Explanatory note

Prior to the Expert meeting in Mexico IFLA asked invitees to submit short papers identifying emerging trends in the four areas of Guiding Questions:

CATEGORY 1: Cross-cutting Political and Regulatory trends

Q1: What will be the likely characteristics of future intellectual property/copyright regimes?

Q2: Will these regimes be led by market driven liberalisation or technology driven enforcement?

Q3: How will these regimes cope with the needs of developed and developing economies?

Q4: How will intellectual property rights interact with patent regimes?

Q5: How will tendencies towards a) greater transparency and open government; and b) political censorship, control and surveillance be likely to interact/develop over the next decade? How do we strike an appropriate balance between freedom and security?

CATEGORY 2: Social Trends

Q1: Will the Internet foster further social balkanisation and division?

Q2: What role will information literacy skills play in enabling us to effectively manage, digest and correctly interpret content within a rapidly expanding digital universe?

Q3: How can we capitalise on the positive benefits of increased (technology assisted) access to information and enhanced possibilities for collective mobilisation while mitigating the risks?

Q4: What will be the net effect of competing demographic trends across the developed and developing world on the information environment?

Q5: How can we best leverage online education resources, new learning technologies (including mobile learning platforms) and non-formal/informal learning pathways to meet the widening skills gap in both the developed and developing world? How can we address the knowledge gap between students (digital natives) and teachers?

CATEGORY 3: Economic Trends

Q1: How will the consumptive tastes, preferences and political/economic aspirations of the new global middle class affect the demographic and cultural landscape of the information environment?

Q2: How can governments in the developing world can successfully transition from taxing technology purchases and infrastructure projects towards incentivising technology adoption as multiplier of jobs and economic growth?

Q3: How long can vertically integrated business models (e.g. Amazon/Apple) resist long term trends towards standardisation and interoperability?

Q4: What would be the likely consequences of new proprietary horizontal cross-industry business models on the information environment?

Q5: What are the implications of mobile payments and financial services for the developing world?

CATEGORY 4: Technological Trends

Q1: How can we balance the benefits of increasingly intelligent and automated data collection and processing against concerns about the privacy and security of personal information?

Q2: Will the semantic web enhance access to information, research productivity and economic innovation – or will it simultaneously support more efficient Internet censorship, user monitoring and content blocking?

Q3: Assuming current trends in artificial intelligence supported translation continue to progress, what will be the likely consequences of a truly global, accessible, multilingual and multicultural Internet?

Q4: How can the substantial benefits 3D printing technology be exploited, particularly in developing countries, without replaying (potentially on an even greater scale) the political/legal/commercial battles which have engulfed the music and film industries?

Q5: How can the explosion of data traffic be accommodated within a sustainable business model which delivers the necessary investment in new communications infrastructure whilst preserving the principle of net neutrality and a level playing field for the transmission and consumption of information from different public, commercial and individual sources?