IGF 2023 WS #276 Decoding the Impact of AI and Emerging Tech on Civic Space


Human Rights & Freedoms
Rights to Access and Information

Organizer 1: Jyotsna Mohan, Asia Development Alliance
Organizer 2: Abruzzini Bibbi , 🔒
Organizer 3: Clarisse Sih, Forus

Speaker 1: 'Gbenga Sesan, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 2: Prem Singh Tharu , Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Hideki Wakabayashi, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Jyotsna Mohan, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator

Clarisse Sih, Civil Society, African Group


Abruzzini Bibbi , Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Round Table - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

What can civil society organizations do to ensure that AI and emerging technologies are used in a way that benefits society?

How can civil society actively engage with the development of AI, advocating for human rights-based and socially responsible practices?

How can civil society organizations educate the public about the risks and benefits of AI and other emerging technologies, and provide resources for individuals and communities to navigate them safely?

How can indigenous communities, women and youth be involved in the development of AI tools and other digital practices?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the impact of AI and emerging technologies on civic space and civil society organizations.

Participants will learn practical resources and tools that they can apply to their work.

Participants will have the opportunity to network and share best practices with other civil society organizations.

Partucipants will think critically but constructively about the nexys between human rights, civic space and technology


As the technological landscape transforms at lightning speed, civil society organizations worldwide face new challenges and opportunities in leveraging AI and emerging technologies for social impact, human rights and civic engagement. What risks lurk on the horizon when it comes to civic space and the rights of citizens worldwide? What are the intersections between technology, society and rights specifically in the context of AI design and policy? How is civil society using AI in innovative and transformative ways? From those such as UNGOFF in Uganda, using AI to "decolonise language" to others such as Benetech which uses machine learning and encryption to secure and protect sensitive human rights data, enabling activists and journalists to safely document and share evidence of abuses, join a global hybrid discussion for a thought-provoking exploration of cutting-edge strategies and tools to successfully navigate this ever-changing terrain for civil society with testimonials from around the globe. The session will feature speakers from various communities - from indigenous groups in Asia, to gender justice and digital rights organisations, tech exports and youth voices. Together our aim is to present and continue developing a "Civil Society AI manifesto for civic space and human rights" that can reflect the experiences and ideas of different stakeholders.

Expected Outcomes

To continue developing a "Civil society AI manifesto for civic space and human rights"

To provide participants with an understanding of the impact of AI and emerging technologies on civic space and civil society organizations

To provide practical resources and tools for civil society organizations to navigate these changes

To facilitate networking and sharing of best practices among participants

To develop a joint and multilingual campaign #Let's Talk Digital and document with voices of civil society on the challenges and opportunities of AI and emerging technologies

Hybrid Format: Work with Forus pool of interpreters to make sure the roundtable has simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Spanish.

Prepare a series of preparatory meetings online ahead of the session - starting in July - with ADA and Forus allies and partners to prepare engagement throughout IGF and support civil society organisations who are not familiar with internet governance fora to engage.

Develop as part of the session the #Let's Talk Digital collaborative and multilingual digital campaign to collect testimonials on the impact on AI on human rights and civic space

Use of Jamboard to make the process collaborative and engaging for participants.

Ahead and during the session virtual networking spaces where online and in-person participants can connect and engage with each other. This will be done through online metaverse platforms that simulate a virtual environment, allowing participants to move around, join group discussions, or interact through avatars.