IGF 2021 WS #120
A Human-Centric Approach for Emerging Technologies

Organizer 1: Stefania Grottola, The CyberPeace Institute
Organizer 2: francesca bosco, Cyber Peace Institute

Speaker 1: Nnenna Nwakanma, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 2: Monique Morrow, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: francesca bosco, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


francesca bosco, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Stefania Grottola, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Stefania Grottola, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Panel - Auditorium - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

Ensuring a safe digital space: How should governments, Internet businesses and other stakeholders protect citizens, including vulnerable citizens, against online exploitation and abuse?

The session focuses on the societal impact of emerging technologies and tries to assess the related risks and challenges especially for vulnerable communities in the Global South. The session proposes a multi-stakeholder discussion on the topic by identifying emerging technologies, related risks, and the specific needs and challenges of the Global South. The expected outcome addresses the policy question by identifying key roles in fostering policy development, advocacy and responsibility of different stakeholders in promoting safe and secure technologies as well as in the analysis of their societal impact especially but not limited to the most vulnerable. As such, the session will provide initial answers to how we can foster trust in the technology and ensure stability in cyberspace protecting citizens and vulnerable communities.



Targets: 9.b - The session brings inputs and insights on how to close the gap between the recent technological waves of innovation and the specificities of the local context especially in the Global South.

9.c - The session, focusing on experiences from the Global South, will allow us to understand how to close the gap in accessing information and communication technologies.


We are nowadays dependent on new technologies more than ever before. All critical and strategic sectors worldwide utilise information and communication technologies for their activities and strategic needs. As innovation moves faster than our ability to forecast challenges, it is crucial to put in place mechanisms that allow for a human-centric and multi-stakeholder dialogue to assess the impact of emerging technologies on individuals and especially vulnerable communities. This session plans to assess the impacts of these technologies on cyberpeace, defined as the respect and protection of human security, dignity, and equity, by exploring how emerging technologies will impact individuals and vulnerable communities. First, it will present existing and upcoming emerging technologies that are bound to have a significant impact on vulnerable communities worldwide. Second, it will then try to forecast risks and challenges, to then fit the discussion into the local context of the Global South.

This workshop plans to explore emerging technologies and how these will impact individuals and vulnerable populations especially in the Global South. More specifically, the workshop will focus on three main aspects. First, the identification of emerging technologies that will most significantly have an impact on the human dignity and equity of individuals using it and therefore influence individuals’ trust in the technology. In other words, the session plans to focus on how the use of those technologies can have an impact on the safeguard of individual’s beliefs, cultural rights, and ability to participate in society (respect of human dignity), and on the protection against discrimination, bias, prejudice, and inequality (respect of human equity). Second, the respect of human security in the use of technology as a form of protection of services essential to human life and related critical infrastructure against cyberattacks and malicious behaviour. And third, the safeguard of cyber stability in the use and development of such technologies.

The panel discussion will be driven by the following question: How can we track emerging technologies that might have a profound impact on people and especially vulnerable communities? In order to address this question, we decompose it into more specific questions:
- How can we identify the emerging technologies that will have the most impact on individuals and vulnerable communities?
- How can we then identify and forecast the major risks associated with emerging technologies?
- Finally, we try to have a contextual approach and we look at one example of vulnerable communities in the Global South. How can we connect these discussions to the local communities?

There is a crucial need to forecast challenges, address risks and ensure that technological innovation can be used for social good. To manage the risks associated with emerging technologies, we need to embrace a human-centric and multi-stakeholder approach to build collaboration and effective steps forward that foster trust, limit security concerns, and strengthen stability in cyberspace. This workshop aims to strengthen such a dialogue with a multi-stakeholder representation of experts and professionals in the field.

Expected Outcomes

Expected outcomes for the session include the continuation of multi-stakeholder discussions on the role and impact of emerging technologies with a strong focus on vulnerable communities as well as on the policy developments needed to ensure inclusive developments in the Global South. The session will feed expertise and insights into the development of the different sections of the Disruption Radar. The latter is a project led by the CyberPeace Institute with the goal of creating a publicly available source to analyze the impact of existing, emerging and disruptive technologies worldwide within the framework of cyberpeace and to forecast challenges, and required capacity building needs for vulnerable populations.

1) Designate a dedicated online moderator who will make sure to broadcast the discussion and collect inputs, comments, and questions from the online audience.

2) Allocate at least 20 minutes for interactive discussion with online and on-site participants.

3) In addition to the online moderation, in case of a hybrid meeting, one person will be in the room to collect questions, comments, and inputs.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool.