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11 February 2015

NetGain: Working Together for a Stronger Digital Society

Watch highlights from the day.

On Feb. 11, the presidents of the Knight, Open Society, MacArthur, Mozilla, and Ford Foundations came together with leading figures from government, philanthropy, business, and the tech world to launch a major new partnership, explore shared principles, and get ambitious about the next generation of innovation for social change and progress.


Watch all the videos from NetGain on Vimeo.

The Netgain Challenge

We need everyone’s help to identify the biggest challenges that lie ahead of us. How do we balance security and privacy? How will we connect the entire world’s population? How will we archive all information and make this knowledge accessible? How can technology make democracies more participatory and responsive? Think big, and take the Netgain Challenge: Submit your ideas and help us focus on the most significant challenges at the intersection of the Internet and philanthropy.


Medium, Feb. 12: “The Future of the Internet Might Hinge on this Bet,” by Susan Crawford
Here’s a metaphor that fits this moment: we are in a battle for the future of the Internet. The foundations are mobilizing, calling in the troops, and planning to work on the front lines. It’s an effort that is remarkable in its scope.

Chronicle of Philanthropy, Feb. 11: “Philanthropy Must Jump-Start a Digital Revolution for the Common Good,” By Alberto Ibargüen, Mark Surman, and Darren Walker
Philanthropy cannot sit on the sidelines in the battle over net neutrality. Key public-policy decisions being made in the coming years will determine whether our digital public square is accessible for decades to come.

Event Information

The Internet has transformed how we work, learn, and express ourselves. It has connected us with each other and sparked bold thinking about how to create a more fair and just world. Building that better world—and living in it—depends on an open, secure, and equitable Internet.

What is philanthropy’s role in addressing the challenges and potential of our digital society? Can we collaborate, as we have in the past on other crucial issues, to bend the arc of progress and ensure that everyone shares in the tremendous opportunity the Internet offers? Have we thought big—really big—about what the digital revolution can mean for the common good?

Read the press release.

9:30 – 9:45 am

Darren Walker President, Ford Foundation

9:45 – 10:00 am
Keynote Address: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

10:00 – 10:45 am
The Internet, Philanthropy, and Progress: Principles for Future Work

Read the principles 139 KB

Introduction by Jenny Toomey Director, Internet Rights, Ford Foundation
Mitchell Baker Executive Chairwoman, Mozilla Foundation
Chris Stone President, Open Society Foundations
Darren Walker President, Ford Foundation
Moderator Gwen Ifill Managing Editor, “Washington Week”

11:00 am – 12:20 pm
NetGain Challenges

Hosted by:
John Palfrey Head of School, Phillips Academy
Ethan Zuckerman Director, MIT Center for Civic Media

Ethan Zuckerman Director, MIT Center for Civic Media
Emily Bell Director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Alicia Garza Co-Founder, #BlackLivesMatter; Special Projects Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
Sunil Abraham Executive Director, Centre for Internet & Society
Chip Pickering CEO, Comptel
Laura Poitras Filmmaker, “Citizenfour”
Chris Soghoian Principal Technologist, Speech, Privacy, & Technology Project, ACLU
Brewster Kahle Digital Librarian and Founder, Internet Archive
Joi Ito Director, MIT Media Lab

12:45 – 1:30 pm
Lunch Discussion: Celebrating 25 Years of the World Wide Web

Introduction by Alberto Ibargüen President and CEO, Knight Foundation
Tim Berners-Lee Inventor, World Wide Web
Susan Crawford Co-Director, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University

2:00 – 4:30 pm
Citizenfour Screening and Discussion

Introduction by Eric Sears Program Officer, Human Rights, MacArthur Foundation
Laura Poitras Filmmaker, “Citizenfour”
Ben Wizner Director, Speech, Privacy & Technology Project, ACLU
Moderator Brian Lehrer Host, “The Brian Lehrer Show,” WNYC

Media Contacts

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(+1) 212-573-5128
(+1) 212-351-3643

Joshua Cinelli

Media Relations Chief

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