As the one-week countdown to this UN-linked event gets underway, we take a look at 6 facts that make this year’s event more relevant and more important to business than ever…
1. We can tell it like it is…
The IGF was established by the UN World Summit on the Information (WSIS) as a platform for frank and open discussion on policies for managing, developing and using the Internet. This covers issues including data protection and privacy, cybersecurity, access and inclusiveness, Internet of things, human rights and the role of technological innovation in sustainable development.
2. And that means everyone!
The uniqueness of the Forum lies in the fact that it is open to every interest group or stakeholder. Whether representing business, governments, the technical community, academia or civil society, each participant is an equally-empowered contributor. The IGF format also privileges knowledge sharing, best practice exchange and capacity building with no focus diverted to negotiating texts. This listening to and learning about the views of others leads ultimately to more informed policy making down the line!
3. This is our last chance to exchange views
This year’s IGF takes place at a critical time for internet governance as WSIS implementation undergoes a 10-year review (WSIS +10). With pressure from some to move away from an inclusive multistakeholder approach to governing the Internet, the Forum is the last stop on the Internet governance road before the WSIS+10 review concludes with a two-day United Nations General Assembly high level meeting in New York on 15-16 December. With over 6 million member in 130 countries, ICC is actively advocating on behalf of business for a minimum 10-year extension of the IGF mandate staying true to its unique format and compositionwhile allowing its strengths to be built upon and to bring on board more stakeholders from the developing world.
4. Business can showcase commitment and contribution
Business is a dynamic Internet ground-breaker, investor and user, contributing to Internet development through education initiatives, by promoting innovation and creativity, and via public – private partnerships for research and development. The IGF enables business to showcase this contribution and highlight how continued cooperation among all stakeholders creates enabling policy environments that are prerequisite to bringing the benefits of Internet access to everyone, everywhere.
5. We’re mobilizing business for action
ICC has long made the case for business inclusion in the range of policies and decisions on the Internet and information society. Through our Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) initiative, ICC works to mobilize business participation at the IGF, from organizing daily business briefings, ensuring private sector representation in all the main sessions and relevant workshops to to convening side meetings for business to exchange timely perspectives with governments or stakeholders on 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.
6. It really is open to all
Of course one great benefit of connectivity is that you do not have to travel to Brazil to be part of the action. All you need is an Internet connection to participate remotely, free of charge. Find out more at http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/remote-participation. You can also use #IGF2015 to follow activities on Twitter keeping an eye out for regular updates from @icc_basis.