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27th May 2020

IIC Webinar: 5G & health misinformation amid COVID-19: the facts and how to communicate them

Virtual Event

Wednesday 27 May, 2020 
0930 BST / 1630 HKT / 0430 EDT
Duration: 1.5 hours

Amidst the current crisis, telcos and regulators are faced with renewed public concerns about whether 5G may pose particular health risks. What is it about 5G itself that is generating so much concern? Experts spelt out the scientific evidence and on-going monitoring, and discussed the means with which it should be communicated quickly and effectively to tackle disinformation and provide greater reassurance to citizens.

Recording of 5G and health misinformation webinar

This webinar provided the opportunity for an interactive discussion between panellists followed by Q&A from the audience. The full session can be seen here.



Summary report of the 5G and health misinformation webinar



Manuel Kohnstamm Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Liberty Global

Manuel Kohnstamm is Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer for Liberty Global. He is responsible for developing and implementing Liberty Global’s regulatory strategy, public policy, government affairs and corporate communications. Mr Kohnstamm is an executive officer of Liberty Global and sits on Liberty Global’s Executive Leadership Team and the Regulatory Committee.

Mr Kohnstamm joined the Europe operations of Liberty Global’s predecessor in September 1999 and held several positions in corporate affairs, public policy, and communications. He was appointed to his current position in January 2012. From 1992 until he joined Liberty Global, Mr Kohnstamm worked at Time Warner Inc., most recently as Vice President of Public Affairs in Brussels for its subsidiaries Time Inc., Warner Bros., and Turner Broadcasting. Prior to joining Time Warner, Mr Kohnstamm worked with the consulting group European Research Associates in Brussels where he conducted macro-economic and policy studies on the telecommunications and defense industries.

Mr Kohnstamm is a member of VodafoneZiggo’s Supervisory Board as well as a member of the Board of Directors of Liberty Global’s subsidiary Telenet Group Holding NV, a Liberty Global subsidiary and a Belgian public limited liability company.

Mr Kohnstamm is Co-chair of GIGAEurope, an industry association bringing together independent private telecoms companies. In addition, Mr Kohnstamm is a trustee of the non-profit organisation Street Child, a charitable organisation focused on improving the lives of some of the poorest and most vulnerable children in the world.

Mr Kohnstamm graduated in Political Science and holds a Doctorandus Degree in International and European Law from the University of Amsterdam. He also holds a Postgraduate Degree in International relations from the Clingendael Diplomat School in The Hague, and successfully completed the Cable Executive Management Program from Harvard Business School, Boston (MA).

Philip Marnick Group Director, Spectrum, Ofcom, UK

Philip Marnick is Group Director, Spectrum at Ofcom, where he is responsible for setting and implementing the strategy for managing spectrum including clearing, awarding, licensing, monitoring and enforcement.

Mr Marnick has over 30 years’ experience within the wireless communications industry. He has held senior executive positions covering technology, operations and strategy. Mr Marnick has worked in both start-ups (from initial concept to sale) and large corporates in companies ranging from UK Broadband, O2, Orange, BT, J-Phone in Japan (now Softbank Mobile), Extreme Mobile and SpinVox (now Nuance).

Rebecca Skippage Senior Editor & Disinformation Lead, BBC News

Rebecca Skippage leads the BBC’s Disinformation Team, which uncovers, analyses and reports ‘fake news’ from around the globe. She is currently part of a combined network of the BBC’s disinformation specialists, debunking inadvertent and deliberate Covid 19 misinformation and conspiracy theories (including 5G), and highlighting the networks and methods behind its dissemination. As part of the Trusted News Initiative, she works with the major tech companies to prevent the spread of disinformation and promote reliable, accurate content. A journalist for more than 20 years, Ms Skippage also leads the BBC’s award-winning Jihadist Media Team.

Rodney Croft (Snr. Prof.) Chair, International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP); Chief Investigator, Australian Centre for Electromagnetic Bioeffects Research (ACEBR), University of Wollongong, Australia

Senior Professor Rodney Croft is Professor of Health Psychology at the School of Psychology, University of Wollongong, Australia, with his specialty the effect of non-ionizing radiation (especially radiofrequency fields associated with mobile telecommunications), on health. Professor Croft has been researching the radiofrequency health domain for 20 years, and has led successive National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) Centres of Research Excellence into radiofrequency health since 2005. He has published extensively on the issue of radiofrequency fields and health across domains ranging from basic science to cancer epidemiology and risk communication, and in particular whether radiofrequency fields affect those who report to be ‘electro-hypersensitive’. Professor Croft regularly contributes to the community via the provision of guidance on non-ionizing radiation and health, including government-sector inquires, expert witness testimony for national and international parliamentary inquiries, ad hoc and ongoing contributions to the World Health Organisation, and he is Chairman of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP, Munich, Germany, since 2012). Professor Croft led ICNIRP’s development and recent publication of its radiofrequency guidelines, the first since 1998.


Michel Van Bellinghen Chairman of the Council, Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT)

Michel Van Bellinghen, Master of Laws (UCL), started off at the university in 1990 as a researcher, then became an assistant under the supervision of Professor Françoise Tulkens, at the UCL Laws Centre for Criminal Law.

Mr Van Bellingham became an assistant advisor at the Ministry of Justice in 1992 under the supervision of Professor Marc Bossuyt and joined the BIPT in 1997. From 1999 to 2003 he held the position of expert at the private office of Rik Daems, who was the Federal Telecommunications Minister at the time, and afterwards took up the function of Assistant Head of the Private Office. From 2003 until 2009 he was nominated Member of the BIPT Council for the first time. Following this mandate he remained closely affiliated to the Council and supervised the legal department of the regulator during a number of years. He has written scientific publications. In 2013 he held a position on the Council as a Member and in January 2017 he was assigned Chairman of the BIPT Council.

In 2020, Michel Van Bellinghen has been elected to serve as a Vice-Chair and the incoming BEREC Chair 2021.

Event details
27th May 2020
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