The reasons why I won’t go to eG8 in Paris

by Laurent François

Citizens,

As you may know, President Sarkozy decided to invite some bloggers, web professionals and many other stakeholders to a “web” version of G8, “eG8 Forum“.

At first sight, the invitation is quiet interesting; many decision-makers in the same place, talking in front of a crowd of professionals. There’s not so many events like this in Europe at the end. But after a while, I’ve decided no to go to eG8. My main fear: going to eG8 is a way to recognize this entity and their panels as the very leaders of the world wide web and of all the things that are rising in Social Media, e-commerce, e-politics and more importantly: e-citizenship.

  • I don’t agree with the list of participants. As Jillian C. Work writes on her blog: “absent from the list are civil society and human rights groups” (except Reporters Without Borders). We do have to repeat that innovation, creativity, big ideas, do not come only from the major companies which will have something to tell. Where are the Yoani Sanchez, micro-finance people, social gaming industry, social businesses’ owners? Nowhere
  • I don’t agree with the PR purposes of Publicis. As La Quadrature du Net writes on their networks, the ACTA will be signed in the meantime of the eG8, which means another round of protectionist waves and wars worldwide. I could do agree if I trusted government on digital exchanges. Basically I don’t, as the democratic mechanisms to control such developments & rules by the People are absolutely vague and dangerous. Consulting main companies and more networked people don’t mean we’re going to be safe. The PR statement to promote a “shared and sharing event” around G8 is such a joke; things are already signed and negociated, we’ll only be PR promoters on our spaces for the G8
  • I don’t agree with Nicolas Sarkozy claimed effort for an open discussion with web professionals and /or stakeholders. I had been invited with Nathalie Kosciusko Morizet when she was still in charge of the French Development of the Digital Economy; her engagement was certain and her positions pretty interesting. But Nicolas Sarkozy constant effort to ruin her political developments is another sample of the non-credibility of his faith for open-conversations
  • I don’t agree with the absence of European Union and more generally regional unions in the roundtables of eG8: G8 is another affair of States, of Nations. It’s about to be a non-sense in our hyphenated world

In terms of digital and real influence, we need to be straight and sharp on the value propositions these guys are going to make. Because digital consequences are no longer “virtual” but truly impact our daily lifes.

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