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Media Masters with Paul Blanchard welcome to medium Masters series of one-to-one interviews with people at the Komedia game president and chief executive of the World Wide Web Foundation his 20-year career in international development and advocacy focus on delivering policy change on complex global issues prior to joining the web Foundation Adrian play key leadership roles in successful campaigns such as make poverty history and the Jubilee 2000 campaign to cancel a depth of developing countries is also held senior roles at Oxfam and the children is the internet and Lawless free-for-all and what can be done about it.
Well, is it no it once was and some people felt that was a beautiful time and there was certainly very special aspects of the internet back in the early days, when it really wasn't that permission.
Tim Berners-Lee who invented the World Wide Web founder of the plantations lead he intended it to be that but over the years it has changed in some ways for the better or the worse.
There's a obviously an incredible wealth of information so much stuff that we can all access and that you know that my teenage kids take for granted now the fact that they don't have to the library to do the homework a video of the football and liquid missed the last 10 minutes of jealous.
Yeah, I know and I don't understand any of that don't understand so yeah things have changed for the better things like Wikipedia all these incredible things we find on the web that make our lives better and able to make a living and able to claim human rights also kind of thing but also the challenges we all know many of those that the ways in which we are becoming too close perhaps to our devices and to the the constant.
In which might be a risk the ways in which year vulnerable to this information online and fake news in the way that affects at democracy personalised so so you know what you're trying to do with demon with the web Foundation is to say there is a brilliant thing at the heart of it's a brilliant idea his great idea.
He gave the to the world for free 30 years ago and that's an incredible gift and we all cherish it will Turton Irish it will not obey you and fight for it and we may need to fight for it.
That's what the weather is about who you fighting and what are you fighting for well? I think you know that that's a good question.
I think in some ways.
We are fighting against some governments who want to control the web to excessive degree who work in a reactionary totalitarian and authoritarian regime is more and more of that you know we're seeing more shut down to the internet double last year compared to the previous year.
Election going on or a bit of rest of the devil shut down the internet that massive usually a massive overreaction to to a problem, so there's those challenges from governments the challenges from companies and small companies some of which are so caught up in that whole process of disseminating news that may not be true information that may not be real and also you know company is responsible for looking after a data and don't always do so come back to some of that but I think we're also probably fighting against apathy.
I think we're all citizens were all users of the web and it's very easy for us.
Just to sort of take it for granted like the air that we breathe but it isn't like that.
You know it's not always going to be there in the form.
That is most useful to us in the form that makes it a public good worth defending like by clean water and being able to school and so on so we have to do we have to wait for that and I think part of that is is.
Rising that we all have a role to play in that.
I would say it's a bit like you know you go out on the street, and there's a job for governments to do to put up the speed limit signs and set the rules of the road and there's a job for companies to do to the build vehicles that are safe and get us from A to B and so on and then there's the rest which is not only all of us.
You know yesterday in the rules and drive the cars are right, but more than that figuring out how we navigate around each other those kind of courtesies and social norms and so on which we've managed to build over decades or even centuries in the real world.
No so perhaps that were struggling a bit with that in the virtual world that we've only had 10 1520 years to work.
So I think there's a big job for all of us to do as human is also very important stuff for companies and governments to do to make make sure we have a whether we want me.
We living in incredibly globalised environment now and then the internet as
To such a point now where I get nation nation state governments countries don't necessarily mean anything I mean 10 years ago.
I bought something from Argentina something on the internet and paid via PayPal and it didn't and then it is a dispute with the vendor and it struck me then that my government could do nothing to help me that the only recourse was an American company and they were playing kind of you know cos Silicon Valley type ethics to a nut you know like if you when I have a dispute and then you £20 and you don't pay I can take you to the local court, but that just doesn't matter anymore.
It is a truly is a good yeah.
I think we've got a recognise that limits of of national governments and national legislation and laws and so on given that the very global nature of the internet as you say, but that doesn't mean that we can't have some some norms and expectations in substandard and actually something that with with with certain.
We've been doing the last few months is this idea of a contract for the web which we managed to get.
Companies and civil Society groups and governments involved in that says first of all there's a set of principles that should be used to guide how we organise activity on the world and then secondly that there's a set of concrete companies in all of the Citizens can make to defend and protect that those founding principles for the web so that starts to be you know that isn't about creating legislation that apply in every country in the world, but it is about establishing some norms and some expectation is that might come across across national borders and what isn't trying to get closer to Kerala government a bit like herding cats.
You know my prudential.
You know denial of the Holocaust in my view is criminal offence in German in France and it's not in America but they would have to say it loud some do it is giving me at the First Amendment and that so we do have to recognise a different cultural norms different historical experiences in different countries and I think that there's been for.
To span those different experiences to a point but I think where that stops people increasing the agree.
He is where the content that directly threatens an individual or a group of people where there's well as content that is deliberately designed to mislead or deceive in order to make money or in order to influence of election or whatever so there are various ways in which I think the standards can be applied that can basically raise.
Everyone's game that we have an online experience that is much more true to the founding spirit Of The World by web and how does that work in the age of kind of self-censorship is only when the Guardian wants their website 20-years ago the option to play The xx on Spotify don't like sport I consider it a waste of time.
I don't want my guardian homepage to have the screen acreage wasted by spot, but of course you can then take That self-censorship To The automatics.
Different types of policy areas he just like with a very narrow feet look at Facebook newsfeed now where you can get a Republican news feed in a Democrat news feed and they're completely different and it has it that the polarization of society particularly in the last 5 to 10 years in the life that 30-year lifetime of the web with the the advance of of social media platforms that has happened and that doesn't know there's a responsibility for companies to figure that but there's also coming back to the only point.
I think it's for us to worry about that.
We all know that if we only ever eat potatoes or chips or even if we only fruit that's not going to be good for us.
You got have a diet rice and information.
I think you know just as we all want to kind of we want to see ourselves as decent people who want to do right by ourselves and other people and be healthy and so on should come to the the information and
We consume as well you know and I always try to follow stuff that now I'm going to disagree with you with a good colour missing brassey.
Way, you know you really well as to where you can't quite articulate why they're wrong absolutely basic human right and is that one of the things that the foundation campaigns for you think it is you know I've spent the last 20-years or so working fighting for things like clean water for everybody and electricity and the chance for every child to go to school and one of the reasons why I'm excited about what we doing with with turban with Foundation is that I think this every reason to argue that access to the internet and had a good internet internet that serves people is a basic right and is potentially as profound as those those as meeting those basic needs and in some cases.
It's the way that people make those meet those base.
If you think about how even in some of the less developed countries increasingly if you want to apply for a job, you might have to send an email you may even have to submit a photo or a video of a statement by video whatever and if you can't get online then you're immediately disadvantaged know there was a kid that our team works in Pretoria in South Africa couple of years ago.
The team was telling me about when I join the way Foundation it was about 10 years old and he was disappearing every night from his home for several hours and nobody is quite sure where it's going and eventually his parents established that he was going several miles across town to a free Wi-Fi hotspot.
You going online and his parents said to me that you could play football with your friends when you and he said this is apparently his words.
He said I live in a shack.
I go online I don't live in a shack and the idea that that kind of conjures up for me of the of the potential of the imagination and creativity that can be unlocked by the worldwide whereby the internet and the way that people can be everything that they can be and be truly themselves uniquely them perhaps in a way that they wouldn't be able to just in their local community because of cultural norms and Prejudice and all the rest of it, but also way that they can just get out there and you know have a good idea and maybe make a living out of it then we've seen countless examples of two so you know I think it should be seen as a basic right and and that's something we need fight for and by the way the world is got that right now.
You know we're at this moment just in the in the last year with past this week all the 50/50 moment for the first time more than Half the World online which is a great moment moment to say goodness me.
They would say is as the founder of the that the internet and the world wide web he would say he never expected that we would get this far but now it's come to this half way.
We have to push on and make sure we get the whole world connected because you know the Deep inequality that we already see in the world is only going to get much worse if we if we allow that digital divide 2 to drive other kinds of a quality to so we're really hard effort to ensure that we reach those hardest to reach people with other in rural areas, whether it's women rather than manual.
Online girls rather boys whether it's you know people of particular groups who are less likely to get all kinds of fronts that we got we got to take that fight to be people behind then.
We're saying they're not going to get all those other things that they really ought to be able to access to from basic education to healthcare to the the means of earning a living two.
And the weather's changed humanity in such profound ways, you know we have a president who was popular on Twitter Twitter completely cut out all of these communications professionals and speak directly with his face when you look at that, there's almost no turning back isn't and what where do you think it is going to go for the next 1020 years because we're starting to see people disconnect from social media with certainty that for all the benefits of of the web.
That's a lot of young people are suffering from self-harm and mental health issues because of social media at the always on culture some people in France have this automatic email responder in the week and it says your email has been deleted, please send on Monday and is it just that we're getting used to the internet still as a society as a people yeah, I think we are there are some seeds of those kind of trends that we can see what all the sound before the internet.
You know if you look at the those studies of Twenty or so years ago.
What was the
Bowling alone that looked at how Americans used to go bowling together to the tenpin bowling and then increasingly they were just going on their own if you actually I'm very good, but some of those things we now that social media that Facebook that's Google whatever.
I think we have to distinguish between you know what is in which those problems have been exacerbated and potentially make words for going to switch that from the actual causes of those problems but yes, I think you know it's hard, but it will be in 20-years time in 5 years time, but I think it's fair to say that we will see more Communities online whether it's on social media websites.
Yeah, we'll see more connections between people who define themselves by a particular actor has been in common with someone else.
really good thing you know the fact that for example people who are if you're if you're if you're gay and you're in a particular country, where is very difficult to be out and the only way that you're probably able to read Express Yourself is by being part of a community online and that profoundly important that allow people to be themselves perhaps for that for the first time and overtime out and start to break down those that that that why the pressures so you know I think those Communities are really important, but I hope also that there are the notion of the web and the internet as a troop of space will be maintained and I think we need to we need to work for that, so I said earlier about Wikipedia something like Wikipedia which is for everyone that everyone can access the almost everyone agrees Is is solid reliable information trusted and that is there not for someone's profits not for someone particular political interests or whatever is just
Good of the world but for knowledge those kind of places and spaces on the web as still as strong as they are now if not stronger a bit more detail on this contract for the web that the foundation is produced.
When is it just for governments and civil society or is it for individuals to sign up to an internet service providers and the cost of behemoths like Facebook Amazon Google install yeah, it is it's for all those and actually work with just really interesting stage.
We're working our way through lots of working groups and and conversations involving loss of the organisations that have already gone to the core principles of the Contract for the web and that does include those big companies like Twitter and Facebook and Google and Microsoft and so on it also includes some governments that the French government the Germans the mother's coming on board and some great civil Society organizations, but it also includes thousands of individual citizens people who use the web you want to protect.
The and they've signed on you can sign on a contract for the web site or it's really easy to do and then we went to get people involved and and and you know the relatively easy part is to say one of the top line principles, so we've got one principle agreed on which is that we need to make sure we can get everyone I like that everyone can get on like that.
It's something that is for everyone that there's a universe dimensions here to the web.
There's a prince around privacy respecting privacy in defending that which is really important as we know at the moment.
There is a principal in there about companies Building Solutions that work for Humanity rather than against it which is of all of the principles that we played out.
That's the one where some people roll their eyes and so the devil is in the detail on something like that, but those at those are the kinds of principles were talking about what we now thrashing out is to under each of those principles.
What are the concrete Commitments that companies can make the government can make and
Citizens Can Make 2 and that's the idea of it being a contractor you know the notion of saying that if you do your bed and they do their bit and I do my bit then maybe we can come to this is good for everyone is good for all of us and and better than what we have now and this isn't criticizing anyone particular government or any one particular party any country, but the government even have them know how to make these gonna because to me when you when you have any generic government Ministries soon.
They don't really know what they're talking about in terms of I do they have for digital know how to make those right decision is to be in Silicon Valley that knowledge.
Is it not well? I think there is a lot for sure and we've all seen examples of you know American senators asking Mark Zuckerberg how how the Facebook works and he says we still had certainly will see that there are there are people in or around the world about texting somebody who do know what they're talking about government to require advanced.
This stuff I think that the the the potential is in the Tech community bringing their expertise and policymakers bringing the switch should be around understanding how to build policy Solutions that are going to work for a large number of people and improve their lives and trying to marry those two together and then bring into that to make a triangle people actually use the web where they represented by organisations like access now and then another two or whether they just involved individual as individual citizens.
I think we can put that triangle together that can be quite powerful.
Would you consider a bigger get to sign up with the government of Finland for example? I would obviously behind Google hello Google sign up to the principles and they're in the process there in the conversations that working groups are having now to to work out the detail commitments and I hope that they will.
The others will stay the course and be part of the final full contract for the web has anyone big get I think it's intended to be a little bit of a guy kind of it a Coalition of the willing we we don't want to just try to browbeat a particular government to come in if they just gonna make a nuisance of myself it does have to be something of a genuine commitment to those those core principles that this is about respecting people's rights.
This is about understanding the the weather's a public good that should serve humanity not one government or one company or whatever all of that is important.
So so you know we're not we're not just going to take everyone is the problem with the principles that you know anyone that would drop the kind of suffering document look at the Constitution of the United States the more specificity there is there more people going to be divided on the other hand.
Principles are there going to be subject potentially retrospectively or in mischievously to reinterpretation.
So how do you strike that balance between the right level of specificity and I got it.
Thanks very much.
It is in everything.
I've done in my work.
Is it you realise more and more that it's all about balance balance 1500 and added to it's not a science.
Yes, I think that's right and is a worthy and Noble Enterprise trying to find balance and I think that's that's what we've got to apply.
You know we've got to be serious about those principles, but we've also got to bring them into real context that actually affect the behaviour of governments and other companies and end of all of us and you know that we've got it.
We got to work at that, but I think you know if we only if we stopped at the principles then yes we have a
A Declaration of Independence although in some important we need to set Direction but I think if we stopped there with contract for the web that wouldn't be enough that said if we just dive straight into the concrete Commitments without spending some time articulate this Christmas then there's no kind of there's no compass so I think you have to try and do both and we'll see how it comes out, but I'm optimistic that it's gonna it's going to help us build a better weather than the one we have anything that we learnt as a species now that we can't trust the digital Giants to protect data privacy there seems to be an arms race between the hackers and and the people that hold updated my car insurance company was hacked recently and I gather my card details on some you know bitcoin it seems to me once those ones that information is done.
It's non-negotiable it out there.
Yeah, I mean they're definitely number one there are bad people out there who in
Tend to do arm my view is that there are not huge in number, but they're definitely there and they can have a grossly disproportionate impact beyond the their numbers then there are people who are you know just seeing an opportunity such as the people you know teenagers in many cases who were disseminating somebody early news stories that out of Macedonia wherever that that affected the 2016 election in the US they just saw an opportunity realising that putting a story on the web that said was headlined Hillary Clinton is unwell was going to get more clicks than something that says something that was true and the clicks meant that's what we did so I think I don't think those are necessarily evil people people aren't helping clearly to make sure the weather stays good for everyone.
Solution of the last I think I'm around fixing those those system faults incentivize the wrong things and that's for the companies and governments to focus on the limits to your employer imagine your the government of Denmark and we had another day be quite agreeable and making you know but I'm not go to the obvious.
It's like if you go up against the likes of China and Russia with the spread of fake news.
How can you read them out of the position that they don't want to be reasoned out all well, I think that's where as I said earlier to start with the critical mass and we think there is a critical mass of governments and companies and and all of the Citizens who who do have a sense of of those values being important on the web on on in our internet lives our respect for human rights and human dignity and freedom of expression and so on.
That's where our attention is focused and we'll build it there and I think if we can if we can get a head of Steam there then we'll see where we go from there.
So you can have spending your time in the problematic areas and said that you don't concern yourself because they get some great you know the freedom of speech in song it's more about what we would consider the problematic countries.
We are the champions.
We need those who want to know who are taking the right part.
I still here for example is a small country really good on these issues.
Really minded has really left a lot of innovative delivery of government services and involved in something like this because because you want the Champions we also want to make sure that weird really hitting on countries where difference can be made either because they're big because they have they have really important.
Well beyond their size arguably such as something of UK so yeah, I think it's a case of getting that balance and the 50/50 target that's incredibly interesting because it isn't the remaining 50% going to be the most difficult is now a growth is going to be slowed.
Yeah, that's right.
I mean one of the interesting things I found in the last couple of years doing this job with the with the web Foundation is the ask all sorts of people who know far more about this and I do you understand the adoption of the internet the increased take-up of the internet around the world and yeah, there's been a kind of the Beginnings of an Eskimo I'm doing it with my hand as you can see his great-great on the podcast there's been an increased adoption with reach that 50/50 point and nobody can tell me with Confidence what's going to happen next is it going to top off it always never be at some point.
It's not going to just March up to 100% and crash through that.
The where is it top of this doesn't know some people who fear it already slowing down and let me get to sort of 60% 65% and that will be sort of it unless something beyond the normal mechanism the market is is put into place and pretty much nobody thinks.
It's just get 100% without some some hammering and that's where I guess you know governments need to come in most of all that companies to that.
We took a lot for example the Facebook about how their work in developing countries could be much improved by the the offer that they make two people which a few years ago was Michael basics which was quite widely criticized for being a kind of a mini the web that that the term year was sold as a gateway to the hallway British it was it was a small group of sites.
That was engineered to be compliant with.
We challenged and then encourage them to think differently only thinking differently about a much more ambitious and and more positive approach, which would enable people because of Facebook to work to get onto the whole of the web without any restrictions and I think that's something living thing around hopefully going to announce something on pretty soon, but those kind of changes are what I think we helped us to get to really everybody being able to access the web and it being truly for everyone as it was intended to be but what are the barriers to growth on that man? Is it is it partly government I can imagine the government of North Korea wanting their citizens to have access to the internet or you know if I was looking after a huge expanse of the African outback or the Australian desert you know the technological difficulties connecting.
There's going to be lots of different difficult is it in and getting it out before barriers.
The first is that last one you mentioned the technological one.
Can you actually get a signal can you?
Whatever that allows you to take to get broadband access now actually about two-thirds of the world can do that, but only half a World online, so what's the reason for the difference well? That's the next three berries so the next one then it can you afford it now if you're so obvious when you say it but actually never considered that the mental so we know we do research that shows that if you are in Africa you're paying about 5 times more for your data for the same amount of data as someone in Asia and in Asia is spending more than you would in Europe or North America and is that what is that profiteering or is that reflection of the genuine increase base costs? It's mainly the latter.
You know that there are few and which can be true of course in in Scotland or in Texas as well as in you know rural Kenya then the cost to hire sometimes about government policies and whether they.
To be encouraged competition and companies income Investments also think he is one really important thing, but then you find yeah, this is gets really interesting you can say right you you can come to the web and you can afford it, but sometimes people still don't connect wires that are the next challenge is skills do people have the skills fairly basic skills, but nevertheless skills that not everyone get another thing I've forgotten my section fundamental and so there.
There's a need for widespread digital literacy literacy programs and we support some of that work around the world is engaged in getting greater literacy for policymakers for people in parliament and around the world digital literacy skills and we've got some access to the internet that that's what the charges so we have to break that cycle and then the final one which is the least handle the ball.
Is is what about the content that online so if
Sort it and if you got a signal and you've even got the skills, but there's nothing online on the way that's in your language or the relevant to your community or your country and we're going to go there.
That's why the web has to be as it was originally envisaged truly bottom-up and and and truly a space where people create as much as they consume creators of contents in the most remote parts of the world, but perhaps very small group of people then that is what's going to the web even more relevant and meaningful and and and get over that last night, but I was in a fairly remote part of Indonesia last year that a major typhoon that have gone through that part of the world a few weeks earlier and landed in the part of Indonesia couple hours away from Jakarta
The damage caused by the storm to bridge just outside few miles away from the village.
I was in the route to get to the market.
I think and at the school and so on so quite a problem now in the village.
I was in there was a kind of an old computer in a little committee room in the middle of the parish hall in the middle of the community which was hooked up to the internet and which had a village website that somebody has set up with a little small granny thing from the local local authority and the website had live updates regularly posted updates on how the repairs were going at the people coming in and take a look and say ok well, so maybe Thursday we might be right and they were posting photos of beautiful really useful.
Go on Facebook and they were in touch with their friends the other side of the bridge and the other side and so yeah, you saw these kind of really grassroots kind of microsolutions sitting alongside these big oval offers and actually you know both of them being compatible with each other and another kind of 50/50.
Obviously this is Jen doing it is getting women and girls online in the developing world is opening up digital culture.
Yeah, it really is it's absolutely key thing we have a program that were born elation call when is right on the line for exactly that reason you know what we find research shows that women are less likely to be online in the first place and the less likely to be doing certain things online less likely to be applying for a job online.
That's what I research shows that are less likely to be a strong opinion on social media.
Can you know seeing some of the ways in which some women bloggers are targeted you can see why?
Exactly, but yeah in some places and it sometimes.
It's absolutely critical that people are able to whether there whatever their gender whatever their background are able to really express themselves and why is it is kind of respect for others but is really clear and Direct and and and smells so we do see that gender divide online and it's one of the things with a really determined to try to to help overcome and the first last everything is just making particularly policymakers and you know I think we've made great progress with with governments Around the World in the last few years long way to go still in getting a better understanding of gender relation to get school for example or represented in parliament and so on still further the most places, but we're well behind that in terms of getting.
Thinking apply to people being online so I think that's that's that's a real area for us to do some good publication of the next four years.
What do you do? You know what is your job? What's a typical week? How do you say time well, so as CEO of the weather station? I don't have a job.
You know everybody else does they're all the smart ones and I kind of the conductor of the orchestra.
I like to think so yeah.
I mean I tried to build a really really great team and I have a wonderful team that people around the world in 12 different countries who almost all of whom because they don't actually see each other except on a video screen on Skype so we got quite the dispersed team and part of my job is to bring all those together I tried to do my job in representing the organisation.
An endowment, we don't have a a founder who's made a billion Dollars from from the internet because of course he actually gave the web to the world so we have to go and hang on doors and go see foundations on the TV doesn't wear a Savile Row suit to say hasn't no wonder if you are on a Saturday evening perhaps I doubt it.
No you're right.
We got this incredible icon as our founder who who really kind of lives those values that the web at its best represents so I tried to represent that I have I done today.
I mean I've been I've been working on this contract for the web.
We've been looking at some of the policy issues are coming up there looking at things around the privacy of gender and so on trying to figure out where there might be some common ground between the different partners there, so it's a it's a job of bringing together a group of people.
And trying to accompany them on a journey where we try to treat some really good things and I guess that's that's about as much as I've done in my career.
I think about it over 25 years or so ever since no going back till further when I was a local radio DJ that was my I'm sitting in this microphone only asked you a question and answering what I most comfortable displaying the Pet Shop Boys are Asia who were the late 80s and on the south coast of England if you were listening to power FM that's what you would enjoy just being afraid of micro you suddenly feel this sense of that kind of have a podcast and it's just a little bit of a Richard
You know I used to do I need sort of 1819 when I was on the radio, but I might my main for 2 years ago.
I did the late show that did the 9 and 1 in the morning so it was that too late night intimate things and I'm sure that yeah.
I kind of Alan's deep Bath to remember Alan Partridge exactly half and half David Brent that's hard to say which of those Hobbs is your favourite anyway.
Let me get back to the question very good at prompting further questions.
Are you going to do my job you mention your funding in the last answer.
I mean who does fund.
Is writing checks for you guys well, we have some great funders including foundations like the Ford Foundation have been great support as over the years the Nvidia network which some people know to do some great work and give us some wonderful sport we have some support from companies.
We do have grants from Google from Facebook from Microsoft and a few others and when they do the check do they give you a ring and say go easy on us know I haven't noticed them say it and if they do say it.
We ignore it.
No, they don't they don't ask that it wouldn't get it.
We absolutely clear that we take money and we say thank you very much and the only reward you get is you know in heaven ultimate interest for you to succeed.
I think so yes, and I think that's what they think and you know I think there are plenty of companies including some of the big companies who many of the people in those companies sincerely believe.
They are doing something really good for the world and their encouraging fostering creativity and expression and knowledge and so on and that's 100% in in line with with the web foundation and yes of course also hear a frankly the more people there online the bigger the market.
There is further some of these companies to reach out to their support for the weaponization is something that we appreciate and we never take for granted but but it also is always applied just to Arbroath operation.
It's not take something from a company saying that you could do about yeah, you do this little project with it.
That would be really relevant interests or whatever we say, you know if you want to the mission you want to get behind the team then that's fantastic and we welcome your support that will apply that those funds in whatever is the best way to take that mission forward.
It look like for you guys.
I mean I know you got the mission, but how do you how do you define certain years from now? Whether it's succeeded or not? I mean we spoke about the 50/50 ratio earlier it do you have metrics at 10 years and 6 that we 5545 or that more percentage of women will be online or developing countries will have better access.
How do you actually know whether you're doing a good job you on track truthfully we don't look at the moment because frankly who knows where we can meet lol but but we do over the next couple of years.
Have a sense of wanting to see more people being online but also those of quality indicators that are harder to pin down.
It's much easier.
Just to count the numbers of people that are there online we do that but also to see where we progress on Greater privacy protections great action to combat this information online to stop government who is shutting down the internet and the world.
The reason why I guess we feel we can hold ourselves accountable to some of those metrics which arguably are you know the job of governments and big companies and so on till to do actually act on it because the way we do our job is to seek to educate and engage with those those actors those governments and companies.
We don't go out there as 30 people in the world and digging trenches to put fibre optic cable in we don't go out naturally connect people to the web ourselves.
We see the value of our small organisation being in engaging with those who have the power to to achieve these goals that he said and that's been my experience throughout my my work.
You know previously when when I worked example with the one campaign which I laid in Europe for a few years at bono's organisation working on seeking to end extreme poverty and that part.
Trying to get governments in Europe and elsewhere to commit more aid money well in the European countries in the five years ago that I was there.
We got a 27% increase in that date which men literally tens of billions more going into vital life saving projects.
We could never even even Oxfam the children that no they're on their own.
They can't have that kind of impact unless they engage with the with the really big players in companies and governments to when you put them together can reach the the billions of people and have a huge impact just wanted to finish off a couple of questions on the foundation.
What's your relationship like with certain if your Darth Vader is he like Emperor Palpatine is he there like as your key advisor behind the same.
How does it work? He's a terrible.
My my Star Wars the little wise vampire his advisor the founder of the power behind the power he is the power in front of the power of Tim Mis Tim Mis is out there and is very busy very active I mean he has a lot of other things he's doing as well as working with us at West Ham station, but he's just so you know if he's on our board he's very active member of the board he's in touch so on the basis.
We talk about all sorts of ways that we want to try and take this this this effort forward time in the contract for the web that we talked about he's very committed to that very close to that.
He's got some of those quite detailed discussions and as you'd expect from somebody who who 30 years ago.
You know kind of captured a stroke of genius.
And created this thing that we know all take for granted he is he's a brilliant mind.
He's brain runs at 1000 miles an hour everyone.
I think I hope everyone struggles to keep up and he is it's a great privilege to work for him and alongside in my success, but also makes me feel pretty crap like a loser.
I have never created anything humanity for the better and have done absolutely nothing I get on a delayed train to Milton Keynes down to earth II humble guy has a very sort of you know the kind of life that that we all can relate to you know with family and friends and going home at the weekend going out for a run and and go for a swim things like that you know he's he's a great to is it right that I just the final few questions of the podcast could we go to
Did you always want to do this? Do you know you want to be a DJ how did you actually you know end up doing what you doing the radio thing straight out of college and had my first graveyard shift graveyard so precious time you could say that I did that for five years and loved it and it was a great time to be in Radio 80s 90s.
It was a lot of fun, but I then thought I want to I want to go to learn something I got myself a university course I went to college in London daddy politics something else interested in a probably probably thought that point that I would come back into broadcasting in some form, but a little bit more serious than playing records, but then in the course.
Of being at college, got interested in the political side ended up working for an MP when I came out of his yes, very very nice man there amazingly great survivors in politics and very very good guy and a great boss to work for a generous man and did that for two years was around for the 1997 election that I was sort of you handing out placards on Mitcham Common and stuff like that and we've singing things can only get better, so I heard that in my car it would you believe just this weekend? Oh my god, I don't know what I felt about it.
Didn't know what to feel about it still plays it when he does his world cosmological.
No that was a special time as well.
I think there was a sense of hope and and and optimism and Justified optimism in what was then created over over several years? It's all gone downhill since then basically.
The great job for 10 years but instead of holding onto box but but for me what happened then was that was working this evening at work on international debt as he was on the Treasury select committee enquiry into it and I got to hear about this thing called Jubilee 2000 which is a that stage of small that had this idea of writing off all of these debts that the poorest countries in the world worth paying to reach lenders in the US and Europe and have been paying over and over and over the years compound interest you know and at the expense of the basic healthcare and primary education.
It was crazy situation.
Where country is worth 70% that it was going on interest payments to to lenders and some people including the Pope had the idea that you could link that.
Cancelling the debts which seem like it not just a moral cause but also just made economic sense because you could get people they could build again you can do that with the Millennium which was coming up the year 2000 which was the meaning for many people at least in the late nineties and so I are going well with this with the campaign Jubilee 2009 was Stephanie director of The Campaign we got musicians involved and and he immediately got it and got involved and got excited and Bob Geldof in and so on we had the music industry doing a big thing with with with the campaign.
I remembering in 1999 and Muhammad Ali was there and so on and we built this campaign that in the end got to what was then the G8 those days to write off about 95 billion dollars worth of debt and there are kids in school.
I've been in school in the last 2030 years.
Is a direct result of Law as a director of that exactly so yeah, I don't know anything before that about about Africa about International Development but it really I got excited and interested in it because it's just in this great idea and the idea of using a moment to pull off an incredible result and the one that should have been done.
Maybe is earlier, but it hasn't had it's a moment in the spotlight that really got me thinking that we could we could do more of that so Julie 2000 was sort of the felt like the the acclaimed first album of a new kind of activism and then a few years later when I was working with with Oxfam we got together with lots of limitations and did they make poverty history campaign which was sort of if 2000i guess was the sort of the Greatest Hits compilation because we just threw it all the old tricks that we knew we had people have to be over about 13 hours.
People wearing the the white wristband that was amazing experience got a big increase in the poorest countries a lot of focus on education and getting girls especially in the school so all of that I guess added up to for me and experience of together different and often unlikely Alliances you know putting together a conservative backbench MP with a rockstar or you know the trade unions with the with the business representatives are always wear sunglasses in the office, but yeah, I think it really took me the power of idea first of all of an unlikely alliance and executed well.
Yeah, I guess you know you.
You got out you got to follow through with the execution Emma you know there's probably plenty of great ideas that are founded for lack of that that implementation and did that over over the years working within the same children running their campaigns and then came to 21 working with and then the last couple years with with Foundation basically been involved in everything you have to pay you to remember actually.
I never told him.
He's not that you care but I used to I used to take the mickey out of a Bono we'll just didn't we many people still do but I know I remember you to record in I guess 1988 and the Pet Shop Boys who did a cover of Where the Streets Have No Name is getting we're getting really into our late 80s, West End Girls
Yes, it's but then did a cover of Where the Streets Have No Name by U2 which was deemed not to be the most glorious moment of his career and I saw being asked about it and he said you said one of my one of my on my radiator that was quite funny presumption that he was a humorous back.
That's that's my experience not really in a lot of criticism.
Just people snoring it in just for wanting to make the world a better place and for doing something about it.
Yeah, you know we're all human and we all make mistakes, but it baffles me how you know someone like him.
It is the way he said he could be like you so he could be sitting on a beach somewhere just spending money and he chooses to to have a go at.
To do his bit in making the world better and in my experience entirely with with with absolutely good intentions and and a lot of very smart and some incredibly impressive connections.
That is built over the years.
I remember back when we doing the drop the stuff we were going to do the first visit to Washington together to lobby in Congress and Bill Clinton was the president but the Republican controlled Congress and we don't have many friends on the Republican side in those days and honesty we need to we need to find some people that we can talk to so he took his friend Bobby Shriver whose sister was who was in the Republican world according to talk to a guy called John K Secure that stage was the house budget committee chairman has had a long political career and on the
Yeah, so yeah and the first conversation about Radiohead and where the kid a or a computer was the bedroom and from that curious start they forged a kind of understanding and then we got the Republicans on board with a lot of what we wanted to do with that released in the us as well credible, what's next for you wanting to leave but you must be another chapter to come at the right 0.50.
I'm I'm loving what I'm doing and all I want to do really is to continue to be useful you know I think it's like it all of us.
We we wanna do right by our families and enjoyed the time.
We having a family is right.
Yeah, I'll try and be healthy and get out in the fresh air and you know keep a little bit and so on and we want to do work that is that feels worthwhile mean and that doesn't mean you have the time but I think you'll also have to I think it's not just to look for kind of this sort of Greater good of what you doing.
Well that is important, but also that you do something that you love and feels like it's your able to express yourself you bring back power FM in a heartbeat operation.
I will do the graveyard shift if you need me to pleasure to HR2 we have been inspired by what he said that he cannot keep up the amazing work.
Thank you for
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