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How do people outside of the English-speaking world interact with the social web? The U.S. no longer dominates the web in terms of users with internet access, time spent online, and ownership of handheld connectable devices. Developed and developing countries on every continent are part of the global Internet, but social practice is hardly identical. What we experience tells us little about how people interact in most other locations, and while social media invention in large and populous countries like China, Indonesia and Brazil may be derived from origins in the U.S., local culture, politics and economics are built into the local social networks and patterns of usage. How can we gain a better understanding of these dynamics? Our panel will address questions such as:

  • Do local, regional and national cultures and politics make the Web experience dramatically different from the interaction that North American or UK users might consider “normal”?
  • How do the lower rates of PC ownership and high rates of mobile connectivity in the developing world affect social interaction?
  • Are there places where social ROI is less of a the priority than in the U.S. and the Web is treated more as a public asset?
  • Which efforts can reduce the language and culture barriers that prevent international collaboration from taking place?
  • What is the role of governments in the web abroad, and which countries have the means to censor or cut it off?

About the Panel



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Laurent Francois

Laurent Francois has launched a digital boutique agency in London, French Ideas after few years in the media industry (founder of SocialERS for L'Express) and in Social Media (former head of 360° Digital Influence @ Ogilvy France). He teaches Social Media Marketing in diverse business schools (ESCP Europe). Laurent also blogs on fashion on Hit Bag and Le Boulevardier.

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Brian Ellefritz

Brian Ellefritz manages the global social media team responsible for strategy, policy/governance, brand listening, training, tools and metrics -essentially the capabilities leveraged by the SAP marketing organization globally to skillfully use social media in their work. During his tenure the company’s social media footprint has tripled and SAP has been increasingly recognized as a leading practitioner in B2B social media marketing. Additionally Brian’s team manages a rich portfolio of brand accounts in Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn where SAP delivers daily content, conversations and other experiences to 250,000 brand advocates,partners and prospects.

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Robin Grant

Robin, Global Managing Director at We Are Social, is a 15 year veteran of digital marketing, consistently producing effective and award winning work for the world’s biggest brands, over the years picking up D&AD, Clio, One Show and many other awards. He started blogging in 1997, is a member of the IAB’s social media council and is a regular conference speaker on social media. In 2008 he co-founded We Are Social, a new kind of agency that combines an innate understanding of social media with digital, PR and marketing skills. With offices in New York, London, Paris, Milan, Munich, Singapore, Sydney & São Paulo and a multitude of awards under their belt, including two WOMMYs, they work with clients worldwide including adidas, Heinz, Smirnoff, HP, Unilever, Moët & Chandon, Kleenex, PayPal and Hotels.com on local, regional and global projects.

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Adam Zawel

Adam Zawel is the online Community Director for Palladium Group, the strategy execution consulting firm founded by Drs. David Norton and Bob Kaplan (creators of the Balanced Scorecard). Adam moderates online discussions and helps community members from over 1,500 organizations worldwide find peers to help them with their strategy execution challenges. Adam also advises Palladium clients on how to leverage their private intranets for better strategy communication and collaboration. Adam previously built INmobile, the premier global online community for executives in the mobile and telecommunications industries. Adam is also a former US Peace Corp Volunteer (Ukraine ’93-’95).