Presentation of the results from REIsearch’s Citizen Engagement and Media Campaign on the NGI

Guido Romeo, Data and business journalist.

 

Thank you, Robert, thank you for giving space to the report.
So, the question we have asked is very simple, apparently. 
What do you pianos(?) want from the internet of the future? That’s easier said than done. What we got was what we call in the family at REIsearch – we call it the Big Blob. If you zoom into it you have, among many things of course, IoT, artificial intelligence, SSP, probably not all of you are familiar with SSP, but they are platforms for distributing advertising, many other things, jobs figure quite predominantly. Many other things you will hear in these following hours. 
But here’s how we did it – we tackled this question in two ways, one was an online survey. We asked questions to people through the internet with a questionnaire that was actually quite boring and I’m pretty surprised and very happy, that 8600 people took part in this. They are very interesting answers, it’s not a conclusive, statistically significant sample, so we say that straight out – but it is a very precious indication of what to look for and where to look for that. I’ll show you and tell you more about this later on. As you see the logos of our partners from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Il sole 24 ore, El Pais – we should thank them all, they have all done an impressive job. Really outstanding. I must say that also Guardian and Politico took part and gave a big boost to the answers in the survey.
The second way of looking at what people think about the internet of the future was a Network and Sentiment analysis that was mentioned earlier by Vincent Fosty, and that was done not by ourselves but we were supported in this and we did contribute directly in putting in the words that were to be looked for. We also discovered new things as we went along and that was very important. We looked into Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so the major social networks. 
As you will see from the following slides there are some things that are to be said about where to look for information.
The two exercises were done – the first the survey was conducted in April so it closed a month ago basically, and the network analysis was done using data from November up to April so it is a broader period of time. What you see here is the demographics, it comes from the network analysis but it is very much the same in the survey. This says we have a problem. The problem here is exclusion and I might say, it is voluntary exclusion. Or we are having trouble seeing what are younger people our millennials are or are not saying. 
Apparently, they are not discussing the future of the internet. They’re using it, they grew up with it, but they are not engaging in the discussion – so we obviously need to address that problem. The other exclusion is women. There is a gender bias which is very strong in the discussions that we have found, so we need to bring women on board. This, again, is partial. This is not statistically representative, you cannot do a scientific paper on this, but it shows there is a bias, so we should study this better.
This comes from the survey and you might not read the fine print, but it’s “who will profit the most from NGI”? Keep in mind, that the people answering were, let’s say mostly over 30. But the perception is that the ones who would profit the most are the younger generation, so the millennials. Second answer was the big international global technological companies, so that’s the perception. Again, for the word exclusion, the last line on the bottom is the older people. Europeans seem to be afraid, maybe rightly so, that the older generation is being left out of this new digital Promised Land. 
“Where can NGI make a difference?”, earlier on, Robert was saying – let us solve real problems, let’s tackle real issues, let’s make a difference using the internet. The first answer and I guess this is a bit of a sign of the times, is terrorism. The last and the most negligible one is immigration. In-between, there are many different answers, from jobs, to growth, clearly, it’s what journalists as myself and many economists have been saying all along in the last years, that digital economy can boost growth but doesn’t trickle down to the general population. So, there is something that could be explained here. 
“What are the most important values for NGI?”, again it was mentioned earlier, privacy  – this is a very short glimpse of what we saw, you can find more in the report, we will elaborate quite a bit on that. Privacy here doesn’t mean: “I won’t give you my data”, it means: “I want to be in control of my data”. This is a very significant answer, it comes out very clearly both from the survey and from the network analysis. 
“What actions are needed?”. We need to build a more secure, more open network. What is not done enough, is regulation and intervention by national and international bodies. We were asking: is the European Union, is the European Commission doing enough in this sector? And, as you see at the bottom line, probably not, at least it is not perceived as an active player. 
Keep in mind, what you have been distributed, if you don’t have a paper copy, pick one up – ask our hostess – or download it from the website reisearch.eu – what you have there is a temporary report, it is an interim report. We will be gathering all your input to draw a final report in September, getting all your input and of course elaborating. We will be also releasing more data in the open in the coming month.

Day 1