There are many different dimensions of access and the IGF panel here in Athens certainly touched on many of them… from access for people with disability, for people that are not literate, access for scientists and researchers.
The workshop held on 1st of November under title Equal Access on the Web at the first Internet Governance Forum in Greece reminded us that as one of the panelists pointed out, IS stands not only for Information Society but for Inclusive Society as well.
Of all the many bytes emerging out of Athens and the IGF, this one made the most sense to me: Piracy creates jobs, but [Free Software and] Open Source and Open Standards create opportunity, create entrepreneurs. And I think that’s the challenge for the
href=“http://www.igfgreece2006.gr”>IGF as well, how to look at it is a public interest forum, the
Internet is a public space, and how can we facilitate maximum sharing, maximum creativity, peer production, new models, innovation.
— Anriette Esterhuysen, at the Internet Governance Forum, Athens, November 1, 2006 http://www.intgovforum.org/IGF-Panel2-311006am.txt.
Natasha Primo – executive director of South Africa-based WomensNet – was the only person to talk about gender issues at the plenary session this morning. She said she hoped the Forum would spell out
plans that had a significant impact on women. Read it all on the i-witnesses blog. This blog post and several others on this Panos-sponsored website is definitely worth checking out.
Jeremy Shtern from media@mcgill, a new "hub of research, scholarship and public outreach on issues and controversies in media, technology and culture" is on the spot in Athens to provide an overview of the discussions. I bumped into him today and asked him a couple of questions about academia at the IGF and about other impressions he’d be willing to share. Visit his latest report on the IGF.
Internet Governance is a difficult concept to grapple with for many of us. Even those who have been keeping track of discussions on gender and the new information and communication technologies (ICTs). Naturally, people who know or who have heard about the Internet Governance Forum, are asking what this meeting is all about. Read the full article here: http://www.genderit.org/en/index.shtml?apc=f—e—1&x=94976
The first IGF session entitled Multistakehoder Policy Dialogue / Setting the Scene, was facilitated by Kenneth Cukier and spectacularly ignored the question on gender and ICTs.
Via the IGF Community Site one can find links to some events coming up (at the time of writing) at Athens, Greece. An anti-spam toolkit, a content creation workshop, another legal aspects workshop, an overview of diversity, yet another on human rights and the internet, workshop on IP-network development….. don’t we need solutions real fast?
Soenke Zehle wrote late on Oct 30: “I just added the official and unofficial IGF-Community feeds to the list of incom sources… seems that http:/ igf2006.intgovforum.org has emerged as meta-site for the IGF in Athens.”
Geert Lovink shot back on via this Incom-L discussion: “Thanks, Soenke. I wonder how many of us are in Athens right now. Are people blogging there? I read some articles about the summit on BytesForAll and was wondering if participants there were as pessimistic as this BBC guy Bill Thompson.”
Actually, here are the unofficial and official “blogs” for the IGF. But it’s happening so fast, it’s probably going to be difficult to keep track! And one can just imagine what the “mainstream media” — with their “space constraints” and filters — are going to be saying! Anyway, isn’t talking about media flows and control all old hat, and a 70s thing?
Is this a shift of power? Is it just a form of tokenism? Does it work? Will it really involve the diversity of people across the globe? Kieren McCarthy posted to the Governance mailing list and Plenary list an announcement of how SMS questions can go to the IGF main session. Full details on the igf2006.info site that takes you to http://igf2006.intgovforum.org/