IGF 2017 - Day 1 - Room XXII - WS71 How Devices, Content, & Innovative Business Models Shape Our Digital Future


The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Geneva, Switzerland, from 17 to 21 December 2017. 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. 




So at that time we said well this is actually killing the model of community networks we have been developing for so long.  So we decided to build our own hardware because the FCC regulates in the United States so why south the always affected by FCC regulation when it's obviously not always good for everyone.  And so we decided to build a router that would not be limited by these possibility of changing the sub and so we decided this router would be designed by the community networks or the community networks.  ‑‑ and this is really important because who here knows ‑‑ or doesn't know what a mesh network is.  Raise your hands.  Great.  So mesh networks, the difference with the ‑‑ sorry, how many minutes?  Sorry.  So the mesh networks are unstructured networks where every node has the same roll as every other, instead of hiring Archial network.  And for these networks, you need to have multiple radios for the operation to be perfect.  Devices, really cheap devices that we have for this feature until this little piece of hardware that we have during this year.


You can actually power the liberal out as well.  So that's one good thing I've been working on.  Another component we've been working on is Bluetooth automobile that lacks and it can be used for IOP that other people might be interested.  But for us, it was to allow the possibility to turn on and off the router, whatever is infused.  So the router would be able to turn off automatically.  And then the Bluetooth allows you to ‑‑ that consumes power so it's always on.  And then with the Bluetooth, you then hold the router.  And it's through Laura, it actually turns on the rest of the mesh.  So you are saving power and you can tell me in case of an emergency.  And then on the ‑‑ voice communication is critical ‑‑ and is probably ‑‑ so we've been working on the ‑‑ a voice solution that allows the community ‑‑ to that to have applications that again ‑‑ thank you.










And a lot of people don't know the biggest threats that faces a lot of endangered species is actually the internet, whether it is illegal wildlife online trade or poachers using your Q ten locations when you go on holiday, you think about, you know, taking snaps of these endangered species and you don't know people actually use this data.  What we're doing is trying to promote not only from the level of school children all the way up to I guess you and me and the people beyond, people's businesses, to actually know that if you care about sustainable development, you need to care about the tigers as well.  On our website, you'll see a lot of information to do with the actual species and where they're located.  They're located in the in the 13 different tiger nations in Asia.  Also, there are educational modules we've developed that we've deployed in Hong Kong in over 500 local primary schools.  The feedback we've gotten from the children as well as the parents have been very, very positive.  So we're really very proud to help with this initiative. 

Because the tiger itself is a very much a symbol of Asia, you hear of people commenting on tiger economies.  Tiger as the animal is very much a timbal of Asia.  Not only is it something that we want to push very much for sustainable development.  It's also part of our organization's figurehead.  So he's a little bit of a a mascot.  So if you want to learn more about this initiative, I really do want to push for you guys to take a look at the booth upstairs to see a little more about Dot Asia.  The second one I wanted to talk about is really new for us. 

It's called Tech Women Dot Asia.  There's a lot of talk about needing more women, more girls in this industry, to be in stem education.  And this is a very worthwhile initiative that is being deployed in central Asia.  They're going to be spreading to south Asia and also the pacific.  So the networks are for Tech Women Dot Asia is growing in the region.  It's trying to play a very crucial role in empowering women in this field.  The first employment is in Afghanistan, and the mission really is to increase the number of women and girls enrolled in stem, science, technology, engineering math, and also increase their prominence in business and civil society and give them access to education, collaboration, with like‑minded networks. 

I think for this, I think the very first Tech Women Dot Asia conference ‑‑ thank you very much for the time ‑‑ happened earlier this year so I do also encourage everyone to take a look at Tech Women Dot Asia.  And lastly, I want to touch a little PT capacity building initiatives that we do. 

It is tied to local connectivity, as well.  We do deploy a lot of youth ambassadors who create a lot of apps for local Hong Kong youth for them to learn about internet governance, which at the IGF taught me about.  So I'll complete my remarks here.



Most of the working in Asia of gender, human rights, and culture and HIV and AIDS.  We were asking about what kind of technology that they are being used.  At that time we were also making a lot of sophisticated tools.  A lot of technology organizations in which after the survey it reveals that most of our partners, especially in the south, is using the usual technology like e‑mails, website, and ‑‑ then back to six years after, there was a corporation between ‑‑ in 2011.  We want to learn how civil society organization using specifically internet and social media.  So it's not technology, but ‑‑ social media, it was trending in Indonesia at that time.

From the research, we found a lot of successful examples but anecdotals were not successful with the internet being changed with the risky highlights.  The first highlight is that groups and community ‑‑ internet and social media to multiple.  If it's in groups, it would be via corporations.  If it is groups and ‑‑ it would be engagement.  The second is that we also found out that when online engagement meet with off line, the idea of creating a semi‑regulated ‑‑ can provide opportunities for the to prepare the public for a full blown investigation.  The third one we would like to see, we feel it is so naive if you focus on the internet and social media ‑‑ because agencies, humans are really matters. 

We can also see the strategy use of the internet, like networking, competent be seen, just a data ‑‑ of use and technology.  But technology and its use is actually continues shifting and in shape.  And other creation of the internet and social media ‑‑ more about the process rather than the outcome.  So those are in my second.  The third one would be about the ‑‑  these are the most recent issues we are dealing with in Indonesia and the Philippines when I know.  It took time for the countries to get indifferent ‑‑ of open data.  In the beginning, we have learned that open data is not open unsafe.  So what we are preparing now is reliable and good data within ourself.  And after that being used that the data is not necessarily open and if we are lucky, we can have invasions.  What I would like to share from you is actually from the three stories that I would like to mention.  This is a process, yeah.  The shaping of the content and services to responding to local needs are really a continuing process in which every elements needs to be ‑‑ sometimes technology, sometimes the content, sometimes the services, sometimes the agents.  So it depends on what kind of issues you would like to tackle.  But this is not linear and not just one time processes.  Thank you.





So when I think about innovation or innovative business models.  Honestly, I don't know what innovation in this context really means.  I'm a great believer in being you ‑‑ much more than it's been about a new idea, system, router, what have you.  But we dabble with all of those.  But if I am sort of put in the corner and asked ‑‑ a couple of pointers that I'd like to share.  We're dealing with a situation in rural areas where the costs are higher than in an urban environment and you need to serve a population that's more diverse.  So it's almost a nonstarter unless you start to think about reducing the costs and increasing the demand. 

So a few pointers there.  First of all, groups train.  We figured out early on we could not afford the technology college graduates from the cities or even the towns.  So we gave people a one‑month course and moved them on.  And then they have other courses coming on.  90 percent of our 130 work force is locally recruited and changed. 

Second of all, is it an overkill or underachievement?  Is the router I'm using a great machine but too expensive?  Or is it a piece of junk that's made of plastic and melts in the sun?  The source has to be ‑‑


Paying people way, although it's cheap to recruit locally, it's very expensive to ‑‑  you've got to be extremely myself about giving people not only a living salary, but a salary that encourages them to live with you. 

Scale.  Scale is extremely important.  I'm sometimes thinking about giving a course in technology archeology where you go across projects that have died and figure out why.  You need to grow, and we've pin at it from day one, wanting to scale up.  You've got to grow and you've deposit to grow sensibly.  Don't overreach.  Don't step on your shoelaces. 

Make money.  You've got to do this.  We're dealing with a commodity.  On a good day, I like to think we're doing great things for the world.  But we're selling a product.  This is not an HIV initiative.  We're selling band width. 

Stay ahead on innovation.  We're not technology developers.  I have great respect for technology developers.  I deploy.  We time or money to develop.  We need to deploy. 

And the last thing, keep on believing.  Some days are amazing.  Other days are days of desperation, but persistence is important.  Thanks.



And I think ‑‑ so my observations in studying the growth of these alternative models are three things, I think. 

One is I think there's a creative tension that you'll likely see on this panel between community based and commercial approaches to access.  And you'll see, you know, almost two different narratives there coming from, for instance, a strictly, you know, we need smart business models that can affordably serve the poor, and it's all about how can we make it cheap not for everyone to access the internet.  And community based models that are more about inclusion and more about thinking about, well, what does the internet mean to the communities that it connect?  And I think we all know.  Certainly, the last few years have shown us the internet is not strictly a benign incident.  We know it brings good, but it also brings dangerous.  We heard about how it affects tigers.  We know that social media platforms are used to sway public opinion.  But the internet needs to be ‑‑ we need to think about how to make a better internet and a community can bring a lot of that thinking with them as they try and design an inclusive network to connect people. 

At the same time, communities also bring in discipline in terms of how do you make this a sustainable and long‑term.  And I think bringing those two initiatives into closer dialogue is very healthy.  And in terms of innovation and sustainability, I think the is, while technologically innovation is essential, my reflection on visiting a number of networks recently in Kenya is that the most interesting invasions are people invasions.  So while there are very interesting technologies being developed, the most interesting innovation I've found in visiting a number of networks in Kenya was the agent acquisition model in that how they had developed a very sophisticated model for actually finding human talent to deploy this network.  So I think it's done similar thing in terms of how they're building local capacity as part of their internal business model. 

And I think the ‑‑ actually, I'll stop there.



Most of you know Mozilla as the maker of Fire Fox.  But what you may not know is the foundation ‑‑

I think Steve commented about slowing of global growth and I think that in that moment a few years ago, zero reading was propelled out as this opportunity, this promise, as there was something that could help to governance and regulators ‑‑ to accelerate ‑‑ in which people were connecting.  I think we see in zero rating, a lot of the same anti‑competition and anti‑innovation concerns that we see more ‑‑ and so Mozilla said we can and must do better.  We have to find new ways to provide affordable access.  And we watched an initiative Donald ‑‑ 

They're free of gatekeepers and they're free of ‑‑  it doesn't really provide people ‑‑ some parts that they like and users to choose the content that they want based on the quality of that content and not on the commercial relationships of their provider. 

‑‑ providing affordable access.  I'm pleased to be joined by two of the finalists of that challenge here on this panel.  I'll try and give perhaps a little higher level ‑‑ project projects specifically. 

We had 100 submissions from 27 countries around the world, and I think within that ‑‑ I want to give some high level overview of some of the information we saw.  We had five categories.  First was around funding access.  If you don't want to pay for access, how can you change dynamics in order to bring ‑‑ into the system.  And so whether that's looking at micro financing, whether it's looking at advertising models, local and hyper local businesses with local users, wi‑fi spots.  We saw a lot of innovation, not surprisingly, around building access.  You know, people year round, nonprofit international fiber optic carrier, looking at innovative pieces, seeing white space.  And looking at other ways of ‑‑ that are proving more cost effective.  I think ‑‑ changing, who's paying for the internet where you're charging ‑‑ providers rather than users for access. 

A third group around governing access and the community models we worked about, how did you work with community with when building the network? 

4th, had to worry about teaching access and conserve literacy and level initiative.  It helps people understand what the the internet and ‑‑ integrated with that with access in addition ‑‑ and then finally ‑‑ using access and ways to help people see and sort of create ‑‑ content and structures that hopes to see a wide issue ‑‑


I'm very sorry.  I think we lost you completely there.  I think we'll move on to the next part of the discussion, and I'd like to spark discussion amongst the panel. 

As you just heard, there's a very rich array of ideas and invasions amongst all of the different activities you've murder over the last few minutes.  One question I have to the panel and innovation, when you get something innovative, a new strategy and new technology, where does it come from?  Within your own team?  Out in the community?  When you see innovation?  Jennifer, starting with you.  Where did that come from?  Where do you pick up a new idea and spot it




But I didn't tell one of the only maces we've worked in India where there is zero mobile coverage.  Very, very rare in many places.  So we've connected with people and put public hot spots, trying to make money out of it.  Actually making good money out of it, creating India's first digital footprint.  There's an ambulance there with an balance, but how the hell do you call the ambulance?  There's no cell coverage.  So some of the guys figured out, they got the guy's phone number, got on what's up, created their own little group and they're calling the ambulance driver.  This may not sound like a great innovation, but it's great.  Looking at the situation, creating a very very simple app that's going to be ‑‑ it's going to have one red button and another green slip.  When the green is on, you're inside a coverage area.  If you press red, the ambulance driver will get your message and come to you. 

A lot of the business models come from our team.  People go in the field.  We give them direction and smart ideas that we have about pricing or reaching out or packaging things.  They come back and say, no, this doesn't work.  Package it differently.  Again, I don't want to take too much time, but some very very interesting anecdotes.


For us, we try to lock a bunch of engineers into an air conditional room with a mountain view and try to figure out what we're going to do and it doesn't really help.  As a company, organization, we have to embrace about working with broad and diverse communities to come up with surface new ideas.  Often, they're bringing a greater diversity of ideas and perspectives that we couldn't possibly ever come up with ourselves.  And I think open innovation as a methodology and perspective is critical to sort of giving voice to a lot of new ideas.  There really will help to find local solutions, and that's been very successful for us.  We're now in our third open innovation challenge, just with the challenge subjected to the invasions.








On the other hand, TV wide spaces coming in, going out.  So for us as an ISP, each of these are challenges that we kind of role with and it forces us to end.  Competition to me is not a threat.  It's a chance to innovate.  So I agree with Steve that one needs to have a better framework, but I don't see that it's coming in ‑‑








So I want to ask, how do the speakers such as that needed collaboration from all stakeholders can happen. 





All this information is often treated as confidential information, whether for commercial purposes or government purposes.  There needs to be a movement towards that.



>> SPEAKER:  I think that in community networks, they'll say a lot of work regarding ‑‑ content, services, and new what comment to find some initiative, it's discarded from the beginning because there is a possibility that it will be targeted as a ‑‑ no?  I think this is sort of the one of the things that is going on with copyright and content sharing because at least when I talk with my community, maybe it will ‑‑ the community wouldn't mind they are sharing copyrighted material from Hollywood or whatever.  They would like to share.  And I think there is a niche that we need to explore much more and we need to reach for regulation and gun regulation.  I always say that we have a word internet property organization, and we don't have a word access to cultural organization.  So I think we should try to have the ‑‑ to discuss these issues because it's ‑‑ it doesn't make sense to destroy innovation for the sake of country.






I think it would be good to standardize.  We still haven't had much success, although there is of course some developments that are completely standard.








But I also agree with the point that the development community, very active in this area, comes together and collaborates a lot, does not have in some ways an awareness of our technical community.  ‑‑ I find that quite interesting as well.



We're trying for instance now something that doesn't exist, discuss our innovation and our models and planning the first ‑‑ it's a wayward situation for all the ‑‑ in the network.  But it takes ‑‑ doing or implementing the ‑‑ is not possible.  And it's very difficult to actually do it.  So we need to create ‑‑ try to we are working with our lawyers to try to ‑‑ so I guess ‑‑ lawyers and ‑‑









Regulations are made by ‑‑  one of the most important things ‑‑ where they're coming from and where they're going to.  Without getting into ‑‑ I would encourage people to look at things like TV white spaces and to see who's supporting it, who's against it.  And why maxes are very interesting cases.  It wasn't a problematic technology.  It was a technology that some people were against.  So extremely important in regulations, not just spite to change the policy, but understanding who you're with and who is on the other side of you.
















On a personal level, I found it really inspiring to hear all the different types of innovation and ideas and strategies and activities that each of the people on the panel have represented.  And then a really fruitful discussion around what it takes to encourage it and how it's connected and how it will all work.  So please join me in thanking the panel for today's contributions. 

I also want to ask you to thank the organizers of the panel which is Silvia, Coralina, and Gremalda.