For the first time, social networking was used for a G20 Summit.
A confidential and secure social networking application was created by Open Text Corporation, Canada's largest software corporation.
"This social networking platform is a great example of private business stepping up and ensuring Canada's leadership in the digital economy," said Tony Clement, Canada's Industry Minister. "The application will help bridge geographic and cultural gaps and get full value from global events of this kind."
"Senior diplomats and other officials representing G20 countries used the social networking platform to collaborate in the months prior to the June 26 to 27 event so that when the Summit got under way, issues and perspectives were shared over a secure network," said Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer at Open Text. "Access to social networking enables critical issues to be addressed in real time and be inclusive of multiple opinions."
Providing the secure, hosted social networking platform to G8 and G20 participants was a collaboration between Open Text, the Canadian
Digital Media Network, and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. In addition to secure Web access from anywhere
in the world in real time, delegates were also able to access the application from their BlackBerries, iPhones, and iPads. The application supported multiple languages.
Given the heightened focus on security and privacy around the world, G20 organizers wanted to avoid use of consumer grade social media tools, which lack enterprise-strength security controls. But at the the same time, social media offers a more productive environment for networking and collaboration than email, so a solution that combined the benefits without risk was needed.
"The goal for the virtual environment shared via the Internet was to make the Summits more relevant to a broader global audience and showcase
technology examples from Canadian digital media companies, as well as marketing tourist destinations throughout the province of Ontario where the
Summit was held, and Canada as a whole," said Jenkins.