Digital Asia Hub will provide open, collaborative platform for research, knowledge sharing, and capacity building related to Internet and society issues in the region.
(26 November 2015, Hong Kong) A diverse, international group of academic, civil society and private sector partners, including the Global Network of Internet and Society Research Centers (NoC), is excited to announce the formation of the Digital Asia Hub, an independent non-profit internet and society research think tank based in Hong Kong.
Incubated by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and this broader collective, the Digital Asia Hub will provide a nonpartisan, open, and collaborative platform for research, knowledge sharing, and capacity building related to internet and society issues with a focus on digital Asia. The Hub also aims to strengthen effective multi-stakeholder discourse, with both local and regional activities, and will contribute to – and itself serve as a node of – a larger network of academic organizations: the NoC.
“Asia is already the region with the fastest growth and the most people online; it will only play a larger role in shaping the future of the internet. We’re really excited about the Hub because this builds critical capacity for independent, quality research and knowledge sharing that is necessary if we are to solve the hard challenges – and opportunities – facing the future of the open internet, regionally and globally.” said Lokman Tsui, Assistant Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a member of the the Digital Asia Hub’s steering committee.
At the core of the Digital Asia Hub is independent and interdisciplinary research exploring both the opportunities and challenges related to digital technology, innovation, and society in Asia. Initial issues the Hub may explore include digital rights, governance and infrastructure, innovation, open manufacturing, and digital trade, trending technologies and technology spaces, mobile technology and its impact on access, education, entrepreneurship, and the use of ICT for development and civic engagement.
Another goal of the Digital Asia Hub is to develop a robust community that shares a deep interest in and commitment to internet and society research. It will facilitate local and regional approaches to shaping and embracing emerging opportunities in digital Asia, and it will initiate and support cross-cultural, sectoral, and disciplinary dialogues and collaborations.
“In addition to conducting high-quality research about key internet and society issues in this dynamic region, the Digital Asia Hub will provide instrumental leadership and focus to strengthen local, regional, and international networks and build capacity that fosters an engaged community,” said Urs Gasser, Executive Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School.
The Digital Asia Hub has already begun this important work of convening discussions and fostering collaborations on key regional issues by co-hosting two panels at the last month’s meeting of the International Governance Forum in João Pessoa, Brazil: Equity and the Developing World in Internet Governance and Dangerous Speech: Identification and Strategies.
As part of this launch, the Digital Asia Hub is announcing the publication of the “The Good Life in Asia’s Digital 21st Century,” an essay collection written by students and collaborators, and will be announcing the winners of the student writing competition at today’s launch event in Hong Kong. The collection includes 26 essays from across Asia and the Pacific Islands, and covers topics ranging from The Internet of Things, to digital rights, to the impact of mobile technologies.
About the Digital Asia Hub
The Digital Asia Hub is an independent, non-profit internet and society research think tank based in Hong Kong, led by an Executive Director, Management Board, and Steering Committee. Its funding is provided through individual, institutional and corporate donations.
Incubated by The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and a diverse group of academic, civil society, and private sector partners, the Hub provides a non-partisan, open, and collaborative platform for research, knowledge sharing and capacity building related to internet and society issues with focus on digital Asia. The Hub also aims to strengthen effective multi-stakeholder discourse, with both local and regional activities, and will contribute to – and itself serve as a node of – a larger network of academic organizations: the Global Network of Internet & Society Centers (the “NoC”). For more information, please see www.digitalasiahub.org.
About the Network of Centers
The Global Network of Internet and Society Research Centers (NoC) was launched by a group of academic centers – including the Berkman Center – in 2012 in recognition of the lack of internationally coordinated research and engagement activities in issues concerning the Internet and related technologies. The NoC is a collaborative initiative among academic institutions with a focus on interdisciplinary research on the development, social impact, policy implications, and legal issues concerning the Internet. This collective aims to increase interoperability between participating centers in order to stimulate the creation of new cross-national, cross-disciplinary conversation, debate, teaching, learning, and engagement regarding the most pressing questions around new technologies, social change, and related policy and regulatory developments. More information can be found at http://networkofcenters.net/about
About the Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Founded in 1997, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is dedicated to exploring, understanding, and shaping the development of the digitally-networked environment. A diverse, interdisciplinary community of scholars, practitioners, technologists, policy experts, and advocates, we seek to tackle the most important challenges of the digital age while keeping a focus on tangible real-world impact in the public interest. Our faculty, fellows, staff and affiliates conduct research, build tools and platforms, educate others, form bridges and facilitate dialogue across and among diverse communities. More information here.
The announcement is here.