IGF 2019 WS #405 Shared Digital Europe - new vision for digital policymaking

Organizer 1: Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Organizer 2: Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 1: Mariana Valente, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Aleksander Tarkowski, Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Speaker 3: Sophie Bloemen, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Paul Keller, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Policy Question(s): 

How to create a high-level policy vision and framework that allows for inclusive and sustainable policy growth?
Can digital policy frameworks and strategies focus only on market issues and economic growth, or are more broad visions necessary?
What would a society-centric approach to digital policymaking look like? Does it differ from the human-centric approach, which is gaining popularity today?
How to balance market-focused policies with those that aim to shape the broader impact of digital technologies? Is a hybrid model for such policies possible?
How to create a policy framework that supports public interest and user rights?

Relevance to Theme: Our session will concern the issue of digital inclusion in the broadest possible sense. We will present a new vision and policy framework for digital policy developed in Europe as an alternative to the incumbent vision of the Digital Single Market (DSM). Our vision of Shared Digital Europe is based on a critique of the DSM model as being too focused on market growth and economic aspects of the digital, and thus losing focus on a broader range of social issues. We see our alternative vision as providing a more inclusive and sustainable basis for digital policy - both in Europe and beyond.

Our proposed model is, therefore, an example of more inclusive Internet governance - one that creates a frame that meaningfully engages not just business actors, but all other stakeholders. It raises issues of participation and inclusion in the policy process, and representation of all stakeholders living in societies affected by digital technologies.

Relevance to Internet Governance: Our session will concern a new policy frame that has been developed in an effort to find solutions to a range of challenges with digital policy and regulation. We believe that a new frame can guide policymakers and civil society organisations involved with digital policymaking in the direction of a more equitable and democratic digital environment, where basic liberties and rights are protected, where strong public institutions function in the public interest, and where people have a say in how their digital environment functions. As such, the theme of our workshop relates directly to the issue of Internet Governance, by presenting a set of high-level principles that should guide more equitable and sustainable digital policymaking.

Format: 

Break-out Group Discussions - Round Tables - 60 Min

Description: The goal of our session is to present an alternative vision for digital policymaking developed in Europe, called Shared Digital Europe, to elaborate it, and obtain feedback on its applicability in other regions of the world and for global Internet Governance.

The Shared Digital Europe vision and policy frame has been developed in an effort to find solutions to a range of challenges with digital policy and regulation. It is a collective effort of a group of European stakeholders, coming mainly from civil society organisations, public institutions and civic think tanks. We believe that a new frame can guide policymakers and civil society organisations involved with digital policymaking in the direction of a more equitable and democratic digital environment, where basic liberties and rights are protected, where strong public institutions function in the public interest, and where people have a say in how their digital environment functions. The frame is a response to a range of challenges, including: lack of control of (personal) data, marginalisation of public institutions and non-market actors, monopolisation of the Internet by large corporations, deterioration of online public debate, or lack of democratic oversight over the digital space.

The frame has been developed in order to more strongly embrace democratic values and to strive for equity and social justice. We need an understanding of the digital space that takes into account that it is a hybrid space, both a market as well as a public space where the commons can also thrive. To this end, the frame is built around four core principles: Enabling Self-Determination, Cultivating the Commons, Decentralising Infrastructure and Empowering Public Institutions.

During the session, after a short initial presentation (maximum 10 minutes) of the Shared Digital Europe framework (supported by handouts with brief overview of the frame), we will organize breakout group conversations. Each of the breakout groups will focus on one of the four above mentioned principles. During the breakout discussions, we want to map potential key policy interventions that could be made to secure a given principle. Results of discussions in each breakout group will be captured, and then transformed into a policy brief that summarises the debate. In addition, each breakout group will be asked whether this policy vision, developed by a range of European stakeholders, is applicable also in other regions, or to global Internet Governance.

The session will end with a short feedback round, followed by final remarks from the rapporteur.

Expected Outcomes: We expect following outcomes from our session:
Opportunity to present and obtain feedback on our vision and policy framework for Shared Digital Europe
Feedback on the applicability of the framework and its principles to digital policymaking in other regions and in global Internet Governance
Engagement of stakeholders from other sectors with this vision developed and stewarded by civil society actors
Scoping of specific policy recommendations for each of the four principles of the framework
We plan to share the outcomes of the session in the form of a short policy brief that will be published on the Shared Digital Europe website.

Discussion Facilitation: 

We have chosen the Breakout Sessions formula in order to support a range of deeper conversations among workshop participants. The conversations will be divided using the four principles of the Shared Digital Europe framework - one conversation per principle. Each conversation will be facilitated by one of the organizers or speakers, serving as moderator. If sufficient people are present online, we will aim to engage them in an online coversation on the issue. Finally, we will use a canvas-type handout to collect insight from each breakout conversation and present it in the short, final feedback round.

Online Participation: 

We will make sure that statements and feedback from online participants will receive equal attention as on-site interventions. Our Online Moderator will work with the Onsite Moderator to ensure that the online voices are represented throughout the session. Additionally, we will promote the session beforehand through social media (Twitter in particular) and aim to solicit responses to main questions also through these channel. These will be shared during the session as well.

SDGs: 

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
GOAL 12: Responsible Production and Consumption
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions