IGF 2020 WS #219 Co-Designing policies for a sustainable digital industry

Tuesday, 17th November, 2020 (10:10 UTC) - Tuesday, 17th November, 2020 (11:40 UTC)
Room 2
About this Session
This session will first explain why we need to developp a sustainable digital industry and will then detail what are the new initiatives in this area. Both the policy and the technical perspectives will be discussed.
This session will also provide opportunities to discuss the positive and negative impact of the digital industry on the environment.

Organizer 1: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 2: Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 1: Ananya Singh, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: Ndeye Maimouna DIOP, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: PIERRE BONIS, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Additional Speakers

Annie Blandin, Professor of Law at IMT Atlantique

Ndeye Maimouna Diop was not availeble for the workshop and will be replaced by Esther Sandrine Ngom, Civil Society, African Group



Round Table - Circle - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

What are the measures to reduce the environmental impact of digital? How to put digital at the service of the ecological transition? What are the tools for implementing effective public policies on ecological digital technology and serving the environment? How to get interested parties to contribute to an ecological digital that serves the environment?

Digital must initiate its ecological transformation. It must also be used to serve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This workshop will present the most relevant policies for achieving these goals and the lesson learned about how to identify and create a coalition around those policies.


GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 12: Responsible Production and Consumption
GOAL 13: Climate Action


This session has two main objectives. First, it will present the public policies and the priority measures to operationally decline the transition to converge ecological and digital transitions. These measures could aim to achieve a sober digital and at the service of ecological and united transition and the achievement of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Second, it will give the methodology to co-construct, with a multi stakeholder approach, a roadmap on environment and digital sobriety.

Expected Outcomes

This panel will propose a contribution to : 1/ identify the best public policies on digital and environnement and 2/ propose a methodology to co-design them. In a first session, it will explore the different regulatory frameworks applied to digital and environnement, to open the discussion on how to define digital sobriety and digital at the service of environnement, to public and private sectors bodies, associations and publicly funded researchers. Indeed, this panel will have drawn a complete picture of the different regulatory methods applied today to digital and environnement. In a second session, this panel will also discuss the methodology to co-design public policies on environment and digital. At the end of each session, the moderator will then open the floor for interaction with the public to engage in a discussion about the future of legislation on public interest data. Agenda: Introduction (5min) on the definition of digital sobriety and digital at the service of the environnement First session : The framework of public policies on digital and environnement The case of France : a roadmap of 50 measures co-designed by CNNum and HCC The case of Germany : a roadmap of 70 measures realized by the federal ministry of environment with the participation of 200 actors Others cases Q&A and debate moderated by the onsite moderator (10 min) Second session : The methodology to co-design theses public policies The vision of the civil society The vision of academics The vision of companies Q&A and debate moderated by the onsite moderator (10 min). The expected outcomes will be a report of the session that could be useful to all stakeholders who attempt to co-design a strategy on digital sobriety and digital at the service of the ecological transition.

The list below provides examples of the ways discussion and presentation will be facilitated amongst speakers, audience members, and online participants and ensure the session format is used to its optimum: Seating: The panel of experts will debate share their expertise and their vision on Internet regulation sitting at the same table so the participants can see and hear them. It will be an effective way to compare and contrast the various positions of the panel. The moderator will open the discussion with a general review of the policy question and then speakers will provide their remarks on the question and then address questions from the moderator. At least 30 minutes will be allowed for questions/comments from the audience. Media: The organizers will explore the use of visuals (i.e. interactive presentation, charts) to animate the session and aid those whose native language may not be English. Experts who have short video material to share will be encouraged to help animate discussion and debate on these examples. Video material may also be considered to help engage remote participants. Preparation: One prep call has been organised for all speakers, moderators and co-organisers before the workshop so that everyone has a chance to meet, share views and prepare for the session. A conference will be organised on this theme during the French Internet Governance Forum 2020 (FGI France). Moderator: The moderator is an expert, well-informed and experienced in animating multistakeholder discussions. The moderator will have questions prepared in advance to encourage interaction among invited experts and between participants, if conversation were to stall. The remote moderator will play an important role in sharing the ideas of remote speakers/participants. At the end of the session, the moderator will encourage questions from the audience in order to open the debate and bring new perspectives into the discussion. This will also invite the speakers to reflect differently on the matter and think out of the box.

Relevance to Internet Governance: The preservation of the environment is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity. Digital transformation should be a priority of the Internet Governance, because with its transversal and disruptive characteristics, digital can optimise and accelerate the ecologic transition.

Relevance to Theme: This session will give a transversal and synthetic approach of digital sobriety and digital at the service of the environnement.

Online Participation


Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: The remote moderator will be involved throughout workshop to include participation from online viewers. The onsite moderator will frequently communicate with the remote moderator during the session to ensure remote participants’ views/questions are reflected and integrated to the discussion, especially during the Q&A sequence. This will ensure remote participations are given the opportunity to interact with multiple experts remotely. Organizers have specially invited a participant to act as the remote moderator and will share information with the remote moderator about training sessions for remote participation at IGF and ensure they have all the necessary information. 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. We can include the intervention from youth participants from Latin America and Africa to increase diversity and bring fresh opinions and questions to the debate. Any handouts prepared in advance for the panel will be shared with remote participants at the start of the session so that they have the necessary material to participate. The position on the French Digital Council on digital and environnement are published on its website under the Creative commons licences. Given the varied background of discussants and audience members, organisers will explore introducing 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 digital skills taking place in other forums to create awareness and help prepare in-person and remote participants for the workshop.


1. Key Policy Questions and related issues
Can we quantify the environmental impact of the digital transition?
How could we reduce the negative impact of the digital transition?
2. Summary of Issues Discussed

There is currently a lack of data and regulations to measure the environmental impact of the digital transition (few data are measured and/or provided).

Addictive design could stimulate a higher consumption caused by degital services and content.

Policies regulating the environmental impact of ICT should be adapted to the different countries.


3. Key Takeaways

First of all, the speaker Ananya Singh, an economic scientist & internet governance, detailed the role of ICT in the context of sustainable development. Then, Annie Blandin, Professor of Law, IMT Atlantique presented the roadmap of the French Digital Council on digital technologies and environment and the context of its elaboration. Esther Sandrine Ngom, Lawyer, President, Internet Society Cameroon Chapter, talked about the public policies on digital and environment in Cameroon and finally Pierre Bonis, Executive Director, AFNIC, illustrated the workshop with the concrete example of sustainability of  domain name system.

For the second round table, the speakers gave their point of view on a call for voluntary actions or pledges to forward the goals of Internet Governance and the Digital Cooperation Roadmap and they discussed about commitments and recommendations to improve policies for a sustainable digital industry. More particularly Ananya Singh synthesized the subjects that policymakers must keep in mind when framing policies to promote rapid digitization without causing irreparable damage to the environment. Annie Blandin talked about the work of the French Digital Council on data of general interest and how such data could foster a sustainable digital industry. The data of general interest are defined as private data whose opening is justified by a goal of public interest, especially with regard to environmental data. Pierre Bonis presents the projects which could be elaborated on for further evaluate and improve the energy use of a DNS request. The speakers then answer the questions of the public.

6. Final Speakers

Lucient Castex (Moderator)

Ananya Singh

Annie Blandin

Ether Sandrine Ngom

Pierre Bonis