You are here

IGF 2020 – Day 11 – High-Level Leaders Track: Social Development

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. 

***

 

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Dear experts and Panelists it's a great pleasure to be able to animate this debate to be able to make this exchange that I hope that it is about all humanity.  I would like dear guests, Your Excellency, and ‑‑ who is not here with us.  I would like to speak in Arabic language since we are in a meeting of the United Nations, the best human place to unload exchanges between all humanity that is why I will make the introduction of our debates in this session in Arabic.

I say in this extraordinary situation we are experiencing in every part of the world, our life is changing.  In every corner of the world, our planet is also changing due to various events, natural disasters and emergencies.  This gives rise to the feeling of humanity and we have simply to change our lifestyle, our routine, daily lifestyle.

People are a part of their jobs.  Schools are closed down, same goes for centers.  Nothing works as usual.  Frequently these institutions are not available.  We can see that this is happening in different parts of the world.  And this is caused by the coronavirus pandemic.  The changes in the world are unprecedented, however digital technologies carry the potential and it gives us a level of help we will be able to leave the crisis behind and we will be able to blossom in the future.

Classical, traditional approaches cannot be applied anymore, and we start thinking now in a different way.  We are much more focused on the digital technologies.  So we should think about what role digital technologies and digital innovation may play in the future in different domains of our lives, education, industry, agriculture In the new digital era. It gives us a lot of problems, and also gives rise to a number of questions.

Guests will take part with us in debate around the chosen theme.  I begin with Mrs. Phumzile Mlambo‑Ngcuka from the United NationS, Executive Director.  Hello Mr. Yong Li from the United Nation Industrial Development Organization, the Director General.

>> YONG LI: Nice to meet you.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Really glad to meet you.  Mrs. Gabrila RAMOS.  Assistant Director general for social and human science from the UNESCO.

>> GABRILA RAMOS: Great to see you.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Great to see and you meet you too.  Mr. Mario Cimoli from the United Nation Economy Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Deputy Executive Secretary.  Glad to meet you, Mr. Cimoli. are you with us?

>> MARIO CIMOLI:  Thank you it is a pleasure to be here.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: The pleasure is for me too.  And Mr. Andrew Sullivan are with you us?

>> ANDREW SULLIVAN: I am.  Pleasure to meet you.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Glad to meet you too.  Thank you for joining us.  Mr. Josh Kallmer.  Is that right?

>> JOSH KALLMER: You got it.  Pleasure.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Pleasure for me too.  You are Head of Global Public Policy and Development Relations.  That right?

>> JOSH KALLMER: That's right.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Glad to meet you, Mr. Kallmer. And also Mr. Rilli Lappalainen.

>> RILLI LAPPALAINEN: Yes.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Director of Sustainable Development.  Glad to meet you.  And Ms. Claire Milameda from Global Partnership for Sustainable Development and Data.

>> CLAIRE MELAMED: Glad to be here.  Thank you.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Glad to meet you too.  Before we begin, I want to set the stage for the discussion.  We are going to ask our speakers to give a very specific example of how the Internet or related technology has been used for social cohesion in times like COVID‑19 or specific example of how the Internet has come forward.  And please try to find examples from the recourse something that has happened and that stand out as an example.

And I begin with Ms.Phumzile Mlambo‑Ngcuka.  Please begin.

>> PHUMZILE MLAMBO‑NGCUKA: Thank you.  The one example I would like to pick up that has been important for us during this time of the COVID‑19 pandemic of violence against women.  An example that is important for a large number of women in the world given that the increase of violence against women in the shadow pandemic is something that has been felt by women all over the world.  The violence increased up to 40% in some parts of the world.  So we have seen of instance messaging services that log your location function where women can send a message about their situation and ask for help in a descript way without the observation of the abusers.  Sending messages to Member States to create the hotline in those countries and 145 countries responded positively, but not all of them obviously optimally.  And I want to highlight the response we got in collaboration with the company that is called the help campaign.  Countries such as Thailand, South Korea and Singapore and Viet Nam, and others, the women used the service very much and they were able to report violence against them and to get services back.

For all the countries in the world, we have provided a portal of where you can get information about what services are available in your country.  That portal is housed by FACEBOOK for us, which means that it is there for anyone in the world you can have access to the information.  And it will tell you where services are available in your country.  But the caution I will make is that the majority of women in the world still don't have smartphones and are not connected.  We need solutions that are viable for women who do not have these kinds of services who have picture phones and who are not connected on the Internet.  And I'd like to hear more if some of have you suggestions for us along those lines.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you.  And now I want to go to Mr. Yong LI.  Just one minute, please.

>> YONG LI: One minute.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Just give us one example.  We don't get into the heart of the debate.  It's just introduction.

>> YONG LI: Thank you.  I think special agency on industrial development to support STG09 (?) so two things here, pandemic give us big challenge.  Now we actually applied some of the innovative way to use digitalization technology for PPE production and also waste management treatment and also how to chasing those patient and create some of the innovative way to identify the chain of the infections.  Those are very widely applied. 

Secondly, example is we use digital technology to support production manufacturing especially agriculture sector like drone system use Internet of Things for GEO thermal project management, operational management, and develop innovative way for educational purposes because virtual training, visual reality training is so powerful connected to any corner of the world no matter located in remote area or the city center.  This is a kind of training platform we have created for them.  And finally, as social inclusion as my colleague mentioned that most vulnerable group are women and also young people.  Women because they usually work in the textile garment industry, will be mostly affected by the new technology connected to the digitalization.  That is why we create a special program for this kind of trainings for women entrepreneurs and women to get knowledge to upscale their technology to find the job to meet the job opportunities.  Young people are the same time.

So we are continuing this innovative approach.  We believe this is very daunting task for us, for all International community.  We would like to work with our Partners.  Thank you.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you very much.  And now the example for Ms. GABRILA RAMOS: I just need to ask you to respect the time.  Just one minute.

>> GABRILA RAMOS: Great to be with all of my friends in this Panel.  Let me tell you that UNESCO, which is of course the institution that is related to education, science, commune and resources for Internet.  We are very worried about the information that has been in updating the networks in updating the networks and the false data that has been also distributed and therefore we have launched a campaign with the European Union to counter this information using the same tools that those that spread conspiracy theories use, using hash tag think before sharing.  I think it has a very good aspect in terms of countering the lack of substantive basis to share information that is not true.  But we also have an open education resources networks of fact Checkers and literacy resources to counter the spread of this information and using the Internet for good because what we are trying to advance is informing the real issues that are related to the COVID spread, the real issues in terms of the economic and social impact and the real issues related to the good use of Internet in COVID situation.

And of course I will talk about this later, we are advancing on the elaboration of our recommendation on ethics of artificial intelligence that I think will provide for very good basis on all these issues.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you very much, Mrs. Gabrila.  And now to Mr. Mario Cimoli.

>> MARIO CIMOLI: [ Speaking non‑English language ]

‑‑ informal sector where just these people have been left outside without job, without anything and very difficult for them to find for financial support for these companies work and they exist but in a way they don't exist at all.  It's a difficult subject.  So difficult platforms which are available on the basis of mobile telephony.  Allow them to have contact.  It is easier in the tele‑information sector in ICT because these people are much more competent aspects that are related with the ICT technologies and they are able to apply for subsidies or just money to somehow survive.  This is also what we are talking about.  It's very important for that access is going to be done at the informal level.  Now at the level of 50% and another thing also about the provision of access to platforms in hierarchal ways which will not discriminate enterprises which constitute 80% of jobs all over Latin America.  And now they simply have to sell their products and frequently they have to do this via Internet platforms.

They have to cope with the bureaucratic difficulties and this is what we have to talk about and remember that.  And we simply have to make sure that what is digital must be positive, digital world generates problems.  Remote work, remote education touches on these problems who is likely most difficult now in Latin America 36 million children have problems with them and 6 million of children have no access to any Internet and education in recent months and this requires structural changes and these are just a few examples that are ‑‑

>> GABRILA RAMOS: I think we lost you.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: There is some problem in the connection?

>> PARTICIPANTS:  Yes, please.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: We continue with this session?

>> PARTICIPANTS:  Yes, please.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Okay.  Now I want to talk to Mr. Sullivan to give us an example firstly in introduction.

>> ANDREW SULLIVAN: Sure, so we are in an example right now.  Thank you very much.  We are having an example of the sort of thing the Internet allows us to do despite the fact of the pandemic.  I want to give a different example.  This week, I had the terrible misfortune, a colleague of mine from a few years ago died very suddenly.  Young man.  His family is spread all over the place.  And the travel restrictions that are a necessary fact that we are facing today are meant that they couldn't come together for the funeral, which was in Ottawa in Canada.

So we used the Internet.  We gathered virtually.  It was not the same thing, of course.  It's not the same.  But it gives us the ability to reach out and to try to restore some sort of normalcy in an era that is extraordinarily challenging for every person.  So I think it's really important to remember that this is the kind of thing that we can get from the Internet, an advantage we just didn't have in any other period of our lives.  If this had happened 20 years ago, 30 years ago, it would have just been devastating.  Nobody could have reached one another.  Nobody could have shared their reminiscences of my colleague.  And it was very affecting.  And I think that this is something that we must remember.  The Internet does provide us with these opportunities that we just didn't have otherwise.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you very much for this efficient example and now I want to ask the same question to give us example to Mr. Ghosh are you with us?  I don't have the possibility to see you on screen.  Where are you?

>> ARUNABHA GHOSH:  I'm here.  I can see you.  I can see you.  I just gave two examples.  One is at national level the introduction of an App downloaded by 100 million people in the first 40 days as a contact tracing App.  That was introduced in April.  Now of course there were issues on concerns raised about the kind of whether too much information about individuals has been taken or whether all the bugs have been fixed, but at least it gives you the idea of the scale that can be reached very quickly in a country like India.  At the other end from a Civil Society point of view, in India, several crowd‑sourcing platforms like Keto (sp) and others, helped individuals raise funds for several causes to support vulnerable communities and many scenarios these platforms had to spend much more through their service fees than what they made through it.  And during the pandemic, they have been able to make these platforms available for free.  Again, it demonstrates that if we are able to democratize access to the Internet and related services, we are ‑‑ can then try to make sure that there are sufficient channels by which the vulnerable could be reached.

In India, access to the Internet is the ‑‑ cost of access to the Internet is the cheapest in the world according to Forbes.  But that doesn't mean that everyone has access to the Internet.  Again, demonstrates that this is a tool that has to be used as widely as possible, especially when there is physical disconnection.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you.  And now I go to Mr.?  We are waiting for a concrete example.  Are you with us in this meeting?

>> RILLI LAPPALAINEN:  Yes.  Sorry I was muted.  Thank you for the question.  The famous University students had the idea when they wanted to really connect with the technology and the education and really have the global perspective on that.  They created code bust Africa, which they put together the African innovators in the technology and education, and the code bust inspires the youth to discover and make use of the technologies in their lives and empower specifically the girls, to explore technology possibilities for their future.

And it went to the different African countries.  It was supported by the embassy in different African countries and practically they collect young people, different ages in the schools, also in the youth classes and places where the youth exists and they gave access for the kids to play the computers, learn skills for simple coding.  And that that project reached 1,900 young people in 10 countries.  It's been extremely interesting exercise.  I would share the video through the chat channel.  Thank you very much.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you.  And now we go to Ms. Claire ‑‑ are you with us in this session?

>> CLAIRE MELAMED: We work on data and information to help governments to help some of those vulnerable communities and develop social cohesion and this is all the more important in a time of the pandemic.  We were invited by the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa in March to work with them on developing partnerships so that governments, particularly across Africa, could have access to the data and the technology and the tools that would help them to deliver the right responses to COVID.  And particularly, I want to talk about Sierra Leone, a country we have been working in for several years.  And of course, in the country like Sierra Leone which has serious big social issues, economic issues, and a lot of people who are often missing from the data.  If a government can't see you in the data that it uses to make decisions, it can't help you.

So we pulled together a number of different companies and using the power of the Internet, were able to combine data sources.  So data from surveys, from census, also from satellite imagery, from mobile phone companies, and combine that and of course it's when you combine data that the real magic happens and you're able to create that 3D picture of a society.  We were able to deliver to Sierra Leone, the most granular data they ever had on the population and really help the government to understand where the vulnerabilities are, where people are most in need of help and of course, now that we have the good news about vaccines and other developments, it's going to allow that help to get to the most vulnerable people much faster.  Thank you.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you.  Congratulate you all for this efficient action into the digital technology to bring it to the developing countries and population.  Now we get into the heart of the debate of our session.

Let me ask you questions and specifically to the activities of each of our guests.  And each of our guests is kindly invited to answer the question that will be asked in four minutes.  Please don't exceed them. 

My first question will be asked to our guest Ms. NGCUKA from the United Nation on digital journal equality highlighted around the world to face multiple barriers, much more than many in accessing the Internet.  The report also highlighted the need to look beyond access but also to ensure that children and girls can use Internet in meaningful way.  What does such meaningful Internet use mean to you?  And why is this important especially in context of the Internet as driver for social development?

>> PHUMZILE MLAMBO‑NGCUKA: Thank you for that question.  Let me first congratulate my colleagues and friends at the world web Foundation for This very thoughtful report.

Women and girls need access to the Internet in order to address their challenges and development needs.  As we speak now there isn't equal access to the Internet.  Digital divide is a reality.  1.7 billion women in the global South are not connected; as well as the fact that roughly 327 million fewer women than men have a smartphone and access to mobile Internet.  Again I ask that we try to use the products and the guidance that people have.  So we must keep ‑‑ for people who do not have Internet by increasing those who are connected.

The meaningful use of the Internet is the hour we are in now, is the enabling access to digital education as well as remote education.  I think I don't have to explain this to this group.  We know how much it is causing a problem.  There are some other children whose education has continued while we have been on lockdown and some children whose lives have been at a standstill.  Some children have been exposed to harmful practices such as trafficking, forced marriage, because they have been at home away from a place of safety that the school provides.

The possibility of not being connected while we are at home and having work to do has meant children have been left alone wondering where there are no adults caregivers to be with them.  The importance of connectivity for women also is access to health information.  We know that when women get connected, they are known to search mostly for health‑related information and for information to help them with doing their on line business, no matter how small.  That is actually quite significant because that is one way of adjusting and availing poverty of women.  And certainly, access to finance.

In countries Kenya is a special case where digital finance has penetrated significantly.  Women with biggest beneficiaries.  It reduced poverty because women were able both to control their own income and financial resources but also to reduce the traveling debt they needed in order to go and seek for finance and they had cash in order to invest in their small businesses.  To be excluded from Internet's connectivity is to be shut out of the 21st Century.  And that has resulted on the lives of people because this is a service that is so huge in our lives that the moment.

If we are to have equality, it has to be equal access to this service and that's why I would regard it as a human right.  Thank you.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you.  The clarifications provided by Ms. Ngcuka as to this vital information that will be taken especially in countries by the technology at the level of many, many countries around the world and the prospects that this can ‑‑ and projects are very useful ensuring to discriminate.  Millions of woman around the world that makes economy political to enjoy otherwise seem for better future life.

And now Industrial Development Organization, you are the Director General.  My question is the following.  One role of UNESCO is to help advance inclusion and stable industrial development.  In your view, what is the value of digital innovation in contributing to such inclusive and sustainable development across sectors and industries as well as multistakeholder partnership between public and Private Sector, and with the cybersociety?

>> YONG LI: Thank you very much.  Let me begin with three numbers.  First is access to Internet.  I think access to digital technology for European household is 86.5%.  17.8% for Africa and globally 50.36%.  And also many of the information regarding educational opportunities and digital manufacturing capacity.  I do not want to mention too many of those factors.  Big challenge you are facing by the global community and also by you need how to reduce the digital divide and incapability between advanced country and Developing Country.  Those are critical challenges for us.

I believe that we are doing something innovatively.  We support countries, government to develop industrial strategy which covers digitalization forcing Industrial Revolution technologies.  We develop program for country partnership focusing on industrial strategy.  Now more than 10 countries after and Central CIS country also.  This is important process to support government to develop important strategy to develop digital infrastructure investment or so.

Second part is our TC programs.  Really bring the new technology created by the new Industrial Revolution and digital technology.  For instance, we have country to develop manufacturing with more efficient way and safer way through the artificial intelligence and Internet of Things to achieve the sustainable city.  3D printing also can help us provide sustainable housing.

Those are the important approach for our TC programs.  As I mentioned, agriculture center widely used digital technology.  Of course COVID‑19 give us good opportunity to help member countries build better.  How to actually prevent infections, digital technology, artificial intelligence already being widely applied and also Private Sector.  We support the Private Sector because robotics, virtual reality can help the Private Sector remove from much of the danger from the factory operations reducing industrial safety risks.  And also we are aware that potentially implications of the new digital workspace for physical mental health.

Those are some specific areas we work with Private Sector.  Also we strongly support digital technology to help the social ‑‑ to achieve social inclusion and well‑being.  As I mentioned, the education of the technology related to the digital technology, digital education, we use a platform for the visual relative training, especially for women and young people because the real world bring lots of new jobs and gathering of some of the jobs will suffer or will be suffering for women.  At the same time, they will get a new slot of the new jobs.

This is one of the specific areas we are working on.  And also, I just wanted to say that for global agenda, we are also very ‑‑ that is climate change is a big issue.  But look at industrial development.  1/3 of emission derive from industry manufacturing.  And energy 30% of power used by the manufacturing.  So, during this process, achieve great industry, reduction of emission from the manufacturing activity is so important for us.  So we promote new technologies like clean production centers, renewable energy centers, to support countries and develop technology necessary to support a climate change issue.

So great industry, decarbonization of industry is our global agenda.  So having said that, I want to conclude.  You need commit strongly to International partnership with our member countries, government, Private Sector, Civil Society and we would like to continue this process to achieve the new development to build a better and SDG goal, climate change, global agenda.  Thank you very much.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you very much.  So include all people around the world in this development could be useful in the sense of wealth creation, including private operators and Civil Society actions will be targeted and consistent and vulnerable societies and/or complex in this general development.  Thank you for this that you have opened up.  And my next question will go to Ms. Gabrila Ramos.  Ms. Gabrila, what are the possible risks to be aware of when developing and deploying Digital Solutions in emergency situations such as COVID‑19 and what can we do to mitigate these risks in terms of protecting Human Rights?  What are UNESCO's concrete actions or strategies to address the possible challenges and inequalities that the development and deployment of digital technologies bring to light?  Please, Ms. Ramos.

>> GABRILA RAMOS: Thank you very much.  Let me start by saying that converting the risk of the digital transformation but also the artificial intelligence at the core of these technologies, is not only a challenge for emergency situations.  We are in the context, even before the pandemic, when we knew that the rule of law that needs to exist on line is still in construction.  And many of the rules and the institutional settings and the tools that we have developed off line, enforcement of laws, the redressing mechanisms, the allocating of responsibilities and accountability issues in terms of the decision‑making in governments and private institutions, are still in real need to be built‑up in the Internet.

And we still don't have a common understanding on how to move into this.  Some of the major players like the U.S. have focused more on light touch regulation, favoring innovation and having a more voluntary standards for the industry while some other regions like Europe are more concerned about security and safety.  And therefore there is also a need of a common approach International tow deal with these issues.  Now it is true that with COVID, and with the massive movement into the on line solutions in terms of the pandemic with the track and trace technologies that is getting into massive gathering of data, with the teleworking, we know in some countries that had 7% teleworking.  Now we have around 50%.  With the teleschooling, the same.  Infrastructure and the access to these technologies have been really massive moving on to line.  The SMEs and the restaurants and all the industry that have been locked down are using these technologies to survive.  I agree with some of the Panelists.  It's great to have them.  But at the same time, if you don't have the protocols you have off line in terms of when do you stop treating this information for the pandemic and when do you do not turn it into for other purposes?  It's very important to have these global common agreements on how to deal with the regulatory frameworks.

And this is something that UNESCO actually we were very pleased because our Member States, I think they have this possibility of foreseeing that probably this was necessary but in 2019, they asked UNESCO to develop the very first global standard on ethics of artificial intelligence.  I have to say that we are benefiting from the work that has been done in man areas on universality of Internet and the literacy and initial skills for mastering these technologies.  For the development of this recommendation that has been multistakeholder and also developed with the global South, that is not as represented as is true in these technologies, we of course stated that the whole purpose of these technologies should be the respect of Human Rights, the enhancement of Human Rights and human dignity; and the development of new Human Rights we may need in the Internet and digital world.

But the fact is that we did not stop there.  The 24 experts that developed this instrument, because there has been so much movement in the regulatory frameworks Internationally, they also asked UNESCO not only to define what we are looking at, but also what tools can we use, what principles as I said, the transparency, accountability, redressing mechanism, proportionality ‑‑ all these issues you all know.  The governance of data.  Still we are lagging behind how to govern data.  How do we ensure the owner of the data is the individual and that he's not subjective to the use of his data for commercial or other purposes?

And therefore they also ask us to go for very concrete policy solutions.  In the field of UNESCO, which is education, culture, communication and sciences and social inclusion, but in general, also to look at what tools can be developed.

And I'm glad to share with all of you and with the public that is watching us that we are also going to develop an ethical impact assessment; because I think this is very important.  It's not only about the digital divides on gender as mentioned, or the impact on the environment, but it's also in the whole life cycle of the artificial intelligence deployment in terms of research, development, deployment, measurement of impact and the black box and the match and learn and all these things.  We really need to have a tool that will help us embed the ethical canning and the questions, the right questions we need to do to ensure that this impressive and amazing technology delivers for good and not for wrongdoing.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you very much.  So insights are technology and innovation is essential for the economic prosperity and social progress of all humanity, especially this part of humanity in question that is completely devoid of its current Research and Development in a field of grown technologies, for example, contribute economic and social progress and allow to set up ‑‑ and have you explained this UNESCO in this particular context, especially at the level of countries that are largely from these new technologies.  Thank you very much.  My next question will go to Mr. Mario Cimoli.  Latin America and the Caribbean has a digital agenda and the coordination of ‑‑ how can digital markets help address the problems of poverty and inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean?  And how can digital technologies support social inclusion and the government in Latin America and Caribbean?

>> MARIO CIMOLI: Thank you.  Thank you for this question.  These are processes that are fundamentally important.  We can never forget technology but technology does not necessarily always produce beneficial effect.  Technologies can also increase marginalization.  Technology in itself is neither good nor bad.  It all depends on how we use it.  And that is why we should rethink the entire social inclusion process taking into our way of thinking technology.  Latin America needs a much broader digital market because every single country is too small for that in itself.  None of the countries on its own is able or will be able to create a market like that.  But creating a market for the entire Latin America based on the same language, on the same mentality, I think this would be possible.  I think this could be done.  We could successfully conduct digitalization processes in various areas of activity and I consider here also the common legal frameworks, standards, access, relationships, with the financial sector as well.  I think it would be very helpful to Latin America also in the context of social inclusion.

What we need is a model where SMEs, small and medium‑sized enterprises, as well as other economic entities, would have an equal access to the market including the digital market so that the smallest and the largest economy of the region could both equally enjoy these solutions available Digital Solutions.

Social inclusion will not be possible if we don't have access to manufacturing for everyone.  And here once again, I would like to emphasize the role of SMEs, they deserve our support in this respect.  What we need say Public Policy for all that to happen and an active role of the government.  But also industrial policy technological policy focused on solving social inclusion problems in Latin America.  So, more productivity, more social inclusion.  It all calls for, including everyone, all the entities into this process.  Thank you.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: ‑‑ involve International trade and integration by introducing the operation to material concepts and putting in place effective intervention plans that can positively address the technological and deployment disparities in this important part of the world.  Thank you, Mr. Cimoli.  And let me ask Mr. Andrew Sullivan the following question.  Mr. Sullivan, what are the fundamental properties of the Internet that allow it to be the basis of social development?

>> ANDREW SULLIVAN: I think this is the heart of the question.  The Internet has been obviously super important in human development since it burst on the scene and in recent years.  And it's been super important for us during this pandemic.  And I think this is because of some basic qualities that the Internet provides.  The Internet is an unusual technology.  We talk about it as though it's a single thing but it's made up of many different networks.  It's made up of individual network operated according to the individual priorities of those individual network operators.  But it uses this common underpinning that is the way in which all of these different networks collaborate with one another.  And this collaboration turns out to provide certain advantages that no other networking technology has provided.

We at the Internet Society, we like to call this the Internet way of networking.  It provides these mechanisms of decentralized control, of shared building blocks, little building blocks that can be reused for other purposes T has a common language of protocols and it creates an organic and open expansion of intraconnectivity because you get innovation without having to get permission from any central authority.  Those are the fundamental properties that give us the advantages that the Internet provides.  It allows new ideas to come to the fore without a great deal of centralized planning and that has meant, sometimes, of course, disadvantages T has meant there have been inventions that we find disadvantageous.

It also means it gives us the freedom to deliver new opportunities and new social development and new economic development for people.  It's what has allowed us to develop a technology that allowed for instance the example I was talking about earlier, of the funeral that had to take place over the Internet.

What we are seeing is that because of the challenges that people are facing with the Internet, gradually there has been a tendency towards different kinds of regulation and those different kinds of regulation do not always take into account the special nature of the architecture of the Internet.  And that means that we could, by accident, lose the advantages that the Internet brings to us.  We could do it just through well‑meaning, well‑intentioned attempts to try to solve the problems that we encounter.  We could use the wrong tools for the job.  Now when we try to do physical development in the world, for instance if you try to build a road or pipeline or airport or anything like that, we do an environmental impact assessment.  Most societies do that in order to decide is this a good idea?  And so the Internet Society has developed a similar tool for the Internet.  We have developed this Intranet impact assessment tool and that allows similar sorts of evaluation of policy proposals in order to decide a given approach to solving social problems is the one that is going to be most advantageous for the rest of the development of the Internet or whether it will be harmful to it.

So that is a tool that can be used in order to ensure that social development can continue through the Internet.  There is no question this is one of the most human technologies that has ever been invented.  The Internet is here because it's to connect people.  It's not just to have some kind of fun technological toy.  It's been successful because it provides us with all of these benefits.  And we need to remember that and we need to make sure that decisions that we take about how to develop it as things go forward, do not undermine the very thing that brought us all of these advantages.  And that's the reason that I think we need to do those kinds of impact assessments whenever we try to make a policy that is going to affect the way the Internet is.  Because otherwise, we will lose the social development that we can get through the Internet simply by getting out of the way of people who have a problem and they have an idea for how to solve it.  That has been the history of the best parts of the development on the Internet and I think that that is the way we should continue forward.

The Internet puts the power in the hands of the people who have the problem.  That's the best place to solve those problems.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you, Mr. Sullivan.  And we should have to have access to these technologies around the world and we were talking with you about the best practices existing in this context.  But that makes connection in the direction of promoting this technology in countries that need it.  My next question is addressed to Mr. Arunabha Ghosh.  How can development and Developing Countries alike liberate digital technologies to ensure that everyone, including vulnerable countries have access to electricity and clean water even in times of emergency?

>> ARUNABHA GHOSH: Thank you for that question and since I wasn't introduced at the outset, let me state I'm CEO of the COUNCIL ON ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT AND WATER based here in India but we work in other emerging economies as well.

In response to your question, let me apply four specific ideas.  The first is the access to energy for not just our consumers in general but particularly vulnerable groups and how could digitization and the Internet help to do that, especially in the context of a pandemic?

One of the things that is happening increasingly is that for remote communities, there is a strong potential for what are called peer‑to‑peer payments through digital accounts.  And using block chain as a way to ensure that those last‑mile transactions and last‑mile markets for energy trading get developed.  This permits then the development of mini‑grid‑based energy access technologies and also connecting the minigrids in far‑flung places to larger‑grade infrastructure.

In India, one utility here in deli where I am based, is the first distribution company that is used the technology to trial of peer‑to‑peer solar‑based trading.  So you're now using clean energy.  You're using digitization and you're targeting vulnerable and poor communities to ensure that the last‑mile infrastructure is able to deliver energy services.

This trial is being tried out for about six megawatts of existing solar infrastructure.  But even more excitingly, our largest state population, which has a population of more than 200 million, larger than most countries in the world, is the first state in India that has now got a regulatory framework to enable controlled peer‑to‑peer energy trading via block chain as a mechanism to make those energy markets much more efficient.  In fact it would be the first in the world to be able to do that at the Provincial level.  That's one example.

How do we respond in a emergency situation.  The pandemic is one kind of emergency, but as another colleague on the Panel was mentioning, climate change is another severe and rising emergency that we are all faced with.  Now, during extreme weather events, how do we ensure that we can use more digitization to ensure that the most vulnerable impacted communities are supported?

My organization has proposed an integrated emergency surveillance system that will on one hand combine an active database of disaster emergency hotspots and overlay that with a climate risk atlas with GEO target interfaces for critical infrastructure.  No such climate risk atlas exists anywhere in the developing world.  And if we were able to create that, then at a high resolution‑level we would be able to identify exactly how extreme weather events are unfolding or are likely to unfold.

And then that 36 a third component to have a ‑‑ links to a third component, realtime monitoring service to guide emergency services for post‑emergency restoration.  At the U.N., it self identifies that investment in emergency preparedness gives you two dollars return in terms of lives saved against every dollar invested.  And that risk could result in billions of dollars of savings for vulnerable countries facing climate emergencies.

The third area is how we can protect small farmers using digitization.  In India, for instance, a lot of the irrigation water comes from under the ground through groundwater even though there is a big gap between the surface irrigation potential that has been created versus what is being used.  This means that there is low returns on the high‑capital investment in the surface irrigation.  Again, if we could use a network of wireless sensors via Internet of Things to monitor the soil‑water content and the soil nutrients, then the surface irrigation infrastructure could be used much more efficiently and delivered right amount of water supply to, especially to smaller and marginal farmers.

Again in the context of the pandemic, it's the agricultural sector in India that is demonstrating resilience even as the urban economies are suffering seriously.  So the more we can help them and the more we can help small farmers, it's important.

And finally, my fourth idea is to deal with micro, small and medium ‑‑ my colleague gave some very good examples of why that is an important sector to support and the colleague from Latin America as well talked about this.  We processed MSME information system for holistic and realtime identification in centers and support.  This would be a systematic on line platform that would get data on the more than 60 million micro, small and medium enterprises in the country to be able to combine information on their energy usage.  To be able to combine information on outputs as well as the tax collections and also link it to the people employed so in emergencies, against again, any kind of direct benefits could be transferred to those enterprises or employees.

So whether it is the issue of access to energy by creating viable payment systems for minigrids and disputed energy payments, whether it is developing integrated emergency surveillance system, whether supporting small farmers with data and the way to monitor the irrigation that they are using, or whether it is to support millions of micro, small and medium enterprises, the role of digitization, block chain, Internet of Things and a viable information system that brings in the focus on vulnerable, would be the right way to build back better.  Thank you, again.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you.  So in this experiencing this context is very effective T will be beneficial to adopt the level of countries with populations around situation of many vulnerability to draw inspiration from this approach in order to probe the Dale ‑‑ improve the daily lives of populations by using new technologies.  Thank you very much, Mr. Ghosh.  And my next question goes to Mr. Josh Kallmer.  This is my question for you.

Going back to the discussion on digital inclusion, how can tech companies work together with developments and other stakeholders to ensure that this becomes reality in the near future?

>> JOSH KALLMER: Thank you.  It's wonderful to be with you.  I would focus on the example of education as an area where companies really have the opportunity to partner with governments and other non‑governmental stakeholders.  In general just say that so many times tech companies and companies in general see interactions with governments through sort of a defensive lense.  What are the risks we face to our business?  How can we avoid bad things from happening?  And they miss the opportunity to invest in trust relationships and to explore areas of partnership that would really nail down to the benefit, not just of governments and companies but of the world.  Education is a perfect example of that.  I wouldn't be a good representative of my company, Zoom, if I didn't talk about our product but I think it's one of the main ways that we can advance shared goals for government and business and our kids.

So one thing that we did when the pandemic happened is we made the judgment that education was going to be moving remotely very quickly and there are a lot of parts of the world for whom digital technologies may be out of reach, either for technical or financial reasons or both.  We are now supporting over 125,000 schools with free service around the world and looking to intensify.

Giving away things for free or selling things to the government isn't what we are talking about when we are talking about these partnerships.  I think the most important thing is whether it's a Zoom in a videoconferencing area or any tech company, is to really understand the needs, the priorities, the values of the governments and the societies in which they operate and not just to respond to them but to align ourselves with them, to embrace those values and priorities as our own and to work together to find ways to meet them.

So very practically speaking, in the area of education, it's not just about selling Zoom or giving Zoom away for free.  Although that may be a piece of it.  It's understanding what do teachers in this country, whatever it is, need to be successful in using these kinds of technologies?  How do we equip them to keep their classrooms, virtual classrooms safe?  How do we design the product in a way that anticipates the needs that they may have?  Gabrila was speaking earlier about control over data.  How do we make sure that we are protecting personal privacy?  Kids privacy and also ensuring that bad actors don't come on to the platform?

So there are just a whole range of things having to do with the values and priorities of the economies in which tech firms operate.  The tech firms like Zoom, like others, need to embrace, need to internalize and need to build into how we make our products and design our services and how we interact with governments.

We are going to be ‑‑ to speak a little bit about our company, we are at the very beginning of a journey that I'm putting together to develop these kinds of partnerships with governments around the world.  And that's one reason it's such a privilege to be a part of this group today.  But we will take the challenge very seriously.  We are looking forward to it and we are very committed to developing these kinds of partnerships so that tech companies and governments and NGOs and other stakeholders can be rowing in the same direction.  Thank you.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you very much.  So it's true that it will take a lot of effort to side with the work and (?) the trust each other and put in place effective driving tools that guarantee the rights of prosperity and sustainable ‑‑ (?) and my next question is addressed to Mr. Rilli

Main goal is to contribute to building fairer world for all.  What are the main challenges to building such world from social development perspective?  (?) as opposed to amplifying them?

>> RILLI LAPPALAINEN:  Thank you for the question.  Smartphones caused huge destruction in almost everything in our lives and the radical transparency, rapid possibility of the realtime communication and the multiplication of information created in reality to reach companies and organizations and societies continue to try to adapt.  The change is comparable in the scale to the emergency of presenting and we are only at the beginning of that change.  The return of concentration of power authority and leaders and the powerful state to the force that characterized the global operating environment can be seen.  And at the same time, there is also the strong counter trend, the challenges and concentration of power and the combination for great power.

Emerge bad actors who have no official power but are capable of challenging power of states and global order and at the same time, the people's individual influence continues to grow with the new communication technologies.  The power of states mixed with the complex operating environment with a group of individuals, the movement around one thing and challenged debate and the family hierarchy of power.

Overall, the exercise of power becomes more difficult as more actors are able to exercise the power.  However, the digitization of power also provides unprecedented opportunities to bring to the global agenda issues that arise from people's needs, as operations in relation to their own security.  And for example, in peace talks, there are signals the agendas are changing the interest of the great powers towards their own needs of the local people and the common dialogue.  And through the inclusion lasting stability can be created on the terms of people's general need.

It is essential for the governments companies and organizations to understand this way of influencing.  They also need to create new means to respond to the crisis created by the changing situation.  And in the trust pyramid to global trust survey, 76% of people were worried about using the fake news as an attack on society.

Almost all of operations are connected in one way to another to the platforms provided by the smartphones.  And platforms not only accept our actions and what we do as they are, but they are logic guides people's actions with the logic of the platforms and will it's therefore justified to talk about the platform societies nowadays.

Internet activists have created an interesting division between the new and old power and the traditional power is closed.  It's not easy to access.  And one it is obtained it use is strictly regulated.  Such power can be compared to money for example.  New power in turn, works differently.  It is symbolically like flowing water.  It arises when enough people participate it's open, inclusive and empowered by peers.  Like a flowing river, it is strongest when it floods.

The site of the new power it is not the ability to retain exercise of power but to involve people around the issue and channel the resulting movement.  In addition to content creation, the new exercise of power also concludes ‑‑ includes content sharing anything, financing, production and co‑ownership and the traditional institutions and intermediaries such as banks or newspapers representative of democracy are ignored.

Thus this power is not only ‑‑ empowers people into actors in the fields where it has not been previously been possible.  Thank you very much.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you very much.  By the way, I want to say that a lot of things is changed by this pandemic and we have other ways to imagine the life in different country of the world.  Thank you, Mr. Rilli.  And my last question is addressed to Ms. Claire.  It is safe to say that at the moment, the potential of bad actor can contribute to sustainable development is not fully talked in two.  What can the development and Private Sector put in place to allow data to be used for social good?

>> CLAIRE MELAMED: I agree but it is absolutely safe and very true to say that at the moment we are not using all of the data and the resources that are available to analyze data in the best way for the public good and of course that is bad news from the point of view for the quality of the decision‑making now.  But it also presents an exciting opportunity around what we can do to improve the situation.

So we work with governments around the world on bringing together the public and the private sectors to answer and tackle specific challenges that are limited where lack of data is limiting progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.  And from that experience over several years now and having brokered over 70 partnerships and some that are very specific national or local level and some regional or global.

I think for us there are a number of things that stand out that really have to happen if data is to make its full contribution and data particularly from resources and technologies we have now thanks to the Internet and digital technologies.

The first of course as always, in any area of Public Policy is political leadership.  And that being seen through into the creation of a regulatory framework that will create the possibility for a positive interaction and of course in the area of digital that has to set a fair market competition and critically as we see again and again around the world, that has to build public trust.  We seen many data projects that fail because people don't give their consent because they do not make ‑‑ they don't allow governments to do ‑‑ to enact laws or begin projects that maybe beneficial because they sometimes rightly don't trust that the government will protect their data or protect them and they fear it will be used to harm them in some ways.

So the first policies that need to be put in place is a framework that will guarantee trust. It will create fair competition and most importantly will guarantee public trust.  But it doesn't end there.  Too often we think about policy and as the beginning and also the end of the process.  And I think what we see again and again is that it's not just about policy but it's also about deep cultural change that is have to happen within institutions.

Too often within government data is seen as something that has to be horded.  Governments that often government departments don't each want to share data with each other.  So the first thing that has to shape a cultural change to say that data isn't something you have to keep and it's the source of your power.  Data becomes more powerful the more it is shared and the more it is combined with other data sources to be used in different ways.

That is a very fundamental culture change that needs to happen first of all within governments and also I think I would love to see that happen within markets as well.  That market behavior and market incentives would reward companies that created tools and platforms that enabled interoperability and data sharing rather than creating walled gardens where is once you're locked into one product, you can only ever use that product.  Of course companies need to pursue the quite legitimate pursuit of profit but I would love to see the market evolve have gone in a way where consumers could encourage companies to find ways to combine profit with a much stronger drive towards interoperability and combining data sources.

So really what we need to see is first of all policy change to set the framework, secondly cultural change to set those good things in motion, and then the third thing, I think, is the democratization of data production and use and a much stronger sharing of the tools and capacities and the ability and the confidence.  I think we probably all remember moments in our school days where if not asked then somebody else was like I'm terrible at this.  I would love to see that kind of culture disappear and everybody feel that they have the tools and the confidence to use this data.  Data shouldn't be just something that is done to people.  But something that they can positively interact with themselves to define their own reality and set their own terms and make their own decisions.

So for me the three key things are first of all a strong policy environment to guarantee security.  Secondly, a culture change that drives interoperability and sharing.  And thirdly, democratization so we all have the ability to use these amazing tools that are now at our disposal.  Thank you very much.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you.  ‑‑ beneficial to all parties ‑‑

[ Broken audio ]

‑‑ and agree the challenge.

That is important to us to meet goals.  Thank you all for this very fluid exchange around this very important topic on the role of the Internet and technologies in the creation of the enabled development.  We come to the final question of our session.  I will ask you all.  I will ask you each to answer in one minute.  And I will start with minster?  He is not with us so I start with (?) Ms. Claire?

>> CLAIRE MELAMED: Sorry, you cut out.  I didn't hear the question.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Please state more specific recommendation on what should be done to ensure that Internet force for such good, (?) for this recommendation and complete action and development Private Sector and Civil Society (?) system.

>> CLAIRE MELAMED: I already talked about governments and the Private Sector.  So let me just now close the loop by also saying for Civil Society.  What I feel as someone who is very much involved with governments and companies in the ‑‑ particularly at the data end, is sometimes a lack of engagement by Civil Society.  And I would love to see a much stronger engagement by Civil Society defining the Internet and the protections they would like to see.  Not that necessarily that would happen or everybody would agree but a much stronger voice for Civil Society would help to drive everybody in the right direction and give those governments that want to act the legitimacy and the support to do so.  And also change at the margins, shift markets towards positive outcomes for all.  So I would love to see a stronger voice for Civil Society not always opposing but saying what they want to see, giving us a positive agenda for this area.  Thank you.  The.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you.  I ask now Ms. Ngcuka?  One minute, please.

>> PHUMZILE MLAMBO‑NGCUKA: Thank you very much.  I would like to see regulatory interventions both encouraging and supportive to government and supporting the efforts of both Private Sector, Civil Society, communities as well as greater Private Sector collaboration enabling those who live in technology‑poor communities to have access.

And I would also like more investment in building a pipeline of young people through STEM subjects who would have an appetite and interest to participate effectively in the world of technology promising.  In other words, an ecosystem that is mutually reinforcing from different sectors, role players, that is all aimed at increasing the uptake and participation in affordable or no‑cost, which is an open‑source.  Thank you.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you very much.  Mr. Young Li, please.

>> YONG LI: Thank you.  From my experience for the past few years of the digital technology development and Industrial Revolution, I think one of the issues is just like bottleneck for digital technology is digital infrastructure.  I have a strong feeling that governments should play a key role together working with private companies to develop a digital infrastructure just like highway, railway, airway.  Without the digital infrastructure all those new technologies cannot be run.  And even occasional trainings through the digital reality trainings system, cannot be applied.  This is fundamental issue.  I believe that government should play that role and the financial institutions should provide assistance and Private Sector will be one of key players.  This is fundamental issue.  When we talk about digital infrastructure, digital technologies, application of that reducing the digital divide.  Thank you very much.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you very much.  And now Madam Gabriela Ramos.

>> GABRILA RAMOS: Our commitment and our hope because we are an International institution, is that the instruments that we have developed and the instrument that we are developing like the recommendation of ethics of artificial intelligence, but before I have to say that in 2015, we have the Internet universality framework.  We contributed to the Secretary‑General roadmap with the 3CCs on artificial intelligence to connect, protect and respect and remedy.  We have many tools that have been advanced for the purpose of what we are dissing today, which is to put the people at the center of these technologies not only for them to master the technologies and to protect their own rights and their human dignity, but also for them to shape the technology revolution.  I think this is very important. 

So we will really make our instruments count and we will work with people, with the stakeholders to make sure that they are empowered not only to use and have access to the technologies which is the first derivative of the digital divide, but more importantly, to shape the technology revolution, not to have all of these minorities absent, not to have all the women absent, not to have the global South absent.  It's very important that they understand the real benefits that these technology bring but how they need to shape it and how they need to protect themselves to advance their own rights.  So hopefully UNESCO will continue to make a strong contribution in this field.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you very much. 

>> MARIO CIMOLI: Thank you very much for this question.  I think we are now in a crisis situation, emergency situation, and under the circumstances the government and the Private Sector have to guarantee that digital services are available to entire societies, most of all the disadvantaged communities.  This is the only way for us to go through this crisis successfully.  40% of our population access to digital services is key.  Thank you.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you.  Mr. Cimoli.  Mr. Sullivan, are you with us?

>> ANDREW SULLIVAN: I'm sorry.  The translation was talking over you.  Thank you very much.  The Internet Society wants people to be able to do the evaluations that they need to in order to figure out whether various policies are the right ones.  So we will continue to develop case studies of the various policies in order to determine how they fit with the Internet way of networking and we are very happy to work with anybody in the world who wants to do those analysis of various proposed policies.  That's the commitment we are willing to make right now.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you very much.  Mr. Ghosh.

>> ARUNABHA GHOSH: As one of the leading policy institutions working on sustainability, our focus is to democratize data.

That is our commitment.  In the last 10 years, we have made more than 100 datasets, either created them or made them available ‑‑

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: We lost you Mr. Ghosh.

>> ARUNABHA GHOSH: Can you hear me?  I was saying that our main commitment is to make access to data as much as possible available to public at large.  We have either created or made more than 100 datasets on access to energy, water, industry production and emissions, available everywhere so that can be used for incisive policy interventions.  That commitment will continue but our ask of governments is to ensure that data that is generated by Civil Society is granted the kind of status that is needed because often that is where there is a lot more detail and granular information available and especially when we talk about creating things like a climate risk atlas, that can save millions of lives affected by extreme weather events or the coming decades, that is the kind of visioning that we need for democratized ark tech that you are is delivered to the public at large and also the government services that need to respond.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you very much.  And the last word, your commitment, Mr. Josh Kallmer.

>> JOSH KALLMER: I can't of course can't speak for other companies but on behalf of Zoom, we can commit and we do commit to always working to internalize the priorities and values of governments, to designing our products in way that is take those values and priorities into account and then giving penal the tools to use them safely and securely.  One recommendation I have going back to the education context is actually to put something together and to have the U.N. perhaps convene say by the end of the first quarter of 2021.  Half day symposium bringing together tech companies, governments, nongovernmental stakeholders, to start working through perhaps in the context of education in particular, ways that we can really drive inclusion together and to start actually taking practical steps to do so.  I know Zoom would be an enthusiastic participant in such a setting.  So I will put that idea out there for you to consider.  Thank you.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you very much.  And now we go to Mr. RILLI.

>> RILLI LAPPALAINEN: Civil Society which I'm representing and I think that we have quite a lot of work to do still internally.  So sharing the examples, really making our promises and making the implementation of the principles for the development, digital development.  So really whole work, corporation and learning by doing and all of that.  And then on the other hand, I'm really having the request for the governments so that exactly the access for Civil Society in this space because it's not really happening in every country.  And I think there is a lot of data, for example, like we heard Civil Society is collecting which could be really relevant and useful for the governments.  Thank you.

>> IBTISSEM BEDJAOUI: Thank you very much.  And thank you for all and before we close this session, I just want to say something.  It's my commitment, if you want, in French, so because we are in the United Nations, a multi‑language space, I want to say ‑‑

[ Speaking in French ]

‑‑ absolutely obvious that new technologies are a new way to save our planet.  So we have to do the utmost to make sure that new digital technologies allow us to develop humanity in a very positive direction so that we create permanent values that we create initiatives for the benefit of everyone.  This is our goal, our aim.  It's not something we have already accomplished.  It's a ideal that we pursue together as a humanity.  All of these issues, are also an opportunity for us, an opportunity to create very realistic, new, stages to accomplish new goals so that together, as humanity, we finally progress together.

We have to remember that still much remains to be done and so, we have to evaluate things that have already been done that we do ourselves.  And within the U.N. forum, we should perhaps evaluate our actions and activities.  Thank you very much and I hope we will have a chance to meet again in the future.  Thank you.

 

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 411