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Internet Governance 27 October 2017

Can We Expand the Multistakeholder Model for Internet Governance? A Feasibility Report

Sally Shipman Wentworth
By Sally Shipman WentworthVice President of Global Policy Development

What can be done to expand the usage of the multistakeholder model for Internet governance?

Collaborative decision making has been at the heart of how the Internet has grown and developed since its earliest days. Multistakeholder approaches are used across the Internet ecosystem and have helped create the opportunities made possible by the Internet today. But as we outlined in our Global Internet Report 2017, more work is needed to expand the use of multistakeholder processes in order to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing the future of the Internet.

As I wrote last summer, the Internet Society commissioned a feasibility study on expanding the use of the multistakeholder model for Internet governance , including three focus areas:

  • Demonstrating the efficacy of the model
  • Capacity building
  • Research

I would like to thank Larry Strickling and Grace Abuhamad, who have led this work. Their report is based on interviews with a wide range ICT experts from academia, industry, the technical community, civil society and governments.  It details a possible framework for such an initiative, as well as the resources required. It also makes clear that any new initiative should support and complement existing initiatives such as the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). Their Feasibility Study Final Report is now available online.

This feasibility study is now available for comment from the community. If you have initial thoughts or reactions to how we might approach this initiative, we encourage you to submit your ideas to multistakeholder@isoc.org.


Image credit: Fuse Brussels on Unsplash

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