IGF 2016 - Day 0 - Room 3 - Global Connect, IEEE, ISOC, ITU, UNESCO, WEF, AND THE WORLD BANK - Advancing Solutions for Connectivity: Improving Global Coordination and Collaboration

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Jalisco, Mexico, from 5 to 9 December 2016. 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. 


>> KAREN McCABE: Good afternoon.  We're going to wait for some folks to take their seats.  We'll work with the venue as we have it here.  I appreciate everyone's patience waiting to start.  We know that lunch started the same time that this session started, so we wanted to give people an opportunity to grab something if they needed to. 

Okay.  So, we're going to jump right in.  So, good afternoon.  I'm Karen McCabe, and I'm with the IEEE.  And I work on many of our collaborative efforts that address internet governance and connectivity.  So, welcome to our day 0 event on advancing solutions for connectivity: Improving global coordination and collaboration.  We have ICANN, IEEE, the International Telecommunication Union, UNESCO, the World Bank and the world economic forum.  So, we also want to thank IGF for the opportunity to host this event.  So, the way the afternoon will unfold, after some introductory remarks, we will launch into a series of lightning talks.  One will be on a current set of themes, and then one will also be from a regional perspective.  And we really wanted to be extremely interactive.  I know it's a tight room.  We will also have break‑out sessions that we can share our perspectives and learn from each other and see how we can advance solutions.  So, let's get started. 

I'll start by saying a few words on behalf of the IEEE.  Just to set the context, we're known as one of the world's largest technical professional associations.  We have over 430,000 members and our mission is to advance technology for humanity.  The connecting the unconnected as you can see, is very near and dear to IEEE's heart.  The way we advance technology for the advancement for humanity is we do this for hundreds of local communities around the world that we have.  So today we're here to connect. 

With this, I would like to start my remarks talking a little bit about interoperability.  My roots, just for background, are in the technical standards word.  Interoperability implies there's a range of vendors who work together.  Things, systems, etc., work together seamlessly.  It goes beyond just being compatible to full integration and flow.  I think that categorizes the spirit of what we're trying to do at this session.  That's why I bring this concept up.  It's our collective work among the many projects and initiatives to connect the unconnected that will be able to meet the goals that we have put out for ourselves and reach the sustainable development goals as well. 

It goes beyond compatibility and is a true form of organic interoperability.  The purpose is to build the framework, our system, our network, basically our fabric, as we work to address global issues on a local level with a for human‑centered focus.  There are many challenges and opportunities that sit in front of us.  If we are to meet these goals set out for ourselves in connecting the unconnected and bringing the internet to those who don't have meaningful access at this point, there's more work to be done.  But I think collectively, we can do wonderful things together.  So, the good news is there's a growing visibility and awareness of the challenges of the work being done on connecting the unconnected, and we'll hear some of those stories.  There are many significant initiatives and projects being driven by many organizations and bodies.  These efforts are looking at a broad range of digital divide barriers: financing and investment, policy regulation and technology, to name a few. 

So, the next phase is to see how we can connect our efforts and connect this framework in this network of interoperability and create this interoperability paradigm.  And that's why we are here today and why IEEE and communities of technical experts are committed to working alongside everyone working on projects in the interconnectivity space. 

Earlier in 2014, we stood up an internet initiative.  And I have the original charge, if you will, to connect experts with policymakers.  That initiative has given us a tremendous opportunity to get connected to many organizations doing impactful work in internet space, many of which are sitting on this stage alongside me today.  We believe that we can connect our local communities to be part of a connectivity core or a larger community.  And we're also pleased, as an example, we have our humanitarian folks from Tunisia this week who are doing tremendous things from a volunteer perspective, primarily working with libraries.  If you stop by our booth, give a bit of a plug, you will learn what they're doing.  It's just the spirit of what we're looking to accomplish today as well.  And they epitomize that. 

In closing I look forward to an amazing afternoon where we can learn from each other and we can advance solutions for meaningful and impactful connectivity.  I will hand over the mic to my colleague, Joyce. 

>> JOYCE DOGNIEZ: I hope for some fruitful discussions later this afternoon.  Now considering the current political environment that we live in, the concept of an inclusive internet of an open and secure and trusted internet is crucial.  And I think it's fair to say that all of us today in the room.  We're very glad to see that the IGF has taken up the theme of access for development in the overall agenda.  The renewal of the IGF mandate has reset the focus of the forum towards the sustainable development goals.  It's now time to look concretely on how we can move forward.  How we can have an impact and have a meaningful impact.  A good example of how we can move things forward is a framework developed by the IGF on the policy options for connecting and enabling the next billion.  This is concretely how the IGF can serve the community. 

Now how do we move from speech to action and from action to relative positive impact?  There are many examples of projects and Karen just mentioned a couple that show a positive impact on the lives of people.  The internet society has funded and supported over 200 community projects globally over the last ten years, providing access to the internet of opportunity to people all over the world. 

When mapping those projects to the SDGs, we realized that those projects directly or indirectly connected to and supported 14 out of the 17 SDGs.  However, the positive impacts these projects have on people's lives are only possible if we work on this together.  If all stakeholders come together to create an environment that enables an open, trusted, and affordable access to the internet.  To preserve the internet as we know it, to make it better, safer, stronger. 

Today to make development a reality, all of us need to work together on immediate steps to expand infrastructure, to foster skills and entrepreneurship, and develop a positive governance system.  This is what at the internet society call a policy framework for an enabling environment.  It will be important to walk away today after the discussions we have this afternoon with a plan that can be tangible contributions to the IGF and to link it to the main session on Friday on connecting and enabling the next billion. 

>> KAREN McCABE: Thank you, Joyce. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Good afternoon everyone.  ITE is thrilled to be working with all of you, and of course we, like others on this panel and others in the room, we, too, are resolved to work together to advance connectivity.  Because this issue is far too big and far too important to be done alone.  Connectivity, as many of you know, is deep in ITU's DNA, since our very beginning back in 1865.  The key focus is about connectivity, and many of you are familiar with our connect 2020 agenda.  Connect 2020 is a commitment by all governments, and it's an invitation to all stakeholders to work together to advance specific and measurable targets in the areas of growth, inclusiveness, sustainability, innovation, and partnerships.  3.9 billion...  that's a figure that we will be hearing all throughout the week.  3.9 billion people that are still offline.  When we look at the world's least developed countries, the situation is not good.  In six LDCs, access is less than 3%.  And we all know that the 2030 agenda, goal 9, 9C specifically, calls for all of us to strive to achieve universal and affordable access in LDCs by 2020.  We have a lot of work to do.  And in the words from this morning in the main session, we have a lot of unfinished business.  Two weeks ago, the ITU launched the measuring the information society report, and what they showed in that report that as many of you know, 95% of the world's population lives in areas that are covered by mobile cellular.  84% of the world's population live in areas that are covered by mobile broadband networks.  Yet $3.9 billion people are not on the internet.  As Vince said, we have a lot of unfinished business to do, and that's what we can do this afternoon in our session. 

We need to be focusing on demand.  We need to be focusing on ways to drive demand and to stimulate demand and to do that, we have to tackle the challenge of affordability, because affordability is a major issue as costs are prohibitively high, in particular in developing countries.  We also need to focus on digital literacy and skills.  And of course, we need to build trust and confidence in our networks.  We need to do more to minimize the negative impacts of cyber insecurity and cyber instability.  We need to be innovating together, and we need to be focusing on SDG17.  As I said, no single entity can do this alone.  Believe that by working together, by sharing expertise and experience by sharing our insights, that we really can make real progress and we can accelerate growth for the global good. 

A couple of months ago, many of us came together for the internet for all initiative.  The minister is not here.  He said coming together was is beginning.  We did that.  Keeping together was progress.  And we're still together, so that's good.  And working together is success.  And I believe that all of us today and on ward can work together to make success and to ensure that those 3.9 billion people have access to the internet.  Thank you. 

[ Applause ]

>> KAREN McCABE: I'm going to pass this mic down to Manu. 

>> MANU: We saw a small uptick, and what can we do as a community to really accelerate efforts to close the gap?  In a meaningful way? 

A lot of times at the IGFs, you hear about the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance.  I think what we have done all together is make it real.  I would say maybe two years ago, the technical community may not have been as organized as they are today thanks to Karen's leadership, IEEE's leadership.  I would say that we didn't necessarily have important stakeholders and development banks at the table like they are today.  I would say that we did not have global conveners and all the leadership that they can bring at the highest levels like we do today.  I'm thrilled to see that we are making the model we talk about a reality when it comes to connectivity.  Since we are in the Americas, I wanted to provide a bit of context about the state of connectivity here.  90% of the region is covered by mobile broadband.  Closer examination of the figure reveals that only about 50% of the people are connected or online.  Research into this cause points to multiple reasons:  lack of locally relevant content and affordability among segments of the population. 

The benefits of the internet are starting to come to the Americas.  Many countries are progressing at a very fast rate.  The United States, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, are among many to mention.  Mexico ranges strong with 123 million users and an adoption rate of 56%.  But we need to tell the other side of the story.  Bolivia, Belize, and others are on the bottom.  There's a reason why access is high in Colombia but low in Bolivia.  There's a reason why it might be high in Chile and low in Guatemala.  Some governments do much more than others to facilitate access for people in poor or remote areas.  And the starting point for every country is to have a clear and comprehensive national broadband plan that allows for private investment, encourages competition, removes obstacles and takes advantage of schools, libraries and community centers.  That's partly why the United States launched the global connect effort to bring an additional 1.25 billion people online by 2020.  It's the right goal and there's a huge return on investment.  According to one study, penetration levels across the developing world provides a rate of return as much as $17 for every one dollar spent. 

Global connect had a new idea that it brought forth.  The idea is that internet connectivity is as fundamental as roads, ports, electricity and infrastructure.  We have learned through this initiative and through our outreach that typically only 1 or 2% of the budget goes to connectivity today.  We think there's a demand for companies.  And we have been thrilled with the support that we have received.  The initiative has many roles.  Second, to work in cooperation with multilateral development institutions to double lending to connectivity technologies by 2020.  This was an agreement that we reached at the World Bank in April.  We also reached another important agreement, which is to think about connectivity and how it can have impacts not only for governments but also for banks in providing better connectivity for hospitals and schools, etc.  And finally, to harness...  to implement solutions for high speed affordable access. 

Since the launch, over 40 countries and several in the Americas have expressed support and we are thrilled to be partnering with them.  When I first thought about launching the initiative, we got great advice from the network start‑up resource center.  They encouraged us to take a listen‑first approach.  Offer your services and your support to countries.  Make sure that they are aware that the resources exist, and simply be there to help and listen to where they need the most help.  Whether it's on the technical, investment, or industry side.  With that humility, we can all succeed.  We are so excited to be here today and grateful to our partners.  We look forward to not only today's discussion but really trying to accelerate progress in the coming years.  Thank you so much. 

[ Applause ]

>> KAREN McCABE: It is wondered what the scientific and cultural organization has to do with connectivity or striving to achieve our common goal of universal internet access by 2020.  First, we provide policy advice to member states in our domains.  We are a clearinghouse because we're an independent broker in this field.  We don't have any interests to protect.  We facilitate international cooperation and we strengthen capacities including institutional capacities in member states.  And of course, we have a very strong linguist civil society, and actually UNESCO's member states adopted the principles standing for human rights‑based open, accessible, and multi‑stakeholder shaped internet.  So multi‑stakeholder is really part of it, too. 

One first point that I want to make is clearly connectivity is not equal to providing universal access.  Of course, we are fully working with everyone on connecting.  Why do some people never use access?  And of course, the competencies are mentioned and affordability was mentioned by some of you before, too.  Meaningful content and the barriers of language where thousands of languages can actually not be accessed today are really barriers.  Girls and women have less internet access and often it alters the skills.  There are a number of barriers which add to the pure connectivity barrier.  And I think we have come a far way also in terms of us acknowledging this.  Before, sometimes a goal of UNESCO was the only one speaking on the second part of the same coin.  And we heard today that several of us mentioned that.  For us it is also important to walk the talk, to really...  in fact, it is really relatively simple, as challenging as it might seem when I say that, to connect, for example, schools. 

It is much more challenging to make good use of ICTs in teaching and learning, to train the teachers, to integrate, to produce content, to integrate it into the curriculum, to revise evaluations, to create policies.  And walking the talk means also that we need to invest differently, and really provide substantial amounts from the outset when we conceive a project into the components.  We are delighted to contribute to the efforts and of course we see the compliments in our work.  And we see the necessity to bring both parts of the coin together. 

And one last word on how we have about more than 70 offices and institutes through which we work, and 195 national commissions in nearly all states through which we work.  We have about 550 actives.  That's the part where we need to connect with everyone.  Thank you. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: We're switching here.  Thank you, Karen, and thank you to the IEEE who really carries the weight to get us all here in the room and be able to have six hours together to try to solve these problems.  And thanks to my co‑hosts who are here with me to really share how we believe what needs to be done.  Over a year ago, we were challenged to the global connect initiative to connect 1.5 unconnected citizens of the world.  There at that meeting was the president of the World Bank, Dr. Kim, who fully endorsed the initiative.  We then followed that up with meetings during our spring meetings in April 2016, where we were very proud and honored to host Dr. Kim...  excuse me.  Dr. Kim and secretary John Kerry who came and basically, again, echoed the need to really marshal resources together.  Because this is such a big, big issue that we have to deal with.  And it's not going to be easy.  It's not as easy as the mobile miracle was.  We're going to have to be much smarter.  It was reiterated that if we're going to bring online and make functional several billion people into the digital economy, we better do it quickly because the opportunity cost of not doing that is going to cost more highly than it would now. 

We had two days of intensive, comprehensive workshops to try to solve this problem.  I think we made great strides and had great discussion.  So, you're asking is this all we do is meet?  Well, no.  We have to do more.  And so, the World Bank's view is that we can do our part.  With that little part, we hope to leverage big, big, big, big money, big, big technical assistance.  What the world bank does, we have two organizations within us.  There are actually five, but two that really are known as the financiers.  The World Bank and the international finance corporation.  So, we're saying let's get together.  Let's create the World Bank group broadband initiative.  We're looking internally first.  Before we can really expect to be the world leader that we can be.  In August of this year, our president, Jim Kim, and CEO of the IFC came together and made a commitment at the TCAT, the Tokyo international conference on African develop and said we're going to invest $4 billion.  Well, that's nice, but where is it going to get us?  We expect to get 250 million more people online, and we expect that with this amount, we can leverage another five times that.  If we do that, and our donor partners also do that, we may solve this, so that's what we're going to do.  We're going to work differently internally and meet those objectives over the next ten years.  We're trying to do our part and with all of your assistance, I think we can do much, much more.  I look forward to sharing ideas with you this afternoon and really moving this towards results.  Thank you. 

[ Applause ]

>> NIGEL: Good afternoon, and thank you very much for inviting ICANN to be a part of this as well.  I wanted to...  I thought there was an advantage in going last, because I think...  I think in reflecting on what's been said, there's a number of clear issues that come out of it for us in particular.  I'll say a bit about what ICANN contributes to this later on.  I won't speak for too long.  First of all, what are the positives?  Because there are some negatives, but what are the positives?  I think the positives are that we're in this room talking.  The positives are that governments, businesses, civil societies, civil society organizations are committed to the goals.  So, that's the positive.  If we weren't all committed, if we weren't in this room all committed to achieving these goals, then we wouldn't have success.  So, the positives are we're here.  The positives are we haven't got our act together before, but perhaps we have now, and the positives are that there is a real agenda going forward.  As you've heard with projects in numerous countries and the World Bank and of course, with the government initiative as Manu has been outlining.  There's lots of positives.  And technology is going in the right direction as we'll hear later on.  The technology is leading us into an area where we should be able to do much more.  The goals set out in the 2030 agenda at the U.N. last year should be realizable in terms of technology. 

But where is the failing?  Where is the bad news?  Because there has to be bad news.  I'm not saying bad news is good.  But if we listen to what is said, if we look at what is...  if we look at the statistics.  If we look at the take‑up rates for broadband in Latin America and elsewhere, there must be bad news.  Where is that bad news and what can we do about it?  We heard at telecom world the fantastic initiatives that are taking place in the northern African corridor.  Connectivity.  Lots of money, lots of initiatives, lots of effort to do connection.  But we also heard from operators at that conference, they said yes! You as a northern African government, you're committed to this agenda and the sustainable development goals and connectivity.  So why are you taxing us?  Why are you charging us for 4G spectrum?  Why are the prices so high?  Why aren't you doing pairing?

Why don't you have independent regulation?  Why don't you have competition?  Why don't you teach in your schools?

Why is there agenda gap?  These are the questions that we have to ask as well.  Because unless we get those fundamentals right as well, then all of the other positives aren't going to really offset those disadvantages.  So, we have the environment to do this.  We have everyone sitting in the room.  And we really must do better in terms of some of the fundamental policy legislative and directions.  And there's also the other outside factors as well.  Cyber‑security, privacy, intellectual property.  Yes, they are connected.  Yes, they do have important connects in terms of how the sustainable development goals are going be realized there are positives, but there's an awful lot of work to do.  ICANN is a player.  We coordinate the domain name system.  We introduce international domain names.  We're committed to multi‑linguicism.  We're working on universal acceptance to the new domain names can be accepted.  We have to have this wider conversation as well.  Thank you very much. 

[ Applause ]

>> MODERATOR: Nigel should have went last. 

>> ALEX WONG: I see many friends and partners in the room that I'm looking forward to catching up with other the course of the week.  We're also together with global connect and IEEE, maybe the newer actors to this space.  We at the world economic forum saw that we needed to bring together partners, multi-stakeholder collaboration around this issue of fundamental internet for all.  I'm pleased that we're together as IGF because I think we're trying to show a couple messages.  This should be a solvable problem.  There's individual solutions that all of you in this room are probably involved with, or global solutions.  If we can just all work together, we have to be able to solve this issue.  I think the second point, therefore is, and this is the work we have been doing.  It's been echoed by other panelists.  This is an eco‑system issue.  It's not just infrastructure or affordability.  Our framework also includes the need for skills and awareness and also for content.  And that's why everyone in the room has to be working together if we're going to address the issue. 

Therefore, there could be others on the panel at this front line as well, and I'll just mention a few of the other partners that have been part of the global effort to work together.  I've named organizations on purpose because I think as global organizations representing an association of some sort or a governmental or intergovernmental or civil society on a global level, we're trying to work together globally to try to come to you together as one voice and one effort.  That's in the form of two areas that we're trying to help work together with everyone here on the panel on that we're looking at specifically.  One is on a set of global topics.  So, later on in the lightning rounds, these topics have been building on these global discussions on a series of topics where we think everyone needs to be working together on in terms of turning the common themes into actions.  That is how the first round of lightning talks are shaped.  The second element, which is part of Doreen, let's take it to action is on the country regional break‑outs.  I'm happy at the forum that we've been trying to broker a couple models, but collectively, us on the panel have made a commitment that in 2017, we will try to come up with a portfolio of five to ten countries where we can all agree to try to coordinate together.  It's not just all of us from the non‑business side but the corporate partners sitting in the room like Facebook and Microsoft and others in the room that I'm sure I'm missing.  A year from now, when we come back, I hope we're moving into country operational phase, where we're creating a platform where we can all work together.  That's why all of you coming from your different organizations are invited to be part of that journey over the course of the week.  Please come talk to any of us to find out how to get more involved.  This is only going to be solvable if we have everyone work together.  I'll stop there since we have a lot to cover over the course of the next few hours as well as the next week.  I want to thank, again, all of our partners on the panel and those in the room because, as I said, this should be a solvable problem and I think this is a great opportunity to get more momentum in the IGF

[ Applause ]

>> KAREN McCABE: Well, thank you.  We're going to move into our lightning talks.  Thank you, Alex, for setting the tone on the topics or themes that Alex briefly touched upon.  To make it a bit more comfortable up here, because we have eight topics and eight people as we can tell is a little tight up here.  What I'm going to ask is the first four, if you will, of the lightning talk speakers, we'll have our moderator come up.  We'll have Christopher, Paul, Mitchell, Doreen, please stay.  And then we will swap out to the other four speakers if that's more convenient and comfortable.  Be careful stepping down there. 

While everyone is getting settled up here, we're going hear from speakers on eight themes in a lightning talk concept.  It's meant to be three or four minutes to impart a lot of information quickly to sort of set the stage.  After this session, we want to hear from the audience.  Eight themes are a lot to have eight break‑out sessions.  We will do a rapid-fire voting, and my colleague, Justin, will help facilitate that.  No pressure, Justin, to down select, if you will, another standards term, the five top themes that people want to have break‑outs around based on what you're hearing today.  We'll go through two rounds of lightning talks here quickly, and then we'll get into that voting stage. 

>> MODERATOR: Now to Christopher. 

>> CHRISTOPHER: There are a vast array of businesses on supply and demand side, but no one is collecting data on them, or if they are, it's done in an idiosyncratic way.  I believe it's important to focus in on metrics that will deliver the kinds of comparisons that we need to make in order to make...  to help ministries, investment banks and other financial institutions and people who are bombarded by people's claiming their technology or their approach is the greatest new thing for connecting more people to the internet to make some sense of that, to actually understand the situations, the context in which you will use this technology versus that technology and to understand basically how effective they are.  That's why we are leading an effort called one world connected and it explains why I'm wearing orange converse tennis shoes and not wearing a tie.  A whole bunch of issues are being posed in terms of gathering data.  The need for baseline metrics.  You need to have people in the projects before to understand what the difference is to get a before snapshot as well as an after snapshot.  The need to tie metrics not just to connectivity but to sustainable development goals as mentioned earlier.  Health care, education, because we...  the internet lovers tend to think of it as a value in itself and we forget that it is instrumental to other values.  Vast number of other problems.  Confidentiality.  It's hard to get people who have the data to release it.  The need for independent verification.  All of these are problems that can be solved, but they are difficult ones.  We're trying to, with a university‑based platform where we can do the verification and confidentiality in ways that are helpful.  It remains a challenge and developing the advanced metrics to measure the SDGs remains the biggest challenge because that's where the scholars who are working after this field for decades have yet to settle on a clear set of metrics.  I will close by inviting you, we actually have a booth.  In booth number 1 in the village if you want to learn more about the effort.  We do have coffee for free from 9:00 in the morning to 2:00 in the afternoon. 

>> MODERATOR: We will ask speakers to do about three speakers and then take a few questions.  So now we will turn over to Paul on coordination on basic digital skills training. 

>> PAUL: It's this one?  Okay.  So increasingly today's jobs require ICT skills.  Roughly half of all jobs today probably require ICT skills, and this is expected to rise.  That means that it's critical that we focus on insuring today's youth get the digital skills that they need to be successful and productive.  Nigel asked where the bad news is, so here's some.  There's 149 million youth in the Latin region and less than 50% of them finish high school.  One in five are neither working nor in school.  There's double the youth unemployment versus adult unemployment rate.  17% live in poverty.  And the piece of good news is there are 6 million new IT jobs in this region.  If that trend continues, it will be difficult for countries in this region to compete on a global scale.  So, there's many focused on the issue of affordable access, and we will talk more about that throughout the day.  Driving down prices for connectiveness is great, but it's not sufficient.  Even if connectivity prices are low, it has to be addressed on several levels.  There's a bunch of factors that need to be addressed over time starting with basic numeracy and literacy.  Some include things like ensuring locally relevant content and services in the local language, insuring services are accessible, ensuring a focus on women and girls for gender equity.  Developing proactive teacher training to incorporate the use of ICTs throughout the education curricula rather than as an afterthought.  Creating incentives for teachers to learn these as new scales.  So, these topics were all addressed at the recent global connect.  It was mentioned in the last session.  Among the opportunities that were noted for collaboration was acceleration across sectors.  First coming to recognition that there are really user skills and creator skills that we talk about in the digital skills world where user skills are basic skills to make use of commercial devices and applications and have the ability to use them in a sort of sip call working environment, where creator skills include programming capabilities and advanced content production.  Not everyone will be a coder, but everyone will need at least user skills.  There's already a wealth of training curricula for user and creator skills including content from internet society and also entities including Microsoft.  We're focused on enabling inclusion.  In Latin America, we collaborate closely with the trust for Americas and others.  And the secretaries of youth in different countries.  Through these programs and partnerships, we push for labor inclusion processes, IT skills development specifically for youth and young women.  And at the policy level we're supporting the adoption of youth policy recommendations including coding in schools, special curricula and non‑formal education in partnership with UNESCO and OIJ. 

We're convinced this kind of collaboration is critical to achieving long term success.  I look forward to taking questions in the rest of the session today. 

>> MODERATOR: The next topic is gender in the digital divide.  Doreen? 

>> D0REEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: I feel like the pressure is on here.  So, last year as many of you know in the plus 10 review and negotiations, we concluded that we fell short one of the commitments that was made and that was the commitment on achieving equal participation for women in the information society.  We know that there's 250 million women offline.  We know that the gap is growing.  We know that that gap is bigger in least developed countries with 31%, and in Africa, 23%.  And we know that 1.7 billion women in lower middle income countries do not own a phone.  So why does this matter? I'm going to tell you briefly a little story.  I got to meet a founder of a program based in Venezuela.  Iliana set up this center to provide ICT training to women who had no education and to women that came from low income groups, and to women that, in most cases, were subject to domestic violence.  She brought in these women.  She taught them ICT skills.  They had the opportunity to receive counseling and support in other areas and so far, she has graduated 20,000 women that have gone on and be able to have this experience as giving a lasting impact economically for all of these women. 

This story shows that empowering women in the digital world impacts economic opportunities, and leads to greater empowerment for women all over the world.  We know that if we improve access to ICTs, if we provide the necessary digital skills, we give tremendous opportunities and benefits that can be amplified across society, benefit families, and societies as a whole.  Bridging the digital gender gap is an economic imperative for the world.  Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.  Great story.  And the final speaker is Alex Wong.  Alex? 

>> ALEX WONG: Should also let Doreen go last, too.  Infrastructure.  So, this theme is money.  So, 70 trillion dollars.  That's the amount of money that sits in long‑term investor's funds, looking to spend somewhere.  Many of you know there's been a lot of discussion about getting more money into general infrastructure.  This theme is about how can we direct some of that money to ICT connectivity infrastructure?  I would argue that the low‑hanging fruit are done.  We've already made the progress to get us to the 4 billion connected so far.  The last 3.9 billion, and in particular the last billion, there is no financial business model right now.  So, the topic of blended finance, and I'll read you that definition if some of you are not familiar with it.  It's defined as the strategic use of grants or grant equivalent instruments together with non‑grant financing from private and or public sources to provide financing on terms that would make projects financially viable or sustainable.  So, this topic is about how can we figure out how to connect into the 70 trillion plus dollars that are sitting there looking for a home to be spent.  And of course, the long‑term investors themselves.  That's what we want to talk about.  How can we put the infrastructure on the agenda of the long-term investors?

Right now, it's probably way down the list as compared to other infrastructure opportunities, and I think that's what we want to talk more about how to do that.  I'll give a final example of some of the work happening.  It is an organization that has been supported by the regional by laterals, trying to create a data base of templates so that any owner can put into this system the set of parameters that are needed to define an infrastructure project.  They so far have 35 templates.  Wed need to have enough level of detail where a project owner could be all the parameters on this data base.  So, that's just one example of some of the stuff happening already where the ICT infrastructure has to be added to some of these opportunities.  Thanks. 

>> MODERATOR: So, that's the first four themes.  We have time for two questions.  If you raise your hand, there's microphones in the room if you have a question, please.  Is there a microphone there? 

>> [ Question off microphone ]

>> ALEX WONG: So, the question alludes to the other way to promote more investing is to lower the costs of the business case.  And the cost equation touches on Nigel's comments which are all the taxes, I presume, and all that the governments are putting on infrastructure.  I think we should be more than happy to explore that as a side angle.  That's a topic on its own.  But it's a very good point.  We should look at that issue as well.  It's not covered in one of the other topics right now is it?  Probably embedded in a lot of the topics, but we should absolutely explore that more. 

>> MODERATOR: We can get more questions? 

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I have a mic, so I will take advantage of that.  I'm from the international association of libraries and institution, and I have a question for Paul about digital skills.  What's particularly effective?  Where should we be looking to do this?  I'm speaking from the perspective of where you're working towards? 

>> PAUL: There are regular gathering places.  We have focused on schools, libraries, health care institutions and public facilities as places for connectivity.  The issue with skills training is how to make sure that you get the right kind of instruction to the people who need it.  Which means in the schools themselves seems like a super ideal place if you can start it early enough.  If you...  we see this where we spent a lot of time investing in working the curriculum with teachers and other partners and getting teachers so they were comfortable using ICTs within the context of the classes themselves.  That model seems to work.  That's a unique...  that's one situation in the world. 

At the same time, it's important and it's also true in the Kenya scenario in that particular community, it's in the schools and also a community hot spot.  Several of them.  And we've made an effort to try to make sure that connectivity is not just this isolated thing. 

>> CHRISTOPHER: I think Paul is being too modest.  Scores went up across the board.  It was a dramatic impact.  That's one way to do it.  They have seen improvement in scores in every grade eventually, and every subject.  We're collecting this data.  There's some suggestions about doing it in if community based institutions.  There's suggestion that interactive is better than static training.  It's important to have sustaining efforts.  You need to have a way to connect to other people doing similar things to leverage it out.  If it's a one‑time shot it often doesn't have the depth that it would otherwise have. 

>> MODERATOR: On that note, we will switch to the second panelists.  Please join me in thanking them. 

>> MODERATOR: The next topic. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Thank you.  I co‑founded the people‑centered internet.  And the major priority is that we step into this frontier, this new frontier and actually do things because we don't understand enough about it to theorize about it.  We have to learn from practice.  In all of human history, a few moments stand out which change human lives irrevocably.  When we stood upright.  When we discovered fire.  When we drew.  Invented writing, discovered the printing press, when we began organizing ourselves beyond the family unit.  We are at the brink of the next shift when all of humanity will be connected to the internet.  No surprise, then, that one question as risen to the top of the global agenda.  Is it to be my tribe or our world?  Is it better to close borders or to open minds and openly work in diverse cultures and perspectives?  Encounters beyond diverse people will threaten tightly held world views.  New connections threaten personal safety.  New knowledge brings us to frightening frontiers that will take time to tame.  Advances in science, technology, and math can be fearsomely destructive or incredibly empowering. 

If we want to come together in the future, we have to paint a path to the future clearly enough that everyone can see, touch, taste, and feel it enough to want to create it together.  The digital gap working group has a commitment to work at the local community level.  It's hard to get the local voices.  So often we are sitting planning for people whose daily lives are foreign to us.  So, we're taking advantage of two major networks that are out there at the local level.  The IEEE has members in 160 countries.  The national federation of library associations has 320,000 public libraries.  They can provide a grid for us to tap into what's going on at the local level, what they care about, what the leaders consider as priorities.  We have to tap that knowledge. 

So, in mapping the gaps, we are recommending in our working group, that we tap the local communities, start with them and what's important to them.  Because that's the only way we can sustainably going ahead with the sustainable development goals. 

[ Applause ]

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.  On the topic of the sustainable development goals are Dominique. 

>> DOMINIQUE: I'm happy to be here on behalf of my colleagues and the members of the GSMA who work on a number of projects with so many partners here in addressing a number of the issues that you've already heard today.  But I will be talking specifically about measuring, basically, impact.  And the GSMA launched an impact in February or March, actually, on SDG impact.  And specifically, we looked at sort of four specific areas of measurement in targeting.  And we looked at target filtering, which had 169 different targets including economic targets as well as policy, investment and things like that. 

We also looked at drivers and what drivers were important in delivering different aspects of SDGs.  We identified 110 different drivers from sort of all over from different industries and from direct and indirect impacts as well.  We did an assessment on the drivers, and we didn't just look at the mobile industry, which obviously is very much important to our view, but we also looked at the other industries that play an important role in conjunction with the mobile industry on driver assessment.  And finally, we looked a metric identification and measurement.  So, we looked at 90 countries where we could have a look at the different SDG targets. 

We developed baseline scores and did a number of methodological approaches and different inputs to it.  But one thing that came out of this is though this report was the first report on this, what we're hoping to do and I'm hoping to get your feedback, is we're hoping to build up a set of impact assessments over the many years based on a number of different things and our methodology will change behind that.  But, accelerating the impact, we noted out of all of this, requires three different things.  And I think we've talked quite a lot about it already.  We heard about scaling networks.  The investment for creating connectivity and actually scaling it and making it quicker.  As well as access to delivering inclusion as Paul mentioned earlier as well, through education.  We looked at innovating core technologies and services and realizing that acceleration of this is going to be quite key in order to deliver on the SDGs, and finally the development of policy as well as partnerships as we heard earlier.  These were all key things that came out of that.  Finally, just out of our report and thinking about how to look at SDGs and measuring the impact, we committed as a mobile industry along with a number of other industries to develop a bigger road map with a focus on humanitarian assistance initially, but just over all to work closely with them.

To become an advocate for reporting annually throughout a variety of different places on SDG impact and to use the convening power of organizations to continue to talk about this. 

So, that is my perspective in terms of SDG impact monitoring, and I'm happy to answering questions and I look forward to talking with all of you further. 

>> MODERATOR: The next theme is E government services. 

>> Wai Min:

Good afternoon. I would like to share three trends that we observed in e-government since we started looking at its development in 2003.  

The first is integration. In recent years, we witnessed the evolution of integrated online services. 

Looking back, in 2003, there were already 45 countries providing a single entry or one-stop shop – but most were a listing of websites or downloaded forms.

Fast forward to 2016, more than 90 countries provide one-stop portals, with a majority providing truly integrated services across sectors or sub-sectors.

Much progress is also seen in smart ID or digital identity, which is necessary for integrated online or mobile services. 98 countries, more than 50% of countries, have implemented some form of digital ID.

An overwhelming 148 countries, out of 193, offers some form of transactional services, ranging from paying utilities through one gateway, to business license applications across sectors, and even birth certificates and death certificates.

My second point or second “I” is inclusion.

More governments, including the least developed countries are now delivering services specifically to help the poorest and different segments of the vulnerable populations, from helping women to find jobs in the informal economy, monitoring agricultural crop prices through SMS text, to encouraging students to participate in open data hackathon, and many others.   

E-participation – a term we introduced in 2001, but it’s now common term in many countries. This includes providing information online, consulting online and making policy decision online.

Governments are doing more – from online consultative in budget spending in urban development, to solving community social problems among local communities.

Inclusion ranges from “digital for all” to “digital by default”, “digital first” concepts, whether to reach the last 10% who are not using e-government in Denmark, or to provide basic online service through digital front offices in rural areas in Bangladesh, for reaching out to the 20% plus who are still living in poverty.

My third and last “I” is the emerging of intelligent online services.

From the use of chat bots to help users navigate online government services, to autonomous or self-driving public bus, use of machine learning, RFIDs and Internet-of-Things and artificial intelligence to provide personalized and interactive smart digital services.

The increasing sophistication of digital services are embraced in the strategic approach of smart cities in India, China and even smart nation concepts like in Estonia and Singapore.

But not all are rosy pictures – the digital gaps that we found in 2003 Survey still exist in the 2016 Survey. The least developed countries are still lagging behind – Africa countries are still lagging – there are much work to be done.

The challenges in the 3 “I”s – the integrative, inclusive and intelligent approach of e-government – range from ensuring privacy of personal data, to cybersecurity, technical difficulties for ensuring systems and data across agencies are interoperable, to lack of digital skills, for both supply and demand ends.

[[It is challenging itself to provide integrated and smart digital service in one sector, for example in providing universal health card – not to mention integration of smart inclusive services as a whole-of-government approach across sectors.]]   

Moving forward, governments needs to ask the hard questions:

Not just how many digital services they put online – but how frequent are these services used?

Not just how fast they could provide digital service, but if citizens are happy with these services?

Not just increasing the number of users, but leaving no one behind in pursuing digital government.

Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.  Now last but not least, the youth perspective.  Talking about youth and connectivity from the youth observatory. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Good afternoon.  Well, I want to talk about youth and connectivity.  I'm sorry.  I'm going to start saying youth is shaping the internet but how and why?  I can tell you about great examples such as Facebook created by college students.  Or a girl that I just met.  She came out from...  teaches while talking about her heritage. 

Some of us were born connected, so‑called digital natives.  But others can still access the internet as we know it.  How is youth affected by the lack of connectivity?  We have examples in many areas.  They don't have time to do it.  They have to work for the family and don't have time to do this.  In Brazil in the Amazon there are networks set up to connect. 

Even if they have a cell phone, they can play Pokémon go, because Googles maps don't map the streets in their area.  So, they can't play. 

How are we accessing the internet?  We have this problem and we have to prioritize the mobile world. 

We should raise awareness.  Especially about the youth who doesn't read.  How can I say it?  They don't have the education, how someone said in the first table.  How can we help the youth?  There is a youth of youth initiatives who are here.  They are here, like the one that I'm a part of.  So, what can be done?  We want to connect those who are not connected, the young people who are not connected.  I want to talk to you about this and hear what you have to say to me.  Thank you. 

[ Applause ]

>> MODERATOR: Thank you so much for that perspective.  We want to make sure everyone including the people that we think of as digital natives that they can become digital natives.  So, thank you for that.  So again, we have time for two questions, and then we will have the hard task of choosing five out of these themes to do break‑outs on. 

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you.  I want to just share quickly the perspective of central Asia.  It is a region which is land‑locked.  It's most far located from the sea.  It's very mountainous.  Highest countries in the world.  It's in a difficult neighbor.  So as a result, we have very expensive internet, which is expensive in absolute terms and in relation to income.  It's unreliable and it's very slow.  But what I found out is that we, in the region and probably in other developing regions, too, live in oblivion.  Unknown unknowns.  We don't know how bad the internet is.  We did a study, and the first one a year ago, and just then realized the situation with the internet in the region.  I think using this opportunity, I would call on the international organizations in the community.  Realizing these challenges that we face.  Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR: I thank you for that.  Another question? 

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I might say something about that.

>> MODERATOR: Please.

>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I think the People's Republic of China initiative is a tremendous opportunity for central Asia.  And if the global community can work out how to take advantage of that, there's an anticipated $48 trillion to be invested in the one belt one road, plus the maritime roads.  I have spoken with the IEEE smart village people, and they're excited about what we can do locally.  Imagine the new silk route, which could have internet kiosks all along the way. 

>> MODERATOR: One more question?  Okay.  Great.  We'll go to the voting.  First, again, please join me in thanking the four speakers. 

[ Applause ]

>> MODERATOR: This is where you all get to decide how this is going to go.  It's a shame that we're going to have to kick three of these topics off the island.  So, what I will do...  you know what?  I'm going to take the facilitator's prerogative.  I heard two loud rounds of applause.  One for gender and the digital divide.  And the second for youth and connectivity.  Does everybody agree that they should be immune and move on?  Do you agree?  Come on, they were great. 

[ Applause ]

The first one, improving data for internet inclusion.  Give a round of applause if you would like to have that as a break‑out group?  Okay.  The next is coordination on basic digital skills training. 

[ Applause ]

Okay.  Next, we have infrastructure development and impact investing for connectivity. 

[ Applause ]

Okay.  The next is mapping gaps for connect to thrive.  Round of applause if you would like to break into that one?  Okay.  You're off the island.  The next is sustainable development goals impact framework. 

[ Applause ]

Okay.  You're off the island, too.  Next is E government services.  I think we have our top three. 

[ Speaking off mic ].

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Read them off. 

>> MODERATOR: Improving data for internet inclusion, Christopher.  Coordination on basic digital skills training, Paul, and impact investing for connectivity with Alex. 

This may change the votes. 

[ Laughter ]

>> KAREN McCABE: So how we're going to work this, it's a little bit of a tight room.  So, bear with us as we arrange everyone.  The lightning talk speakers on those topics will be the facilitators of those discussions.  We will just sort of do it in order at the tables.  I will let Justin handle that difficult task. 

>> JUSTIN: We're going to do this.  Clearly, we have tables and we can't move them.  I'm going to walk down and ask everybody in one row to turn their chairs around.  The thing is this.  I know people want to go to different things.  So, we're going to have to do this very quickly.  I'm going to need you to turn your chairs around before you go.  I'm going to go down the rows and I will come back up and identify the topics.  So, we're going to skip this row right here.  So, I'm going to ask this row right here, get up, turn your chairs around.  This row right here?  Same here, get up and turn your chairs around.  You work them and get them to do it.  And these rows right here. 

So, what we're going to do, these back two rows, that is going to be youth and connectivity right here.  If you want to join that group, be at one of these two tables, okay?  Who do we have here?  Do you mind just guiding and making sure that everybody goes where they're supposed to go? 

Okay.  The next one is...  what was the next one? 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: I don't know what the last one was. 

>> JUSTIN: Gender gaps at this table right here.  And then we have improving data for internet inclusion in these two rows right here.  And then we'll do investment in these two rows.  Yep.  And then the mapping gaps up over there.  Yes.  And now you all have, as Karen mentioned, the individuals who spoke earlier are going to be leading the groups.  So, get going and come up with some results. 

[ Breakout sessions ]

>> KAREN McCABE: As you get into your discussion groups, what we're asking is to look at it from three perspectives.

What are the challenges or work that needs to be done around that theme?  One is what are the opportunities that are there?  Any success stories that you might hear about those particular themes, and the other is thinking in terms of who would be involved?  Who might be missing from that topic?  Who do we need to have at the table to help us get to that solution?  So, it's looking at it from challenges, opportunities, real work going on in that space as well as who and what and where needs to be involved so we can add that to the road map.  Thank you. 

[ Break‑out sessions ]

>> MODERATOR: Hi everyone.  This is your two‑minute warning.  Pull out your main themes and identify who your spokesman for your group will be and we'll be hearing from each group in about five minutes.  Thank you. 

>> MODERATOR: So we hit that time.  Can each group send your spokesman?  Each group's person please come to the podium.  Michael, you win the prize for getting there first. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Hi.  Everyone.  We're going to get started.  I think we're missing one break‑out group.  If you're that person, come to the table.  Hi everyone.  Thank you for being part of the various discussions on the five things that were selected for more deep conversation.  And with that, we're going to hear from each of the groups.

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: So we divided on four questions and we tried to answer some of them.  We have like people from Mexico and Lebanon.  So, we tried to get some experiences and see which we had in common.  Our access to knowledge is not good if you don't have access to the internet.  This could be something really bad.  Social ability, being a young person, you don't know where the parties and the meetings and social events.  In some cultures, like in Lebanon there are bigger problems in connectivity like war and troubles with refugees and this kind of stuff.  We discover...  not discover, but we find out, we use most social networks.  We can have troubles with future bubbles and fake news and who shapes our talks and what we do in our lives.  We have who affects our privacy.  Access is limited by current issues like the disrespect to the net neutrality principle.  So, we only can access to some products, some platforms that may not be good.  So, are young people better prepared to deal with the internet? 

We are digital natives, but we don't have too much digital literacy.  So, we have this lack of digital literacy that could harm our views on the internet.  We are shaping the -- as I said.   Internet, as I said.  Maybe we can do these things on our houses and universities, but when it comes to policymaking, we are like, not represented.  We tried to find some solutions on this, like parenting.  Try to teach the parents to talk to the kids, talk to their children.  And also, try to use the libraries on digital literacy.  Try to give them a new role.  Someone said like in Mexico, they do...  they use Wikipedia to create local content, hack‑a‑thons.  And how can young people get involved with policymaking?  There are those already that have these programs for the next generations and young people.  And also, empowerment through youth organizations created by young people and who are directed by young people.

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: I don't know if the group benefitted from the switch, but I did: I thought it was a great discussion that we had and I'll spend a little bit of time talking about it.  So, we divided the unconnected into two groups.  First the ones who could get access if they wanted to.  Maybe they live in the cities or in connected areas.  Maybe it's affordable.  But they have just chosen not to.  And a lot of surveys say that some people just don't see the interest or have the skills.  So, for that group, we talked about increasing demand, focusing on demand and creating the business case through increasing the demand to create the need for investment because the more demand, the more it will be used and obviously then people can make the business case themselves to invest in those regions as people go online.  And then we talked about the regions like we heard in the mountainous regions, the high cost regions, maybe with low population density.  It's hard to build demand where there's no access.  So here we talked about first creating sharing modelled to get some access in the villages so that people can connect.  We talked about community and access to help set up the networks.  Very low cost tools in these regions just to start to create the demand and make the business case using different technologies.  Maybe satellite and other technologies to serve.  Then we talked about another model that if the government is delivering a lot of services into those regions and it's quite expensive they can save significant money by delivering those services online rather than through more physical means, try to make the case for that, take those savings and investing them up front so that the government becomes the anchor tenant for this network that over the long term they will save money from being able to use.  And of course, that creates the demand, because those services that are delivered online have to be received online.  So, if it's paycheck or other services, people will go online through these shared networks to use them.  And finally, had an example to help increase outside investment where they had small projects where they just didn't have the scale or the risk.  Bundle them together under a portfolio of projects.  So, you get a lot of scale and you reduce the risk by spreading it out over a number of projects and increase the investment that way.  And eventually you will have a nice portfolio of projects that will be invested and sustainable by bundling them together. 

So, that was our read‑out.  Thank you. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: We were talking about data and getting the challenges.  We took it very literally.  I will take it in challenges, opportunities, and who should be involved in taking the charge literally.  But we're always looking to leverage existing data sets, but it's much harder than you this.  If you wonder why to compare the data collected, it just varies, and you have to unravel that.  It may require sampling and validation to try to make it work better.  The other thing that's said is there are certain kinds of data that are harder to gather.  Someone asked about legal impediments.  Some laws are very easy to study.  They are broad brush.  Some require a great deal of analysis to understand what they are.  Another person commented we are short on impact data and what is comparable.  There is a tendency to want to become more specific.  But at that point, countries and regions vary in terms of what is appropriate.  Finding the way to do that, clustering different types of countries.  It may be helpful.  Getting private companies who have a great deal which is very difficult.  It may be something that you have to find.  There are some examples of that as you can talk about.  Privacy puts restrictions on reuse of data.  You can't just casually grab a data set and use it.  Opportunities, there are a bunch of opportunities which are useful.  Locations of cell towers, broadcast their existence.  Data on rights of way and on repairs to roads and digging trenches is potentially shareable.  Local data, they're talking about some examples that divides the country into grids with population densities put on to them.  There are a number of commercial mapping applications. 

We should be involved.  Most of the discussions about local communities as the best source of data and some individuals are very interested in it.  It was common that that's hard to generalize globally because leaders will vary.  Private companies will have a lot of data.  They can only get government imposed op ligations.  They will only do it if it's in their interest.  But the hope is to expand beyond the traditional notion of civil society.  These are people who actually travel the field and have a great deal of experience about what conditions are.  We want ICT. 

>> DOREEN: So, our group was the gender group.  We actually didn't have gender balance.  We had more men than women in our group, so thank you very much to the men that joined us. 

[ Applause ]

We had lots of ideas and we concluded that there is no quick fix to this issue.  Because it's more than just giving a woman access to the internet or giving a woman a mobile phone.  It's the entire eco‑system.  And we noted that clearly the gender digital divide is widest where gender empowerment is lowest.  Or having access to ICTs.  We also noted in our discussion about challenges we also noted that the media is also, perhaps not doing enough, and that the role of the media is key if we want to get out there and start to change perceptions and mindsets.  And we noted that we don't want to turn boys into girls, but we do want girls to understand that there's lots of opportunities out there. 

It was also noted that some of the things that are keeping women offline?  Affordability is an issue.  Lack of relevant content sometimes.  In terms of opportunities, the opportunities are huge.  Imagine a world where we get women more involved in technology could perhaps completely change the face of our devices.  So, the impacts are huge and they do cut across all sectors of the economy.  Just one statistic from last year.  They mentioned that increasing the number of women working in IT could generate an extra 2.6 billion pounds each year.  We need to be bottom up and Tom down.  We need to get everyone involved. 

Education has a huge role to play.  Cedrick, we're counting on you.  We need policymakers to be involved.  We need the ICT industry.  We need the media.  We noted that perhaps we could encourage projects to have a specific gender requirement, ICT related projects.  Maybe that could be considered and if you want funding, you have to have some gender requirement in there.  We also noticed that countries that actually have gender in their national broadband plans are improving.  They're doing better.  So, that's something that we can encourage all countries to do in their national broadband plans. 

We definitely need more data.  We need to work more closely with you, Chris, because we need to show concretely impact based how ICTs really can make a difference in the lives of women and girls around the world. 

Finally, I informed my colleagues that we have a session on Friday where we will be talking about equals.

It's a multi‑stakeholder initiative that seeks to address the digital gender divide. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: And it has a secret sign, too. 

>> D0REEN: Yep. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: So digital skills working up from the end of the discussion.  It was really clear that if people don't see any value, they're not going to worry about building the skills.  So, a big part of this challenge is helping people understand what's in it for them.  People who are unaware of what access to digital infrastructure and skills and opportunities can mean for them.  We noted there was quite a discussion about sort of the socio‑cultural challenges where women and girls may not have access because they are forbidden from having access or they are beaten if they, you know, attempt.  We just note that all of these issues are actually really intertwined.  So, you can't just sort of solve for one point you have to recognize that there's a reaction in all parts of the sort of skilled eco‑system, or the user eco‑system that will happen as people increasingly achieve these skills.  It's noted that one of the things we need to talk about and develop plans for is actually media and information literacy skills, which also have an ethical dimension to them.  We talk about learning coding skills or, you know, creator skills, which I called them before, and user skills referencing the ability to sort of use devices.  But on top of that there's a need to develop information literacy so people can make appropriate choices and understand what they're seeing and how to put it into context of what they're reading and how to put it into context with the real world.  That's a very topical issue these days given the fake news stories, for example, that are floating around the internet today. 

We had some examples of existing programs and European commission programs for essentially training on how to be safe on the internet, which is related to the media and information literacy.  An example was just a program focused on connecting all the schools and where they didn't have necessarily competent teachers locally to actually use distance learning via the connected schools to actually help out. 

We also spent a bit of time talking about public libraries as one approach that can really scale.  Communities have libraries.  Librarians or people who are staffed at libraries, this is sort of within their skill set to sort of drill down into how to use these technologies and be sort of a focus for communities in taking advantage of the connectivity and, you know, essentially communities, libraries as the center of some communities can really be a place that can develop scale. 

We also talked about the use of mobile devices for training.  So, club internet.  An example of an onboarding experience that comes along with devices and in partnership to get people up to basic mobile skills.  And then the first, working from the end to the beginning, the first comment was really you need to focus on training trainers first.  And there's several examples of that in context.  And anything I missed out, I assume somebody else in a group will mention later. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Thank you.  We will move into our next segment on regional reports and experiences that pepper from Facebook will be facilitating for us.  Is there anything that people from the break‑outs maybe want to contribute that wasn't said?  Okay.  I think we're in good shape.  If you have notes from your break‑out sessions, send them to me.  And a round of applause, please?  With that, I'm going to ask Pepper to come to the stage and our regional group lightning talk speakers.  I lost my train of thought there. 

 >> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: We are going to go ahead and get started.  So, this part of the program is going to be looking at regional examples.  And I...  the idea here is to...  as Karen said when we started earlier this afternoon, to try to make this as pragmatic as possible.  It's about how can we move the needle to increase connectivity and adoption when it's available.  It's both about the supply side as well as the demand side. 

So, what we're going to do with the regional break‑out session.  It's not going to be a break‑out in the same way.  Karen and I sort of talked a little bit.  We're very flexible.  So, we're adapting.  And what I'm going to do is ask my colleagues up here who are from different regions of the world to provide some very concrete examples where there have been projects that have increased connectivity and adoption use and therefore benefits of being connected.  It's always important and good to know what does not work.  It's all about lessons and learned and being very pragmatic so that we can really move the needle and move it quickly. 

After some quick lightning round comments and suggestions, I then want to open it up to you because I expect that you, also, were involved in this together.  That you also have very specific and concrete examples that you can provide.  At the end of this, what would be great is if we all have lessons learned that others can learn from and that can feed into the projects that we heard about earlier on the opening panel.  So, with that, I thought what we would do is start...  let's start with Africa.  Right?  A for Africa.  Alliance for affordable internet, a terrific organization.  And they really have been making a difference.  So why don't you start off.  That would be great. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Wonderful.  So, I'll start with a quick overview of where we stand with numbers in Africa.  Approximately 25% of people are online, and those who are not online tend to be women, those living in poverty, and rural populations.  Through a study, we did at the foundation, we found that poor women are 50% less likely to access the internet than men in the same communities.  As far as internet growth usage in Africa last year, we only saw about 4% increase.  What is causing all of this?  The high cost has been mentioned as one big barrier.  Income inequality does play a role and tends to make progress look faster than it actually is.  And device cost is a hurdle. 

We believe through strong leadership emerging from governments, we can start closing the digital divide and even the gender digital divide.  We need to smash the affordability barrier and drive down prices through good policymaking.  The first global coalition with over 80 member organizations representing the private sector, governments and civil society.  Working at tackling high prices.  Our mission is to reduce the cost of basic broadband connection to enable hundreds of millions of people to connect.  We have a very ambitious target.  We are actually pushing for the adoption of a new target, which is that one gigabyte of mobile broadband should not cost more than 2% of average monthly income or what we call the one for two target.  If we don't take that it will take us until 2040 to come close to closing the divide. 

So, we're focused on driving policy and regulatory change.  It's action focused and using a blend of advocacy is, research and coalitions.  We have strong coalitions in many areas in Africa.  And in each country, a local coalition that identifies key barriers and works together to figure out how best to do that.  We have seen great success stories in Nigeria and Ghana where prices have been slashed and groups are able to challenge regulations and strong capacity to challenge regulations or laws in place that are causing the cost of access to remain high.

Under the web foundation, we have a broader program called the digital inclusion program.  We're working with actors and policymakers, governments and private and civil society actors to specifically address the gender digital divide.  It was great to hear that maybe one of the proposals should be for my programming initiative, that should be a way to ask. 

>> MODERATOR: You mentioned real success in Nigeria and Ghana.  Can you talk about those?  One of the things you mentioned was the ability for citizens and civil society to engage in the process and complain. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Not just complain but engage.  For instance, in Nigeria, there's a strong concerted campaign, and we have a great info graph story about how that worked.  They were able to speak with the communications regulator, if you will.  And lobby with numbers.  Especially women to get online.  Through that kind of coalition approach, the big win for the coalition group there. 

Even in Ghana, actually the government was finally able to slash taxes on a value‑added tax on mobile phones which were being considered luxury goods. 

>> MODERATOR: One example, reduce taxes. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Because we are able to show specifically which groups are harmed if we continued taxing mobile phones and other devices as though they are luxury goods.  Through research and advocacy and policy engagement, being able to show who is hurt by these measures.  That's been a big win.  Trying to bring all of these accesses to the same place.  Various regulators don't know what they're doing.  To really engage with the actors to see what things look like on the ground. 

>> MODERATOR: That's great.  Very concrete.  Asia?  It's on. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Okay.  Really, Asia is...  Asia's success will not come as a surprise to anybody.  It's because markets have worked.  It's because competition has worked.  It is stuff that everyone was talking about 30 years ago.  Where we have failed is where markets have not worked.  Why we have huge amounts of retail level competition.  Prices are among the lowest in the world.  Meeting the barrier, we still are looking at 20 to 30% of our populations in any given country being online.  So, that's very low.  It has not given access to the internet.  And where we have failed, as I said where markets aren't working specifically has to do with the backside of things.  Wholesale prices are still monopoly controlled.  We don't have fiber networks that go across to most countries.  And what you see is the state entering a La Australia with national broadband plans and failing miserably. 

The governance structures which don't involve private sector participation have also failed in universal service funds.  If you at least have private sector actors, they have been somewhat effective.  The government has managed to take over large universal service funds and not spend it.  So, the state is part of the problem. 

It also doesn't help that countries increased taxes on mobile services at the retail level.  We now pay 42% taxes on our mobile bill.  And yet at the same time the government goes and gives its biggest allocation to ICT sector development for government services and rolling out networks.  So, I think they're confused whether it's a demerit good or a merit good. 

We also see from, let's say, India.  There are lots of local communities and actors.  What they need is some kind of connectivity that they should be able to buy from the existing operator.  Which surprisingly, if they say I've got a village of 1,000 people and I can pay you this much, just give me connectivity, the first question is what are you going to use it for.  In fact, they should be like thank you, you're a new customer, right?  So, what happens is unless you operate in multiple states and can buy in bulk, you actually don't even get it in your village, and that's a problem.  You need a license and they don't have the money to bid.  They would really not cause harm and they run temporary networks which creates the market for them to enter.  

Now mobile phone on a ship.  So, the stark contrast is people who own a smart phone, so Myanmar, the most recent country to get connected, about a year ago, 66% of the people who had phones had a smart phone, right?  The numbers on internet access are related.  At that time with 66% smart phone ownership, 45% were daily active users of the internet.  Now that number as doubled.  So, the phone makes a huge difference.  And because India, Sri Lanka, all of these countries, we still have a huge stock of feature phones.  We never throw things away.  So, we need to get it out of the hands of people and get a smart phone in their hands. 

There are no outlaws of zero rating like free basics from Facebook.  A huge uptick of higher uses of data.  I think we would call for a nuanced approach, not a principled approach. 

>> MODERATOR: So, smart phone ownership is really interesting.  In Myanmar, they didn't have anything.  They didn't have old phones to keep, right?  They are almost entirely smart phones and they have a completely different pricing arrangement.  Voice is free, data is free.  Or text. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: And these things will be game‑changers. 

>> MODERATOR: Is there something from a policy perspective that could drive smart phone adoption? 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Lower taxes, specifically.  These are still luxury goods in almost all the countries that we look at.  And if you want targeted mechanisms, so let's say for low‑income women, you can have targeted subsidies.  But generally, low taxation will help a huge amount. 

>> MODERATOR: One of the things that Paul is very involved in is spectrum use in access.  So, when we get to you, you may want to do the north America part.  Even if it's licensed, let somebody else use it.  There's different ways of thinking about getting it into use. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: And also kicking off like military and the broadcasters.  For example, in India, who hold the most valuable spectrum. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: I don't think that Dominique is here anymore.  But she probably would agree strongly that in fact, this is a problem across Asia...  so, Africa, Asia, I'm going to go alphabetical.  Nigel?  Europe.  You're going to have to actually...  you didn't think I was going to call on you.  You probably were doing e‑mail.  And N will come last. 

>> NIGEL: Talking about Europe is interesting because Europe is fortunately and unfortunately for Europe, quite advanced in terms of the mobile penetration and the take‑up of services.  But what I would like to characterize in the next couple of minutes in terms of what Europe has been doing is a bit in terms of the good, bad, and the ugly.  In the mid-90s, the frame work for telecommunications in Europe has provided a guidance, a framework in which countries work within.  And has dramatically enhanced competition and provision of services across European countries.  I think that is the good.  And we've seen the take‑up of economic regulation in many parts of the world partly because of the example shown by Europe.  

The penetration masks a good deal of the variance.  For example, we're talking about enhanced broadband penetration, coming to the top of the list with fast broadband.  Development has naturally been slower because of the transition effects.  So, I think that is the good news in that Europe has been able to, through the enlightened framework has been able to, if you like, bring countries forward in terms of penetration.  But it's not all good news.  Because in terms of some of the countries, there are problems.  There are price disparities.  For instance, in some countries in eastern Europe, the price of the mobile broadband package is much higher than it is in other areas, so we're seeing a correlation between the price of broadband and the take‑up of course.  Also in terms of regulatory intervention where markets clearly are not working.  In terms of spectrum allocation, there's been differences in spectrum allocation of having a common approach to spectrum allocation where, if you like, have a regulation led by a European regulator. 

Going from the industry, a transfer of money going into the hands of the government.  And there hasn't been a consistent approach across Europe.  So, I think, you know, I think the picture, as I say, is mixed.  And finally, although we're talking here about access as we were reflecting on earlier, a lot of the...  a lot of access and a lot of take‑up of broadband services, of course, depends, to an extent, on a number of other factors.  We come back to the skill level here.  We come back to the education.  We come back to some of the effects of cyber‑security legislation, privacy, and data protection legislation.  And I think you have to look at those issues as well in terms of how a country is progressing.  And of course, now in Europe we are seeing an increased regulatory approach on cyber‑security and also on lawful access to information.  Will that in itself affect the take‑up rates?

>> MODERATOR: So, you mentioned some of the high prices in the central or eastern European countries.  That's suppressing take‑up.  There's price sensitivity.  As an observer for a long time of those issues, why do you think the prices are higher in eastern Europe than in western Europe?  And is that the case for both fixed as well as mobile broadband? 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: I think mobile broadband is probably a special case.  And I think some of the fixed line costs reflect some of the infrastructure issues that, you know, some European countries have had in rolling out.  I'm not suggesting that won't change over time, but I think, you know, there is a is an example taking place.  Certainly, the European picture is mixed in this respect.

>> MODERATOR: That makes me think of Christopher working on all of his data.  Within Europe, there's kind of control.  I think in terms of data, it's really interesting. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Yeah.  Also, there's a wider aspect here.  Obviously, this is nothing to do with ICANN at all, but we did sponsor a study back in 2013 that looked at the various factors that encouraged GDP growth in particular ICT statuses.  It was greatly affected by broader policies and how transparent the government was.  How they were running and how they were providing public services through ICT issues and tax issues as well.  I think there are broader issues at play here. 

>> MODERATOR: Latin America and Caribbean?  Right? 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Right.  I'm going to follow‑up on Nigel's comment about variance in Europe and argue that maybe Latin America's not a useful unit of analysis when you have such variance between countries.  Just to give an example, on average in Latin America we have 40 fixed broadband subscriptions per 100.  So, that's about half. 

So, the connectivity solutions and the problems in Bolivia are completely different.  And of course, we have enormous variance within the countries.  Latin America is a complex region.  And within the countries.  The most interesting development that we have seen in the last decade has been a shift from purely market‑based approaches to connectivity to a more realistic and nuanced mix of marketing center for fiber operators and promotion of community initiatives and also large public investments in connectivity. 

Community initiatives, there's too many to list.  But one interesting example is here in Mexico.  He developed a bottom‑up approach to cell phone operator.  It's one tower cell phone operator operated by the community, reusing spectrum from the operators who were not interested in reaching that community.  For a number of years, governments saw it as a bit of a nuisance.  We had universal service fund and that will take care of it.  They do add to the mix.  There has been three types of large public investments.  First, of course, you have the big investments in infrastructure.  That is extending fiber networks outside the main metropolitan areas.  Most large countries in Latin America are doing that in one way or another.  This is just about to be implemented next year.  The injury is still out on those initiatives.  What I find interesting is that despite all the changes in government, despite all the changes in the electoral shifts in Latin America from more left leaning we see that governments have recognized that they are an important component of the mix of initiatives. 

They have, for the most part, failed.  Here's an interesting question.  Have initiatives failed?  Or have we failed to recognize where the impact has been? 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: How do you define failure failure? 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: The easiest way is to look at standardized test scores and basically none of them have shown any gains in standardized tests.  There is some positive outcomes.  And the newest type of initiative is the initiatives to promote demand.  Skills and in general, literacy.  And there's many initiatives, nothing at the very large scale, but they're starting to be sponsored by the government.  The evidence is showing that more and more people are saying that typically people say why are not connected in Latin America?  It's always cost.  When you track the numbers, they have been steadily falling.  The people who say I can't connect because I can't afford it.  And more and more people are saying I'm just not interested.  I don't have the skills.  I'm concerned about security or privacy.  

>> MODERATOR: Let's definitely come back to defining success and failure.  Let's see.  After L, we have M.  My former colleague from Cisco way back when, when we were working on national broadband network for reconciliation in Lebanon.

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Yes.  So, thank you.  It is a region that is not homogenous, so the penetration is on average, 40% of households.  However, you have the GGC countries scoring over 75% penetration, while Yemen, Syria, Libya, you know, all the other countries being way below 40%.  So, there is a lot of young people in the middle east.  105 million of them between the ages of 15 and 29.  And the unemployment rate is 30%.  What has worked in Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan is that the internet has worked.  You have young people self‑organizing themselves and bringing up new innovations, photographs, etc.  To create enterprises using the internet that has worked as I said in the three countries.  This is a tremendous count, with 30% unemployment and very highly polarized religiously population.  You can see that people with no work can make a lot of them.  The second thing that didn't really work in the middle east is the multi‑stakeholders.  Why?  Because they're not really stakeholders.  In order to have stake you have to have money, interest, skin.  In middle eastern population, even though 61% of those interviewed said they could not live without internet.  Only less than half of them actually use the internet to purchase a book or anything.  So, we have these users that don't have any stake in economic gain from the internet.  So, they don't really...  either they're not organized and they don't demand anything because they are just passive users. 

That brings us to the third failure in the middle east, which is the role of the government.  The governments need to protect the people.  They have to do the addresses in a certain amount of time.  They want to do everything.  They want to do everything.  This is actually suffocating the with the government's role to be so pervasive, so the governments maybe need to look at the problem differently.  They have to concentrate on growth instead of control.  We're not there yet, but that's an opportunity for governments to move that way.  And finally, what has worked, so we have two and two here is IXP deployment in the region.  They had to do the supply.  More can be done there to reach the maturity level. 

>> MODERATOR: Great.  We're going to come back to that.  You say suffocating in some respects, some of those are in those that are high penetration.  So, dive into that.  What are some of the things that actually have worked in some of the countries not withstanding that has resulted in better adoption? 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: That's a good question.  I think GCC succeeded in rolling out the networks.  It's all government money.  So, the governments of the GCC countries deployed the networks.

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: But government as operator in those countries?

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Later on they left it.  But it's government money that has been privatized.  That worked well.  Lebanon is different. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: So again, just like in Latin America, we have labels about regions, but they are extraordinarily diverse.


>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Which brings us to north America.  So, that basically north America is Canada and U.S.  Are you going to include Mexico?  Or we have already included Mexico.  So, a much less diverse region.  Just two countries.

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Just two countries, but a lot of land area.  Both Canada and the United States have some of the best infrastructure in the world, but connectivity for those living on reservation is poor or non‑existent.  This estimates that about 34 million people lack access in the United States.  In addition to basic access gap, there's a homework connectivity gap that we're focused on where students have access to connectivity at school but not at home.  That's usually due to cost not due to its unavailability.  But they can't use the internet to complete their homework.  So, these students fall behind their peers.  And they, you know, there's a spiral that goes downhill from there.   From there.  Where the need is greatest, there are laws prohibited municipalities from building networks.  So, the FCC tried to preempt that but was overturned in the sixth circuit court this year.  Microsoft has put together a project, and the idea here...  this is one hopefully successful project is to leverage the high-speed broadband that is already provided to schools.  So, the challenge here, the idea was can we extend the schools network to the area around the schools that covers the students and it's still in compliance with all the rules that allow the network to be funded in the first place?  Students receive a device that creates a personal hot spot in their home and connects to the school's network.  The device is under the control of the network administration of the school.  So, it does fulfill all the rules.  This particular project takes advantage of a syntax from the past tobacco settlement money from tobacco companies that were sort of fudging the results on cancer tests is now being used to fund this program.  This program will fund about 2,000 students and goes live in the early part of 2017, and we expect similar projects to launch around the country.  There's another one, Axiom technologies, which is a small company that is working on a similar project in Washington county, Maine.  We have a grant that you can compete for.  Axiom won the grant last year.  Another innovation is a policy innovation that the FCC did, which is electing to expand the lifeline phone subsidy to cover broadband.  So, there is just the last week they announced four initial providers of lifeline service that is going be covered by the subsidy. 

Those populations without the necessary skills to take on the new jobs and it's a challenge the U.S. needs to address.  Canada has similar issues, different industries at stake but similar issues.  In the U.S., there's 7.3 million fewer jobs for people with only high school education than in 1989, but a doubling of jobs for those with a college degree in the past 25 years.  Only 4310 of them offer advanced placement computer science classes.  We 'got economic opportunity and employment opportunity going like this.  We have infrastructure that mostly solves the problems and we are not solve solving for the people to actually have those jobs.  One way to challenge this gap is to do it in the schools.  So, one program that is very successful, which is technology, education and literacy in schools basically has trained professionals to team teach in high schools throughout the United States.  The people are volunteers and they partner with teachers and create a ripple effect which impacts the students they teach. 

This demonstrates what you can do if you have a good idea and you're one guy.  There's one guy named Kevin Wang in 2009 who wanted to do this for his kids' school.  He was the volunteer.  He got it going.  Now it's part of Microsoft's global use program and it operates with thousands of people across the United States.  So, we have, you know, a couple of policy things, a couple of technical things, and a couple of sort of people things just to the question on spectrum.  It's basically using unused.  That's great.  They cover the inside circle around this school.

More broadly on the policy front, it's important that they stop thinking of it as a zero-sum game.  It's really about sharing a set of spectrum frequencies today.  And all of them, pretty much everything in this room is operating on unlicensed frequencies.  That's part of the equation, too.  A little of this and that and balance is what we would urge the policymakers to focus on. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: I'm looking at Karen.  We have five minutes.  We can go until five?  Ah.  So yeah, so we go until 5:00, so we have 20 minutes.  What I'm going to do...  this doesn't...  this will... 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: I'm going to wander around.  I don't know whether this is going to be punishment for staying around or, you know, an advantage for staying around.  I am going to come to you if anybody has any additional ideas to add in terms of concrete projects that have worked or not.  One thing that actually has come up that...  there are different perspectives on it.  Maybe after we go to the floor, to come back, backhaul.  Backhaul is a problem.  Identified the Africa.  Virtually everywhere.  You talked about some of the backhaul problems when governments have been involved.  So, can we maybe tease out from our examples around the world of where is it working and we're no?  A lot of the debate and discussion is about the last mile as the barrier, when in fact, actually it's much less of the last mile.  Backhaul middle mile is one of the biggest barriers to actually get broadband and go beyond GSM voice.  Does anybody in the room have an additional project that you have worked on or that you have seen that has made a difference in any region in the world? 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: We have toyed with a few different approaches.  One that we like to always speak about is one that we have done in Madagascar and one in Burundi.  In Burundi, there was no backbone at all.  We had several mobile operators and active mobile competition.  So, we put them all together.  The bank funded a subsidy to ask them to build the high traffic and rural routes.  The government stepped out and provided some seed capital and now there's a backbone network that works very well.  It is basically self‑policing. 

Any other examples?  Christopher.  Hold on.  I'll be right there.  I know we're making the camera guys crazy but that's okay. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: It's fascinating.  There are interesting success stories that have some positive metrics.  You mentioned very few school programs that have worked in Latin America.  There is one that actually has in eight countries reached 1 million students with satellite distributed video.  And they say that it is improved test scores in every subject and grade level.  We have to value Dade that information.  Especially with satellite distribution.  It's a cost-effective way to improve linear video distribution.  It's a particular form but potentially very helpful.  Eco‑net wireless is doing green field off grid cell tours.  They are trying to expand into India and Uganda.  They are powered by diesel and are sustainable right now.  And importantly, they're adding refrigerators and they are distributing on the cell tower‑based stations, putting refrigerators to refrigerate vaccines.  Health ministers come running up and say how can I get this in my country. 

It's a 3G standard cell‑based station which they can make pay for itself currently on those terms.  They are trying to do solar panels but you will have problems with theft of solar panels.  There are interesting problems.  There is an Indian program that has done digital literacy that has succeeded in training 900,000 people.  We don't know the ultimate pay off, but it's rare to see numbers achieved on the order of 900,000 and a million.  At those numbers, modest benefits have a decent chance of paying out.  There are more, but that's just headlines.

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: That's great.  Anybody else? 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: One of the benefits of having a school connected is the child learns how to get on.  We know that the understanding about how to get on and use it is part of relevance and also the skill set, the capacity building.  So, the child comes home and says at school, I'm on.  Number one.  Every parent wants their child to do well, so that creates relevance for connectivity in the home, even if the parents don't have content for them, for their child.  That becomes important.  Second, the child can come home and teach their parents and grandparents and siblings how to get on.  That's, again, a different outcome which is a knock-on benefit from school connectivity beyond the curriculum.  Just some thoughts. 

And also in terms of how do we define success and failure. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Thank you for the question.  I can confidently say that the more rigorous evidence that we have today shows that those...  the connectivity projects at the school level have not made a difference on test scores.  And we have partnered on this project.  We studied Chile and Peru and Uruguay and Brazil.  So, we started asking why is that?  Maybe we are not looking in the right place.  We have spillovers into the community, into family, adult use and so on.  So, we're going in that direction of the spillover direction.  There seems to be some evidence that this is happening. 

The more household connectivity there is in that area, there's some evidence that spillover does happen.  You have to reframe the projects.  It's about promoting community development through school connectivity.  And the second route we're taking is try to go beyond just that course.  There's a few directions here.  What about school climate?  What if connecting schools improves the learning environment?  So eventually you will get to the test scores.  We see something in that direction.  So, in general, we're trying to see how can we broaden the measure of success beyond the test scores? 


>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: I just wanted to add to that.  We, I think last year, we finished a systematic review where we looked at the English literature on using ICTs in the classroom setting.  Since I think, well, about 15 years of English all published and non‑published literature.  And part of the problem a lot of the literature defines learning outcomes in this way that Christopher and you have been talking about.  Does it improve standardized test scores and stuff?  And it doesn't look at the other effects it might be having.  And the finding is that there is no generalizable systematic evidence that it improving learning outcomes T few times it does is when the teacher has incorporated the technology into the teaching.  So, it's not just a tool from the outside, but very much embedded in existing teaching methods, and it makes the teaching better which improves the outcome.  So, it's really about adoption by the teachers not just the students.  And people who benefit the greatest when you look at the students are the ones who already come from middle class, upper middle class families who have access at home and have educated parents.  It doesn't bridge the gap but I do agree that we need to look at a definition of success that is broader than just learning outcomes.

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: So curriculum integration is one variable, but your last point is the one thing you do know about student performance is the most important variable is across cultures.  It's nothing unique in that sense.  Did you want to comment at all or move on? 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: No, I think I agree.  Probably I would add that, so, the one success model seems to be Uruguay, and there's a few interesting things about that model.  It's a small country.  It's a manageable size.  And they decided to connect all schools.  There's something to be said of the scale of the project.  And the big advantage is they have a state‑owned operator.  So, all the components are aligned in Uruguay.  Can you replicate the success in other countries?  Highly doubtful.  You don't have operators and the scale doesn't work.  I think a lot of people look, and there is a big question about being able to replicate it in other contexts.

>> MODERATOR: Although we divided it by region for the convenience of presentation, I'm hearing consistent themes and things that have been successful and not.  Nigel, did you want to jump? 

>> NIGEL: Only to say that I'm no expert in this.  In terms of the UK, there's been some interesting studies done on this as well.  And you know, I know it's all relatively difficult.  There's been this move in some schools to, you know, every pupil has to have a laptop or bring it into the school and that's the...  there's been this focus on having a device.  And as has been said, what's been found is that, you know, if you take the same curriculum, I mean, the pupils that have to have devices are the ones that use them at school or whatever, there's no difference between the test scores that come out and what seems to be happening to an extent is that the...  there's too much focus on the technology and not enough on the actual curriculum.  And business leaders are saying to the, you know, education department, look, these people that are coming out, they can use the devices.  But they don't seem to be able to put it into the context of, you know, what the overall picture is. 

>> MODERATOR: I don't want to prolong this.  It's been a great but a long afternoon.  Here you go. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: This brings up to me the World Bank development part.  We seem to have the analog piece of it, and also, we are not funding that analog piece.  The people piece.  The people‑centered piece, the teachers, the families, the parental encouragement.  The culture that says we can hope to increase economic opportunity for young people.  We can give young people something to aim for.  And we are not offering ways for young people to do projects that they could get excited about. 

So, I see a missing piece here, which is the World Bank development report has said they are missing the analog piece.  The U.N. is going about the sustainable development goals.  There is a big gap that we all know about. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.  That's what the overall projects are being tied together to do. 

So, a couple of the take‑aways for me.  One theme that came across globally: Taxes, high prices artificially.  Two, artificial scarcity.  Three, tracking the backhaul middle mile problem.  Four, the capacity building, right?  Whether it's in the schools or whether it's individuals.  And again, we've had some examples of where we've had success and not.  It is something that can move the needle.  Was there anything that in addition from the panelists or anybody else that I missed in terms of trying to draw out some common lessons learned from the region? 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Sure.  I could probably add that one other thing that's emerging is ICT policy is not...  there's no such thing as gender blind ICT policy.  So, one of the things that we have to be very aware of is there has to be a focus on gender responsiveness.  So, we're not coming back up in ten years and saying we thought we connected everyone but it turns out we left these people behind.  That's a specific thing that we have seen. 

>> MODERATOR: Six, globally closing the gender gap. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: It does not seem to be main reason, but language is.

>> MODERATOR: Relevancy on the content side in terms of local language?  Okay.  Modifying number five.  Great.  So, I think we have...  did I miss something?  Anybody?  I think we have a list of six really important things, Karen? 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Seven.  The role of government.  Not only in taxation but also in control versus... 

>> MODERATOR: So, the government as an enabler versus a barrier looking to specific policies that affect the other six does that help?  We have a list.  So, I want to thank the panelists for being great.  Karen, I don't know how you want to proceed from here, but we are close to five.  It's been a really long afternoon.  But I think it's been productive. 

One more thing left: I'm going to give the mic to Karen.  But thank the panelists please. 

[ Applause ]

>> KAREN McCABE: As Pepper says, it's been a long day and it's day 0, so and there's a lot going on.  I know you have asked us, May Lyn, we have asked you to help with us the mapping and theme sessions that we've heard.  I know we're a little late as the day is dwindling down, but if you can put us through some of the paces so that we can contribute to our report.  Thanks. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: I think what I want to offer the people here is a chance to say what are the short, medium, and long‑term opportunities that you can see on a personal basis, not representing your institutions but from what you have heard about the themes?  I would like you to take a couple of minutes to sit and think about the short, medium, and long term things that you would take away.  And following that, actually share some of that with us.  Because nothing happens without somebody caring and doing something.  And we've heard so much and it's been strummed into my head by Vince that if somebody doesn't take action from this, nothing will happen.  And the internet has always been about someone caring and doing it. 

So I want to have you stop and think, remember that future generations are going to be affected by some of what you can do and what we can do together.  We began this whole session by all different groups saying we need to work together.  We actually haven't come up together that we have said we will work together on.  The people left in this room are the ones who spoke, mostly.  So, what are we going to work together on?  Please take two minutes to think by yourself of the things that you heard today.  What are you going to take action on?  Okay?  You have two minutes. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: That was a close call. 

>> KAREN McCABE: I think how we can join our communities and I think a lot of the effort has to be local.  And it has to be contextual.  Working within the local community's needs and what works in that region.  The sense of volunteerism to engage with other projects is a critical thing that we're looking to do:

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Thank you, Karen.  Pepper? 

>> PEPPER: This just came up, right?  So, it's, you know, committing to work with...  and part of it, governments.  What we also heard was it is from the research side from actually having facts that help government officials who want to actually do the right thing, but they may not know entirely how or what and what are the levers to turn.  Now that's something that the people in this room and the people who are here earlier actually can speak to.  We've talked about capacity building and skills.  It's also about capacity building for decision‑makers so they can make better decisions.  I think we can as a community, help that process.  And so, you know, one is nodding yes.  He knows how that can actually make a difference. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: I think we have a problem with institutional structures in a lot of countries.  It's a real problem with silos.  You don't have the content and the telecom cannot deal with content.  I was inspired by what Paul Mitchell said.  Kevin Wong who brought in technical mentors to work with teachers.  So, I have a wish for Microsoft to continue to extend that.  And work with all of the digital literacy programs to have local people involved.  So, that's my short‑term wish. 

>> UNKNOWN SPEAKER: This is my fifth or sixth IGF, and what I notice this year and many people have been here if many years.  It encourages them to really elevate our outreach.  Why not try to invite other ministers with other ministries.  These are key stakeholders.  Not saying they're the only stakeholder, it's important to have them in the room especially when we have such important dialogue.  I feel like for us it may be valuable to think strategically whether it's a letter or formal outreach in the next few weeks is a good opportunity for us to cross pollinate, which I think was one of the observations of the prior speaker.  So, that's something that we can work on together. 

>> MODERATOR: Thank you.  Anyone else?  Okay.  I think we have a road map.  What we'll be doing is working with this through the next four years with the IEEE World Bank internet society meetings.  The next one will be in April.  We'll have a planning meeting and take this input and continue to move it forward.  So, thank you, Karen, for hosting this whole thing...  okay. 

Back to Karen. 

>> KAREN McCABE: I will do a quick wrap‑up.  Just to mention, the background to this session was really to harness that positive spirit that I think Nigel mentioned in the beginning where a lot of organizations are really taking action and commitments to expand access.  And that we all have these different initiatives going but we see a value of collaboration.  So, this session was a seed for future collaborations.  So, it has symbolic meaning to it and a practical side where we wanted to kick start discussions here at the IGF, and to gather some of the input from today and submit it to the connecting next billion main session on Friday.  So, I've been taking notes all day, and we'll write this up in a summary that will be shared on Friday.  I think I'm the last speaker for today, so I would just like to thank all the speakers and participants and the co‑organizers of this session.