Internets of the World Conference

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Internet. 50 years after its beginnings in the US military, and 25 years after its popular breakthrough in the form of the World Wide Web, the internet is still a medium in the making.
When and where?

The conference will be held from Thursday 5 to Friday 6 December 2019 at Carlsberg Academy

How to get to Carlsberg Academy
Read more about Carlsberg Academy


It has, since then, been compared to the printing press, spreading information and supporting communication and collaboration on a global scale. Social media currently challenge the classic mass media as key sources of news and entertainment. The projected next step is an Internet of Things that blends into our physical surroundings and everyday activities.

This conference takes stock of the current state and future potential of the Internet as the global communications infrastructure of the 21st century.

Programme – Thursday 5 December 2019

The first day of the conference is a public event giving voice to stakeholders from business, politics, and civil society representing two centers of the global economy and world politics: the United State, and Europe.

09:15 – 09:45 Arrival and coffee

09:45 – 10:00 Welcome

Flemming Besenbacher, Chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation

Rasmus Helles, University of Copenhagen
10:00 – 12:00 The internet – vision and reality

Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law School: Is the "surveillance society" a “society"?

Rebecca MacKinnon, Ranking Digital Rights: The next 50 years – Sustaining democracy and human rights
12:00 – 13:10 Lunch break
13:10 – 13:40 Voices from business

Steve Hatch, Facebook Europe
13:40 – 14:20 Voices from states

Sun Sun Lim, Singapore University of Technology and Design and Nominated Member of Parliament: Putting the smarts into smart cities. Critical literacies for a technologizing world

Margrethe Vestager, European Union

Read Margrethe Vestagers talk  

14:20 – 14:50 Coffee break
14:50 – 15:30 Voices from civil society

Rikke Frank Jørgensen, Danish Institute of Human Rights

Fernando Bermejo, Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University
15:30 – 16:30 Voices from participants – panel debate

Moderator: Lee Rainie, Pew Internet and American Life Project
16:30 – 16:40 Thanks – end of conference day
Beer & snacks

Programme – Friday 6 December 2019

The second day of the conference is an academic event addressing a research project funded by the Carlsberg Foundation: 

The Peoples’ Internet

08:30 – 09:00 Arrival and coffee

09:00 – 10:15 The Peoples’ Internet – preliminary findings

The PIN project with contributions from national teams: China, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, UK, US

10:15 – 10:45 Coffee break
10:45 – 11:30 In the field, on the ground
Fiona Huijie Zeng (China), Signe Sophus Lai (Denmark), Jesper Pagh (USA)
11:30 – 12:00 Commentaries from the PIN Scientific Advisory Board

Fernando Bermejo, Rikke Frank Jørgensen, Sun Sun LIM, Lee Rainie

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch break
13:00 – 13:45 Lessons from other regions

Gregory Asmolov: ‘The role of users in the development of the Russian internet’

Norbert Wildermuth: ‘A “poor” Internet for the less privileged: on evolving and persistent digital divisions in Africa’

Ramesh Srinivasan: ‘Beyond the Valley: An Internet in the Image of the Global 99%’

13:45 – 14:30 Lessons in theory and methodology

David Karpf: ‘Is Internet Time Slowing Down?’

Richard Rogers: ‘Critical Analytics for Social Media’


14:30 – 15:00 Coffee break
15:00 – 16:30 The future of the internet – a research agenda

Christian Sandvig: ‘The Feed as a New and Enduring Genre of Information’

Jack Qiu: ‘Counter-Hegemonies: Organic Research and Praxis for the People's Internet’
Q&A, Discussion
16:30 – 16:45 Thanks – end of conference day

Beer & snacks

Keynote speakers

Flemming Besenbacher

Chairman of the Carlsberg Foundation and Carlsberg Group and professor at the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Aarhus University.

Rasmus Helles

Co-PI of The Peoples’ Internet project. He is Associate Professor of Communication and IT at the University of Copenhagen, and has worked on comparative studies of internet use and internet governance in several publications. In the PIN project, he has led the work on comparisons of national regulation and infrastructures. He also has also led a project on the relationship between online tracking and national cultures and regulatory practices. Before working on the PIN project he has worked on global distribution of television, media independence and big data methodologies.

Lawrence Lessig
Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School and a political activist. Founder of the Creative Commons movement that works for the development of alternatives to traditional copyright regimes. Author of a long and influential list of books that have set agendas for both scholarly and public debate on technology, law, and social development. His current work addresses “institutional corruption”—relationships which, while legal, weaken public trust in an institution—especially as that affects democracy. Today, Professor Lessig will address the question, “Is the ‘surveillance society’ a ‘society’?”

Rebecca MacKinnon

Author, researcher, activist, and a Fellow at the thinktank New America, where she directs the project Ranking Digital Rights which ranks IT sector companies on criteria of freedom of expression and privacy. She is a former journalist at CNN, where she headed the Beijing and Tokyo bureaus. She has also been a fellow affiliated with Harvard University, Princeton University, and the University of Hong Kong, and she is the author of the book, Consent of the networked: the worldwide struggle for internet freedom. Here, Ms. MacKinnon will speak about “The next 50 years – sustaining democracy and human rights.”

Steve Hatch
Vice President for Facebook, Northern Europe. Since his appointment in March 2014, Steve has driven a fundamental evolution on the platform, namely the explosion of video consumption, and the commercialization of Instagram. Prior to joining Facebook in 2014, Steve worked in Y&R, Omnicom and WPP where he spent 15 years, with his final role as CEO of MEC. Steve is a non-executive Director of Trinity Mirror PLC and is the Chair of the Confederation of British Industry Tech group. His co-authored 'Rigorous Magic’ was published in 2007.

Sun Sun Lim

Professor of Communication and Technology and Head of Cluster (Dean) of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. She has researched and lectured extensively on the social impact of technology, authoring more than 70 articles, book chapters and books. Her latest books are Transcendent Parenting: Raising Children in the Digital Age (Oxford University Press, 2020), Mobile Communication and the Family: Asian Experiences in Technology Domestication (Springer, 2016) and Asian Perspectives on Digital Culture: Emerging Phenomena, Enduring Concepts (Routledge, 2016). She serves on the editorial boards of twelve journals and has contributed actively to public bodies including the Media Literacy Council and the National Youth Council. She frequently offers her expert commentary in international news outlets and is currently serving as a Nominated Member of Parliament in the 13th Parliament of Singapore. She holds a PhD and MSc (Distinction) in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics.

Margrethe Vestager 

Executive Vice President-Designate of the European Commission with special responsibilities for Europe in the digital age, and until recently served as European Commissioner for Competition. She was a member of the Danish parliament 2001-2014, and served as Minister of Economic Affairs and the Interior 2011-2014. Ms. Vestager is perhaps most well-known as the commissioner launching cases against companies such as Google, Amazon, and Apple.

Rikke Frank Jørgensen

Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights. Her research focuses on human rights and technology, online public life, freedom of expression, privacy, and data protection. She recently published the edited volume, Human rights in the age of platforms, from MIT Press, with contributions from, among others, Shoshana Zuboff, the author of The age of surveillance capitalism.

Fernando Bermejo

Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and research and program director of Media Cloud, an open-source platform for media analysis. He is also associated with IE University in Madrid. His research focuses on different ways of measuring the internet, including the role of people, content, and infrastructure.