A while back I waxed on about how we needed some clear thinking around the Digital Strategy Summit. Now the economic development ministry has appointed a high flying former Telecom executive to manage the Digital Strategy policy revamp and talk up the strategy event to be held in November.
My concern about the summit event is that at $795+GST for registration (plus airfares and accomodation), the consultation process isÂ aimed squarely atÂ large corporate concerns. These firms are likely to be primarily interested in promoting their agendas in terms of either preserving the existing network hegemony or else positioning themselves for any government funded broadband rollout in the future.
The Digital Strategy was supposed to be about building capability around connection, community and content. But it is not clear if ordinary webizens will get access to the online forums and wikis being proposed. So I’d like to know who at the summit will be representing the wider community and the developers of digital content. If the summit fails to engage at grassroots level then surely it isÂ over-looking theÂ fundamental intentÂ of Web 2.0?
There is some relief in sight however. TUANZ members are being offered a pre-summit event early NovemberÂ in order to collate their viewpoints. There is also now a report suggesting that a limited number of discounted places at the summitÂ will be offered to “community organisations and young people”. The summit itself will be webcast, so interested parties and those of us without corporate charge cards can at least adopt fly-on-the-wall status.