IGF 2023 Launch / Award Event #27 Education, Inclusion, Literacy: Musts for Positive AI Future

Monday, 9th October, 2023 (00:00 UTC) - Monday, 9th October, 2023 (01:00 UTC)
Room A


Connie Ledoux Book, chair of the National Association of Independent College and Universities and president of Elon University. 

Divina Frau-Meigs, UNESCO Chair for Knowledge and Future in the Age of Sustainable Digital Development and professor at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University.

Lee Rainie, incoming founding director of Elon University's new center on the digital future, previously longtime director of internet and technology research at Pew Research Center. 

Janna Anderson, director of the Imagining the Internet Center and professor of communications at Elon University. 



Opening speakers

Connie Ledoux Book, chair of the National Association of Independent College and Universities (a US organization representing nearly 1,000 private, non-profit colleges and universities) and president of Elon University. Book led a major research project, “Realizing the Global Promise of the Internet,” at IGF 2007 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and she has worked in support of Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center’s engagement in IGF. Book has a doctorate in journalism from the University of Georgia and is a published scholar who is expert in digital communications technologies.

Lee Rainie, longtime director of internet and technology research at Pew Research Center. Rainie has led research teams in producing more than 800 reports based on surveys and data-science analyses that examine people’s online activities and the internet’s role in their lives. He is the co-author of the 20-year series of “Future of the Internet” reports in which thousands of experts share their insights as to the opportunities and challenges emerging in the next decade of digital life. He has served several times as a keynote speaker and moderator at IGF-USA.

Divina Frau-Meigs, native of Morocco, UNESCO chair Savoir Devenir in sustainable digital development, member of MILID and ORBICOM network, and professor of media and information and communications technology sociology at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris. A longtime IGF participant, she has coordinated the French National Agency Project TRANSLIT (on media and digital literacies) and led implementation of the European project ECO, which produced massive open online courses to provide training in digital humanities and literacy. She also served on the High-Level Group on Fake News for the European Commission.

Alejandro PisantyInternet Hall of Fame member and professor of internet governance and the information society, has contributed to the growth and improvement of the Internet in Mexico and Latin America and across the world through his position on the faculty at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and in his leadership roles at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Internet Society, as well as other influential networking organizations. His advocacy, lobbying and understanding of the needs of developing countries have influenced policy and directed funding to enable millions to get online.

Additional speakers:

Siva Prasad Rambhatla, researcher, speaker, and former professor of anthropology and leader of the Centre for Digital Learning, Training and Resources at the University of Hyderabad, India. He has served with UNESCO’s Information Ethics Working Group (part of its "Information for All" program), he was a featured speaker at the 2021 international Emerging Technologies and Changing Dynamics of Information conference, and he spoke at the Artificial Intelligence for Information Accessibility (AI4IA) conference in 2022. He will also be speaking at second IGF-Kyoto event about generative AI & UNESCO’s “Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence.” 

Francisca Oladipo, vice-chancellor at Thomas Adewumi University, Nigeria, and a professor of computer science; she earlier served as director of research, innovation, consultancy and extensions. She is the executive coordinator of Virus Outbreak Data Network Africa and Asia (VODANA). In 2014, she served as a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology under its Empowering the Teachers Initiative. She was named a Grace Hopper faculty scholar in 2016, and she was named a fellow of the Nigerian Computer Society in 2020. 

Wei Wang, a member of the IGF Dynamic Coalition on Data and Artificial Intelligence Governance and teaching fellow at the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) think tank in Brazil, is a PhD student at the University of Hong Kong School of Law, guest lecturer at University of Warsaw and administrative officer at Creative Commons Hong Kong. At FGV he is teaching Internet Regulation, Data Protection and Algorithmic Governance in China and researching digital sovereignty, data infrastructure, digital public services and platform governance in the Chinese automating state.

Eve Gaumond, a research associate at the University of Montreal’s Public Law Research Center and with Catherine Régis, the Canada-CIFAR Chair in AI and Human Rights, currently researching the impact of artificial intelligence on higher education. She has presented her research at major conferences, including the International Conference on AI and Law. She previously served as director of the Innovative Ideas Incubator Program of the International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technology. She is a member of the bar in Quebec. She doing research this fall at the Keio University Global Research Institute in Tokyo.

Renata de Oliveira Miranda Gomes, an IGF Youth delegate to IGF 2023, selected to represent Brazil. She recently completed her master’s degree in communication at the University of Brasilia. She is a co-author of a number of research reports, among them: “Journalism and Accountability in Brazil” 2019. “Access to Information Laws in Latin America,” 2021. “Platforms and Science Communication: Content Analysis of a Channel on YouTube and TikTok” 2022. She works as an analyst at Arko Advice, a leading political analysis, strategy and public affairs company based in Brasilia.


Onsite Moderator

Connie Book, chair of the National Association of Independent College and Universities and president of Elon University

Online Moderator

Dan Anderson, special assistant to the president, Elon University


Dan Anderson, special assistant to the president, Elon University


3. Good Health and Well-Being
4. Quality Education
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
10. Reduced Inequalities
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
17. Partnerships for the Goals

Targets: Speakers at this Launch event will explain the importance of focusing more institutional energy by higher education and across all institutions toward enhancing full digital inclusion and more widespread digital literacy and adopt new approaches to facilitate change. The rapid advance of artificial intelligence has created an urgent need for higher education institutions and others to develop and adopt formal programs to equip people to function in a much different world. The speedy co-evolution of humans and AI requires that every institution must focus significant energy on fostering more-widespread digital awareness, literacy and activism and a wider understanding of how human rights, human agency, identity, privacy, security, and trust are evolving. Of critical importance: There must be more-diverse participation by knowledgeable people from outside the technology bubble in co-creating the future design of the human-centered digital intelligence and knowledge systems that serve the public interest. Higher education institutions, in fact all institutions, can and must engage more diligently now in enabling society to achieve these goals. Higher levels of inclusion and literacy will heighten digital trust and security. Throughout history, greater inclusion and literacy have lifted civilizations and bred social amity while closing divides. At this moment, those of us committed to higher education know that advancing technological change demands that people from outside of the industry be involved in designing the tech and contributing to its regulation, and the global public must adopt new literacies and create new norms around positive digital change. All of this requires new programs and initiatives in higher education and across all human institutions in digital inclusion and digital literacy. A heightened focus on these areas will give all a better opportunity to take full advantage of all the possible gains and help ward off emerging problems that arise as artificial intelligence spreads, as misinformation and deepfakes become common, and as stark differences continue to grow between tech sophisticates and those who struggle to get good access and good information.


Presentation followed by open discussion

Duration (minutes)

In service of the public interest in the age of AI and in support of the Global Digital Compact and the UN’s SDGs, the goal of this Launch event is to create a deeper awareness by leaders of higher education and other institutions of the urgent need to innovate and initiate new programs in support of heightened digital inclusion and digital literacy. Those who attend this event will be encouraged to sign and share with others a position statement urging that higher education and all institutions across society actively assist in the positive evolution of humanity as it embraces AI and other emerging technologies, prioritizing the broadening and deepening of diverse public inclusion and education and the preparation of an educated public that is fully capable of contributing to a positive future. Prior to this IGF launch event, during it and following it, the organizers will solicit endorsements of the position statement by notable leaders in higher education and other supporters of this cause.