As per its terms of reference, the Panel engaged widely with ‎governments, private sector, academia, the technical ‎community, civil society, and inter-governmental organisations ‎across the world. The aims of its engagement strategy were to ‎provide stakeholders with an opportunity to contribute ‎meaningfully to the reflection process of the Panel; catalyse ‎multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary cooperation on digital ‎issues; and co-create the report’s recommendations with ‎stakeholders, with a view to building buy-in for their ‎implementation. ‎

The engagement strategy was guided by three main tenets: ‎
‎• Breadth and inclusivity: The Panel aimed to consult as ‎broadly as ‎
possible across regions, demographics, topics, sectors and ‎disciplines. ‎
The process strove to be as inclusive as possible of diverse ‎groupings. ‎
‎• Depth: The Panel worked with experts and conducted ‘deep ‎dives’ on ‎
specific focus areas through virtual or in-person consultations ‎as well as ‎
bilateral interviews. ‎
‎• Interdisciplinarity: Many digital challenges are currently ‎addressed in ‎
policy or agency silos; to promote more holistic approaches, the ‎Panel’s ‎
activities invited interdisciplinary and multisectoral perspectives ‎to the ‎
table. ‎

The Panel was conscious of the importance of avoiding ‎duplication of efforts and ‘consultation fatigue’ amongst digital ‎stakeholders. Building on existing networks and policy forums, ‎engagement activities took place as close as possible to ‎stakeholders on the ground. The Panel also consciously ‎assumed the learnings of previous commissions and existing ‎working groups while also harnessing opportunities to connect ‎the issues in new ways. ‎

Conducting a global consultation in the span of few months ‎would not have been possible without the immense support of ‎dozens of organisations and governments worldwide who lent ‎their resources and networks to the Panel. ‎

Engagement proceeded in two phases: in the ‘listening’ phase, ‎in the autumn of 2018, the Panel actively collected stakeholders’ ‎concerns and ideas on digital cooperation. Feedback from ‎stakeholders was fed into the Panel’s scoping of its work and ‎formed the basis of the nine “enablers of digital cooperation” ‎articulated mid-way through the Panel process. In the spring of ‎‎2019, the focus shifted to ‘road-testing’ the Panel’s emerging ‎recommendations. Stakeholders from across sectors were ‎invited to comment on and critique the draft recommendations ‎with a view to improving them. ‎

Overall, the Panel and its Secretariat carried out 125 ‎engagement activities; these included participating in 44 digital ‎policy events and organising 10 thematic workshops (on ‎subjects such as values and principles, digital trust and security, ‎data, digital health), 28 briefings to various stakeholder ‎communities, 11 visits to digital hubs and capitals, 22 virtual ‎meetings with subject-matter experts, and 10 townhall meetings ‎open to the public. In addition, the Panel held a large number of ‎bilateral meetings with a variety of stakeholders. ‎

A virtual window for consultation was opened via the Panel’s ‎website. In October 2018, an open Call for Contributions was ‎launched; by January 2019, when the call closed, 167 ‎stakeholders had sent written submissions. Additionally, an ‎informal public opinion survey was set up to capture the views ‎of stakeholders on the digital issues of greatest concern. ‎

In total, the Panel and its Secretariat engaged with over 4,000 ‎individuals representing 104 states, 80 international ‎organisations, 203 private sector companies, 125 civil society ‎organisations, 33 technical organisations, and 188 think tanks ‎and academic institutions. ‎

Our analysis of approximately 1200 core participants in our ‎engagement process finds that 40% were women; 3% were ‎aged under 30; and the regional breakdown was 20% North ‎America, 19% Europe, 13% Sub-Saharan Africa, 8% Latin ‎America and the Caribbean, 7% South and Central Asia, 7% ‎Southeast and East Asia, and 4% Middle East (the rest had a ‎global remit). ‎

These results show that we did not wholly avoid a skew towards ‎male and Western voices, though they compare favourably with ‎many such exercises in the technology sector. They indicate the ‎continuing need for digital cooperation mechanisms to make ‎specific efforts to ensure inclusivity, and highlight in particular ‎the challenge of bringing the “digital native” youth generation ‎into digital policymaking. ‎

The Panel would like to thank the following partners for their ‎generous assistance and support to its engagement process: ‎

Access Now ‎
African Union Commission ‎
Alibaba Group ‎
APEC China Business Council (ACBC) ‎
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina ‎
Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) ‎
Association for Progressive Communication (APC) ‎
Government of Benin ‎
Botnar Foundation ‎
Business Council for the United Nations ‎
Consulate General of Canada in San Francisco ‎
China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) ‎
Data2x ‎
Digital Empowerment Foundation ‎
Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) ‎
Diplo Foundation ‎
Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations and ‎Other International Organisations in Geneva ‎
Direction interministérielle du numérique et du système ‎d’information et de communication de l’Etat, France ‎
Freedom Online Coalition ‎
Gateway House ‎
Geneva Internet Platform ‎
Global Commission on Stability of Cyberspace ‎
Global Partners Digital ‎
Global Partnership on Sustainable Development Data ‎
Global Tech Panel ‎
GSM Association (GSMA) ‎
Hangzhou Normal University ‎
Impact Hub Basel ‎
Infosys ‎
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)‎
International Telecommunications Union (ITU) ‎
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) ‎
JD.com ‎
JSC National ICT Holding Zerde ‎
Government of Kazakhstan ‎
King’s College London ‎
Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy ‎
New America Foundation ‎
Nokia ‎
Observer Research Foundation ‎
Office of Denmark’s Technology Ambassador ‎
Omidyar Foundation ‎
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development ‎‎(OECD) ‎
Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) ‎
Schwarzman Scholars, Tsinghua University ‎
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore ‎
Stanford University ‎
Tata Consultancy Services, Mumbai ‎
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development ‎‎(UNCTAD) ‎
United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and ‎the Caribbean (ECLAC) ‎
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization ‎‎(UNESCO) ‎
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) ‎
United Nations Global Pulse ‎
United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) ‎
United Nations Office at Geneva ‎
United Nations University ‎
University of California, Berkeley ‎
University of Geneva ‎
Verizon Wireless ‎
Web Summit ‎
Western Balkans Digital Summit ‎
Wonder Ventures ‎
World Bank ‎
World Economic Forum ‎
World Economic Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial ‎Revolution, San Francisco ‎
World Government Summit, Dubai ‎
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) ‎
World Internet Conference ‎
World Summit AI