Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Internet governance was a very controversial topic at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) from the General Assembly, as an awakening of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. There are many approaches to the Internet governance issue, and we understand that it should be inclusive and responsive. However, to what extent should certain stakeholders be involved and how does the multistakeholder policy dialogue change the ways that the discussions are brought out?

Once exploring the Internet Governance Forum, we are able to see how various stakeholders are involved in order to address the topics of internet through the discussion of public policies encompassing these issues. Hence, the “IGF is a global multistakeholder platform that facilitates the discussion of public policy issues pertaining to the internet. There are many initiatives and topics discussed within the forum. In terms of the issues discussed in the 12th meeting of the IGF in 2017, with the on-going industrial revolution, there are topics regarding the impact of modern technologies in the industry, society, and the economy. The new digital economy and sustainable development, are they really create opportunities for everyone or are they actually creating a digital divide? My understanding of this “deepening of divide” is that while more people who already have access to technologies are become even more powerful and enablers of changing the society through online platforms; those who do not have the internet access and who do not have the available resources to access anything via Internet, they are experiencing and even greater gap and isolation from the society utilizing the Internet as the main platform for important issues like policy making, decision making, and even just basic human rights. Some other topics that are brought about at the IGF are cybersecurity, AI, Blockchains and bitcoins, fake news, access, inclusion and diversity. I find that these topics are quite critical and require an interdisciplinary approach to learning (with cybersecurity, development, sustainability, and technologies) and understanding our “Internet Governance”.

The IGF is an Annual Meeting for Internet Governance Forum which has an overarching theme that differs every year. In 2019 November, the Government of Germany in Berlin hosted the 14th Annual Meeting with the overarching theme: One World. One Net. One Vision. IGF serves to bring people together the stakeholder groups for all of them to be treated equally and discuss the policy issues that is related to the Internet. This forum is intended to influence various public and private sectors to work together and exchange information to have a better understanding of how the Internet can help maximize the opportunities of our international development.