Just as the traders of old on the Silk Road carried merchandise and ideas backwards and forwards between Asia and Europe, benefitting both, so 21st Century information traders can build the new communications age, showcasing the best they have and warning of the traps and pitfalls on the route. In the global information environment, changes in broadcasting and new media provision are accelerating. New services and technologies are emerging to access and respond to audience needs. Forward-looking broadcasters are finding new ways they can interact with viewers, listeners and readers who can increasingly decide how, when and where they will be available, informed and entertained. The abilities of content producers, providers and distributors to deal with these changes vary enormously, from large multinational media organisations with staffs of thousands and multi-billion dollar budgets to small national broadcasters with far fewer resources. But in the digital age they can all play a role in how our world copes with advances in the new information age. One of the major roles of the broadcasting unions has traditionally been to intermediate between large, medium and small broadcasters, to help all members in their development. So do they still have a role in the new information age and, if so, what is it? This conference will be a chance to dig deeply into some of the major issues challenging broadcasting and communications in the 21st Century. Some are technical, some commercial, some cultural or political, some aesthetic and some that go to the very heart of what it is to be human in today’s societies. All these challenges have real dangers and practical paths forward. The conference organisers will bring together experts from across our regions and around the world to help us share knowledge and solutions in an age when the old certainties are crumbling and disruption is the new watchword – for both hazards and opportunities. And to make sure diverse voices are heard and everyone can contribute, the panellists will keep their remarks brief and stimulating, to allow time for discussion among delegates.