Tech Delegation from U.S. heading to Moscow

17 February 2010

Kutcher was an early adopter of Twitter and is one of its most well-known celebrity users.  He has over 4.5 million followers to date.

Kutcher was an early adopter of Twitter and is one of its most well-known celebrity users. He has over 4.5 million followers to date.

Ashton Kutcher may be chowing down on borsch and sipping vodka as we speak.  He is part of a delegation from the U.S. spending the next week exchanging technology ideas with Russian government leaders, academics and entrepreneurs in Moscow.  Joining Kutcher are U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, eBay CEO John Donahoe and representatives from Cisco, Mozilla and Howcast.

While bloggers are quick to point out that some more controversial topics such as censorship aren’t on the agenda, the so-called “Innovation Delegation” does plan to discuss how social media could strengthen ties between Russia and the U.S.  The LA Times reports that the delegation will also discuss issues such as encouraging entrepreneurship and e-government initiatives, and combating child trafficking and corruption.

Given the success that similar tech delegations have had in places like Iraq and Mexico, Russia seems like an appropriate next stop.  Given that Russia could soon be one of the first countries to be able to type Internet addresses in its own language and not in Latin script, we should expect more and more Russians to come online in the next five years, adopting social media and online entrepreneurship as they go.  Seems as good a time as any to initiate digital cooperation and collaboration between our two nations.  It’s also good for those of us who are taking bets on how long it takes Ashton to gain 5 million followers on Twitter; let’s see what he can do by the end of this trip!

(Disclosure: Hill & Knowlton works with ICANN in various locations around the world.)

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