IGF 2021 Day 0 Event #98 Global Alliance for a Values-Based Digital World

Monday, 6th December, 2021 (09:45 UTC) - Monday, 6th December, 2021 (10:45 UTC)
Conference Room 3

The Kosciuszko Institute Association
The format is organized by the Kosciuszko Institute, representatives include:

Michał Rekowski - Programme and Research Director, the Kosciuszko Institute; Ewelina Kasprzyk - Project Manager and Researcher, the Kosciuszko Institute; Maciej Góra - Project Coordinator, the Kosciuszko Institute

Other representatives of the Institute might also be engaged in the session.


The session will be joined by representatives of think tanks and academia from all over the world:

  • Juan Manuel Aguilar Antonio, Cybersecurity Investigator, Colectivo de Análisis de la Seguridad con Democracia (CASEDE)
  • Prof. Alina Bârgăoanu, Fellow at Harvard University, Senior Associate Expert, New Strategy Center
  • Dr. Paško Bilić, Senior Research Associate, Institute for Development and International Relations  
  • Ms. Laura Brent, Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security
  • dr. Joe Burton, Senior Lecturer in the Political Science and Public Policy Programme and the New Zealand Institute for Security and Crime Science, University of Waikato
  • dr. Oskar J Gstrein, Assistant Professor at University of Groningen, Research Associate at Israel Public Policy Institute
  • dr. Alexander Klimburg, Director, Cyber Policy and Resilience Program, Hague Center for Strategic Studies
  • dr. Arthur Gwagwa, Doctoral Researcher at Utrecht University, Editorial Board Member at the Stanford University Internet Observatory Journal on Internet Trust, United Nations Expert Group on AI and Big Data
  • Prof. Åshild Kolås, Research Professor, Leader of ePolitics Initiative
  • Mr. J. Scott Marcus, Senior Fellow, Breugel
  • Prof. Ibo van de Poel, Professor in Ethics and Technology and head of the Department Values, Technology & Innovation of the School of Technology, Policy and Management at Delft University of Technology
  • Dr. Daniel Voelsen, Head of Global Issues Research Division, German Institute for International and Security Affairs


Onsite Moderator
Maciej Góra - Project Coordinator, the Kościuszko Institute
Online Moderator

Ewelina Kasprzyk - Researcher, Project Manager, the Kościuszko Institute


Maciej Góra - Project Coordinator, the Kościuszko Institute


Roundtable, conducted in a hybrid form (both on-site in Katowice and online). It will be split in three parts: short introduction to the subject, moderated discussion on selected problem questions, and a short summary. The discussion will result in a draft of a declaration of think tanks calling for a values-based digital world, which prior to the publication will be authorized with each participant of the session.


The Kosciuszko Institute and CYBERSEC FORUM have been supporting processes contributing to a safe, inclusive and fair cyberspace for many years. This time we would like to take advantage of the Internet Governance Forum 2021 event in Katowice, Poland, and invite representatives of leading think-tanks from around the world to discuss the values that should guide the development of the Internet and new technologies.

As think-tanks, we are committed to actively participate in shaping political and social landscapes through our advice, expertise, and research. Through this global alliance of like-minded entities, we want to advocate for a values-based digital world. Our goal is to use our voices to not only highlight that indeed we should strive for a digital environment that respects human rights and ethical principles, but also to offer tangible steps and recommendations that other entities should follow as well.

In order to achieve that, we looked at the trends and technologies that we anticipate will shape the digital future, and analysed them through the prism of values we believe should guide us onwards. The result will be a declaration intended to serve as a guideline for public-private partnerships that will create our future. The document will be officially signed during CYBERSEC Global 2022 and will be updated each year to continually map the threats and opportunities we face.

The session will be split in three parts: 1. short introduction from the organizers, 2. free speech by representatives of think-tanks on values in cyberspace 3. short summary of the discussion.

The session will be part of a work towards a declaration of think-tanks, that will be consulted and authorized with each participant prior to publication. In case the participants do not take an active part in the discussion, they will be able to take part in the drafting of the declaration after the session. This way we can make sure every participant has a say in what we agree on, that everyone takes part in the process and is given a chance to voice their opinions, ideas, worries and hopes.

Double moderation (both on-site and online) will enable us to engage both parts of the crowd in a fair manner. This way we can keep the discussion focused on the currently discussed subject, but also dynamic. The discussion will be structured on a series of questions delivered by the organizers (moderators) as presented above. Besides live answers, we will also try to facilitate the chat option to allow our online participants to voice their opinions in a different way. Our team will collect those to include the comments in the process of drafting the declaration, our moderator can also mention specific comments during the event.

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

There need to be tangible steps taken for all, both public and private sectors as well as think tanks, to follow in incorporating a values-based approach towards digitalization.

Greater importance needs to be placed on implementing the main value clusters of security, privacy, fairness, and accountability within cyberspace over the next decade.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Societies should demand a new cyber social contract in which technology is no longer shaped by only profit considerations, but takes into account the daily lives of people.

Internet governance measures and policies must be human-centric with the utmost value placed in preserving fundamental freedoms.

Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

The session began with opening remarks by moderator Maciej Góra of the Kosciuszko Institute. Maciej opened by illustrating how the rapid digital transformation has had a tremendous impact on both our daily lives and the world. Following the introduction, the panelists were introduced to provide their insights on the topic.  

The speakers contributed their insights on the topic of a values-based digitalization approach that has been shaped by their individual experiences of working in think tanks and academia from around the world. There was a prolific conversation on the various aspects of the proposed declaration on a global alliance for a values-based digital world and how it may garner real-world application by being situated within international cyber policy.  

Key points addressed:  

  • How to better design technologies and their underlying standards in a way that is compatible with the democratic processes.
  • Ensuring inclusivity in the conversations around a human-centric digitalization approach as well as encouraging the fair distribution of digital innovation benefits globally.  
  • Addressing the main negative cyber trends of disinformation campaigns and the erosion of privacy requires us to ask a plethora of questions:  
    • How do we assemble the right people?  
    • How long do we have to implement these changes?  
    • What does success look like?  
    • Will this change be gradual or discontinuous?  
  • Ensuring that privacy by design is implemented at the inception of digital innovation.
  • Disinformation poses one of the greatest threats to democracy and privacy as well as threatens the capacity of societies to properly function by sowing political fragmentation.