The Future of the Internet

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The importance of the Internet continues to grow. The emergence of social media has placed the Internet at the centre of social life and now the Internet of Things is connecting manifold objects and systems. However, the relentless move of commerce online and the cybercrime that follows it is moving cyber security to the heart of economic well-being, and in turn cyber warfare a vital component in modern deterrence and power relations between states.

Like many a human project before it, the Internet began as a dream of a better way of connecting us with each other. It is open and free by design, but we bring to its new possibilities all our historic baggage, both the good and the bad. The challenge is to find ways to make the Internet safer without destroying its vitality and inclusivity.

At a Ditchley Foundation conference on 7-9th June 2018, chaired by Dr Vint Cerf (one of the ‘fathers’ of the Internet’), leaders from government, the technology sector, commerce and civil society discussed the collective responsibilities and possibilities that we all face. This event at RUSI will offer a chance to continue this discussion in a public format, with the following speakers:

  •          Richard Bach, Co-Founder and Director of XQ Cyber
  •          Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science and Innovation
  •          Jeff Thomas, Co-Founder of the Corsham Institute

The event will be chaired by James Arroyo, Director of the Ditchley Foundation.

If you have any questions, please contact Aisha Ahmad at 


Richard Bach is Co-Founder and Director of XQ Cyber. Prior to this, he spent 30 years in the UK’s national security community in an extensive range of operational and technical roles, and in international relations. He also served in the Government’s Digital Economy Unit as Assistant Director for Cyber Security. Richard left the public sector to co-found XQ, a cyber security tech start-up which, through innovation, aims to transform how organisations protect themselves from online threats. He also acts as a strategic advisor to others in the sector.

Chi Onwurah is a British Member of Parliament representing Newcastle upon Tyne Central and is also Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy Science & Innovation. From Sept 2015-October 2016 Chi was Shadow Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy. From Jan 2013 - Sept 2015 Chi was Shadow Cabinet Office Minister leading on cyber security, social entrepreneurship, civil contingency, open government and transparency. From Oct 2010 – Jan 2013 Chi was Shadow Minister for Innovation, Science & Digital Infrastructure working closely with the Science and business community, with industry on Broadband issues, and on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.

Jeff Thomas is Co-Founder of the Corsham Institute, Chairman of Ark Data Centres, Chairman of UKCloud and Owner of Hartham Park. Since 1995 Jeff has lead or participated in acquisitions, disposals and significant corporate restructurings totalling more than £500m.

James Arroyo is the Director of the Ditchley Foundation. Until summer 2016, James was director for data at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, charged with adapting the organisation to the digital age. His intellectual interests include the impact of technology on society, business and government and the dynamics of insurgencies and terrorism. 



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