Organizer 1: Sophie Tomlinson, ICC BASIS
Organizer 2: James Howe, International Trade Centre
Organizer 3: Moctar Yedaly, African Union Commission
Organizer 4: Imane Bello, INTERNET SOCIETY YOUTH@IGF
Organizer 5: Thomas Grob, Deutsche Telekom AG
Speaker 1: James Howe, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Moctar Yedaly, Intergovernmental Organization, African Group
Speaker 3: Cornelia Kutterer, Private Sector, Eastern European Group
Speaker 4: Chris Wilson, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 5: Katitza Rodriguez, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Thomas Grob, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Sophie Tomlinson, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Imane Bello, Technical Community, Eastern European Group
Other - 90 Min
Format description: Fishbowl session – a roundtable or semi-circle set-up would be preferred.
In an increasingly interconnected world, the ability to transfer digital information across borders has become an essential component whether to enabling economic growth, facilitate access to education, healthcare or other social services or just simply empower people across the world to access information and connect with each-other. This can be easily observed in the spread of e-commerce, the increasingly global nature supply chains and via business and consumer use of the cloud and other emerging technologies. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have the most to gain from the cross-border data flows that support global trade, but at the same time, are the most vulnerable to the challenges they pose. How can we better understand data flows? How do they contribute to our common development goals? Where do the threats and challenges lie and how can we overcome them? These are the questions this workshop aims to explore, in an effort to find answers to the overarching policy issue: how can cross-border flows of data be facilitated to connect SMEs in the global supply chain, while also preserving privacy and other fundamental rights, protecting individual and public safety, and respecting national sovereignty?
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals
The issue: In an increasingly interconnected world, the ability to transfer digital information across borders has become an essential component whether to enabling economic growth, facilitate access to education, healthcare or other social services or just simply empower people across the world to access information and connect with each-other. This can be easily observed in the spread of e-commerce, the increasingly global nature supply chains and via business and consumer use of the cloud and other emerging technologies. The workshop aims to bring IGF participants closer to identifying policy best practices around enabling global flows of data for inclusive economic growth and enabling the participation of SMEs in global trade. It will also consider what policy elements are needed to ensure these flows are secure, respect human rights and are in the service of equality and inclusion. The workshop will uncover how cross-border data flows impact SMEs, what data-enabled technologies do SMEs use their day-to-day activities, how cross-border data flows help enable SMEs to join global trade flows as well as discuss fundamental data protection and privacy considerations. Participants will be prompted to consider, what kind of data SMEs use and provide, how data is being gathered and processed along the supply chain and who are the actors involved. The workshop will raise and aim to answer questions around data collection, transfer and processing and explore economic, technical and human rights considerations.
The format: The session will be organized in a fishbowl format, which is a technique especially beneficial for ventilating “hot topics”, such as data governance or sharing ideas or information from a variety of perspectives, as this workshop aims to do. Invited speakers will sit in a group in the middle of or facing the audience (depending on the room possibilities) and in their midst will have an empty chair – this is the fishbowl. Audience members, sitting outside and observing the fishbowl will be invited to join in by occupying the empty chair at any given point in the conversation where they wish to add a comment, ask a question or challenge the current speaker. The moderator will guide the conversation through the various stages and facilitate interaction.
The conversation: Each invited speaker will be asked to address one of the three main elements planned for the workshop: 1) data-enabled digital transformation of SMEs, 2) data flows connecting SMEs in a global supply chain, 3) privacy, data protection and human rights considerations. They will also be asked highlight the main policy considerations, possible obstacles and desired responses specific to their topic. Following each speaker’s presentation the floor will be open for audience members to take the empty seat in the fishbowl and provide further perspectives, to complement or challenge the speaker’s point of view. Online participation will be aided by a remote moderator, who will be occupying the empty seat to signal the wish of a remote participant to join the conversation.
Expected Outcomes: The workshop will provide participants with an improved understanding of both the technical and policy elements necessary to support cross-border data flows to enable the participation of SMEs in global trade. The summary of the workshop will feature a list of case studies mentioned by speakers and participants and will provide a menu of good practices for policy approaches. Lastly, the workshop will aim to highlight areas for future action and potential questions to be explored in future IGF sessions.
The list below provides examples of the ways discussion will be facilitated amongst speakers, audience members, and online participants and ensure the session format is used to its optimum:
Seating: Participants will sit in a circle or semi-circle (room permitting), with seats in the middle for the speakers. An empty chair will be placed next to the speakers. Audience members will be invited to occupy the empty seat at selected times of the discussion, to provide further or new perspectives or challenge the speakers. This will facilitate discussion by creating an enabling and comfortable atmosphere where all speakers and participants are given an equal footing in the discussion. The moderator will have a prominent seating position and may walk around the room to engage participants.
Preparation: A preparation call will be organised for all speakers, moderators and co-organisers in advance of the workshop so that everyone has a chance to meet, share views and prepare for the session. Given the varied background of discussants and audience members, organisers will advertise the session and introduce questions to animate discussion on social media in the run up to the workshop. This will introduce the subject, encourage conversation and create links to other dialogues on the topic taking place in other forums to create awareness and help prepare in-person and remote participants for the workshop. The moderator will have questions prepared in advance to encourage interaction among invited experts and between participants, if conversation were to stall.
Moderator: The moderator will be an expert and well-informed on the topic and experienced in animating multistakeholder discussions. During the discussions questions will be incorporated to encourage responses from participants and everyone will be given equal weight and equal opportunity to intervene. Walk-in participants will be encouraged to participate in the discussion by the moderator who will seek contributions from participants in person and remotely. The remote moderator will play an important role in sharing the ideas of remote speakers/participants and will encourage their interventions through video.
Reporting: Following the discussion, participants will be encouraged to share their key takeaways from the session through online tools and social media. This will help ensure diverse perspectives raised during the discussion are included in the reporting.
Relevance to Theme: The workshop directly addresses one of the main themes of IGF 2019: data governance. It aims to bring IGF participants closer to identifying policy best practices around enabling global flows of data for inclusive economic growth and consider what policy elements are needed to ensure these flows are secure, respect human rights and are in the service of equality and inclusion. The workshop will uncover how cross-border data flows impact SMEs. What data-enabled technologies do SMEs use in their day-to-day activities? How do cross-border data flows enable SMEs to join global trade flows? What are the data protection and privacy considerations that must be kept in mind?
Relevance to Internet Governance: When talking about the Internet, either in the context of its benefits, challenges or overall governance, a conversation about data cannot be avoided. Data sits in the front and centre of economic opportunities, technological innovation, social progress and sustainable developments. It is, at the same time the main component of the more contentious issues like security, privacy, or localization. Getting the policy right around the governance on cross-border data flows is essential to safeguard the open, free and unfragmented Internet, and uphold its safe, secure, sound and resilient architecture. Considerations around data governance should be built starting from commonly shared global values and principles, developed in collaboration with all stakeholders. This workshop will look at what policy elements are necessary to maintain and expand cross-border data flows, as a trusted channel for inclusive economic growth. It will also aim to identify and provide options for policy response to the main challenges posed.
Ahead of the session, the remote moderator will be involved throughout the workshop planning and organization process to advise on where remote participation will need to be facilitated. During the session, the online platform will be used to animate the discussion and ensure participants in the room and online will have an equal opportunity to engage. The online moderator will occupy the empty seat on behalf of online participants at any given time they wish to join the conversation. The moderator will frequently communicate with the online moderator throughout the session to ensure remote participants’ views/questions are reflected. The moderator and speakers will be encouraged to follow the online participation tool throughout the workshop themselves, so that issues brought forward by participants in the chat can be carried throughout discussion. Participants in the room will also be encouraged to use their mobile devices to connect and interact with remote participants. Social media will also be used to generate wider discussion and create momentum for online participation as the workshop is unfolding. Co-organizers will ensure that the workshop is promoted in advance to the wider community to give remote participants the opportunity to prepare questions and interventions in advance and to generate interest in the workshop. Organizers will also explore the possibility of connecting with remote hubs around the globe and organize remote interventions from participants.
Proposed Additional Tools: Organizers will explore the use of audio-visual material (i.e. videos, PowerPoint slides, images, infographics) throughout the workshop to animate the session and aid those whose native language may not be English.
Although discussion and participants contributions will ultimately drive the agenda, the following will be used to guide conversation:
- The session will start with the introduction of invited speakers and a short ice-breaker presentation by the moderator, to set the scene and map out the journey the conversation will take (10 minutes)
- Speakers will then take the floor in turn to present the above-mentioned topics, each followed by input from the audience (60 minutes).
- At the end of the session the moderator, with the help of the rapporteur will summarize the discussion and ask the speakers and audience to comment on the session’s key takeaways (20 mins).
In an increasingly interconnected world, the ability to transfer digital information across borders has become an essential component whether to enabling economic growth, facilitate access to education, healthcare or other social services or just simply empower people across the world to access information and connect with each-other. SMEs have the most to gain from the cross-border data flows that support global trade, but at the same time, are the most vulnerable to the challenges they pose.
How can we better understand data flows?
How do they contribute to our common development goals?
Where do the threats and challenges lie and how can we overcome them?
This workshop aims to explore these questions, in an effort to find answers to the overarching policy issue: how can cross-border flows of data be facilitated to connect SMEs in the global supply chain, while also preserving privacy and protecting personal data?
The workshop's six panelists were grouped in groups of two. Each pair addressed one of three main elements: 1) data-enabled digital transformation of SMEs, 2) data flows connecting SMEs in a global supply chain, 3) privacy and data protection considerations.
The workshop provided an improved understanding of both the practical and policy elements necessary to support cross-border data flows to enable participation of SMEs in global trade. Speakers discussed the potential impact that digital transformation is and can have on SMEs. They discussed the right policy environment that can enable SMEs to engage in international trade, as well as highlighted some examples of SMEs that are using ICTs to grow and expand their business across borders. They also grappled with the challenges SMEs are facing trying to navigate the complex regulatory environment arising from data protection and privacy concerns.
Some of the main takeaways were:
- SMEs comprise a huge part of the global labor force, make up half of businesses globally, and have enormous potential for bringing new avenues of economic opportunity, through e-commerce for example.
- Cross-border e-commerce is important for SMEs and ICT is a critical enabler of that activity by providing connections to business counterparts and customers up and down the supply chain.
- Navigating complex regulatory frameworks is a significant challenge for SMEs. International regulations around data protection and privacy are complex and increasingly fragmented.
- The regulatory environment around data protection is complex and is causing new digital trade barriers for SMEs.
- Not all regulation is burdensome and companies can utilize data protection and privacy regulation as an opportunity to build trust and build confidence of consumers.
- UK’s Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) published results of a national survey of around 1,000 SMEs, which asked the degree to which data restrictions were important in hampering the development of e-commerce. 25% of companies involved in the delivery of cross border services or the sale of intangible goods noted significant issues with navigating regulations.
- McKinsey report pointed to the massive increase in data flows across borders and estimated that this had “raised world GDP by 10.1 percent over what would have resulted in a world without any cross-border flows”.
- Data Access Map and related initiatives from Open Data Institute
Policymakers should strive to set favourable conditions for the digital economy and encourage data-driven innovation, while at the same time taking into account the interest of individuals and businesses alike in the protection of their personal data regardless of where it is stored, processed or transferred. Policymakers should work to ensure all citizens and companies can realize the full potential of the Internet as a platform for innovation and economic growth, by adopting policies that facilitate the adoption of new technologies and global movement of data that supports them.
Emphasis was placed on the need for streamlining data protection and privacy regulations and approaches.
Overall 50 participants, approximately 15 women.
It was mentioned that ICT is a powerful tool for women to engage in e-commerce. The CEO of GoCoop shared his experience as an SME in India. GoCoop is a platform and marketplace designed to connect artisans, weaver co-operatives and clusters directly with markets. GoCoop illustrated how ICTs can and are enabling and empowering women across India and the world to engage in e-commerce.