IGF 2023 WS #384 Ethical Networking: Sustainability and Accountability


Sustainability & Environment
Digital Technologies to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals

Organizer 1: Marc Bruyere, IIJ lab
Organizer 2: Keith Goldstein, 🔒Pirate Parties International
Organizer 3: Daphne TUNCER, École des Ponts ParisTech
Organizer 4: Gregory Engels, 🔒
Organizer 5: Alexander Kohler, 🔒
Organizer 6: Alexander Isavnin, 🔒

Speaker 1: Keith Goldstein, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Daphne TUNCER, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Marc Bruyere, Private Sector, Asia-Pacific Group


Alexander Kohler, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Gregory Engels, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Alexander Isavnin, Technical Community, Eastern European Group


Break-out Group Discussions - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

A. How can we ensure that computer networking practices align with ethical principles, including privacy, transparency, and accountability?
B. What role can the IGF and its stakeholders play in promoting sustainable and responsible internet governance?
C. How can emerging technologies, such as automated language models (i.e. artificial intelligence), and the Internet of Things, be ethically developed and deployed to ensure they have positive social, cultural, political, academic, and environmental impacts?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Participants will gain a deeper understanding of ethical considerations and challenges associated with computer networking, including privacy concerns, data governance, and responsible use of emerging technologies. Participants will learn about environmental impacts and strategies to minimize resource consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote sustainability throughout the internet ecosystem. They will discuss policy questions, including the development of recommendations aimed at promoting responsible internet governance. We will foster a debate on how to implement policies at the community and macro levels. Attendees will gain tools to guide ethical decision-making, including best practices. Attendees will leave with a sense of empowerment and motivation to contribute to a more responsible and sustainable digital future. By attending our session, participants will not only acquire new knowledge and insights but also join a community of like-minded individuals committed to driving ethical networking practices and advancing sustainability in the digital realm.


Computer networking presents tremendous security concerns for our globally connected digital world. Our workshop will explore how ethical considerations can drive responsible and sustainable computer networking practices. Computer networking refers to the practice of connecting multiple computers to facilitate communication, data sharing, and resource sharing. Examples include sharing files, accessing the internet, sending emails, conducting video conferences, and all types of online services. Computer networking provides a framework for computers and devices to communicate and collaborate, enabling seamless connectivity and information exchange in today’s interconnected world. Ethical dimensions of computer networking is a topic that requires greater investigation. We will draw insights from the IGF’s discussions and the expertise of stakeholders who are actively engaged in addressing these ethical challenges. We will outline a list of current major ethical concerns that relate to computer networking, including topics such as research ethics, privacy, data governance, responsible use of emerging technologies, and environmental impacts associated internet applications and systems. Discussion will revolve around topics, such as how internet protocols, data centers, and emerging technologies can be designed and utilized in an environmentally conscious manner. We will highlight the importance of minimizing resource consumption, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, considering human social interactions, and promoting sustainable practices. The workshop will include both academic speakers and representatives of non-profit organizations. By bringing together stakeholders from various backgrounds, we aim to identify practical recommendations and strategies to advance a debate about how digital technology should be governed. We envision this session as a catalyst for meaningful dialogue, knowledge exchange, and collective action towards a more responsible and sustainable digital future. Through an interactive presentation and group discussion activities, we will address policy questions that lie at the heart of ethical networking.

Expected Outcomes

The session will serve as basis for an academic publication. We will also be replicating the workshop at our respective universities. A blog article about the event will be published, along with pictures. We plan to hold a follow up event in conjunction with our ECOSOC activities at the UNHQ. We also plan to produce a guide for ethical networking.

Hybrid Format: Onsite and online speakers and attendees will interact on JITSI, which includes online polling and advanced video conferencing technology. In order to make the workshop more engaging we will incorporate live polling, Q&A, chat dialogue, and virtual whiteboards that allow the participants to provide input during the workshop. Equitable speaking opportunities will be provided to both onsite and online speakers, ensuring they have equal time to share their perspectives. We will also be bringing together leaders from other non-profit organizations, encouraging debate about best practices.