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The current state of the Internet and the web has a lot of challenges it’s facing or about to face. From ethics to architecture to openness and accessibility, plenty of questions need to be answered. In order to facilitate the process, the Next Generation Internet (NGI) initiative organises the NGI Forum in Porto, Portugal, where several hundred Internet enthusiasts will gather to exchange opinions.

The one-day free event will be held on September 13 at the Alfandega Porto congress centre. Its agenda is packed with keynotes and panel discussions touching all aspects of shaping the Internet of tomorrow, from technical aspects to the societal benefits it needs to bring.

“The forum should see some in-depth discussions and lively debates on important topics such as how to build a more open, secure, trusted and decentralised internet, by relying on advanced technologies and concepts building on artificial intelligence, blockchain, decentralised architectures and open data, to mention some,” said Dr Monique Calisti, CEO of Martel Innovate and HUB4NGI Project Coordinator, who is leading the organisation of the event. “There are huge challenges and implications we will have to face to put control of data back into the hands of the people and incorporating all-important digital ethics into technology. This is why appointments like the NGI Forum are key to align and orchestrate research, innovation and policy efforts.”

Launched by the European Commission in 2016, the NGI initiative strives to keep the development of the Internet aligned with its core values: openness, inclusivity, transparency, privacy, cooperation, and protection of data. At the NGI Forum, there will be speakers from the EC, including Pearse O’Donohue, director of future networks at DG CONNECT, and Olivier Bringer, deputy and acting head of NGI Unit.

On the government side, the afternoon plenaries will include an address from Prof. Manuel Heitor, minister of science, technology, and higher education of Portugal, presenting the country’s vision on the Next Generation Internet. Filipe Araujo, the vice-president and vice-mayor of Porto and city councillor for innovation and environment, will speak in the morning session.

In addition to that, the attendees of the NGI Forum will have a chance to hear the academic point of view on the future of the Internet. If that’s what you’re after, head to the panel discussions on the Internet of Moving Things (Prof. Susana Sargento, University Of Aveiro), Blockchain-based Architectures (Antonio Tenore Fornes, Complutense University of Madrid), and Social Artificial Intelligence (Prof. Virginia Dignum, TU Delft).

“For Europe to lead by example, it’s vital we continue to host open events such as the NGI Forum to hear different viewpoints from researchers, innovators, policy-makers, public institutions and citizens so that all can contribute to the creation of the next generation internet,” Dr Calisti said.

Want to join the discussion? Secure your ticket today, and come to Porto on September 13! The event is free, but the number of tickets is limited, so make sure you’re not late.