In an era of constant digital disruption the IIC enables the open balanced discussion that informs the policy agenda.
If our story over the last 50 years has anything to reveal, it’s the role IIC members around the world can play in shaping a future from which all of society can benefit. During 2019 we will be charting some of the significant changes that have taken place since our creation in 1969 and looking ahead to what the next decade will bring.Watch Video
Our aim is to provide the best environment for debating the most important topics at the highest level. We bring together regulators, policy makers, business leaders, academics and professionals in every corner of the world. In an era characterised by the convergence and disruptive impact of technology, we believe the IIC’s role as a platform for policy debate remains as important as it ever was.
During 2019 we will be charting some of the significant changes that have taken place since our creation in 1969. The IIC has always been about its members. And if our story over the last 50 years has anything to reveal, it’s the role IIC members around the world can play in shaping a future from which all of society can benefit.Andrea Millwood Hargrave
Evolution, innovation and regulation in telecoms, media and technology
To celebrate our anniversary, we have compiled more than 50 significant developments, launches, failures and trends that have taken place over the last five decades. Some of these are major trends, others lesser known but nonetheless impactful in the role they’ve played in shaping how we communicate, learn, govern and do business today.
In 1945 Arthur C. Clarke posited the idea that three geostationary satellites could transmit messages across the planet.
Widely dismissed as fanciful at the time, 23 years later, in 1968 the UN General Assembly approved the establishment of a working group to report on the technical feasibility of communication by direct broadcasts from satellites. Drawing on expertise from Europe, the USA and Asia and including academics, economists, government and industry, the group formed the beginnings of the International Broadcasting Institute (IBI), later to become the IIC.Learn More
This year the IIC celebrates its 50th anniversary. Although our founders could not have envisaged the kind of technology we now have at our disposal, they would, I think, have recognised the debates we are having. The IIC has always been concerned with understanding the social, as well as the economic impact of technological change as an essential precursor to good policy making. In this, we have not changed.
On these pages, we take a look at some of the technological developments, events and influential people that have made the IIC the organisation it is today. I am very proud of the work our members, my colleagues at the IIC and IIC directors around the world do to further vigorous, challenging and open debate on a variety of topics.
In the following IIC 'Hall of Fame', I’m in esteemed company. May I introduce you to some of my predecessors...Chris Chapman,
The IIC owes its success to many committed and visionary leaders over the last five decades. Here are some of the people who have helped to make the IIC what it is today:
The IIC’s first ever president, Rydbeck began his career as a diplomat, working at the UN and as Sweden’s Ambassador to the UK, before becoming head of Sveriges Radio, the Swedish national broadcaster, in 1955. It was Olof’s unique experience that led him to chair a UN committee on satellite television that eventually gave rise to the IIC.
Beginning his career as a newspaper reporter, Sig Mickelson was a vice president at time Life Broadcasts and served as President of CBS News and Radio Free Europe. He founded the Radio and Television News Directors Association, and it was through this that he became a prime mover in the IIC. When the IIC was accused of attracting CIA funding, he retorted: ‘If we had had CIA funding we would have been a lot better off – that’s the final proof we never had it.’
Lord Asa Briggs was a historian with a long and distinguished academic career. He worked in the codebreaking operation at Bletchley Park during the war, turning to academic life in 1945 as a fellow at Worcester College, Oxford. He was a prolific writer, authoring the official 5 volume history of the BBC. Asa Briggs was an Honorary Director of the IIC, regarded as its ‘research supremo’ and responsible for many of its early research projects.
Along with Jean, Eddi was regarded as half of the ‘driving duumvirate’ of the IIC in its early years. Ploman worked with and for d’Arcy at UN Headquarters and was head of Eurovison from 1958 until 1963. He wrote several books and spoke a number of languages. Cosmopolitan in outlook, Ploman believed strongly in the idea of the new communications (then television) as a vehicle for international understanding.
From its inception, the IIC enjoyed the professional and financial support of Japanese Public broadcaster NHK under its president, Yoshinori Maeda. A fluent Italian speaker, Maeda was a news reporter in Italy during the Second World War (and was reputed to have known Mussolini ‘fairly well’) before joining NHK in 1945. A staunch believer in promoting international dialogue and understanding, Maeda was made the first Honorary President of the IIC in 1973.
A founder member of the IIC, d’Arcy helped to set up Eurovision, part of the EBU. For ten years he was Director of the UN’s Radio and Visual Services division. He became the IIC’s president in 1975, taking over from Olof Rydbeck, a post in which he served until his sudden death from a heart attack in 1983.
In 1969 our board of directors, trustees and members comprised those at the forefront of the broadcast industry. In 2019 as our remit has widened and the telecoms media and technology sectors have converged, we still pride ourselves on having as strategic IIC Partners some of the major content platforms, telecoms operators and technology businesses. As well as regulators and policy makers from all continents.