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Dr Hessa Al-Jaber Speech - Digitally Open Forum

Dr Hessa Al-Jaber Speech - Digitally Open Forum

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Published by ictQATAR
ictQATAR's Secretary General's speech at the Digitally Open Forum.
ictQATAR's Secretary General's speech at the Digitally Open Forum.

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: ictQATAR on Oct 29, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Dr. Hessa Al-Jaber SpeechDigitally Open: Innovation and Open Access ForumOctober 23, 2010
Thank you and welcome to Digitally Open.Thank you to all of our esteemed speakers for coming today and a special thank you to ourpartner in this event, Creative Commons. They have been truly invaluable in helping developthis amazing program. I look forward to continuing our conversation tomorrow as we begin theimportant work of porting Creative Commons licenses to Qatar. These licenses will promote thecreation of original digital content in the Arab world while protecting the rights of the contentcreators.I see this as an important step in our efforts to create a truly digitally open society in Qatar.
That openness is key for Qatar’s
development a thriving knowledge economy. Openness meanscollaboration; it means transparency; it means sharing; it means innovation. To this end, Ibelieve digital openness across all sectors is essential to being a global leader of the future.Of course, this event is a big step. However, it is just a first step. At ictQATAR we are committedto going beyond this event and action to develop an open ecosystem in which digital contentand innovation thrive.
Tomorrow’s meeting with stakeholders from across the country will kick off the process of 
bringing Creative Commons content rights licenses to Qatar. Representative from theIntellectual Property Center, the Ministry of Business and Trade, the Qatar Museum Authority,Qatar Foundation, QSTP, numerous law firms and others will be in attendance. Truly a diversegroup.Bringing these flexible licenses to Qatar will help us achieve our goal of increasing the amountof Arabic digital content. People will have confidence that the work they create and share willbe credited and shared in an appropriate manner.Another initiative is our work with the Internet Society to start a chapter here in Qatar. TheInternet Society is committed to shaping Internet standards and policies that promoteopenness and collaboration, benefiting everyone. Bringing a chapter to Qatar sends a clearmessage that we support a free and open Internet.Additionally, ictQATAR is committed to the open source software movement. We are in theprocess of moving our website to an open source solution and have mandated that all futureictQATAR web projects utilize open source solutions.
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We are also working on policies that will encourage greater adoption of interoperable OpenSource solutions across government. Government is one of the biggest consumers of IT and toooften during the procurement process, open source options are not even considered. Wewould like to make it a requirement for Open Source solutions to be considered for everygovernment IT project in this country; and decisions must be technology-neutral and vendor-neutral.Requiring the inclusion of open source options has tremendous potential to not only savemoney, but also t
o help the government avoid “lock
in,” while being better able to upgrade and
advance rapidly. And it will also force both traditional and new players to innovate.The creation of digital content and the move toward open source solutions come together inictQATAR
s work with innovative local entrepreneurs and companies to develop more locallyproduced digital content, with a special focus on Arabic content. With the Arab world so grosslyunderrepresented on the Internet, we need to find a way to spur original content creation inthis part of the world, and open standards are certainly a way to do this.Our goal is to work with approximately 30 companies through our incubation center by 2015.Each will be required to work using open standards and principles as they grow their business. Ibelieve this will provide a unique competitive advantage and allow the content being created tobe shared more widely and hopefully, to grow virally.Already we are seeing tangible results from local companies that take advantage of openpractices. Al Jazeera is the most prominent example with its bold decision to make much of its
content available under Creative Commons’ licenses. Sharing footage from
events such as theconflict in Gaza has provided a different perspective on world events. As a result, the Al Jazeerabrand has expanded and strengthened globally. Al Jazeera serves as a tremendous model.ictQATAR is also in the process of developing a na
tional digitization plan to preserve Qatar’snational heritage and share it with the world. There is a wealth of information on Qatar’s rich
history in print, photo and film format that should be digitized. There are also an abundance of valuable documents in Arabic that need to be brought to wider audiences. Digitizing thesematerials will allow them to reach a whole new generation. And of course these materialsshould be made open to the public without restrictions.And as we share our content openly, we will also be promoting the development of openInternet standards, especially in terms of accessibility. Digital content is only valuable if peoplecan access it, and too often people with disabilities are left behind. Enabling them to use theInternet and participate in the open ecosystem means more people to create and innovate.

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