My Notes on the Roundtable discussion on “The Future of Internet Governance in Geneva”

With the launch of the report “Geneva and Internet Governance”, the Geneva Foundation and the Centre for Trade and Economic Integration (The Graduate Institute, Geneva) have organized a roundtable discussion with’ a panel of experts including. The objective was to discuss the issues and challenges of Internet governance and the role that Geneva could play in this area.

Here are some of my takeaways for recollection purpuses.

From “Tech for Good” to “Good in Tech” – Marie-Laure Salles , Director, The Graduate Institute, Geneva.

We need to go a step further from “Tech for Good” to “Good in Tech”, maximize its positive impact and minimize its negative ones to better deliver on aggregate to the Sustainable Development Goals, explained Prof Salles.

International Geneva could attract more stakeholders in three Internet Governance clusters – Dr Michael Kende, Senior Fellow, The Graduate Institute, Geneva, Author of the report

The interesting and comprehensive report on Internet Governance in International Geneva outlined three Internet Governance clusters of International Geneva: Digital for Development, Digital Trust and Digital Rights. These clusters are anchored in the three foundation pillars of the United Nations namely Development, Peace and Security, Human Rights. International Geneva can take steps to help to attract stakeholders to Geneva to maintain and increase its role in Internet Governance, called for Dr Kende.

428 Billion Needed to Connect the remaining 3 Billion – Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau, ITU

A New ITU Study ‘Connecting Humanity’ just released estimates that US$ 428 billion is required to connect the remaining 3 billion (nearly half of the global population) by 2030. The case for change for Connectivity was made by Covid-19, which is really the ‘hidden hero’ for its accelerant role from the ‘Connectivity perspective’ explained Ms Bogdan.

Widen engagement with new communities – Jovan Kurbalija, Director, Geneva Internet Platform

Future Internet Governance issues will certainly include calls for regulation and oversight of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The HumanAIsm Project of Diplo Foundation showcases AI tools and better understand them, prior to outlining Governance Principles for AI. Fundamental Human Values are at stake requiring engagement with groups traditionally not involved in Internet Governance discussions such as the online gaming, the religious and the parlamentarians communities, said Dr Kurbalija.

Overall, an insightful roundtable that took me back to John Perry Barlow, then fast-forward to November 2019 (pre COVID-19), when I was prudently asking whether ‘The More We Connect the World, the Less Free It Becomes?‘. The pandemic has unarguably unveilled different perspectives in assessing that very same question and Geneva reaffirmed as a seasoned city for such conversations …

Download the report and Listen to the Recording of the Live Stream here.