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Yes, 3 Billion Net Users by End of Year, but What Will the Majority in Emerging Markets Do Online?

Khaled Fattal

The United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU) announcement that by end 2014, there will be nearly three billion Internet users — two-thirds of them from the developing world — with mobile-broadband penetration approaching 32 per cent.

This information is so timely that it needs to be put in proper perspective by asking: What will the majority of these two-thirds do online? And how do we in the ICANN community deliver on our mandate of serving the global public interest?

There is no doubt that real capacity building has only been effective when it went to emerging markets to teach and educate them. This is beyond pitching to them from roof tops why they must believe in Multistakeholderism or selling them new domains they can hardly afford or care for. They did not care for domains before the new gTLDs and could not afford them back then. Very little but also a lot has changed since then? What, you may ask?

A New Multilingual Internet Ecosystem

The fact is, when we hit 3 billion net users and two thirds of them are in emerging markets and economies, and new Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) gTLDs are released, we will be witnessing before our very eyes the evolution of an ASCII/English Internet we knew into a New Multilingual Internet Ecosystem with never seen before great new opportunities as well the greatest of risks ever.

Where are the opportunities to make money?

Some might ask this, instead, I would suggest much better questions that will create some of these great new opportunities, like:

  • How can you help them change their lives for the better now the internet has reached them?
  • How can you leverage the opportunities coming from the biggest change to the global Internet since its creation?
  • How to mitigate the great new risks on key topics coming out of the same seismic change to the global internet?

Do you see value in these questions?

If you see value in the 3 questions I asked above then you and your organization stand to learn a lot about these new opportunities by joining and participating in The MLi Group's Global Seismic Internet Change Summit Series 2014 – Middle East & Africa Edition, Beirut, Lebanon, May 21 to 23.

Your participation can also weigh in on the critical topics we have identified to tackle at our summit (listed below). These critical topics need prompt attention by all local and global stakeholders as the world moves into a New Internet age and Ecosystem — A New Multilingual Internet Ecosystem full of great promise, opportunities, but also full of grave risks. Helping local communities be prepared is a minimum we at the ICANN community and organization should do to fulfil our mandate to serve the global public interest while leveraging these new opportunities. How to participate to weigh in? Read below to find the right option for you and your organization.

* * *

Keynote Speakers and Patronage

The Summit will be under the patronage of Lebanon's Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) with Keynote addresses by Dr. Hamadoun Toure, Secretary General of the ITU, Mr. Akram Atallah, President, Global Names Division, ICANN, and Dr. Imad Hoballah, Chairman and CEO, Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the Republic of Lebanon, Summit patron, to name a few, with participation by many other local and international organizations, agencies and experts.

Summit Objectives

This Summit, structured around panel debates and workshops, will look at the great opportunities and the critical risks, challenges to all local and international sectors and stakeholders in the new Internet Ecosystem - The New Multilingual Internet Ecosystem born from the Seismic change to the Global Internet.

Critical Topics, Risks, Challenges and Opportunities.

Thru panel debates and workshops, our MEA Summit will look at the great new opportunities created by the seismic change to the global Internet and tackle critical topics vis a vis and in the New Internet Ecosystem like:

  • Cyber Security
  • Child Protection Online
  • Trade Mark protection
  • Capacity Building
  • Internet Governance
  • New gTLDs in all their forms
  • Challenges of Smart Cities, Regulators, and Banking Sector players
  • Branding in the new Internet Ecosystem

Live Streaming

The full summit will be streamed live to stakeholders all over the world including universities, NGOs and businesses. Check below if you qualify for a reduced or a complimentary subscription.

Local & International Experts

World renowned experts, local and international organizations, Business, NGO's, Entrepreneurs, Academia, Students as well as Regulators are invited to attend and weigh in on each and all topics. Concrete viable solutions will be considered to mitigate these risks and consensus built recommendations on moving forward will be formulated.

We are opening new channels on entrepreneurship, business and philanthropic opportunities on these critical topics to help local and global stakeholders in all sectors become better prepared for the seismic change to the global internet that will impact them all. Critically, those least prepared are the most likely to become the most impacted.

How to Particapte – Our Invitation, Your Opportunity

Speaking opportunities, Sponsorship, Exhibition and B2B as well as individual and group attendee packages are still available.

For delegate registration please click here. And please ask us if you have any special need or request.

Future Summits, Updates and What to Do Next

Worth noting, the MEA Beirut summit is part of the MLi Group series of summits, conferences and events announced September 2013. As such, an Istanbul summit is being planned for September 2014 as well as other African, Middle East, Asia summits and locations - all in 2014, details to be announced soon.

For latest summit updates please go to:

For delegate registration please go to:

For all inquiries or to request Summit documents please email:

For Press inquiries, please email:

By Khaled Fattal, Group Chairman, The Multilingual Internet Group. More blog posts from Khaled Fattal can also be read here.

Related topics: Domain Names, ICANN, Internet Governance, Law, Multilinguism, Policy & Regulation

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