Takeaways from the 1st SpeakNGI.eu Workshop

Let’s Speak NGI – Next Generation Internet – Business, Career & Funding Opportunities, while developing a human-centric internet, 27 March 2018 in Milan

By focusing on the NGI offer and opportunities, the 1st SpeakNGI.eu workshop zoomed in on how we can shape future directions for EU human-centric values to thrive under a new and multi-faceted approach for the next generation internet.

Take-away #1 – A forum for new NGI innovators

The workshop was an example of how new and diverse players can become part of the NGI community in a multi-disciplinary, multi-organisational approach to building the next generation internet. It was the first workshop to highlight the many opportunities to engage with the NGI through a compelling, collective offer driven by SpeakNGI.eu, NGI Move, Engine Room, and Hub4NGI.

Take-away #2 – Driving a new internet for the next generation

NGI needs to be the catalyst for disrupting the current Internet, driving new approaches on how we can make the internet less centralised and controlled by the few to a more open and transparent internet. Technology should be driven by societal values to frame the use of the next generation of artificial intelligence, security, privacy and trust components.
Open data to benefit all of society. NGI should consider the use of open data for a useful purpose and not just for making money, encouraging participants to start thinking about open data as the basis for a smart society. NGI should also explore ways to use open source hardware and software, as well as edge computing approaches for connecting people in innovative ways.
Control over data: In the NGI, we must focus both on control of our data as well as control of our identity, which is ever increasingly being centralised by a few large organisations, delimiting OUR control. The workshop highlighted the current trend “if you are not paying, you are the product”, illustrating how the NGI can help turn this around in the drive towards a human-centric internet based on solid EU values.
Privacy as a fundamental EU right: The NGI should look at innovative ways of creating a privacy data market place, where privacy is a fundamental human right while ensuring added value for EU businesses. In other words, when privacy is understood as control over one’s own data, it can also mean the sharing of information based on a conscious choice for other societal benefits.
The EU should be lauded on GDPR as the landscape of the identity world is fraught with potentially large abuses of valuable personal data in a centralised landscape, if not addressed agressively through regulation.
New wave of innovations: BLOCKCERTS, the Open Standard for Blockchain Certificates, is a good example of NGI where the underlying goal is to enable a wave of innovation that gives individuals the capacity to possess and share their own official records. For ongoing development, this open-source project actively encourages other collaborators to get involved so this would be a good opportunity for the involvement of NGI communities.
A number of references were given on new solutions that could be applied to the NGI, including: Identity For All: Permanent Digital Identities that Don’t Require a Central Authority and ENIGMA: Find Truth about Data is an ambitious initiative that provides the content, tools, and expertise to empower organisations looking to make sense of the world through data.

Takeaway #3 – a new offer for a new approach to EC funding

The Commission is trying to accomplish “New things done in new ways!” with NGI. Within NGI, the work programme definition is based on a consultation activity for each of the calls to determine the most appropriate topics for consideration in NGI, which has led to two upcoming calls: Call 1, ICT-24-2018, which closed on 17 April 2018. It is expected that NGI will be one of the main pillars within the Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) programme in the post H2020 period. In NGI, we are trying to engage with those hard-to-reach stakeholders that wouldn’t normally involve themselves in EU framework programmes, including SMEs, high tech start-ups, and even individuals.

So how can innovators AND people of all walks of life engage with NGI?
Consultation Platform and Knowledge Base: the NGI consultation platform offers a place for innovators from research, SMEs and start-ups to discuss, debate and put forward ideas for a novel programme of developing a human centric next generation internet. Through its knowledge base, the project regularly moderates, collates and reports the information into an open platform available to proactively capture the inputs from the multi-stakeholders in the NGI communities.
Recognition of innovation: The NGI Awards is an initiative of the NGI Move project to highlight new role models in the NGI communities. There are different categories of awards, including NGI Start-up awards and NGI Researcher awards. The awards will be open from April to September 2018. After a selection process, the awards will be distributed during 4YFN 2019 in February, 2019. The NGI Move project is organising NGI salons across Europe involving not only technologists but also artists and curators.
The Interactive Online NGI Map: The NGI Map is a unique opportunity for innovators in the NGI space to highlight and their work. The map is designed for start-ups, SMEs, research groups and other organisations who can contribute to socio-technical developments. The aim is to help identify the many and diverse players with a potential to shape the NGI.
Research topics for Work Programme 2019: EngineRoom presented the nine key NGI topics of high interest for the NGI Work Programme 2019 based on their findings and consensus building recent event, Reimagining The Internet – Building Radical New Alternatives For A More Democratic Future Internet, held at NESTA, UK, on 21 March 2018.

Takeaway #4 – new synergies established to extend engagement

The media sector, which stretches across cretivity, technology, and business with many micro SMEs, has many links with NGI and is a key driver for innovation in the internet. The workshop was an opportunity to take forward synergies with the NEM Technology platform (NEM) and its working group on NGI. Another synergy is linked to EURODOC, the European Council for Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers. Universities have a strong role to play in education on values and digital rights, looking at ways that all of society can benefit equally. Ethics should take precedence over pure money-making tactics in educating students. This kind of education, including the digital rights, should be started in primary school.

Report on 1st SpeakNGI.eu Workshop_March 2018

Presentations from the workshop

Calls to action – NGI Forum 

Please join with us at the annual NGI Forum taking place on 13th September 2018, in Porto, Portugal to continue shaping NGI. You can also join us at a wide range of events. Find the right ones for you at https://www.ngi.eu/events/.