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University of Virginia to Host e-summit@virginia, a Public Conference About the Internet, Led By Industry Leaders

Oct. 15, 1999 -- How does technology go to the heart of human experience? Through the stream of the Internet. To some, the Internet is an untrained river of commerce and pornography. To others it is a conduit of inspiration and democracy that unites the common experience of people across cultures and international boundaries.

To all, it is revolutionary. This technology, which is changing the world, will be the subject of debate Nov. 12 and 13 on the historic grounds of the University of Virginia. Thirty-three Internet industry pioneers and visionaries will convene for e-summit@virginia, a free public forum about the Internet, and on the Internet. This group of leading executives share one common trait: they are all University of Virginia graduates who believe in the Jeffersonian principle of wise revolution.

Participants in e-summit@virginia include:

Allison Abraham, COO for the Internet company iVillage

Shelby W. Bonnie, vice chairman of CNET

U. Bertram Ellis Jr., CEO of the interactive digital company iXL

Lawton Fitt, managing director of the investment, finance and research company Goldman Sachs

Timothy A. Koogle, CEO of the Web browser company Yahoo!

Halsey M. Minor, CEO of the Internet news and information company CNET

Jeffrey D. Nuechterlein, managing director at National Gypsum Co.

Mark B. Templeton, president and director of the server-based computing company Citrix Systems, Inc.

Jeffrey C. Walker, senior managing director of the global private equity organization Chase Capital Partners

In the spirit of U.Va. founder Thomas Jefferson, these Internet visionaries will imagine the future, examine our assumptions, and weigh the challenges of serving the common good in provocative public discussions. The forum is designed to engage industry executives, university students and the general audience in a lively debate on theoretical and practical implications of Internet technology, and the rights and responsibilities of business leaders, government, and private citizens.

During the conference, panelists will present their forecasts for the future of the Information Age, discuss the traditional Jeffersonian principles they share, and look at how Jefferson's concept of the Academical Village can extend learning and democracy to the Global Village via the Internet.

The event is one of several activities of Virginia 2020, a university-wide planning initiative set to power the University into the 21st century.

"The e-summit is an extraordinary event for the University of Virginia," says President John T. Casteen III. "It brings together more than two dozen University alumni who are leaders in the new technology age that is reshaping our lives and revolutionizing the global economy. My hope for the conference, as for the entire Virginia 2020 initiative, is that it will do at least two things: engage alumni, faculty and students in provocative explorations of theoretical, practical, social, and ethical issues that really matter; and generate plans of action for the University to follow over the next 20 or so years."

Several of the executives who are participating in the summit believe that U.Va.'s rigorous liberal arts emphasis, grounded in ethical thinking, is the key to their personal philosophies, and the success of their companies.

"Running any company, and especially a company in this field, requires that you be good at a lot of things," says Halsey Minor, CEO at CNET. "The liberal arts background I got at Virginia helps me to do that."

Some of the issues that will be discussed include: access to the web; privacy and personal security; winners and losers in a changing economy; free expression and censorship; and new ways to serve the common good.

"The University of Virginia has produced some of the most interesting and dynamic leaders in the Internet industry," says Robert Sweeney, vice president for development at U.Va. "These executives are taking the Jeffersonian values of ethics and self-responsibility, and incorporating them with technology -- sort of an old twist on something new. The forum is certain to be a lively discussion about the revolutionary ideals of information and democracy -- that founded this nation and this university -- and how they can be applied to a technology that is revolutionizing the world. We have invited these alumni to come back and re-engage in the life of the University. It is a homecoming for which they can inspire our students and community, as well as the faculty that initially inspired them."

The morning e-summit@virginia plenary session on Nov. 12 is Forecasting the Future/Jeffersonian Principles in the Internet Age. Afternoon concurrent sessions will look at such topics as: Legal and Regulatory Issues; Ownership and Copyright; the Internet, Media and Politics; Privacy, Security and Society; Creativity, Entertainment and the Arts; Teaching and Learning; Reconceptualizing Commerce; and Entrepreneurship and Wealth Creation. The topic of the Nov. 13 plenary session is The Academical Village in the Internet Age.

All plenary sessions will be held in U.Va.'s Cabell Hall Auditorium. Concurrent sessions will be held at several locations on University Grounds. All sessions are free and open to the public. The conference also will be streamed live onto the Internet at Advance information about the forum can also be found there.

The conference is presented by the Office of the President, John T. Casteen III, and Virginia 2020. It is sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers and FORTUNE magazine.

For more information, the public should call (804) 924-1366.

For media: A press conference will be held Nov. 12, noon-12:30 p.m. To register, or to arrange an interview with one of the participants, please contact Fariss Samarrai at (804) 924-3778, (804) 924-7116 or Complete information about e-summit@virginia can be found at

Contact: Fariss Samarrai, (804) 924-3778

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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