In a survey of over 300 individuals from 53 countries, the Internet Society captures important perspectives on the origin and future of multistakeholder Internet governance. In short, the model works but there are ways to make it clearer and more inclusive and to leverage enhanced cooperation to strengthen participation in the Internet ecosystem.
The multistakeholder model is a key attribute of the modern Internet – a diverse collection of stakeholders from around the world working together to innovate, govern, and expand access to this powerful tool. Within the context of the Internet, the first internationally accepted definition of multistakeholder Internet governance was set by the 2005 UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis:
Internet governance is the development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.
Since 2005, the Internet has clearly grown and changed as millions of new users come online. As a result, the governance and cooperation mechanisms to support this growth have also developed and evolved. Through local, regional and global dialogue and action, more stakeholders are involved and have ideas for how to shape the future of the multistakeholder model. As the global community takes stock of progress made since the 2005 WSIS, this is a critical moment deliberate on how a broad base of experts and non-experts view the multistakeholder Internet governance model and to capture ideas for how it might evolve over the coming years.
The results are striking – through a two-phase questionnaire, a diverse group of respondents offered important insights on (i) Multistakeholder governance; (ii) Enhanced cooperation; and, (iii) Challenges ahead. A full analysis of the questionnaire can be found in the Annex, however some of the key findings include:
- Internet Governance is of great importance
- The working definition of Internet Governance is a good starting point
- Management of and responsibility for the Internet is vested on a combination of actors. Multistakeholder governance is the only way forward for Internet Governance. Improvements