For the internet to enable inclusive and sustainable growth, it is essential that individual internet users can create and access content and have software tools in their own languages. In 2016, more than 90% of the global internet population is outside of North America, yet English remains the language of more than 50% of web content. The session will address the following questions:
- How are the major web platforms encouraging diversity in cultural and linguistic expression?
- What are the trends in cultural and linguistic diversity from major studies such as UNESCO's Globalisation of Cultural Trade (2016), UNESCO Atlas of Languages in Danger or the Internet Society's Global Internet Report
- What are the links between internationalised domain names and multilingual content, and what work is taking place to overcome barriers to large-scale IDN adoption?
- What are the implications for inclusive and sustainable growth of failure to take positive steps to enhance cultural and linguistic diversity?
- How can the policy process be made more inclusive in order to prioritise issues such as enhancing cultural and linguistic diversity?
The Birds of a Feather session will bring together actors from government, private sector, civil society and the technical community who are engaged in promoting online cultural and linguistic diversity. Participants will be drawn from Latin America, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and North America. Gender balance will be observed. Partners who have already committed support include UNESCO, ICANN, the ccTLD organisations CENTR and LACTLD, global platform providers Google and Microsoft, and Chatham House.
Speakers provisionally confirmed: