RightsCon 2016 - Silicon Valley

Closing the Gap on Global Connectivity
Friday April 1, 2016 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Session ID324

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Today, 60 percent of the global population lacks Internet access. In the least developed countries only five percent of people, at most, are connected to the Internet. To close that gap, stakeholders are charged to accelerate progress towards affordable Internet access in the least developed countries within the next five years, through global commitments under the Sustainable Development Goals and the WSIS+10 Outcome Document.

In this session, Global Connect partners - including governments, civil society, and companies - will consult on the best strategies to move forward a common, worldwide goal: to bring 1.5 billion people who lack Internet access online by 2020. We will explore questions such as: What are best policies, narratives, and practices to reach the 2020 and 2030 goals? What is the Global Connect Initiative and its core stepping stones? What to ask and expect from the Multilateral Banks meeting occurring in April in Washington, DC? And, what is the role of Civil Society within this effort and how the technical community can help address the challenges? The session will be structured with a 30 minute presentation by a diverse set of longtime advocates, followed by 30 minutes of discussion. One possible goal is for RightsCon participants to ask Financial Ministers - core actors of the April Multilateral Banks Meeting - to commit national investments on ICT infrastructure, broadband plans, and related.


Manu Bhardwaj
Senior Advisor, U.S. State Department

Karen McCabe
Senior Director Technology Policy, IEEE-SA
Senior Director of Technology Policy and International Affairs, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Carolina Rossini
VP of International Policy, Public Knowledge
2016 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader

Suhas Subramanyam
Special Assistant, The White House, Office of Science and Technology Policy

Host Organization
Global Connect Initiative