REMIT researcher and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bremen, Dr. Dennis Redeker, attended the 2023 United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Kyoto, Japan.

The primary purpose of attending the conference was to pursue background conversations, individual and focus group interviews with stakeholders in the UN Global Digital Compact consultation and negotiation processes. This research is part of REMIT’s work package 3 on the “normative construction of technology governance”. The 2023 IGF, attended by more than 9,200 – 6,200 of which in person, was hosted by the Government of Japan.

While at the IGF, Dennis connected with relevant stakeholders, among other ways, by sharing a stage on a panel or workshop. Over the course of the conference, he gave four presentations including two talks sharing insights from his previous research on the Global Digital Compact, one presentation at the affiliated GigaNet Annual Symposium (on pan-African advocacy for human rights online, with Adio-Adet Dinika), and a shorter presentation about ongoing joint teaching activities in the field of Internet governance.

Dennis attends the global IGFs since 2017, usually to collect data, to connect with research participants and to learn first-hand about cutting-edge discussions on important digital governance issues. At the IGF in Kyoto, a number of high-profile connections were made for further interviews and virtual focus group sessions. Conducting follow-up data collection will now continue well into next year. The Global Digital Compact is due to be agreed by UN member states at the Summit of the Future, to be held in New York in September 2024.

The Internet Governance Forum is a global initiative by the United Nations to bring together all stakeholders in Internet governance and the governance of digital technologies – including AI, platforms and blockchain technology – to exchange opinions, insights and ideas. While not mandated to make decisions, the IGF is an important place to find consensus and to influence policy outcomes on all levels and dimensions, from national privacy laws to global AI standards and platform content policy. In addition to the annual global meetings, there are regional and national IGF initiatives that are an important setting for REMIT researcher to engage different stakeholder groups. The next iteration of the annual European meeting, the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG), will take place in Vilnius in June 2024.  

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