Open Internet Policies for Businesses

ISOC India Chennai hosted an interesting discussion on the significance of Open Internet Policies for businesses at the Sindhi Chamber of Commerce on Saturday evening. Leading the discussion was Mr Rajnesh D. Singh, Head, Regional Bureau for Asia, Internet Society on how ISOC and its members can help in the policy making process.

ISOC Individual members , industry partners comprise the technical community. They along with the government and the public sector / civil society complete the various stakeholder of ISOC . Together they are a great influence to the government on Policy issues. And meetings like this are opportunities to raise awareness on emerging issues within the member community.

Studies in UK reveal that Internet access has direct economic impact on the GDP on the country. Today companies like Google, Amazon, Ebay, Facebook, Cisco and 15 such Fortune 100 companies thrive on the power of internet. Our annual online transactions based on internet businesses alone amount to more than a $ 1 Trillion annually. Internet as a medium to engage in free exchange of ideas, communication has been touted a a key economic driver. The value thus created is in terms of employment it generates, financial value as well as the time value one is able to save. Such a vibrant medium has to be unfettered and safeguarded from interception.

The need for an open internet policy is paramount today ! This is the equivalent of democracy in our society. We call it the freedom of expression. Such a policy facilitates open access to communication infrastructure for all as well as right to individual privacy . An open internet policy is all about empowering internet users to create any content, access any content as well as find way to innovate. It is all about setting a level playing field online that is neutral to all.

The issue we are talking is very much related to how was banned or how Pakistan has recently banned popular social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. In India there is an emergent need for Open internet or Neutral Web at an organization level. There needs to be more emphasis that Such a vibrant medium should continue to evolve as a open medium, free of barriers and political restraints.


Barcamp Chennai – A Sneak Peek

BarCamp Chennai is running its third edition tomorrow ( April 11 , 2010 ) at SRM University . A Few initiatives where i have been closely involved since inception are trying to gain shout to volunteers for taking their initiatives to the next level.

First would be which is looking forward to create a sort of online database for all its 100 + entrepreneur alumni as well as for the innumerable entrepreneurs who couldnt make the cut. We have a very ambitious plan on building this community to take forward all our linkages into a sort of an exchange where it becomes a platform for startups to complement / supplement one another as well as create communication channels that are independent. One of the common issue that we find during the evaluation of Startups for our edition is that most of the startups are either at early stage of development thereby not ready yet or sometimes missing a critical component that could make them go big. ” A la Crunchbase ” for Indian entrepreneurs will be a big plus from all points of view. And if we can keep it community moderated it will seek to help that larger group. We look for participation from web development firms to partner with us on this initiative as well as more ideators to fine tune this to create a maximise value for entrepreneurs, investors, and the business community.

IdeaCamp initiated by Nambirajan has been taking great shape. More details on what the “Idea camp ” is all about will be available tomorrow for all participants. Nambi says ”  if you came with an idea you should leave with the idea sharpened,better and with more possibilities for the future and if you didn’t come with an idea you go away with a lot of ideas..” This might get touted to be the next big ticket event in Chennai for us. Already ISOC Chennai has expressed its willingness to support as well as bring participation of Global ISOC Leaders into this discussion. Sivasubramanian Muthusamy, the president of ISOC Chennai is one of the key ideators who is working alongwith us to finetune the event format to a better shape.  There is also a call for volunteers in this space to take things forward.

RiseCamp initiated by Aditya Kaul is also being discussed on similar lines but with Social change as a key focus. The camp is planned to be a residential 2 day event bringing together social thinkers, governmental cause champions and entrepreneurs into one common platform to brainstorm about building solutions to tackle social problems in the Indian context. Risecamp essentially aims to use crowdsourcing to spark social innovation in social entreprenuership in India.

Elements5 is getting a boost to the next level joining hands with Y4C (Youth 4 Change), Tata Jagriti Yatra and similar organisations. E5 is sparking of a huge online initiative where social media and blogging will play and proactive role in knowledge dissemination on Eco and green issues. Announcements on E5 clubs in colleges is due to follow soon…

As a part of the Planning team of Scrum Day India, which is being planned for Aug 14 in association with Scrum alliance USA. The event will be held at Pune that will invite more agile enthusiasts as well as professionals from diverse backgrounds to create awareness on SCRUM as well as Agile methods. I will give you more details on a separate post soon….