On March 10-11, in a break from traditional conference formats of prepared papers and Q&A responses, a fast-paced, truly interactive Internet Business Offsite brought an eclectic mix of thought-leaders, scholarly practitioners, and corporate players together from across Asia, Europe, and the United States for a path-breaking dialogue on “The Internet in Asia: Looking Ahead to 2025” in Tokyo’s International House of Japan.
Reflecting on the enormous speed with which the Internet – just decades old – has “gone viral”, permeating the planet and globalizing business, research, data-flows, and the speed both of critically pertinent information and decision-making capabilities, the Offsite challenged the sixty-plus participants to look over the horizon, extrapolating from current trends while mindful that exponential technological and other changes make predictions for the Internet in 2025 difficult – yet crucially important – particularly as Asian Internet usage takes a commanding global lead.
Consensus on an action agenda was never intended, but a range of take-aways emerged from the breadth and depth of pressing issues addressed. A commonality of purpose was palpable – to facilitate and encourage thoughtful dialogue on fundamental principles underlying the Internet’s evolving complexities and utility.
The program was sponsored by the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a university consortium of 45 universities throughout the Asia-Pacific Region, and with the cooperation of the National Bureau of Asian Research, a leading research think-tank on the U.S. West Coast with deep ties in Washington D.C.
As host, Keio University’s International Center for the Internet & Society (KICIS) is pleased to provide a summary of the Internet Business Offsite’s proceedings, inviting others to join this timely, forward-looking dialogue.