>> MODERATOR: Hi, everyone. Thank you for coming to our session, Network and Solutions to Achieve the SDGs Agenda, the Internet at Play. My name is Sylvia Cadena and I'm head of programs at the APNIC Foundation and we hosted a similar workshop at the WSIS Forum in Geneva earlier this year, and I hope that you play with us a little bit of this, on this change. We are from very different points of action.
The speakers and the panel will try to share with us what networks and what solutions are out there and what the Internet can bring to address the Sustainable Development Goals and to achieve the impact that the SDGs are trying to achieve so let me start by highlighting how the Internet amplifies the capacity to understand, communicate and serve communities getting out of poverty.
The session will focus on now the Internet and organisations are actively involved in Internet Governance role to achieve the SDG agenda and how. To make the most out of what the Internet has to offer, we are betting on the fact that an enabling environment where investment, deployment of services, rollout are aligned with the technical capacity for maintenance and growth that is required.
So it's effective use of legal needs, the cultural language diversity and skills to explore such opportunities. So this enabling environment requires effective cooperation and no stakeholder can deliver it alone. So in a lot of these examples in cases that we would be discussing today, we want to highlight who are the elements, the human elements in terms of capacity, the impact we are trying to achieve and how we serve our community.
So it's understand, communicate and serve. Those are the three major points that say that we are asking our speakers to contribute. So at the beginning, the idea of the session is that we have microphones around and those that are at the back, it would be great if you can come closer because the session is going to start with actually everyone around this triangular table to mention examples of how in your context innovation helps to achieve the SDG and if there is anyone from the remote participation channels that wants to share their examples, that will be also great.
So we have five minutes to just go around and share your points of view, your examples and we try to be as concrete as possible so we can highlight some cases and then we will be starting with the speakers that we have in the room. So the ladies at the back, would you like to start or the gentleman with the glasses if you don't mind, just an example of how you see the Internet contributes to the SDGs, any of the 17? And I'm not ambushing you.
>> AUDIENCE: So hello, everyone. I'm Roman, I work with the open diplomacy institute in Colombia Center for sustainable investment. I work in the interrelation between investment treaties and how to achieve SDGs and how they can relate to that. So we have started studying the impact of Internet on SDGs because Internet is now present in trade agreements so I think this obviously shows how important our SDGs, how important is Internet in achieving the SDGs because it is related to trade.
So if I had to give an example is that the multiplication of the use of Internet in services makes it much easier to achieve development goals because it enhances trade.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm sorry. My name is Hamad Achieva from Japan. I'm Chair of Japan computer access for empowerment. We are supporting other NGOs in Japan to make full use of Internet and I think so Internet is so much distributed and have much possibility to change our society. So both in good and bad. So it's very important how are we, we can manage Internet for the SDG goal. I'm sorry, I have no concrete idea. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE: That pretty much covers everything, so I can't see in terms of the SDGs, the way I see it is that Internet has an impact both on the bad side and also the good side and, you know, that's where we need to, you know, we need to figure out how the Internet can help us achieve the SDGs and as I said Jen will talk a lot more about what we are doing.
>> MODERATOR: Anyone at the back wants to share examples, the gentleman at the back?
>> AUDIENCE: Hi. I'm David from Colombia. I am librarian and I am part of the youth leaders program. In Colombia what was happened is that access to information has enabled people to get information about education, access to health and things with Government.
>> AUDIENCE: Like the processes you need to do to get paid from the Government.
>> AUDIENCE: It's because in Colombia we have a lot of centralized information, but with Internet it's a great opportunity to have access to all information, and this improves all of the SDGs.
>> MODERATOR: Do you have an example that you want to share. The speakers will have time in a minute to jump to their examples. One of the things that we have been kind of playing with a colleague that used to work at Cisco where it was a game where we had 17 boxes and trying to find if there is an app for that. SDG one, which one would you find if it has IoT or it's mobile or what is it? And trying to imagine, okay, there is an Internet component in each and every one of them and each one has more stacks, let's say, of examples.
So I'm trying to invite you to play this game with us to figure out who and how all of the apps that we use or the services that we use can actually provide practical solutions and what are the networks of computers and people that facilitate that process to actually take place. So now we are going to start with the speakers are going to be sharing with us as I said at the beginning from very different angles, sharing those examples.
So I will start with the one that is a little bit more farfetched, let's say, and he is Jennifer Chung from DotAsia.
>> JENNIFER CHUNG: Thank you, Sylvia for the introduction and, yes, it will be a little farfetched in terms of when people think about Internet, you don't think about what I'm going to talk about. My name is Jennifer Chung, I'm from DotAsia. DotAsia is a new Top Level Domain registry and but what I want to talk to you about is tigers.
So when you think of tigers, you don't really think of the Internet, but actually, there you go, tigers, why we should care about tigers is there is only 3800 or abouts tigers left in the wild. That number a little off. That number was taken back in 2010 and that's some positive news that this year in April, we do know that the numbers did go up a little bit and it's driven by conservation efforts in the tiger range countries.
There are only three countries in Asia region that the tigers actually live. That's their natural habitat. Why tigers and the Internet. A lot of people don't know that the Internet is the largest threat to the continued existence of wild tigers. And why is that? So you see this. This is a really stark picture of illegal tiger parts being sold on the market but what you don't know is it's on line. Technology makes things easy for a lot of things and a lot of these things could be bad things for the wildlife trade and this is where we really need to come in and take note.
This, you see on here, is our little tiger mascot, and why do he come into play? He is a cyber tiger and his back story is he is born online when the Himalayas were connected by Wi‑Fi. Why should he be the driving face behind conserve internet governance tigers? It's because the Internet is extremely important to us in every facet of our life and this is also a big part of what it is.
And he has been named the TX2 Ambassador. What does that mean? He is part of a really global effort to drive the tiger population times two by the next year of the tiger and that is in 2022. So if you know the Chinese zodiacs, the next year of the tiger will be 2022. So not only does he go to conservation summits, you might have seen him in the last IGF in Joao Pessoa in Brazil. You may have walked through the IGF village. There is a lovable looking tiger, mascot there. You would be wondering why is he here talking SDGs, talking about tiger conversation and talking about Internet Governance. He also goes to a lot of other Internet Governance space, Internet Governance Forum meetings such as there is ICANN meetings and other regional meetings he also goes to.
The reason he is there is because he brings together all of the components under SDGs to conservation to universal acceptance and actually I should go back to the previous slide. So he brings together all of these three facets from the SDGs to TX2 which I just explained to universal acceptance.
How does he do that? You can take a look at existing technology in the front line they are using to conserve tigers. You have the smart and the Smith system and I don't like to use acronyms so what it means is missed is the management information system, this is an open source system that rangers do use and a smart system, it's a spatial monitoring and reporting tool. This is also free and available to the whole conservation community.
These are the technologies currently in the field and there is go. You see that the camera traps, and there are drones and wireless sensor networks and there is also detectors in tracking down the traps that the poachers set. Why is this important in terms of Internet? These are the key technologies that are being used right now for conservationists online, but these are not online yet. To be able to assist the front range, the front line efforts by the rangers, these need to be put on a wireless, a Wi‑Fi mesh network so that the data collected from all of these existing technologies can be used, can be looked at, can be analyzed on an ongoing basis instead of right now what is happening is they are taking this data manually, but it's something like, you know, once a month, twice a month. This is not enough really to be able to combat this ongoing effort.
And this is, I'm going to fly through this one. This is the rangers who are actually helping and this next picture you might recognize this man. You might have seen him in a few movies. His name is Leonardo DiCaprio, and he is the other TX2 Ambassador engaged with the World Wildlife Fund.
You might think that tiger conservation is only in the SDGs 13 to 15. So you might this it's only 13 to 15, but it's much more than that. Why do people go and do these illegal activities? Because they need their money to survive. They don't have food, so SDG 1, 2, they need to be educated on why it's important to conserve tigers and to keep this community sustainable, SDG 4, SDG 6, and the infrastructure in each city and each community. In India there is a lot of conflict between human population and tiger population. There is a lot of overlap in where they actually live.
So then it's SDG 11 and 12, sustainable cities and sustainable and responsible consumption. So it's not just what you think you know on the surface of things, it's just, you know, 13, 14, 15 is to do with wildlife and the environment, it cuts across a lot more SDGs that you can think about. And what my colleague Edmon did say earlier, the Internet cuts across all and it enables us to realize these goals. And the tiger is really just a stark image of a real image of what it means to achieve this.
So a little bit SDGs. I guess people when they think about sustainable development, they think about people, prosperity and planet. What the SDGs do is it includes the policy aspect of it. You know, peace and partnership, what kind of policies we need to develop in order to be able to realize these things. So in DotAsia what we did is we separated these four little diagrams into four education modules. So these four education modules, we actually use this to go into schools and we started local, we started in Hong Kong schools to go into these primary schools in kindergartens as well to talk to children about why you should care about SDGs, to them it doesn't mean anything.
It's a farfetched concept they don't understand the UN17 SDGs, what does that mean? So having them in a bite sized component so they can understand engages them and you can see in this picture this was an event that we took the big mascot to into Japan and we engaged the local kids there and they were really excited to see this tiger talk to them about why it really matters for them to be involved and to care about it and to start off with a tiger that can actually play with them really starts their involvement.
So I'm going to fly through the next slides. You can see here the 13 tiger range countries, all of which is in the Asia region. And we do have ‑‑ this is a picture of the tiger mascot you can see in the IGF village. So why is this picture here? Because not only do we talk to kids that are very young from kindergarten all the way to primary school age, we also involve them in discussions in the high school and also the university level. And you might have seen some of our youth delegates here. Net Mission DOT.Asia and HKYIGF so this is where Internet policies come in. We engage and capacity build these students in order to empower them to think about SDGs in the IG space.
We did bring Agitora to the IGF that was held in Taipei in July, and I want to jump straight to, I know we only have very few minutes left and I have many, many slides. So I do want to talk a little bit about this slide. What we really want to do and achieve with talking about policy making, talking about policy making in terms of SDGs and tiger conservation is to create a set of best practices, pretty much like the Manila Principles you might have heard about in intermediary liability we want an industry code of practice from the Internet industry side and the community side to be able to achieve this goal.
Like Silvia did say we need across a multistakeholder effort in order to do this, and the last part I do want to talk about, and this is because I am also from, you know, DotAsia. We are a registry. Why it matters to our industry as well. The tiger is really the face of Asia. You have heard of tiger economies, tiger countries and it's very much to do with the SDGs, tiger moms, yes, that's also, because it's very much a face of Asia.
And why does it matter to us here? You know, you don't think of ICANN or the new Generic Top Level Domain, that kind of field to do anything to do with tigers or SDGs, but it does have a lot to do with it. If people are involved in the ICANN discussion, accountability is a very hot topic right now because everybody wants ICANN to be more accountable, the community to be more accountable, how can we do that? And why do we care about this in terms of SDGs?
Back in 2011 ICANN approved the new program and that was great news not only to do with consumer choice. It is very much to do with heritage and language. The next billion people coming on line their native language is not English and in this sense you really do want to see that these new technologies actually work for the people it's intended to work for. If you are Spanish speaking, you want to have your, you know, email in Spanish or if you are Chinese, you want all of that to work for you with local language. This is why universal acceptance is really keyed into SDGs as well.
And we are using Agitora as a means to create awareness not only with the children, with the youth, it's actually very important for them to know that having this equal footing, having this whole concept of no one left behind is a very important thing, very important goal in the SDGs. So I want to conclude my remarks. Because I know that time is running out. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Jennifer. Now we are chumping to sell lean no from Diplo.
>> AUDIENCE: I am supposed to cover. I will try to be brief to we leave more time for discussions so shortly about remote participation and information access platforms. As some of you might know, I think I see some Diplo alumnae in the room. They have been engaged at supporting remote participation from the beginning and I think we will see how that works. It is important to for people to be able to contribute on line. So the value of remote participation is there and I think we all see that. In addition to our support for remote participation at the IGF, we have several activities ourselves which have to do with remote participation.
The first one is in terms of capacity development. We have courses, online courses in Internet Governance, in general development and diplomacy and all of them are done on line, and we see the value in that as well. We have a network of more than 4,000 alumnae across the world and all have participated in these online remote learning platforms. So there is, again, value as well there.
And we see our alumnae at meetings in the IGF meetings at ICANN meetings and other spaces and we have diplomats who have attended our online courses helping them build their capacities. What do we do with online participation, DiploFoundation operates the even Eva Internet platform. We have Tom in the room who can say more. The platform tries to support missions in Geneva but also stakeholders around the world in getting knowledge to Internet Governance processes by helping them to be aware of what happens at any single time.
And every month at the end of the month we have an online briefing. It happens in Geneva physically, but also from people around the world and we do a ‑‑ basically summarizing what has happened that month in Internet Governance. And that allows the community to actually not only be aware of what has happened, but also discuss around those developments.
And we are basically doing the work for them trying to gather together all of the development and helping them get everything more or less on the table. And the last point I wanted to make is about the digital watch, another initiative of the DiploFoundation it is an observatory of Internet Governance. You can find it on line. It is a space where we try to get all sorts of information about digital policy and Internet Governance.
We have 40 plus Internet Governance issues from infrastructure to cybersecurity to Human Rights, electronic commerce and many, many more and for each of these issues we provide a description of the issue and the main challenges and concerns. We list actors involved in that issue, processes, events, resources, instruments like UN documents, and updates. Every day or every second day we post updates of things that in relation to that topic.
So, again, we hope this helps people every interested stakeholder in Internet Governance follow this really wide Internet Governance space and stay updated with what happens. And this is, again, the value of online and information access platform support. We hope this helps.
Thank you. And if you have questions I'm happy to answer.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you Selina. Now we are going to Anja Kovacs.
>> ANJA KOVACS: Actually, so I don't have concrete examples to give. Rather I guess from Civil Society ‑‑ I did like your question about how do we serve. I think in two ways when it comes to this particular issue there are two particular things we are trying to do. One is to call for greater attention for the actual realities on the ground of marginalized communities. I think at the end of the WSIS review process in December 2015 we saw very strong call for more integration of ICTs in achieving SDGs and that being a way to take the WSIS forward, but it's a bit of a catch 22 we have there.
If you look at the main barriers in a country like India where I work for uptake of ICTs, in many ways they remain, they are less and less about infrastructure. They are more and more about literacy and poverty. And poverty is still pervasive making most devices out of reach for most people. Literacy is also still really a challenge. In 2011 which was the last census done in India, 82% of men and 65% of women were considered illiterate. That means there is about 300 million people in India alone who are not able to read and write.
You are literate in India if you can sign your own name. So the standard is not so high. So to think that we are going to be ail to use ICTs among those populations to achieve the SDGs is obviously a fallacy. I think in our part of the world there are still very big cultural barriers which really need to be taken into account. The most obvious ones I think are related to gender. We have been looking, for example, at mobile phone bans by associations in north India were targeted at young unmarried women and try to keep them from using technologies.
What we found was that the bands weren't effective in the sense that women could still use mobile phones, but that mobile phone use was heavily regulated and subject to very strong oversight. We also found interestingly that in these areas, for example, around Facebook in particular, there was an enormous taboo, one of the most popular social networks in the world.
It's interesting and I think important to remember that even though those young women strictly speaking have access to that technology, they are in no way able to do with that what they want. There is somebody constantly watching over their shoulder and that means that a lot of issues that are possibly most important for them, say, issues around sexual and reproductive health when you are a teenager, become very difficult for them to look at.
So that's a second set of barriers that I think we need to recognize. It's important to look at people who are not able to access the Internet or access the Internet freely because this is not just about not getting access to the benefits of the Internet. I think the enormous emphasis that is there in digitizing all governance processes also increasingly creates actual harm for people who are not online. And it's colleagues from the Digital Empowerment Foundation in India who first brought to our attention where we see consistent examples of that and we actually have a wonderful one in India at the moment.
You might have heard that our Government took 86% of all currency out of circulation. Part of the discourse is that we will need to move to a cashless economy, but for all of those people who aren't able to afford mobile phone and almost half of the population who don't have a bank account, what does that actually mean? So basically you are trying to digitize the way a society works by throwing the most marginalized people in at the deep end and hoping they will end up swimming.
And I'm sure that more people will get bank accounts and try to find ways to be able to payments online in this process, but the cost that is paid in terms of the pain people have to go through to reach that point is quite considerable and I find really worrying. So it's really important to always think from the outset what are the consequences for people who are not online. When we reengineer our processes around ICTs. And what do we still need to do for them to not further exacerbate their marginalities.
And also we need to include an important, an emphasis on the importance of access to ICTs in all of the many facets of what access means so not just focusing on access to infrastructure. In any project we would do where we would use ICTs in the service of the SDGs.
And then the second point I wanted to make was what we also saw, I think, even in the course of the WSIS was very much an ICT, D approach to the use of ICTs for social development goals and there is obviously benefit in that, but what we increasingly need to do, I think, is focus on how Internet Governance intersects with economic, social and cultural rights and how that in turn affects being able to achieve the SDGs.
There are very clear examples when you look at a company like Uber and how controversial their policies have been in many countries because they are undermine labor rights, but it seems that none of the big IT companies, for example, despite their clamor to support Human Rights actually recognize Unions. So the IT sector as a whole clearly has an impact on economic, social and cultural rights but this plays out in other ways.
For example, the way in which data is so central to so many ICT for developing projects, who actually collects that data? Who has some control over their data, is able to consent or not? This is not just at the level of the individual, but also at the level of countries. In many ways at the moment we still hold national Governments responsible for economic, social and cultural rights and to defend those rights but most of the companies who collect our data now are actually international, multinationals who we have very little control over.
That problem as such is not new, but perhaps the pervasiveness that we see at the moment, the number of areas in our life that it goes into is, and also the fact that we are still so far away of really thinking too from how are we going to deal with that? And some call it a new form of colonization with so much of the knowledge and expertise is concentrated in companies or countries in the west, and where a lot of Developing Countries actually don't have full access to data that is actually about their own population.
So I think these are the two things really related still to the defense of Human Rights but continuing to push for that and put it on the agenda.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Anja. Now we will go to Stuart Hamilton.
>> STUART HAMILTON: Thank you, Sylvia. So good afternoon, everybody, I'm here representing the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, which looks out for the world's libraries, all types of libraries, libraries in your schools, in your universities, national libraries in your countries, and, you know, literally hundreds of thousands of public libraries worldwide.
We have been involved in the negotiations to get to the 2030 Agenda for a number of years. We played a strong role, I think, in making sure that part of the negotiations ended up in a target round access to information, but we did that because we took the very fundamental position that increasing access to information would be essential to fulfill all of the SDGs. So we talked a little bit about the 17 goals, but, of course, we need to recognize there is 169 targets as well.
Once you start breaking them down, you are beginning to understand the innovation that we are looking for can happen in really small and direct ways. So we engage with the UN, we took this position about access to information being fundamental, we developed something called the Leon declaration on access to information and development which brought with us about 600 organisations not just libraries because it's not just libraries that believe in this fundamental importance of access to information, it's some of the groups that are represented in this room, it's technology companies, it's media, journalists, a lot of NGOs and Civil Society, but also a number of companies.
And through doing this, I think we have reached a point where if you look at the whole of the 2030 Agenda, you can see that there is any number of ways that these groups can cooperate and innovate to help reach these targets. So I'm going to talk a little bit about examples because think that was what we were looking for here today and the wonderful thing about libraries is that they can do anything, literally any subject you want we have probably got a book on it.
And almost any sort of program you want in the community, it's probably being tried somewhere by some of our members. What's interesting about the library community is we have been doing this for years but I don't think we have ever really realized that we are exactly contributing to these big UN processes until the SDGs. We found it quite difficult to speak the language of development, and librarians got a little bit of a stereotype. We are a little bit quiet maybe, we just carry on getting on with or job and perhaps don't think about ourselves in the bigger picture. And I'm pleased to say that's changing and IFLA my organisation has been organising the community. We have ones which we are extremely interested in 1610 which is increasing public access to information, target 11.4 which looks at protecting cultural heritage, but actually, as I said, we really think that we go completely cross cutting.
So I will run through some of the goals and give you some examples of some of the services we offer which I think really make a difference. So obviously the overall aim of the SDGs is to leave nobody behind, to reduce poverty, and we produced a booklet where we culled loads of examples from our members. I'm not going to go through all 17 goals but I will start in goal one, for example, what can libraries do to reduce poverty, in Slovenia, the library has an employment information service which helps around 1200 people a year get back into work.
And, you know, you might think that that's something that the Government provides through other sorts of means, Department of Work and Pensions or something, but the library is right there in the community. It can actually bring in people, and in this case, in the Slovenian case, you have drug and alcohol addiction programs, connect them with other programs that can get them back on the straight and narrow, and help them cell sure CVs, and they did that in cooperation with the treatment for drug addiction at the local hospital.
So the library is a player that can bring in other organisations to make things work. Agriculture in Romania, the public library system was used by the Government as a point of contact to access Government services on agricultural subsidies and from 2012 onwards that partnership between the libraries and the Government resulted in local communities getting $187 million in subsidies into remote and rural areas and that wouldn't have been possible without the librarians showing the local farmers how to access Government services online. Previously they would take the bus and go to the capital which basically reduced their economic impact, wasted a huge amount of time, and they were actually to speed things up quite a lot. The one I like for healthy lives and well-being.
The Government launched tuberculosis prevention and control and they teamed up with the libraries to launch no to TB in libraries. We reach remote and rural areas. They trained about 800 of the library staff on how to raise awareness of TB in the community, and that program reached something like 5600 people.
What else can I do? I have spoken in a number of sessions but libraries when it comes to reaching women and girls is seen as extremely safe places to access the Internet. Fundamentally we are talking about access to the Internet taking place in public libraries and research shows particularly in areas where people have never used the Internet before, the library is a place where people feel comfortable going on line much more so than going to an Internet cafe, for example. So that's something that we have seen in any number of countries. But the national library of Uganda has combined that approach with goal 2 in agriculture so they have launched ICT training for female farmer.
So female farmers have access to crop forecasts, and ability to set up online market. I tried to find an example with a tiger in it but all I could find was an American university that had a tiger mascot and they used him in a You Tube video to go into the library and find out how to get access to books and health so tigers and libraries is almost there. It's not quite there. But there is plenty of stuff we are able to do. In other goals I wanted to pull out in relation to the wildlife and the environment one which we are talking here about sort of goal 14, goal 13 on climate change. The national Liberia board in Singapore built a children's green library which has collections specifically on environmental conservation, public education programs around conservation and helping kids understand climate change.
So what the library does is offers a space to do those things. You can do a lot of these things online. But with the library you can bring people together in terms of programming and get them to understand that, and, of course, that building was also built of recycled materials, kind of really make you are sure the whole thing was green all the way through. As I say, I can go on and on with these and I'm conscious of time, but I will do one more with sort of reducing inequality within and among countries which looks at different user groups, can we get people with different disabilities engaged, and poverty reduction. So in Mongolia they have something like 15,000 blind and low vision people who are unable to get jobs.
They receive very little support in the community. So the Mongolian National Federation of the Blind and the national library teamed up to build recording studios where people could create talking books in DAISY format which is the accessible format needed to basically read for visually impaired people and this has reached a huge number of people. When you combine that with IFLA for the Marrakesh Treaty for the visually impaired we are advocating to access to information for all sorts of user groups. I'm happy to contribute more examples as we go on, but I would say one sort of thing, if you are interested we did produce a paper for the Dynamic Coalition of on lick access in libraries which is available on the IGF website and a number of examples are pulled out there. One final thing is that, of course, once we left the UN, once we had the agenda, the goals now go down to national level, and it's all about national implementation which is where I feel very strongly that my community can play a role and what we are doing right now with the libraries is we have a capacity building program to tray librarians in advocacy so they can get libraries included in the national development plans. Because actually that's going to be extremely crucial, and also for other stakeholders in the IG space if you have a particular issue you want or if your community wants to be represented you better try and get in those national plans pretty quick because they are being drawn up now. We feel if we can get libraries into those plans then we stand a strong chance of playing a role over 15 years which could be very productive. Thanks.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you stew Start, and the final would will be from IDRC on examples of recent projects that he have funded for leadership and access to funding. Just one tiny logistical comment, we are waiting for someone else to join us that I just don't know if he is going to show up, so I am not going to say his name just in case. But, yes, if he shows up, but that's fine. If he doesn't, then that's all good.
>> AUDIENCE: I want to quote somebody, and I can't really attribute to the person because I don't remember who the person that said it at this Forum, but the Smart future through destructive technologies, the concentration of the Smart future.
He said we should look at the painful present as well as the smart future, the transition we are going through, and more gloomy, I would like to quote Anita Grumiti about the post truth, post human world. This is the development challenge that I think we are facing, and I would like to share a story, I don't know how many of you were at the IGF Hyderabad. I was leaving Hyderabad, I was going through Chennai Airport, and back then they had a small book store, but I notice a copy of Freakonomics. I don't know if anybody knows that book that was on the shelf and then another copy was there.
I went to grab it and I want to buy it and I said to the man, I would like to buy a copy. I think it's 400 Indian rupees so I passed him the $500 rupees, he looked at me and said what you mean I said I would like to buy this copy. He says we don't have a copy. I said what do you mean you don't have a copy I'm holding one right here and there is one on the shelf. He says I can't sell you, we don't have a copy. He looks at me. He is frustrated. He turns his computer monitor because that's what he uses for the cash register, he turns the computer monitor there is the title Freakonomics and beside it is the number zero. It doesn't exist. The book that doesn't exist. So there is two books there that doesn't exist.
I said to him, well, why don't I leave the 500Rupies is here and when it does exist you can subtract and take the money or better yet, I take it, I give you the money and you can take it, so it's a winning situation. But he didn't. I will mention that story and you can interpret it however, it is. It's a painful present and transition and sort of post human, post book world apparently. I belong in an initiative called Network Economies. Our focus and main outcome objectives is to look at destructive innovations and see how we could leverage innovation to improve sectors, improve education governance and livelihood. Another objective of ours is connecting the unconnected.
And another objective is protecting people's rights. I have some notes, but I feel that Anja has taken my thunder, she has taken the things I wanted to say so I will be a bit more meta if that's okay with you.
I have about 20 years of work in international development, particularly looking at ICTs. I don't have to tell the acronyms. I think we are in a roomful of people who knows what that acronym is. ICT for development, and what I have seen is many projects that full under two types of categories, or what they are trying to achieve is to solve two sort of fundamental problems or benefit from two fundamental dimensions. First is network effects, so this notion that NO joins the network, everyone benefits from it. The vision that people have is that if everybody joins the proper noun I Internet, everybody in the world benefits. That was the imagination that 20 years we embarked on.
>> AUDIENCE: That's how we went around international benefit. I think it's time for us to revisit that notion, to think what Anja has mentioned about inclusion, exclusion dynamics. In this regard, I think of my friend Arun Netta who is a recipient of the awards. He works on ICT and disabilities. He has an interesting point he said for every technology that enables an ability, it simultaneously a disability.
So for every new capability I have through eGovernment services, that means it's a disability for somebody else. So I think we have to revisit the notion of network effects under those terms. The other category of ICT for D products seems to be about information asymmetry and 20 years ago that discourse was around markets basically. If a small agricultural farmer is able to get on networks or onto the Internet, and able to cut the middle man or better yet sell on to markets I think we have to rethink information asymmetry about the concentration of data, the concentration of power because it's clearly imbalanced. We are not talking about a network that is flat. We are talking a network that is concentrated four to five multinationals so we have to rethink that in terms of data protection, data ownership and technology governance.
And another meta level thinking about development and technology and looking at SDGs, if I could say that we have to think about hopes and dreams and aspirations. We talked a lot about people's poverty. We talk about their health, education. Really the benefits of access to knowledge and culture is really under played, I think. Looking at people as objects of development as opposed to their dreams or aspiration, their dignity. So these are the things that should be looked at. I challenge us to rethink about thinking about social and economic systems and processes, recasting through new technological eras. I suggest we think about localization instead. Instead of saying that social and economic cultural dimensions go through this lens of technology, let's localize needs, localize technologies, localize systems and build from the ground up.
So that means, you know, I was on a panel I think Silvia was there in Bangkok and talked about connecting the unconnected and we had to give our comments and be three questions. My first question was connected to what. And this leads to my point of shifting the frame from thinking of the proper noun I as a vision because what that vision represents is a global universal singular network.
I think it's time for us to challenge ourselves to rethink that, to think about local, local situations, local networks. There was a Dynamic Coalition on community networks that was actually in this room yesterday. Fascinating group of people looking at alternative networking for community levels, using existing technologies, but allowing governance from the ground up, allowing for benefits and challenges to be dealt from the ground up as opposed to thinking that everyone who connects globally will benefit in a way that is uniform I suppose. Let me then sort of go towards challenges and ‑‑ gosh, maybe I will skip that.
Let me go towards I guess counter areas and I mentioned much of that. So the sense of the network is coming to the marginalized. I think we have to rethink this as opposed to ‑‑ I think we should think about enabling environments for the marginalized to be empowered in that way. It's ironic to say enable people to be empowered that way. I think we should think about opportunities for where the poor can define and construct technologies from the ground up as opposed to markets reaching the end notes as it were.
I think the narrative should be around Human Rights, Human Rights, economic, social, cultural rights, civil and political rights is at the heart of development as opposed to taking more of the technology. I know we are at the IGF, necessarily we are talking about technology and access and connectivity and that's the case. So I will end it with practical recommendations and I will repeat myself again, I think, and I will repeat what David Souter said in plenary around SDGs, his recommendation is we need social justice, Human Rights and development practitioners at the IGF.
It's odd for us to talk about international development without having those people here. I suggest that as a way forward we should start mapping out SDGs, ICTs, and these rights. I will do a bit of a self‑promotion. This book around the globe Information Society watch produced by APC, supported by us has started to do that. They started to map out the links between ICTs, I'm sorry for the acronyms ESCRs, economic, social, cultural rights and infrastructure. Another exercise I think this community should consider is mapping out how architecture links to human development. One attempt is by ICANN and I found it very interesting where they literally mapped out their architecture and the functions and what is their scope compared to sort of Human Rights issues.
I think the link between architecture, technology design and human development is a time for us to revisit this. I have been going to IGFs for many years now, and I think many of us have a sense of deja vu. While we are revisiting questions of access and revisiting questions around technology, we should really tweak these things. And have human development is the centre of the discussion. I'm sorry for the rambling.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. Jennifer, would you mind to put the slides on your presentation with the 17 SDGs just a second. It might be a good visual for the moment. While Vint Cerf just arrived and I'm giving him a minute to sit down because he rushed to get to us from another commitment. I will summarize a little bit of what the service has been to put a little bit of context before his intervention.
But basically what we have been discussing is how from different angles, from tigers to cultural diversity to libraries to our online participation in Diplo, examples from Diplo, participation in political processes and how currency in India have taken away the currency in India to digitize the economy doesn't work that well to other more concrete examples about how the architecture of the Internet reflects with how Human Rights are processed in the world.
So we have been talking about examples about for each one of the 17 goals, how different organisations contribute to each one of those goals. So we approach this subject from as I said at the beginning from kind of like a disparate approach where it is hard for small organisations for entrepreneurs to really as Stuart was mentioning to talk the talk of development, and place themselves as contributors to this agenda to know, okay, my online participation in the IGF, the summaries that Diplo provides, for example, how that supports effective participation in the future. Sometimes the person that is actually enjoying the benefit of that remote participation might not see the link with that agenda.
So what we are trying to do here is the game that I mentioned at the beginning so try and stack on top of each one of these 17 boxes which are the efforts, what are the networks, what are the communities, what are the organisations, what are the projects that are actually tackling each and every one of those 17 plus of the targets? It was really great to listen to Stuart and know that IFLA knows the target, which target you place and it's hard for a lot of organisations to actually think in that context. So just going back a little bit to the align projects that as we have been saying in different workshops also it's a little bit like a bag of beans where you make your own soup.
You can put a few beans on each of the 17 boxes and each one are contributing somehow. And the message that we want to pass across is that it can't be done alone. All of the stakeholders need to collaborate. So now with this small context for the conversation we would like to have Vint Cerf talk about what the innovation to the private sector can be to the bag of bean and as how we achieve SDG.
>> VINT CERF: Thank you for giving me a chance to compose myself. I want to make a couple of prefatory observations. One of them is that many of the things that are in those 17 goals are going to take place locally. I mean, the success of the goal is going to be a local success, not necessarily a global one. You know the expression that the future is here, but it's not uniformly distributed is also true in terms of succeeding in achieving these various millennium goals or Sustainable Development Goals. So that's an important thing to recognize because in order for something to happen locally, there have to be incentives in place that make the parties who can achieve that objective want to do so.
If it's the private sector, there has to be a private sector driver, an incentive that makes that private sector participant want to achieve that goal. And it's not necessarily always about making money. Sometimes it has to do with creating infrastructure that will enable something else. And a trivial example of this might be the Google releasing Android operating system or the Chrome browser software so that other people can build on top of it.
So I think you should keep that in mind. The second thing that I want to suggest is that some of the goals actually won't be successful unless everyone actually works together and there is cooperation. An example of that would be global warming. Unless we all work together, that problem is not going to get solved. And now we have a different problem which is to establish incentives for everyone to want to have that goal in place. And we have an agreement about the goals, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the incentives that will drive people to achieve the goal are the same. They may not be. This is where we get into this very interesting creative opportunity. Many people have heard me say this before, but I have a lot of respect for sales people, and the reason for this is that they come to you with something, you know, a thing.
And their job is to make you decide you want that. And that's a question of generating incentive. So we may have to learn how to sell people on the incentives that will lead to the goals, to the successful achievement of these goals. So this is not just about technology. This is not just about business. This is about being persuasive along the lines that are needed in order to achieve a target.
I think we still have a long ways to go to achieving those goals and I think we don't yet appreciate each other's challenges. This is one of the reasons that I enjoy coming to the IGF is because I'm beginning to learn what challenges everyone else faces. So just to give you a small example when we speak about remote participation which in this Conference has been remarkably effective, it only works if both ends have the right infrastructure.
And not everyone is in a position to participate remotely even if we have plenty of capacity here on the other end there may not be enough. So let's be careful not to make assumptions about local conditions and then assume that we can achieve our objective by everybody's staying home and doing video conferences, which would really be a sad outcome because it's not nearly as much fun as being here together face to face. So I don't want to just ramble on, but I want you to appreciate that finding the right incentives is important. If you don't like the outcomes you are seeing, no amount of argument will solve the problem unless the incentives change to drive new decisions.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Vint Cerf. I really appreciate your being with us and your intervention. So we have about 15 minutes before the end of the session, and I hope that some of the people in the room will actual little try play the game that we were trying to do at the beginning and now after this conversation about how we can or cannot contribute to the goals and how we place ourselves and from different stakeholders how we do it, if we can do again a little bit of a round and see what challenges you identify for those or what networks are you looking for to be able to contribute more effectively? We want you to leave this workshop thinking that it is say shared responsibility. It is a shared plan, let's say, to achieve those goals and we all contribute to them, so it will be great to know if you can place yourself now in one of those or your solutions or what is your challenges to get involved. So anyone, if you can help us out to have a little bit of more engagement from the audience, that would be really good.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm David, a librarian from Colombia. One thing I think is a big concern for us is how about being a citizen in Internet. I mean, what happened with people without access. They are not citizens? What is happening here? So something that happens in Colombia is we have something called ‑‑ citizen folder. And the Government is working to centralize all of the information from people.
And this is very dangerous for privacy because, I mean, what happens if somebody gets into personal and sensitive information. It's not the Government doing a bad job because the Government is civil or something like that or third parties because this is managed by companies. It's just that the people don't realize how can we be a citizen in Internet? What are the risks, the challenges? How can we insure privacy or insure Human Rights? So that is something that I think I am very close to some participations about we need the skills and I think from libraries, we are trying to work and make these skills a right for the people. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Anyone else?
>> AUDIENCE: I just wanted to respond to something Vint said which is the SDGs are formulated globally but the success will take place locally. Coming back to what I said earlier, but the success is not necessarily shaped locally, and definitely not only locally. And I think that is one of the big challenges at the moment, right, that we actually, we talk about it as almost, we talk about SDGs in terms of national implementation, but if you look at least at the ICT aspects of that supposed implementation, much of the governance of how these things work at the moment is not happening at the national level or is not yet in hands of national legislators or national legislators are discouraged from actually taking action on these things and that's on a wide range of things. I mean, even taxation of IT companies, for example, which shape what we talked about earlier, control over data, et cetera.
So I think there is really, I think the SDGs have brought to the fore really the tension between the national and global level and I'm not saying that that is, that there are any straight forward solutions or, you know, that everything should necessarily be brought down at the national level, but we need to think about that as a global community also and not just say that now it's at the national level and any success for failure will have to be placed there, because that is not responding to reality of how things are organized.
>> MODERATOR: Vint.
>> VINT CERF: Well, my brief response to this is that even if we all agree on a particular goal, something has to happen everywhere in order for the goal to be reached. And it's the fact that it's happening in a particular place is what is important to me. Introducing infrastructure takes expense, time, energy, people, and it won't happen in a particular place unless somebody wants it to happen there. So I don't think we are really in great disagreement, but I just want to emphasize that the global goal doesn't happen unless it happens in every place where it's needed.
The thing that I was going to pose as a desirable outcome is making the Internet a safer place to be. And it is not safe enough now. It was pretty safe when it was just the geeks who were, you know, building it and operating it, but that's not true anymore. Now, we have half the world online. Figuring out how to achieve that objective I think is very difficult.
I would like the IGF in particular to deal with the transnational questions. We have not too much control what happens nationally, but we might have an opinion about how to achieve transnational agreements nor the in order to make the network a safer place.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE: I suppose a response to that and trying to answer your question I want to say something that's less radical than what I actually want to say which is I think the proper noun I Internet is as a special metaphor is a problematic one, citizenship to a place or what Vint Cerf said, a place. We have to rethink it to frame it around what it is. It's asynchronous communication and communication policies, Human Rights around that schema, et cetera.
So I would resist any notion of thinking of a universal global space to which you are a citizen of.
>> MODERATOR: So any final comments or final remarks? If not, we have finish, I guess, we have finished for today. I would like to thank you all for coming. I know it's a bit, what we are trying to do, we are bringing this workshop or this idea of discussing what is at play around SDGs to try to figure out where we are at and how are we contributing. So this helps us map a little bit the efforts around the world and the different stakeholders, and we appreciate the different views around the triangular table, and I hope that next, the next iteration of this space about what is at play when we are talking about SDGs and the Internet happens somewhere else and we can continue the conversation. Thank you very much.
(Concluded at 0121).