Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation

The High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation was established by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on 12 July 2018.

Purpose

The scale, spread and speed of change brought about by digital technology is unprecedented, and the current means and levels of international cooperation are unequal to the challenge. Digital technologies make a significant contribution to the realisation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and cut uniquely across international boundaries, policy silos and professional domains. Cooperation across domains and across borders is therefore critical to realizing the full social and economic potential of digital technologies, mitigating the risks they pose, and curtailing any unintended consequences.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres — As a global community, we face questions about security, equity, and human rights in a digital age. We need greater cooperation to tackle these challenges and mitigate risksThe High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation was convened by the UN Secretary-General to advance proposals to strengthen cooperation in the digital space among Governments, the private sector, civil society, international organizations, technical and academic communities and other relevant stakeholders.

The Panel is expected to raise awareness about the transformative impact of digital technologies across society and the economy, and contribute to the broader public debate on how to ensure a safe and inclusive digital future for all, taking into account relevant human rights norms.

Panel Members

Co-chairs

Panel members

  • Mohammed Al Gergawi (UAE), Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, UAE
  • Yuichiro Anzai (Japan), Senior Advisor and Director of Center for Science Information Analysis, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
  • Nikolai Astrup (Norway), Minister of International Development, Norway
  • Vinton Cerf (USA), Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google
  • Fadi Chehadé (USA), Partner at ABRY Partners
  • Isabel Guerrero Pulgar (Chile), Director, IMAGO Global Grassroots and Lecturer, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Marina Kaljurand (Estonia), Chair of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace
  • Bogolo Kenewendo (Botswana), Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Botswana
  • Akaliza Keza Ntwari (Rwanda), ICT advocate and entrepreneur
  • Marina Kolesnik (Russian Federation), senior executive, entrepreneur and WEF Young Global Leader
  • Doris Leuthard (Switzerland), Head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications, Switzerland
  • Cathy Mulligan (United Kingdom), Co-Director of Imperial College Centre for Cryptocurrency
  • Edson Prestes (Brazil), Professor, Institute of Informatics, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • Kira Radinsky (Israel), Director of Data Science, eBay
  • Nanjira Sambuli (Kenya), Digital Equality Advocacy Manager, World Wide Web Foundation
  • Sophie Soowon Eom (Republic of Korea), Founder of Adriel AI and Solidware
  • Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah (Australia), Secretary General, CIVICUS
  • Jean Tirole (France), Chairman of the Toulouse School of Economics and the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse

The deliberations of the Panel will be supported by a small secretariat, co-led by:

  • Amandeep Singh Gill (India), Executive Director, Secretariat of the High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation (ex officio)
  • Jovan Kurbalija, (Serbia), Executive Director, Secretariat of the High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation (ex officio)

All panel members serve in their personal capacity, not as representatives of their respective institutions.

Process

The Panel will hold two in-person meetings in September 2018 and January 2019, and will meet virtually as required.

The Panel will also seek to gather the views and proposals of Member States, relevant industries, civil society and academia worldwide through a careful consultation process. It will draw expertise from expert communities across the globe through engagement at existing events, conferences and forums as well as call for contributions from the general public through virtual hubs and online participation platforms. Two regional consultations will be organized in Asia and in Africa.

The Panel will complete its deliberations and submit its final report, including actionable recommendations, within a nine-month period. The report will map trends in digital technologies, identify gaps and opportunities, and outline proposals for strengthening international cooperation in the digital space.

FAQs

Why was the Panel established?
Current means and levels of international cooperation are not commensurate with the scale and rapidity of changes brought about by digital technologies. Digital technologies cut uniquely across  international boundaries. Cooperation across sectors and across borders is critical to realizing the full social and economic potential of digital technologies as well as mitigating the risks they could pose.

Why is it called High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation?
The term Digital Cooperation aims to frame discussions on digital issues in a cooperative framework; it also aims to break silos by encouraging thinking and action across domains, and build trust among various stakeholders.

What are the expected outcomes?
The Panel will submit a report that will provide a high-level independent contribution to the broader public debate on digital cooperation frameworks and support Member States in their consultations on these issues.

The report is expected to: 1) raise awareness about the transformative impact of digital technologies across society and the economy, 2) identify policy, research and information gaps as well as ways to improve interdisciplinary action on digital technologies, and 3) present concrete proposals to strengthen cooperation in the digital space in an effective and inclusive manner.

It is expected that the consultation process leading to the report will contribute to stimulating discussion among and between various stakeholder groups on how they can work together to maximize the potential of the digital transformation.

How is this different from other panels, commissions and international forums on similar topics?
The Secretary-General welcomes the increased focus on the implications of digital technologies for our society and our economy through commissions, conferences and other forums. This signifies that the timing is ripe for the digital policy ecosystem to evolve to the next level of maturity.

The work of all these initiatives can and should be mutually reinforcing. Wherever possible, this Panel will work with other initiatives and seek to identify synergies and complementarities.

How is the Panel supported?
The Panel is supported by a small Secretariat funded by donor resources, and based in New York and Geneva.

Contact

For updates about the Panel, follow on Twitter at @UNSGdigicoop or sign up for the mailing list.

To provide suggestions or comments, contact the High Level Panel Secretariat at: digitalcooperation@unops.org

Bios


Melinda Gates

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Philanthropist Melinda Gates has dedicated her life to achieving transformational improvements in the health and prosperity of families, communities and societies. Core to her work is empowering women and girls to help them realize their full potential. As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda shapes and approves strategies, reviews results, and sets the overall direction of the world’s largest private foundation. In 2015, Melinda created Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company that enables her to bring together other new and emerging strands of her advocacy and philanthropic work focused in the US. Melinda received a bachelor’s degree from Duke and an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School. After joining Microsoft Corp. in 1987, she helped develop many of the company’s multimedia products. In 1996, Melinda left Microsoft to focus on her philanthropic work and family.


Jack Ma

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Jack Ma founded Alibaba Group in 1999. He has served as Alibaba’s executive chairman since May 2013, and previously as chairman and chief executive officer. Jack is also the founder of the Zhejiang-based Jack Ma Foundation. Jack founded Alibaba based on the belief that the Internet could democratize the playing field for all types of businesses, particularly small businesses. This tenet continues to underpin his vision for Alibaba, both in China and around the world.

In September 2016, Jack was named special adviser of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) for Youth Entrepreneurship and Small Business. He also served as chair of the 2016 B20 Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Development Taskforce, where he called for the establishment of an Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), an internet-based trading platform to help bring small businesses into the global economy and make it easier for them to expand trading capabilities worldwide.

Jack currently serves on the Board of SoftBank Group Corp., a Japanese corporation listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. He is also a member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum, a member of the Board of the Breakthrough Energy Ventures, chairman of the Zhejiang Chamber of Commerce, and chairman of the China Entrepreneur Club. In January 2016, he was named a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) advocate by the United Nations.

Jack graduated from Hangzhou Teacher's Institute with a major in English language education.


Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi

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His Excellency Mohammad Al Gergawi is the United Arab Emirates’ Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future.

In his capacity as Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, Al Gergawi led the development of the UAE National Agenda, Future Foresight Strategy and Federal Government Strategy. He also holds the position of Deputy Chairman of the UAE’s Ministerial Development Council, as well as Emirates Investment Authority, the UAE Federal Government’s sovereign wealth fund.

The Chairman of the Federal Smart Government Initiative as well as of the UAE Science, Technology and Innovation Committee, Al Gergawi also chairs the World Government Summit Organization, a global platform focused on shaping the future of governments and he is the Chairman of the UAE Council for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Dubai Future Foundation, he heads an entity tasked with implementing the Dubai Future Agenda, a strategy aimed at instilling a systematic focus on the city’s future development. AlGergawi is also the Co-chairman of the Global Future Councils, a forward-looking think tank in cooperation with the World Economic Forum.

Al Gergawi sits on the Boards of the UAE University and Abu Dhabi University and he is a board member of the International Advisory Council of American University of Beirut. He is an honorary fellow of London Business School, a founder of the Dubai Autism Centre and UAE Disabled Sports Federation and Vice Chairman of the Dubai Club for the Disabled.


Yuichiro Anzai

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Yuichiro Anzai is the former President, and Senior Advisor and Director of Center for Science Information Analysis, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Japan’s representative research funding agency. Dr. Anzai also serves as the chair of the Strategic Council for Artificial Intelligence Technology under the Cabinet Office, the director of the ‘Innovative Cyberspace Technology’ in the Public/Private R&D Investment Strategic Expansion PrograM (PRISM), and the program director of the ‘Cyberspace Technology with Big Data and Artificial Intelligence’ in the Cross-Ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP), both under the Cabinet Office. He is also the chair of the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO. From 2001 to 2009, Dr. Anzai was President of Keio University. Prior to that, he was Dean of the School of Science Technology (1993 to 2001) and Professor of Computer Science (starting in 1988) at Keio. He also served as Chairperson of the Central Council for Education. After receiving his PhD from Keio in 1974, Dr. Anzai was a postdoctoral research fellow (1976 to 1978) and visiting assistant professor (1981 to 1982) at Carnegie Mellon University, performing a research on human and machine learning.


Nikolai Astrup

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Mr Nikolai Astrup is Minister of International Development of Norway.

Astrup served as chair of the Standing Committee on Finance in the Norwegian Parliament 2017-2018. He was elected Member of Parliament in 2009 and leader of the Conservative Party in Oslo in 2012 and has previously been leader of the Oslo Norwegian Young Conservatives.

He holds a BSc in International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science and an MSc in European Politics and Governance, London School of Economics and Political Science.


Vinton G. Cerf

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Vinton G. Cerf is vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. He contributes to global policy development and continued spread of the Internet. Widely known as one of the "Fathers of the Internet," Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. He has served in executive positions at MCI, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and on the faculty of Stanford University.

Vint Cerf served as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) from 2000-2007 and has been a Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 1998. Cerf served as founding president of the Internet Society (ISOC) from 1992-1995. Cerf is a Foreign Member of the British Royal Society and Swedish Academy of Engineering, and Fellow of IEEE, ACM, and American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the International Engineering Consortium, the Computer History Museum, the British Computer Society, the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, the Worshipful Company of Stationers and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He has served as President of the Association for Computing Machinery, chairman of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) and completed a term as Chairman of the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology for the US National Institute of Standards and Technology. President Obama appointed him to the National Science Board in 2012.

Cerf is a recipient of numerous awards and commendations in connection with his work on the Internet, including the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, US National Medal of Technology, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, the Prince of Asturias Award, the Tunisian National Medal of Science, the Japan Prize, the Charles Stark Draper award, the ACM Turing Award, the Franklin Medal, Officer of the Legion d’Honneur and 29 honorary degrees. In December 1994, People magazine identified Cerf as one of that year’s "25 Most Intriguing People."


Fadi Chehadé

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Fadi Chehadé is a Partner at ABRY Partners in Boston, a middle-market private equity firm focused on media, communications, and digital businesses. Fadi is also a Senior Advisor to Prof. Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. His advisory role at the Forum is focused on public-private cooperation to address issues affecting the digital economy.

Fadi serves on the corporate boards of Sentry Data Systems and Interactions LLC, and the advisory boards of the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy, and the World Economic Forum’s Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He is a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he works with faculty and students to explore innovations in digital governance.

In 2016, Fadi concluded his 4-year tenure leading ICANN, the global authority managing the Internet’s logical infrastructure, which ensures ‘one’ Internet for the world. As President and CEO of ICANN, he led the globalization of the organization, strengthened its operations, and expanded the global trust and legitimacy of its transnational role. He also guided ICANN’s historic transition to an independent transnational institution governed jointly by private, public, and civic stakeholders.

Fadi has founded and led several companies in the digital space including: Vocado LLC acquired by Oracle in 2018 and Viacore purchased by IBM in 2006. He also founded and served as the first CEO of RosettaNet, an IT Industry Coalition establishing pioneering standards for eBusiness in the late 1990s.

Over the last 30 years, Fadi has held several industry posts at global corporations like AT&T, Ingram, and IBM, where he was General Manager of IBM Global Technology Services in the Middle East and Africa. He received an M.S. in Engineering Management from Stanford University and a B.S. in Computer Science summa cum laude from New York University.


Isabel Guerrero Pulgar

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Isabel Guerrero brings thirty years of experience in development to her role as co-founder and Executive Director of IMAGOGG. She has spent the last four years building IMAGOGG, a nonprofit organization that works with grassroots, social entrepreneurs and governments around the world. The goal is to scale up innovative solutions to challenging development problems. The current focus of IMAGOGG is bringing technological solutions to organizations at the Base of the Pyramid as well as changing development thinking.

In addition to leading IMAGOGG, she is a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Leadership Center at Sloan and teaches “Scaling up for Development Impact” at Harvard Kennedy School.

Isabel is an economist who worked at the World Bank for most of her professional life, including as VP for South Asia where she managed a 39 billion dollar portfolio between 2008 and 2013. Before that she was a Country Director for Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Peru and Paraguay.

Isabel received her MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and trained as a psychoanalyst at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute and the Peruvian Psychoanalytic Society. Isabel sits on the Board of the UN University and the Precensing Institute at MIT. She is also a frequent guest at CNN Dinero.


Marina Kaljurand

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Marina Kaljurand served as Estonian Foreign Minister from 2015 July – 2016 October.

She began her career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1991 and held several leadership positions, including Undersecretary for Legal and Consular Affairs (Legal Adviser), Undersecretary for Trade and Development Cooperation, Undersecretary for Political Affairs. She served as Ambassador of Estonia to the State of Israel, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Canada and the United States of America. Kaljurand was a member of Estonian Governmental delegation in negotiations with Russia Federation on withdrawal of Russian troops from Estonia and Border Agreements between Estonia and Russia. Kaljurand headed the legal working group at the Estonian accession negotiations to the European Union and was the Chief Negotiator in Estonian accession negotiations to the OECD.

Marina Kaljurand has served twice as the Estonian National Expert at the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security (GGE), in 2014-2015 and in 2016-2017.

Starting from March 1, 2017 Marina Kaljurand is the Chair of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace (GCSC).

Marina Kaljurand graduated cum laude from the Tartu University (1986, LLM). She has a professional diploma from the Estonian School of Diplomacy (1992) and MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University (1995).


Bogolo Kenewendo

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Hon. Bogolo J Kenewendo is the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry. She currently serves in Cabinet as a Minister and in Parliament as a Specially Elected Member. Honourable Kenewendo is the youngest member of both the current Cabinet and Parliament and is the youngest female Member of both institutions in the history of Botswana.

Ms Kenewendo is a trained trade and economic diplomacy professional with experience in sub Saharan Africa. She was a partner at Econsult Botswana, leading some consultancy work in Botswana and other Southern African countries, she later joined the Ministry of Trade in Ghana as a Trade Economist. Kenewendo has co-authored and contributed to many papers, was a frequent commentator on the Economics of Botswana and Southern Africa, and a host of a radio show called “The Multiplier Effect” and wrote a newspaper column named “Game Theory”.

Her areas of expertise include Trade and Investment Policy, Macroeconomic policy, public debt management and regulatory & institutional frameworks for policy formulation. She holds an MSc in International Economics from the University of Sussex (UK) through the prestigious Chevening Scholarship.

As a Member of Parliament, Kenewendo was the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence, Justice, Security and Government Assurance, and a member of the Parliamentary Committees on Finance and Estimates; Finance, Trade and Economic Development; and Public Accounts. She has also represented Botswana at the Inter Parliamentary Union (including the Parliamentary Committee on the WTO) and the Pan African Parliament.

In Parliament, Honourable Kenewendo successfully tabled a motion on “Reducing the cost and time associated with starting a business in Botswana”, which was recently passed into law under her stewardship as a Minister, and which will introduce an online business registration system. She further tabled motions on the protection of children’s rights including “The Alignment of the Penal Code to the Children’s Act” and “The creation of a sex offender’s registry”.

Hon Kenewendo’s voice is associated with inclusivity; inclusivity in development and ensuring services reach people in a timely manner as their share of the national cake. She strongly aligns herself with the SDG message of “Leave no one behind.”


Akaliza Keza Ntwari

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Akaliza is a tech entrepreneur that has founded two companies offering multimedia design and technology services. Akaliza has also volunteered her time with several organisations including kLab and Global Shapers. She is a founding member of Girls in ICT Rwanda - a group of female ICT entrepreneurs and professionals. In 2012, she was awarded the Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur in ICT Award from the Ministry of Youth & ICT. In 2014, she was inducted into the Microsoft 4Afrika Advisory Board. After graduating with a Master's degree from the Kobe Institute of Computing in Japan, Akaliza returned to Rwanda where she continues to offer her services as a multimedia consultant to clients around the world. She is particularly passionate about open source technology and its potential to postively impact ICT development in Africa.


Marina Kolesnik

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Marina Kolesnik is a serial entrepreneur, co-founder of some of Russia’s leading internet companies, including Mail.ru and Travel.ru. She is a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum.

Mrs. Kolesnik has held various leadership positions in technology companies, including Hopper (where she is currently) and DataArt. She was also a consultant at McKinsey & Co and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Doris Leuthard

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Doris Leuthard is head of Switzerland’s Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications. She previously held the position of President of the Swiss Confederation (2010 and 2017). Ms. Leuthard was elected to the Federal Council, the Swiss Government, in 2006 and assumed office as head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs. During this time she represented Switzerland at international organisations including the WTO, OECD, FAO and the World Bank and chaired the EFTA Council. Previously, she practiced law in Switzerland since 1991. She is a graduate of the University of Zurich.


Cathy Mulligan

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Dr. Cathy Mulligan is a Visiting Research Fellow at Imperial College Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering, a Senior Research Associate at University College London in Blockchain and a Fellow and Expert Member of the World Economic Forum’s Blockchain Council.

She has been active in researching blockchain since 2010 applying interdisciplinary skills in economics and computer science. Between 2012-2016 Catherine led the EPSRC grant “Sustainable Society Network+” within the Digital Economy program creating a broad international network applying digital technologies to achieve sustainability outcomes.

Prior to her academic career, Cathy gained 15 years’ international experience in the mobile telecommunications industry She has authored 7 books covering both the technology and economics of the communications industries including SAE/EPC & M2M/IoT. Cathy also served as the Vice Chairman of the ETSI ISG on Context Information Management (IoT) during 2017. She has advised several governments regarding their blockchain and 5G strategies. She is co-author of the UK Government Office for Science Report “Beyond Blockchain” and several World Economic Forum papers on the topic.


Edson Prestes

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Edson Prestes is Professor at Institute of Informatics of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. He is leader of the Phi Robotics Research Group, past head of the Theoretical Informatics Department, co-head of the Intelligent Robotics and Computation Vision CNPq Group and CNPq Research Fellow. He received his B.Sc. in Computer Science from the Federal University of Pará (1996), Brazil, and MSc (1999) and Ph.D. (2003) in Computer Science from Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.

Edson is IEEE Senior Member and Member of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE RAS) and IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA). Over the past years, he has been working in different international initiatives related to Standardisation, Humanitarian Activities, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Ethics. In these groups, Edson has been served in various roles as chair, vice-chair and member. For instance, he is chair of the IEEE RAS/SA P7007 – Ontological Standard for Ethically Driven Robotics and Automation Systems Working Group; vice-chair of the IEEE RAS/SA Ontologies for Robotics and Automation Working Group (ORA WG); founding chair of the IEEE South Brazil RAS Chapter; Fellow of the EP3 Foundation; member of The European AI Alliance; member of the Affective Computing and Embedding Values into Autonomous Intelligence Systems Committees at IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems; member of the IEEE RAS Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology and member of several IEEE RAS/SA Standardisation Working Groups.


Kira Radinsky

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As the chief scientist and the director of data science of eBay, Dr. Kira Radinsky is building the next generation predictive data mining, deep learning and natural language processing solutions that will transform eCommerce.

She co-founded SalesPredict, acquired by eBay in 2016, that was the leader in the field of predictive marketing building solutions leveraging large-scale data mining to predict sales conversions. One of the up-and-coming voices in the data science community, she is pioneering the field of medical data mining.

Dr. Radinsky gained international recognition for her work at Microsoft Research, where she developed predictive algorithms that recognized the early warning signs of globally impactful events, including political riots and disease epidemics. In 2013, she was named to the MIT Technology Review’s 35 Young Innovators Under 35, in 2015 as Forbes 30 under 30 rising stars in enterprise technology, and in 2016 selected as “woman of the year” by Globes. She is a frequent presenter at global tech events, including TEDx, Wired, Strata Data Science, Techcrunch and academic conferences, and she publishes in the Harvard Business Review.

Radinsky serves as a board member in: Israel Security Authorities, Maccabi Research Institute, and technology board of HSBC bank.

Dr. Radinsky also serves as visiting professor at the Technion, Israel’s leading science and technology institute, where she focuses on the application of predictive data mining in medicine.


Sophie Soowon Eom (Republic of Korea), Founder of Adriel AI and Solidware

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Sophie Eom is the Co-founder and CEO of Adriel AI, an AI marketing agency startup. She is also the co-founder and CEO of Solidware, a financial-technology startup that uses big data and machine learning to predict risk. In 2017 she was listed in Forbes “30 Under 30” in Asia.

Sophie holds a Masters degree in Finance from HEC Paris, and a Bachelors degree in Chemistry and Business from Seoul National University.


Nanjira Sambuli

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Nanjira Sambuli is a researcher, policy analyst and advocacy strategist interested in and working on understanding the unfolding impacts of ICT adoption and how those impact governance, innovation, entrepreneurship and societal culture, with a keen focus on gender implications.

She is currently the Digital Equality Advocacy Manager at the World Wide Web Foundation, where she leads advocacy efforts to promote digital equality in access to and use of the Web, with a particular focus on the Foundation’s Women’s Rights Online work. She previously worked at the iHub in Nairobi, where she provided strategic guidance for growth of technology innovation research in the East Africa region.

Nanjira is a member of DFID’s Digital Advisory Panel, board member at IRIN News, UK Citizens Online Democracy (mySociety) and Digitally Responsible Aid and served as a deputy on the United Nations High Level Panel for Women’s Economic Empowerment (2016-17).


Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah

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Dr Dhananjayan (Danny) Sriskandarajah is Secretary General and CEO of CIVICUS, the global civil society alliance headquartered in Johannesburg and with members in more than 180 countries. His previous roles include Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Interim Director of the Commonwealth Foundation, and Deputy Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research.

He writes extensively on topics such as migration, economic development and civil society, and is a regular media commentator on a range of topics, including contributing regularly to Al Jazeera, The Guardian, HuffPo and Weekend on the BBC World Service.

He is a Trustee of Comic Relief and International Alert, was a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Humanitarian Finance, and is a member of the Lead Group of Scaling Up Nutrition and the Independent Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society in England. Danny holds a degree from the University of Sydney, and an MPhil and DPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. Born in Sri Lanka and a national of Australia, Dr Sriskandarajah has lived and worked in five continents.


Jean Tirole

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Jean Tirole is chairman of the Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) and the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST, which he helped found in 2011). He is also affiliated with MIT, where he holds a visiting position, and with EHESS, and is a member of the French Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques. He has published over two hundred articles in international reviews, as well as twelve scientific books. His latest book, entitled Economics for the Common Good, is accessible to a wide audience. He was president of the Econometric Society in 1998 and of the European Economic Association in 2001.

He holds Honorary Doctorate degrees from eleven universities, and is an honorary member of a number of learned societies, including the United States National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received many honors, including the Yrjö Jahnsson prize of the European Economic Association in 1993, the gold medal of the CNRS in 2007, the inaugural BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award in economics, finance and management in 2008, and the Nemmers prize in 2014.

When awarding him solo the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2014 for his research on understanding and regulating markets, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences applauded Jean Tirole as “one of the most influential economists of our times”.


Amandeep Singh Gill, Executive Director, Secretariat of the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation

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Amandeep Singh Gill is India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1992. Apart from headquarters, he has served abroad at the Indian Missions in Tehran, Colombo and Geneva. From 2013-2016, he served as Head of the Disarmament and International Security Affairs Division in the Ministry of External Affairs. In 2017, he helped set up the National Task Force on Artificial Intelligence for India’s Economic Transformation.

Amandeep Gill is currently Chair of the Group of Governmental Experts of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) on emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapon systems. He serves on the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters.

Amandeep Gill has a B Tech in electronics and electrical communications from Panjab University, Chandigarh and an Advanced Diploma in French History and Language from Geneva University. His PhD degree from King’s College London is on Nuclear Learning in Multilateral Forums. During 2008-2009, he was a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Centre for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). His professional interests focus on science, security and international policy learning. His personal interests include creative writing, education, Yoga and sustainable agriculture.


Jovan Kurbalija, Executive Director, Secretariat of the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation

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Dr Jovan Kurbalija is the Founding Director of DiploFoundation and the Head of the Geneva Internet Platform. A former diplomat, Dr Kurbalija has a professional and academic background in international law, diplomacy, and information technology. He has been a pioneer in the field of cyber diplomacy since 1992 when he established the Unit for Information Technology and Diplomacy at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta.

Dr Kurbalija was a member of the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Internet Governance (2004-2005), special advisor to the Chairman of the UN Internet Governance Forum (2006-2010) and a member of the High Level Multistakeholder Committee for NETmunidal (2013-2014).

Since 1997 Dr Kurbalija’s research and articles on cyber diplomacy have shaped research and policy discussion on the impact of the Internet on diplomacy and international relations. His book, An Introduction to Internet Governance, has been translated into 9 languages and is used as a textbook for academic courses worldwide.

Dr Kurbalija lectures on e-diplomacy, digital policy, and Internet governance in academic and training institutions in many countries, including Austria (Diplomatic Academy of Vienna), Belgium (College of Europe), Switzerland (University of St. Gallen), Malta (University of Malta) and the United States (University of Southern California).

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