IT for Change, member organization of the Global Digital Justice Forum
Nandini Chami, IT for Change and Global Digital Justice Forum Luca Belli, Dynamic Coalition on Platform Responsibility Marianne Franklin, Dynamic Coalition on Internet Rights and Principles
This IGF pre-event is proposed by the Global Digital Justice Forum, the Dynamic Coalition on Platform Responsibility and the Dynamic Coalition on Internet Rights and Principles. The Global Digital Justice Forum is a multi-sectoral group of development organizations, digital rights networks, trade unions, feminist groups, corporate watchdogs, and communication rights campaigners working towards centering a digital justice vision in the multilateral system, straddling digital governance debates, SDGs review, and transversal intersections of digital policy with traditional debates in trade and development. Its members include: Campaign of Campaigns, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), Equidad, ETC Group, Global Policy Forum, Groupe de Recherche Pour Une Stratégie Économique Alternative (GRESEA), IT for Change, Just Net Coalition (JNC), Latin American Information Agency (ALAI), Oxfam International, Public Services International (PSI), Social Watch, The Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO), Third World Network, Transnational Institute (TNI). The Dynamic Coalition on Platform Responsibility aims at fostering a cooperative multistakeholder effort in order elaborate concrete and interoperable solutions to protect platform-users’ human rights. The Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic Coalition (IRP Coalition) is an open network of individuals and organisations based at the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) committed to making human rights and principles work for the online environment.
The 180 minute pre-event will be structured as a roundtable with three free-wheeling conversation rounds with briefing inputs and open discussion from the floor (of 60 minutes each) on the following: - Principles for a just and equitable digital compact for the majority world - Platform accountability for a trustworthy, open and free Internet of tomorrow - Development visions in the data and AI epoch More details about the format are indicated in the next question. The event will be interactive in order to maximise participant inputs through a vibrant multistakeholder dialogue, but it will also have speakers from different stakeholder constituencies and regional groups, to make input presentations – on site and online. An indicative list of speakers is provided below. Co-organizers will follow up and arrive at the details of offline/online participation closer to the dates of the IGF.
- Amandeep Singh Gill, UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Technology
- Regine Grienberger, Cyber Ambassador, German Federal Foreign Office
- Shamika N. Sirimanne, Director, Division on Technology and Logistics, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
- Alison Gillwald, Executive Director, Research ICT Africa
- Renata Avila, CEO, Open Knowledge Foundation
- Helani Galpaya, CEO, LIRNE Asia
- Alexandre Costa Barbosa, Fellow for the Weizenbaum Institute & Homeless Workers Movement - Technology Sector, Brazil
- Nandini Chami, Deputy Director, IT for Change
- Megan Kathure, Fellow, Lawyers Hub, Kenya
- Dennis Redeker, University of Bremen & Digital Constitutionalism Network
- Ana Cristina Ruelas, Senior Programme Specialist, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- Anriette Esterhuysen, Senior Advisor, APC
- David Kaye, Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine
- Emma Gibson, Global Coordinator, Alliance for Universal Digital Rights for Equality Now.
- Luca Belli, Professor, Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) Law School, Rio de Janeiro
- Rishab Bailey, Public Citizen
Anita Gurumurthy, IT for Change and Global Digital Justice Forum
Sadaf Wani, IT for Change
Amay Korjan, IT for Change and Global Digital Justice Forum
Targets: The pre-event will discuss how to center the vision of digital justice for the majority world in the global Digital Compact, with a specific focus on the sustainable development agenda. It will touch upon the following SDG targets: - reducing the gender digital divide and building pathways to a gender just digital economy (Target 5.5) - addressing the uneven geographies of development, reducing inequality between and within countries (Target 10.2) - promoting universal access to the Internet, inclusive public digital innovation and robust pathways to creation of public digital infrastructure for domestic industrialization (Target 9b and 9c) - ensuring a future of decent work for all with foundational labour guarantees in the digital economy (Target 8.5) - mapping pathways for development cooperation to support digital capabilities development and intersections of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism with Global Digital Compact, WSIS +20 (Target 17.6)
Gathering – a workshop with 4 rounds and with hybrid participation modalities
As the UN Secretary General has observed, we are in a world characterized not just by the digital divide, but in an unfolding data epoch, equally by a development divide. The gains of connectivity are skewed, with a few transnational corporations and nation-states being able to embrace the digital revolution.
The inequality of the digital economy presents an urgent challenge to development and democracy. If Agenda 2030 is to be realized, bold and committed action is needed to a) take the benefits of digitalization to all countries and peoples, b) govern digital resources democratically, c) make digital policies and laws fit for catalyzing innovation that counts. The ultimate test for a well-guided digital transition is in the public and social value it can create, and the human freedoms it can expand.
The political declaration adopted at the HLPF on Sustainable Development in September 2023, rightly alludes to participation of all countries in the digital economy. Its focus on infrastructure and connectivity and affirmation of digital rights of people (offline rights must also be
protected online) are noteworthy. The Global Digital Compact (GDC) will need to carry this consensus forward, nuancing it with the particularities for our common future that is indisputably digital.
Consensus-building on the imaginaries and meanings, norms and ethics, guardrails and pathways for digitalization, is not easy. The geo-economics of AI and emerging anxieties and aspirations of countries, as well as the anachronism of democratic institutions struggling to mediate rights and social justice in digitality make the GDC a crucial juncture. The place of dialogue and plural worldviews on the final consensus cannot be overemphasized.
In view of this, the proposed session at the UN IGF 2023 in Kyoto will explore the question – How can we build a Global Digital Compact that furthers digital justice, especially in the majority world? It will engage with this question through a multistakeholder dialogue in an innovative BUILD IT, BREAK IT, FIX IT format.
The BUILD IT Round will examine the promise of the Global Digital Compact to fix the gaping global governance deficits in digital cooperation as seen from the prism of intergovernmental organizations in charge of the WSIS lines, governments, and civil society representatives.
The BREAK IT Round will critically interrogate the efficacy and effectiveness of the proposals in the Global Digital Compact across its various dimensions, focusing on information disorder, AI and human rights, reining in Big Tech power, guaranteeing a free and open Internet, and IGF reform for effective digital governance mechanisms at the global level. In these critical views put forth by leading civil society organizations and academics, the emphasis will be to front a Global South perspective and political economy analysis of the digital governance field.
The final FIX IT Round will elicit responses from civil society, former UN SRP mandate holders, and the Office of the Tech Envoy to the issues raised, in order to conclude with a forward-looking roadmap on what the Global Digital Compact needs to foreground for furthering an inclusive, people-centred, development-oriented digital future.
Why is the UN Global Digital Compact critical to address the gaps in global digital cooperation? What is the promise?
Speakers (6 minutes each, followed by open discussion)
Amandeep Singh Gill, UN Secretary-General's Envoy on Technology
Regine Grienberger, Cyber Ambassador, German Federal Foreign Office
Shamika N. Sirimanne, Director, Division on Technology and Logistics, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Alison Gillwald, Executive Director, Research ICT Africa
Renata Avila, CEO, Open Knowledge Foundation
What are the gaps in the UN Global Digital Compact? Is it really transformative? Is digital justice even possible?
Speakers (7 minutes each, followed by open discussion)
Helani Galpaya, CEO, LIRNE Asia
Alexandre Costa Barbosa, Fellow for the Weizenbaum Institute & Homeless Workers Movement - Technology Sector, Brazil
Nandini Chami, Deputy Director, IT for Change
Megan Kathure, AfronomicsLaw
Dennis Redeker, University of Bremen & Digital Constitutionalism Network
How can we make the UN Global Digital Compact a powerful basis for a democratic global digital governance paradigm? How can we realize the spirit of the WSIS consensus for a just, inclusive, people-centric, development-oriented, rights-enabling, social order in the data and AI age?
Speakers (7 minutes each, followed by open discussion)
Ana Cristina Ruelas, Senior Programme Specialist, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Anriette Esterhuysen, Senior Advisor, APC
David Kaye, Professor of Law, University of California, Irvine
Emma Gibson, Global Coordinator, Alliance for Universal Digital Rights for Equality Now.
Luca Belli, Professor, Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) Law School, Rio de Janeiro
Rishab Bailey, Public Citizen