IGF 2019 WS #235 Are Smart Cities for everyone?

Organizer 1: Holger Dieterich, Sozialhelden e.V.
Organizer 2: Silke Georgi, Sozialhelden e.V.

Speaker 1: Jutta Treviranus, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Federico Poitier, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Raul Krauthausen, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Policy Question(s): 

What policies are necessary to ensure that no one and no place is left behind as the internet increasingly becomes an ubiquitous part of daily life?

Relevance to Theme: The session will explore Digital Inclusion from the perspective of a broad range of specific and general cases of application. The concept of Digital Inclusion is often limited to solutions which enable people with disabilities to gain access to the internet or be able to use a website or an app. We will look at issues that go far beyond that, exploring how data is and can be used to make the world more inclusive in many ways and how Smart City solutions can and must be created for everyone from the first moment of planning to the finished solution.

Relevance to Internet Governance: We need concrete scenarios explained by self-advocates to understand what policy recommendations are necessary for inclusive Smart Cities. This open format aims to generate them. If people with disabilities are not at the table in all aspects of shaping Internet Governance, the evolution of the Internet will take a course that leaves them out in the same way they have been largely left out in the governance and creation of the physical world.


Other - 60 Min
Format description: Open Fish Bowl Panel

Description: Approximately 1 billion people around the world identify as having a disability and 80% of them live in countries of the Global South. Current trends in digital development and internet governance have an immense potential to bridge the socio-economic divide that creates attitudinal barriers for persons with disabilities. We must ensure an environment in which persons with disabilities have the necessary skills and equitable access to the opportunities that digital transformations will provide.

This session will explore and present the policy, programmatic and technical measures needed to ensure that internet governance is truly inclusive, particularly for persons with disabilities. As well as to ensure that the digital transformation is designed inclusively in order to achieve the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. The aim of this session is to collect governance and policy recommendations from self advocates and disability rights activists to make sure no one and no place is left behind as the internet becomes a ubiquitous part of daily life more and more.

When discussing internet accessibility, we usually mean access to the direct internet services such as the WWW and E-Mail. This session will consider the perspectives and needs of people with disabilities that go far beyond simply having access to the internet in an information society: Will self-driving cars run over pedestrians who do not walk as predicted by the algorithm? Will a smart bus stop be accessible to a blind person as well? How can people find data online about the accessibility of places?

Starting out with concrete examples from the hands-on work being done by the speakers, in the areas of online mapping of accessible public places, de-identifying data used in making “smart” decisions to safeguard vulnerable communities and eliminating the digital divide for people with disabilities in Smart Cities worldwide, the participants will be invited to share their own experiences and visions.

Expected Outcomes: Governance and policy recommendations from self advocates and disability rights activists on the opportunities and risks regarding infrastructure, government data and AI/ML algorithms in the context of Smart Cities.

Onsite Moderator: 

Holger Dieterich, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator: 

Silke Georgi, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Holger Dieterich, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Discussion Facilitation: 

The format will be an Open Fish Bowl Panel: Five chairs are arranged in an inner circle. This is the fishbowl. The remaining chairs are arranged in concentric circles around the fishbowl. The three panelists and the moderator sit in the chairs in the fishbowl, while the rest of the group sits on the chairs outside the fishbowl. The moderator introduces the topic and the participants start discussing the topic. The audience outside the fishbowl listens in on the discussion.

Any member of the audience can, at any time, occupy the empty chair and join the fishbowl. When this happens, an existing member of the fishbowl must voluntarily leave the fishbowl and free up another chair. The discussion continues with participants frequently entering and leaving the fishbowl. In this way it is possible for many audience members to spend some time in the fishbowl and directly take part in the discussion. When time runs out, the fishbowl is closed and the moderator summarizes the discussion.

To ensure that this event is also inclusive for people who cannot or do not want to speak up in front of an audience, helping hands will distribute and collect remarks and questions from the audience in the room and online and the moderator will read them out loud throughout the session. Sign language interpreters and captioning should be provided to ensure that deaf people can participate equally in the discussion.

A dedicated remote moderator will be involved in the planning of the workshop to give advice on where remote participation during the workshop will need to be facilitated. The on-site moderator will frequently communicate with the remote moderator throughout the session to ensure remote participants’ views and questions are considered.

Online Participation: 

Efforts will be made to use available online tools to animate discussions in the room and online simultaneously. Participants in the room will also be asked to use their mobile devices to connect and interact with remote participants.

Proposed Additional Tools: Social media will also be used to generate a wider discussion and create momentum for online participation as the workshop is unfolding. Co-organizers will ensure that the workshop is promoted in advance to the wider community to give remote participants the opportunity to prepare questions and contributions in advance and to generate interest in the workshop.


GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
GOAL 12: Responsible Production and Consumption
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions