Diplo @ UNCTAD eWeek

04 December 2023 - 08 December 2023

Geneva, Switzerland

Event description

Diplo will participate in the 2023 edition of UNCTAD’s eWeek ‘Shaping the future of the digital economy.’ This year, eWeek will get a new identity and fresh focus on AI and the fast-changing digital landscape. For more information, visit the official website.

In this video, Jovan Kurbalija summarises the main AI topics he will cover during eWeek.

YouTube player

Ahead of eWeek you can consult Jovan’s main focus on: Bottom-up AI | SDGs as AI guardrails | How can we deal with AI risks

High-Level Opening Session

4 December, 10:00 – 11:00 CET | Organised by UNCTAD

During the opening session, Jovan Kurbalija will introduce Diplo’s hybrid reporting from UNCTAD eWeek. Reporting is provided by DiploAI and team of experts.


  • Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary-General at United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General at United Nations
  • Birame Sock, CEO at Kwely & eTrade for Women Advocate
  • Febrian A. Ruddyard, President of the Trade and Development Board at Indonesia
  • Deemah Al Yahya, Secretary-General at Digital Cooperation Organization (DCO)
  • Benedikt Wechsler, Ambassador at Division of Digitalization, Switzerland
  • Jovan Kurbalija, Executive Director at DiploFoundation

Scenario of the Future

4 December, 14:00 – 15:00 CET | Organised by Diplo, UNCTAD and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)

On the opening day, DiploFoundation will co-host with UNCTAD and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) a session on Scenario of the Future with the Youth. A select group of youth representatives will participate in a discussion while interacting with Diplo’s AI advisor. The discussion will be based on the inputs gathered during rounds of consultations, including one online process in November via UNCTAD’s digital platform (@ECDEatUNCTAD on X). Youth representatives will develop deeper insights from such inputs and present the outcome on the closing day.


  • Sorina Teleanu, Director of Knowledge, DiploFoundation
  • Yung-Hsuan Wu, Researcher, DiploFoundation
  • Jovan Kurbalija, Executive Director at DiploFoundation

Employing AI for Consumer Grievance Redressal Mechanisms

6 December, 8:00 – 9:00 CET | Organised by CUTS International

Integrating AI into Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) mechanisms related to e-commerce can further enhance the efficiency of consumer grievance redressal. But there are things to watch out for, like privacy issues, biases in decision making of AI, and the risk of less human touch and relying too much on machines. This discussion will be about ways to make sure everyone can use tech fairly, how to keep our data safe, and making sure AI is used ethically in solving issues when we shop online. Experts in solving online problems will share their views to help us understand better.

Key speakers:

  • Teresa Moreira, Head, Competition and Consumer Policy Branch, UNCTAD
  • Marilia Maciel, Head, Digital Commerce and Internet Policy, Diplo Foundation
  • Kritika Sethi, Co-founder, WeVaad
  • Rashika Narain, Weaver, OpenNyAI

Moderator: Ujjwal Kumar, Associate Director, CUTS International

Digital Economy Agreements and the Future of Digital Trade Rulemaking

6 December, 11:30 – 13:00 CET | Organised by Diplo and CUTS International

DiploFoundation and CUTS International will host a session titled Digital Economy Agreements and the Future of Digital Trade Rulemaking, exploring the critical topics of digital trade and trade facilitation, as well as legal and regulatory frameworks at the national, regional, and global levels. The session will feature experts from government, academia, and non-governmental organizations, discussing the unique characteristics and objectives of Digital Economy Agreements (DEAs) and their potential to drive cross-border digital trade, innovation, and economic development. The session will also examine DEAs’ influence on the future of digital trade rulemaking.

Key speakers:

  • Marilia Maciel, Head Digital Commerce and Internet Policy, DiploFoundation
  • Wei Guo Tang, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Singapore to the WTO
  • Yasmin Ismail, Programme Officer, CUTS International
  • Kholofelo Kugler, PhD Fellow, University of Lucerne

Moderator: Dmitry Grozoubinski, Executive Director, Geneva Trade Platform

G20 Contributions to Digital Economy and Digitalization for Development

6 December, 13:00 – 14:00 CET | Organised by Permanent Missions of Indonesia and Saudi Arabia

The side event is jointly organized by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia in Geneva and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations in Geneva. It aims to explore and assess the role of the G20 in shaping the global digital economy, focusing on how these efforts align with and support the achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in developing countries.

Key speakers:

Jovan Kurbalija, Executive Director, DiploFoundation

Bottom-up AI and the Right to be Humanly Imperfect

6 December, 14:00 – 15:00 CET | Organised by DiploFoundation

DiploFoundation will host session titled Bottom-up AI and the Right to be Humanly Imperfect, delving deep into the implications of two perils we see in the rising AI economy: One is our loss of ownership over knowledge to tech companies and algorithms, as the latter now control ‘what we know. The other is the new obsession with optimisation for perfection that pits humans against machines. As suggested by the title, the session will take a ground-up discussion where we open the floor for audience inputs on how humans could ‘regain ownership’ of thinking patterns through a bottom-up AI approach and defend our rights to be humanly imperfect.

Key speakers:

  • Jovan Kurbalija, Executive Director, DiploFoundation
  • Sorina Teleanu, Director of Knowledge, DiploFoundation

High-Level Panel Discussion on the Digital Economy in the Age of AI: Implications for Developing Countries

6 December, 15:00 – 16:30 CET | Organised by UNCTAD Secretariat

This session will explore AI’s potential impacts on the digital economy and development and address questions such as: What are the main benefits and risks of the widespread application of AI in developing countries? What are the requirements for developing countries to be able to benefit from AI and address its challenges? What responsibilities do developed countries have to reduce the risk of the adverse impact of AI on developing countries and promote a fair distribution of benefits in support of attaining sustainable development goals?

Opening remarks

Pedro Manuel Moreno, Deputy Secretary-General, UNCTAD

Interactive discussion
Paul-Olivier Dehaye, CEO, Hestia.ai
Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO
Uma Rani Amara, Senior Economist, Research Department, ILO
Teki Akuetteh, Founder and Executive Director, Africa Digital Rights Hub
Jovan Kurbalija, Executive Director, DiploFoundation

Moderated by Isabelle Kumar, former News Anchor, Euronews

Just-in-time Reporting

As in previous years, the GIP Digital Watch observatory will provide just-in-time reporting from the UNCTAD eWeek. Stay tuned for more details.