Category Archives: activism

Footage from the workshop on core Internet values

With a slight delay, I would like to share video footage of the workshop I organized at the last IGF in Vilnius.  This is the same workshop for which I was seeking your input about a month and a half ago.

The full title of the workshop is “Core Internet values and the principles of Internet Governance across generations” and the idea is exactly that – to have a dialogue between Internet pioneers and young Internet activists on the core of what the Internet stands for.

We had a great group of people.  On the one hand, there were young people from different parts of the world.  On the other hand, there were more senior Internet thinkers and practitioners.  Here is the full list of participants (in alphabetical order):

  • Bill Graham, Global Strategic Engagement, the Internet Society (ISOC)
  • ‘Gbenga Sesan, Paradigm New Nigeria
  • Drew Smith, Student at Elon Univeristy and participant in Imagining the Internet project
  • Grace Bomu, Young Kenyan lawyer, secretary of the ICT Consumers Association of Kenya, and cultural activist
  • Laura DeNardis, Yale Information Society Project
  • Marie Casey, Elected female representative at the ITU Youth Forum of future leaders, Geneva, 2009
  • Nii Narku Quaynor,
  • Rafik Dammak, Tokyo University
  • Vinton G. Cerf, vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google
  • Vladimir Radunovic, Diplo Foundation

Ian Peter, who chaired the last year workshop on Internet Governance, was also supposed to take part in the workshop, but unfortunately he was not able to make it to Vilnius.

I hoped to be able to share a report from the workshop here, but other tasks take priority at the moment and I will be posting the report later.  I do think we had a very interesting and lively discussion, so I thought at this point I will just share the video footage of the event.  If you have a couple of hours to spare, I think you will find this engaging.


As always, your thoughts and comments are most welcome!

How do young adults access websites?

I am currently at the fifth IGF in Vilnius and yesterday I presented some data from our study on the online routines of the digital natives at the GigaNet.  Here, i would like to share one observation that I find particularly interesting.  In the graph below you can see a summary of our coding of how our participants reached website during our observation sessions. It reflects coding of over 650 instance of accessing website in each China and the USArrivingAtAWebsite-Summary.

As we can see, in most cases, our participants searched; this is consistent across both groups and I think was not particularly surprising.  Similarly, the use of bookmarks was equally consistent across both groups, which in my view was more surprising (perhaps since I am not a big bookmark user).

The differences, as you can see, were in the use of autocomplete and reliance on links.  Interestingly, in the Chinese sample, there were significantly more instances of using reliance on links compared to the use of autocomplete.  In the US sample what we see is practically a mirror image of this trend – significantly larger proportion of instances involved the use of autocomplete.

What makes it even more interesting is a glimpse at where do the Chinese participants follow the links from.  We are still organizing that data, but my initial observation is that many of those are coming from websites that basically large repositories of links (for example take a look at or

All this brings up some thoughts about the role of English in the online experience.  In my view, one plausable explanation of this data can be the knowledge of English language.  I can see how use of the autocomplete function comes more “naturally” to the native speakers, compared to those for whom English is a second language.  The large collections of links that were utilized by our Chinese participants, further support this idea – why would you make an effort of typing in an inconvenient language, when you can go to just one website, where all the links you use are?

There are currently more questions than statements suggested by the snippet above – there is still a lot of work to be done on these data.  Having said that, I’d love to hear your thought about this little observation.  Please share…

You can find the slides from the presentation here.

Seeking your opinions on internet values and core principles

The next Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is just around the corner and for the first time I am organizing a workshop there.  I think the title of the workshop speaks for itself.  It is: “Core Internet Values and the Principles of Internet Governance Across Generations.”

The idea is very simple.  We are going to have a group of very smart people.  Some of them are internet pioneers from different countries, some of them are established researchers, and some are well known practitioners.  We will also have a group of young, less known (yet) people, whose activism and professional lives are related to the internet in one way or another.  The panel itself is quite large and we are also counting on having a very diverse and engaging audience from the IGF community.

So, the plan is to have a discussion among the panelists and then involve the floor, about core internet values and principles.  The question is not only what those values and principles might be, but whether the perception of these values and principles varies across generations and what that may mean for the future of internet-related policies.

This is where I would really appreciate an input from anyone reading these lines.  What do you think are the core values and principles of the internet where we can find the widest gaps across generations?

One example may be the notion of privacy.  I think since online social networks became popular there is an ongoing debate about how the younger generations’ perceptions of privacy online differ from that of their parents.  We all heard Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that the age of privacy is over.  But is it so for everyone?

What are the core values and principles of the internet that you still hold dear?  Which ones do you think were important in the past, but are no longer important?

Please share your thoughts!

CFP: Third International Workshop on Internet Governance

If you are interested in Internet Governance research, you may find the following call for contributions, issues by GigaNet, relevant.

Third International Workshop on Global Internet Governance: An Interdisciplinary Research Field in Construction

Montreal (QC), Canada – 30-31 May 2010

Organized by GigaNet, in cooperation with The Canadian Communication Association and Media@McGill

Co-sponsored by GigaNet, ACC-CCA, Media@McGill, LIP6/CNRS and UPMC

Preliminary Announcement and Call for Contributions

The Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet) invites you to participate in its third scholarly workshop to be held in Montreal (QC), Canada, on 30-31 May 2010. This workshop is organized in cooperation with the Canadian Communication Association and Media@McGill, during the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS) 2010 Congress week in Montreal.

Building on the success of its first two editions, respectively in Paris, France in June 2008 and in Brussels, Belgium in May 2009, the purpose of this third GigaNet workshop is twofold:

The first day will be dedicated to outreach sessions aimed at increasing the interest in the Global Internet Governance field among both various academic disciplines and the civil society at large, including but not limited to NGOs and civil society groups active in related fields. These outreach sessions will include academic tutorials on Global Internet Governance as well as information and discussion led by experts in the field on current Global Internet Governance debates and their relevance to public policy making.   Detailed information on the outreach sessions’ program will be distributed closer to the event itself.

The second day will feature thematic presentations selected upon submissions made in response to this call for contributions. We invite scholars to present and discuss their work- in-progress in Internet Governance-related research, with the aim to identify emerging research themes and design a research agenda. Rather than featuring academic paper presentations, the workshop aims at providing a survey of current academic activities in the field, in order to share ideas and forge possible collaborations.

Submissions are expected to focus on presenting problematics, research designs, preliminary empirical results and conclusions in the aim of stimulating reflection and discussion amongst the audience. Submissions may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

involved actors and their interactions; Internet governance institutions and regimes; legal, socio-economical, behavioral and technical regulation means; Internet governance policy issues.

Submissions in view of thematic presentations should be sent by 20 March 2010 to Meryem Marzouki ( They should be written in English and include the name, affiliation, e-mail address and short bio of author(s), along with no more than 500 words of research work description. The program committee will notify applicants by 20 April 2010. To encourage knowledge dissemination, relevant submissions will be published on the workshop website. Authors of selected submissions will be invited to present their work in the workshop thematic sessions.

Program Committee:

Laura DeNardis, Yale U., USA; Meryem Marzouki, CNRS & U. Pierre et Marie Curie, France; Milton Mueller, Syracuse U., USA & Delft Technical U., The Netherlands; Claudia Padovani, Padova U., Italy & McGill U., Canada; Jeremy Shtern, Ryerson U., Canada.

Local Organizing Committee:

Juliana Dalley, McGill U., Canada; Becky Lentz, McGill U., Canada; Daniel Paré, U. of Ottawa, Canada; Claire Roberge, McGill U., Canada.

There is no registration fee for this event. A registration form will be circulated with the program.

Workshop website:

GigaNet: – ACC-CCA: – Media@McGill:

To receive further workshop updates, and other GigaNet news, please subscribe to the information dissemination mailing list: info-giganet (

Opportunities with approaching deadlines

Just a couple of updates that can interest readers of this blog:

  • Diplo Foundation Internet Governance Capacity Building Prorgam (deadline: Feb. 12)
  • Berkman Center Summer Internship (deadline: March 5)

I was lucky enough to experience both of those opportunities and I am warmly recommend them.

More details and links for each of those opportunities can be found below.

Continue reading

The Weidenfeld Scholarships and Leadership Programme

No, I am not turning this blog into a fellowship/scholarship/conference announcement board.  But many of my friends, especially in the developing countries, are approaching me with questions about opportunities of studying abroad and particularly about funding.  So, I feel I should share those pieces of information as they come along.

Here is a very interesting opportunity for those of you who have a leadership bend to their academic aspirations and fancy studying in UK:

Launched in March 2007, the Weidenfeld Scholarships and Leadership Programme seeks to cultivate the leaders of tomorrow primarily from Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Caucasus, Central Asia, Russia, the Middle East and North Africa. The scheme provides outstanding university graduates and young professionals from the wider European neighbourhood with the opportunity to pursue graduate studies at Oxford University. The Weidenfeld Scholarships cover all tuition, college and maintenance fees as well as the costs of extra-curricular activities for the length of the students’ chosen course.

The programme includes intensive leadership, mentoring and networking activities, which develop the scholars’ capacity to contribute to public life in their countries of origin, be it in the public or private sectors, and build lasting professional linkages across continents, ethnic, cultural and religious lines. Co-chaired by Sir Ronald Grierson and Mr. Michael Lewis, the Weidenfeld Scholarships Advisory Board includes leading figures from international academia, business and politics.

It would be great to hear from anyone who decides to apply.

Good luck!

ITU-T Kaleidoscope – Call for Papers

The ITU-T is organizing an academic conference, which aims to expand the conversation about standards and also peek into the future of the technical regulation of the telecom.  I have never been to one of those, but it seems potentially interesting and I will also be reviewing papers for it this year.

I am not sure why this call for papers is not available online yet, but I am sure it is going to hit numerous mailing lists pretty soon.  Here it is for your convenience:

Beyond the Internet?

− Innovations for future networks and services −

an ITU Kaleidoscope event technically co-sponsored by IEEE Communications Society

India, 13 – 15 December 2010

Call for Papers

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Kaleidoscope 2010 Beyond the Internet? − Innovations for future networks and services − is the third in a series of peer-reviewed academic conferences that bring together a wide range of views from universities, industry and research. The aim of Kaleidoscope conferences is to identify information and communication technologies (ICTs) for which the development of standards can turn innovations into successful products and services.

The rise of mobile access and its integration with optical transport networks pose key questions: how should the current architecture evolve to accommodate fixed-mobile integration and the demand of services and applications, 10-15 years from now? How could the cloud and grid computing models be integrated? And, what will the social and economic impact of these innovations be in the future information society?

Some experts question whether the current underlying architecture is sufficiently robust to evolve and adapt to future demands and especially to address security concerns, or if a “clean slate” approach is needed to develop a really innovative Internet of the future. Contributors seeking to bring innovations for future networks and services might have to challenge the fundamental networking design principles of the Internet.

Beyond the Internet? − Innovations for future networks and services − is calling for original academic papers offering innovative and daring approaches towards the Internet of the future. Kaleidoscope 2010 aims to be a unique opportunity to share views on the future ubiquitous communications and to collect broad, kaleidoscopic views building upon lessons learnt from existing networks and services.


Beyond the Internet? − Innovations for future networks and services − will highlight multidisciplinary aspects of future ICTs, based on contributions from the world’s universities, industry and academic institutions. The focus will be on innovative technologies and their impact on the evolution of Internet architectures, services and applications, as well as societal and economic challenges.

New this year

In addition to a local universities exhibition, outstanding keynote speakers and invited papers, ITU will host in 2010 Standards Corner, a series of standardization tutorials and Jules Verne’s corner, a special space for science fiction writers and dreamers.


Beyond the Internet? − Innovations for future networks and services − is targeted at all specialists with a role in the field including researchers, academics, students, engineers, regulators, top decision-makers and thinkers from all over the world who look into the future.

Date and venue

13-15 December 2010, India

Submission of papers

Prospective authors, from countries that are members of ITU, are invited to submit complete, original papers with a maximum length of 4500 words within eight pages including summary and references, using the template available on the event website. All papers will be reviewed through a double-blind, peer-review process and handled electronically; see for the online submission (EDAS). The main themes are suggested in the list of topics. The deadlines for paper submission are highlighted below.


Submission of full paper proposals: 30 April 2010

Notification of paper acceptance: 30 July 2010

Submission of camera-ready accepted papers: 10 September 2010

Publication and presentation

Accepted papers will be presented during the event, published in the proceedings and made available through the IEEE Xplore. The best papers will be invited for evaluation for potential publication in the IEEE Communications Magazine.


Awards of USD 5k, 3k and 2k will be granted to selected best papers, as judged by the organizing and programme committees. In addition, young authors presenting accepted papers who have not yet received a PhD title will also receive a Young Author Recognition certificate.


Future Internet, technological innovation, network architecture, services, applications, ICT standards, information society, policy and economic issues.

For additional information

Additional info can be found at the event website:

Inquiries should be addressed to:

Suggested (non-exclusive) list of topics

Track 1: Technology and architecture evolution

  • Evolution of Internet architecture, NGN and the future Internet
  • Mobility and nomadicity in evolved architectures
  • High-data-rate mobile infrastructures, seamless handover, multihoming and mobility
  • Convergence of optical/photonics and radio techniques for transport and access networks
  • Ultra-high speed transport networks
  • Cloud computing and grid computing
  • Enterprise integration of legacy networks and the future internet
  • Advanced network security, network identification, biometrics, localization techniques and ubiquitous sensor networks (USN)
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) infrastructure
  • RFID, sensors and ad-hoc networks
  • Evolution of display technology
  • Broadcasting, multicasting, unicasting and peer-to-peer in the future Internet
  • Green and energy efficient architectures
  • Digital rights and identity management
  • Evolution of network management including fault management and localization
  • New hardware solutions, integrated circuits, antenna designs etc.
  • Service oriented modeling and analysis in future architectures

Track 2: Applications and services

  • Enhancing accessibility for all
  • Open service interfaces, service interaction and interoperability in future scenarios
  • New entertainment initiatives (games, IPTV, Interactive TV, Mobile TV, and others)
  • Applications to reduce power consumptions
  • The fully networked car
  • Quality assurance / QoS for real time multimedia services
  • Innovative multimedia applications and content delivery
  • Advanced smart terminals
  • Enhancing electronic storage and data mining
  • Simulation and development tools
  • Future virtual communities / social networking services
  • Creative combinations of web and network services
  • Middleware service discovery
  • Evolution of e-public services (e.g. e-government, e-health and e-learning)
  • Advanced services using sensors and RFID applications
  • Solutions for ICT recycling and waste reduction
  • Field experience in creating innovative solutions using limited technology

Track 3: Social, economic and policy issues

  • Evolution of legislative and regulatory frameworks towards inclusive converged networks
  • Balancing Internet security and ubiquity
  • Securing users from Internet content (e.g. child protection)
  • Evolution of NGN and future Internet standardization
  • Business models for the information society (including accounting, billing and charging)
  • Economics of ICT standardization
  • Standardization models for the Internet of the future
  • Societal impact of virtual / collaborative environments
  • Management of virtual and collaborative teams
  • ICTs as an enabling technology to mitigate climate change and GHG emissions

Hope many of you will find this interesting and will submit papers.

Good luck!

Natural disasters in the Pacific – raising awareness

Rather far from the eye of international media, three major natural disasters hit the Asia Pacific region within just one week.  First, it was the typhoon in the Philippines, then it was the tsunami in Samoa, and finally it was the earthquake in Indonesia.  None of these countries is particularly rich or well-prepared to deal with natural disasters, yet they the attention span of the global media cannot afford focusing on them for too long.

This is why, I would like to highlight an effort of my colleague Glenn Omanio, who is trying to raise awareness (and funds) to help the rehabilitation efforts.  Here is a video he made and there is more information in his blog:

Please feel free to share and forward!

The life offline

This is not really a post, but more of sharing a link.

At some point this summer I came across a blog of Aaron Swartz, who seems to be a really interesting character.  One of the things that caught my eye was his story of spending this past June offline.  He simply got tired and overwhelmed by the continuous flow of information and communication and decided to take a brake.

Frankly, I was not very much surprised that Aaron found that month being refreshing and liberating’ a month that allowed him to take his life back and to focus.  I think this is part of the idea I had in mind thinking about the CommFree day.  What I would be really curious to hear is how his online habits and the way he interacts with technology have change (which he claims has happened).

Just some food for thought.

OLPC – the Israeli pilot

More or less a year ago I had the pleasure of meeting Guy Sheffer, who represented Israel at the ITU Youth Forum in Bangkok.  Guy is a true open source enthusiast and has tremendous amounts of energy, which are rather inspiring.  He got really excited and interested in the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC ) project and when he went back home, he was determined to have an OLPC pilot in Israel.  He got together with Netzach Farbish , who heads the Astronomy, Computers and Young Leadership Programs at the Ilan Ramon Center, and when I was in Israel last winter I helped them to meet with Ushi Krausz of the Peres Center for Peace.  It turned out that the center had a stock of older XO’s that they didn’t use and were willing to contribute to the pilot.

In the video below you can see an interview with Guy and Netzah where they talk about the pilot:


I understand that Guy is still working on reflections on the pilot and its results, which he will publish in his blog.  I have some thoughts of my own, but I will hold them untill he has his say :)