The IGF, like any other ecosystem, has its own demography. As can be seen in the illustration, the IGF ecosystem radiates both ways from the centre that steers the process and from edges that provide new ideas and inputs.
This detour from Internet governance to the history of philosophy was inspired by the setting of the World Internet Conference which I attended last week. Next to the high-tech conference centre is the ancient city of Wuzhen. This blend of new and old was an invitation to discuss the latest tech developments using ancient thinking, an invitation I couldn’t resist.
This list of 25 points relies on experience gathered over more than 20 years of analysing new technologies in diplomacy, their hype, their sudden disappearances, and their occasional survivals. The list reflects research on digital diplomacy, quantitative analysis of digital trends, as well as discussions with practicing digital diplomats (see more).
Although many points focus on social media, the list covers an overview of different aspects of digital diplomacy (beyond social media).
Digital diplomacy could determine the results of the current US presidential election. Hillary Clinton’s solid lead is suffering following the discovery of new material related to the use of her private e-mail server as US Secretary of State. Paradoxically, as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was one of the first champions of digital diplomacy and may now become one of its first major political victims.
These days, good news in global politics is rare. But the election of António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres, Portuguese politician and diplomat, as the new UN Secretary General is VERY good news for a world facing turbulent times. Here are just five reasons for being optimistic about Guterres’s election.
Rogers’ diffusion of innovations curve and Gartner’s hype cycle help explain the crucial interplay between the possibilities that are offered by digital tools, and the realities of technology perception and adoption at diplomatic services. This blog aims to provide a reality check to the current ‘blue sky’ coverage of digital diplomacy by providing a third graph, combining Rogers’ insights on technology adoption and Gartners’ depiction of hype cycles.
1,500 steps, 1.2 kilometers, and 142 calories burned were displayed on my pedometer after completing a 2-hour-long ‘walking course’ on Internet governance. It was a slow walk through the beautiful setting of Geneva’s Jardin Botaniques (Botanical Garden) and the attic of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) building. The students of the course were Swiss junior diplomats.
Brexit has been viewed by some commentators as a protest vote against the globalisation paradigm. As the Internet is the technological basis for global integration, and the medium through which billions of people experience globalisation, Brexit should make us think more seriously about the future of the Internet. The shifting paradigms of globalisation and integration are likely to directly affect the Internet.
Thus, the Internet we have today should not be taken for granted.