@BerkmanCenter and @StanfordLaw call for ‘Ideas for a Better Internet’ – deadline 4/15 @Ideas4BetterNet

The Berkman Center at Harvard University and Stanford Law School are
pleased to announce a new initiative in which we invite the world to
submit their ‘Ideas for a Better Internet.’ We are seeking out brief
proposals from anyone with ideas as to how to improve the Internet.
Students at Harvard and Stanford will work through early next year to
implement the ideas selected. Interested parties should submit their
ideas at http://bit.ly/i4bicfp by Friday, April 15. Please spread the
word far and wide, and follow us on Twitter at


The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and
Stanford Law School are pleased to announce ‘Ideas for a Better
Internet,’ a joint initiative aimed at fostering innovation around the
most pressing issues currently facing the Internet. We invite anyone —
interested individuals, scholars, entrepreneurs, organizations, and
others with great ideas — to submit a proposal.

We are looking for proposals that will make the Internet more secure,
more accessible, more open, or just plain better — ideas that
recognize the interactions of law, policy, business, and code and
expand on the notion that the Internet is a global information
network. Proposals might address problems in data security, Internet
infrastructure, digital literacy, or anything else, so long as they
address the ultimate goal of making the Internet a better place for
everyone. We also believe that the Internet can be a force for
positive social change; to that end, we are interested in proposals
that use the Internet’s power to solve problems offline.

Over the next eight months, technology-focused Harvard and Stanford
students will select and help implement several of the submitted
proposals. We will collaborate with high-profile Internet
entrepreneurs, policy-makers, and other interested parties to bring
the best ideas to fruition. This is an unprecedented opportunity for
developers, designers, innovators, hackers, social engineers, and
anyone else committed to improving the Internet to connect with a
wide-ranging, interdisciplinary group of stakeholders who will, over
the course of a yearlong seminar, implement and launch an idea that
will help change the Internet for the better.

This initiative is not a standard technology venture contest focused
just around raising capital and generating publicity. We hope, rather,
to guide the selected proposal through a holistic process that seeks
to connect projects with advisors, funders and collaborators who can
make them happen from a legal, logistical, conceptual, and
technological perspective.

Does the solution meaningfully contribute to building a better
Internet? Does it enhance openness, accessibility, security, or
something else of value to the public?
Does the solution effectively respond to a particular problem or need?
What, realistically, will the project change about the Internet? How
significant will the change be?
Does the proposal account for realistic challenges and constraints?

The group consists of Harvard and Stanford Law and Computer Science
students, with the courses taught jointly by Jonathan Zittrain and
Elizabeth Stark.

Our advisors include Tim O’Reilly, Craig Newmark, Susan Crawford, Alex
Macgillivray, Dean Hachamovitch, Mitchell Baker, Esther Wojcicki, Clay
Shirky, Aza Raskin, David Hornik, and Andrew McLaughlin.

This call for proposals is open to any person or group with an idea
for a better Internet and the willingness to work through a project if
it is selected by the seminar.

All proposals must be submitted by 12:00 PM PT on Friday, April 15, 2011.

Finalists will be promptly notified following a panel review of
submissions. Winning proposals will be selected by May 1. The
implementation process will continue through 2011, and will culminate
in a public demonstration of the project before leading scholars,
policy-makers, and entrepreneurs in early 2012.

The idea behind this solicitation is to get ideas out there; this is
not a competition in the usual sense, and we are all looking to
contribute to the common good — we aim, with appropriate curation, to
make publicly available what you submit if your idea is selected, and
also anything we build upon it as a class. We hope that people on the
Internet at large will use the ideas you submit as springboards
towards building a better Internet.

If you have any further questions or would like to submit your
proposal via email, contact us at info@i4bi.org.