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IGF 2020 – Day 10 – WS168 Capacity Building in the Age of Convergence

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the virtual Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), from 2 to 17 November 2020. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  With that being said we'll go ahead and kick off our workshop here this morning.  Thank you so much to all of our panelists, especially for joining this session.  I am happy to introduce you.  And we have attendees here in the room.  Just for everyone's information, you know, we really welcome people to take the floor when there is an opportunity to ask questions to our panelists.  And also the second half of this workshop will be interactive.  And due to the digital format of this session, we have shortened it slightly.  So you all get 15 minutes back to your morning.  So the first part will be a panel.  The second half will be a short exercise.  And you can participate if you are in the audience via the chat.  We will be moderating the chat to make sure that, you know, we get input from as many people as possible.  And again if you would like to take the floor and speak, we can also make that happen. 
    So I will go ahead and share my screen here just to start the workshop.  Okay.  Let's see, okay.  Wonderful.  So I'll go ahead and kick us off here this morning.  Welcome to the capacity building in the age of convergence workshop.  My name is Rachel Azafrani.  I am a security strategist with Microsoft's digital diplomacy team.  I wanted to recap a little bit about what this workshop is all about, some of the issues that will be exploring here this morning.  So capacity building in the age of convergence, what do we mean by this?  Well, we are talking about the net new capacity building challenges that we face in a world of converging technologies.  So as we are already facing challenges in capacity building for cybersecurity in general what are the new challenges that we are facing when we have a convergence of sophisticated, high tech technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and cloud or Internet of Things and cloud and 5G.  And how do we equip governments and industry and Civil Society to come together to address these challenges in the near term as these technologies kind of continue to advance. 

So it is my pleasure to introduce to you a little bit about the order of the workshop and then I will be happy to also introduce our esteemed panelists here.  So without further ado again the first part of this work will be a brief panel.  And there will be the opportunity for question and answer with our panelists.  And then there will be a policy exercise with everyone involved, including the panelists to try and elaborate and map out some of these recommendations.  And then we can share this information, what we gather from this workshop in a report. 
    Our panelists here this morning, very, very, very delighted to have you with us.  We have Verena Weber from the OECD.  We have 'Gbenga Sesan from the Paradigm Initiative; Dr. Andrea Calderaro from the Cardif University and Prateek Sibal from UNESCO.  Very excited.  You should all be able to unmute yourselves hopefully when I pose questions to you, but if not, please let me know. 
    And with that I wanted to go ahead and start off with some questions for each of you.  So what I'll do is I will go ahead and walk through a set of questions.  And I would love for you all to sort of respond and reflect on each of them.  And, of course, if you would like to make another intervention and respond to the comment of a fellow panelist, that's very welcome as well. 

So just to get us started and open here today, I wanted to ask each of you, starting with Dr. Andrea Calderaro, because you are first on my screen here, what are some of the main governance challenges of converging technologies at the national level?  So again we are talking about the intersection of Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, cloud, AI.  So at the national level.  Can you touch upon some of the main governance challenges that you are seeing? 

   >> ANDREA CALDERARO:  Hi.  Hi Rachel.  Hi everyone.  Thanks for organizing this panel that is on cyber capacity building.  This does not focus only on cybersecurity which is pretty important already.  It is a good start.  My impression, my experience is that I mean we are all aware that technology was quicker than our capacity to understand the impact that technologies have on society.  And this struggle is reflected in our ‑‑ yeah.  Struggle to identify what is the legal framework or policy framework that makes that technology development as much as sustainable as possible for that specific context, whether it is a political or societal context. 
    And this is true.  I mean it is particularly pressure issue in countries that are more recently exposed to these technologies.  And the lack of ‑‑ and the main challenge which is a straightforward answer to your question, is the difficulty, it is translated in to the difficulty to coordinate a policy response.  Or better to say it is in defining a cyber governance structure.  Cyber governance capacity that makes possible the coordination among the various actors that are supposed to offer an answer to this struggle.  Talking about multi‑stakeholder, which is one of the usual key words that we discuss in these cases, the lack of a cyber governance capacity doesn't make possible to implement a multi‑stakeholder approach. 
    And I mean a multi‑stakeholder is not a usual model at IGF that we tend to use.  A lack of a multi‑stakeholder is a possibility to implement the multi‑stakeholder approach in reacting to these challenges.  It does not enable to integrate expertise and as a result we ‑‑ my experience is that we witness a lot of fragmentation of communities.  And the fermentation of communities does not allow countries to provide a coordinated response to those challenges. 
    So this is the case, for example, back to the cybersecurity domain, which is the domain where cyber capacity has been mostly implemented in the last years.  I can see there that the main interlocutor in the cybersecurity is governments.  For me it is kind of impossible to develop national cybersecurity without having established clear dialogues with private sector and Civil Society.  Each actor has different expertise and capacity to react to these challenges.  So the point here and I'd probably stop here, is the main challenge is to identify, develop capacities to frame a cyber governance structure in each context that ensures that dialogues is maintained among the various communities and integrated this way expertise and make the multi‑stakeholder approach effective and useful for this ‑‑ for the challenges. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you very much.  And I would like to just, you know, touch on your really interesting point that you made at the very beginning.  We are focused on cybersecurity challenges for converging technologies, but the fact that there has to be more of a wholistic approach, that won't just involve security is very important to keep in mind as well.  Thank you very much for your response. 
    Prateek, I have you next on my screen.  If you would like to touch on some of the main governance challenges that you see with converging technologies. 

   >> PRATEEK SIBAL:  Thanks, Rachel.  Thanks for organizing this discussion.  Thanks to all the other panelists.  It is lovely to be here.  The very nature of the technology governance is something that we need to understand.  When we are governing technology, it is not just a technology for the sake of the technology itself that we are governing.  What we are regulating is the social impact that technologies have, whether it is positive or negative based on whatever is society's acceptable standard of the impact that technologies can have.  Now this is often called what in academic literature is called rich dilemma.  How can you regulate a technology or govern a technology when its social impact is unknown.  Or at best it is contested.  The example of AI, we have two strands of discussions.  One is academics, doing a survey about artificial and general intelligence and find out, what would be the consequences.  That's pretty far away. 

And there is basically no consensus what is going to happen.  So we don't really know.  It is in the realm of what we can call unknown.  There is, of course, a second part where we are trying to understand the social implications of technology, like AI on jobs, on education, on cultural diversity.  We see since we started using social media about 10, 12, 13 years ago, our understanding has evolved where the regulation has not.  If we see in 2008 the Obama campaign because using social media to micro target voters.  And now we see social media rights for disinformation.  So it is sometimes really hard for policymakers to foresee as to what is going to happen at the intersection of technology and society.  And this I think is one of the kind of intrinsic technologies and policy governance.  But this doesn't mean that we cannot do anything.  That's not the point.  We definitely can.  But the process of policy making becomes complex.  And herein lies the challenge when we talk about complicated policy making processes and when Professor Andrea Calderaro was talking about, you know, lack of capacities.  I would even go further and say there is a lot of lack of awareness in a lot of Developing Countries as to the impact of these technologies. 
    Sometimes you often see policy documents coming from a lot of countries which can be a direct copy/paste.  So when we are talking about policy transfer and stuff like that, we need to think about capacity.  Just to give you a small example, at UNESCO we did a survey of basically countries in Africa on the needs with respect to Artificial Intelligence.  And in the survey we found 32 countries responded to that survey; that out of the 32 only five countries reported having initiatives to strengthen knowledge and capacities within the Government.  Only one country has done something for training its legislature, and two have taken initiatives through strength and capacities. 

So I think there is this long gap that we need to address and as Professor Andrea Calderaro said it is also a time consuming long horizon process.  It is about building capacities for multi‑stakeholder policy making.  And that takes a lot of time.  Yeah.  Thank you. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Great.  Thank you so much.  That was really informative findings there about capacity building for policymakers, in particular which I feel like often sometimes get left out of this discussion when we are thinking about infrastructure, and we are thinking about technology in general.  So very interesting. 
    Verena Weber, would you like to respond to the question?  Thank you. 

   >> VERENA WEBER:  Sure.  And good morning, everyone, and thank you very much for having me here at this very interesting panel.  Maybe taking a step back to ask basically what are the main Government's challenges of converging technologies.  And we heard we need to have a wholistic approach.  If we think about converging technologies such as AI, the IoT cloud and data, there is one main foundation.  That foundation is connectivity.  So if we don't connect countries well, so not only we need to connect them and we need to connect them well.  Then all those converging technologies and digital transformation of countries won't happen.  My first point is what we need is a very robust, legal and regulatory framework to connectivity.  So that would be my first point. 
    And then maybe I totally agree with the other panelists that we do need a wholistic whole of Government approach.  So what we see at the moment is we see a lot of countries have some sort of a national digital strategy for some equivalent policy that's in place.  But most of them are still quite narrow in scope.  So we really need like coordination between the different entities within Government.  But also coordination with the different groups of communities, but we really need truly the multi‑stakeholder approach.  And then when we think about establishing policies at a national level because we are talking about the IoT, because we are talking about cloud, we also need to take the international level in to account.  Because if you want to do national policies, for instance, on the IoT, you need to be sure to have a legal framework that is allowing for things such as permanent roaming because otherwise you won't make the society system happen.  And I think I will stop there for the moment. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you so much.  I think that's actually something that I would like to return to in the exercise actually to sort of the rule of international cooperation even though often we do need to think about capacity building at the national level as well.  Thank you so much. 
    And 'Gbenga Sesan, would you like to respond to the question? 

   >> 'GBENGA SESAN:  Sure.  Thank you.  The conversation around convergence is always, you know, always a challenge for many reasons.  And I would like to highlight maybe three quick challenges that we have seen.  And I speak not just at the national level in my own country but also a few of the other African countries where we work as part of the initiative.  I think the first would be prioritization in terms of priorities. 
    You know, it is difficult for you to begin to talk about, you know, convergence of AI, IoT and other things when policymakers are still discussing basic issues.  You know, we talked about the need to train policymakers.  But how on earth do you want policymakers to pay attention to AI when they are still talking about power supply, stable electricity.  I think that prioritization is a major challenge.  Through our Digital Africa report every year we monitor the progress.  And there are people who will choose not to prioritize progress and tech because it could mean a threat to their political survival.  They are still struggling to undue the conversations that happen on social media.  The priority is not to discuss convergence but thinking of how to count down in terms of priority.  That's one. 

The second is in terms of playing catchup.  And it is not just playing catchup in terms of expertise alone but also for political will.  So there are people within, you know, various limits of Government who already have an idea of what's going on.  Some who even work with us in Civil Society on these issues.  But if there is no political will, unfortunately policy will always be a catch up to innovation.  Not because policy doesn't have any idea what's going on but at times because there is just no political will to make it happen.  And a third which may actually be the bigger problem or the biggest of the three problems, is policy incoherence.  So you have different elements of Government focusing on different things.  I can give you different examples from different countries.  You have a unit working on communication, on development.  You have another unit working on IT.  When you mention AI everyone wants to own the top.  When you talk about convergence it means that we are also meeting the different tasks that we own to this bigger pie.  And what has happened many times when government eventually decides to talk about convergence there is a new entity in charge, and nobody wants to lose their stuff.  But I think the good news there is some progress.  Maybe foster progress in terms of economy interest. 

There are countries that are facing the reality, maybe not just even, you know, what having conversations about now because we are forced to talk about post COVID recovery, and if you are going to recover you cannot but look at the opportunities that exist.  And this is where we begin to have some progress in some countries deciding to have this conversation, even though it is not something that they would normally prioritize. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you very much for your insight there.  I think that actually, you know, queues up perfectly this next discussion I want to have based on prioritization.  So while especially in a post COVID recovery world where the digital transformation has been kind of a signal as a key to global economy recovery and converging technologies are perhaps a large part of that.  I wanted to go through and ask each of you, you know, what is at stake here.  So what do you see, you know, often cited are privacy, safety security and economic opportunity and if Governments are sort of unprepared to address these capacity building challenges for converging technologies, what do you see as perhaps the largest element there among those that is at stake?  Or maybe it is multiple.  Maybe it is security and economic opportunity.  But if you were to rank some issues for at the national level, Governments to think about what would they be.  So going back, going back to Professor Andrea Calderaro here. 

   >> ANDREA CALDERARO:  Because this is really depends on the context.  And that's why it is so important.  I mean we are talking about transnational challenges.  Transnational challenges means that each country is involved in this ‑‑ they do have ‑‑ they experience a different topology of connectivity and different challenges, specifically in their political or societal economic context.  So sorry, there is no answer there.  And the answer is that we need to be aware, it is difficult.  We cannot push a challenge that is a case for.  We need to establish a clear line on dialogues in order to be able to see what are their own challenges.  And this is why it is so important for each country to develop their unique cyber governance capacities that enable them to connect with the local various actors in order to coordinate what they really need. 
    Sorry.  I hope ‑‑ but that's what I really think is the problem.  It is not to pretend to get an answer for everything. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  No, no, absolutely.  I think that's very interesting how the localized context needs to be taken in to account and how Governments must prioritize at a level ‑‑ a cybersecurity strategy as well.  So Prateek, would you like to take a stab at that one? 

   >> PRATEEK SIBAL:  So I think it is true that this is really context dependent and it is ‑‑ it also depends a lot on political will.  So we need to also think about what are the drivers for that political will.  And one of the things that is quite obvious and we also saw in our survey is that economic growth is one of the biggest drivers.  Challenges of jobs, challenges of training the youth, these are one of the biggest drivers that push Governments to move in the direction of governance. 
    So just kind of pointing out to the macro level what can happen if Governments are not prepared.  It is kind of obvious that these are rule of law concerns, if you don't have a properly functioning democracy and so on and so forth.  There is a link if you don't have rule of law.  And hence you need some kind of governance around these technologies.  We are already seeing deep fakes that are being used that are affecting elections in different countries.  These are kind of real challenges that Governments may be driven to address because it also impinges on their very existence. 

Then the second aspect is a discussion that we have about trustworthy AI.  And that's kind of underpinned by a strong economic project.  If we don't have proper governance frameworks for these technologies, then even may not trust them, may not use them.  And hence that may limit the growth and development of these technologies in the country. 
    So that's another driver to kind of govern and develop capacities so that they can be economic or trust based.  The third and final aspect that I wanted to briefly touch upon is kind of what we call street level bureaucracies.  Oftentimes we ‑‑ we talk about policy making at the level of the Parliament, legislatures.  But we also need to talk about the street level bureaucracy, the local police person.  The health care workers who are actually a lot of times using these technologies and implementing them.  I can give you an example about digital I.D. systems.  Now, for instance, in a country like India, the law says that if you want to go and access Russians at a public distribution shop, if your digital I.D. does not work, if your fingerprint is not detected you should actually ‑‑ the shop keeper should be able to override that call and give you still some rations.  But a lot of times what ends up happening they don't.  So even if there is a law, but there is lack of respect for rule of law, or these Human Rights concerns within the street level bureaucracies or the last mile.  We need to bring to the discussion and focus a bit more about.  Thank you. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you very much.  I think the ‑‑ the social consequences are really interesting to highlight here and also something that we can consider later on in this workshop.  So thank you. 
    Verena Weber, would you like to answer that question? 

   >> VERENA WEBER:  Sure.  And I would say a lot is at stake.  And so basically I mean our members are great.  We have 37 member countries and they are at different stages of development.  They have different areas they focus on.  But basically to go back to my first point, so if we don't have connectivity basically there is no digital transformation.  So basically that means the entire digital transformation is at stake.  And at the OECD we are often looking at economic impact.  So what this basically means is that people in countries will have fewer economic opportunities.  And what we do see this is also translating in to lower productivity.  And this is something that worries us a lot, especially with COVID‑19.  So what we see is that we might get widening gap between countries which is something that's quite concerning.  And then I would say the third main area which is at stake is basically social inclusion.  So and this is especially relevant for people, they are not living in the big cities, that are living more in rural and remote areas.  And this is true across member countries and especially for the more vulnerable groups because then ‑‑ just certain extent kind of excluded from social discussions.  Not only at the national level but also at the regional level.   

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you.  I think it is very interesting to consider sort of macro and more societal level consequences, and understanding how that might affect the digital transformation moving forward and what it might look like in various scenarios depending on how we address it perhaps at the regional or international level.  And thank you. 
    Finally, 'Gbenga Sesan, would you like to answer the question, what you see at stake if these governance challenges are not addressed in a comprehensive way? 

   >> 'GBENGA SESAN:  Yeah.  Thanks.  So there is too much at stake actually.  And I say that because I'm thinking of two key things.  One is trust.  And the other is livelihoods sz  trust is supposed to be at the center of digital experience.  When we talk about privacy it all boils down to trust.  The entire digital ecosystem is built on trust because if I don't trust you with my data which is literally my life then I will pool my services.  This is not just speaking for Africa right now.  This is speaking generally is we have much topdown approach to policy making that the people who claim to build all these experiences forward are not even involved in the process.  So we are making decisions for people who are not in the room.  A famous late politician who won the Presidential elections in Nigeria but never allowed by the Parliamentary used to say you can never shape a man's head in his absence.  And I think that's what we are doing when we have these conversations.  We are shaving the heads of people in their absence which is weird, because you can't make decisions for people if, you know, you don't have the buy‑in.  We are doing that all the time.  And it is the reason why many of the final things are defective.  That's why we are designing digital I.D. and the people say we don't want it.  And we spend millions of dollars designing these whole things and people say they don't want it. 

I don't know if you remember the popular drawing of the consultant who was asked to make a swing and they made different versions of it.  They were all rejected.  And what the person really wanted was just put a rope on two branches of a tree and a tire and let the kids swing.  We have gone all the way in the other direction. 

The second is livelihoods and I say this with all sense of the evidence that I feel when I look at the additional gaps that we are creating with this new opportunity.  We already have a digital divide, Global North, Global South.  And I always give the example of education.  Education is the one thing that can give opportunities and take away from the bottom of the pyramid.  That's what happened to me.  Now education is almost impossible because of the COVID‑19 experiences for kids who don't have access.  Not only do they not have access to quality education, they do not have access to how they can access education.  And the challenge with that is that we are going to leave so many of this bottom 40% behind.  This is a whole new world.  This is a thief industrial revolution.  But we are going to say at the detriment of 40% of people who have no idea what we are talking about and whose reactions we may not like. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you for your very poignant comments.  And for the ‑‑ for emphasizing the gravity of the situation and how it might affect the already existing digital divide.  As we have kind of heard from a couple of the panelists now that some of the underlying challenges that we are facing in capacity building that are extremely fundamental such as connectivity are still there and will be exacerbated.  And this will have increasing impact as the global economy becomes increasingly digitized. 
    Thank you very much for your comments there.  And, you know, just so we have ‑‑ just so we have some time for question and answer from our attendees as well I would like to do a couple of things here.  So I want to pose to each of the panelists as a question since we are in the Internet Governance Forum, we are talking about multi‑stakeholderism.  And perhaps the new mandate for an IGF+ perhaps.  So in that context, how do you see international institutions being leveraged to support capacity building for converging technologies?  Do you see any really distinct barriers to multi‑stakeholder cooperation in this area as perhaps international institutions exist as they are right now?  And so that's the question. 

And then also if you have any closing remarks that you would like to make on this subject before we go in to our question and answer and our policy exercise.  So first how can international institutions be leveraged.  And are there any barriers and any final thoughts that you have. 

   >> ANDREA CALDERARO:  I will start this first.  So the impression here is that the main challenge for developing capacity building is a kind of the lack of local interlocutors which is, of course ‑‑ this is a result of lack of national capacity building.  We are talking about how it is crucial to develop a wholistic approach to capacity building.  The problem is that every time international organizations go on the ground and are trying to develop national capacities the only interlocutor that can react to this call are Governments which is not a bad thing.  That's a good thing.  But the problem is that the narrative on the need expressed by Governments is different.  I guess necessarily different, when we talk about the variety of political context in the south.  It is different from the needs that Civil Society might have.  'Gbenga made a fantastic point here that it is crucial for Civil Society to develop a critical understanding of the countries.  To develop the capacity to intervene in policy making processes imposed and enforced by the Governments and tell the Governments no, we are not happy with this. 

Thinking about the case and ‑‑ thinking about what happened in Myanmar when we had Facebook went underground and offered zero rating approach.  The local private actors, they were happy to offer Facebook these opportunities because it was a win‑win solution for both of them.  Civil Society was not prepared to that economic models.  And they were not prepared to have ‑‑ they didn't have a critical understanding of how social media works.  The result was spread of hate speech and we know the consequences that they experienced within their community. 
    So yes.  So that's the thing, it is about the main challenge is to identify the right interlocutors and try to develop capacity across communities and not only Government. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you very much.  Prateek, would you like to respond? 

   >> PRATEEK SIBAL:  Yep.  So I think first we should also kind of frame as to what do international institutions broadly do.  For instance, if we talk about Intergovernmental Organizations, we can say it is more about delivery of global public goods and management of global trust.  So once we have this understanding we can align our expectations as to what they can realistically do because they can't go and implement policies on the ground or national policies.  So coming to that, I think one of the ‑‑ one of the good things about international organizations is that they can help set standards.  So when we talk about AI, a lot of international organizations are working on articulating principles.  One of the questions in the chat is about how do we get the realities from the Global South to where ‑‑ to where technology has been created in some instances. 

So these kind of international standard setting processes facilitated by international organizations can be quite inclusive.  UNESCO with 193 Member States has experts from all regions of the world from different professions, from different academic background, different experiences.  So that kind of builds in, you know, the perspective of different stakeholders.  And what we need at the international level is to strengthen this multi‑stakeholderism more so that there is greater legitimacy of the standards which are produced.  When I say standards I also want to add that once these standards are set, they also have a pressure that they put on national Governments.  For instance, if a Government is implemented ‑‑ is working on AI in a positive or less positive way vis‑a‑vi the national standards, then the Civil Society or other stakeholders can monitor and can also, you know, vouch for some changes.  And can say okay, this is what the world has agreed.  This is the global standard.  And you need to do better.  Or you are doing a fantastic job.  And we appreciate the work.  And the global standards need to be further strengthened.  International organizations I think are there to play an important role here. 
    Just one more point about capacity building per se, it is also in terms of taking these standards to practice is also another aspect which international organizations can work at a macro level.  So, for instance, we at UNESCO have been working on freedom of expression access to information laws since a very long time, since about 2014 with judicial operators who uphold the rule of law.  And about 17,000 judicial operators, judges, prosecutors have been trained.  We are working on similarly with AI.  So there is strengthening capacities at a macro level also at this top level policymakers through international cooperation taking these standards and implementing them in some ways.  Yeah.  Thank you. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you very much for your intervention there.  Verena.

   >> VERENA WEBER:  Thank you.  So I would say maybe four main points.  First of all, we can use international institutions to gather the knowledge from different parts of the world for being a knowledge analytical hub.  Then based on this identify best practices and as Prateek said, help setting standards.  But then also the next step how do we go about implementing these standards and principles.  Let me just give you like a real world example of what we did on these three areas for AI.  So we had a process of nearly two years where we get a lot of intelligence from different groups.  So it was a real multi‑stakeholder approach together with our member countries but also beyond.  So we had this group basically discussing what kind of principles we should come up with. 
    Then I think we were the first international organization to publish AI principles.  So basically ‑‑ and this is really based on this effort of talking to each other, gathering the knowledge from everywhere.  And now we are in the phase where we are thinking how can we implement the principles better and how can we bring them back to the national regional and local levels.  So we set up the AI observatory.  So if you type that in to Google AI observatory you will find a digital platform that is bringing all the knowledge together.  So you can see what is going on in terms of research.  You can see what are the countries doing, what are the policy initiatives.  You can search by your country, et cetera.  What we want to have one platform that people can reach, it doesn't need to be duplicated elsewhere.  To use it and implement it more at the national and local level.  So I would say this is an example.  We certainly could do better is exchanging between the different international organizations and do better about communication, what we are doing so that we reach more people. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you very much.  It is interesting that we have both representation from UNESCO and OECD here just to understand different perspectives on the functions that international organizations can have in this space.  So thank you. 
    And 'Gbenga, would you like to respond to that as well, role of international institutions, cooperation and any final remarks that you have? 

   >> 'GBENGA SESAN:  Considering how bad practices spread between countries, like I said earlier, so the Digital Africa report we see that once one bad policy is in place it is very quick, the takeup is very quick.  So I think that one advantage of international ‑‑ the international organizations have is they can showcase best practices.  So in this data privacy, for example, maybe only 27 countries in Africa have, you know, the laws, only about 8 to 10 have interpretation of authorities.  It would be good to highlight, you know, one or two of those countries that they have had interactions with.  And ‑‑ something that we can learn from a best practice that can be adopted.  But the challenge and this is, you know, just a quick note of warning is that while doing this, we need to realize there must be room left for context.  So no matter how generic because many times, so things that don't happen in Geneva and London and D.C., there is a natural temptation for you to miss out some of the layers just bubbling below the surface.  So we have to be careful in identifying best practices not to forget there might be varying context if we call something global.  If it is called international, should definitely be international in nature.  Representation and in forces. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you very much.  That is a very interesting consideration and very important to understand that international is not always representative in reality.  And that's how can we take that in to account.  So thank you so much to all of our wonderful panelists.  It has been incredibly insightful to hear from you and to learn from your expertise in this field.  And I would like to give the opportunity to our participants to ask you any further questions.  I saw there was one question in the chat that Prateek had responded to about how, you know ‑‑ how insights in to how we can better govern converging technologies can actually be fed back in to technology providers.  Like Microsoft, so that's one question I saw.  If anyone would like ‑‑ anyone else would like to respond or if any of our attendees have any other questions that they would like to pose to our panel before we get in to the exercise.  And you can type in the chat or happy to unmute anyone that would like to speak. 
    Did any of our ‑‑ any other panelists want to respond to the question about making sure that, you know, what is ‑‑ what are the real ‑‑ how the real challenges of governance, particularly as it is experienced by developing countries, how that information can be fed back to technology providers?  And what ‑‑ how technology providers like Microsoft can actually think about developing their technologies to better facilitate perhaps capacity building or build in elements like privacy and security by design and hear that feedback? 

   >> ANDREA CALDERARO:  I can try.  I didn't want to respond because I think we ‑‑ most of our discussions have tried to address that question.  And I feel like I'm going to repeat myself.  I apologize for that.  But I believe that the countries need to develop their own ‑‑ I mean we are talking about an institution of physical structure that enable to coordinate cyber governance efforts because by doing that, then it is going to be possible for them to interact, to have a coordinated approach in their interaction with either international organization, either private sector.  And also at the national level with the local communities.  I think this is actually what is happening.  This is what we experience in most countries where we do have either a national cyber strategy or an institution that coordinates these efforts in terms of education, research and so on as well.  And this is a really ‑‑ I am convinced this is the answer to your challenges. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you.  Edgar, I see you have your hand raised.  I gave you permissions if you are unable to unmute your mic or there we go. 

   >> EDGAR RAMOS:  I lost audio.  So I don't hear you right now. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  We can hear you. 

   >> EDGAR RAMOS:  Sorry, I lost the audio.  So I don't hear you.  I will try to go out and come back. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Okay.  Perfect.  Well, in that case thank you again for your participation in this panel.  Really looking forward to the next part of this exercise and again thank you so much for your insights. 
    So ‑‑

   >> PRATEEK SIBAL:  Sorry, if I may just add on this question. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Yes. 

   >> PRATEEK SIBAL:  One important issue that can also ‑‑ so apart from having inclusive multi‑stakeholder processes I think what we also need is the technology places are more inclusive.  That people from the Global South, Developing Countries, different gender identities have a possibility to be involved in technology development.  I think that also improves a lot.  And for this there are different opportunities.  It should start at the school, at the University level.  We need to undo a lot of gender biases.  We need to undo a lot of these practices, for instance.  A lot of times researchers from in Africa and other Developing Countries don't get visas to attend big global conferences.  This has been documented online.  A lot of people have talked about it.  So we need to also think about these issues when we talk about development of technology.  So that the places, the companies or wherever it is happening is also more inclusive.  Yeah.  Thank you. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you.  Thank you.  Edgar, I see you are back.  Hopefully you can hear us now. 

   >> EDGAR RAMOS:  Now I can hear you.  Sorry, I don't know what happened.  Some technical glitch.  Thank you very much for this opportunity to give my opinion.  One.  Things that I consider very important to keep in the conversation and to understand is that technology is about ecosystems.  So there is not a single player or a single company who can push everything through.  So we have to understand there are multiple and more today with an infrastructure that we are creating where we have devices, we have computer capabilities.  Then we have the users, and then we have the industries and then we have all the use cases that generates this.  The way to bring things forward has ‑‑ have an ecosystem approach where motivations and incentives for the ecosystem to chip in and then bring their share to the development has to be considered. 
    This many times, this is the where we fail.  We think that if we take one or two companies and then we boost their let's say their participation or the incentive for those two key companies, everything will be working by magic.  And then we realize like oh, we didn't thought that we needed certain electronics that has to be manufactured and naturally they are manufactured in another country.  And then we are actually with our own politics closing down the ‑‑ closing down the possibility to acquire those electronics that are key for us.  And these things are kind of realized afterwards because we let the market, because everything is about the market, market dynamics.  Let the market to expose those when it is too late.  So I think thinking about how the equilibrium and balance between all the players in a ecosystem is something that has to be strategically thought from the beginning and see what the incentives that this ecosystem gains, this ecosystem is change, require in order to work better to avoid frictions that today we have.  For example, frictions in order to exchange data.  Today everyone wants to keep their data because they think that it is very profitable.  It is something they are sleeping in basically in a mattress of money.  The problem is they don't know how to get that money out of the mattress.  But know that the money is in the mattress.  Therefore thinking in how these assets can be exposed and developed so that everyone has the ‑‑ gain a value out of the whole ecosystem game is a very key thing to consider. 
    And in the ‑‑ and in the state level, so in the Government level and also in the companies themselves level.  Thank you very much. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you very much for that intervention.  I think that is actually a really fantastic transition to the beginning of our policy exercise, thinking about both policy and nonpolicy tools that can help facilitate this capacity building for converging technologies.  And also emphasizing that, you know, while industry can play a greater role, it cannot just be left up to a few large players such as Microsoft, such as Google as well.  So really appreciate your intervention there.  And with that, in the interest of time I will go ahead and transition us to the next part of this workshop.  Looking forward to anyone's participation whether through verbal participation or posting something in the chat.  I want to begin with a quick mapping exercise, and I want to generate as many ideas as possible whether from the audience, from the panelists, I will throw a couple of thoughts out there as well.  When we think about capacity building challenges for converging technologies, I want to understand are there any net new capacity building challenges? 

So we have mentioned a few.  We have mentioned connectivity as an example of one that is sort of perhaps pre‑existing for other technologies.  But what do we see as some of the new problems or issues.  And actually one that I think has been brought up several times through this discussion, for example, is interoperability.  And I don't think that that's an entirely, entirely new challenge, but it is really characteristic of the high level of connectivity that we see in technology such as cloud.  So I would certainly name that one and all of these are ‑‑ we are going to be capturing all of these.  So if anyone would like to throw out net new challenges that they see in capacity building perhaps different from previous challenges that they have seen.  

   >> VERENA WEBER:  Maybe if I may, I would say two things.  So interoperability is definitely an issue on the technology side but also on the policy side.  So sometimes we ‑‑ we are not quite good in kind of designing interoperable policies from different policy areas.  And this is often because, you know, different people, different groups work on different subjects.  So, you know, we are currently thinking about how to best secure communication networks.  So we basically have the security group.  So these people have like, you know, they often like from Governments coming from Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense.  We have one perspective on the world.  And then we try to link them to the community of communications people and regulatory entities.  And when we ‑‑ we are currently setting up this project and we see that one challenge is already, you know, to try to talk the same language to get a common understanding of the terms, what we are talking about. 

So bringing different communities together to me like especially for converging technologies is a challenge that we need ‑‑ that we definitely need to work on.  And the second issue I would say is that we need to be faster when it comes to policy making and when it comes to reviewing the current regulatory frameworks that we have because we often see that policy making Governments is kind of behind the technological development. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you very much.  In response to the challenges that you just raised, Theresa here in the chat also raised that it is really critical to understand how some of these really more complex systems such as AI actually work and how explainability can actually come in to play there.  And you mentioned interpretable policies.  I think by the same token interpretable policy is a challenge as well and making that accessible in the various context.  And that reminds me of something that, 'Gbenga, you raised earlier about how Governments are very or different departments or ‑‑ entities within government can perhaps be very interested in the economic or other opportunity raised by converging technologies.  And there may actually be some fragmentation or lack of cooperation at the national level because each entity wants to own the issue of AI because of its promise perhaps or visibility. 
    So perhaps fragmentation, internal fragmentation is something that might be elevated.  Any other perhaps kind of responses to this question of net new challenges here?     

   >> ANDREA CALDERARO:  My impression is that especially in this cyber domain one of the challenges that we ‑‑ is that we tend to have lots of key words.  Lots of time it is not really necessary.  This creates lots of challenges for us in the policy community.  Because every time we do have a new key word, we have a new community popping up and trying to find solutions for that.  And then we again we have a fragmentation of approaches.  So we need to be careful to use the right key words properly.  I mean, for example, talking about Artificial Intelligence, for example, I mean until a few years ago we were talking about algorithms.  Now we are talking about Artificial Intelligence.  It is the hardware component that creates new layers of the problem but at the end of the day we are still talking about algorithms software. 

The same story happened with the Big Data.  Five years ago we were talking about Big Data and IGF was full of panels talking about Big Data.  And now we are talking about the same thing but we are using new key words.  Just to say yeah, this is a challenge that I see.  Because technology evolves quicker than our capacity to understand what's going on and because of that we keep creating new key words.  Otherwise we are going to make our lives more complicated. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you.  I think speed is definitely a new challenge here.  And the fact that as Verena mentioned the need to review regulatory frameworks faster or gain consensus or understanding to make that happen and a divergence of terms.  And there are perhaps some interesting, interesting rules that the international community can play.  To Prateek's point earlier, what is the role of standards in that as a rhetorical question.  But any other responses here? 
   >> PRATEEK SIBAL:  If I may very quickly add, I feel that while we are trying to talk about fragmentation, we should also, also keep in mind that this fragmentation may also come from different understanding that people in different cultures and societies have.  So we ‑‑ while we are moving forward with standards and all these things, we also need to keep in mind that there is a lot of linguistic diversity.  The way that you use a particular language will help you conceive an issue in a slightly different way.  So there should be room for that kind of fragmentation to first thrive and then we can develop standards with or whatever kind of policy frameworks that we are working on at the international level by bringing all these actors and agreeing on some common terms.  But it is having fragmented views or different ideas.  It is per se not at all a bad thing.  It should be even encouraged and then we will have more legitimacy for what we are talking about it. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  That's a very interesting subject.  A point of view that we don't often hear when we are trying to come to consensus on terms and we can perhaps think about how mutual recognition or how those linguistics differences speak to each other rather than trying to just agree on one particular term.  So that's very interesting.  Thank you. 
    So with some of these challenges in mind we spoke about ‑‑ we spoke about the speed.  We spoke about agreement on terms between different communities, designing interpretable policies for very complex technologies.  We spoke about complex technology processes.  With that I want to turn to something that perhaps many of you are quite familiar with which would be a sort of cybersecurity maturity model.  And this model has been used to identify activities in different stakeholder communities that can actually develop capacity for cybersecurity.  And what I would like to do is again kind of a similar idea, mapping exercise for thinking about perhaps new activities that Governments, industry and international organizations can undertake in some of these different categories.  I wanted to touch upon some of the issues that were raised earlier in the panel about social inclusion perhaps. 

And, you know, what could be done in those areas.  And I want to pose as well that these don't always have to be policy tools.  They can be nonpolicy tools.  And so I would like to think about first with any participant who would like to intervene and any panelist as well, if we think about Governments and at the national level.  So we already have cybersecurity policy and strategy.  Is there something, some exercise or prioritization that should be made for converging technologies or can these be expanded in any way in the converging technologies context?  And so, you know, again here specifically we are talking about cybersecurity just to narrow the field a little bit.  We could talk more about safety.  We could talk about privacy.  But again kind of elevating security.  Do we see any new activities or additional activities that Governments can undertake in sort of a national strategic level to help facilitate capacity building.   

   >> ANDREA CALDERARO:  If I may, my ‑‑ from what I see it seems that the research component is missing or at least it does not pop up as a key word.  And probably is hidden behind sublayers of this initiative.  But research is, of course, is crucial.  And that is all the initiatives that we are working on in the context of the global formal expertise and member of research Committee there. 
    And yeah.  But this is an initiative taken by international organizations but also research initiatives taken at the national level.  I think it is important. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you.  And I think that can also have a dual purpose as well.  Research could have a dual purpose.  It can be sort of a skills ‑‑ a skill building element in addition to technological development. 
    Any other thoughts on ‑‑ I was curious about whether anyone had any thoughts on changes to education, training and skills or anything that Governments should look at in particular with culture and society and trying to understand.  Again perhaps in a context of post COVID digital transformation, how at the perhaps organizational or individual level Governments can support capacity building?    

   >> PRATEEK SIBAL:  If I may, very quickly.  I think education, training and skills is something which a lot of Governments, if you look at the national AI strategies and policies, it is an area where they are heavily focusing on.  And again there are different ideas.  And this is one of the roles of international organizations to get the best practices and share them around. 
    So in some countries people are ‑‑ they have targets of training, 1% or making 1% of their population literate about the context of AI and its impact on society.  Now this may work in Western European countries.  But it is potentially not a priority when you have a population of 100 million people and you are also thinking about basic education.  So there are a lot of ideas.  There are ideas about training, you know, providing research grants, providing local rescaling programs.  I think all those things have a place.  But everything needs to be contextualized.  It needs to be understood in each society's context.  And that's where we need more work in building capacities as well, to take these ideas and then tailor them, modify them and also have a bottom‑up flow of ideas.  So I think it is like a two‑way street on education, training and skills.  

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you.  Yeah, that bottom‑up approach is something that can certainly be ‑‑ certainly be elaborated upon.  'Gbenga.

   >> 'GBENGA SESAN:  Yes.  In terms of education I see that many times education is post crisis.  We get a lot more serious post crisis or post incident when something goes wrong.  We suddenly start realizing education initiatives.  We need to get more proactive.  There is a reason why we have fire drills.  Fire drills, you know, are not after there is a fire incident that prepare you for when this fire.  So I think we are to take that sort of fire drill approach to cybersecurity education. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you very much.  Interesting on the point of education, I wanted to flag that one stakeholder that I did not list here for the purposes of this exercise is Civil Society is very sort of evidently missing from this chart.  But it is not missing from the capacity building exercise.  But certainly especially because representing a technology provider very interested in how industry can play a greater role.  So perhaps just in the interest of time, thinking about moving on to perhaps an increased role or different role for industry in some of these different areas and there have been some industry led initiatives for skill building and things like that.  But is there, you know, is there something else that industries should be looking to do to perhaps play a greater role in supporting capacity building.  And I think one point that I would like to capture for our report is certainly industry role in legitimating and implementing standards as well.  And how do we get industry to sort of adopt and take on standards.  So if there is any intervention on further role that industry can play.     

   >> PRATEEK SIBAL:  I think just one small point, industry at the international level is involved in to standard setting organizations, like ISO, IEEE and they develop a lot of standards.  And these organizations they are also part of a discussion in standard setting and rule making.  So that's one area where they influence.  And where ‑‑ which is kind of bringing the technical expertise and matching the whole technical and policy community together.  That's one more.  One more thing that I wanted to point out when we talk about industries, we a lot of times imagine big tech companies.  But there is also a very important role that small and medium enterprises play.  And their involvement should also be facilitated and, you know, training and scaling for these small and medium enterprises is super important as well. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Yeah, that's very important.  Especially as these standards get developed and, you know, if they are going to be implemented you would miss a very large audience of small and medium enterprises that are not part of that picture.  I see Edgar, I see your hand.  I just unmuted you. 

   >> EDGAR RAMOS:  Thank you.  Yeah.  I think additionally to the standards, I think we have to bring other harmonization ways like, for example, the open source movement is bringing now a very interesting way to harmonize things.  For example, Linux operating system is something that we find now everywhere.  And it has allowed the growth of these computational capacity everywhere.  In the same way I would like to stress a bit the role of the IPR.  So the patent's portfolio that industries have.  Because that ‑‑ in one sense it is an enabler for standards and bringing up best practices from the state of the art.  But in the other hand then you have the misuse of them for basically blocking the progress of other companies or trying to limit how much it can be let's say include the power of this kind of growth of technology by the competitors.  So there is a very thin balance on how these can be treated.  So that we are not damaging the society, but at the same time we are, of course, protecting a business that the company has and it has invested R&D.  So just two points I wanted to bring to the conversation. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you very much.  In addition to that I would also like to highlight a comment from Kiya in the chat here.  A very important issue, in particular once we increase capacity at a technical level, how do we ensure that that capacity, that skill, that ‑‑ those ‑‑ those human resources do not escape to industry.  How do we keep them ‑‑ how do we keep them in Government.  How do we keep them in Civil Society where their participation is very, very crucial.  So thinking about efforts to ensure that not all ‑‑ no skill goes directly to industry in the sense.  So that's a very interesting point. 
    Thank you for that. 

   >> ANDREA CALDERARO:  Two points.  I mean this is a comment that I wanted to make as well.  Because when we talk about developing a cyber capacity especially we are talking about education.  It is kind of a catchall concept even there.  Developing education.  In my experience is that we do have lots of trainings in ‑‑ for developing technical community.  And I see also lots of initiatives supporting local startups to develop new Digital Economy.  This happens pretty much in most countries in the Global South and so on.  But I don't see an equivalent effort, I mean all these efforts are crucial.  I'm not saying that they are not important.  But I don't see an equivalent effort to develop policy communities.  And the point is in answer to Kiya's point, Kiya, the points that Kiya made is if we have a fairly limited policy capacity, national capacities the few actors that do have those skills it is going to be absorbed by the industry.  Because that happens, industry has resources that the Government cannot have.  But if we do have a bigger policy community, by developing again education in governance and policy challenges for in the digital domain, then that point we do have, of course, a few people will be ‑‑ but some others might stay in Government.  And that is ‑‑ I see that is crucial.  It is a crucial challenge. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you very much for your response.  For everyone's awareness, Kiya shared MasterCards is an entity that has tried to protect against a talent drained industry. 
    So thank you very much.  And finally here simply in the interest of time this has been a really interesting discussion.  I would like to ‑‑ if anyone would like to make any final comment on perhaps the role of international organizations.  We have highlighted some interesting ones such as standards, such as gathering and publication of principles and national strategies and making those available.  Trying as we are increasing our understanding of converging technologies themselves, also sharing best practices for governing them in that way. 
    So that is ‑‑ that's one role that I see.  And again if anyone else would like to highlight any final points there. 

   >> 'GBENGA SESAN:  If I could just quickly jump in, 30 seconds, it is important for us to make learning a two‑way street because I see in a need to develop conversation around convergence, many times we have, you know, a topdown approach.  We define what we want and then we teach other people.  And I think it is important for it to be two‑way because we can never understand the context and nuances of, you know, of groups and, you know, unusual suspects.  We have usual suspects always part of the conversation.  Unusual suspects play a major role in shaping the desired feature we want in terms of convergence of audience we have. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  Thank you very much.  With that I would simply like to close and add a couple of reflections.  Thank you so much to our panelists and for your participation throughout the exercise as well.  It is incredibly insightful and very much appreciated.  And looking forward to capturing the insights that you shared in a report that will be published and made available to everyone as part of the webinar or not.  Thank you to all of our participants.  I think some of the key points that I learned is that or captured here that there are some net new challenges of capacity building for converging technologies that mean that we need to perhaps think of how we structure capacity building efforts to accommodate perhaps the speed and lack of understanding of the technology itself.  And that will be ‑‑ that will be a major challenge that can be overcome by perhaps greater liaising in multi‑stakeholder Forums. 

There was a role brought up between interloctoring between Governments and expertise to help facilitate this.  While Governments might not have been able to overhaul technical infrastructure at this point in time, they can perhaps start by creating those sort of liaising roles that will help and create, facilitate better collaboration across Government and industry. 

Another point I heard of is the importance of contextualization and localization.  We talk about a digital transformation for a post COVID world.  These solutions really need to be based at a local level.  And often we think about perhaps a topdown approach to cybersecurity and capacity building organized from Governments or at the regional level, but how can we flip that model on its head and why might that be important to trying to mitigate the digital divide that's created in particular by these rapidly transformative technologies. 

So those were a few ‑‑ a few of the points that I picked up.  As well I would also like to highlight that there are still existing, very, very base challenges that need to be addressed concurrently.  So, for example, connectivity was one that was brought up.  So again thank you very, very much for your participation. 

Quickly I'd also just like to highlight that thank you Theresa.  The Geneva dialogue and the Geneva Internet platforms is covering all sessions at the IGF.  You can rewatch the session if you would like.  And thank you so much for your participation and look forward to sharing the report with you all.  But again thank you.  And have a great rest of your day. 

   >> Thank you. 

   >> Thank you.

   >> Thank you.

   >> Bye. 

   >> Bye‑bye. 

   >> RACHEL AZAFRANI:  I will hang around if any participants or any panelists have any further questions.  Bye‑bye.  Thank you so much.

 

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