Washington, D.C. – Thought leaders from the worlds of technology and government are seeking next-generation answers to a range of challenges, including how U.S. international broadcasting can add renewed luster to its global brands.
They gathered Feb. 10 as members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ Commission on Innovation. Meeting at the Washington bureau of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, they discussed how digital innovations might help create new audiences in specific markets.
“We are working in a communications environment that is in constant motion,” said International Broadcasting Bureau Director Richard Lobo. “This commission is tapping the expertise of some of America’s most forward-thinking innovators to help U.S. international broadcasting meet today’s technological challenges and prepare for tomorrow’s as well.”
“The U.S. government is becoming the place to be for digital innovation in diplomacy, communication, and simply reaching people. The BBG Innovation Commission brought an incredible group of people together,” Anne-Marie Slaughter reflected shortly after the meeting. The former director of the policy planning staff at U.S. Department of State and now professor of politics at Princeton University is one of the commission’s 30 members.
Topics ranged from overcoming Iran’s monitoring of Internet users and web censorship, to connecting with the rising class of professional women in Burma, to broadening reach in Cuba in the face of a near total blockade of technology, to engaging young audiences in China and in the Middle East.
The BBG formed the commission last September to bring together leaders who have proven success in digital media to help shape world-class platforms to reach U.S. international broadcasting’s unique overseas environments.
“We appreciate the spirit of volunteerism that has brought these successful innovators from outside fields to gather together to focus on U.S. international media,” said Susan McCue, co-chair of the BBG’s Communications and Outreach Committee. “This was not a meeting to just talk, we plan on working throughout the year to implement ideas that will help us move forward on the BBG’s new mission.”
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Members in Attendance
Walter Isaacson, CEO Aspen Institute
Anne-Marie Slaughter, Professor of Politics & International Affairs Princeton University
Michael Maness, Vice President Journalism & Media Innovation, Knight Foundation
June Cohen, Executive Producer for Media, TED
Rob Bluey, Director, Center for Media & Public Policy, The Heritage Foundation
Ben Scott, Policy Advisor on Innovation, US State Department
Alec Ross, Special Advisor for Innovation, US State Department
Rob Glaser, Founder & Chairman, RealNetworks Inc.
Jeff Davidoff, Chief Marketing Officer, ONE
Mark Surman, Executive Director, Mozilla Foundation
Andrew Rasiej, Founder, Personal Democracy Forum
Evan Williams, Co-Founder, Twitter
Brendan Ballou, Associate at Google Ideas
Scott Carpenter, Principal at Google Ideas
Chris Hughes, co-founder, Facebook
Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Department of Architecture & Design, MoMA
Clay Shirky, Professor & Author, New York University, ITP
Andrew McLaughlin, Executive Director, Civic Commons
Hari Sreenivasan, Correspondent & Managing Digital Editor, PBS NewsHour