IGF 2020 WS #158 Convergence of emerging technologies for digital trust.


Organizer 1: Technical Community, Eastern European Group
Organizer 2: Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization

Speaker 1: van Kranenburg Rob , Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Rojszczak Marcin, Technical Community, Eastern European Group
Speaker 3: Manion Sean , Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Minaricova Maria, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 5: De La Peña Sissi, Private Sector, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Other - 90 Min
Format description: Panel followed by Round Table U-Shaped Debate

Policy Question(s)

• What internet governance policies are most relevant for endorsing technological convergence between AI, blockchain and IoT in order to enhance waning digital trust? • How can internet governance policies and approaches help unlock potential of the data driven digital economy that will increasingly employ emerging technologies? • What internet governance strategies are most relevant for endorsing technological convergence and automated trust infrastructure enabled by emerging technologies? • How can internet governance policies support sustainable growth of digital economy by drawing on benefits of emerging technologies? • How can internet governance policies supporting technological convergence contribute to the global economic recovery following Covid19 pandemic?

The session is an opportunity for stakeholders to prompt a multidisciplinary discussion on potential internet governance policies and solutions that might address challenges faced by the emerging technologies before they can achieve efficient technological and regulatory convergence. The session will explore challenges stemming from requirements of enhanced connectivity, (including fast 5G cellular connectivity), common industry standards and interoperability. The session is also an opportunity to instigate collaborative approach to fostering favourable internet environment to enhance emerging technologies and digital trust.


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


As the internet and digital economy expand, trust remains a foundational principle for the global economy. In the realm of global internet-based digital economy, digital distrust is a new type of digital divide. Lack of trust in the context of digital economy means higher costs, wasted time and loss of opportunities. Adequate internet governance policies and regulatory oversight can improve digital trust and help level out digital trust inequalities among online communities. Establishing stronger digital trust requires prioritization of security and development of systems and mechanisms that ensure transparency and accountability. How can emerging technologies be employed to enhance trust and to build in automated trust infrastructure into the digital realm of the global economy, based on converging technologies like blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI)? An integrated application of these technologies offers a new framework of accountability, auditability, transparency and equity. It can be a solution that restores waning digital trust and results in new opportunities and new business models. Mutual reinforcement of these technologies can boost their respective efficiencies, address their respective shortcomings and further their adoption. This technology convergence can help tackle growing uncertainties over rapid technological advancements, which are sometimes perceived to be unaccountable and unchecked. Combined, these technologies have the potential to offer greater digital accountability, auditability and transparency. IoT can facilitate multiple data streams and increase efficiencies of data collection, AI´s boost is in its computational power and intelligent data analytics and blockchain can provide transparent and cryptographically secure real-time insight and auditability of data sets. Enhanced data security, integrity and privacy, increased efficiencies of distributed governance, inclusive data business models, data collection efficiencies and intelligent and automated processes are only a few benefits brought by new technologies. Convergence of these technologies can unlock new potential of digital data-based economy and address digital trust deficit. This would be particularly relevant in aiding recovery of the economies affected by Covid19 pandemic.

Expected Outcomes

The purpose of this session is to induce collaboration and dialogue on how to, through adequate internet governance approaches, facilitate convergence of emerging technologies in order to reinforce digital trust and unlock the potential of data driven digital economy. The session aims to recognise growing digital distrust and its implications for digital economy. The session also seeks to recognise the importance of enhancing digital trust with convergence of emerging technologies. The expected outcome is to prompt multi-stakeholders’ collaboration and dialogue in order to develop adequate internet governance policy recommendations that can support emerging technologies in providing digital trust infrastructure for the internet based digital economy.

Panel experts will each provide a unique view and perspective on the topic and it will be followed by a round table discussion and questions and answers session. Participants will be enouraged to join in the discussion, ask questions and exchange their views with the panel experts and with other participants. Debate and discussion will be followed by concluding remarks aimed at formulating adequate internet governance policy recommendations that can support emerging technologies in providing new digital trust infrastructure for the internet based digital economy.

Relevance to Internet Governance: Norms and principles of internet governance aim at organising internet space in the safe and secure way and for the benefit of all participants. Internet provides a digital space for growing digital economy, for which trust is an indispensable element. By integrating application of emerging technologies and leveraging their combined benefits digital trust can be vastly improved. The panel explores the role of internet governance in harnessing potential of emerging technologies in enhancing trust in the internet.

Relevance to Theme: Trust is an essential element for the growth of global digital economy over the internet. However, rapid expansion of the internet based digital economy does not inherently take into account digital trust. Emerging technologies such as blockchain, AI and IoT have the potential, when mutually reinforced, and supported by adequate internet governance policy recommendations, to provide new trust infrastructure that ensures enhanced accountability, auditability and transparency on the internet. These technologies can also help to unlock new layers or digital economy and support sustainable economic development.

Online Participation


Usage of IGF Official Tool.