By DaveLevy on Mar 31, 2008
The conference, "The Future of the Internet" was opened by Dr. Ziga Turk. He is the Minister for Growth of Slovenia, which holds the rotating EU presidency at the moment. He opened by talking about Slovenia's adoption of the internet, which was prior to independence and stated that the internet was an important tool for the campaigners in pre-independence Slovenia. After my experiences in trying to get connected in Italy, I have been pleasantly surprised. Easy connection for both phone and laptop.
He then, cleverly (well, I thought so), compared the development of the internet and its opportunities with the discovery of cheap paper and the renaissance. I was particularly interested in his assertion that while the invention of paper came from China, it was the european's letter based writing that enabled the first knowledge based revolution since printing was easier. He also pointed out that the first global knowledge revolution, the "p-revolution" while global, was led in Europe, but today's revolution, the "i-revolution" is not. The european response to this needs to be two fold. The simplest is to continue with EU enlargement, the other political responses are within the EU's "Lisbon Strategy". This is aimed at creating and stimulating jobs and growth in europe, and places innovation and research at the heart of this effort. It is also about dynamism and entrepreneurialism in the context of caring for people and environment. The driving economies of the US and Japan are being challenged by China and India, but by placing knowledge as a 5th freedom, the EU can hopefully harness the creativity and entrepreneurialism of its citizenry.
The first four freedoms in the EU are a bit different from Roosevelt's declared at the time of the founding of the United Nations.
We've been promised the slides, but they're [still] not available yet.
This article was written from notes taken at the time, posted the following week and back dated to the approximate time the speech was given.