Home » Global issues & trends » Digital growth » Internet governance » The Internet Governance Forum

The annual forum brings together the global Internet governance community and is a unique platform for candid and open discussion on the future governance of the Internet.

About the IGF

The Internet Governance Forum is recognised as one of the most significant outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The Secretary-General of the United Nations convened the IGF as a new forum for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue.

Since its inception in 2006, the IGF has pioneered a new avenue for policy cooperation, bringing a wide range of stakeholder groups together to consider public policy issues relating to the Internet. Participants are able to focus on sharing information and experience on an equal footing, to help those with policymaking power in both the public and private sectors to pursue action based on informed decisions.

Participants benefit from the free exchange of ideas and informal relationship-building the IGF provides. ICC BASIS is the primary source for business input and a de facto focal point for business since the IGF was launched. This has enabled thoughtful discussion and dissemination of best practices for the express purpose of enabling more countries to realise the economic and societal benefits of digital transformation.

IGF 2020

The 15th annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will be hosted online by the United Nations from 2 to 17 November under the overarching theme: “Internet for human resilience and solidarity”. Pre-events will take place from 2 to 6 November, during the meeting’s first phase. IGF 2020 will be officially opened on 9 November and closed on 17 November. This second phase will include workshops, main sessions as well as high-level dialogues.

Up for discussion this year are issues impacting all stakeholders, including business in four key areas: data, environment, inclusion, and trust. Discussions will cover, among others the role of technological innovation in sustainable development and inclusive growth, trust and security online, cross-border data flows, ethical, legal and regulatory dimensions for new technologies as well as users’ rights and responsibilities.

Mobilising business

As the leading private sector representative, ICC BASIS ensures business is represented in relevant discussions at all levels to exchange perspectives with governments and other stakeholders on recent developments. Our goal is to demonstrate the value of business’ role and engagement in policy discussions and to ensure that governance of the Internet remains open, secure, stable and inclusive.

ICC BASIS-convened sessions

The IGF format privileges knowledge sharing, best practice exchange and capacity building with no focus diverted to negotiating texts.

This year, ICC BASIS will host two events open to all IGF participants:

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a general-purpose technology that is perceived to be a great transformer for both developed and developing economies, promising to enhance any decision-making process through the knowledge gained from applying analytics and machine learning to the data available. At the same time, the design, development and deployment of algorithmic systems and tools also holds challenges, often surrounding the role of human agencies, transparency, and inclusivity.

To harness these benefits and mitigate risks, both public and private sector organizations have developed or are actively considering guidelines, principles and standards along which AI can or should be developed and deployed.

As we are moving from principles to practice, how do the different stakeholders cooperate to address those challenges?

What is the role of business in the development of these principles and guidelines? What best practices can be drawn in developing ethical guidelines by companies in line with existing frameworks and standards? And what are potential barriers of adoption to some of the suggested principles and guidelines?

Join us on 3 November from 16.50 to 18.50 UTC to exchange with our senior industry experts!

The COVID-19 pandemic raised important questions on the role of data in global crisis situations. With many governments around the world caught unprepared, healthcare professionals unsure of treatments and a possible cure, and analysts left wondering how to best track, trace and predict the spread of the virus and what precautionary measures to recommend, we are all reminded of the value of data.

In the wake of the crisis, numerous data sharing initiatives were launched, both by public and private sector actors, as well as through multistakeholder partnerships, to pool pandemic-related information and help mitigate the crisis. These initiatives have also brought to the forefront considerations on data protection and security as well as privacy and human rights concerns regarding the use of personal data.

These conversations are not new. Similar discussions arise in the wake of major environmental and humanitarian emergencies, with important considerations on how data can help predict, prepare for and mitigate such global crisis situations.

How can we encourage all stakeholders to cooperatively put data to work for the benefit of all? What are the risks involved? What barriers are holding stakeholders back from engaging such initiatives? And what policy and technical tools are needed to enable the different models of data sharing?

Join us on 9 November from 11.00 to 12.00 UTC to share your ideas and perspectives!

We look forward to meeting you at our events!

Other ways to get involved

Business participation in IGF discussions is essential when it comes to informed policymaking. Register for the event here to participate in sessions of your interest. You can also follow our activities via our dedicated social media accounts on Twitter @ICCWBO or join the conversation using #IGF2020.

Share This