25th Anniversary Economy Events

What will it take? Building a future so the Internet brings opportunity to Europe.

Wondering how the Internet will impact your future in Europe? You’re not the only one.

We are only beginning to understand the full value that the Internet can bring to tomorrow’s world.

So how can we make certain the Internet of the tomorrow will help to do things like create jobs, ensure every citizen has access to municipal services, and close the divide between urban and rural areas?

A series of global talks now known as the Internet Society’s Regional Internet Development Dialogues are intended to help answer those questions and more.

The next one is in Brussels, Europe on November 7th 2017 and you’re invited:

Internet of Opportunity: Will the Internet Benefit all Europeans?

By bringing together people from very different backgrounds, these dialogues are meant to create a way for people to hear views and opinions outside of their comfort zone – and also to build understanding and unexpected partnerships.

The full day event, which is open to everyone who feels they have a stake in the Internet’s future, will bring together policy and decision makers, business leaders, and Europeans who want to make sure people can build a prosperous future.

Now is your chance to tell some of Europe’s leading decision makers how you would use the Internet to build a stronger digital economy.

Join us at the 2017 European Regional Internet and Development Dialogue.

Here’s how.

In Person

Tuesday, 07 November 2017
09:00 – 18:30
CEPS Conference Room
Place du Congrès 1 – 1000 Brussels



There’s no doubt about it, the Internet will promote drastic shifts across all sectors of the future Internet economy. All parts of society – from local communities to education systems, healthcare, and public services – will have to adapt to the pace of change. How that happens is up to each of us.

Help us Shape Tomorrow and create a digital future where humanity is at the centre of Europe’s digital future.

Read the CEPS paper that will be launched and debated at RIDD.

Development Growing the Internet Human Rights

African Regional Internet Development Dialogue (RIDD) Explores Opportunities for Improving the Internet Economy in Africa

Following a successful first day discussing education at the first ever African Regional Internet Development Dialogue (RIDD) in Kigali, Rwanda, day two focused on the broader question on developing the Internet economy in Africa. In a mix of presentations and roundtables, delegates looked at the different challenges and opportunities for expanding the digital economy.

The Internet’s role in supporting economic growth has been recognized by many as a key factor in promoting a sustainable development and fulfilling the global commitments of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for a Sustainable Development. The topic is closely linked to the role of skills and knowledge, creating a natural connection between the discussions on education and the growth of the Internet economy. We see this in regards to innovation, but also in transforming traditional industries to take advantage of the Internet.

One of the key questions is how to not only get individuals online, but also businesses. The positive synergies in terms of increasing the availability of local content and demand for access, while also improving the efficiency of business operations, is a key aspect of this, giving the topic a broader focus than just innovation.

As pointed out in a report by the World Bank the Internet makes up 1.3% of GDP growth in developing regions (World Bank 2016 Digital Dividends, p.55). Of particular importance is to note that 75% of the impact of the Internet on growth is in traditional industries, showing the benefits of the Internet for the entire economy (World Bank 2016 Digital Dividends, p.63). Keeping this in mind, it is important to look at the broader set of policies, ranging from infrastructure investment to e-government services that can facilitate and incentivize businesses to go online.

And as we have seen this week, such efforts benefit immensely from a supportive governance where all of the stakeholders involved can share their concerns and visions. It is the critical third leg of a successful enabling environment for the Internet to grow.

But Africa is also a leader and an inspiration. The innovative startups, and the new businesses that flourish in its path, are all unique and like most innovations, they emerge from a local context to address specific needs. From new solutions to connecting rural areas and providing e-government services in Rwanda to transformative financial services in Kenya (M-PESA). Governments were urged to innovate policies and entrepreneurial visions to keep the ecosystem functional and growing. Africa is already taking leadership that should inspire the rest of the world.

Growing the African Internet economy would require commitments of multiple stakeholders, a clear vision and deliberate policies from Governments to leverage ICTs across all sectors. Institutions of learning especially higher education were identified as catalysts in steering innovation and entrepreneurship growth and that re-thinking education and future of work is critical in growing African economies.

In wrapping up this final day of the first African RIDD we would like to extend our thanks to all the speakers and participants, the Rwandan Government, our partners not least the many participants and presenters that joined us online! who made this event a success. As Africa’s infrastructure and user base grows, the need to coordinate and manage Internet growth and development becomes increasingly important.

View all of the presentations from the African Regional Internet Development Dialogue (RIDD).

See also:


Development Growing the Internet Human Rights

African Regional Internet & Development Dialogue Tackles the World of Education

Dates 8-9 May, Kigali, Rwanda

The first ever African Regional Internet Development Dialogue (RIDD) was launched in Rwanda, Kigali on the 8 of May 2017, placing SDG 4 on Education at the center of the conversation of the first day of the meeting. Delegates had an opportunity to explore how the Internet can provide quick wins for education, but most importantly come up with real solutions that can be implemented immediately.

For Africa a skilled workforce that utilizes ICTs effectively is a key factor in determining its competitiveness in the global digital economy and fully exploiting its potential for sustainable growth. It is the basis for social and economic development, and the foundation of an Internet for everyone.

But Sub Saharan Africa faces considerable challenges in education, ranging from the absence of quality teachers, outdated or unavailable learning and teaching materials, to inadequate physical space (school infrastructure) for fast-growing learners.

Over 110 million school children between 6-18 years of age are out of school in Africa. Thirty-seven million young people require technical and vocational training and/or other forms of education that facilitate paths to their employment. Only about 6 percent of secondary school graduates find places in higher education in sub-Saharan Africa

The African RIDD is a collaborative initiative of the Internet Society, UNESCO and the Rwandan Government. The dialogue is meant to create a space for multiple stakeholders from across Africa to discuss various opportunities and requirements for entrepreneurship and innovation on the Internet for the socio-economic development of the continent. This high-level meeting is a gathering of technologists, policy makers, Internet players, and Internet Society chapters fellows from all regions of Africa, gathered to discuss actionable recommendations of how Africa can leverage Internet in addressing education and the Internet economy.

The Sustainable Development Goal for Education (SDG4) commits countries to addressing challenges and attaining universal pre-primary, primary, and secondary education and gender equity, and promoting youth learning for employability. Such commitments require innovative approaches that go beyond simply building more educational institutions. It involves using educational technology in various ways. As emphasized by Dr. Indrajit Banerjee Director, Knowledge Societies Division, UNESCO ”without the Internet, the traditional way will take a century”.

But the challenge is multifaceted and will require collective effort from multiple stakeholders each bringing their competences. Hon Jean Philbert Nsengimana the Rwandan Minister of Youth and ICT emphasized the need for collective effort and committed government.

The day concluded with key recommendations from participants ranging from improving infrastructure to incorporation of ICT into education policy. Importance was placed on the need to have a regional common vision and strategy in the addressing challenges in the education sector. More on the African Internet economy shall be discussed in day two.

Follow the event remotely.

See also:

Development Internet Governance

Several voices and one goal: how to foster Internet development in Latin America and Caribbean?

On 08-09 November 2016, the first Regional Internet and Development Dialog for Latin America and Caribbean (LAC-RIDD) was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at the historical building of Palacio San Martin. The event has been hosted by the Ministry of Communications in Argentina, the InterAmerican Development Bank and the Internet Society.

Following the successful experience from the Asia Pacific version of this event held earlier in October this year, we have brought together key stakeholders from the region who are working in different pieces for digital development.

The main takeaway of this first event is that everyone agrees and is eager to work in collaboration for drawing the Internet development plans.

More than 200 people have attended the event, which had a high level attendance from government officials from Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay and United States of America, as well as intergovernmental agencies, CEOs and Executive level of companies in different sectors (telcos, providers, internet industry) and representatives of the civil society, academia and technical community.

LACRIDD had 6 sessions covering topics as Access – demand and offer; Internet, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Education; Digital Economy and the launch of the Broadband toolkit (OECD-IDB). Each session had a moderator and a keynote speech, followed by a diverse panel of discussants.

First day was focused on Access challenges and opportunities, which can be summarized into 5 pillars to be tackled: connectivity, building capacities, regulatory frameworks, investment/resources, and social impact. The second day has been divided into 2 main axes: Internet and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Digital Economy.

Stay tuned! A full outcome report will be made available at:

We want heartily to thank our partners, the government of Argentina and the IDB, for the team work and hard efforts that led to this successful event. We also want to thank our local Argentina Chapter for the support with the rapporteurs.

Do you want catch up with the LAC RIDD discussions? You can watch the video recordings at: 

Send any comments to: <>

Internet Governance

Growing New Partnerships To Connect The World

It’s been a year since we adopted the Sustainable Development Goals – a new roadmap for international development.

It is an exciting time for those of us who focus on bringing Information and Communication Technologies to the world. While Goal 9 calls out the need for Internet access, it is also clear that Internet development is key to accomplish all the SDGs.

But the task is a big one. Rough estimates say we’ll need at least $1 trillion of additional annual investment in developing and emerging economies to achieve them.

It’s numbers like these that have a lot of people wondering if achieving the goals is possible. We say it is.

We’re In This Together

If we’re serious about bringing the Internet to the world — and we are — it’s going to take all of us.

The Internet community will need to form new and different partnerships that will bring us outside of our traditional expertise. Likewise, the International Development and Aid agencies can benefit from the deep expertise we hold in Internet policy, development, and technology.

That’s why we are launching the Regional Internet & Development Dialogues (RIDD) around the world. The objective of these meetings will be to bring together International Development and Aid agencies, governments, businesses, and people. Together, come up with concrete plans on what we can do to help connect the next billion and how we can work together to help those plans succeed.

The discussions will begin in Bangkok, Thailand, on October 3rd and 4th where Internet Society, in partnership with United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) are organizing the first of this series of events.

The second RIDD planned for 2016 will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, organized by Internet Society in partnership with the Interamerican Development Bank (IADB) and the government of Argentina. It begins 8 November 2016.

Representatives of organizations like the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Economic Forum (WEF), World Bank, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), organizations of the Internet Community and others will join this discussion.

If you have a voice and a passion for helping the world achieve the Sustainable Development Goals we need you there.

A Chance To Think Differently 

This is the opportunity to provide a fresh view on the issues, as well as an opportunity to identify and create synergies.

Throughout 2017 we plan to continue bringing these dialogues around the world, each with a focus on local challenges and solutions that work.

We Can Do This

By working together, we have the opportunity to create one of the biggest win-wins in history.

The more inclusive we are, the better our collective outcomes will be.

When people get access to the Internet, it can change just about everything. It can help us fight to end inequality, get access to quality education, and build partnerships to move things forward.

Join us. If you would like to take part in one of the Dialogues, please get in touch.