IGF 2016 - Day 4 - Room 10 - WS212: Promoting Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the Global South


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. 


>> One minute for session.

>> KEVIN SMITH: Good morning, everyone.  And welcome to workshop 212 on promoting innovation entrepreneurship in the global south.  Good morning to all of us here in the room.  We know it's a bit small, but we like this environment.  We think it will make us have very productive conversations, and also, pleasant good morning to our online viewers.  My name is Kevin Smith.  I work with LACNIC and I'll be your moderator for this conversation.

To start out the concept, I think there are two simple concepts we must keep in mind when we're thinking about innovation and entrepreneurship and these essential concepts really deal with questions of value and risk.  When we talk about value, for instance, does passion about an idea suffice?  Do our innovators and entrepreneurs understand value, do they fully grasp the environments?  And then also in the question of risks.  What we really want to find out is, how do you manage risks for things that haven't been done before?  Things without precedent?

I think these are some of the critical concepts we have to keep in mind and these distinguished concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship from regular business activity, and of course at this workshop, we are very interested in ICT enabled, we are talking about how the internet economy can help us meet some SDGs in our country and the global south.

And the global south in itself isn't a concept that we have put without coincidence.  The global south really positions us to not really accept settled categories of the definitions of innovation systems.  It takes, for example, it takes into consideration what we would call nontraditional sources of information.  The value of traditional knowledge, and how these plays in innovations within this global south.  So without further ado, we'll go into today's session.  We'll furs start with a number of opening remarks from some very distinguished speakers we have with us today, and then we're going to move into a group discussion on two particular questions.

The first question deals with the challenges and opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship in the global south, and then the second question really deals about the success cases that we have call worked on or that we have all worked on or that we know of and we'll try and share some of those lessons among us.  At this point in time, I will call on my panelist to my left, Joyce.  Hi, Joyce.  To please get us started with some reflections.

>> JOYCE DOGNIEZ: Good morning, everyone.  My name is Joyce Dogniez.  I'm with Internet Society.  I'm senior director of Global Engagements with Internet Society, and first of all, thank you for inviting me here.  And on this very important topic.  It's a topic that is very close to the heart of the Internet Society as we think that obviously without innovation, we would not be here, talking about the internet.

So, we continued in that spirit, and we still continue in that spirit in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship to make sure the next big thing is coming out there as well.  So I just want to touch on a couple of things around the topics.  I think maybe a bit of a higher level to start out with before we dive into the more concrete discussions.  So what we're seeing that entrepreneurship is really surging in the developing countries.  In India, we see major sort of ecosystems.  In New Dehli and Bangalore, we see that the start‑ups having raising 1.5 billion in funding in 2016, only for their start‑ups.  Sao Paolo marks top 20 where we see more than 1,500 activists in the city alone.  Nairobi, as y'all probably well know is the home of leading African start‑ups.  I'm only naming a few.  I know there's many more, but we'll go into that.

So, what we see that if local entrepreneurs develop new business solutions that address local demands, that is really, really key.  So, for example, if you look at Kenya, the solar energy system is really addressing an important energy issue at local level.  So they really looked at finding solutions for something that was real in their own local environment.

These ventures are only possible thanks to the internet now so I think that's an important thing to keep in mind.  What we've seen is that if you leave access to an open, trusted internet, you can remove barriers to entrepreneurship and create new opportunities in different ways for entrepreneurship and innovation.  I'll just say, one thing you can do when going to the internet, you don't really have to ask anyone for permission to start your business.  You can just go ahead.  You can just start.  There's another range of issues we will dive into, but you can just use the internet to start innovating.

So, when you look at how the more physical environment works in terms of start‑ups and I just wanted to make that parallel, when you look at the Silicon Valleys, and I need to be careful what I say, because we have some people in the room who are kind of there.  So, the key in the hubs there in the ICT clusters is that you have access to three main things.  One is knowledge, educational research, basically through the Universities that are in around or in the ICT cluster.

You have access to input, so you have an easy ‑‑ I wouldn't say it's easy, but you have at least access to potential funding.  And you have a whole range of other people that are living that same enthusiasm for innovation that are struggling potentially with the same issues so you can share, you can share skills as well.  So there's a pool of people you can actually tap into.

Now, we all know the stories of Steve Jobs and Facebook, I won't go there.  But we also know the stories of people like Eric Hersman, like Juliana Rutledge.  I'm probably saying their names really wrong.  Some of the founders of Ushahidi.  There's many success stories we know of but there's many stories we don't know of.

I'll pick one because I went to see them last month in Buenos Aires and it's the story of some visually impaired people who started digitizing libraries.  They used the internet, said we want to share internet with people who have the same disabilities as we have.  They used the internet for funding, to create their idea, share their idea, and they now have more than 8,000 visually impaired people using their libraries.  They just won a prize from UNESCO.  There's many stories out there.  I could go on for a couple of hours, which is not the purpose of this session, but I think it's important we hear those kind of stories from all of you as well.

What we've seen with those stories is those ventures were essentially created online, as I said, so they're not bound to a geographical ICT cluster, so they're not bound to a place.  So what we've seen is that the internet is not only boosting the entrepreneurship but also removing some barriers, breaking some barriers, geographical barriers, but also social barriers, allows people to go beyond their social environments and potentially social limitations as well.  So ideally we would like to translate the model of the geographical ICT clusters to the online model.  We see that we still have some barriers.

The first barrier is obviously connectivity so we need to continue our effort to connect.  The next billion, but more the last billion, I would say because those are the most difficult ones to connect so we need to continue in our efforts to connecting the unconnected.  In terms of knowledge, to make the parallel there, yes, you have, through the internet, potentially access to information, to knowledge, to research, but you still have to train the people on how to use the tool.  You still need to train the people on how to use the internet to make the most out of it, so how can they actually use the internet to become innovate.  Do they have the digital skills?  Are they digitally literate?  Are some of the questions you need to ask.

So to do the research as well, you need relevant local content in relevant local languages.  In many cases, that is an issue.  So, if you want to start a start‑up in rural, I would say even Flanders, I'm going to take a place in Belgium, people tend to speak the national language but not always so we need to make sure the information is available in the local language that is relevant for them to solve their issues.

if we then look at the input, we know from research that cash flow is most of the time, the biggest challenge for entrepreneurs.  Thanks to the internet, we've seen that a lot of entrepreneurs manage to raise money through platforms and just fundraising tools that you find online, but there's still a lot of limitations on efficient funding mechanisms for start‑ups so I'd love to hear more about that from you as well.  So in terms of assistance, yes, you do have access to the world through the internet but only to as many people actually are online and are using the internet.  So, you still see now that yes, people are using the internet and yes it becomes this place where everybody meet, but you still see the creation of some innovation hubs where people physically can meet.

I'm going to name the iHub in Kenya to name just one of many we have but people still need that physical contact and that physical space to share their ideas and actually understand, talk things through, so it's still an important component.

So, the last point I want to touch upon is the policy environment.  We obviously need to ensure that some of these barriers are removed, and one key way of doing that is actually talking to some of our policy makers and to ensure that the policy environment allows for innovation and allows for start‑ups to be created in an easy way that not only supports the economy but also the start‑ups.

The Internet Society, we look at ‑‑ we have a framework that being describes the enabling environment framework.  So, we touch upon a number of issues that we feel are important for generally speaking, an environment that allows for innovation through the internet.

What we've seen that many policy makers have mainly focused on the development of infrastructure.  And so the investment and the enabling environment has been fairly focused on infrastructure and the development of the ICT clusters, the geographic ones but not necessarily the creation of organic community of entrepreneurs.  So to facilitate their interaction with the traditional industries, Universities, other stakeholders to be successful.  So we feel that it is one of the crucial pieces of successful entrepreneurship.

So, we do live in challenging political times as well, so we need to keep that in mind.  We see an increasing discontent with globalization.  There is a renewed focus on nationalism in many countries and so the latest attacks, as well, on the internet have shown that security is also a main issue and it's a main concern so all of this combined are some of the uncertainties we're facing that we need to keep in mind as well when we talk about the maintenance or the preservation that we have.  If we want to keep the internet open and accessible to everyone for innovation, for social and economic growth then we need to work together to actually maintain the internet as we know it now and to make sure that we can continue the amazing innovation that is already happening and that we want to continue to encourage.

So, looking forward to hearing from all of you.  Thank you.

>> Thanks very much, Joyce, for those remarks, especially the examples of the innovation hubs, the entrepreneur tools and reiterating the proposition that entrepreneurship holds to removal of barriers.  At this point many n time, we go straight ahead to Ms. Carolina Caeiro from APNIC.

>> CAROLINA CAEIRO: Wonderful.  Thank you.  I'm a member of the Frida program.  We are also a member of the alliance which is a partnership of grants and award emphasize program.  We also have fire in Africa and eastern Asia.  So, just to give you a little context, Frida and also the partners from the Sid alliance, we work on supporting projects that are innovate and that resort to or harness, I should say, the power of the internet to generate special impact.  So today, I will be speaking specifically about the experience of the Frida program, supporting internet‑based solutions for social impact and supporting, specifically, social entrepreneurs.

So the first thing I would like to mention is that there are great innovations going and what we're seeing through the work of the alliance, particularly in social projects is that innovation in our regions is very needs‑driven very much oriented towards problem solving.  So here, there's a very interesting Ted X talk which I assume some of you may have seen, it's actually called, you don't need an app for that.  In this Ted X talk, he talks about innovation in Africa, how it's better than other places in the world.  It's quite interesting.  I recommend it.  And it's point in this talk is that in the global south we often innovate out of necessity.  I think this is great, the fact that we innovate out of necessity because what we are seeing is that work teams in our regions are not thinking of technology as an end in and of itself but as a means to basically serve communities and generate social impact so they're putting technology to work and not necessarily getting entangled in the technology on itself.

So in that regard, I would like to quickly mention two examples.  So today in the audience, we have actually the award winners of the SID alliance 2016 for all three programs, and I would like to quickly show case as examples the two award winners for the Frida program.  So we have Margaret Bernard somewhere, there, Margaret and Edward from Mexico, Margaret from ‑‑ I'll tell you about their projects really quickly.  If I'm not doing you guys justice, please feel free to flesh out the idea a little more during the Q and A.

So, on the one hand, we have Agrinet which is a cultural project that basically offers a range of ICT solutions to farmers in Trinidad and Tobego.  Basically, tools and information, just better manage their production.  And we find Agrinet to be essentially a wonderful example of ICTs to increase productivity and perhaps more importantly to help farmers increase their incomes and lift them up out of policy.

On the other hand, we have Mexico leagues which is an alliance of Civil Society and organizations independent in Mexico.  Basically, what they have done is offer a safe and secure platform so that anyone that has relevant information can share it anonymously with its community of journalists.  So what they do once they get this information is fact check it and prepare and use articles and they have done great work denouncing cases of corruption here in Mexico, Human Rights abuses, among others.  Again, we find them to be a great example of ICTs being used to empower communities, to encourage civic participation and strengthening Democracy here in Mexico.

So, of course it is not all a bed of roses.  There are of course challenges as well that entrepreneurs face, again, in Latin America and Caribbean but generally in the global south.  I think the point of today's discussion is also raising those points so one of the things I would like to bring up is again, also, aligned with what Joyce had mentioned in her remarks.  I believe one of the key issues today is still connectivity, internet access, and the digital gap, particularly for social projects working in our regions who want to serve disadvantaged communities and rural communities.  And that is, indeed, a big, big challenge.  So here, I like to share some strategies, if you will, that we from the Frida program and also from the SID alliance are trying to implement to circumvent in particular challenge.

So, on the one hand, I'm quite happy we have Mr. Ben in the audience.  Last month, we organized the workshop on innovation and funding and Mr. Serf actually mentioned that innovation does not always need to be high tech.  So that's something at the SID alliance we really take at heart, essentially with supported projects that have used very simple technologies or that have incorporated technology in very simple ways and that has allowed them to generate great social impact.  Essentially, I guess you could say seeking low tech innovation has been quite crucial for the work of the SID alliance. 

On the other hand, we are also getting involved in projects related to connectivity and connecting to the next billion.  Specifically now, we have Carlos here, working on a project called ‑‑ which we are funding through the SID alliance as a whole which is a project supporting the development of routers, hardware specifically tailors for the necessities and needs of network communities that we are funding, again, through the SID alliance through up with of our regional brands.  So Carlos, I invite you to later on during the Q and A comment about the progress in that regard.

I know I'm maybe running out of time so I'll wrap up real quick.  Another big challenge I wanted to mention is building capacity among the entrepreneurs themselves.  What I'm going to say may sounds like I'm stating the obvious, but what we have found through the SID alliance as well is that funding is never enough.  That it's key to provide mentorship and capacity building to the project teams we work with.  So basically you have a social leader, a programmer, developer that has become an entrepreneur and suddenly they need to learn how to develop a business model, put together a team, do their finances and so on and so forth so we find that building that capacity, those skills with entrepreneurs is quite crucial for their success. 

And last point, really, that I wanted to mention real quick has to do with the question of funding which I guess is sort of the big issue that always comes up talking about innovation and entrepreneurship.  I think I mentioned it earlier but the SID alliance and the Frida program specialize with giving small grants so we work with projects at their very early stages of development.  What we keep seeing in our regions is that it's very well tough for entrepreneurs that are getting started to catch that initial funding that allows them to lift their project off the ground and so sufficient risk is removed so you know other investors are willing to come in.

So that's definitely a weakness we tried to address from the SID alliance but we believe needs extra work.  Finally, just very last point, also connected to access to funding, another thing we've been hearing a lot is that entrepreneurs and innovators are having a hard time understanding ‑‑ or I should say, I don't know, getting to know and navigating the landscape of investors and funding opportunities, so you know, I think that both from the donors and investors side, on the one hand, and the entrepreneur's side, we need to do a little better at sort of improving the processes through which we find one another.  So I think I will leave it at that.  Hope I didn't extend too much.  Thank you.

>> That's okay, Carolina, thanks very much, especially for that expose on freedom program and by extension those considerations on funding.  At this point, we're going to call on Mr. Paul Kukubo, she's a board member with the Communications Authority of Kenya and also a serial entrepreneur.  Paul?  Yes, we have a mic available.

>> PAUL KUKUBO: Thank you very much.  Because of time, I'll just get right into it.  Now, the work I do at the Board is that I am responsible for heading the technical committee, which provides licensing and.  It's not a technical role.  I know what's going on at the authority, but I'm not a technical day‑to‑day person.  I'm on the Board of Directors.  In my life as a serial entrepreneur, that's more interesting, I think.  First of all, if I can just tease out some things.  Most entrepreneurs don't live in the world in which policy makers live mentally.  They don't understand frameworks, initiatives, efforts, concepts.  They don't understand those things.  And those who do, sometimes know how to deal with those issues better than they know how to run a business and that's an important thing to understand.

I've met entrepreneurs who had no idea about the concept of raising capital who had very good ideas about business but they don't understand that their world existed in which there are people who have a pot of money on the other side who make a living out of giving you money in your business.  And speaks to an issue about the global south.  It's a very different structure, the global south.  When you talk about the global south, you don't mean the more roam antic ‑‑ romantic animals running in the wild.  What you're talking about is countries who have serious problems with infrastructure where water doesn't run properly, where roads are not smooth, where school fees are not paid on time where schools have no windows where tax fees are not paid well.  So when an entrepreneur emerges out of this concept, he's a very buttlescut guy, and sometimes, as I think many of my colleagues have said before, necessity drives it.

Just in terms of disclosure, I previously run the ICT board, which is now the ICT authority in Kenya, and I was responsible for information and communication development and one of the things we said was that many entrepreneurs had to be exposed to how the government worked and how industry worked in order for them to respond to those opportunities.  And let me give an example here ‑‑ I've been in some forums where I've seen entrepreneurs write programs and all they do is write programs.  I've been in one hacker seminar where they all wrote programs about how to improve the dining process because it took them a long time to queue and get their food, or the library process.  That's the only business they've been exposed to except maybe a small mom and pop shop in the global area.  So how does a guy like that go on to solve a global problem?

He can't because he's not exposed to that global problem.  It's very distant for him.  So when you talk about some of the things you need to do, I would suggest perhaps that there needs to be an intervention in building entrepreneur confidence and exposure to the global problem set, especially in their own environments, and also how to interpret those problems as solvable by some of the technology they have.

I'm involved in a company, and I know we don't plug companies we're involved with, but I'm involved in a company that is doing some work in the iCart sector to develop what we call grow and manage systems.  Specifically, going to farms, give farmers technologies, give farm owners technology about how to manage their farms, how to put in crop yield, how to record what they grow, when they go to a warehouse, how to record that the product has been received.

These teams are so advanced that now they're looking at rolling it out on a global scale and even adopting blockchain technology in terms of registering farmers, warehouses, and that sort of thing.  So this is an example of taking a problem, understanding it from a granular and from a rural setting, and then applying knowledge that you've got it over time, courtesy of the internet, courtesy of exposure, and solving it.  No further questions I don't want to repeat many of the things that my colleagues are saying with respect to the fact that you need venture capital, mentorship, government policy that works, environments that support business, a culture that says, it's okay to be a business person.  But, one of the things that I want to maybe emphasize is this.  The barriers entry in terms of starting a technology business are not as high in terms of saying, I could raise enough, it's not as high.  But the barriers to scale are very, very high.  There are very few companies that I have seen in the African context ‑‑ and I operate both within Kenya and South Africa now where I spend a lot of time, ‑‑ that have actually got both the ability and more importantly, the meant at to say, I can scale.

In fact, many of them actually don't want to scale because what it is they want to do the business to get cash, put that picture cash in their pocket, and do other things with that money.  It's necessity.  So it also colors what we have.  So many of the people I study business with are now working for banks, for corporate organizations because they cannot sustain their business.  And those who are able to sustain their business have got maybe a certain mentality that allowed them to do it.

So, one of the things I can tease out as well is when we did our master business plan a few years ago, we looked at several things.  We said that ICT has to be an enabler of public value creation by enabling the public sector, which is so important in emerging markets in the global south, to do its business better.  That, already, is a problem set enough to keep many entrepreneurs busy.  How to pay bills.  How it can become more efficient, how services can be tailored better.

Let me tease out an example here.  In South Africa, I'm involved with a company that is now looking at creating a model where people who want to purchase electricity can purchase it cooperatively.  Because they can purchase electricity tokens by almost borrowing from a pool which they have collectively invested in using trust among themselves.  So, if you're borrowing on the phone, somebody can write a phone feature that sort verifies that you're who you are, and also that you're trustworthy because you're a member of this community.  And then you can raise cash by typing in a certain number and then your phone ‑‑ the lender can actually advance a little bit of credit on the phone for anybody to do this.  Now, that's taking an example of something that's a social context and applying it to solving a problem.

Another example, and I think maybe examples sometimes illustrate better the point than perhaps anything else, is brick.  Now, you talked about brick, I think, just in terms of disclosure, I sit on the board of Brick, so Eric and those other entrepreneurs who were mentioned are pretty good friends of mine and I've known them for a long time.  But Brick is an example of a company that's taken the connectivity problem in Africa and said, look, rural connectivity is a problem in Africa.  There's no electricity, and creating a user model which provides connectivity as a router which uses an advertising model so can you access the internet for free in exchange for viewing content that's supported by advertising.  In order to spread content around.

So, there's very many good examples of entrepreneurs who are responding to the challenges in the global south.

Now, I feel that maybe governments can do more.  I've always felt that.  I've been in government, but I cannot emphasize enough that governments can do more.  One of the reasons government can do more is this, if you look at the formations of all these hubs, good as it may be, it speaks to a gap in the University environment.  So you have a lot of hubs that don't have the sort of Stanford Silicon Valley relationship, which is high end research, high thinking.  So, labs are important, but they always have what you call academic limitation.  Academic limitation meaning that they can have the challenge ‑‑ and not always ‑‑ but they can't have the challenge if they're not properly run.  They can have the challenge of perpetuating a hobbyist mentality towards application development.  Because it's easy.  It's fun.  Let me try and do this application.

So you need a bit of rigor and people coming in and saying, guys, this problem exists ‑‑ and some of them have done a good job of had ‑‑ where you bring in people coming in and talking about their issues and it encourages people more to be able to create new ideas.  So I think that's one thing.  But Universities in Africa, many of who are stretched, constrained with academic resources and finances, and they're not providing the entrepreneurship ‑‑ the necessaries that we need for entrepreneurship in the way that others may and I would encourage governments to see this as a big necessary part of the relationship between research, academics, industry, because University is a safe place.  You see the difference when you go to places like Stellenbosch in South Africa and I've spent time there, maybe because Stellenbosch they live more of a privileged environment, the kind of entrepreneurs they're turning out in that environment tend to have a mentality of doing solutions that are sometimes scalable, yes, but also because of their social context, you'll find that many of them are writing applications for Europe.  They live in Europe mentally.  They mentally live in Europe, do European types, and they get venture capital to come in and do their scale because people understand what they're trying to do.  They've got the language to talk, they understand what you mean by series A funding, series B funding, they understand all that language.

Most of the guys I've dealt with in other markets have no idea, so there's a bit of a maturity issue going on.  So I think to end it, I just want to end by saying, I think this is encouraging and you'll find that there are more entrepreneurs in Africa in the ICT than most people have any idea about.  Many who die on the road side with the ideas, meaning their ideas die, without anybody ever hearing about them simply because they don't have the courage, channel, confidence, finance, or the social aptitude to actually take the ideas for it.

>> Thanks very much, Paul.  I think you've really hit a high note there highlighting the structural and systematic challenges that are faced in the global south, especially that disconnect between policy worlds and worlds that our entrepreneurs and social live in.  On to Sylvia from APNIC.

>> SYLVIA CADENA: My name is Sylvia Cadena, I'm the head of APNIC foundation.  One of the programs we coordinate is of Asia fund which supports programs and small awards in the Asia Pacific region from Afghanistan all the way to the Pacific islands, we cover 56 economies.  Same as Paul, I don't want to repeat anything that my colleagues have already said.  I'm really grateful for Carolina's mentions about the SID alliance and the work that Frida, fire, and ESF are doing together to bring a little bit of light to the innovators that as you said, kind of left their ideas on the side of the road because they didn't just have the opportunity.  So I think there are ‑‑ that one of the main challenges for innovation and entrepreneurship in the global south is that a lot of the work that we do is based ‑‑ or that we see that other people are doing, is based on assumptions.  It's not based on, you know, soul searching analysis and, you know, really understanding and asking others that actually think very differently from how we think.

It's like, we follow those on Twitter or Facebook that kind of think the way we think and live life the way we see it and you guys, we kind of, more people do, unfriend the ones that don't or just take the notifications off and that's switching off things that are happening when you're actually working around your social life also means that a lot of apps and solutions that are out there are actually disconnected from the abuse from the other side that might ‑‑ the views of the others that might experience a problem from a different approach.

So I think we are in the space like the IGF when we talk about a multistakeholder problems is like okay, if picking up again on the project that I have in front of me and my friend Carlos that is doing such great work, when you have a problem about access in communities and you have someone in University looking at it from a University angle or an academic angle and you have people on the other side of the world that are working from Argentina that is working more on the community side and you have a different kind of business models that they are pushing and works in Africa.

And then you have different parties looking at the same problem from a different angle, then that's the way the multistakeholder approach to problems actually works.  So you may have different views, you may have different ways of solving problems, and we are not working only on assumptions.  So I think that one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurship and innovation in the global south is that we are not actually listening to each other.  We are just preaching to the converted, already talking to the same people that think the same thing and kind of laughing on the back saying, oh, yes, you're doing it great.  But it's a good exercise to just dive in and try to be challenged by those that are on the other side of the fence and be uncomfortable by those concepts that don't agree with because that's the way that scale actually happens.  Scale happens when people from different views and different ways of seeing things actually agreed that a solution or an app or a device works for them.  And they personalize it in a different way.

So I think that one of the assumptions that is out there is that a lot of entrepreneurs are assuming that the infrastructure is actually there.  That there are pathways to have that infrastructure working.  So, I'm going to put, again, going back to examples that make a little bit of sense, in the Pacific Islands, lots of hackers or attempts to promote innovation in coding and apps and things happening. 

And then, when they have it all done and they put their PayPal button at the end so we can process it and Voila, there is a restriction on payments from the Pacific Islands because there was money laundering issues going on so you cannot pay with PayPal or receive funds on several of the Pacific Islands.  So there you go all the app was done, all the payment solutions was done, so lots of the developers, if they want to be paid through like a telework kind of system, they have to have bank accounts in New Zealand to be able to get the money and then they need a niece or a nephew or an auntie that sends the money in the next flight in and it gets to this reality of how it all actually works.

So, assuming that the infrastructure is there and assuming that infrastructure alone is going to generate the change is just, you know, is not ‑‑ my point of just talk to the people on the other side that are dos the other bit so you actually get an understanding of what the environment actually is, if it is receptive or not to the applications or systems or devices that you are designing.  So, it is, I know it is a challenge.  It's not that easy to find those that think differently to us that are doing things differently to us.  It is much easier to find common ground with those that think like us, but it is a part of a strategy if you really want to solve the problems of the world.  If we really want the SDGs to really have an app for that, you know, when an app, as Carolina mentioned.  If we really have these 17 massive issues we want to solve to make the world a better place, we have a game with our colleague in ‑‑ used to work at Cisco about trying to locate cards on a table with sustainable development goals and trying to figure out which ones are contributing to which and which ones are contributing to two or more, to try to explain it to others that might actually be looking at these issues from the policy perspective.

So I think there might be an app for that or there might not be one but there is definitely a framework to understand what the problems of the world is and what your contributions to that is and to take it seriously.  For that, I think it's very important that this strategy is it is not based on assumptions and not based on comfort.  It is really important to talk not only to those that share the same views as we do and the strategy is that one that is actually taking into consideration other views.  As my grandmother you'd to say, it is not good to have only plan B, you need to plan to have plan Z260 because you really never know what life is going to throw at you.  My colleagues also mentioned about visibility and how visibility sometimes makes a whole difference.

I don't think that there are better innovations in specific in Africa or better innovations in Asia, but I think the three of us, my colleague in Africa, my colleague Carolina in Asia Pacific, we are kind of competing to make sure our organizations here coming from Mexico, Ghana, Malaysia, Philippines, raise your hand, guys, and from the Philippines, these are my award winners, get their chance, get they are spotlight.  Because yes, sure, there is a lot of people working on electrical systems and mapping like Malaysia is.  There are lots of people working on disaster areas.  But they are here so take the time to get to meet them because yes, the others are not here.  They have visibility.  As it is, you take responsibility.  Opportunities come also with our responsibilities.

We have responsibilities to be in a place like this and try to talk to people that do not agree with you, that see things differently, to see life differently and come back home thinking, okay, what is my contribution to the sustainability framework and how can I make people's lives better?  But it's not only about feeling comfortable.  It's about taking it seriously and doing it right.

>> Thanks very much Sylvia, and thank you for that strategy you provided in reducing assumptions and being able to understand a problem from a different facet, using a multistakeholder approach and also being comfortable being uncomfortable, if I'm not mistaken.  Great.

And last but not least, we have Sergio Ariza.

>> SERGIO ARIZA: I apologize for my colleague who is already not here, but he said hello and hope you enjoy the IGF in Mexico.  So, just a little introduction about what Social Tech is.  Social tech is a small NGO based in Mexico City but mostly we work in Latin America, we try to have Latin America perspective about social change and entrepreneurship and innovation.  So I will like to use my participation using two examples of what innovation means for the Latin America context and actually, I will present three small groups of different topics that they are innovating in different context.

So I will like to start with the Publico, which is a small NGO based in Venezuela.  They are a small group of journalists, developers who in the last years are working on different activities related to electoral process and elections and this is a really good example of what innovation means for us.  Because for us, innovation, at least in the social change or social change maker is the capacity to be receptive of what is happening around you.  For instance, you mentioned in the last participation that ‑‑ I don't know if you have in mind what is Ishihiri, it's a platform that enables the capacity to participate around SMS or tweeting or Facebook, or whatever.  So for Venezuelan people, the context, people from there, the capacity to be part of the election is a thing that change realities.  In the last I think five years, Venezuela had a couple of presidential elections that probably you can hear a lot of them.

So, for this small group, the capacity to use Ishihiri was the possibility to be connected with other parts of the world.  For instance, they are already exchanging knowledge and exchanging experiences that they had in the Latin America context and now they have the capacity to build new and better libraries for this application, for this software.  So, innovation is the possibility to solve ‑‑ the possibility that one people, the people have to solve problems that they can see around their context.  This is one example of the capacity to us to adopt new and better technology that they already use in other places like Africa.  The second group that I would like to present to you is Ojopublico which is a small start‑up based in Peru.  They are outliers, journalists, thank you so much.  That's a hard word for Spanish speakers.  This group is a small group of journalists that in the last two years, they are rethinking how the journalist is for Peruvian people.  They are really using the data process and transparency process to encourage Democracy and encourage participation and actually encourage the capacity to share what is happening in the government.

Remember that Latin America actually related to the SDG's agenda, that is one of the biggest challenges that the region has in the next ten years for this agenda.

So now, they are, as I say, rethinking how the journalist looks like in social context but at the same time innovating the way they're presenting the histories and presenting the cases of corruption or the transparency that they have in the last year, they be part of the Panama Papers investigation research.  And now, they are presenting month after month a new and better history of corruption that they have.

So the problem here is that, okay.  How many stories they need to show to impact the ecosystems and to get the final goal they have, which is social change.  So that's a really good example how to use technology for journalists and how to enable the capacity to be in touch with the people, yeah?

So, in my third example, my last example, I would like to present to you Codiondo Mexico which is another smaller NGO, a civic hacker group, that they are building apps to enable civic participation through technology.  And now they are building platforms and they are building apps to, as I say, build participation.  But the example of the key question of this is how to think or how to enable participation and context where the people has no technology or no connectivity, as you mentioned.  Now, they are pushing a new agenda into the Congress in Mexico to enable the participation around using technology or using these apps, but the problem is the policy makers don't think or they don't believe the impact that the technology has in the Democracy because we need to rethink the way that the policy are made.  For instance, the policy in Mexico was made in the last century.

So now, we need to start to think, and actually that's the key point about this part is that it's not about technology or what technology can do for you.  It's about how the technology can change the social environment but at the same time, how to reduce the asymmetries between people which has the power of the capacity among the people who has not the possibility to be part of the conversation, and actually, that's the point.  How to start a new conversation using technology to encourage the capacities and the Human Rights for people who has not been represented in the last century.

So, obviously, this is only three examples of what we are doing in Latin America.  Obviously, we have more examples but for us is the possibility to start this kind of conversation, exchanging technology, exchanging knowledge, and actually exchanging experiences in the last years we have.  Thank you so much.

>> Thanks very much, Sergio.  Thanks for those examples of social innovations and I liked how they were focused on a concrete problem which is specifically good governments and social participation in Latin America societies.  At this point in time, we are going into what we call the group discussions.  And of course, as Sylvia and others have mentioned, we have people in the room who have done it, who have been there.  The idea is that we want to have an exchange of ideas and we will call on anyone, even our remote participants at this point.

Just as a reminder, the first question or consideration we're looking at is challenges and opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs within the global south and of course we are looking at well within that the short comings of the actions so at this point, I would like to open up the floor to anyone to make a comment and recognize Mr. Vincer.

>> MR. VINCER: Thank you.  How am I going to do this?  I hate to speak to you from the back, so I'll stand here.  I apologize for putting my back in front of the panel.  First of all, I want to draw your attention to a very interesting experiment which is going on here in Mexico in the poorest and most rural parts.  There's a company called gallop.  They made their business polling people to find out what their opinions were but they have decided to branch out it now into discovering the strengths that people have and in particular they're trying to find out what are the entrepreneurial skills that people have and it's not necessarily the case that somebody who is very smart is also prepared to be an entrepreneur.  So they invented some tests to try to figure out who is ready to be an entrepreneur.  They tested 15,000 young people who were in the high school age and they found 15 of them that looked like, based on the test, would be capable of starting and running a business.

One of them is a young girl who noticed in Mexico that some people were getting fat.  And that this threatened their health because they had a possibility of diabetes.  So they wanted to start a healthy candy company.  And she tested really well in this entrepreneur thing so the Gallop people decided to test their test and they gave money to her and advice so she could start her candy company.  Now, this is just still in the process, so I don't have a result yet, but the idea that finding entrepreneurs is not so simple is very important.  Not everyone is ready for that, I'm sure you can attest to that just based on what you've told us this morning.  So that's point number one.

And Mr. Chairman, may I make a second point?  So the second one has to do with what we are measuring and I was struck by the fact that we always tend to measure how many start‑ups there are and how much money went into the start‑ups.  The important point is how many start‑ups survive.  We all know from the Silicon Valley metrics that when you put money into a start‑up 85 percent of the time, it doesn't work, and it doesn't work for a lot of reasons so it's important to understand, what fraction of the start‑ups do we have?  Are we having successes at all because it won't be good if we put lots of money into lots of start‑ups and none of them work so I want to hear some statistics about the success stories, what fractions of them have succeeded.  I have other things to say, but I will return the microphone because everyone else has things to say, too.

>> Great, thank you very much.  Anyone else?  Challenges and opportunities?  I recognize Margaret.  Please make sure to introduce yourself for the benefit of all of our participants.

>> Okay.  Hi, I'm Margaret Bernard from Trinidad and Tobego and I'm one of the Frida awardees for Agrinet but my contribution is not really about Agrinet.  Both Paul mentioned about the caption building and I wanted to share with you what our University in the west Indies is doing.  We have introduced a course on entrepreneurship and intellectual property.  We have many of our graduates who are interested in commercialization and business opportunities and this course is a collaboration with industry in Trinidad and Tobego and then the Caribbean on a whole and it really provides a lot of information and experience from successful persons in terms of entrepreneurship and particularly also the intellectual property, which is not very often talked about or discussed, but is really a critical part of entrepreneurship.

The second program we have that I wanted to mention quickly is a program where we pull together persons who have very innovative ideas and basically we fund them for a period and leave them freely to roam with their ideas.  We do a lot of mentor ship with these students and just allow them to develop their ideas and through that and through some of our contacts with industry, we help to provide funding for them to be able to take them to the next stage.  I was particularly interested in this set of questions to be able to identify who really have that entrepreneurial skill so probably I'll follow up on that as well.

>> Hello, everyone.  I work for the world Chile administration.  This has been a very interesting panel.  I have heard different things around the panel only focusing on infrastructure but at the same time that infrastructure is one of the main challenges we have.  But looking forward, while we are working on infrastructure, what other issues are important.  I heard capacity building, also the environment that I would think it means networking.  In concrete terms, what we could do as government to help in this process to get a positive outcome in terms of innovation.  And the second one has to do with transfer of technology.  This is an issue that we discuss a lot in Geneva in different forums.  We discuss it in WIPO.  It's very difficult to put this in concrete terms and if it's really important and exactly what we need to do to foster these and what role it has in fostering the innovation process.  Thank you very much.

>> Okay.  Thank you very much.  Given that this is both an idea exchange, I'll probably ask anyone to field those questions.  Sylvia?

>> SYLVIA CADENA: I'm originally from Columbia but I kind of jump between Asia Pacific and Latin America.  I want to jump around the issue of policy framework and how it is discussed in places where a lot of us don't participate.  I guess that's a very important point with talking to the people who think differently from us.  A lot of the things we discuss are creative comments and the ideas that they share what they learn and that the innovation is openly accessible and the people we don't talk with are the ones that are on the copyright side of the table, let's say.  And a lot of the priors have issues around deal had the entrepreneurs have issues around dealing with the, so there are treaties and decisions, problems we are probably not even aware of.  So one.  Things I think the government can do very well in terms of how they inject innovation is to make sure they are aware of how they can be managed, not only patents but we've seen cases where they go the patent way and that generates restrictions later on.  So there are issues there.

And then on your question about the policy side of things, there are Australian agenda, for example, pushes to try to take the economy out of the mining industry alone, which was called the mining boom to the innovation boom.  Just by boom, I mean, is a lot of boom, is just that.  Is not structured in a way that, not by changing a name and thinking that you have a document then things will fall in properly.  So the policy, as Carolina mentioned before and also Paul, the policy is an instrument, but if it's not linked to what is actually happening and how people can access those mechanisms, then is this assumption that entrepreneurs are going to have great ideas and because they are great, they're going to have access to funding, and because they have access to funding, they're going to succeed.

That's not the case.  So I think the policy framework has to be as flexible and as crazy, let's say, as this environment, as this space is, and entrepreneurs are under a lot of stress to generate jobs, to change the world, to do in a place that sometimes just doesn't deliver to the promise and I think that the policy should address those issues and give them the possibility to have tax exemptions for at least five years so they can build a business, encouraging for the number of employment they develop, the number of women, things that are stimuli for what they're doing, but that's the policy.  The policy should not say, if you don't have the word innovation on your business case, we don't support you.  Or if you are older than 35, you are not eligible.  In sometimes, that's what policy actually means.  So I guess my call would be to be more inclusive in the policy.  Think out of the box a little bit and try to include the copyright issues.

>> Thank you and Joyce, and then we'll go back to ‑‑

>> JOYCE DOGNIEZ: I see a lot of hands, so I'll make it very short.  I think from my perspective, there's two things which we touched on a little bit.  Education, obviously.  Looking at ensuring that the younger generation ‑‑ and I say this as a mom as well, so I have a personal interest, that the younger generation actually is raised with a more entrepreneurship minds.  I think that the schooling system is still very traditional, and let's just say, I live in Luxembourg and Belgium, I have an Italian husband, it's complicated.  But the schooling system in the three countries we are linked to is still very traditional.  You teach stuff, you learn tough, but you don't actually learn to create innovation, to think innovatively, it's not part of it.  So I think that's one of the pieces.

The other piece, which we didn't really talk about is the digital economy piece.  And I'll take a very controversial example that we probably all have used these days, Uber.  It's a big issue.  It's a big discussion in many countries.  The taxation issues, the taxation regulation around innovation, and I'm taking Uber as one example, but there's many, many more.  You need to look as governments.  You also need to look that innovation doesn't stop at the border anymore.

So, when you're an entrepreneur and you create new things, thanks to the internet, as I mentioned, you break the geographical barriers but it also means that you as government have responsibilities to work with your colleagues from other countries to ensure that those limitations are also disabled, I would say.  To ensure that you allow that entrepreneurship to use the internet as a tool, as a cross‑border, as a global tool but that you also enable that from a government and policy making perspective.  Thank you.

>> PAUL KUKUBO: Let me just chime in here.  This search for a silver bullet is actually the wrong part in my view.  Government thinking there is a template somewhere in some University that's going to say, this is how you create entrepreneurs.  We've been asking this question in so many conferences, it doesn't work.  I think everything is about context.  An entrepreneur in Chile or Germany has a different context.  What I say, in fact for me, the issue is not so much about entrepreneurship, it's about enterprise development.

Some of the people who might start businesses are better suited buying a franchise or something that actually works and setting up business with an established business format for which there's not much thinking required and then they get it to run and it will still be a viable business and then they can layer on whatever they want to layer on top of that.  So if you're a dealer, for example, a Microsoft retailer in a place that requires licensing, that's a good business.  In the global south you have a lot of need for even those businesses.  The role of entrepreneurship is to solve problems that are not emergent that can't be solved by someone else by applying context and opportunity to that problem.

So I know my colleague talked about Uber and the fact that we have to worry about global scaling, but when you get to that point, it's a different problem.  It's a very sophisticated problem worrying about international law, international licensing, in fact, as an entrepreneur myself, if I get to that, it's a good place to be because I need expensive lawyers.  It's something else.

At this stage, the issue that we have in the global south is that we don't have enough people that say, this door is locked.  I need to create a key that opens the door.  That, to me, is the conversation.

>> Okay, thank you Paul.  Of course there's one problem that we have right now, which is time.  Seeing that we are a bit into this question, what I want is one more reaction which is the gentleman in front who will introduce himself, and then we have a remote.


>> You want to take the mic, actually, because otherwise ‑‑

>> MENDUA: So, my name is Mendua, the project manager for Fire Africa.  I work with Carolina and Sylvia.  So there's this very important question that we have asked about the impact of the projects that we have fund, but that question does not only go to the lands because our funding, a drop in the ocean.  That question, I think, is something we should be able to explore more, see how much money is thrown into projects and how many actually germ Nate and grow into something.

>> Great.  Thanks very much Mendua.  And he's referring to this second part where we are looking more at those projects, implementations, and it details around we want to get some of the learned lessons from there and otherwise and some of the practices we may want to share, not only from SID alliance but from anyone else in the room.

And just to finish the first part, I recognize in gentleman and we are already in the second part but the focus will shift after your intervention.

>> Hello, good morning everyone.  My name is Carlo Moreno.  I work for University of Western Cape.  My point would be related to the SID alliance and the importance of somehow we are facing the same issues in the global south and creating solutions that may tackle problems that are faced across the regions.  And I think, in that case, I (indiscernible) the interregional grant that it's allowing in this case organizations in South America, Argentina in particular, and an organization in South Africa to work together to tackle the problems, in this case, the inexistence of hardware and software that can solve some of the issues we are facing in the community networks community.  In the community networks community what we are trying to do is create what we are calling geek free technologies so any communities can actually provide themselves with their own connectivity.  The tackles very well the problems we have been having around the civilian and how these technologies and problems for most of the 4 billion that are still to be connected are in the global south.  By creating and having funds to tackle the hardware and software needs to create solutions that may tackle these problems could be an interesting way.

In that sense, also something I wanted to say very quickly, you were saying about local knowledge and local knowledge to create local solutions and I think in this sense, community networks are an enabling of creating local entrepreneurship.  I just was organizing the first community networks in Africa a couple weeks ago and ten representatives of community networks in Africa were there and ten of them are providing ICT skills and detailed entrepreneurship in the community centers that these community networks are building.  So, it's enabling innovation to enable more innovation, so I think that's very important.  And going back to the impact and entrepreneurial skills, where myself, I'm an academic and an activist and I don't have entrepreneurial skills, so we are jumping into a space that we might not have all the skills and experience to make this in, so we are very happy of those mentoring programs and any other tapes that I may hear in the next round of the session.  Thank you.

>> Thank you very much.  If we have any else with these specific innovation entrepreneurship programs, any lessons you have learned, any practices you would like to share, and of course we take into consideration the comments which does specifically on some of those finer details.  So the floor is open.

>> All right so this time I'll stand here because the camera is over there.  I want to call attention to something that a company called McDonalds Does.  They have lots and lots of franchises so that's an opportunity for someone to start a business under a franchise arrangement.  The reason I bring this up is that they have around organization they call hamburger University.  And they basically bring people who are going to run a McDonalds franchise to the University to teach them about how to do it.  They teach them about the Food and Drug Administration rules for safety and so on, how to be efficient, how to hire and fire people if you have to.  The reason I bring this up so I wonder if we should have school like that for people who want to start businesses.  Google has started something a little like that, something called Campus, one in London and somewhere else.  A building full of people with ideas and entrepreneurial ambition and we bring Googlers there to be advisers but it feels to me, basically what Paul was saying, is that the people with the entrepreneurial ideas don't necessarily have all the pieces they need to make it into a business so we should find a way to help them do that.

>> Thank you.  Anyone else?

>> JEFFERY: Good morning.  I'm Jeffery from the Philippines.  I'm also a recipient of the awards.  I just want to share the experience in the Philippines right now because it's different.  Our main concern is the migration of talents.  Our main concern is talents moving towards Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, so we have BPOs but most of them the workers are medical staff, nurses.  There are some jokes in the Philippines that if you want to get some heart attack, the best place is the call centers because 90 percent are nurses or doctors.  So right now, my concern is, how to keep this talent in the Philippines.  How to keep this talent at the local areas.  They say that we are very fortunate because our second language is English.  For me, it's good and it's bad also, because most of the people goes away.  They went to the U.S.  They went to Australia. 

So it's a double edged sword.  So my concern right now is how to keep this talent.  I've been working with so many start‑ups and they never have any chance to boom their businesses because they have been absorbed to different big countries.  We have government scholars.  The government scholars have been spent hundreds of thousands of pesos.  But what happened?  The bright ones, the intellectuals, when the Japanese government or any government saw them, they would pay the total amount.  So at an early age, I see it.  They go to Japan.  They go to the US.  So I think it's also important to keep those birds in the nest, we must have to nurture them until such time they can take off.  That's my experience.  Thank you.

>> Thank you for that experience.  Any other experiences that we would like to share?  Lessons learned?  Practices?

>> Hello, I'm from Gambia.  One of the recipients for the SID alliance Africa, Fire award.  Basically, what we do is train young people and order business initiatives.  One of the challenges that woe face is funding.  Sometimes I do tell people it's not like ‑‑ most of the time it's commitment.  I think an important part of such conference is they have what we call the corporate responsibility forms that they can give to emerging young groups in order to implement activities of the we have this experience in the Gambia.  Mostly, some of them do provide not to certain level but I feel like if they inspire forms like this it can be a catalyst for change in order to be given more of these forms, especially to young emerging organizations who are inspiring in their communities.  Thank you.

>> Thank you.  Thank you for that exchange.  I think we have time for one more reaction and then we will wrap up there.

>> I am from Myanmar.  I am also a former recipient of grant.  From what I have observed here, I think one of the panelists has mentioned is funding always challenging and the other has mentioned about scaling up after the start‑ups.  So if we put that together, for example, that lady here, she has mentioned about a very good project they are doing.  Agrinet, yeah?  So this kind of solution, maybe we can replicate that.  We can use very small funding and then replicate that in like my country, and it could be very successful as well so it's an idea to scale up for them as well as solution for us.  Thank you.

>> Okay.  I think I am being told we have at least room for ‑‑ yes.  So we have these last two reactions and then we are being innovative with our use of time.  Gentleman in the front.

>> I am from Kenya and straight to the question, I'm glad there are so many case studies mentioned from Kenya.  My concern or question, rather, would be to Paul.  We know that in the global south, more than 70 percent of the population stays in rural areas.  Most of the case studies mentioned about Kenya mainly have been captured from the capital.  What happens to the 70 percent?

>> Well we take, yes, the last reaction and then Paul can answer it collectively.  Yeah.

>> JENTETHI: My name is Jentethi.  I'm a youth at IGF and ISOC fellow here but I'm a lawyer in Kenya so my advice to all the innovators and entrepreneurs in Kenya, this is just a comment, is protect your intellectual property.  There's no other way you'll be protected from the rest of the world.  So protect your innovation.  It's crucial.  No, you don't agree?

>> What I said is that there are different ways of dealing with intellectual property.  Find the way that suits you, but just make sure that you find one.  And that could be completely oath and out there, but just think about it.  Not only protect it.

>> I agree.  So find what suits you as well.  Yes, that's true.  But the biggest problem we have is people don't protect their IP, which is a big problem in the south.  They don't know as well.

>> Thank you.  Thank you.  And Paul, to answer the previous question?

>> PAUL KUKUBO: Yeah.  Okay. I think ‑‑ all I'll say is that I made my point earlier when I said that a lot of innovations have gotten lost by the way side.  And this rural urban divide in Kenya and many African countries is part of the problem.  For example, if you live in a rural area and come from a rural school and have no exposure to urbanization, you will find that even the uptake of some of what you're trying to do doesn't have the space and also your own confidence to be able to do a business doesn't apply in the same way.  You find that most of the successful people will have to come into an urban area and deploy their technology innovation in that space.  The infrastructure, the culture, the uptake is just not there.  So you'll find that there are some ‑‑ I know one young company that was involved in a project to try and do something in transport and these guys are originally from a rural setting came from Nairobi and were able to do it.

So just like in other countries in the world, there are areas where businesses tend to cluster and the support systems to support them exist in those areas so Nairobi at this time in Kenya plays that role.  That shouldn't be the case, but it just is what it is.

>> Thank you Paul.  Unfortunately, we have come to that time and I think we have generated so much fruitful discussion here that we will continue outside of the room but at this point, I would like to thank our speakers.  I think we had a diverse set of speakers, regions, gender equality.  And of course we thank all of you for being here to be here and raise your concerns and questions so I thank you all and do wish you a very fruitful rest of your day.


(Session was concluded at 10:32 a.m. CST)