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Global Voices Summit begins Saturday!!

If you aren't able to join us in Delhi for Saturday's Global Voices 2006 Summit, please join us online!

Information about the schedule, webcast, live online chat, and other information can all be found on this web page. Or you can click here to go directly to the streaming audio webcast – which is scheduled to start at 9:00am Delhi time. (03:30 GMT, 10:30PM EST, 11:30AM Beijing)

We are building up a number of linked resource pages about the summit on the Global Voices wiki which will be available from this central page. It will include feeds of material written about the summit as long as it has been tagged with the summit tag: gvdelhi2006. If you blog / write / take pictures / record audio or video or otherwise generate content about the summit don’t forget to tag it so your views will be more easily found and more widely distributed.

How did we get to this moment? A bit of history: Two years ago this week, a few of us convened a small gathering of bloggers from around the world in a Harvard Law School classroom. From it emerged the Global Voices Manifesto. Here it is in full:

We believe in free speech: in protecting the right to speak — and the right to listen. We believe in universal access to the tools of speech.

To that end, we want to enable everyone who wants to speak to have the means to speak — and everyone who wants to hear that speech, the means to listen to it.

Thanks to new tools, speech need no longer be controlled by those who own the means of publishing and distribution, or by governments that would restrict thought and communication. Now, anyone can wield the power of the press. Everyone can tell their stories to the world.

We want to build bridges across the gulfs of culture and language that divide people, so as to understand each other more fully. We want to work together more effectively, and act more powerfully.

We believe in the power of direct connection. The bond between individuals from different worlds is personal, political and powerful. We believe conversation across boundaries is essential to a future that is free, fair, prosperous and sustainable – for all citizens of this planet.

While we continue to work and speak as individuals, we also want to identify and promote our shared interests and goals. We pledge to respect, assist, teach, learn from, and listen to one other.

We are Global Voices.

By the following summer, the blog that we had originally created as a conversation space for conference attendees had morphed into the website as you see it today: an edited aggregator of weblogs from all over the world except North America and Western Europe (the idea being that voices and views from N.America and W.Europe get disproportionate attention not only in the International media but on the global web). The blogs we link to on the site are curated, contextualized and in some cases translated by our amazing group of regional editors and translators. Roughly one hundred volunteers from all over the world provide in-depth coverage of the discussions taking place in their own countries’ blogospheres. Enough people seem to find it useful that we now have over one million visitors per month, and we recently won the Knight-Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism.

At last year's summit in London, it was clear that Global Voices is much more than a citizens’ media website or international bloggers’ network. It is a community. And it is a movement of people who are united by the values of free speech, tolerance, dialogue, and inclusiveness articulated in the manifesto.

At this year's Delhi summit, much of our public meeting on Saturday will be devoted to the challenges our community hopes to tackle in the coming years: How do we bring more people, not just wired elites, into the global discourse that is facilitated by the Internet? What kinds of technical tools need to be used, adapted or developed in order to bring the less-wealthy into the global conversation? How do we help people speak when their governments or other powerful groups don't want them to? How do we overcome language barriers?

Please help us figure some of these things out by joining the conversation.

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