The OxIS 2019 was launched on September 9, 2019 at BT Centre, London. The event began with opening remarks from Jasmine Whitbread, Non-Executive Director of BT and Chair of BT’s Digital Impact and Sustainability Committee, followed by Oxford Internet Institute (OII) Director Phillip Howard’s introduction of the report’s author, Dr. Grant Blank, Survey Research Fellow at the OII. Dr. Blank presented key findings from the 2019 OxIS, spotlighting gaps between recent popular commentary on the perils of the Internet and the actual experiences reported by Internet users. A panel was subsequently moderated by Nic Newman of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, which featured panelists Vicki Nash, Deputy Director of the OII, William Dutton, Senior Research Fellow at the OII, Liz Williams, Director of Digital Society, BT, Ian Macrae, Director of Market Intelligence, Ofcom, and Katie O’Donovan, Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Google UK.
Matt Warman MP, Minister for Digital and Broadband, next took the stage, underscoring the importance of digital access and skills, also announcing the launch of a new Digital Inclusion Fund, with the mission, “to help older and disabled people get online and acquire new digital skills.” The event was closed by Andy Wales, Chief Digital Impact and Sustainability Officer, BT.
The 2019 OxIS was funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), BT, and Google.