IGF 2019 WS #49 What About Us? Design and Inclusion in the Digital Age

Organizer 1: Giovanna Capponi, CEFRES / Charles University
Organizer 2: Adesina Ayeni, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (Radio Nigeria)
Organizer 3: Zaituni Njovu, Zaina Foundation

Speaker 1: Giovanna Capponi, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Zaituni Njovu, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Israel Etim, Government, African Group
Speaker 4: Adesina Ayeni, Government, African Group
Speaker 5: Jairo Dorado Cadilla, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Policy Question(s): 

As the workshop focuses on digital inclusion, all policy questions; 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 will be relevant and will be addressed. For instance, we will look at internet and digital tools availability issues, how the educational system can include digital literacy into the curriculum, inclusion of marginalized groups in all stages of Internet governance, access to tools that makes life easier for the end-user as well as advantage of diffusion of digital opportunities in the global south.

Relevance to Theme: In the past decades, the digital revolution of the internet contributed greatly to the shaping of a new idea of a closely connected world, often referred to as the “global village”. However, as a matter of fact, this new global digital landscape was not always successful at including those segments of the population with lack of linguistic, physical and economical abilities in order to access and benefit from the internet and its opportunities. The session aims at emphasizing the need to bridge the digital divide, which is hindering the progress of the SDG’s. As more opportunities of employment and business focus on exploiting the potentiality of a connected world, we are faced with the great challenge of shaping a more inclusive digital environment which takes into consideration linguistic and cultural diversity. What about other global citizens who has the ideas and skills to propel the world to the next level? Inclusion and diversity is a sine qua non for the globe to forge ahead. It is called a state of imbalance, when majority of global developmental decisions are made by only a consensus of a session of the world. The session will answer the question ‘what about us?’ among other questions relating to digital inclusion and internet governance.

Relevance to Internet Governance: We believe that the creation of more inclusive digital worlds should take into consideration a variety of factors, including economic and linguistic access to the internet. These problems are particularly frequent in the Global South, which faces problems of high data and broadband tariff and less opportunities of digital education and literacy. In particular, we would like to address the challenges of including linguistic minorities in a digital landscapes which produces the great majority of its content in English or other widely spoken languages. Therefore, one of the priorities of governance of the “global village” should be to recognize different languages as equal in order to reach a wider proportion of the population and even to create new targeted markets for the speakers of minority or non-dominant languages. Moreover, the panel would like to address problems of accessibility which intersect linguistic abilities with physical disabilities like reduced sight and hearing.


Birds of a Feather - Auditorium - 60 Min

Description: As a guide, the session will follow a six point agenda:

- Introduction. Each person gives a brief intro about themselves, work and the reason for being on the panel
- The Big Issues (What About Us?)
- SDG for the Big Issues (we will discuss the relationship between the SDG'S and the Big Issues).
- How do we solve the Big Issues? Every one on the panel will give their remarks on solution to the 'Big Issues'. Audience write ideas on post-its/twitter during 1-5 minutes with ideas about better ways for design and digital inclusion in the digital age.

- Question and Answer segment/ Plenary/ Discussion with participants in the room about some of the ideas identified in the post-its

- End activity and recommendations: Interactive activity based on the notes from the event itself. Can have participants split into groups and each group comes up with 2 responses for each of the questions below:
Ask the audience: What do you suggest as solution to digital marginalization?
What are they taking away from the session?
What is your recommendation?
Networking, Next steps

The moderator will do a preview of what to discuss; how to solve the Big Issues, access/accessibility, and affordability. Questions like, "in what ways can internet governance stakeholders collaborate to create policies that would have great impact on all?" will be answered at the session. Each person in the room will have to tweet what they hope for in internet governance. From the responses, the steps to be taken to achieve different innovations for under-represented people and under-developed parts of the world will surface.

Expected Outcomes: At the end of the session, we would have:
- analyzed the problems, challenges and possible solutions to design & inclusion in the digital age.
- Collated recommendations and feedback on Internet Governance from session participants.
- Create avenue for like-minds and stakeholders to network or collaborate on projects relating to design & inclusion.
- Motivate & inspire participants to agitate for digital inclusion.
- Implored philanthropists and grant bodies to fund/support digital inclusive initiatives
- Wake up call to manufacturers of digital tools, developers, programmers, historians, teachers, activists, technologists and curators to work together to design products that captures the desires of the end-user.

Onsite Moderator: 

Giovanna Capponi, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator: 

Adesina Ayeni, Government, African Group


Zaituni Njovu, Civil Society, African Group

Discussion Facilitation: 

We promote online participation and interaction, therefore, onsite and online participants can contribute in real-time to the discussion by tweeting to the handles of the organizers, IGF handle and #IGF #WhatAboutUs? #Diversity #DesignAndInclusion hash tags.
Along the discussion, the participants will be implored to air their views, perspectives or experience on the subject of discuss. At the end of the session, participants will be asked to give concluding remarks and recommendation that will push forward the related SDG's.

Online Participation: 

The online moderator will mention the Official Online Participation Platforms in all posts to be shared online. Every activities onsite will be featured online, and the online voices will be presented at the session.

Proposed Additional Tools: Organizers, moderators and speakers online platforms; Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Organizers, moderators and speakers will share happenings at the session on their individual platforms.


GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals