IGF 2022 Day 0 Event #58 Global governance of a digital society: Examining different approaches and models

Monday, 28th November, 2022 (11:00 UTC) - Monday, 28th November, 2022 (14:00 UTC)
Large Briefing Room

Transnational Institute (TNI)
Brid Brennan, Transnational Institute, Civil Society, Europe and North America Parminder Jeet Singh, Just Net Coalition, Civil-Society, Asia-Pacific Nandini Chami, IT for Change, Civil-Society, Asia-Pacific Sandeep Radhakrishnan, Just Net Coalition, Asia-Pacific Deepti Bharthur, IT for Change, Civil-Society, Asia-Pacific


Harris Gleckman, TNI, Civil Society, Europe and North America Sofia Monsalve, Food First Information and Action Network, Civil Society, Latin America Brid Brennan, TNI, Civil Society, Civil Society, Europe and North America Anita Gurumurthy, IT for Change, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Fiona Dove, TNI, Civil Society, Europe and North America

Onsite Moderator

Parminder Jeet Singh

Online Moderator

Sandeep Radhakrishnan


Nandini Chami



Targets: 5. Gender Equality 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure 10. Reduced inequalities


The session is planned as a workshop comprising interspersed expert panels, breakout group discussions and a concluding plenary session.


The industrial age triggered many social and political changes – from nuclear families becoming the norm to the rise of the nation state. While mechanisation was at the heart of this shift in the industrial age, data-based intelligence becomes central to production in the digital age, superseding the role of machines and even IP. A paradigm shift is evidently underway, as data redefines the economic and material infrastructure of society. The social, political and economic tensions arising from this shift are all around us – the pervasive impacts of social media on our societies or of platformisation of the economy on labour rights. These new challenges have also exposed the weak links in global governance of the digital phenomenon, calling ever-more attention to the need to reinvent the connections between nation state-based territorial political organisation and global co-existence. Global digital governance (a more appropriate name for what has been called as global internet governance) involves both technical and social aspects. It is a cross-cutting phenomenon that impacts all sectors, and partly, its governance may be seen as belonging to the respective sector. Yet, there are vital horizontal issues, from management of the internet to data governance, platform governance and AI governance, not to mention Web3 and Metaverse, that also require forward looking governance imaginations and mechanisms. Global digital governance therefore stands at a cross-roads, seeking its basic moorings and appropriate institutional forms. There are many questions that need to be addressed in this regard: • How are the social aspects of digital governance different from those of the technical? • How can current UN based governance models in areas of health (WHO), food and agriculture (FAO), environment (UNEP), culture and education (UNESCO) be extended to the digital arena? • What kind of stakeholder-based models are being explored in the digital domain? How well have they fared? What do these models tell us about power and participation? • How do cross-cutting elements of digital governance interact with sector-specific concerns? • How should we carve out norms-building and decision-making in relation to global governance processes? • What kind of paradigmatic shift is needed to ensure that institutions of global governance can appropriate the digital for equal and just societies? At this pre-event, organised by TNI and JNC, organisations anchoring a wide spectrum of global networks interested in the question of democratic global governance, we will like to examine various global efforts to develop appropriate frameworks for digital society governance, including the proposed Global Digital Compact initiative and the World Summit on Information Society process. We are interested in examining how these overlap and what may be the gaps across these, to come up with a set of reflections and recommendations to inform digital governance.

The planned event will make all attempts to be interactive and optimize the hybrid format of the IGF. We will publicize the event widely for online participation and encourage signups for remote attendance prior to the proposed event. We will facilitate remote participation through a designated moderator to facilitate questions and comments via the IGF online participation platform. We will also live-tweet the proceedings of the event to allow remote participants to follow along and be part of the discussions.