IGF 2023 Networking Session #78 Governing Tech for Peace: a Multistakeholder Approach

Sunday, 8th October, 2023 (09:00 UTC) - Sunday, 8th October, 2023 (10:00 UTC)
WS 5 – Room B-2

Global Digital Governance & Cooperation
Cyber Diplomacy and Peace on the Internet
Digital Ethics Education
Governing Digital Economy
Regulatory Sandboxes for Technological Innovations

Global Digital Governance & Cooperation

Michele Giovanardi, EUI School of Transnational Governance – Global PeaceTech Hub
Andrea Calderaro, European University Institute and Cardiff University Teona Nesovic, EUI School of Transnational Governance
Lucia Bosoer, EUI School of Transnational Governance – Chair on Artificial Intelligence and Democracy


Marielza Oliveira, Director for Digital Inclusion, Policies and Transformation at UNESCO
Juan Carlos Sainz-Borgo, Dean of the University for Peace (tbc)
Francesca Bosco, Senior Advisor at the CyberPeace Institute
Andrea Renda, Director of Research at CEPS and Adjunct Professor of Digital Policy at the EUI School of Transnational Governance
Mark Nelson, Director of the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab
Evelyne Tauchnitz, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Social Ethics ISE (University of Lucerne)
Stefaan Verhulst, Co-Founder of the Gov-Lab (NYU) and Co-Founder of the Data Tank

Onsite Moderator

Andrea Calderaro

Online Moderator

Michele Giovanardi


Teona Nesovic


16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
17. Partnerships for the Goals

Targets: This networking session takes place within the framework of the Global PeaceTech Hub initiative of the EUI School of Transnational Governance, which promotes research and policy dialogue on the use and governance of technology for peace and sustainable development. With the networking session, we will discuss the key elements of this multistakeholder challenge where active cooperation between private sector technology companies, academia, peacebuilders, and governments is needed (17.16, 17.17). Through this session and network we are also addressing, among others, issues related to reducing different forms of online violence, including hate speech and gender-based violence (16.1, 16. 2); rethinking migration and refugee management and financial aid through the use of digital identities and blockchain technology (16.4, 16.5, 16.9); promoting the responsible use of data and AI towards transparency, accountability and citizen participation in peace and democratic processes (16.6, 16.7, 16.8, 16.10).


Roundtable discussion with Q&A and audience interaction.

Duration (minutes)

Come and be part of an engaging networking session focused on the multistakeholder challenge of utilizing and governing technology to promote peace and sustainable development. The session is organized by the Global PeaceTech Hub, a platform that serves as a catalyst for collaboration and knowledge exchange among academics, practitioners, and stakeholders from the public and private sectors. The hub is committed to fostering and accelerating policy reflection on the use and regulation of technology to enhance peace and cooperation at the transnational level. By bridging the gap between theory and practice, the Global PeaceTech Hub aims to facilitate the translation of theoretical insights into concrete policy proposals and projects.

This networking session recognises the importance of collaboration between transnational and global network actors, including the public and private sectors, governments, the peacebuilding community, technology companies and academia, to unlock the full potential of the responsible use of technology for peace and sustainable development.  We invite you to join us and contribute your insights and experiences, providing us with your valuable take on this pressing matter. By leveraging the diverse perspectives and experiences of attendees, we can generate innovative ideas and concrete solutions to address the challenges at hand.

Join us for this transformative session and contribute to the global dialogue on regulating and utilizing technology for peace and sustainable development. Together, we can pave the way for a future where technology becomes a powerful force for positive change in the world!

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

While some perceive technology as a threat to peace (cyber vulnerabilities, privacy and discrimination issues, disinformation and polarisation on digital platforms, trust in information and data undermined by AI), digital technology should also be seen as a peace-enhancing factor, if properly governed by avoiding "tech-solutionism" and adopting an inclusive, multistakeholder approach to implementing PeaceTech initiatives.

We need to move from "coercive peace" (tech for security and stability) to "persuasive peace" (tech and data to promote social cohesion). We need human rights due diligence for the procurement process of tech solutions: tech that violates human rights, dignity and freedom should not be called PeaceTech. To enhance social trust, we should regulate processes rather than content, so that the Internet can become truly transparent and accountable.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

To bring together different stakeholders (governments, tech-companies, NGOs, academia) to discuss the potentials and challenges of PeaceTech, define key areas of intervention, and implement collaborative projects to enhance peace and social cohesion via the safe and responsible use of frontier technologies.

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

The Networking Session started with a round of introduction, the participants were from different sectors, but their common thread was using technology for peace and sustainable development. In the beginning of the discussion, the participants tackled the definition of peace, as an important first step in determining the role of technology in its enhancement. Human rights were mentioned as a necessary, but not sufficient condition for peace, along with other criteria such as the positive definition of peace according to which peace implies attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies, rather than mere absence of violence. When it comes to the relationship between technology and peace, the participants identified both positive and negative impacts of tech to peace. As PeaceTech advocates using technology as a tool to achieve peace, it should be avoided to associate PeaceTech with any technology that violates human rights and dignity and endangers people’s freedom. In line with that, the participants commented on the need for moving from coercive peace, which entails using tech centrally to obtain security and stability, to persuasive peace, in which technology and the collected data can be used to advance peace and social cohesion. Building trust and creating a safer space without compromising on freedom of expression was identified as another crucial mission. Having in mind people’s tendency to behave responsibly when they are held accountable for their words and actions, the participants mentioned the need for raising transparency and accountability in the digital environment. An example that came up was the social scoring system in China, relevant both for the trust-building issue and for defining areas that PeaceTech includes. The participants agreed on the importance of bringing together stakeholders from various fields, such as governments, tech-companies, NGOs and academia, as well as from different parts of the world and perspectives. Through this multistakeholder approach, the actors would discuss the potentials and challenges of PeaceTech, areas of possible intervention and implement collaborative projects that would be a contribution to using technology safely and responsibly to improve peace and social cohesion.