27 May 2011

eG8 Forum – The Internet: Accelerating Growth

For the very 1st time, eG8 Forum brought together movers and shakers from the Internet technolgy world, government, non-profit foundations and media organisations to discuss the current status of the Internet and its social and cultural impact. View video of Interview by Reuters on eG8 here.

When and where and agenda
eG8 Summit was held in Paris, France on the 24th & 25th May 2011. Check the full event schedule and speakers list here.

Aim of the Summit

eG8 Forum in Paris sought to bring together leaders from the political and Internet worlds to think about the future of the networked society. Main discussions involved around the importance of the role that the Internet now plays in our personal as well as our professional lives, and the opportunities but also the challenges that the network represents for our societies, our economies and our cultures.

Elite speakers

Some of the elite panelists and speakers in this event include:
Nicolas Sarkozy, Marc Zuckerberg (Facebook), Eric Schmidt of Google, Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Craig Mundie (Microsoft), Rupert Murdoch (News Corp), Andrew Mason (Groupon), Klaus Schwab (World Economic Forum), Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook), Yuri Milner (Digital Sky Technologies), John Donahoe (ebay), Sunil Bharti Mittal (Bharti Airtel), Mitchell Baker (Mozilla Foundation), etc.

They were joined by eminent academics Yochai Benkler, Jeff Jarvis (Hippocratic Oath for the Internet), and Larry Lessig (Harvard law school). Refer here for full list of speakers during the plenary sessions of eG8. Video of the eG8 Forum plenary sessions of both Day 1 and Day 2 are available on Youtube.

Opening note from Nicolas Sarkozy

The Internet's multilateral dynamic, and the driving role that the private sector and civil society play in its development, have led me to invite the major stake- holders of this ecosystem to Paris, so that the meeting of Heads of State can benefit from their vision. The content of your exchanges will be conveyed to the Heads of State and governments of the G8. A new phenomenon requires a new method of consultation, one that recognizes the legitimacy and the responsibility of the actors concerned: hence the idea of this e-G8 Forum”, said Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France. For more info watch this video of President Sarkozy at the eG8 Summit.

Event Partners

The eG8 was partnered by leading technology firms: Orange, Vivendi, Free, Google, Capgemini, Ebay, Microsoft, Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent, HP, Eutelsat Communications, Thomson Reuters, and Publicis Groupe.

Selected highlights

Keynote presentation by James Manyika and Matthieu Pé́lissié on 'Internet Matters'.
• Report from McKinsey Global Institute on 'Internet Matter: The Net’s sweeping impact on growth, jobs and prosperity (PDF)'.
• Many organizations concerned with human rights, liberties and civil society online have released a statement to the eG8 and G8 that advocates “expanding internet access for all, combating digital censorship and surveillance, limiting online intermediary liability, and upholding principles of net neutrality.
• When asked about government regulation, Eric Schmidt of Google said that technology moves so fast that governments really shouldn't try to regulate it because it will change too fast, and any problem will be solved by technology. "We'll move much faster than any government”.
• The eG8 shows online innovation and freedom of expression still need strong defenders according to Alex Howard of O’reilly. Read his detailed account on copyright, innovation and freedom of expression here.