Conference themes


The meeting provided an ideal opportunity for government, business, the technical community and civil society to consider broad social, economic, and technical trends shaping the development of the Internet economy and to discuss policies that could respond to evolving societal needs. 


The following broad categories of challenges structured the meeting.


Fuelling creativity


The Internet has greatly expanded our capacity to create, compute, communicate, co-ordinate, and innovate, toppling barriers that constrained so many economic and social activities in the past. It has led to increased productivity, lowered costs and raised living standards in ways difficult to imagine just a few years ago. This creative activity is generating new software and hardware products, sensor technologies, new ways of organising global business, employment creation, and the development of digital content across the economy and in research, government, health and education. The theme on Fuelling Creativity will consider:

  • How to enable innovation and encourage new co-operative models for growth and employment.
  • Enabling maximum access to public sector information and content and its re-use by the private sector.
  • The value of e-science in innovation policy and in the OECD’s innovation strategy.


Building confidence


As it becomes a key conduit for economic and social activity, the Internet also attracts fraud and malicious practices that are increasing in size and sophistication and threaten consumer and user confidence. As no single entity, working alone, can ensure a trusted online environment, there is a need to work collectively – across borders, engaging all stakeholders – to formulate effective practices and policies to prevent an erosion of confidence. The theme on building confidence will consider:

  • Policies to ensure the security of critical information infrastructure and combat malicious software.
  • Multi-stakeholder, cross-border co-operation for privacy, security and consumer protection.
  • Policies to empower consumers online; ensure fair mobile commerce transactions and combat identity theft.
  • Policies for digital identity and its management.


Benefiting from convergence


Through technological development and regulatory reform, network platforms for data, voice and video that were previously separate are converging to a single platform based on the Internet protocol. This is resulting in a range of new services, a re-evaluation of business models and changing levels of competition in formerly distinct markets. Policy is caught up in this change and must adapt to the new environment. The Internet’s capabilities are expected to be further transformed as it embraces new technologies such as wireless access or sensor networks. The theme on benefiting from convergence will consider:

  • Overarching principles needed for convergence and the transition to the next generation of high speed networks.
  • Guidance to help consumers navigate the transition towards a converged network that offers bundled and tailored services while stimulating competition.
  • Policies for opportunities and challenges offered by evolving RFID and sensor networks.


A global information society


A global information society should have as its primary goal the extension of the Internet to the 2nd and 3rd billion users and with it the associated economic and social development. While some remarkable progress has been made, much remains to be accomplished. There is a need to build an appreciation, among all stakeholders, of the key reasons behind the successful cases and the opportunities that Internet access can bring for developing countries.  

  • Ministers will endorse findings of analytical work that identifies key enabling factors for competition and communication services to flourish in developed and developing countries.
  • Ministers will take stock of where the OECD stands regarding the official development assistance it commits to ICT capacity building, ICT infrastructure and other donor ICT assistance.


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