, especially when we talk about digital technology, what kind of safeguards do we need, what kind of gardening do we need in the sense of good practices, of having spaces where actually entrepreneurship can grow and closing off, I think, the discussion which we should take and maybe we should also have as questions here, would be on the one hand, the question of how do we create inclusive social innovations, inclusive business models, inclusive services.  Then how can we also instill values in them, meaning that can we create businesses which kind of like can combine a social mission and educational mission with the idea of earning money and becoming successful, becoming another big or medium size company at least, and how finally we can implement that technology which is lightweight enough for people to actually use it, in spaces where there might not be technological backbone to do that.

I think then I give back to Jan.

>> JAN GERLACH: Microphone didn't want to let me speak.


Thank you.  It's on.

Anyway, thank you, Christian, for this very helpful overview.  When we first started talking about this, I had no clue and I look for guidance to you.  This is helpful and hopefully for everybody in the room.

I want to actually not talk too much myself at all, but rather now hand it over to our two speakers here, to talk about their vision of digital social innovation, their approach to it, and maybe Pindar, you can start us off here, and talk about, I think you have prepared a short statement.

>> Which are prepared to throw away as we always do.

>> PINDAR WONG: Thank you very much for that.  I loved your opening remarks.  I was trying to follow along.  I would like to pick up on one of the things which is the theme of empowerment and innovation.  And try and tie that with the space that I've been exploring for the last few years, which was the space of cryptocurrencies, and this empty buzzword that we have called blockchain.

The notion, what is different with the Internet, what we used to talk about was permissionless innovation at the edge.  You have a network which I want to connect to, and you need cooperation to connect.  It is like this method that keeps the Internet going.

We have the pre‑Internet era and post Internet era.  I would say that we have a preBitcoin era and post Bitcoin era, because we have capacity to make money, there are 2,000 different cryptocurrencies now, making money is like a command line, you type make money, enter.  The question is can you deploy it?  We have moved from a era of permissionless innovation to one of potentially permissionless monetization, plethora of currencies which now enable us to exchange value across borders.

That is important to enable the global south because you mention the means of production, but there is also the means of exchange, how can I exchange what goods or services that I produced which are increasingly digital.  All the work we produce now begins its life not on pen and paper, I'm old school, but begins on a laptop somewhere.

The problem of the development of intangible assets, copyright and all the stuff we can do, we have a ability to track and trace the whole supply chain of that, we can now move manufacturing from traditional supply chains to demand chains, in other words, we can move the means of production to where there are customers, and print it out and manufacture or fabricate, you mentioned fab labs, where there are markets.

The geographical distinction is one I have issue with, which is the global south, what does that mean?  Because in the Internet, we kill geography, right?  The assumption in the wars I was involved with in the '90s is where distance equals cost.  You make a long distance phone call and you bled money.  Nowadays we are streaming this videoconference all over the world, and we don't care.  The point here is what assumptions are we going to make, because if we make the wrong set of assumptions, if we don't identify what the new assumptions are that empower those who are connecting to the network, many from countries, next billion on line, we will be making three mistakes.

The assumption of data, distance equals cost, we destroyed that.  If you understood that, you could have made a lot of money through ISP.  I'm from Hong Kong, I'm made in Hong Kong.  It's a financial center, one of the key assumptions is what, it's time is money.  It's basic.  But I've been involved with Bitcoin which is data equals money.  For the first time we have a mechanism, not to hand wavy that Google and Facebook are monetizing data, no, we have 6, 500 bucks to put into blockchain.  Data equals money in a real sense.

The last one is the issue of security, that centralized equals secure.  Time and time again, you can open the newspaper, Equifax, etcetera, that in fact centralized doesn't mean secure.  The point I'm trying to get to, there are a new set of assumptions with digital manufacturing, digital production where we can track rights, where we can also pay, that enables a different conversation to be had today.  I'm interested in hearing from the rest of you on what those assumptions might be, we can service them so we don't make the same mistakes.  Thank you.

>> JAN GERLACH: Works now, thank you.  Red button.

Thanks so much for explaining what, I guess three paradigm shifts that you are seeing here, and before we open the floor for everybody's interventions, and we will want to hear from everybody here, I want to give it over to Jorge, maybe as a segue, the last paradigm shift is in the Wikimedia universe, certainly the most important one, that centralizes, not necessarily the way to go but decentralize distributed Democratic knowledge.

>> PINDAR WONG:  Can I add one point, to create some friction during the discussion.  I don't believe in solutions.  I believe in providing tools, powerful tools like Wikimedia, the tools that you produced, and the means of those providing those, to empower them in some sense.  I don't believe in solutions.  I believe in tools over solutions.  That is one way to think about it.

>> JAN GERLACH: Yeah, maybe sort of pick up that thread again, at Wikimedia we tend to say we support wikipedia, we don't build it.  We don't provide a solution to knowledge.  But we try to give tools, and, yeah.  Hopefully you have something equally smart to say.  (chuckles).

>> JORGE VARGAS:  I don't think something as smart as what you just said, but thank you.  I have some slides.  In the meantime, let me introduce myself again quickly, thank you for having me.  My name is Jorge Vargas, I work for the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that as Jan was saying supports and is behind the scenes of wikipedia, and many other knowledge projects built by a wonderful community of millions of people around the world.

I come here to talk a little bit about what we do in the space of digital, social innovation and how we believe that the Wikimedia movement is one that can definitely play a very powerful role in how we see growth in digital innovation, in the global south or in emerging countries, as many of you may see it.

Once again, thank you.  I know that it's late.  Maybe some of us already are expecting a little bit of a rest and a beverage.  But appreciate you being with us.

Wikimedia and the power of digital social innovation, I think that first of all, a quick introduction of what is Wikimedia, because oftentimes people see Wikimedia, wikipedia, where is the difference there, so Wikimedia Foundation is a nonprofit, that is based in San Francisco, and it's small relatively for the mission that it supports with around 300 people based in San Francisco, but with a global mission.

That global mission is to support wikipedia among other knowledge projects.  I do hope that you have heard or know of wikipedia which it's something that maybe for some of us it's granted but many people in the world are not aware of what wikipedia is.  I'm going to talk about that later on.

But with that in mind, we basically have a mission where we see ourselves supporting free knowledge for the world.  Because free knowledge for the world right now and after 17 years of a lot of work and volunteer hours of amazing people behind the scenes, we have wikipedia in over 300 languages, with over 45 million articles, and over 3 billion edits.

This is something that is impressive, like right now or even while we were in our coffee break more than a billion unique devices in the world, every month go to wikipedia, and think of the magnitude of that.  Over 350 times a minute people access wikipedia right now.  That is impressive.  That leaves us in the foundation with a responsibility of thinking how we can take this mission of making things that are free and that are open around the world, but especially how we can take this to every single part of the world, which is parts of our mission statement, which we believe that imagine a world in which every single human being has access to the sum of all knowledge.

We definitely think and we believe that this makes the world better.  We think that this makes the world better because we are thinking of a world that is more educated, a world that is more informed, a world that is more sustainable, and a world that is more Democratic.

That goes back again to our mission statement which is imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share the sum of all knowledge, and that is very tricky, because as this was said which is kind of a joke but at the same time pretty much true, the problem with wikipedia is that it only works in practice because in theory it's a total disaster.  We are talking about millions of people that are editing without any restriction of having to disclose who they are, but following a series of rules, series of guidelines on how they should be portraying the information there.

We want to capture all that information.  So a couple of stats there, wikipedia started in 2001, it's written by thousands of volunteers around the world.  No one is paid.  Right now there are over 45 million articles, over 200,000 monthly editors in what are approximately right now 300 million ‑‑ 300 language versions.

As I said, although everyone can edit wikipedia right now from your phone, from your desktop, there are in fact certain rules and this is something that I bring up to clarify of that question of, anyone can edit wikipedia, anyone can say whatever they want.  Actually wikipedia is a encyclopedia that anyone can edit as long as some pillars and some rules are followed.  For instance, wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view, it is free for content for anyone that wants to use it, edit, distribute.  Basically everyone has to treat each other with respect, civility and there are many other rules and guidelines around this.  This is a little peek.  But going back to Wikimedia, I want to go back to the idea that in order to capture the sum of all knowledge, we cannot just limit ourselves to a encyclopedia like wikipedia.  There are other knowledge projects that the Wikimedia Foundation supports and part of the movement, wiki quotes, wiki source, which are all different versions of how to capture knowledge in order to be able to add to all of this magnificent Democratic collaboration of bringing things that are information and that empower people around the world.

As I've been saying, this is made possible by people, people that look different ways, people that start very young, people that are wrapping up their lives, people that have limited access, people that have a lot of access.  But because of that, we believe that because we are made possible by people, we are a social movement, and that is something that we feel that needs to be represented and needs to be represented equally, and that is why I want to think of and propose to you all this idea that the Wikimedia movement can serve as a tool for digital social innovation in the global south, as a empowerment towards bringing knowledge that sometimes is trapped by different biases or different barriers that cannot let things surface to the world.

This is basically because as we know also, knowledge is constantly expanding and knowledge is constantly evolving.  The problem with that is that as knowledge expands, as knowledge evolves, oftentimes technology or people in this different parts of the world cannot keep the track as knowledge evolves and technology keeps growing.  That is why oftentimes we think of what about the issues around access, how about the issues around how connectivity can be a complication for people to go on line and edit wikipedia or read it.  How can we innovate in the global south, which is the question that brings us here today.

We have seen this endlessly, years go through on IGF and other places, right, we know there is a lot of people that are not online, and we often talk about the issues around infrastructure, issues around affordability, issues around digital skills.  But I want to focus on the piece around lack of relevant content.

Often people in the world are not going to the Internet because they don't care about what the Internet offers to them.  It is not written in a language that they can understand, or it's not written in a way that they want to read about or see about, or listen around.

Because of this, and to frame the context, is the fact that we are facing a very big challenge in the world right now that oftentimes is ignored or hindered by other barriers to access, and it's the fact that there is a very strong lack of relevant content online, and this is a very big barrier to access.

An example for this is the fact that history is fragile.  Things can burn down, things can get destroyed over time, and because of this, if things are not digital, they are just going to fade away.  That is why we strongly believe that there has to be a way in which every single person cannot just read, cannot just investigate, but can also contribute to the sum of all knowledge.  We sometimes make it harder and create additional barriers to that.

For instance, we humans and we and our laws like to find ways to create more obstacles for free knowledge to be out there, there are challenges and complications that impede some of the information that could be up online, trapped behind some knowledge barriers of laws, like the lack of freedom of panorama in certain places, copyright issues that are keeping the information, and that is additional barriers to barriers that already exist in the world.

Another barrier that is relevant for us is the fact that we in wikipedia believe that we are reflection of the world and we are reflection of the Internet.  Because of that, the Internet is one that is biased, the Internet is one that is built or was built by literate people, usually coming from the west, usually coming from certain economic status, often coming from certain context in society, and it's not a reflection of what humanity actually is.  We know that wikipedia has a lot of challenges for that.  This is a reflection of how, and this is out of a recent measurement that we made, we realize that wikipedia is something that is not even widely known in the world.

We all think, we all here believe that wikipedia is something that anyone would know what it is, but if we made a survey in Brazil, Iraq or India, we would realize that less than 20 percent of Internet users would know what wikipedia is.

We are doing efforts around that.  I can show examples later, I have examples of where we are working, but we are doing awareness campaigns in order to let people know as any other ad that people are doing, we are supporting with some grantees, a community member in Nigeria started a quiz, learned it on wikipedia on radio, to let more people know that wikipedia exists.  Another way we try to replicate this, thanks to institutional partners and allies that let us put all that information that we believe should be online on wikipedia, Wikimedia projects, thanks to different partnerships and collaborations that we have.

A quick example that I can share with you is a Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York that released 350,000 images to the public domain.  This is information that is going up on Wikimedia comments and on wikipedia.  Thanks to that, if you look at the multiplier effect that the open law of the open life and open access has on Wikimedia, that red little line is all that artwork that was trapped behind the Web site.  As soon as it was released, the wikipedia article in English, it exponentially grew.  This is the multiplier effect that we can provide.

These are challenges that keep showing us how we are here to figure it out, but we are all here in this wonderful table with microphones, Internet that kind of works, but we need to find a way to solve this, and the only way to do this is if we do this together, and that is where I will end my intervention.  I have some examples to share but I want to leave time for us to share a little more of what we can be doing.  Thank you.

>> JAN GERLACH: Thank you, Jorge.  Maybe as a two sentence summary of the two statements we just heard, we can say that we sort of live in a I guess post Bitcoin era that Pindar postulated here, permissionless monetization, and I think on the other hand, what we heard from Jorge about the Wikimedia, we have maybe permissionless knowledge.  But often I ask myself what do we do with this knowledge, how does this transform into innovation, what is the application of this knowledge?  How do we get from knowledge to understanding, that would go into innovation probably.

I think some barriers or some challenges around this are inclusion, how do we make sure everybody can be part of this, or local language, local content is certainly a challenge here, and how do we make sure that the infrastructure is in place that people can benefit from this new environment in which we find ourselves.  How do we make sure they have the skills to make sure, when they do understand what they are provided with to put this in action.

Finally how can we make this happen, what is the role of institutions, of states, of also private actors to make this happen.  This is a good moment to hear from all of you initial reactions to these two statements, but also to Christian's overview of digital social innovation, and when Pindar of course pointed out that geographic limitations may not apply, maybe we have heard in many sessions global south is a term that should not apply, maybe talk about emerging countries, we talk about countries where any of these challenges that I mentioned are still large challenges, barriers.  I think I want to open the floor now to everybody in the room.

Are there any initial reactions, maybe we will go one by one, and feel free to refer to interventions, maybe also add other thoughts.  Please speak into the microphone when you do.

>> Thanks, Deepak from India.  As Christian mentioned content not only to be consumed but also to be created by people, the two other challenges related to that, one is in terms of even in wikipedia if you see most of the content is in text, whereas a lot of people in global south or whatever we call it have the basic challenge of literacy, even in the local language.  Even in the mother tongue they don't have a functional literacy.

That is where the tools like we just saw some examples, for example from India, showing on the mobile phone on the screen, in terms of audiovisual content.  That's relevant.

The second thing related to that is the type of infrastructure that is or should be there, because traditionally if you see when the Internet started, people are doing E‑mail or other stuff, file transfers, all semantic transfer and with 25 years back with that it became highly asymmetric.  You can download at four times the speed and one time it could go up.

Increasingly in the recent past things are changing, in user behavior, that people are uploading especially on social media but even otherwise.  To that extent we need to recreate the basic infrastructure also of the Internet in terms of the physical infrastructure, the way things are being done.  That takes me to the last point, which is almost 45 years back, in future shock, people will not just be producers, they will be consumers.

>> It's like a open question, probably no specific answer.

>> Restate your name again for the transcript.

>> Ricardo Zapata.  Totally like to hear remarks or comments on that, and something that I realize here, we talked about a market approach to digital social innovations, and the Wikimedia Foundation, I'll say, is kind of a common approach to social innovation, and yesterday in the gov tech summit, I don't know if you have been there, but there was this discussion also.

It was should civic tech, should be left to the market forces, should be governed by the states, or should left like into the commons, I don't know, commons is a complicated concept but on a multistakeholder approach to overburden the ecosystem and it's kind of the question I would also like to pose, should we leave to it market, to the state or to the commons, and probably Wikimedia should have something to say about the commons and is it a good approach to social innovation or is there still a place for market and state intervention and fostering social innovation.

>> I like what Pindar said.  Stefan from QX.  I would like to go along with what Pindar said about solutions are not where we should start, but rather like consequence of what we do.

When we started QX in off line distribution clearly one of our cofounders were based in Mali so the target population were schools in Africa.  If we stayed with that we would be well below what we have where you have currently little more than 3 million users that we can actually count.  So it is probably more.  But in Africa it's, that is minority.

We found out through the newspaper that it's actually QX is being used to distribute wikipedia in North Korea, because they find it's propaganda but not propaganda, it was never meant to be, it is a side effect of having a program as a open source product.

That is where I want to come to and also to the idea of commons, I think the notion of open source is very important in the digital world.  If you recall, if you read that book about Steve Jobs during the first years at Apple, they had a parrot flag on top of the building and literally they were stealing their code from Xerox, and now you have Apple products but you have Windows in things that work, it's like literally they took code somewhere else and used it for the better parts, it was not open but definitely for the better part.

We are in a world where we used to defend what we produce and it was good and we make money out of it but now if we share it we make more money out of it.  What Jorge showed in the example with the Met and how many people accessed the content, is the sticky point to what we should do.

However, you need to pay for that innovation.  For that I have no solution.

>> Thank you, Thomas from Ethiopia.

Regarding the global south, particularly in Africa, the challenge of the  problem is the issue of access to the Internet.  Because only 22 percent of Africa population has access to the Internet.  If you go to individual countries, in Ethiopia only 15 percent of the population have access to the Internet.

The major point for this inclusiveness is access, the infrastructure and access, is at the top of the list.

Regarding the wikipedia, I want to mention the point that how do you see the accuracy, or is wikipedia working only on the, it is coverage or how is accuracy, because I have on occasion that when I was a undergraduate student, while I was doing a presentation, I mentioned wikipedia reference, and my Professor was shouting at me, why you cite wikipedia.  This is a good opportunity for me to ask this question.  Thank you.

>> My name is Akul Walters, we train software engineers in emerging markets.

We did a case study of our business model in St. Lucia, because we train software engineers, but St. Lucia is a market where it is a country where they don't have any tertiary institutions.  Once you leave high school, that is it for your education.

What we ended up doing there, was instead of teaching them how to code, we taught them the basic, we gave them tools how to test ideas quickly and how to get somebody to pay you for it, because here is the deal.  The technology to scale these ideas are known, not too far away is Trinidad Tobago that produces 200 engineers a year, so it's not hard to find talent to bring these ideas to market.

The problem is how do we teach the local individuals in these developing markets, like Ethiopia, how to look for ideas that are valuable, that get people to pay you, and then bring in the talent to them, to build those valuable businesses.  I think we might be looking at the problem from a tricky angle, in trying to teach them how to code or bringing technology to them in that way.

>> I'm from the Berkman Klein Center.  I was struck by the issue of data equals money, that you mentioned, how this is going to, because we have little access to the data, for instance, that is created in all these platforms.  A lot of the innovation, like for instance social innovators who don't have access to servers, so they are using Facebook or YouTube or social media platforms, the lack of data also kind of led the innovate but the profit is not going to them, most of the profit that is created with this data.

I wondered how, putting more like, wikipedia, I don't know if you have data analysis in your service, I don't think so, but I mean what is the future of wikipedia foundation or Wikimedia Foundation if you want to also provide not only knowledge creation, but knowledge processing and testing of AI and algorithms.

>> My name is Rafael.  I have a question for the wikipedia presentation.  I think what you were kind of saying, we can assume there is a positive end to more knowledge and this knowledge is then influenced by those with access to the tools.

So what tells us that if we give the access or the tools to more billion that will be like a direction towards the same positive knowledge, or miscarry into something negative, like with technology, like in Brazil, election with information and how do we structure from the get go so purpose of knowledge is positive and what wikipedia does for this.  The map you were showing for access is mostly in western countries, where we can take this infrastructure elsewhere also.

>> I'm from Uganda, I work with Uganda Internet Society, Uganda chapter.  Wikipedia is really needed to help in educational resources.  As I say, Uganda chapter implemented a project on wikipedia, and we managed to upload a number of articles in Uganda version.  Uganda is one of, we managed to upload 300 articles on wikipedia Uganda version, but the problem is when you reach up country areas there is really only distribution of Internet infrastructure so this is still a problem in European countries, and currently in Uganda there is a social media text that was implemented, so as we fight so much to connect the unconnected, there is still that gap, even those that are connected, they are being disconnected by such policies.

What can we do about that?  Thank you.

  (voice off microphone).

>> How are we on time?

>> We are doing good.  We have 30 more minutes.

>> Can I show a couple slides with examples that could maybe ‑‑

>>   Take it away.

>> JORGE VARGAS:  I wanted to show maybe in answering some of the questions, because I want to touch a little bit of the points around this idea of civic, is it something ‑‑ this is slide 45, should we leave it to the common source or the Government or private sector should play a role in the issue.

Definitely, I think and we think in the foundation that the hard answer is, yes, everyone should play a role.  That is why I ended that introduction by saying that we should be working together.

The role that I have in the foundation is that of doing actual partnerships with not just other nonprofits or within our community, but with other for profit companies that are mission aligned governments that want to work with us, so if you go to slide 44, thank you, I wanted to show something quickly around a projects that we are doing, partnership with Google, called Project Tiger.

Basically what we are identifying is a lack of relevant content in India, this is a pilot that we ran for over five months.  Basically what we did with Project Tiger is look at what people were looking for at Google, and then realizing what didn't have a wikipedia article as a Google result.  In that way, we were looking at what, where people were actually looking for but what was not showing a relevant article in a local language.

We took English in India side and looking into Punjabi, etcetera, and talking to your point that it's not just about putting the tool there and letting it be there but there are other challenges around.  We realize there are two big things that were impeding people in this local language communities, to put that content out there.  Training was one and that is something that our community is doing a lot.  But there is also a big complication in lack of actual hardware.  People didn't have the actual technology to be able to contribute online.

There are also difficulties in order to go online because it was very expensive for them to use the Internet for editathons.  In partnership with Google we provide some computers to these communities, provide Internet stipends in order to surpass the challenges around connectivity.  We provided the training and we provided the support in order to produce those articles, and we created a contest between the different language communities.

We were aiming for 2,000 articles and over 4500 articles were created in over ten languages in India, and this was just to show that we cannot work alone.  We cannot just say, wikipedia is there and the platform is there and anyone can edit and let it there.  But we need to find who are those institutional partners that can help us in the ground, following always being sure we are compliant with guidelines, that we are mission aligned, that our values are respected, the values of our movement are respected, and that is just a quick example.

There is another example touching, and if we can jump a couple of slides quickly, talking about digital literacy.  If you go back there, this is a quick example of partnership with the GSMA, something called MISTT which is a mobile Internet skills training toolkit.  We all think wikipedia is easy to use and actually the Internet is not easy to use for people that are just getting online.

If we are just giving wikipedia to people, but we are not helping support them how can they look for a article, how can they find a article in their local language, we are not doing anything, but just creating the tool.  We created a module that we added in partnership with GSMA to this training toolkit in which the GSMA partnering with mobile operators, they are training their employees for them to train or create some local trainings in some communities that are buying their phones for the first time or starting to go online, on how to use Facebook, what's app, Google, YouTube, and wikipedia.

Thanks to that we have trained over 350,000 people, we explain the benefits of what do you do when you go online, and we are working towards achieving this Sustainable Development Goal number 4 on education.  We want to be sure that we are not just putting the tool out there, like some people were discussing, like digital social innovation is not just coming by putting the tool itself but by finding proper partners and ways we can work together to make tools into action, to have people trained to read wikipedia, to have people trained to contribute wikipedia, and those are two examples of partnerships that we are doing.

This is just like universal ideas that we are trying to figure out how we can do more than just putting the Web site up, which was pretty much our efforts in the past years, but now thinking, wikipedia is up there, but how can we make this happen, and to quickly touch on your point, I forget your name, it is very important that all of this is being done with certain guidelines, with certain rules, with certain values, and we pride ourselves in Wikimedia movement of having rules around transparency, around having strong data protection, being sure that the content is following certain guidelines, I'll be happy to share with you the answer of what I would give to my teacher, to the accuracy question.

But it is not just content that anyone can edit and you can say whatever you want to say.  There are rules or guidelines, you need a source, wikipedia is a entry point.  Not just wikipedia but anything on the Internet you read you should be double checking with something else.  You should not copy/paste and believe everything that you read.  That is the message there.

It's about putting the tool, about finding the proper partners and a lot of different stakeholders that can put the tool into action and be sure the tool is being used with certain values and guidelines and rules in order to guarantee that it's being used for good.  (overlapping speakers).

>> To follow up on that, and a question for Pindar, but when listening to the different interventions, I work on young people at Berkman Klein, it seems like many of you mention as a first condition of access challenges that kind of operators for innovation and several of you mention as a second step, it's about skill.

So how do we enable or provide people with the right skills, or equip them with the right skills, in order to be able to then innovate.  But what I'm interested in, and I do work with my colleague Andreas on is to figure out if we are in a situation where there is access and we feel like we have trained people on these issues, what still then inhibits them, prevents them from innovating, and in many cases, in my world it's about the parent or family environment or it's gender issues or other issues.  I'm curious since you come from so many parts of the world, what do you see happening?

>> I'm happy to take a stab at this one quickly.  In St. Lucia, the problem isn't so much that the technology to bring these things, these ideas to market don't exist.  The problem is that there isn't a focus on market driven innovation.  There is a focus on if we can get these guys money, if we can get these guys Internet, if we can get these guys a space to work, then maybe something will come out of that versus looking at what are, yeah, right, the market, what markets exist to pay these guys to begin with, because the development funds run out.

Projects sunset.  But when we talk about sustainability there isn't a focus on market driven approaches to a lot of these sustain ability projects.

>> Carlton Samuels.  Pindar, you said I don't give solutions.  What I talk about is tools for solutions.  That is the same idea we are trying to our people, we give them tools of solutions, the question is what is it we want to do comes from out there.  There is a market and we look at what the market will do for it and we push that.  That is what we found in years of developing talent for mobile application development, because we thought we could just get into, get a whole bunch of people trained in mobile development, and let them loose.  And there is going to be magic, everybody is going to be happy.  It didn't quite work that way.

So this is the focus now, in providing tools to build solutions, and then you go out there in the market to see what the market is demanding for solutions.

>> PINDAR WONG:  Can I play back for that, it's also through bitter experience that I'm trying to provide at least my opinion on that.  But there is a reason for that, and that is twofold.  The first is local context, I don't claim to know what the local context is, and with the Internet everywhere is local now because geography doesn't matter.  It's about topology.

But the second point is complexity.  That is a serious point, which is complexity of these ecosystems, it's a little different from a garden, I like the garden analogy to grow things but if we look at a rain forest these things evolve.  I talk about building tools to grow solutions, whatever they may be, because of the complexity of local ecosystems and context, where everything is local.

I think what is different though, and I want to push back a little bit on the market thinking, because the market is used, I think that is a bit of a sort of thought trap, okay, and the market is used as a way that we determine prices and the complexity of the ecosystem, the market somehow magically decides.  I pushing back on that for two reasons, first, markets fail.  There could be a role for regulation to make sure that markets don't fail, or in the event they do fail, there is a recovery mode.  But more importantly, it's because markets assume this notion of money, which is actually a kind of boring zero sum asset.  Either I have it or you have it.  We have to, Bitcoin invented digital scarcity.  It is ironic because in digital nothing is scarce, it's easy to copy someone else's property.  We had to invent digital scarcity so we can think about markets where everything is in infinite in some sense.  What is interesting about cryptocurrency is we can design incentives, because the language of money is powerful, we can make money with a command line and you can build community through a cryptocurrency where you design your incentives.  That is generally called token economics currently.  The example I want to use is creating markets for data or high quality data, for AI deep learning.

There is a product, I'm an advisor to this, it's called ocean protocol, the point is how do you have my data, my rules because that is what we want, we have a change in architecture, my data my rules, but how can I get the reward, because we can design inventive systems at granular level, which don't have to be zero sum.  There is a new tool in our toolbox, policy side as well as technology, the problem on the policy side with innovation is that often it's disruptive.  You are breaking rules, whereas regulation is enforcing rules.  How do you enforce rules and break the rules at the same time?

Well, you can't.  That is the problem I think that was mentioned, I dropped out of university to start a ISP in Hong Kong in 1993.  I didn't speak to my parents for many years because being a scholar with a potential PhD at 23, 24, it was like the cultural number one is to be a gentleman and scholar, you can tell by my awkward sense of humor that I'm not a gentleman and not a scholar.  When you have cultural context where you are not expected to work because of your gender or whatever, that is probably the biggest impediment to innovation.

I would argue that it's regulation but cultural regulation or cultural norms, together with the rule of law, no one is above the rule of law but no nation is below the mathematics, that we have a new kind of discussion that can emerge.  I don't know what the parameters are.  But I think we can have new things, talking about tools are the solutions and designing incentives to build communities wherever they may be.

>> We are all in the same market.  It is about a place where, incentives collide and bring together.  That is what we are talking about.  We are not talking about NOYC kind of market.  We are talking about a place where there are incentives.  Incentives can be any kind.

>> Right.

>> It could be Bitcoin.  It could be a social enterprise in which the social value is added.  That is what we are talking about.

>> PINDAR WONG: That is great.  We have a understanding.  (overlapping speakers) there are new kinds of markets now, because we got this new P to P cryptocurrency.  Look at open bazaar, which is a P to P marketplace.  The provenance, you can download the code, it's on GitHub, it is not about free trade, it is about trade free.  It is about building peer to peer marketplaces that you are not located by your platform monopoly eCommerce, they both are A apparently, either one, doesn't matter because now we can deal commercially and settle with goods and services with open bazaar and it's just software, so many of the institution that is we are building right now for the new rules of whatever game we are playing are no longer buildings with people and rules per se.  We are building institutions in software, with the tools, and with these sort of proto rules.

I think that is really exciting.

>> JAN GERLACH: Any other reaction to this?  It's funny, when I hear the word market, I think at Wikimedia we are sort of not conditioned but we tend to sort of like have sort of a knee jerk reaction, markets, this is like incompatible with the commons.

But, I think it's a, it makes sense to think about markets in this context as well, because there is a sustainability as you say component to this, right.  Markets are complex and cultural sensitivities, cultural barriers work in there as well.

I find this, I think too often we play the commons versus the market but maybe, it's probably a spectrum.  It is not a binary choice here.  That is also the term digital social innovation actually is maybe misleading, it sends us towards the commons more than towards the market.  But actually that is at least how I react to the term.

>> We need a new word.  Create a word.  Let's do that today (chuckles).

>> JAN GERLACH: Any other reactions to this?

>> When you talked about innovation, with young people and global south, access to the Internet is through what's app, Facebook and typical huge platforms.  Maybe there are ways for them to innovate existing on the platform at the same time, think of innovation as a thing that could come from just five guys meeting in high school, that might not happen unless it's on this structures.  Partnering might be the only way for us to reach these people, and lead them to innovate.

I don't know how we can actually explore this.

>> I don't think necessarily you have to convince people to move away from what they are already using, the switching costs are relatively high.

But for me, innovation is not just about where it's happening, so I'm fine if they innovate while they are on Snapchat or on whatever other platform, that it's more how do you push them, young people, in this case, to think outside the box, to convene amongst each other, to collaborate on certain things, to experiment, to employ more design thinking, what Andreas is working on.

So, I'm a little bit less concerned which platform it is happening, as long as I see something moving.  Then I can still, once I see it moving, I can say, are you sure this is the right place to do it, or maybe we use that energy over here.  Go somewhere else.

>> Iterate.

>> I have some comment, from the experience particularly in Chile, maybe it's the down side of innovation or one of the down sides, in the way that one of the questions could be, do we want all youth to innovate, do we need all youth to innovate.  This is the question, for instance, in Chile now, it becomes a fashion that all the funding from the Government and from the few important organizations that provide funding, it goes to social innovation.  If you see the formula is to apply for funding, you have to innovate, and sometimes they don't even explain what is innovation.  There are a lot of social organizations that work in daily routines that maybe are not associated with innovation, that they are not getting more funding because it's not innovative.  It's daily routine of social work.

For me, this is a question that we should think, when we talk about like promoting innovation, like if it were like universally positive, but sometimes it's not.

>> I applaud that thinking.  It goes back again to the idea that I'm trying to bring forth, which is we need to make sure that when we talk about innovation and should youth innovate, that we take an approach that provides the maximum returns for those goals, whatever the funds were given for, and that after those funds are depleted, they are replenished by, as I like to say, the market, because even these, there are a lot of social good companies that exist that do social good and are awarded for it, not because of the social good but because they are contributing like real value to the market and they are rewarded for it with money.  Tom's for instance comes to mind when you think about this, regardless of what you might think about the result of their giving away shoes in Africa and what that does to the local markets.

But we should look and try to ensure that when these funds are depleted, they are replenished by the exchange of value from these institutions.

>> I was cornering Christian yesterday night in the restaurant that one interesting way to approach at least from developing countries the idea of digital innovation or digital economy as well is to, maybe we can do like a mapping of how the calls for funding are shaping the subjects who can be received in the funding, because in general, if we do content analysis of all different kind of calls, we can clearly see what kind of subjects are actually getting the funding for innovation.  We could probably be surprised as well.

>> Maybe one addition would be to question our own definition of innovation, because for me, innovation can happen in any kind of space, in academia, even within yourself, but for me innovation is more pushing the boundaries or exploring outside of the existing parameters and boxes that you are in, so to see how can you, not necessarily change or improve but just look outside of what exists.  To me that's already trying to innovate, and in that sense most of the association was innovation are around building technical tools to improve society in a way, and that is not necessarily how I mean it.

>> On the definition of innovation, I'm from Hong Kong, we have one of the highest cost of living.  It is difficult for us to innovate because of the high cost of living.  What I would offer is two simplistic views given what's emerged.  One view is with linear incremental innovation, where you argue how is it better for us, cheaper or safer.  That's it.  Unless you can articulate what is BFCS, better for us, cheaper or safer, then your idea is not as crystallized or innovation is not as crystallized as you think it would be.

The second kind is different.  It is not linear incremental that we do every year, 8 or 10 percent improve, polish, but break through innovation where you look at 1,000 or 10,000X improvements.  That is the second class of innovation, but what can you do that previously could not have been done before.  They are kind of different.  Now we can wrap value over the Internet anywhere in the world over the Internet where we couldn't do that before.  That is interesting.

Within these two, it behooves us to try to make that kind of distinction, which one are you talking about.  I would argue that policymakers love incremental linear.  They hate break through innovation, because they lose control.  They use regulation, you need to have this license and that license, what have you.  Innovate but don't innovate too much.  You can't.

>> JAN GERLACH: One last comment before we run out of ‑‑ two last comments before we run out of time.

>> I'd be curious to know, coming back to the question, where is the difference between innovation and innovative reuse of existing technology.  It happened with pretty much anything that we use today, it was meant in one way, it's being reused in another one, it creates more value.

In that case is it looking for innovation because no one has seen it before or is it like we had this, it was like so‑so.  Now it's actually ours and I'd be curious to see what sustainable products are coming from where.

>> I wanted to add that you were looking for a word before, the commons and the market and I think there is a word that triple P, the public‑private partnerships that have existed in a long time, and I think we saw a good example of the project, the tiger project, using, working together with Google and then Wikimedia, and wikipedia and probably schools as well, so which are really good example for the commons.

I wanted to highlight again how thrilled I was to hear about the tiger project, because it sounds like you really didn't only provide tools and technology, but you also created a community, and you made sure you respected the local context and all the languages and all of that, because I think we hear a lot about projects of inclusion and then people provide or projects provide money for technology and tools, but they forget about the whole work around building communities motivating people to actually innovate, which I think is crucial for innovation, because the tools themselves will not innovate.  Thanks.

>> Could I address the remark about, I think that was important, another reason to build on this concept of what can be reused, and this is very very important because as you all know, most start‑ups, etcetera, fail, for whatever reason.  Bad management, just the market need or what have you, but tools I like because tools can be repurposed and reused.

Even though you might have put it in, in this instance and it didn't work, doesn't mean that you can't reuse the tool.  I track not just tools as solutions but tools can also be reused.  If we can make the tools better, we can tighten that loop.  That is again new with digital, but didn't exist in analog 15 years ago.

>> JAN GERLACH: Thank you so much, everybody.

It sounds like we could discuss this until tomorrow 9:00 a.m. when the next session here starts.  Unfortunately, we do have a time limit anyway.  And I wanted to throw it back to Christian to sort of maybe provide us with a few thoughts in a wrap‑up.

>> CHRISTIAN FIESELER: Thanks so much.  I was actually afraid to have Pindar being the last speaker, because despite your comments, you have a very nice scholarly way of actually I think summarizing really important thoughts in a very, very easy to understand metaphor, I'm afraid of not having to offer much more than that.

I would maybe just offer three reflections on the discussion which we had today.  What was interesting to me personally in terms of what I found striking in our discussion were three words or three concepts, the concept of the market, the concept of the incentive, and the notion of innovation.  I will try to explain that in a sentence or two.  What was interesting in the discussion about the market, we first of all talked about the market and that we essentially approached the idea of digital social innovation as something as market driven, but coming from the history of the Internet, also interesting to me that we sometimes talk about markets already, right, or at least we talked a little about market in the 1990s when we talk about the market space of idea or marketplace of idea and interestingly enough, we had become skeptical with this notion of marketplace ideas, right, or at least the unleashed power of a marketplace idea when we talk about fake news, talk about credible information and so on.

I'm a Professor of management.  So I'm of course for markets wherever you can, right.  It's a interesting notion to think about on the one hand, also in terms of understanding, getting the balance right between the commons and the entrepreneur motive and profit motive.

I think this nicely ties to the idea of incentives, and the idea of incentivizing people for what they do, not necessarily monetarily, cryptocurrencies or so do not one‑to‑one maybe have to reflect monetary value, but maybe in our discussion finding different ways of essentially make people look for solutions or even understand problems first, right?  Maybe right now in our toolbox we don't really have the profit motive, quote‑unquote, to signal that when you develop innovation, do something, there might be something to be gained, right, or at least to be gained by proxy.

I think the idea of new incentives for incentivizing people is a interesting one.  Of course it also has to be balanced with the idea of do we overincentivize things, where people would otherwise very much act on their own.  Final notion I found interesting, where do we strike the balance between disruption, innovation, and maintaining.  For you work with Wikimedia or wikipedia, it is a interesting notion being the shining example of somebody who writes something and then the other ones who maintain and what value it has.  I agree with Sandra, I think it's a noble endeavor as a human being, to push the boundaries, push the envelope, which innovation actually is.  The question boils down to the discussion which we are having today.  We always want to push boundaries, want to push the envelopes.

But the discussion then boils down to how do we provide people with tools, with ideas, with aspirations, to do that, and I think a very interesting way to go forward and it's a notion which you brought up and you brought up, is also to maybe share what there is, right, like for instance many social business ideas are somewhat repeatable, give knowledge on a format which is usable, in a format, in a context where you might not have the infrastructure yet, or offer something in local languages or so, where I think there are a lot of great local examples where we can only profit from making these ideas shareable, not only sharing of knowledge, but also sharing of concepts, of ideas, of processes, and I think that is a very interesting way to go forward.

So, those were my ideas, my reflections, not my ideas, it's all your ideas which I summarize, which I just kind of claimed as mine.  I tried at least.

>> JAN GERLACH:  Repurposing other people's ideas.  Isn't that what innovation is about?



Thank you, everybody, for honoring us with your presence late this afternoon.  Thanks for the really insightful remarks and contributions, and have a good evening.  Thank you, everybody.

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