On the margins of this week’s Internet Governance Forum (IGF), ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO issued a call to governments, business and other stakeholders to Make technology work for all. At an ICC hosted pre-event reception with business leaders, Mr Denton called upon business and government to work together to harness the power of digital technology and improve the lives of individuals everywhere.
In his address, Mr Denton said: “We are advocating for the creation of effective policy frameworks that will enable business, government and people to harness the power of digital technology.
“We are launching this campaign here in Berlin but we will be multiplying and diversifying this message throughout the world.”
The Make technology work for all campaign follows an ICC Centenary Declaration, issued in May, setting out guiding principles to shape the next century of global business in the face of global challenges. The principles include commitments to Make technology work for all by bolstering trust in digital technologies, collaborating with governments to design new global governance models conducive to a thriving and unified digital ecosystem, and promoting a human-centric evolution of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence.
Following the campaign announcement, Mr Denton published a LinkedIn article outlining four critical components for the creation of an enabling digital environment for all. ICC will advocate for a stable regulatory environment, open markets, multistakeholder partnerships and a comprehensive government approach to policymaking. In pursuit of these goals, ICC will continue to work with all stakeholders, including business and governments, to enhance digital inclusiveness and diversity.
Through its #DontLetTariffsBreak the Internet campaign, ICC is currently urging support for the renewal of a WTO moratorium on electronic tranmissions that has played a vital role in the development of the digital economy.
Mr Denton highlighted ICC’s role in bringing focus to the risks posed to the operations of e-commerce and digital businesses warning in a recent interview with Sky News saying: “There are countries right now who are seeking to put tariffs on digital downloads between economies, across borders. That is going to have a huge impact on digital businesses…”
Many of the elements of ICC’s Make technology work for all campaign were on full display during the IGF High Level Internet Governance Exchange Panels on Data Governance and Safety. The session, which was moderated by Mr Denton, included participants from the technical community, business and government – including the Swiss Federal Office of Communications, Russian Ministry of Digital Development, the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), and online search engine Qwant.
Participants exchanged their views on a wide range of topics related to data governance, including government regulations, cross-border data flows, and the commercialisation of digital data by business. After a wide ranging discussion, Mr Denton concluded that consistent standards were needed to help business, government and other stakeholders build trust in the Internet governance process.
In closing, Mr Denton affirmed ICC’s commitment to Make technology work for all:
“We want to enable business worldwide to secure, peace and prosperity for all. We don’t want to see the Internet break down. It’s in our interest and all of your interests,” he said.
Here’s what else you can expect from ICC at this year’s IGF in Berlin.