IGF 2016 - Day 1 - Room 1 - SEED Alliance Awards Ceremony


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. 


>> If you don't mind to help us out for just one minute, we are missing one of our protocol speakers.  So please hold on for a second.  Thank you.

>> KEVON SWIFT: Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for your patience.  Welcome to the 2016 SEED Alliance Awards ceremony.  I would like to ‑‑ well, we shall begin right now.  My name is Kevon Swift.  I'm ahead of strategic relations and integration at the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry.  And I will be your master of ceremonies for today's proceedings.

I would like to begin immediately by giving the floor to Mr. Alan Barret, CEO of AFRINIC, who will share some opening remarks with you.

>> ALAN BARRET:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to this 2016 SEED Alliance Awards ceremony.  We are honored that you are all here with us today, to share in the success of this SEED Alliance program, to learn more about the program, and to celebrate our most recent beneficiaries.  Those who have received funding this year through the SEED Alliances three regional programs, that is FIRE Africa, FRIDA and the ISIF Asia.  They address the local needs and that contribute to the UN sustainable development goals.

I would like to express gratitude to IDRC and the Internet Society, who support the global program, our sponsors and the three alliance partners, AFRINIC, APNIC and LACNIC who also provide financial and administrative support.

We also have regional sponsors, Google and Oracle, I thank you for supporting the FIRE program and.Asia and the thank you for supporting the ISIF Asia and making the program the overall success that it is today.

And let us not forget CEDA who generously supported the SEED Alliance until 2015, and they were ‑‑ they played a key part in getting us to where we are today with our strong foundations.

Since the SEED Alliance program began in 2012, the program's partners together have supported 151 projects, in over 16 economies, and have allocated more than $2.5 million in US dollar funding through Asia ‑‑ the Asia Pacific region, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.

This helps strengthen and promote the Information Society within these regions, and supports solutions that address community needs and improve access.

Apart from access to funding, the programs also commit ‑‑ are to capacity building activities.  They provide training and mentoring to funding recipients, and offer opportunities such as travel to global events, such as this IGF, and the traveling allows the recipients to a network and expose their concepts and ideas to a global audience.

We are delighted that so many innovative ICT award winners are here.  Finally on behalf of the SEED Alliance, I would like to express my gratitude to all of you for your support, for attending this ceremony and thanks for the organizing team for working tirelessly to ensure that this event is a success.  Thank you.


>> KEVON SWIFT: Thank you, Alan, especially the SEED Alliance's funding and commitment to capacity building.

I would now like to introduce IDRC's network economy program officer, Phet Sayo and how it contributes to the achievement of the sustainable development goals.  Phet?

>>> PHET SAYO:  Thank you very much.  My name is Phet Sayo, I'm a senior program officer with the International Development Research Center, that's the ‑‑ we are a crown corporation of Canada.  We receive public fundings and then we provide research grants to the global south, to look at social and economic issues for the betterment of people and towards livelihoods and social, economic development in general.

Maybe I should tell you I have been personally involved in the small grants program that involved the SEED Alliance for about over ten years, I think I have been associated with that before, in the Asia Pacific region and then we consolidated with the help of the regional Internet registries for the global project.

The purpose for our investment in the program that spanned about 15 years is that it helps us identify trends in sort of ICT deployment for development, and it also helps us, more importantly, identify you all, the people who are working ‑‑ looking at innovation, to sort of better the lives of the communities that you are engaged with.  For us, that's the precious thing.

I think back to my former director at IDRC, Richard Fukes who is somewhat the father of the SEED grant programs, back about 15 years ago.  He said that the most important ‑‑ well, best way to think about investments in the small grants program is actually social investment.  We are investing in people.  We know that for the most part, I think most of you are working in areas of innovation.  Some of you are working at looking at technology development, the cutting edge of networking and communities technology and many are actually adopting innovations to ‑‑ to leverage for network effects or to leverage to mobilize people, to leverage technologies for the benefit, of health and education.

And we have seen the program evolve in the last 15 years of ICT paradigms.  We had investment in mobile for Internet and then I just attended a plenary session and it seems like the conversation has come back to access.  I'm feeling a sense of deja vu, in many of these forums.

My program in the last few years had post‑access world.  So we worked on issues around rights, assuming that the world's population had access.  And I think we are rethinking that assumption now.  We are looking at models where community networks might be a way, an alternative access for people and so that benefit.  So that's just the overall change of things and the little history of IDRC support.

I think those numbers Alan has already provided us.  I really want to thank the regional Internet registries for really a long‑term support.  Paul, Oscar, Alan, for this partnership.  Our contribution is minimal, and the hard work is really managed by you all, and really by IDRC, thank you for that.  And I just want to end it there.

Am I supposed to introduce a video?

Sorry, I'm preempting.  So just a word of thanks.


>> KEVON SWIFT: Thank you very much, Phet, and especially about your point about social commitments.  FIRE and FRIDA and ISIF Asia, are grateful for IDRC's ongoing support.  IDRC's role to support the use and adoption of Internet technologies was visionary and many of the organizations active today were supported by IDRC.

Now not heart of the ceremony, the presentation of the 2016 award winners.  We will begin with a short video about the work of the award recipients from the ISIF Asia program.

>> The Information Society innovation fund ISIF Asia empowers communities in Asia Pacific region to research, and design and implement Internet to achieve the sustainable development goals.  Since 2008, ISIF Asia had 54 grants and 25 awards for 81 innovative Internet‑based solutions that address development needs across the Asia Pacific region, out of 1400 applications received from 36 economies.

ISIF Asia is APNIC Foundation, thanks to the Asia Pacific information center, the Canadian research international development research center, the Internet Society, and.Asia organization.  The 2016ISIF Asia recognized Internet across two technologies.  Community impact, technical innovation.  The awards package includes 3,000 Australian dollars and a travel grant to join us here at the 11th Internet Governance Forum in Guadalajara, Mexico.

In addition, the projects said the most online votes will receive 1,000 Australian dollars for the community choice award.

Here is a brief introduction to the winners of the 2016ISIF Asia award in their own words.  Community impact, CVISNET Foundation, for their project, restoring connectivity and MDRU, the Philippines.

>> The movable and the k vice net unit, it's MDRU, is to disaster stricken area or any types of emergencies that are most likely to happen.  When activated, it sends the standard Wi‑Fi signals for up to 300 meters range, which can be linked to SmartPhones.

These SmartPhones connected to the MDRU can be used to effectively reconnect families to let them know you are safe.

When typhoon Haiyan happened.  The infrastructure was totally destroyed.  The mobile phone networks were brought down and the telephones were all severely damaged.  Definitely communication is an important assistance, as important as water, food and shelter.

With MDRU, our community can prepare in advance to respond in a disaster situation.

>> Technical innovation.  Tindak Malaysia.

>> This project constitutes the maps during a delimitation exercise.  They do this by empowering electors to object to the election commission proposals that are unfair.  A few steps are involved.  One, digitized about 7,800 polling district maps.  This enables us to redistrict all the parliament and state constituencies to equalize them.

Two, register bodies of hundreds electors alone and each constituency to prepare for objections.

Three, once they are gather their proposals, they receive objections to help the objective teams.  These are reinforced by legal arguments put up by lawyers.  So far, these have been quite successful.

>> We congratulate the winners and trust that the support receives, will help to support their community needs through innovative uses of Internet‑based technology.  As proud members of SEED Alliance.  If you are interested to support ISIF Asia, please contact us at info@isi f.Asia.

>> KEVON SWIFT: Now I would like to call to stage left, Phet Sayo, and Paul Wilson, Director General of APNIC to present the trophies to the award winners.

Great.  In category of community impact, the winner of the project, "Restoring Connectivity:  Movable and Deployable Resource ICT Unit of the CVISNET Foundation of Philippines.  The trophy is received by Jeffrey Llanto from Phet Sayo of IDRC.


Yes, please stay for your photo.

In the category of technical innovation, the winner is the project "towards a fairer electrical system:  1 person, 1 vote, 1 value" of Tindak Malaysia.  The trophy is received by Py Wong from Paul Wilson of APNIC.


In addition to the awards, the community choice awards goes to the project with the most votes from the community and receives an additional 1,000 Australian dollar prize.  The prize goes to Tindak Malaysia.


Great.  So now please join me in congratulating all of the ISIF Asia winners.  And we would like to have a group photos of ISIF Asia winners.  So Py and Jeffrey.  With your trophy, yes.

>> KEVON SWIFT: Okay.  Thank you very much.  Last year, after many years of strong, concurrent regional programs, the SEED Alliance welcomed Internet Society as a partner.  The possibility to collaborate with other technical community partners to support projects closer to our core activities emerged, and a special grant category was introduced to support cybersecurity projects across the global south.  We look forward to a renewed collaboration with Internet Society in the years to come.  Please join me in welcoming Internet Society VP for global engagement, Mr. Raul Echeberria, who will talk about the Internet Society's support not SEED Alliance and how it contributes to the achievement of the SDGs.


>> RAUL ECHEBERRIA:  Good afternoon, everybody.  Really, when I was looking through the figures of SEED Alliance program, this is really impressive.  So first of all, congratulations for all the achievements of this program.  And every year when we come to this ‑‑ these awards and we have the opportunity to see the projects that are awarded, the projects are better and better.

Yesterday as I said in the reception of the SEED Alliance, this is the beauty of these projects, we have projects that are trying to solve real problems of people.  Today, the concept of social innovation is gaining more and more traction, more space, and this is exactly what we are talking about when we are talking about social innovation.  I think that this project has been a pioneer in pushing the concept even before the concept was very popular.  We are seeing that some very normative ways to use the technologies for fitting the needs of the communities.  And this is something that we can only endorse and it's very aligned with the work that we do in the Internet Society and our problems.  And it is about really couching an impact, an having a positive impact in the lives of people.  As adopting the technology itself, and positive changes in the life of the people.

And so this congratulations to the SEED Alliance for running this program has really been an honor for us to make very humble distribution to this program.  Congratulations because as I say, before us, the ‑‑ the things that ‑‑ the projects that they are running very really very interesting.  And I hope to see because this program is not only awarding projects but it's promoting the new leaders in this field.

The fact that you have, you the people, that you have the opportunity to come to these type of events and become part of a global, much bigger community, this is great.  I hope that you remain on board and surely, you will have also other partnerships, other opportunities for the high impact.  So congratulations, everybody, and thank you for letting us to participate in this beautiful program.


>> KEVON SWIFT: Let's continue with a short video about the work of the award recipient from the FRIDA program.

>> FRIDA, the regional fund for digital innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean is the grants and what awards program that harness the power of the Internet for the development of the region.  FRIDA is an initiative by LACNIC.  Since its creation in 2004, FRIDA has supported more than 120 projects with $1.6 million in funding, including regional and country‑specific initiatives involving more than 18 economies region‑wide.  FRIDA and its partner programs, ISIF Asia and FIRE are proud members of the SEED Alliance, that works with internal development across the south.  It's possible through IDRC and the internet society.

The FRIDA awards have demonstrated social impacts.  Here are the 2016 FRIDA award winners.  In the category of Internet and technologies for social inclusion, democracy strengthening and exercise of rights and freedoms, Mexicoleaks from Mexico.

(Speaking Spanish).

In the category of socio and economic development, the university of the west Indies St. Augustine campus in Trinidad and Tobago.

>> AgriNeTT focuses on infusing ICT solutions in the agriculture sections.  These provide resources for climate smart and precision agriculture.  They are there for farmers and policymakers and these are freely available on Google free.  Every expense is a farm financial management expense.  It provides access to current market prices.  Agrimaps is a social land surveyable tools which recommends referred crops.  Agridiagnose is an automated pest and disease diagnosis system and we have also developed two open data repositories for national agricultural and data.

>> KEVON SWIFT: We would like to call to stage left, Mr. Sebastian Bellagamba, Regional Director for Latin America and Caribbean, Internet Society and Phet Sayo, to present the trophies to the award winners.

In the category of Internet and technologies for social inclusion, democracy strengthening and exercise of rights and freedoms, the winner is Mexicoleaks from Mexico.  The trophy is received by Eduardo Martin Borregon Domenech from Sebastian Bellagamba of Internet Society.


In the category of Internet and technologies for social and economic development, the winner is the project AgriNeTT of the university of the west Indies, faculty of science and technology in Trinidad and Tobago.  The trophy is received by Dr. Margaret Bernard from Phet Sayo.


>> KEVON SWIFT: So please join me in congratulating the FRIDA winners, and Eduardo and Margaret for a group photo.


>> KEVON SWIFT: We are very close to the end of today's proceedings and I would like to present to you the FIRE Africa award winners.  Let's continue with a short video about their work.  So the FIRE video.

>> Hello, everyone, the fund for Internet research and innovation is an innovation of AFRINIC that gives grants and awarded to outstanding projects that use the Internet to provide innovative solutions to AFRINIC's information, and indication needs.

Over the past four years, FIRE Africa has given out 31 grants and several entries.  We have capacity building workshops in AFRINIC meetings.

Our goal to date is 1 million.  This year's awards and grants were a full FIRE Africa grant for $25,000 for a project aligned with technical innovation and community development and education.

Two Internet Society grant of 25,000 US dollars each for two project that focused on internet security, all access provision.  They received 35,000 US each.  The vision of AFRINIC, to get more partners and ensuring greater oversight.  There's mentoring and capacity building of our winners, and by the members of our community to issue the project and have maximum positive impact and providing solutions within the continent.

FIRE Africa has been made possible by the SEED Alliance and the generous sponsorship by our partners, IDRC Internet Society.

>> In rural areas of some low‑income countries, the poverty rate is still high.  It is due to transportation issues and lack of infrastructure.  We do this by introducing a system with an app for community of workers and it was used to acquire directly in the community.

We have some broad communities and they were not adopted by the community and we gave them a mobile phone, which we gave them advice and introduced this to the system.

However, the problem of distance and transportation for the women was still there.  So we added the trained technicians that, again, was not a doctor.  To do ultrasound and send them to the hospital and in this way providing quality of care directly to the community.

The aim of the organization is to make sure that you build global leaders, community by community.  Thereby involving them into activities of their communities as well as in the political, socio, as well as the ‑‑ all the aspect of development.

It's a technology company, and it's a person‑driven innovative is that is from the give 1 Gambia team.  And the reason behind this camp is to introduce and expose, and mentor these young girls.  The field of information technology is something that is so very difficult.  So first, the idea is to brim the digital gap between boys and girls when if comes from information, communication, and technology.  When it comes to ICT, it's not about the Microsoft world.  It's not about the Excel and the PowerPoint, but it's gone far beyond that.  We see it's a world of technology and therefore these girls have to be exposed in order to compete with the outside world.


>> I have been told by mother to come here to the girls tech camp.  Then I learn about making a new product.

>> To make a new product, to draw and drop.

>> The kids computer camp, it's a project started by AFRINIC to send children, which was done by my friends.  The vision is to train children on all areas of IT.

>> Project Wi‑Fi TV.  They launched the free Wi‑Fi network in November of 2013, shortly after that came Wi‑Fi TV, which is a video on demand service on Tobetsa Wi‑Fi network.

>> The very successful Tobetsa and Wi‑Fi network have been developed and in August of 2016, migrated to the new tri‑fi production.  It's giving birth to tri‑fi.  It will continue generating engaging content of the public interest, and providing a platform to your community to voice their opinions and engage in leadership.

>> You can absolutely anything that is formed immediately.

>> Tri‑fi TV will enrich the lives of the younger generation of the city.  You need to connect to the Wi‑Fi, especially to the young people.  Let's do this.


>> KEVON SWIFT: Of course.  A round of applause.  And I would like to call to stage left to present the trophies to at ward winners, Phet Sayo, Raul Echeberria and Alan Barret.

In the category of Internet and technology for social inclusion, strengthening democracy and the exercise of rights and freedoms, the winner is Tobetsa for Wi‑Fi TV extension project South Africa.  The trophy is received by Timothy Ian Human from Alan Barret, CEO of AFRINIC.


In this case, that was Phet.

In the category of Internet and technology for social and economic development, the winner is African Institute for Mathematical Sciences docmeUP Ghana.  Mathematical sciences was unable to make it and so please, let's give Benjamin a round of applause, even though he's not with us here.


In the category of Internet and technology for social and economic development, the winner is the African centurion Trust for kids comp CampKenya, the trophy is received by David Caleb Ndaka from Raul Echeberria from Internet Society.  David?


And in the category of Internet and technology for social and economic development, to GIVE1PROJECT, to all girls tech camp, the Gambia, the trophy is being received by Alieu Sowe from Alan Barret of AFRINIC.


And now please join me in congratulating all of the FIRE Africa winners and we would like for them to have a group photo.  So please come with your prize for a group photo.


>> KEVON SWIFT: Now it is my pleasure to introduce Paul Wilson, Director General of APNIC to share some very good news about the APNIC Foundation.

>> PAUL WILSON:  Thank you, Kevon.  My name is Paul Wilson, I'm the head of APNIC, we are one of the three regional Internet registries that have been involved with the SEED Alliance, as you have heard.

We are members of technical community.  So we may not be traditionally seen as organizations who are involved with the sort of work that you are seeing here, but I think we are all proud to be here and be involved.  I would just like to say a few words from APNIC's point of view about our engagement with Internet development over the years.  I actually brought a small grant program to APNIC many years ago, from an earlier involvement that I had with IDRC and their pan Asian networking program, which actually started in 1993.  So I'm showing you something about how old I am now.

Because I worked for them on the Pan program from its early days.  At that time, this program had several activities, including some large project development activities, but one of them that they wanted to do, was a small grants program.  And the idea of that quite innovative model was an exciting way to extend what the pan Asian network is doing at a much more grass roots level.  The IDRC was already quite a grass roots incredibly engaged organization but they wanted to take it further and to identify at the grass roots level small scale innovations that would benefit from what was small amounts of money in terms of what they were used to.  It took a while to get that going and I was a little bit impatient actually as I was working on this thing and the IDRC program officer who was responsible, at a very innovative and wise lady, who Phet also knows, I nagged Maria to get it started and she actually revealed to me that she wasn't looking forward to it particularly much because it would be such a lot of trouble to have to deal with so many projects and to maintain the communications and deal with the grants and reporting and the tracking and all of the stuff.  And I really didn't understand it at the time.  It seemed kind of easy to me.

So I continued to nag Maria to do this, but I know that ‑‑ and Carolina and Kevon know exactly how Maria was in the nontrivial nature of this.  She was right, and it brings us to more than 20 years later.  This small grants has gone through many iterations.  Now being a program with significant funding and huge success and increasing numbers of partners, particularly across the ‑‑ across the ARRA and the technical communities, APNIC has contributed over $1 million over the years and even as a technical community organization that might not traditionally be expected to do that, but it's actually a relatively modest and limited contribution that we make from the member funds that APNIC manages and that brings me to the next ‑‑ the next stage, the APNIC foundation.

As I said, APNIC has spent our membership funds through the funds that have gone into this program from APNIC's side, have come from our technical community membership, with the need out there for Internet development is actually much, much greater than anything that we can do within that quite constrained allocation.  I spoke in the SDG session this morning, about the need for moral support and technical assistance, in developing the developing parts of the world and that's actually on the part of what we need to do.  There's a huge amount of work to do and resources needed for healthy development of the Internet and of Internet use around our region.  So we have taken ‑‑ at APNIC, we have taken a fairly big step of establishing a charitable foundation.  You see the Internet.  It's based in Hong Kong and the idea of the foundation will be to mobilize the resource that we need to expand and scale the sort of development activities that APNIC has been doing, and it will be within the constraints of our member funds.  This could be more grants and awards under ISIF.  It could be a big increase in our training and technical assistance training the Internet and technologies and it will be fellowships for the communicate‑based development of the Internet technical community around our region.  It could be a small critical infrastructures like DNS servers and IXPs.  So all of those we hope will be expanded greatly in the AP region under the foundation.  Like everything we dork the why San Diego to do it in collaboration and partnership.  So the resources that we are able to raise will be distributed as widely as possible throughout our region.

So if anyone is interested to hear more then please feel free to ‑‑ to approach myself or Silvia to discuss that with us, but I'm very happy to be able to announce that that development has now happened at APNIC.  So thanks for the time to give you that news.



>> KEVON SWIFT: Thank you very much, Paul, to are that.  And we have closing remarks by Oscar Robles, CEO of LACNIC.

>> Oscar Robles.  Thank you.  Can you hear me.  We have seen improvement through access and connectivity, electronic systems, and exercising the right to information and improve accountability of the governments and the medical attention, and education, and it's a diverse set of products, but they share something in common.  All of them have the same aim to ‑‑ to improve 9 well being of ‑‑ of the people, the society, and that's one of our goals as ARRAs and with this program.

We are looking for projects that have a real impact in social and economic development.  It is not only to have a good technological ideas, but to really have an impact in the society.  Otherwise this is just a geeky thing.  We want to have a real and serious impact on social and economic development.  We want to thank the participants to let us be part of these efforts.  We really feel that we are part of their efforts to improve this activities that we are there working on.  We want to thank our juries, the independent juries, that are part of this SEED Alliance.

But also we want to thank the leaders of ‑‑ the leaders of the ‑‑ of each of the programs.  Silvia Cadena, and we want to thank the representative from FIRE and Carlos from FRIDA.  Thank you very much.


The work do you is really, really appreciated for every of our organizations.  This is one of our real collaborative efforts among ARRAs, and as Paul was saying this is very different from our operational responsibility, but we really believe that we have to do something to foster development, and we really think this is a tool to ‑‑ tool to work on that ‑‑ on that process.

But all of this work would not be possible without the generous contribution of our partners, our global partners which are Internet Society and IDRC.  Please help me thank for their participation.


>> KEVON SWIFT: Thank you very much, Oscar and thanks to all of our speakers and awardees today, and, of course, you for being here and celebrating with us in this SEED Alliance ceremony.

Before where he part, I would like to call on all of our award winners to join us in the front for a group photo with none other one of the founding fathers of the Internet.  Can all of the award winners if you can come up to the front for a group photo?

>> KEVON SWIFT: Thank you.  Thank you once again.  And I would like to invite you to continue on to the opening ceremony of the IGF.  Do enjoy the rest of your afternoon.

(End of session 14:02)