WATCH LIVE: Conversation on Free Expression and Innovation

August 11, 2014  • Charles M. Firestone

Click here to watch the livestream.

Each year the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program convenes a Forum on Communications and Society (FOCAS) to develop strategies and insights for using new information and communications technologies for the greater benefit of society.  This year, FOCAS will address Strengthening the Internet for Free Expression and Innovation, which will be streamed live online at Join us beginning at 10:45 a.m. ET today, tomorrow and Wednesday, Aug. 11-13, to watch the plenary sessions. 

This year’s Forum will explore the tension of values among security, innovation, openness and privacy, as played out on Internet policies, and propose constructive recommendations for ensuring free expression, consumer choice, a secure country and a vibrant economy. It will then address how to bring more Americans into substantive dialogue on Internet policies, that is, those beyond the familiar constituencies that already participate in these debates.

Participants of FOCAS include, among others:

  • Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
  • Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel
  • Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill
  • Mozilla Foundation Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker
  • New York Public Library President and CEO Tony Marx

The annual Forum on Communication and Society (FOCAS), supported by the Knight Foundation, develops recommendations for leaders in media, government and other societal institutions to promote positive social and democratic values through the various communications media without undue governmental regulation. Last year’s FOCAS, on the theme Beyond the Tools: Connecting Citizens and their Governments, examined the current barriers to open government and developed creative solutions for advancing open government efforts.

You can also follow the event on Twitter at @AspenInstitute and @AspenCS and join the conversation using the hashtag #FOCAS14.

Charlie Firestone is the executive director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program. The Program addresses the societal impact of communications and information technologies, and provides a multi-disciplinary venue for considered judgment on communications policy issues. Visit our homepage,, and our new digital report gallery, Also, check out the C&S Facebook Page and become a fan.