Gave a talk at the Italian Parliament for Capitale Digitale, a series of events involving a group of MPs from the Italian Parliament, Telecom Italia, Wired Magazine and others. The have a Facebook Group, a YouTube channel (I wonder if they're going to post my talk...) and I think they were streaming it.
It was an interesting time to be talking to the Italian Parliament, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi having recently been attacked with a statuette of the Milan cathedral by Massimo Tartaglia causing the government to go after Facebook where Tartagalia's fan pages was ordered to be shut down. Four Google executives are on trial in Italy for criminal charges for allowing an offensive video to be posted to Google Video.
I talked about the importance of the Internet and open networks on innovation. I also tried to argue that trying to block or control failure and damage wouldn't work. Like our immune system, I believe that allowing some failure will help the system become more robust. I also tried to draw a parallel between free markets vs planned economies.
While some of the politicians seemed enlightened and the team from Telecom Italia seemed very open, Italy just renewed a bill that requires all wifi access points to require identification before allowing access. Umberto Croppi from the City of Rome said on the panel that he would engage in civil disobedience and shower the street in front of his office with open wifi. Internet cafes also require IDs and they apparently monitor the usage - similar to China. Broadband penetration remains low. Such a pity in a country with so much culture to share.
When we discussed how we can change Italy, I described the idea of positive deviance and how maybe we should figure out how to set examples and support the positive deviants.
While Creative Commons was one of the core pieces of my talk, it appears that we still have a lot of work to do the layer below CC (and above) as well.
As usual, I enjoyed my trip to Italy very much with the great conversations and wonderful culture.
Thanks to Donatella and JC Martin for coordinating stuff as usual, to Johanna and Arianna for sorting out power supply, food and many other things, to Riccardo Luna for moderating the event, to Gilda Morelli for taking care of logistics, Mizzi Salvatore for being such a gracious host and to everyone who participated on the panel and in the event.
This is the Prezi I used: