IGF 2019 Capacity Building for Better Blockchain Governance


Dynamic Coalition on Blockchain Technologies

Break-out Group Discussions - Flexible Seating - 90 Min


In this session, the Dynamic Coalition on Blockchain Technologies invites you to participate in an interactive discussion and strategy creation session for capacity building around blockchain technology and explore the connection between broad capacity building and the potential for better blockchain governance. After an initial explanation of the intended process and goals, session participants will break out into small discussion groups. Led by group facilitators, the discussion groups will engage in a design sprint exercise in which they design potential methods for capacity building among the general public to enable greater understanding of and interaction with blockchain technology. The groups will then report out to the larger group, and then rotate for a second iteration on a prior group's design. Thus, a total of two design sprints will be undertaken by each group. The goal of the session is to produce concrete proposals that the DC membership can build out over the next year in order to deepen our connection with the broader IGF community, increase blockchain technology capacity among the general public, and ultimately contribute to better blockchain governance.


Carla L. Reyes, Michigan State University College of Law & Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
Primavera de Filippi, CNRS & Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University
Constance Choi, CNRS & COALA


Carla L. Reyes, Michigan State University College of Law & Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, Moderator In light of the below description of the session, we are still working to recruit other moderators. The goal will be to facilitate small working-group discussions to generate ideas for intersectional activity around capacity building in the blockchain technology space. We anticipate that both volunteers from the DC membership and outside participants will act as mini-discussion moderators. Carla Reyes will act only as a facilitator of the overall session. Each table will have a rapporteur as well so that we can bring together all the discussion for the final outputs from the session. This session format is novel for us at IGF, so we don't yet have all the moderators confirmed.


GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 12: Responsible Production and Consumption

1. Key Policy Questions and Expectations

How can the Dynamic Coalition on Blockchain Technologies support improvements in blockchain governance? 

How can the Dynamic Coalition on Blockchain Technologies support efforts of the IGF community to use blockchain technology to advance Internet governance? 

How does the agenda of the Dynamic Coalition on Blockchain Technologies overlap and/or intersect with the agenda of other dynamic coalitions? 

2. Summary of Issues Discussed

The session was an interactive design thinking workshop in which the roughly 50 participants split into five groups and worked through a design process for identifying governance topics important to members of the DC community, then brainstorm potential steps the DC on blockchain technologies could take to help resolve or improve those governance areas, then evaluate those brainstormed ideas according to a set of specific criteria designed to maximize potential completion of outputs by IGF 2020 and to maximize the usefulness of the output for both the DC on blockchain technologies and for the broader IGF community. The groups discussed data protection, education and capacity building, creating a multistakeholder framework and principles to guide government adoption of blockchain technologies, a blockchain domain name system, and how to best explore the role of blockchain technologies for the broader goals of Internet governance. 

3. Policy Recommendations or Suggestions for the Way Forward

In the end, the working groups identified five projects for continued work in 2020: creating an interactive map of data protection and privacy considerations related to blockchain technologies and its applications, creation of educational materials for the general public (both basic explanatory and interactive materials and resources list), developing a set of principles and guidelines for multistakeholder evaluation of government-led blockchain technology initiatives, a blockchain domain name system, and tools for better exploring the potential contributions of blockchain technology for Internet governance. Each group identified a project leader and the next step to take in order to launch work on the output. The DC on blockchain technologies will create working group sub-list serves, and circulate information on what each group intends to do and how to join the work via the main list serve.

4. Other Initiatives Addressing the Session Issues

It became clear during the session that as the dynamic coalition on blockchain technologies develops these outputs, the DC must consult with the DC on accessibility and the DC on public libraries in order to ensure the outputs are accessible to the broader community and that the DC works with the key institutions that help build community capacity (e.g., libraries). 

5. Making Progress for Tackled Issues

The focus of the session was to identify issues that the DC could contribute meaningful work toward advancement and progress. The DC must now execute the plans designed during this very interactive session. 

6. Estimated Participation

According to the sign in sheets the DC asked each participant to sign, about 47 participants worked among five working groups and at least four online participants offered interventions. 18 of those participants were women. 

7. Reflection to Gender Issues

The session did not overtly address gender issues, except by ensuring that each working group contained at least one or more women among its participants. The governance issues discussed, however, did not overtly consider gender issues.