IGF 2020 WS #216 Governance and Business Models for Inclusive Development

Tuesday, 17th November, 2020 (14:30 UTC) - Tuesday, 17th November, 2020 (16:00 UTC)
Room 2
About this Session
The pandemic offered proof that the Internet can enhance participation in global economic value chains and contribute to improving the standard of living of all. Governance and frameworks can play a role in enhancing wealth creation. Initiatives at the national, regional and international levels will be explored in this session along with private sector experiences.

Organizer 1: Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 2: Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization
Organizer 3: Civil Society, Eastern Europe

Speaker 1: Sissi de la Pena, Private Sector, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Claire Sibthorpe, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Rishab Raturi, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: Daniel Annerose, Private Sector, African Group
Speaker 5: Mercy WANJAU, Government, African Group


Other - 90 Min
Format description: We would like to organize the workshop as a hybrid between panel and roundtable. The panelists would be given sufficient time (approx 8 minutes each) to make substantive presentations in their are of work, given their experience and expertise. Then, rather than traditional Q&A, the session would adopt a roundtable format, allowing all participants to contribute their thoughts on the questions posed by the moderator. In this sense, physically, a classroom format might be more amenable to discussion, preferable in a U shape. Remote participation will also be encouraged. The moderator would devote the last 15 minutes summarizing thoughts share in the form of a sort list of conclusions and recommendations.

Policy Question(s)

• What factors should be considered when seeking to understand and tackle connectivity and affordability issues, and how might improvements be made? • Within the evolving Digital Economy, how can we maximize the contribution of different actors of the Internet ecosystem, including trade and ICT ministries, in order to create wealth for developing countries and underserved communities? • Can we achieve national economic and societal objectives, while also sustaining opportunity for different business models to evolve that are relevant to all segments of the population, including those engaged in micro-, small, and medium enterprise? • What policy strategies and legal frameworks, can help ensure inclusiveness of the Internet and inclusive online trade (e.g. platforms and services) that will contribute to equitable and sustainable development?

The panel/roundtable will explore iinclusion as a contributor to stronger economies and enhanced economic development. It will focus on sustainable business and regulatory models for the digital age that can lead to more widely shared wealth through improved livelihoods, income generation, and employment. In short, it will draw on the link between internet governance, enabling regulatory frameworks and online economic activity. It will ask the various stakeholders on the panel how governance can ensure that Internet offers economic opportunity for all; opportunity that is more equally distributed among less advantaged and less well connected communities. The panel will explore the challenge of developing adequate legal and policy frameworks that reflect the broader interests of digital strategy on trade to create value from data and e-commerce for developing countries. Particular consideration will be given to the challenge of determining and implementing digital trade policies that strengthen the ability of governments and their partners, such as IGOs and NGOs, to achieve sustainable development for all segments of business and society. Debate will focus on the key challenges facing Internet and the digital economy policy making, combined with a reality check of presentations by private sector representative from developing countries laying out the challenges they face in adopting innovative business models that can promote their inclusion. Private sector representatives will also be encouraged to challenge the policy makers' notions of what may or not be helpful to their growth and development.


GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals


The Coronavirus pandemic has confirmed that the online activity and the digital economy will be ever more central to social and economic wellbeing. The Internet enabled home bound citizens to order online, pay electronically, and take advantage of services that permit teleworking, e-education and telemedicine more than ever before. The Internet powers online activities, including digital trade in all its forms. Its emergence transformed people’s lives and the global economy. Another result of the pandemic is that it offered irrefutable proof that the Internet holds out the prospect for the greater inclusion of underserved communities and developing countries. Many companies found that they needed to expand connectivity and network capacity to reach even the most underserved communities in times of a health emergency. If the trend is maintained, it can enhance participation in global economic value chains and contribute to improving the standard of living of all citizens, if appropriate governance is employed. The digital divide, however, remains a concern for many developing countries, who face challenges of reaping value from e-commerce and the data-driven economic activity. Governance and frameworks of policy principles and regulations extending to the Internet and to trade over the Internet can play a role in enhancing wealth creation. This involves initiatives at the national, regional and international levels which will be explored in this session along with private sector experiences and views.

Expected Outcomes

The purpose of this session is to facilitate a thoughtful dialogue on how to reconcile divergent interests and promote policy frameworks that can contribute to value creation from data economy for developing states. In this sense, two important expected outcomes of the panel presentations are: • Recognising the challenges of many developing countries in trying to gain value from data and from e-commerce, in general, and • Contribution to the on-going dialogue to develop common policy approaches to data driven digital trade. Finally, the session will employ a roundtable format to seek policy recommendations from panellists and participants that they believe will ensure that the digital economy supports value creation and improved livelihoods for developing countries and those with limited access to the Internet, such MSMEs and other underserved communities. These recommendations would be compiled into a briefing note aimed at WTO member delegations, but that would also be made publicly available.

Please see above.  Given the suggested changes to the structure, the roundtable aspect would begin immediately after the first round of introductory interventions by the panellists and therefore would be a fairly open format from that point onwards.   Once the session breaks into roundtable format, the moderator will pose the relevant questions not only to the panel but to the audience, at large. Participants will be encouraged to share not only questions but also their own thoughts and experiences. There will also be an opportunity to critique some policies and strategies in terms of what participants feel may work well, or not work well in attempts to close the digital divide, promote inclusive connectivity and enable broader participation in the digital economy by underserved communities. Participants would be urged to ensure that their critiques would be framed as possible recommendations for action by governance bodies.

Relevance to Internet Governance: Internet governance in its most holistic sense encompasses principles, norms, and decisions taken in many fora and at many levels of government and society. This includes national and international rules and principles relating to Internet and Internet-enabled trade. All must be harnessed for the betterment of humankind, including for sustainable development. This panel explores digital business models that can be employed to promote inclusive development and the role of governance frameworks, including Internet governance, to complement one another towards accelerating the prospects of inclusive trade.

Relevance to Theme: Inclusiveness of the Internet and in Internet governance, like inclusion in international trade, are key contributors to stronger economies and enhanced economic development through shared wealth, shared employment, and equal opportunity. Together, these serve as enablers toward the fulfilment of many of the Sustainable Development goals (see below).

Online Participation


Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: Given the broad regional representation of it might be the case that one or more panelist may need to participate remotely, either for timing or funding reasons. It ill also be advantageous to be able to allow remote participation to allow greater interaction with stakeholders from the regions concerned who may be unable to come to Poland physically. They would be afforded the opportunity to integrate fully into roundtable discussion, technology permitting.



In terms of the virtual format, we have found in recent months of participating in many online events  that 2 or 3 rounds of short (3-4 minute) interventions by panellists in response to structured questions by the moderator can be more interesting and digestabe for online sessions.  We may also discourage PowerPoint presentations, except perhaps for one or two slides, if desired. The moderator would draw of the policy questions below as adapted through panellists over the coming months.   Hoping that the technology used woud allow written questions to be submitted by participants vie "chat", the moderator can ask these throughout the panel session, rather than wait for a dedicated period at the end.  Assuming that other participants can also request to take the floor virtually to share their views or experiences, this will be welcomed and also made possible at various appropriate points throughout the session, rather than in a dedicated Q&A at the end.  

In terms of timing,  the rounds of interventions would take no more tha 20 minutes each, meaning that the 3 rounds of panelists interventions would take abouit 60 minutes. Added to this the moderator's introductions and time cushion for participants questions and interventions throughout the session, the time frame requested remains 90 minutes.