More and more of us seem to live our lives today in equal parts in the physical world and in cyberspace. From public discussion to education, to catching-up with friends and online commerce, a sizable portion of our social interactions now happens online. But while we have millennia of experience in managing our relations in the physical world, governance of the Internet is an area nearly as new as the web itself.
For the past 13 years, the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has been the place where stakeholders from all walks of life can meet as equals and freely discuss the most burning issues in Internet governance.
With a Secretariat hosted by UN DESA, the IGF does not have decision-making mandates, but it does inform and inspire those who do. It facilitates a common understanding of how to maximize Internet opportunities and minimize its risks and challenges.
The fourteenth annual meeting of the IGF will be hosted by the Government of Germany in Berlin from 25 to 29 November 2019, to discuss the overarching theme of ‘’One World. One Net. One Vision.’’ More than 3,000 participants from different stakeholder groups, including some of the most prominent authorities on global Internet governance, will attend the Forum.
The discussions will revolve around the three priority themes of data governance, digital inclusion and security, safety, stability & resilience. In addition, the Best Practice Forums, led by the Internet community, will share experiences on big data, the Internet of things, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, gender and access and local content. With 18 Dynamic Coalitions and 116 national and regional IGF initiatives, the Forum’s programme will have something for everyone.
The Forum will discuss how digital frontier technologies can benefit our economies and societies, bringing us closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The IGF community will also consider a growing number of concerns and challenges that are eroding public trust in cyberspace. The increasing prevalence of cyber-attacks, data and privacy breaches, and the proliferation of hate speech and overly-restrictive forms of censorship, among other emerging challenges, threaten to undermine the beneficial impact of the Internet.
The Forum will conclude with forward-looking key messages from its main sessions and workshops and a closing ceremony to thank the host government and welcome the host of the 15th IGF – Poland.