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The Aspen Institute IDEA Project is an internationally inclusive forum that engages corporations, civil society and government officials to identify ways to foster the freedom to connect; preserve open, end-to-end networks; and reassess the international regime that facilitates the free flow of communications across borders on a unified Internet.
The Aspen Institute IDEA Project is led by Reed Hundt, former Chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. Dr. Peter Cowhey, Dean of the University of California, San Diego School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, spearheads the efforts to develop policies that will update the international regime for Internet communications, and Charlie Firestone, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, is overseeing the project on behalf of the Aspen Institute.
The Aspen Institute IDEA Project conducts its work through a series of forums with select groups of leaders from foreign countries, competing industries and the non-profit sector. The project had financial support from a consortium of charitable foundations, including the Markle Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Ford Foundation and MacArthur Foundation.
Under the managing directorship of Gary Epstein, Toward a Single, Global Digital Economy: The First Report of the Aspen Institute IDEA Project was released April 24, 2012. The report discusses critical steps forward for establishing a fair, effective, and empowering multi-stakeholder system for governing the flow and use of data in a single global digital economy. The accompanying text includes a common statement as well as a series of principles developed by forum participants.