Create your digital future: transforming lives and businesses in Europe – WS 03 2018
5 June 2018 | 14:30-16:00 | CENTRAL ROOM |
Consolidated programme 2018
The future is here, but are we there yet? Join us as we explore the opportunities and challenges of digitalisation in Europe and the way forward to transform the lives and businesses to shape our digital future as Europeans
digitalisation, digital agenda, digital single market, DSM strategy, digital industry, digital skills, future of jobs, startups, e-government services, digital Europe
The session is going to focus on the current status of the level of digitisation in Europe and the way forward to achieve Europe's full potential for innovation, growth and development through digitalisation. EU DSM strategy and Horizon 2020, as well as other regional and national regulatory frameworks would be discussed, in a manner to encourage cooperation and harmonisation of digital policies in the region. Transforming lives of European citizens through e-government services and the industry through innovative business models will be addressed, along with ways to follow a human centric approach to make sure people have the appropriate skills to become a part of this transformation. Showcases will be presented including innovative startups, incubation centers, digitizing agriculture and projects on digital skills and future of jobs.
The session will follow an interactive format to engage the audience to the discussion. Videos and real time interactive web tools will also be used.
Links to relevant websites, declarations, books, documents. Please note we cannot offer web space, so only links to external resources are possible. Example for an external link: Website of EuroDIG
- Ceren Unal, Regional Policy Manager-Europe, Internet Society
Organising Team (Org Team)
- Amali de Silva, Futurist: AI/IT Social Economic Policy Analyst
- Ana Kakalashvili, Analyst, Institute for Development and Freedom of Information
- Dajana Mulaj, Researcher, Digital Grassroots
- Katrin Ohlmer, CEO, Dotzon GmbH
- Melle Tiel Groenestege, Digital Policy Advisor, VEON
- Oliana Sula, Visiting Lecturer, Estonia Business School
- Michal Boni, Member of European Parliament
- Raul Echeberria, VP for Global Engagement, Internet Society
- Mr. Nikoloz Gagnidze, Chair, Georgian Data Exchange Agency (DEA)
- Melle Tiel Groenestege, Digital Policy Advisor, VEON Communications, the Netherlands
- Katrin Ohlmer, CEO, Dotzon GmbH, Germany
- Ana Kakalashvili, Analyst, Institute for Development and Freedom of Information
The Remote Moderator is in charge of facilitating participation via digital channels such as WebEx and social medial (Twitter, facebook). Remote Moderators monitor and moderate the social media channels and the participants via WebEX and forward questions to the session moderator. Please contact the EuroDIG secretariat if you need help to find a Remote Moderator.
- Su Sonia Herring
Current discussion, conference calls, schedules and minutes
See the discussion tab on the upper left side of this page. Please use this page to publish:
- dates for virtual meetings or coordination calls
- short summary of calls or email exchange
Please be as open and transparent as possible in order to allow others to get involved and contact you. Use the wiki not only as the place to publish results but also to summarize the discussion process.
- Human-centric approaches to all areas of digitalisation must be a priority. Humans are not there to serve technology, technology is there to serve humans.
- For increased interest and use by the public, universal Internet access, memorable and searchable domain names, and services created with citizens are helpful.
- Quick adaptability is vital, in the face of fast digitalisation.
- Innovation is not only crucial for businesses, but for public policy as well.
- Creating frameworks and strategies are preferred to direct regulation.
Find an independent report of the session from the Geneva Internet Platform Digital Watch Observatory at https://dig.watch/resources/create-your-digital-future-transforming-lives-and-businesses-europe
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This text is based on live transcription. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), captioning, and/or live transcription are provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. This text is not to be distributed or used in any way that may violate copyright law.
>> We are starting this session in about half a minute.
Please take your seats. I'll be closing the door in a couple of seconds.
This is the session Create your digital future: Transforming lives and businesses in Europe. Please, speakers, could you identify yourself. Mr. Boni? Mr. Raul Echeberria? He's not in the room.
So we wait a bit, I think.
>> We're going to start in a couple of minutes. Sorry about that.
>> I think we are all here so we can open the session. The session is Create your digital future. We have five speakers here. Mr. Michal Boni from the European Parliament, Mr. Raul from The Internet Society, Mr. Gagnidze, the Chair of the Georgian Data Exchange Agency, Mr. Melle Groenestege from the VEON, Digital Policy Advisor. Katrin Ohlmer will join us remotely.
And I'm Ana. I am from the IDFI, Institute for Development and Freedom of Information. I'll be your Moderator. Let me open the session with a question, which I will direct first to our speakers, and then please feel free to join at any minute, raise your hand and we will -- or anyone else will hand you the mic and please do ask questions.
Let me start with Michal Boni. This will be the main question that we have when it comes to digitalizing businesses, services. How to create an ideal environment for the digital future. Where are the challenges that you risk facing and have been facing in the latest period and the entrance of digitalization of the industries, business and citizen services. So I'd like to open the floor with that question, and I would like to invite Mr. Boni to answer that.
>> MICHAL BONI: Thank you for the invitation. Secondly it's not easy to respond to this general question but I want to focus on some issues because we are discussing many challenges related to Internet development, accessibility of networks, participation, overcoming some threats related to digital exclusion, so how to make digital gaps not so dangerous.
But on the other hand I think that at the same time we need to consider when we want to -- when we want to have this digital game-changer in Europe, not only the European Union but in Europe, I think that we need to consider what kind of investments and which areas are needed. And I want to indicate some of them.
Firstly, 5G infrastructure. I know that some of us will pose the question: Okay, we are at the level of 3G, so how to go in the direction of 5G. But I think it's very needed to make some steps in the proper time, and in the common way not only the European Union but in all European in the broad sense countries.
The second is the high performance computing network, which is very important for many issues, for the development of new industries, also for the development of science and research, and also for the development of health care, REI and the new model of health care.
Thirdly, this is artificial intelligence development, and what is important under the human centric conditions. Very many threats related to artificial intelligence, and I think that we need to discuss about some issues, but first of all, to show that it will be the human centric model.
Fourthly, how to ensure the modern cybersecurity solutions. Cybersecurity is cross-border so there is no possibility to prepare cybersecurity solutions in one country. We need to discuss about certifications. We need to discuss about cooperation and exchange of information about incidents and it's very important not only to find the solution when we are talking about European Union Member States, but much more broader. And of course the fifth point related to those investments in the future is focused on digital literacy development. In broad sense, it means educational system. It means adjustment to the new requirements in the perspective of 10, 15 years. We would work and we need to cooperate with robots, with artificial intelligence, and it will require not only the new skills but first of all the new attitude and the new competences.
So we need to redefine our educational systems. I wanted to focus on those five issues because when I'm looking at the title of this panel, create your digital future: Transforming lives and business in Europe, I think that those five, 5G infrastructure, high-performance computing network, artificial intelligence under the human centric conditions, cybersecurity issues and digital literacy development are crucial. Of course we can add some additional Internet of Things but there is no possibility to have Internet of Things without cybersecurity in the modern way, understanding in the modern way and there is no possibility to have Internet of Things without 5G infrastructure, just an example.
Now under the parameters of 3 or 4G, we can communicate on the one square kilometer just about 1,000 devices. In 5G, it will be 1 million devices, so I don't want to say that we're meeting all or one square millimeter 1 million devices but I think 5G infrastructure is very needed. And what is the most important, I think that we need to discuss about those issues. As I have mentioned 5G infrastructure, high performance computing network, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and digital literacy, at the same time in much more advanced digitally European Member States and at the same time in all countries. Because this is -- this is the final sentence -- because this is our opportunity to create European competitive advantages, and if you want to have those advantages, competitive advantages, we need to start with a discussion and preparation of legal framework and implementation, also money for investment, the proper sources for investment, at the same time. Thank you.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: May I follow up and elaborate more on what you have presented us? Let's take a step back and I'd like to ask you: Is Europe ready for that? You talk about 5G intelligent -- artificial intelligence, all these high-tech things. Is Europe and European population catching up? Is there an acute and urgent need of all of these things? We're moving so fast, are we catching up? Do we need it all? Could you maybe step back a little and let's discuss that shortly?
>> MICHAL BONI: Okay, we can discuss if it is needed or not. But on the other hand, it's developing. So we can stand and create our position as neutral and we will have some new achievements in the area of artificial intelligence in China, in Japan, in South Korea, in United States and in Canada, but if you want to -- not lag behind, so I think we need to go forward, but on the other hand, what is the most important? I have mentioned some technical issues, but when I have talked about artificial intelligence, I have said human centric, so we need to add "human centric" to all those areas, because I think that we need to start the debate that we need 5G infrastructure not only because 5G, it's great. We need to talk about 5G infrastructure starting with analysis of benefits and real advantages to citizens, to users, to consumers.
Let's start with the health care area. If we have 5G, it will be possible to join all information coming from devices and measuring the State of health, especially important for people with chronic diseases, yes, and give this information to the hospitals. When we will use 5G infrastructure, telemedicine will develop, and I think that we will be much more oriented at prevention in health care system and paradigm not only to react to some diseases, so it will change our life.
So I fully agree with hidden context of your question, that we need to start the debate on how, how those technical achievements, those new technologies can change our lives, and this is the beginning point. This is the starting point. And I fully agree that we need to discuss about it.
And the last point, because there is a problem. Some experts are saying that from 2008, there is a big growth, faster and faster, of technologies, and there is a growing gap between technologies growth and our adaptability as humans. So we are lagging behind, and of course, we have two possibilities to answer, to say, okay, because we are not ready to be adaptable, so let's stop the development of technologies. Or the other, let's invest in digital literacy, and discuss about how to make us much more adaptable to the new requirement.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Thank you. And last but not least and I would kindly ask you to answer it shortly before moving to the next speaker, about the different levels of digitalization in Europe. You and we agree that all of the countries are not on the same level. How do you bridge the gaps, how do you bridge the different levels of the development and its pace? Because every country is different. All the Member States, they develop at their pace. And how do you think it will be possible to make sure that it's synchronized, it's homogeneous, and Europe is developing as one in terms of all of it?
>> MICHAL BONI: You know, I have presented the view what is needed and how important it is. And this is also the political question, if we are really ready. And I'm looking at the European Union and Member States, and many problems with harmonization of some decisions on spectrum allocation, so I can say: Okay, we are not ready in 100%. When we are looking at GDPR implementation, I can say that there are some differences in the process of implementation of GDPR among Member States of the European Union, and there are many differences between European Union Member States in the area of data, personal data protection, and other European countries in the broad sense.
When we are looking at cybersecurity, for example, there are many problems, because we have now 28 models of certification skills in the European Union, and we are working on the Cybersecurity Act to start the way to make those certifications much more harmonized step by step at the European level. It will be easier for business and it will be much more secure for all of us as users, yes?
So from political point of view, this is a big challenge, and we need to have I can say stronger leadership, European Commission and European institution should be much more stronger with their leadership in that area and of course we need to talk with Member States, with Governments in broad sense of all European countries how to take digital issues in this new sense and make it priorities. I appreciate all achievements done with what was presented today. It means Georgia decided to go this way and this is one of the fundamental decisions to understand it's important for politicians and it's important for policymakers, it's important for Government to say the digital issues are not one of the 20 priorities, because digital issues are horizontal. If they are horizontal so they are important for all areas, yes, from farming and precise farming in the future for example. And much more effective farming to smart cities and better management of transportation in the cities and so on and so on. So the final point is push politicians, push policymakers to understand this is one of the key issues.
>> Thank you very much. One or two brief questions. Do you have a mic? Then I can lend you mine.
>> So Dominic from Switzerland. You were talking about human centricity. Does it work? You were talking about human centricity and technology development. My question is what do we do about human rights aspect? How do we ensure this technology is in every aspect to the benefit of humans, also with the restrictions? Like, there's a lot of weak spots with the technology. How can we put in safeguards that we avoid abuse of technology in the various ways that are possible? And how can we actually -- what process do we need to come to the solutions that we need? Because I don't think any solutions have been presented so far.
>> MICHAL BONI: First of all, I think that it's important for all of us to understand how important the GDPR implementation is, but it's not the end of the work. It's the beginning of the work, because we need to use GDPR, General Data Protection Regulation, implementation as a possibility to raise the awareness of all problems related to privacy protection. Privacy protection is our right, and we need to discuss about this issue in terms of rights, of our rights, human rights, citizens' rights, users' rights and so on. It's very important to take it and understand in this way.
The same situation is when we're talking about cybersecurity. It's also our right to be secured, so we need to find all solutions. We need to raise the awareness of all problems related to cybersecurity. We need to create the place for sharing responsibility. It is starting from individuals. Some people are saying that cybersecurity issues are like cyberhygiene, and we need to teach those attitudes in our curricula, in our educational system.
It's very important for the future. Of course, this is the responsibility of the State. This is the responsibility of European networks. This is the responsibility of companies. This is the responsibility also of small companies but we need to start with our responsibility. And when we are discussing now in the European Union on artificial intelligence, I was one of the co-authors of this report done by the European Parliament one and a half years ago, and now we have European Commission Communication on Artificial Intelligence, and there is a big part on ethical issues. So we need to start debate on ethical issues related to technologies, if we want to avoid some symptoms and some examples, then I think we need to discuss about it and we need to take control, because we are not for technologies as humans. Technology is for us.
And of course, the very serious and very difficult questions. Who knows how to tackle this economic development done by or driven by algorithms? We don't know exactly, but firstly we need to put those questions, yes? And I'm finishing, okay, but if it was a question, so I want to respond in my -- in the best way as I can. Okay.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Thank you very, very much. Talking about the Governments, let me move to Mr. Nicoloz Gagnidze, the head of the Data Exchange Agency, and let's talk about the role of the National Governments. How do you create, enable and promote an innovative culture of digital citizen services, e-Governance, an overview of our Georgian practice?
You have a mic in front of you.
>> Yeah, I have, but there was -- there was a man who was -- he has a question I also want to ask something about --
Thank you very much for your presentation. I'm very interested in there was kind of five topics, main topics, and from the very beginning you start with 5G infrastructure, and I'm interested: Who is going to invest and what are the main resources and who are going to invest in this infrastructure and these techniques and stuff like this? Because we are very kind of speaking about the budgeting of this infrastructure, and who is going to invest money to develop this? And do you think the private sector is going to be included in this process, or only the Government is going to fund these projects? Okay, thank you.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Any speaker who wants to -- yes, but --
Go ahead, go ahead.
>> MICHAL BONI: Just very briefly, you know, this is a common effort, so I think that when we are starting with benefits for users and consumers and citizens, we also should show the benefits for business, in the long-term perspective, and I think business should invest. And it should be profitable in the long perspective. You know, some analysis are showing that we need just about 600 billions of Euro to invest in 5G all over the Europe, and there is a possibility to take 10%, 60 billions of Euro, from the European funds, from public funds, as European, and of course, in some countries, I think that public authorities also will participate, but it should be, it should be at the business challenge.
On the other hand, we need to create the proper, friendly business environment for those kind of investments, for co-investments, for longer licenses and so on and so on, so we need to create the proper fame work for this. And of course, for all those issues we will have in the future budget of the European Union, some money, and I think that for research area, which is close to those activity and measures, so we will have the big portion of money on the digital issues and I think that we need to use those money properly. Very briefly after the time.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Thank you very much. Going back to my question about the role of the National Governments, Mr. Gagnidze. I can repeat the question. It is: How do National Governments make sure they create, enable and promote this innovative culture that is delivering digital services to the citizens, and please give us an overview of the Georgian good practice, best practice in terms of that. I think everyone here knows about the achievements and model that we have and then I will give some other questions.
>> NIKOLOZ GAGNIDZE: Thank you very much. First of all, thank you for inviting me, and giving me possibility to talk about Georgian achievements and rapid development in the field of e-Government. In 21st century, where ICT and technological development impacts a full range of human activity and become one of the main enablers of society development, e-Governance is regarded as the ICT enabled route to achieving good governance, and since it integrates people, processes, information and technology. Generally, the role of Government in e-Government development and promoting the services to citizens and businesses is very critical because Government has to think about how to make the environment user friendly, how to think about user centricity, Citizen Central Services, how to develop one-stop shop portal, for example, where every service will be accessible for citizens and for businesses, and so on and so on.
How to think about cybersecurity also, which is very important in our lives day by day. This is important not only using e-Services but also in general life, in our home, for our children, for everyone who is using computers and Internet generally, so our Agency Data Exchange Agency is responsible for cybersecurity development in the country and we cooperate with every institution in Georgia, which are responsible for cybersecurity, different directions and also we have good cooperation with international companies and agencies and computer emergency response teams, and so we try to do our best in this direction.
And about the Georgian achievement and challenges, what we have during these several years when we were building e-Governance in the country, the main challenges were that there was no electronic data at the beginning. There was no electronic databases or connection between different agencies. There was no thinking about cybersecurity or security of electronic data at all, lack of budget and high level of bureaucracy, so this was -- these were main challenges which we phased out within this process.
And about achievements, briefly I can say that the main achievement is that thinking of public servants was changed, and main registries started development of their internal work flow systems which are part of e-Government development itself, and digitalization process was started and millions of documents were digitalized and interoperability, which in Georgian case is Data exchange infrastructure, was implemented and many other projects and initiatives were implemented in the country.
And still Georgia continues working on the direction and implementing and starting new projects, which are related to creating the environment for citizen centric e-Services and services have to be more flexible and more accessible for citizens, and I have to mention about the electronic document and electronic trusted services which are fully in line with the initiative of European Union, and from July, the requirements of the law will be in place, and every state institution has to accept these requirements, and electronic communication with Government from citizens and businesses will be digitally signed, and this digital signature will rise the security of using electronic services and generally the electronic work flow between Government and citizens.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Let me spice up a bit the discussion by asking you the question that we most probably are all interested: As a Government, you do your job, you create and you give an opportunity for people to use the services easier, which is exactly digitalizing them. But how many people do actually use it? What's the level of the utilization of those services that we talk about, that we say we have to create, that we have to promote? What's the level?
And if the level comes out to be low, could you elaborate on why it is? What is the cause?
>> NIKOLOZ GAGNIDZE: Okay, let me answer. I can say that the takeup of e-Services in Georgia is not so high because there are no many interactive electronic services developed still. There are not many services, but we work on the direction, and one of our responsibilities is to create one-stop shop portal, which the name is my.gov.ge. This is citizens portal as well as legal entities portal where they can use electronic services provided by State institutions. This portal is operating from 2012. Till now, there are about 60 electronic services, most of all which are informational, but now there is ongoing project which is Business House, the name of the project is Business House. And within this project, we plan to integrate on that portal approximately 800 business-related services, but within this process of course, most services will be related for citizens also, and we hope that at the end of this project, when many services will be applicable and accessible for citizens, the takeup of those services will be much more higher.
I can say that my.gov.ge now has approximately 100,000 users, yes, but most of them are registered by user name and password, the security of which is not so high, but there is possibility to register using electronic identity card, using the certificate of that card, and also there are services which requires usage of electronic signature of course, and from July, there will be mandatory to submit application to state institutions, and this application must be signed digitally by this electronic -- qualified electronic signature.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Do you personally think that one of the cause that the level is lower than expected and in terms of the balance of the effort you're putting and the level of the use, digital literacy, could that be the cause of the answer that you gave about the number, or about the usage? Could that be the cause of the problem that the usage is so low, in terms of the country level?
>> NIKOLOZ GAGNIDZE: There was one survey done by USAID in 2016 about Internet usage in Georgia, in comparing with European Union the same figures, usage of Internet in Georgia is quite high. They use Facebook, social networks. They use some website, but not electronic services, because there is no many electronic services interested for citizens.
For example, how many times do you have to take passport? Or how many times do you have to, I don't know, use some Government services? Not more than once a year, in a year, but there are some services which are related to municipalities which are demanded more, and these services have to be developed in electronic way and provided to the citizens.
So also, we work on the direction to make accessible municipal services into my.gov.ge citizens portal. And one is that there is no many services, and second, second, there is an -- I don't know about second reason because the usage of Internet is so high that they have to be interested in electronic services, also.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: I think you tackled many, many important issues, and I would be very happy to see hands here. Go ahead. But wait you've been already so I will give the opportunity to the lady there.
>> Hello. I'm just going to pass on a message from one of our online participants. So one question she has is, so: Good access will mean good human to computer interaction interfaces to meet individual users' ICT experience level. How should we go about setting common standards to enable this access? And that is from Amali de Silva.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Shall we repeat the question? Or is it okay to go?
>> NIKOLOZ GAGNIDZE: About setting common standards to enable this access, yes. One stop shop portal means that each service which will be developed on that portal will have the user experience and the design also will be the same, and so the standard will be set up on that portal.
But as for different state institutions, Web pages where services are provided also, we don't have yet any standards that they have to accept, but we think about to make this service delivery standard, this is ongoing process, also, and very soon we will have this standard and each institution have to accept the standard. And also for municipalities, also, we are doing the same, and I hope that in near future we will have this kind of regulation.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Another question was over there, I think? The lady in the white shirt.
>> Question is different anyway. I'm not going to repeat the first question. First question is different. Thank you very much for the information, and I want to ask you a question related to the -- you said my.gov.ge was launching 2012, and there is kind of 100 users already registered, yeah?
[ Off microphone ]
Yeah, yeah, 100,000 users. My question is related to you said that in July it will be mandatory electronic signature for the requesting some information, for I don't know, maybe any information. And how it's possible, because you have kind of very low usage, because I think that it's not a coverage of whole population, and therefore you are saying that people are using Internet frequently, and there was kind of research and statistics that the Georgian population using Internet very easily, and that's not -- I still see the problem how it's possible to cover all of the citizens because from 2012 and 100,000 users is not kind of very big amount of people.
>> NIKOLOZ GAGNIDZE: Okay. Thank you for the question. This survey which I was talking about also said that my.gov.ge was the most visited portal among the State portals in Georgia, and the reason of low amount of users on my.gov.ge is that there are no many usable services, electronic services, for citizens. But we're working that we will have many services for -- which are interested for citizens, and the frequency of those, of usage those services are high, and we think that these services will be demanded from citizen side, but using electronic signature, of course, this is the additional work that citizens have to do during the service using, but this is high security tool which have to be implemented, and this is regulation of European Union and European Member States have to implement this regulation, and the Georgia also will to implement this regulation in its country, and to provide citizens with more security, and make this portal more securable for threats.
And each citizen who wants to communicate with Government electronically and provide some documents, and this document have to be signed generally by the law, this signature have to be electronic. That's the requirement of the law, but if you want to see some information about you without providing some application, this will not require digital signature, of course, but each application, for example, you would like to get some abstract about your real estate or about a legal entity, then you have to sign the application digitally, and afterwards, the digitally signed abstract will come to you in electronic way.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: I have two more questions for you. One is from the remote participation. She was asking a clarification, and another over there. Do you mind if I give --
>> Sorry, the clarification was actually from my side, not from her side. So the question was: What is the role of non-profits in education of citizens in regards to accessing the Internet and online services?
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: And let me pick up the second question and maybe Mr. Gagnidze can tackle them together.
Sure, okay. So it's about the role of the NGOs.
>> NIKOLOZ GAGNIDZE: The nonprofit organisations have also quite interesting role in educating citizens, because they can find the findings and they can provide some training courses, or they can provide some awareness campaigns. We, Governmental institutions, cooperate with nonprofit organisations very well. For example, IDFI is one of them, and with IDFI, we've done some joint projects, and I think that nonprofit organisations -- the role of nonprofit organisations is very high in education direction.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Thank you very much. And let me move to our next speaker, Raul Echeberria.
>> I still have this question. I was reserving it, I don't know, for the end.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Go ahead, please.
>> I actually was involved in the survey that Nicoloz mentioned about this and so on. My question is more general to Mr. Michal. I know from the professional community and from other events that sometimes it's difficult to push ahead. You mentioned that push the Government and so on. The European Commission has much more important not important but maybe difficult tasks dealing with 28 Governments. So what would be the best advice in going to the streets? In recent Georgian politics it was very popular to push the Government but I know professional community is not very happy with the pace of development and decision-making and strategies and so I think this kind of forms one of the tasks of somehow to set the health topics and somehow to transfer it to the decision makers and to make them be implemented.
So what would be the best tool, device, or how professional community with NGOs and these kind of Forums can really push the Government to take decisions rather than to think for long and then time passes and then technology especially changes and more new questions arise. Thank you.
>> MICHAL BONI: Thank you very much for the question. You know, I think that we don't need to go to the streets, but of course, when I'm defending in my country -- I'm from Poland -- the dependence of the judicial system I'm going to the streets with may colleagues from civic society organisations and if we will have the situation in which the Government, the authority, every kind of authorities will attack our rights in the Internet, I think that we need to use our citizens tools to fight for the Internet as an area for freedom.
I think it's very, very important, yes? But on the other hand, I think that now, in many situations, we have many possibilities to push Governments, showing them the benefits, and organising some conferences, reports, discussions, debates involving people and showing how important it is.
And I think that what is also important, that when we are discussing generally in the European Union or in individual particular Member States about the -- about strategy for development, sustainable and resilient development, when we are using the expression resilient development it's much more closer to the digital issues, yes? Cybersecurity but not only cybersecurity.
So I think that we need to push our Governments and to expect as citizens and many organisations that digital issues are the priorities. So this is democratic way, yes? And I think that this is the only way but if authorities will attack our rights, of course, this is another different area, but, you know, I'm the old man, yes? And I'm involved in politics through many years from solidarity movement in '80s to Government after transformation, so I know that it is not so easy, because there is no common understanding of digital issues in the European Union.
No some areas, there is a common understanding. In some, this is a battle, yes? So I think that we need to have stronger leadership at the European level focus on digital issues, and it was done during this term. It was the better term when we are looking at digital achievements, but it should be better the next term so now the European Parliament we are working on some kind of legacy for the next Commission, next Parliament. And I think it should be very strong message, and I think that EuroDIG should have also its own legacy to our digital issues, yes, for the future.
It should be written, and it should be presented just before elections to the European Parliament, and after that establishing the future Commission. It's crucial.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Thank you. Anymore questions? Raise your hand so that I can sea you clearly. No hands. May I?
So talking about and coming from the European to the National countries, and now going to the very, very global view and what we are so passionate to defend, the global Internet, and I'd like to invite Mr. Raul from Internet Society to talk about the role of the Internet as an enabler for the development in the region through digitalization, and how Internet enables digital skills, how it impacts the future of jobs, and helps the process of digitalization. Let's have an overview of the global movements and processes, what's happening.
>> RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Thank you very much. You made about I think five or six questions.
So -- fortunately, my colleagues who have spoken before me have covered many of the topics, on very interesting things by the way. As Mr. Boni already spoke about, the technologies evolution and disruptions, it is important to remark that there is no Sector in the world, Sector of the economy, Sector in terms of human activities, that will not be impacted in some way by this disruption.
And a few days ago I was talking with a friend of mine, and it doesn't matter what he does, but he has a profession that when we were talking about those things, he said: Oh, I'm very happy that I work in a profession that will not be impacted by the technology evolution. I'm very sad to tell you that you are wrong.
And very quickly, just based on things that we hear every day, I mentioned three or four examples of how his profession could be impacted. So we are speaking about an evolution that will happen in a very few years. It's happening, so the CEO of one of the big technology companies, a couple of weeks ago speaking about one of their projects, and he say that people think when I speak about those things, people think that I'm speaking about something that will happen in the future, but we will launch these products in two years.
So this is what's happening in every human activity. And as has been said before, if we want really to achieve a human centric approach to this, I do not say to the Internet, to the technological evolution in general, we have to ensure that the people will have the appropriate skills to become part of the transformation, and not to be killed by the transformation.
So the first conclusion is that the, and it's not original what I will say, but the success depends on the ability, on the capacity, to adapt quickly, and when it's -- this is for everybody. It's for private sector, for private companies, and we have -- there's plenty of examples how big companies have not adapted to the evolution, and they have paid a huge price.
I remember a few days ago I was walking on the street in New York, and I passed through the door of the 5th Avenue of the door of Barnes & Noble, right, the name? It used to be one of the biggest book shops in the world. And I remember when Amazon started to operate, that the CEO of Barnes & Noble was asked about the impact that Amazon would have on their business, and he said that he was not worried about that.
I don't know, maybe he's considering to change that statement now. I don't know, I don't follow this, but I'm sure he's no longer the CEO of the company. It would be very strange.
So as my friend that's underestimated the impact of the technology in his activity, same is -- the same is happening with big companies, with Governments, with Civil Society organisations, so everybody, so if we lose the capacity, or we don't develop the capacity to adapt to the change very quickly, we are really compromising our future.
As we have pointed out in our report that we launched last year, Path to our Digital Future -- and I recommend to read that report, because it's a report based on a survey we did around the globe with the participation of I think 3,000 people, so it's a very interesting report. And one of the things that we identifies that there will be a lot of pressure on the societies, pressure on many aspects. One of the things is, of course, that we are seeing that everybody's worried about the impact of the jobs, and this is the theme of the C7 meeting and the G20 meeting this year, and also will be the main topic, main focus, of the International Labor Organisation next year as the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the organisation. So everybody is worried about this, and there is no doubt that many, many jobs that we know today will disappear, and as other jobs have disappeared in the past, and -- but the problem is that there is more uncertainty because the speed of evolution, so a lot of jobs will disappear and new jobs will be created, jobs that are related to new activities but also jobs that are related to new sectors that are growing, because the humans are spending more time for example enriching ourselves, in the entertainment. So even the fact that the -- that the artificial intelligence or the other components of technology could do some of the existing work, there are new things that are happening that we need the opportunity to be unburdening.
But the problem as I say is the unknown impact of many of the technologies, blockchain. And I was talking -- I recommend, there are a couple of sessions from blockchain tomorrow that I'm sure would be very interesting. Some of those technologies that are in -- that are very disruptive, usually one thing that happens is that the short-term impact is overestimated, so the 2, 3 years ago many people was anticipating that blockchain would change everything very quickly.
And it didn't happen, because we overestimate, usually, the impact in the short term, but at the same time, we underestimate the long-term impact of the most disruptive technologies, and the impact of blockchain will be huge, and some things that current activities that are run by institutions with hundreds or thousands of employees probably will be serviced through very simple applications using blockchain.
So there is a lot of uncertainty not only with blockchain, with artificial intelligence and others, and there is a risk, and this is not a minor risk, that some of the new technologies or coming technologies which bring close the risk of increasing the gap of opportunities of that we are talking about, the gap between the people that have access to the technologies and people who don't.
We are talking very much about 5G, but this is -- and the theme of the conference this year I think was Creating a Better Future, and I was there when I saw all the demonstrations of the new technologies, there is no doubt that the future is brilliant. All the things that we can have access to in the future is great, the things that -- but we have to work in ensuring that those things will be available for everybody, not only for people working or living in the most populated places, in the most developed countries, so there is a promise on the technology that depends on us if this technology will -- it impacts positively on the life of everybody or not.
One of the -- I think going faster -- but the, obviously the technology evolves faster than policies, and this is a very big challenge, and in some cases we are seeing that Governments are losing the ability of regulating some activities, and this is not a minor change, and this is -- we can see for example what's happening with Uber and it's not exactly that I like the company but this is a good example. And while many Governments or many countries, or several countries, not saying many, are still blocking the traffic to Uber or for the prohibiting the Uber to act in their countries, at the same time, Uber is announcing that they will launch the air taxis in less than 5 years. They are speaking about 3, 4 years and they're organising a contest now for design of the skyports, the kind of station that they will use for exchanging the traffic.
So look at this. Whale some of the Governments are still trying to block the evolution in this area, the company is increasing the disruption, so this is a -- and this is one of the challenges. The Governments have to understand that the innovation is needed at the level of Public Policy. So it's not only the innovation in the private sector. We need innovation in policy matters and in governance, too. This is not a minor thing.
So as finishing, one thing that should worry us is that the countries that -- I don't think that there is room in the future for everybody to win, so this is a very challenging time, and some countries and some people, some Sectors, will win. Others, not. And it depends on the ability to do the right things, to adapt ourself to the changes in terms as I said of technology, but also in terms of working with the community, in terms of developing the right policies.
And countries that are not doing the right things are compromising really the future of their countries for probably a few decade, and I could mention some of them that really worry me, but I don't think that it would be polite so I'm very happy when I sea for example our presentation from our colleague from Georgia of all the things that the Georgia Government is doing, I think that they're going in the right direction.
But everything we can do will never be enough. This is the, really the challenging thing. So we have to adapt ourselves, create the right environments, without killing the innovation, being very careful that we promote the innovation. Of course, taking care of human rights, as the question that was made before and other things, but it requires a new mindset to face the challenges that we have in front of us. Thank you.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: If anyone has any questions.
>> I'm not sure how to phrase this question, because it always goes back to what you are saying and it is linked to skills, and to digital education. Sorry?
Sorry, yeah, I'm from digital citizens Romania, we're concerned with digital matters. The question would be: Is digital education a political priority? Or is something on the side? Because I'll have the comment which says basically regardless of the connectivity, and I come from a country which is a leader in terms of very fast connectivity, but it's useless for the citizens and for the companies themselves. In the EU, less than 20% of the companies sell online. Less than 10% sell across the border online. So is it a digital priority? Can it be made a political priority? And how can we make it? Because it's always revolving around the same question.
>> RAUL ECHEBERRIA: It should be. I think that the Governments really prioritize this. The question is if they do that in the right manner. And I will to not embarrass any specific country in Europe, I will speak about may country, I'm from Uruguay from South America and it's a country that is very famous for having a very high level of education, but this is assumption we achieved in the last century. And now we are facing the challenge of how to keep the high standard in education in a very different environment, and it's really been a challenge. And every Government when they assume they say education is the main priority for them.
But they are stuck in discussing things about the past, so when they think they have something new, they think that they have something about the next step for the education system, the reality changes, so they are failing how to anticipate the needs in this area.
So I think that it's not that they don't prioritize the topic. I think this is a public priority. I think that we have to help, and there is a -- I will repeat myself on this, but we talk all the time about collaborative governance, and it looks like we're repeating something that is empty of content, but this is the opposite. I think that the Governments have to understand that the challenges are very -- are huge, and so the only way to really face the challenges is to appealing to all the expertise and experience and wisdom that is spread across the society. It's the only way that we really can get all the energies we need for making changes, and I think that this area that you mention is one example of how that we need more perspectives and expertise from different Sectors for being successful.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Thank you. Thank you very much. If we do not have any further questions, I will continue. No?
Thank you, Raul. It was very, very good overview, so that even I don't have any questions.
So let me tell you that we also have another speaker who is representing the Business Sector, and it is a very good chance to fully grasp and fully answer the question we have stated. And the question I'd like to give you is: What's the role of the businesses here? We talk about helping -- the businesses helping, but what is your role here? And at the same time, how do you in this new digital era, how do you adapt to it? And how do you overcome the challenges that you think you are, as a Business Sector, facing rate now in this fast-paced, innovative culture, with so much services being electronic so what's your role here?
>> MELLE TIEL GROENESTEGE: Yes, thank you for that question. I think it's, for those who don't know us, VEON is a telecommunication company globally with 240 million customers. We face -- as a telco, we face disruption, as you rightfully point out. So when I joined a bit over two years ago, the tag line of VEON was From Telco to Tech. Now it's Telco and Tech. So it shows kind of the challenges that we face as a technology company to make the transformation to pure digital player. A lot of it has to do with regulations. That doesn't mean that we don't continue on this path.
I think what I liked is what Mr. Boni pointed out that it's about to create a strategy and a direction rather than something to implement right now so this is very important, and that's how we thought about the digitization issue at VEON as well. So how we look at it it's a framework consisting of several layers. On the bottom you have the infrastructure layer, about the connectivity, so the infrastructure, the smartphones.
It's an interesting debate on the 5G question. That's for a Telecom company, that's something very much to our interest but it's an interesting question who is going to pay for it. I think this is an internal debate going on also at VEON, especially about what will be the business model, because we see all the solutions out there and what's possible but what is actually the business model? Will our client be the hospital? Will it be the equipment provider? Will it be the Government? There's a lot of questions unanswered to that, and one maybe interesting role that Government can play.
I think France did this before in a spectrum auction so that's the frequencies over which the traffic goes. They said, we're not going to see this as an extra source of income this spectrum, but we're going to put a condition to the spectrum, so say okay, you get the spectrum for this 5G but it means you'll need to invest a certain billion amount of Euros in it. That's a good way of how Governments can kind of come up with innovative models for Telecom operators to make this innovation possible.
So that's the bottom layer. Then we talked about it this morning, the second layer is the enabling component so this is about kind of the data and cloud infrastructure, but also about electronic idea that the colleague talked about before, and about to be able to actually transact online in this e-Commerce models, we need to have access to electronic Financial Services or digital Financial Services which in Western Europe is not a problem but in a lot of countries where we operate lack financing so that's a core component that we address.
Also with regard to e-ID this is very interesting for operator to be in this area, to unlock kind of access to e-Government services or even opening a bank account. I'm from the Netherlands. Everything is very digital, so opening a new bank account, you can do everything online and then the last step, you need to print out the form and put your signature and mail it. That's where I stop, so I go to another provider. So there's others out there. In Ukraine we have a great solution where we created collaboration with the Government to link the database of the Government, of the population, to actually the telecommunications database. People need to come to our store to get a very secure SIM card because we cannot exchange that type of information. Once you have that SIM card, you can actually create that bank account based on your we call it the SIM ID. This is one of the solutions. I think in Europe we can still learn a lot, because I'm not aware of that happening either in Italy, our other market, or in the Netherlands.
On top of that, once we have the infrastructure and these enabling components we have the platform so we're now in the platform economy. That's what we try to achieve as VEON as well kind of going from industry to platform based business model. And one of the solutions that is out there, I would like to highlight. I cannot go on everything that we do, but a platform economy can have a big impact, and one example is for small holder farmers. A lot of farmers don't have access to certain information. It's usually the bottom of the pyramid with low levels of income, but we can -- as a telco, we reach a lot of those farmers with our smartphones and we can actually do a lot for them, but building a platform where other providers put the information on the platform that we designed, it's completely open, so it's also allows startups for example in this agricultural Sector to reach the farmers which are locally.
So one example I think that's quite amazing is that someone in a super rural area with a smartphone takes a picture of a plant with a disease. It goes to a data center in the Netherlands where there's an AI analyzing the picture, identifies the disease and comes with recommendation of what type of fertilizer you should use, or how to treat your disease. So this increases massively the productivity even on small holder farmer level and we don't need big farms to increase productivity. We can do it decentralized on a local level so I think that's where also as a Telecom if we think innovative we have access to these people, we need to start thinking not only in terms of the voice and SMS but in platforms, how can we create a community or ecosystem that supports that.
I come to my last point because I hear about the skills part as you rightfully point out and also about the role of the non-profits. I think in the skills part especially non-profits play a big role, because we, of course, VEON has a number of corporate responsibility programmes so it includes training. It includes start-up hubs, we call those. We have that in almost all of our markets. Last month we launched one in Armenia, to help people gain the skills to design their own businesses, and also to learn how to use technologies.
Now, the problem at these corporate responsibilities programmes is it's not the core of our business. We're responsible citizens so we do these type of things and we think it's benefiting society but we cannot do it by ourselves so that's where we really depend on the non-profits to provide that part, and we can subsidize certain technologies for example but really the training and build on skill, that's something we need to team up for.
So this is kind of the approach how we look at the digital economy, what we can do, and how we can collaborate within this broader framework, set the direction, and we see that this is very well received by many Governments, so also to have actually the private sector driving certain discussions on the National digital agenda. In Europe it's a bit more set, but especially in all of our markets, there's a great discussion where we contribute a lot.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: You have an opportunity to hear from a representative from different Sectors very briefly, very briefly, what could be something that something that businesses might need from the Government, from the Civil Society, from the bigger institutions like EU? What is that you very critically need? What kind of support?
>> MELLE TIEL GROENESTEGE: So there's a lot, but I think that okay, it may be open door and a bit too generic, but facilitated regulation that allows not only the OTT players of this world to innovate, but also the Telecoms, that's a key component. It's a bit of an old debate but I think that's still there. And then from the broader community, so we engage with a lot of international organisations which is great, continue to look for new solutions. That comes to my last point, so we had a great project for example in Algeria where we wanted to make SMEs use digital technologies more and also make them use -- allow them to transact online or at least electronically, because that didn't happen that much. So we partnered together with the Government of Algeria. It was GIZ, a German organisation. GIZ would provide training to this pilot of SMEs. We would provide the technologies at a subsidized rate, and the Government would provide a facilitating programme for these SMEs and I think that way, that really shows how with the different type of Sectors you can work together to kind of kick start this development so that's the two items we need.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Thank you very much and sorry I'm running so late with our last speaker Katrin who will be joining us remotely. Hi, Katrin.
>> KATRIN OHLMER: Hi.
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>> KATRIN OHLMER: Can you hear me now?
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Yes, perfectly well.
>> KATRIN OHLMER: First of all I would like to apologize for not being there in person, and my presentation posed some examples some examples which are not only within the EU.
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Why should we do that at all and why do we need to improve?
( ? ).
Clearly citizens know much better what's in the area and what's going wrong so there's room for improvement. Businesses what we just heard, they want less regulation but they also want to communicate effectively with the local administration so they don't want to send back and forth some documents, they want to do that also online and of course we have the perfect tool with the Internet as the infrastructure for all the communication. And where do we need to improve?
We started with this topic of access to the Internet, and I'll skip that for the time being but focus with may examples on intuitive and easy to use services, and memorable and searchable names because if you have a great platform, but nobody knows the name and remembers where to find it, the service is pretty useless.
So the goal would be that citizens should instantly find what they look for, and the goal should also include easy language and make it as easy as possible, and ask citizens what they really need, and make it with them and not for them.
So I have some examples from abroad. The first one is in Australia. So the Australian Government launched the portal which really says about, this is a beta project so everybody can get involved and have a say and try it out and find out what's good and what's bad about this service, and they aim to enhance their text declarations and deductions so it is something that is applicable to probably all Australians.
And the next one is digital e-Government services in Canada, they're similar to the Australians, they set up a portal which is dedicated to develop simple and easy to use services which is agile so they improve. While doing it, they collect feedback from that portal. Another example is health care in Denmark, where the Danish Government asks patients for their feedback on services, so the things they are expected to choose the doctor online and choose the hospital and give feedback about certain data. And of course, this is a topic which comes also with some GDPR issues, but nevertheless, the Danes are pretty active in that area.
Another example is the participation of Nordrhein-Westfalia, where citizens participate in e-Government projects which are published in open NRW, where you can check which area certain organisations are and get involved and have a say. So this was more about how to get involved, and the second set of examples is about the easy access.
So what we did here in Berlin was together with others is a study which an address should be used if you want to set up e-Government structures, administrative portals and so on so the question has been which address is perfect for the lost and found office in Berlin and most of the people who answered this question said lost and found of Berlin would be awesome instead of Berlin/LostAndFound, and only 1.4% said the current version, which you see is pretty long and not really findable, should remain. And based on this, I give you some examples where cities and regions improved on the searchability and findability. The first one is Freistaat-Bayern in Bavaria, where you can get your local ID for getting all your e-Government services, and much more.
The second one is about the police in Berlin, they found out that most barriers are where do I find a police office? And how do I call them? Or what's the address?
So they set up thereforyou.berlin portal where you can pretty easily navigate to the different areas of Berlin, find out the police station where you want to address something in your area is based, and how you can reach them.
Finally, if you want to get registered in Berlin, there's a new platform called meldedich, means get registered, dot Berlin, with some pretty neat graphics asking people who moved to Berlin, get registered, and this is also pretty easy to understand and doesn't come with such a long name.
So these were my examples finally. Thanks for your attention.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Thank you, Katrin. Thank you so much. I think we can pick up a couple of questions before our Rapporteur will present the main points, so raise your hand if that is more or less the last minute. Go.
>> My question is concerning the uptake. So I know that Georgian Government has been considering mobile ID so my question is posed to the Government and to businesses, is the mobile ID solution for efficient uptake of the services. Thank you.
>> NIKOLOZ GAGNIDZE: Of course, mobile ID will help raise of usage services because mobile ID is more convenient for citizens, for people generally than using ID card reader, USB connected with computer and putting their ID card.
I think that Georgia mobile ID project will help Georgia with takeup of services and this is spread in the world and people are using in different countries sub successfully so I think that this will help us.
>> MELLE TIEL GROENESTEGE: Yeah, we have the service, so it helps, but I think what is also key to address is maybe so there's a lot of progress being made also here in Georgia but if you look at the number of smartphone uptakes within a fat print it's still 45% so there's a lot still to gain on that level, as well. But definitely a good solution.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: We have one more question here. Do you want to use the mic?
>> Hello. So my question is bringing up these IDs. I was wondering is there any plans to make them a bit more pan European? In my generation we move around all the time. It's a hassle to have to get a new phone number, a new ID. I know that I don't like changing phone numbers when I move, especially now we've got data but you can't use most of these, I was living in Estonia but you couldn't sign up with a foreign phone number for the services. You think do we need to keep changing phone numbers and uprooting everything every time we move? Is there a way to make this a little more flexible, kind of easy to take with you and use these services in different countries, as well?
>> MELLE TIEL GROENESTEGE: That's something we were debating and the difference in the, if you're on WhatsApp or Facebook no matter where you are you don't need to change but it's not possible with the regulations but it would be to see how that works out. Mobile number portability requires a lot of investment from operators, so we see that implemented, so usually in Europe it's kind of standard, but I think that would require a lot of investments, because that would mean you need to set up the data centers in different countries between the different operators, et cetera.
So I'm not sure how fast that would be realized but it's a good idea.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Sure.
>> MICHAL BONI: If I properly remember, there is a new solution presented by the Commission in April, and there will be some requirements related to the new identification model, so it would be much more similar than it exists now, and on the other hand, we need to remember about AID as you have mentioned it, which is also creating the common framework, yes, for European recognition, if I can say.
And I think that we are going step by step in this direction. It's not so easy because there are some National Member States requirements related to some issues, but I think that in the future step by step, we need to go. If we will have for example the common certifications on cybersecurity it will be easier because we will use the same certifications.
If you have interoperability in all -- full implementation in all Member States, it also will be easier, and I think that in many areas, it's going in this direction. For example, 2020, we need to have e-Prescription model with the possibilities to recognize in all countries. So I think step by step, but we are different states, and we need to remember that states also could have different requirements when we are talking about identification and security.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Any other speaker wanted to answer the question?
Okay. We have a Rapporteur who has been following the discussion, and has pointed out several issues that was crucial during this discussion. Please, Sonia, could you also explain the process how it goes?
>> SONIA: I will. Thank you, Ana. So for each session we're creating three to five key messages and they will be included in the annual report and the general EuroDIG messages. The most important point is from this point it's not a debate. We're not going to debate the messages but whether everyone agrees or not, and if any of them aren't agreed by majority, they will be taken out from the session's key messages.
So I'll quickly go through them.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: So yes and no, right?
>> SONIA: Yeah, yes and no, and I would suggest if someone has an objection, that we see hands, and not for yeses. If that's okay.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Okay, I think we all agree on the process.
>> SONIA: Human centric approaches to all areas of digitalization must be a priority. Humans aren't for technology but technology is for humans.
Thank you. For increased interest and use by the public, universal Internet access, memorable and searchable Domain Names and creating services with citizens are helpful.
Quick adaptability is vital in the face of the fast pace of digitalization. That's going to be a better sentence.
A better-formed sentence, but the sentiment is there.
Innovation is not only crucial for businesses, but for Public Policy, as well.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Objection?
>> That was from you.
>> RAUL ECHEBERRIA: No, I will not object. I would say I would probably phrase that different but I think that the innovation, I think that what's important is that we should say that it's vital that we have innovation, not in every Sector, including or maybe especially the Public Policy field.
>> SONIA: I'll make a note of that and editors are going to go through this. And finally creating frameworks and strategies are preferred to direct regulation. Thank you everyone.
>> ANA KAKALASHVILI: Thank you very much. Let me wrap up on the -- yes, a big clap to every speaker.
And to the participants, as well. Thank you very much, before you run out, so I've been instructed to give you an instruction about tonight's cocktail party. So it starts at 7:00, but the buses are leaving at 6:30, and you need to all be wearing badges. Badges are your allowance to free alcohol.
Do not forget it. Thank you so much, once again.
[End of session]
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