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Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Gordon Brown: How Can the Web Accelerate Social and Economic Change?

Craig Heintzman · April 6, 2011

UPDATE (8th April 2011): the full length original video is here:

Original blog post:

Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will be speaking today about the potential of the Web to play a fundamental role in accelerating social and economic change, particularly in the developing world.

Their talk – today at 6:00pm CET  / 12:00pm ET – will be moderated by Knight Foundation CEO and Web Foundation Chair, Alberto Ibargüen, and hosted at the University of Geneva.

Particularly now with the seemingly viral spread of protests and revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa, many people are wondering what role, if any, the Web is playing. Will its potential for good outweigh its potential for bad? What does it really mean for an economically disadvantaged person to be “empowered by the Web”? Is infrastructure the only barrier to ensuring it is universally accessible and non-exclusive? What needs to happen to open the Web in a meaningful way to billions more people and how do we get there? What can be done today to address problems at the global scale? Are the solutions top-down or bottom-up?

These questions are, of course, central to what we are doing at the Web Foundation. They deserve serious thought and debate now if we are to understand the Web’s potential and act to ensure that it’s an increasingly powerful and positive force for billions to take control of their own lives.

After the talk, we will update this post to link to an archived version of the discussion.

We would love to make text available in as many languages as possible so please contact us or sign up on our wiki if you would like to work on translation. For those in attendance, ear pieces will be available with a real-time french translation.

We look forward to hearing fresh ideas from the speakers and want to get your comments below on what they have to say.

 

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