Moderator: Jay E. Gillette – Fulbright Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communications Technologies at the University of Oulu, Finland 2014-2015

Keynote speakers: Thomas J. Rosch – Partner and Counsel Antitrust & Competition Practice, Latham & Watkins, USA
Ismail Serageldin – Director of the Library Alexandria, Egypt.

In this 45-minute long session Mr. Jay E. Gillette wanted to concentrate on the human side of today’s Connected Age, so he chose the topic of the Digital Citizen. According to him, in most of the sessions participants have been talking a lot about ICT and the tools we should use to innovate, but he thinks that we should not forget to talk about the people in today’s digital world, and the consequences of the digital becoming a big part of most of our everyday lives. He describes the Digital Citizen and the Digital Community by two adapted mathematical formulas:
• Digital Citizen = Person * (+ or – ICT)
• Digital Community = Digital Citizens * (+ or – Community) * (+ or – ICT)

Mr. Gillette decided to apply a well-known strategy tool commonly known by the name of SWOT analysis, but he prefers to call it SWTO analysis. Why SWTO? “Start with your strengths. Finish with your opportunities” says Jay E. Gillette. Instead of finishing this analysis by the threats it is more positive and effective to finish with the opportunities which will be the last themes analysed with each subjects and finish on a positive and motivating notes instead of the scary threats we might be facing. The SWTO analysis stands for:
Strengths and Weaknesses: the internal view
Threats and Opportunities: the external view

Jay E. Gillette also mentioned the important factor of knowing where you are now to be able to take actions about the current situation. He illustrated this comment with a quote: “You are not really lost, you just don’t know where you are.” This is how he set the stage for the other two keynote speakers to share their opinions on the matter of Digital Citizens.

The first keynote speaker to take the microphone, Thomas Rosch, explained the difference between UE and USA privacy regulations for digital users. Between not enough regulation and too much regulation of the use of data by digital users, it is hard to find a common ground between the user’s privacy, and the need of the provider of the consumer’s information. There are then three aspects that need to be taken into consideration:
1. Interests of the consumers coincide with the interest of the providers.
2. Interests of the consumers sometimes coincide with the interest of the providers.
3. Interests of the consumers don’t coincide with the interest of the providers.

By using concrete examples, the second keynote speaker, Yasser Elshayeb, explained what he thought were the main opportunities and threats for the Digital Citizen. Fact is that captures and sensors are everywhere as we are always connected. Now the question is how to exploit those data, and how to understand it. The biggest threat he pointed out was the threat to the social aspect of life. We are always connected which enables us to speak with people all around the world but robs some users of the opportunity to connect with people around them. Forgetting the direct interactions in common areas such as when travelling in a plane or a train, and speaking with the passenger next to us, the digital citizen might prefer to put their headphones on ,and listen to music or watch a movie.
Mr. Elshayeb also took one of the terms used by one of the persons in the audience who reacted in the session 1, Drivers for Our Connected Age – “Homo Digitus” as opposed to the “Homo Sapiens”. The Homo Digitus being virtually together, and the Homospiens physically together.

After those two really interesting interventions Jay. E. Gillette lead a brainstorming SWTO analysis session with people in the audience asking what are the Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats and finally Opportunities of the Digital Citizen of today. The audience was really active even though this session was straight after a great lunch break! We finished the sessions with some really interesting key takeaways for each of these categories (see picture below). The final note was to try to balance those strengths and weaknesses so that we evict those threats and make the most of the opportunities the digital world of today offers us.