IGF 2023 WS #127 Collaborative Governance towards the Interplanetary Network


Global Digital Governance & Cooperation
Harmonising Global Digital Infrastructure

Organizer 1: Yosuke Kaneko, 🔒IPNSIG
Organizer 2: Mariko Kobayashi, WIDE Project
Organizer 3: HIROSHI ESAKI, 🔒The University of Tokyo

Speaker 1: Vinton CERF, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Laura DeNardis, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Jun Murai, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: Scott Pace, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 5: Yosuke Kaneko, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group


Yosuke Kaneko, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator

Mariko Kobayashi, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group


Yosuke Kaneko, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group


Round Table - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

How can stakeholders, including IPN users, actively engage in governance discussions?

What are the essential lessons from Internet and Internet Governance that would shape the future of IPN?

How can we establish collaborative governance within the IPN regime? Is a "Multi-stakeholder" approach applicable?

What administrative and management mechanisms are necessary to achieve a common IPN for all of humanity?

What will participants gain from attending this session? This workshop marks a pivotal moment as it offers the first opportunity for stakeholders to engage in discussions about the future of the IPN. Our aim is to encourage voluntary participation, enabling a collaborative dialogue that shapes the future of IPN.

In the early stages of the Internet, engineers and researchers pioneered the technology, which rapidly gained global prominence. Subsequently, governance aspects emerged and were addressed in later discussions. For the IPN, it is crucial to involve individuals with diverse backgrounds from its early stages, ensuring an open, accessible, and a common IPN that serves all humanity.

Furthermore, we expect participants to gain a comprehensive understanding of the current IPN landscape and extend outcomes to their respective local communities and stakeholders.

In particular, this session holds significant value for younger generations by providing valuable insights into key lessons from the Internet's past and the future as it expands into space.


During the early 1990s, the Internet Society coined the slogan "The Internet is for Everyone," at a time when less than 1% of the global population had Internet access. Today, over 60% of individuals incorporate the Internet into their daily lives. As the Internet has evolved and been commercialized, communities need to consider not only technological and operational issues, but also social and governance issues.

Now, there are several efforts by governments, space agencies and the private sector that expand communication capabilities off the planet to the Moon, Mars and beyond. Collectively, we call this the “Interplanetary Network (IPN).” Although space projects are strongly bound with national space agencies, we believe that the Internet is for everyone even in space. The IPNSIG has been dedicated to expanding networking to interplanetary space for the benefit of humanity for the past 25 years and we believe a multi-stakeholder approach will be effective in developing a common IPN.

To establish a comprehensive IPN that serves all of humanity, we must consider both architectural and governance aspects. Reflecting on the history of the Internet, we recognize that technology took precedence followed by addressing various governance issues. However, in the case of the IPN, governance now assumes high priority alongside technical considerations as we enter a new era of space exploration. Nevertheless, we are still exploring the various dimensions of potential governance issues that may arise concerning the IPN and how we can leverage the lessons learned from the history of the Internet.

In this workshop, we propose an open discussion on the anticipated architectural and governance challenges of the IPN, involving all stakeholders at IGF2023. The IPNSIG will initially present preliminary findings and views on architecture and governance, followed by an inclusive dialogue with IGF participants and speakers.

Expected Outcomes

This session aims to initiate dialogues on IPN governance with stakeholders and gather valuable lessons and inputs from the Internet community.

The insights gathered will be shared with stakeholders, including space agencies, private sectors, and academia, to raise awareness about IPN governance. Simultaneously, these insights will fuel further discussions and help shape the governance of IPN toward our future.

Hybrid Format: This workshop mainly consists of a roundtable discussion to elaborate opinions from IGF participants with diverse backgrounds as much as possible.

During the roundtable discussion, an on-site and online moderator will alternately pick each participant who is willing to take the floor so that both on-site and online audiences can speak equally.

Regarding chat comments posted by both on-site and online participants, the online moderator will introduce and summarize those comments to the floor. We believe that ensuring the intervention of chat comments is also essential since not all online participants have enough quality of the Internet connection to use their cameras and mic or with some other reasons.