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Panel 1.1 The Economic and Social Benefits of Internet Openness

Thanks to the Internet, the world is doing business globally and information is flowing within and across borders with unprecedented pace and volume. These data flows are important to trade, innovation, entrepreneurship, growth and social prosperity. Promoting the open, distributed and interconnected nature of the Internet and encouraging multi-stakeholder co-operation is essential to keeping that data flowing and harnessing its benefits.

However, openness is not an all-or-nothing choice. There are many dimensions to Internet openness, and policy makers will have to make decisions on technical, legal, governance, market and social issues as they seek to maximise the benefits of their country’s participation in the digital economy. Having a better understanding of the economic and social implications of Internet openness will better inform policy decisions.

This panel discussed what Internet openness is, why it is important, and what policy priorities are driving different approaches to Internet openness in different countries. The OECD’s Recommendation on Principles for Internet Policy Making, which is designed to help preserve the fundamental openness of the Internet while meeting certain public policy objectives, such as the protection of privacy, security, children online, and intellectual property, as well as the reinforcement of trust in the Internet, will serve as a reference for the discussion. 

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Panel 1.2 Stimulating Digital Innovation across the Economy

An effective way to develop and address social and economic goals, such as productivity growth, the needs of ageing societies and inclusiveness, is through supply and demand-side policies that stimulate digital innovation. We have a lot to learn from each other – sharing expertise and building on one another’s experiences will allow countries to make better, stronger policies for the digital economy, benefitting their citizens and future economic prosperity.

The panel built on the experiences and expertise of countries that wish to showcase their work in developing policies for digital innovation. It will also benefit from the input of interested stakeholders. Ministers were invited to discuss policies and practices that support whole-of-government approaches to digital innovation and how these can be used to support other policy objectives like regional development, and addressing poverty.

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