OneWebDay New York 2009

onewebday nycNew York, NY – In addition to the annual OneWebDay celebration of the Internet in all its diversity, which will again be held in Washington Sq. Park on Sep 22, New York netizens will be active in the coming weekend participating in two pre-OneWebDay events, a symposium and a party on Saturday Sep 19.

The NYC OneWebDay Celebration in Washington Sq. will this year be held in the newly renovated Holley Plaza, just east of the fountain from 12 noon to 2pm on Sep 22 – OneWebDay. Our guest of honor will be New York City Council member Gale A. Brewer. Also speaking will be Iranian activist Medhi Saharkhiz, who will reflect on the situation in Iran and the role the internet has played in allowing voices to be heard in the aftermath of the recent elections. The New York Public Interest Research Group will be using the occasion to officially release a report that forcefully calls for an assertive national broadband policy.  Phil Ashlock, of The Open Planning Project will speak on the open government effort in NYC: people working with technology and civic institutions to help make the functions of the city more transparent and participatory. Also participating, as part of their month long BREAKOUT FESTIVAL, will be NYCWireless. The intriguing concept behind BREAKOUT is that with mobile technology NYC workers are, for the first time since the invention of the office, are no longer tethered, free to roam and gather in the streets and parks. Adding to the fun we are lining up a couple of bands to come and play a few tunes. The whole event will be webcast. More details:

The OneWebDay Symposium on Sat Sep 19 12 noon – 2pm will be held at NYU’s Courant Institute, Warren Weaver Hall, 251 Mercer St. The theme is ‘Universal Broadband – The Road Ahead’. While many of us enjoy the benefits of High Speed Internet, there are still plenty, even in this city, that do not. Affordability, accessibility, and training are all factors. The 2008 Diamond Report, commissioned by the City, suggested that – for a healthy and competitive economic future – all citizens should be upgraded to 100mbps by 2010 or soon after.  It seems an unlikely prospect, even given Stimulus funding. This Symposium garners experts from a number of fields to address the ways and means that we might achieve such a goal.  Notably we have Alex Goldman, the former Managing Editor of trade journal ISP-Planet, as a keynote speaker. Dana Spiegel of NYCWireless, responsible for free wi-fi in many of the City’s public spaces, will give his views.  Joshua Breitbart of Peoples Production House has wide experience working with underserved communities and their problems. Thomas Kamber of Older Adults Technology Services devotes himself to connecting our senior population, including programs where kids do the training. This promises to be a stimulating and provocative discussion.  This will also be webcast live. More details:

Our second event on Sat Sep 19, in the early evening from 6-10, at 148 Lafayette St. will be much more of a party.  One aspect often overlooked in discussions of digital inclusion, and a major factor in computer costs, is the ongoing expense of software. The Free Software movement thankfully has come to the rescue, developing a body of free and open alternatives. The community considers that these programs, hitherto somewhat the province primarily of geeks, is ready for primetime.  Hence the title of this event ‘From Software to Everywhere’.  ‘Lightning’ talks will be given by some developers on their ware’s attributes before we get down to serious schmoozing. A notable speaker is Nina Paley, whose animated film ‘Sita Sings The Blues’ was shown on Ch.13 earlier in the year too much acclaim. Nina will extend the ‘Open’ idea into culture, talking about how she recently made elements of her film available for remixing under a Creative Commons license. *Note: Admission is limited! You must RSVP to joshlevy.ny(at) to gain entry.  No webcast. More details:

Finally, for those who cannot make it to an event or watch online, on Sep 22 at 3.30pm, on Manhattan Neighborhood Network Ch.67 can be seen a film of last year’s OneWebDay NYC Celebration including Internet luminaries like Jonathan Zittrain, Larry Lessig, Craig Newmark.

About OneWebDay: OneWebDay was founded in 2006 as an all volunteer campaign to build an active community of Internet advocates in the United States and around the world.  Originally imagined as a celebration of the World Wide Web – the services and content the Internet carries – OneWebDay has grown into a movement of organizations, citizens and consumers who are committed to universal and equal access to the Internet.  Now in its fourth year, OneWebDay has a full-time Executive Director, powerful new partners and is planning events in 50 cities across the globe in 2009.

OneWebDay events planned for other U.S. cities include: a documentary screening in Milwaukee; a policy panel on Capitol Hill in Washington; city leaders in Philadelphia on its broadband grant; elected officials and a Cajun band in Lafayette.

OneWebDay takes place annually on September 22, marked by a variety of activities, with a new theme each year.  The 2009 theme is “One Web. For All” and focuses on volunteer service and expanding opportunity.  In addition to convening public forums where topics related to Internet access and availability will be discussed, OneWebDay organizers are going out into their communities to provide hands-on help with training and infrastructure. The Internet is the means by which increasing numbers of Americans earn a living, receive an education, consume goods and services and participate in their democracy.  Still, the United States ranks 15th among developed nations when it comes to broadband deployment. “Everyone understands that the Internet is the pathway to economic opportunity, from educational achievement to success on the job,” said Nathaniel James, OneWebDay Executive Director. “We can’t afford to leave anyone behind.”

About joly

isoc member since 1995

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