lighting, Diplomacy

Diplo & GIP at RightsCon Toronto 2018

16 May 2018 - 18 May 2018

Toronto, Canada

Event description

[Update] A report from DiploFoundation and the Geneva Internet Platform’s session, ‘The elephant in the room: The funding dimension of capacity development’ is available

[Update] See photos from the sessions

DiploFoundation and the Geneva Internet Platform will be actively engaged in the 7th RightsCon Summit, to be held on 16–18 May, in Toronto, Canada. We will be hosting a booth and organising two sessions. 

RightsCon Toronto 2018, the seventh event in the RightsCon Summit Series is organised by Access Now. As the world’s leading conference on human rights in the digital age, it brings together business leaders, policy makers, general counsels, government representatives, technologists, and human rights defenders from around the world to tackle pressing issues at the intersection of human rights and digital technology.

Diplo and the Geneva Internet Platform will be present in Toronto, hosting a booth and organising two sessions. Download the sessions schedule.

Bay Area tech companies and governments: Discovering the art of conversation

Friday, 18th May, 14:30 – 15:45 | Room Q

The Internet industry in the Bay Area is of vital importance for countries worldwide. The Bay Area tech sector provides services for, and collects data of, citizens worldwide. They play a key role, not only in the governance of data, but also in the implementation of voluntary data standards. Some of them provide platforms for communication and democratic dialogue and are seen as key partners in the efforts to curb fake news or fight extremist propaganda online. The significant impact of Internet companies on society is not matched by the existence of clear frameworks for dialogue with other stakeholders. This discussion is very timely, as one as governments are under increasing pressure to take up more regulatory responsibilities and contribute to the public good.

Diplo’s session will identify existing formal and informal mechanisms for dialogue and the themes covered in the interaction between the Internet industry and governments. We will discuss good governance practices enhancing transparency and accountability, as well as the possibility of their application. The roundtable will assess if and how dialogue in the Bay Area could help to introduce early (or ‘by design’) technical and policy considerations that could help to uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms and strengthen democracy. The roundtable builds on Diplo’s ongoing research to map the range of models that countries are adopting in order to interact with companies in the Bay Area. See more at  


The elephant in the room: The funding dimension of capacity development

Friday, 18th May, 09:00 – 10:15 | Room S

The need for capacity development is voiced substantively and regularly in official speeches and documents. Experienced facilitators and consultants are active in this area. However, supply and demand do not always match. Quality capacity development requires resources, and very often those most qualified in education cannot devote the time and effort required for fundraising. Who should pay for capacity development activities? Those most in need, such as those from least developed countries (LDCs), find it difficult to pay. Several pioneer countries (e.g. Switzerland, with the Geneva Internet Platform project) have gone beyond their own capacity development needs and expanded their provision to the global community. Going further, should the responsibility for funding lie with developed country governments, with the private sector, or with the numerous foundations or NGOs? What, if any, is the responsibility of participants to self-fund?

The discussion will identify specific issues and their solutions from the perspective of government, nonprofit, business and tech sectors in an international setting.


(Last updated: 03 May 2018. Times are local (Toronto).