Michael Kende on Internet Governance in International Geneva

Sarah Gädig • September 2020

Intl Governance In Intl Geneva

Read the full report here.

The Fondation pour Genève supports the role of International Geneva and increases its influence. They asked Michael Kende, Senior Fellow at the Center for Trade and Economic Integration and Visiting Lecturer at the Graduate Institute, to undertake a review of the current state of play on Internet Governance in International Geneva. With his PhD from MIT and his wide-ranging professional experience of the Internet, Michael Kende released his report in September 2020.

Abstract of the report:

International Geneva is a historical and ongoing hub for Internet governance. Internet issues are increasingly important to the international organizations present in Geneva, both for developing policy and applying digital solutions to their own work. Geneva has significant relevant expertise within the United Nations agencies, Permanent Missions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and academic and research institutes that contribute to and influence policy discussions. Three significant clusters of activity in Geneva focus on using Digital for Development, promoting Digital Trust, and establishing Digital Rights.

As evidence of its prominent role, a number of Internet initiatives have been based in Geneva in recent years. In addition, stakeholders in International Geneva are able to convene international audiences for an increasing number of Internet-related conferences. Looking forward, a particular focus of new initiatives in Geneva relates to future issues, such as questions about artificial intelli- gence ethics and policy. As a neutral location, Geneva can help to bridge divides between countries and blocs when interests are fragmented.

This report will contain an ‘état des lieux’ regarding the role International Geneva plays as a hub for Internet governance across a large range of issues. The report details the history of how Geneva developed its role, it covers the present range of activities, including how the Internet governance clusters have helped address the COVID-19 crisis, and looks forward to future issues that are emerging. The report also identifies gaps and proposes recommendations to strengthen Interna- tional Geneva’s position going forward.