New book - Enabling Openness

In recent years the internet and other network technologies have emerged as a central issue for development in Latin America and the Caribbean. They have shown their potential to increase productivity and competitiveness in the economy, to create new ways to deliver education and health services, and to be driving forces for the modernisation of the provision of public services.

enabling openness cover imageThis book, Enabling Openness:The future of the information society in Latin America and the Caribbean, examines some of the key unanswered questions:

  • Will the internet in Latin America and the Caribbean remain open over the next ten years?
  • Will online surveillance increasingly challenge individual privacy?
  • Will open data, social media and new forms of participation improve democracy in the region?
  • Will we be able to harness the collaborative potential of the internet to create more socially meaningful and sustainable economies?
  • Will digital education, science and creativity flourish in the region, reflecting the diversity and culture of its people?

The answers to these questions will be central to determining whether or not the internet will effectively contribute to a more open and developed society in our corner of the world.

The book builds on a seminar, Open Development: Exploring the future of the information society in Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Montevideo on 2-3 April 2013. Organised by Fundación Comunica and IDRC, and held alongside the Fourth Ministerial Conference on the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean, the seminar was an opportunity to reflect on the direction of the changes happening in the region, to bring new themes to the table and to explore how they can better be addressed in regional efforts.

The 25 chapters in the book include the reflections of many of the region's leading experts in the area. Rather than present a single consolidated perspective, the authors dive into the issues, explore new ways to frame the problems and seek new solutions. Despite the considerable diversity, the book highlights many emerging points of agreement about new opportunities and challenges for the information society in the region.

Edited by Bruce Girard and Fernando Perini
Introduction by Robin Mansell
Published by IDRC & Fundación Comunica, 2013 – 200 pages

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Table of contents

Prologue: Internet, Openness and the future of the Information Society in LAC - Fernando Perini

Introduction: Imagining the internet: Open, closed or in between - Robin Mansell

Section 1: Open internet
1.1 The internet will remain free, public and open over the next 10 years in LAC - Hernán Galperín
1.2 Free internet? - Pablo Bello
1.3 Risks and challenges for freedom of expression on the internet - Eleonora Rabinovich

Section 2: New collaborative business models
2.1 Defining the sharing economy for development - Fernando Perini
2.2 What will new forms of collaborative business mean for the bottom of the pyramid? - Geoff Schwarten
2.3 Accelerating the collaborative economy - Albert Cañigueral
2.4 Catarse and crowdfunding in Brazil - Rodrigo Maia

Section 3: Digital citizenship: From representative to interactive democracy
3.1 Citizen participation in the age of the information society - Valeria Betancourt
3.2 How we can deliver on the promise of open, direct, realtime democracy in response to current demands for citizen digital inclusion in LAC? - Sandro Jiménez Ocampo
3.3 Social activism and participatory democracy: New opportunities with new technologies? - Hubert Linders
3.4 Smart data, digital inclusion and interactive democracy: Reflections on the use of ICTs to enhance citizen security in Latin America - Gustavo Macedo Diniz

Section 4: Copyright laws and the creative economy
4.1 Copyright laws and the creative economy: How can science and education in the digital age flourish in LAC? - Ronaldo Lemos
4.2 International regulatory threats and institutional challenges for access to digital content in Latin America - Joana Varon
4.3 Copyright laws and educational contents in Jamaica - Georgia Gibson-Henlin
4.4 Scientific articles in Latina America and the Caribbean: Is it possible to think of approaches that emphasise access? - Carolina Botero
4.5 Reflections on the digital world and the challenges ahead - Cosette Castro

Section 5: Privacy
5.1 Is privacy dead? Proposals for a critical reflection on privacy protection in the age of internet - Claudio Ruiz
5.2 Is privacy dead? Some reflections by way of an answer - Carlos Gregorio
5.3 Online Spying in Latin America - Katitza Rodríguez
5.4 Privacy and the exaggerated reports of its death - Ramiro Álvarez Ugarte
5.5 The lives of others - Beatriz Busaniche

Section 6: Connecting the past and the future
6.1 ICT for development milestones and approaches in Latin America and the Caribbean - Valeria Betancourt
6.2 Connecting ICT4D experience in LAC to the new Open Development Environment - Manuel Acevedo

Conclusion: Openness and Development - Robin Mansell, Fernando Perini and Bruce Girard

Purchase a print copy from CreateSpace,, or Amazon's sites in France, Germany, Italy or Spain.
Download PDF for reading on screen (1 page per screen) screen

Download PDF for printing (2 pages per sheet) print