Internet Governance Forum

Join us at smart barbados week

October 4, 2019 | ADMISSION FREE



About the 2019 Barbados Internet Governance Forum

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a United Nations (UN) global multi-stakeholder forum designed to promote discussion and consensus on public policy issues relating to the Internet.  The IGF is an outcome of the United Nations-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2005.  Its initial 10-year mandate was renewed by UN Resolution A/RES/70/125 in 2015.

The Barbados IGF, which was first held in 2017, provides Barbadians from all sectors of society with a platform to discuss how they use the internet and digital technologies, and the most pertinent issues affecting them. The Internet Society, and by extension the Chapter, believes that “the internet is for everyone” and one of the goals of the IGF is to ensure that the discussions are relevant to all participants regardless of technical background.

The 2019 Barbados IGF is unique in that, as part of a larger national symposium, it has a critical mandate. As it is free to the public, it provides a platform for citizens, who may not be able to attend the paid components of Smart Barbados Week. This year the IGF is highly focused on issues of development, inclusion and protection of the citizens who will ultimately decide the success of any national transformation initiative.


October 4, 2019

Barbados Internet Governance Forum

08:30 AM

Room A - Welcome and Introductory Remarks.


08:40 AM

Room A - About ISOC, the Chapter and the IGF

09:00 AM

Room A - Caribbean Girls Hackathon winners and Participants

09:30 AM


09:45 AM

Room A - Building Trust in Institutions in the Age of Smart Technology

Before citizens are willing to support any Smart Barbados transformation initiative, the government needs their trust. In order to gain that trust, it needs to demonstrate that it has the technical capabilities and legal and ethical frameworks to ensure that the data it collects cannot be lost, stolen, corrupted or misused. This discussion seeks to understand the level of trust that citizens have in the government in relation to the implementation of advanced technologies. It also seeks to give the government a platform to address citizens’ concerns related to issues such as:

  • Widespread data collection leading to a surveillance state
  • Government mishandling or abuse/weaponization of collected data
  • Government inability to secure citizens’ data, especially highly confidential data such as health records
  • Citizens’ recourse in correcting errors in data about them

09:45 AM

Room B - Information, media and digital literacy.

Redifining literacy in Barbados in the internet-first era.

In an age where information and misinformation is pervasive, is it time for Barbados to move beyond its traditional definition of literacy as being able to read and write? The internet enables the rapid dissemination of information without regard to its accuracy. This places the burden of separating fact from fiction on the user. We pose the questions:

  1. Do our citizens have the tools to properly judge the credibility of what they see and hear online and in the media, and the skills to keep themselves safe online?
  2. With dangers from “fake news” to phishing and identity theft to malware, what are the implications of not having these skills?
  3. Are these skills sufficiently important to be considered a necessary component of literacy in the 21st century?
  4. Are they being taught to young people in schools, and if not should they be?
  5. How can adults educate themselves? In particular, older members of our population grew up in an age where honesty could be taken for granted. These persons are particularly vulnerable to misinformation and bad actors. What is being done to address this?

11:15 AM


11:30 AM

Room A - Securing Barbados' Digital Infrastructure

The Data Protection Act alone is not enough

While passing the Data Protection Act is a step in the right direction, the Act alone cannot guarantee the safety and security of citizens’ data. The discussion centers around:

  1. Cybercrime, the dark web, and steps that the government is taking to mitigate risks to organizations and infrastructure
  2. The need for additional coordination between organizations and policies governing such things as requirements to disclose security breaches
  3. The need for personal awareness by citizens of things like phishing, password maintenance and social engineering

11:30 AM

Room B - Technology enabled education

New paradigms for a Smart Barbados.

Digital technologies have radically transformed education around the world. The rise of online learning platforms like Khan Academy and Massively Open Online Courseware (MOOC) providers like edX and Coursera have made it easier than ever to gain access to knowledge. As Barbados seeks to build a smart nation, we need to ensure that our people are being prepared to contribute to the digital economy. With that in mind we ask the questions:

  1. How new technologies enabling new modalities of teaching and learning and being used at all levels of our education system?
  2. How we are preparing our school leavers and university graduates for an employment landscape in constant flux, where skills like creativity, critical thinking, emotional and social intelligence and cognitive flexibility become of vital importance?

12:30 PM


01:30 PM

Room A - Discussing the Data Protection Act

Implications for citizens, business and government.

The Data Protection Act has been passed into law, yet many citizens and businesses still do not understand the implications of the law for them. The goal is to discuss the implications of the Act, especially as it relates to:

  1. Businesses in general, but especially small businesses who might not be able to afford a data privacy officer
  2. How application of the law and oversight of the process will be managed
  3. What are citizens’ rights with respect to their data under the law

01:30 PM

Room B - Internet Addiction and the Attention Economy

According to the Nielsen Normal Group “Digital products are competing for users’ limited attention. The modern economy increasingly revolves around the human attention span and how products capture that attention.” Is the race to capture and monetize greater amounts of attention in an increasingly competitive marketplace giving rise to addictive platforms either actively or inadvertently? This discussion attempts to explain the workings of the attention economy, internet addiction and how they might be related. It also seeks to understand if internet addiction is becoming prevalent in Barbados and to understand how we might go about controlling our use of our devices so that they do not control us.

02:30 PM


02:45 PM

Room A - Inclusive transformation

Leaving no one behind as we take service online.

As more government and private sector services go digital-first, how do we ensure that persons who are traditionally “digitally disadvantaged” (older persons, the less fortunate, the differently able, and others) have access to these services? Questions to be discussed include:

  • What are some of the issues that citizens are currently facing in attempting to access online services?
  • Are services being designed to be responsive and adaptable to people with different requirements?
  • Is free internet access and education as to its use available to those who cannot afford it for themselves?
  • What mechanisms and incentives can be put in place to close the digital divide and guarantee equality of access for all Barbadians?

02:45 PM

Room B - Implications of digitization and advanced technologies (like AI) for future employment opportunities in Barbados

Like those that went before it, the 4th Industrial Revolution is producing a seismic shift in the world of work. By some estimates 40% or more of the jobs currently being carried out today will not exist in 20 years, as advances in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) enable machines and computers to carry out many of the functions that currently require a human being. Conversely, it is also estimated that as many as half of the children now entering school will graduate and be employed in jobs that do not currently exist. Against this backdrop we understand how the government, private sector, and the labor movement are grappling with these issues.

04:15 PM


04:30 PM - 05:00 PM

Smart Barbados Week wrap up

Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre

October 1st to October 4th