Communications and Society Program

Forum on the Freedom to Communicate

Forum on the Freedom to Communicate

About the Forum

The Aspen Institute Forum on the Freedom to Communicate was created by the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program in association with Grupo Salinas to address issues surrounding the freedoms of expression, association, and connectivity and to develop actionable recommendations that can enhance these freedoms, particularly in the Western Hemisphere. The inaugural forum was held in February of 2012 and brought leaders of media, government, business, academia and the non-profit sector to Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico City for a day long discussion. Learn more about the Mexico City Forum

The Report of the Forum, Freedom and Connectivity: Advancing the Freedom to Communicate in the Americas, was released at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. on October 1, 2012. The event featured a presentation a conversation with Ricardo Salinas, CEO of Grupo Salinas, Alec Ross, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State, Sergio Sarmiento, Syndicated Columnist and Radio and TV Host and President of Caminos de la Libertad, and Charlie Firestone, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program. Watch the discussion. Also see: Press release. El informe en español.

The Report and its findings were presented the following week to Aurelio Nuño Mayer of the transition team of Mexico's President-Elect Enrique Peña Nieto, and an audience of invited guests, at a special event in Mexico City. "If there’s going to be movement and change," Charlie Firestone said during his presentation, "you need a multi-stakeholder group to come together and address it and call for such a change." He added that all societal stakeholders need to "buy-in to a comprehensive strategy for change." Nuño, who led Peña Nieto's transition team in education before being named as the president's chief of staff, said "this project of freedom and connectivity seems key, in this sense. If this right [to communicate] cannot grow, we are not growing in complete or total freedom. And in this sense having a project like the one that has been enumerated here is fundamental to achieving greater freedom in this country." Watch the event. Mira el evento.

The Report

Freedom and Connectivity: Advancing the Freedom to Communicate in the AmericasFreedom and Connectivity: Advancing the Freedom to Communicate in the Americas addresses critical deficits in connectivity and the freedom to communicate in the Western Hemisphere. The report highlights connectivity, competition, censorship and protection of journalists as key areas for action and calls on government leaders to move communications issues to the top of national agendas and partner with other societal stakeholders to develop digital infrastructure, tools and human capacity. The report cites specific opportunities for action in Mexico.   

Ver la versión en español


For more information about the Forum, please contact senior project manager Kiahna Williams.

The Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program serves as a non-partisan venue for global leaders and experts to exchange insights on the societal impact of advances in digital technology and network communications. It also creates a multidisciplinary space in the communications policy-making world where veteran and emerging decision-makers can explore new concepts and develop new policy networks. Follow us on Twitter @aspencs

Grupo Salinas is a group of dynamic, fast-growing and technologically advanced companies, focused on creating shareholder value, and improving society through excellence. By making technology available to all levels of society, Grupo Salinas promotes the development of the countries where it operates.