We organised our September WebDebate, ‘The UN at 75: Evolution or revolution?’, to mark the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. By looking back at the past 75 years of the world organisation, we zoomed in on two key questions.
Looking back to see the future of digital governance
This year, we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). For this occasion, as part of the WSIS Forum 2020, a series of high-level discussions are being held between 7–10 September 2020.
Unveiling a series of new events and tools for policy practitioners
There’s more than one reason why September feels fresh. The equinox marks a change in the seasons. Schools, offices, and parliaments resume their work, and the diplomatic calendar kicks off. But this year’s re-entry is like no previous one.
As we face unprecedented change and an uncertain future, it is the right moment to revisit the fundamentals upon which our society is built. A full examination of the values, ideas, and concepts that have worked in our society is necessary to guide what will work as we grapple with accelerating modernity. With technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), advanced genetic modification, and automated weapons all quickly becoming a reality, our humanity will be challenged like never before.
What are connected objects? Consider home assistants, smart thermostats, fitness wearables and connected cars to name but a few which advocate the advantages of convenience, home efficiency, health monitoring, safety, and security. Collectively known as the Internet of things (IoT), these are devices with unique identifiers that interconnect via the Internet, Bluetooth and other means.
Ever since people learned to fight autocracy and oppressive regimes, the battle has raged between ‘accommodationists’ and revolutionaries. The first ones pleaded for dialogue and used, if necessary, civil disobedience. The others discounted protest as ineffectual and called for outright revolution.
Internet governance (IG) is a particularly challenging puzzle when viewed from the perspective of countries in the Global South. Many of these countries are asymmetrically integrated and constrained by structures of dependence established by more advanced countries. This is clear in the push for IG reform by countries in the Global South, arguing that the current model does not adequately address their concerns about access and affordability.