We will be at IGF 2020 to present the Global Citizens’ Dialogue’s results

Governance issues are at the core of people’s digital human rights amidst the COVID-19 crisis but also for the future. It’s time to take action. Under the overarching theme “Internet for human resilience and solidarity”, Missions Publiques will present the results of its Global Citizens’ Dialogue on the Future of the Internet to the Internet Governance Forum on November 4th, 2020.

Held throughout the month of October, the Global Citizens’ Dialogue gave citizens from 77 countries across the globe the opportunity to speak their mind about what they think would make a better, more ethical and resilient internet.

Why citizens?

Because we firmly believe that Internet governance starts with its users, first and foremost. Because we believe that people, wherever they come from and whatever their education and digital knowledge, have what it takes to make policymaking stronger and healthier. Why now? Because we know that on average men are 21% more likely to have access to the internet than women (1), that at least ⅓ of the world’s children don’t have the technology they need to access remote learning (2) and that 76% of people worldwide worry about false information or fake news being used as a weapon (3) (Access Now). Amidst the crisis, leaving no one behind means leaving no one offline.

From Fiji to Hungary, South-Africa to Argentina, Yemen to Timor Leste and from Russia to Morocco, citizens from all walks of life worked diligently and joined the global conversation about the future of Internet. Some dialogues lasted over two days, either in face-to-face dialogues or through online sessions. Some citizens participated from home, some traveled up to three hours to come to the venue (in Benin for example), while others had to experience a deliberation in the open and defying the rain. Wherever they were, whatever the quality of their internet connection and their level of digital literacy, they discussed the future of data ownership, disinformation, the digital public sphere, the digital identity during COVID-19 but also governing over artificial intelligence. Their recommendations, fears and hopes will be presented on November 4, 2020 to the Internet Governance Forum by Missions Publiques.

IGF 2020: bringing citizens’ recommendations to decision-makers

This year, the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum will be hosted online by the United Nations under the overarching theme: Internet for human resilience and solidarity.

The Forum is annually held and aims to bring various stakeholder groups to the table to exchange information and share good practices. It informs and inspires those who have decision-making mandates and facilitates a common understanding of how to maximize Internet opportunities and address risks and challenges. Convened annually by the United Nations Secretary-General, the IGF also gives stakeholders from developing countries the opportunity to engage in the debate on Internet governance.

We think that the voices of one main actor are missing from these annual meetings: those of global citizens. As Michael Roth, German Minister of State for Europe at the German Federal Foreign Office, said during “We, the Internet”’s press conference, “Citizens are not only consumers and recipients of this technology but also actors and political participants”.

On November 4th, Missions Publiques will be at the Open Forum’s session #16 on Deliberating on Internet Governance. We will showcase the results and key outcomes of the global deliberation to stakeholders and decision-makers for national and global impact. We will ask decision-makers what they expect to do in response to our global results, and how they anticipate implementing citizens’ recommendations in global digital policymaking.

Meet us at IGF´s Open Forum on November 4th, 13:20 – 14:20 UTC, Session #16.

Putting stakeholders in citizens’ shoes

Missions Publiques will also be at the Pre-Event on November 3, where people will gain direct insight into the Global Citizens’ Dialogue on the Future of the Internet by experiencing key sessions of the Deliberation Day:

  • Digital identity: how should we manage our data? Who should own them? What about the balance between individual privacy and collective security?
  • Digital public sphere: Access to information has grown exponentially. At the same time, many challenges have arisen like disinformation (“fake news”) or cyber bullying. How can we ensure the high quality of online discussion? Do we need to moderate the contents?

Our goal is to make the life of citizens better, by changing the way we take collective decisions.

See you at IGF 2020.

(1) Webfoundation.org
(3) The Edelman Trust Barometer, 2020: https://time.com/5768725/edelman-trust-barometer-2020/  
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