The power of the Internet is multiplied when people are able to access and use content in their local languages, agreed a group of experts who opened the 2008 Internet Governance Forum in a session on Reaching the Next Billion: Multilingualism. The complex topic of achieving multilingualism on the Internet has political and social dimensions beyond the technological challenges of ensuring tools for access and translation.
Key points of the discussion were:
The panelists were: Alex Corenthin, President of the Internet Society; Manal Ismail, Director of International Technical Coordination, Government of Egypt; Hiroshi Kawamura, President of DAISY consortium (Digital Accessible Information System); Viola Krebs, Executive Director, ICVolunteers; Tulika Pandey, Department of Information Technology, Government of India; S. (Ramki) Ramakrishnan - CEO of C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), India. The moderator and rapporteur for the session was Miriam Nisbet, Director of UNESCO's Information Society Division.
An Open Dialogue plenary session on Reaching the Next Billion: Access and Multilingualism gave panelists and participants from both opening day main sessions an opportunity to discuss in more depth the relationship between access and multilingualism. Proceedings of all IGF sessions and workshops are available on the IGF website.