IGF 2023 Open Forum #30 Intelligent Society Governance Based on Experimentalism

Monday, 9th October, 2023 (08:45 UTC) - Monday, 9th October, 2023 (09:45 UTC)
WS 7 – Room K

Panel - 60 Min


The accelerated evolution of an intelligent society, driven by a combination of AI and other emerging technologies, urgently requires an innovative governance model. This governance model should be experimental and iterative, capable of responding to rapid changes in society. Currently, both developed and developing countries have carried out a variety of pilot demonstrations and policy experiments in emerging areas such as AI. Therefore, this forum will discuss how the governance model can be improved in a cross-country comparison and how to keep pace with the development and application of AI. 

This forum intends to draw lessons from policy practices related to AI and other emerging technologies, focusing on the following questions: First, what policy pilot projects have been conducted in different countries to promote intelligent innovation? Second, how to improve relevant policies and regulations based on the results of the experiments? Third, what are the main challenges facing policy development and how to improve the governance model? Fourth, what skill sets, expertise, and collaboration are needed to govern AI and emerging technologies? Fifth, how can policy experiments and pilots be better designed and conducted so as to serve the public interest?

This forum intends to invite governments, research institutions, enterprises and social organizations to discuss case studies of policy experiments related to AI technologies in different countries and promote cross-country knowledge exchange. This forum is dedicated to identifying good governance models, collaborative frameworks and policy tools to nurture a sustainable and humanistic intelligent society. By sharing experiences and ideas, we will further develop enlightened pathways for governing deep technologies and promote a more humanistic intelligent society for the benefit of citizens and communities around the world.



🔒Bureau of Information Technology Development, Cyberspace Administration of China


Institute of Intelligent Society Governance, Tsinghua University

  • Wang Jiang, Deputy Director General of Information Technology Bureau, Cyberspace Administration of China [online]
  • Su Jun, Dean of the Institute of Intelligent Society Governance, Tsinghua University [online]
  • Simon Jonathan Marvin, Professor at Urban Institute, University of Sheffield and Professor at School of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney [onsite]
  • Alessandro Golombiewski Teixeira, Special Adviser of the New Development Bank, Professor at School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, and former Brazilian minister of tourism and former special economic advisor to the president [onsite]
  • Huang Cui, Professor, Dean of the Institute of National Intelligent Society Governance, Zhejiang University [online]
  • Xu Zhiyuan, Deputy Chief Engineer, China Academy of Information and Communications Technology [onsite]
Onsite Moderator

Zhang Fang, Associate Director of Center for Science, Technology & Education Policy, Tsinghua University

Online Moderator

Shi Guangyu, Research Assistant of the Institute of Intelligent Society Governance, Tsinghua University


Ren Tianpei, PhD Candidate of School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University


1. No Poverty
3. Good Health and Well-Being
4. Quality Education
5. Gender Equality
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
10. Reduced Inequalities
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Targets: The advent of intelligent technologies has the potential to significantly contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by enhancing the governance of societies. Intelligent society governance refers to the integration of advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and Internet of Things, into decision-making processes and public administration systems. Here, we will elaborate on how intelligent society governance can contribute to the SDG objectives. SDG 1/3/4/8/9/11/16: Intelligent society governance enhances data-driven decision making by leveraging advanced data analytics to extract valuable insights from vast amounts of data. By analyzing social, economic, and environmental data, decision-makers can gain a comprehensive understanding of complex issues and develop evidence-based policies. This data-driven approach improves the efficiency and effectiveness of decision-making, leading to better-informed strategies for achieving SDG targets. SDG 1/3/4/5/10: Intelligent systems can optimize resource allocation and utilization, which is crucial for sustainable development. By utilizing predictive algorithms and machine learning techniques, governments can identify areas of need, allocate resources accordingly, and prioritize interventions where they are most needed. This targeted resource allocation ensures that limited resources are utilized efficiently, maximizing the impact of initiatives aimed at SDG goals, such as poverty reduction, healthcare provision, and education access. SDG 8/9/11/16: Intelligent society governance can facilitate greater citizen participation and engagement in decision-making processes. Through digital platforms and online tools, governments can gather public input, solicit feedback, and enable citizens to actively contribute to policy formulation and implementation. This participatory approach fosters inclusivity, transparency, and accountability in governance, aligning with the SDG principle of leaving no one behind. SDG 1/3/16: Intelligent technologies can enable the development of early warning systems for various challenges, including natural disasters, climate change impacts, and public health crises. By integrating real-time data, sensor networks, and predictive analytics, governments can proactively identify and respond to potential risks. This proactive approach enhances resilience, minimizes the negative impacts of emergencies, and contributes to SDG targets related to climate action, disaster risk reduction, and public health. In conclusion, intelligent society governance offers significant potential for advancing the SDGs. By leveraging data-driven decision-making, optimizing resource allocation, promoting citizen engagement, and enabling early warning systems, intelligent technologies contribute to more effective and efficient governance, ultimately driving progress towards the SDG objectives.

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

1) The advent of AI is poised to lead to the evolution of social structures, economic production, and residential lifestyles, thereby giving rise to an intelligent society that empowers climate governance, healthcare advancements, educational management. It even aids in the realization of SDGs, thus infusing new impetus and resilience into societal development.

2) The evolution of AI governance is transitioning from conceptualization to the phase of practical rulemaking and enforcement. Countries and regions need to strengthen their assessment of potential risks in AI development, establish robust legal frameworks to ensure healthy advancement of AI, and devise ethical norms for intelligent society governance.Global community should join hands to promote cooperation on intelligent society governance.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

1) The panelists agreed that, faced with the profound transformations brought about by AI technology, nations worldwide are exploring new values, concepts, and approaches for intelligent society governance. Constructing an intelligent society imbued with humanistic warmth has become the historical mission of contemporary humanity.

2) The panelists advocate: the promotion of AI-empowered public services; the enhancement of assessment and prevention of potential risks in intelligent societies; the dissemination and application of governance principles and practices for intelligent societies; the active exploration of international standardization in the governance of intelligent societies; and the promotion of inclusive sharing and agile governance in intelligent societies.

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

In today’s era, digital technologies represented by AI serve as the pioneering force in the global scientific revolution and industrial transformation, increasingly integrating into all aspects of economic and social development, thereby profoundly altering how society is governed. The iterative development of generative AI in 2023, with ChatGPT serving as a quintessential example, has once again fueled human apprehensions concerning the potential risks posed by an intelligent society.

This open forum was hosted by the Bureau Information Technology Development Cyberspace Administration of China, with support from the Institute of Intelligent Society Governance of Tsinghua University and the Center for Science, Technology & Education Policy of Tsinghua University. Under the theme “Intelligent Society Governance Based on Experimentalism: Insights from Cross-Country Experiences”, the open forum invited six experts and scholars from government bodies, research institutions, and social organizations in China, the United Kingdom, and Brazil to engage in discussions on the practical impacts of AI applications in different countries and case studies about intelligent society governance, thereby fostering transnational knowledge exchange. The open forum is committed to identifying effective governance models, cooperation frameworks, and policy tools that will cultivate a sustainable and humanistic intelligent society.

  1. To further enhance the capacity building for intelligent society governance on a global scale, and to foster a humanistic intelligent society.

The world is undergoing profound changes that are unprecedented in the past century, with issues such as wealth disparity, environmental and climate change, as well as regional conflicts, standing as common challenges faced by human society. Enhancing the capacity building for intelligent society governance, promoting the widespread application of intelligent technologies, and fostering a humanistic intelligent society are crucial measures to meet these challenges.

Building a humanistic intelligent society requires vigorous efforts to empower public services with AI. Jiang Wang, Deputy Director of the Information Bureau of Cyberspace Administration of China, asserted that we should strengthen the integration of AI with public services such as elderly care, education, medical care, social security, and sports. Considering the need to safeguard and improve people’s livelihoods and create a better life for the public, AI should be utilized to enhance the public services and social governance levels of government departments. Simon Marvin, Professor at the Urban Institute of the University of Sheffield and Professor at the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, posited that, through examples such as Japan’s Society 5.0, Smart Dubai, and San Francisco, countries could actively explore how to construct regulatory systems while AI was rapidly developing, ensuring that AI better serves public domains such as healthcare and education.

The panelists all agreed that, in the face of the tremendous changes brought about by AI, countries around the world are exploring new values, new concepts, and new directions for intelligent society governance. Constructing a humanistic intelligent society has become a historical mission for contemporary humanity, necessitating a collective effort to guide AI in a direction conducive to human society's development.

  1. To pay close attention to the social impact prompted by AI, strengthen the assessment of potential risks in AI development, improve laws and regulations to safeguard the healthy development of AI, and formulate ethical norms for intelligent society governance.

The industrial revolution incited by AI will exert a significant influence on human production and lifestyle. Alessandro Golombiewski Teixeira, Special Advisor to the President of the BRICS New Development Bank, Distinguished Professor of the School of Public Policy and Management of Tsinghua University, and former Minister of Tourism of Brazil, emphasized that AI would lead to the evolution of social structures and alter the way humans interact socially. The resultant intelligent society will address a series of major challenges such as climate change and may facilitate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Cui Huang, Professor at the School of Public Administration and Director of the Department of Information Resources Management of Zhejiang University, indicated that China’s practice of promoting the modernization of education and building a strong educational nation in the intelligent era, through the integration of digital technology and education, demonstrated that intelligent technology held immense potential in educational governance and could infuse new vitality and resilience into social development.

The transformation into an intelligent society has brought about issues and challenges about legal privacy, moral ethics, and public governance in human society. Jun Su, Dean of the Institute of Intelligent Society Governance of Tsinghua University and Director of the Think Tank Center of Tsinghua University, believed that in the face of risks and challenges posed by new technologies represented by ChatGPT, we should adopt a prudent, confident, and proactive attitude, employ a scientific evidence-based approach to comprehensive assessments, and facilitate its benign development.

Countries worldwide are actively conducting practices to utilize AI in addressing social problems and accumulating experience in the process, thereby forming a relatively complete regulatory system and ethical norms. As Zhiyuan Xu, Deputy Chief Engineer of China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, stated, the development of AI governance was transitioning from conceptualization to the actual rulemaking and implementation stage. Globally, countries are actively releasing AI rules and policies under governance objectives such as reliability, controllability, human-centeredness, fairness, and justice. The panelists call for refining global advanced experiences and practices, further promoting the concepts and practices of intelligent society governance, and actively exploring the international standardization construction of intelligent society governance.

  1. The international community should work together to promote exchange and cooperation in intelligent society governance, uphold the principle of technology for social good, and build a community with a shared future for mankind in the intelligent era.

The panelists agreed that it was necessary to explore the path of intelligent society governance under the concept of building a community of human destiny, strengthening international exchanges and cooperation in intelligent society governance, and promoting inclusive sharing, agile governance, and the realization of differential development and win-win cooperation among countries. Jiang Wang, Deputy Director of the Information Bureau of Cyberspace Administration of China, pointed out that China is willing to exchange and share work experiences in intelligent society governance experiments with other countries, actively contribute to Chinese solutions, and learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Jun Su, Dean of the Institute of Intelligent Society Governance of Tsinghua University and Director of the Think Tank Center of Tsinghua University, called on countries to strengthen academic cooperation and exchange in the field of intelligent society governance, widely hold open, diverse, and inclusive academic conferences, and publish related academic journals.

The panelists all advocated that the international community should strengthen dialogue and exchange, calling on researchers and practitioners from different countries and academic fields around the world to join in the research and discussion of global intelligent society governance and make academic contributions to building a humanistic intelligent society. They hoped that countries could deepen pragmatic cooperation, jointly face the opportunities and challenges brought by intelligent technology, and work together towards a new stage of human civilization. They looked forward to everyone’s efforts to make the public in countries around the world pay more attention to the application and future of AI, and jointly construct a new chapter of a community with a shared future for mankind in the intelligent era.