ICT 2010: A great opening, and an opportunity lost. #ict2010eu

I’m in Brussels for the ICT 2010 conference. The day kicked off with a number of great keynotes and a panel discussing how to turn the potential that European research and developing has into products and start-ups. Some themes: We need a culture …

I’m in Brussels for the ICT 2010 conference. The day kicked off with a number of great keynotes and a panel discussing how to turn the potential that European research and developing has into products and start-ups. Some themes: We need a culture that pampers entrepreneurs; ICTs and electronic communication are essential for sustained global growth at a time of constrained resources; enterprises need to embrace the Web as consumers have. The two stars of the morning were the European Parliament’s Silvana Koch-Mehrin, calling for the use of the Internet for better and more immediate citizen participation in the political process, and Neelie Kroes, commissioner for the Digital Agenda.

Alas, that opening session was also an opportunity lost: While Kroes was (as always) embracing the Internet’s participatory culture and tweeting full steam ahead, the conference organizers were concerned with keeping the audience focused on the speakers, and therefore didn’t provide Internet access to the audience. What could have started a conversation on Twitter and other social networks about the future of European ICT research and development ended up being a conversation in front of an audience, leaving the twitter walls right in front of the great auditorium strangely misplaced.