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Multi-Stakeholder Dialogs & Different Viewpoints Power Global Innovation

​I am privileged to represent AvePoint at the 2013 United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Bali, Indonesia. This year’s IGF Main theme is “Building Bridges – Enhancing Multi-stakeholder Cooperation for Growth and Sustainable Development”. This is the second year I will be representing AvePoint at this global assembly. Our company, as an organization, believes that multi-stakeholder dialogs unleash global innovation. In addition to participating in forums like IGF, internally, we have a strong commitment to multi-stakeholder development efforts. We bring multiple stakeholders together to participate in dialogs and decision making as a company. This process allows us to solve real world business problems via technology for both ourselves and our customers.

Many times in our lives and work, we surround ourselves with people who share our view and we do not get to hear other voices. At the IGF, delegates have an opportunity to discuss freely the topics and challenges facing their government, customers, constituents, and the world today. We share outcomes both good and bad in a forum where we are all on the same journey. The open dialog of the IGF allows participants – governments, commercial organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and others – to discuss where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going. This is covered by all of the sub-themes of the conference.

· Access and Diversity

· Openness

· Security

· Enhanced Cooperation

· Principles of Multi-Stakeholder Cooperation

· Internet Governance Principles

When I think of this list, I think of how my coworkers and I work every day to help our customers achieve these themes in their organization. From access and diversity to internet governance principles, we understand that, to innovate, one has to understand the core principles of any subject matter or need. I believe that this dialogue serves everyone and in the themes listed above it is truly a unique forum.

While representing my company at the event this year there are several discussions in which I am most interested. On the first day of the meeting I will be attending: “Privacy in Asia: Building on the APEC Privacy Principles”. Having just released our Compliance Guardian product in Japan and having customers all over the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, it is important for us to not only understand the legal frameworks but also current privacy protection frameworks, regional harmonization, and, of course, differences between APAC, American, and European approaches to privacy protection.

Day two holds large sessions on internet governance principles in the morning as well as legal and other frameworks – including topics such as SPAM, hacking, and cyber-crime – in the afternoon. As a company, AvePoint has solutions that work as content gateways for data and streams of data, and it is essential for us to understand different policies and practices on data at rest and in motion around the world; what is working or not working and what regulations are coming to pass. Our customers deal with the same concerns that we do in understanding cross border efforts and criminal activity on the internet. I am really interested in the success and failures noted in educating stakeholders on the benefits of governance and content security programs versus the real risks of not having a program in place.

On day three there is a workshop entitled “Privacy as Innovation: Rethinking Privacy as an Area of Opportunity”. The goal of this workshop is not about solutions but perspectives. It is important to understand the perspective of the young on privacy concerns and what may seem reasonable to their generation. Sometimes it takes a paradigm shift to solve problems with technology, and this seems like the perfect opportunity to get a different perspective.

On day four, I will take part in more great workshops, but the one that I look forward to the most is “Accessible Inclusion for All”. The first line of the description of the workshop is, “Accessible Inclusion For All Abilities and All Ages, Access for Persons who fall between the cracks”. This is an area in which AvePoint offers both complete solutions like Compliance Guardian and the AvePoint Accessibility Accelerator for SharePoint as well as Compliance Detector, a free cloud-based testing solution that content and site developers can use to test their content against standards like the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 or the US Section 508 Guideline.

When I discuss innovation with my teams, I stress several important ingredients:

· Understand the customer/constituent

· Research can be started based on anecdotal evidence, but to complete your research, empirical methods must be applied and then coupled with experience and/or intuition to innovate

· In the end, your vision must be tested against reality

I can think of no better way to continue our industry leading, innovative efforts than taking part in this unique and meaningful event. If you are interested in the different work we are doing as a company please take a look at our company website, http://www.AvePoint.com/. If you are interested is reading about our Compliance Guardian Product check out the product website: https://www.avepoint.com/compliance-guardian/. Additionally, our standards-based education and outreach projects, Compliance Detector, can be used online: http://www.compliancedetector.com/. Take a moment, test your site, see how accessible you are, and see how your site stacks up against other quality, privacy, and mobility concerns.

References:

1. Host Country Site: http://igf2013.or.id/

2. United Nations Site: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/

3. Compliance Detector: http://www.compliancedetector.com/

4. Privacy in Asia: Building on the APEC Privacy Principles: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/wks2013/workshop_background_paper/17_1373781551.pdf

5. Privacy and Innovation: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/wks2013/workshop_2013_status_list_view.php?xpsltipq_je=308

6. Accessible Inclusion for All: http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/wks2013/workshop_2013_status_list_view.php?xpsltipq_je=38

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