IGF 2019 Pre-Event #34 IGF crash-course on emerging technologies

International Chamber of Commerce; The Walt Disney Company


In today’s world, we are faced with not only the record pace with which new technologies emerge, but also with the exponentially growing demand for access to technology, online content, services, and tools. These emerging technologies are frequently headlines on the news, on the top policymakers’ agendas, and dominate business conversations. Year after year, new and emerging technologies are also at the front and center of policy discussions at the IGF.

At the same time, IGF participants have very different levels of familiarity and understanding of how some of these innovations function. While some might be experts on emerging technology topics, others are just beginning to engage in discussions. Additionally, some participants might be familiar with one particular field but may not have a strong understanding of another.

Given the prevalence and importance of emerging technology topics at IGF, there is a need to establish a common foundation for policy discussions throughout the IGF week. Having experts provide first-hand information about the technologies from a wide-range of perspectives could help equip participants with the basic tools needed to more confidently engage in dialogue and debate on the following IGF days, and to also more effectively participate in IGF.

For this purpose, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS) initiative is proposing a series of short, introductory presentations - so-called ‘crash courses’ - on the latest technologies, to discuss their functions, use, potential, and impact on economy and society. The session will consider the following topics:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Blockchain
  • 5G
  • IoT
  • Smart cities

The session will give participants the opportunity to hear from senior industry experts about the five above-mentioned emerging technologies topics. Each expert will break down his/her topic and will explain it in a simple TED Talk manner for about 15 minutes, followed by a quick Q&A session. Such a session could attract a great amount of attention at IGF, both from newcomers and more experienced participants. At the same time, the session would prove useful for participants across stakeholder groups.