IGF 2023 Open Forum #23 A bottom-up approach: IG processes and multistakeholderism



Other - 60 Min
Format description: Our open forum will be delivered in a mixed format between a panel and break-out group discussions. We will start the session with a 20 minute panel introduction and then proceed to 20 minute break-out groups, before coming all back together for the final 20 minutes so that groups can share their suggestions and ideas. Room seating set up can be in rows (we will move the chairs into circles for break-out groups, and then move back into rows subsequently for the final 20 minutes of discussion).


This open forum will explore how multi-stakeholder engagement in discussions about Internet governance has protected users' ability to use the global Internet freely and openly. At the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2005, governments agreed that Internet governance should involve all stakeholders and that a multi-stakeholder approach should be adopted, as far as possible, at all levels. At the ten-year review of WSIS in 2015, governments recognised that human rights have been central to the vision of the World Summit on the Information Society. Human rights defenders, other civil society actors and media workers all play a vital role in holding governments to account on the protection of human rights in global digital governance and multi-stakeholder participation in Internet governance processes continues to be critical for the protection of human rights. As we approach the 20 year review of WSIS in 2025, we need to encourage and support inclusive participation by all stakeholders in order to promote the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. In the first 20 minutes, panellists will: -explain how multi-stakeholder engagement plays a critical role in supporting human rights online; -outline opportunities for multi-stakeholder engagement in Internet governance fora and processes; and -explore how the 20 year review of WSIS can be shaped to encourage participation from the multistakeholder community and ensure the process is accessible to all stakeholders. The next 40 minutes will maximise interaction with the audience. The audience will share ideas on how the WSIS+20 review process can be shaped to encourage the private sector, civil society and the technical community to more actively contribute.

The hybrid nature of this open forum will be integral to its success and we plan to utilise the break-out group feature within Zoom to maximise participation. The inclusion of break-out groups in the session design is specifically to ensure online attendees are able to converse with each other, creating a networking/collaboration opportunity which allows them to experience the session not just by listening, but by actively contributing. The interaction between online and in-person break-out groups will then be facilitated by bringing all participants back together for a hybrid discussion to conclude the session.


🔒United Kingdom Department for Science, Innovation and Technology
Rosalind KennyBirch (UK DSIT - Government; WEOG); Mehwish Ansari (Article 19 - Civil Society; North America)


Anriette Esterhuysen - Former Chair of the IGF MAG (Civil Society, Africa) Timea Suto - Global Digital Policy Lead at the International Chamber of Commerce (Private Sector, Europe) Alan Ramirez Garcia - Peru Government, Academic and IGF MAG member (Government, Latin America)

Onsite Moderator

Rosalind KennyBirch (UK DSIT - Government; WEOG)

Online Moderator

Marek Blachut (UK DSIT - Government; WEOG)


Rosalind KennyBirch (UK DSIT - Government; WEOG)



Targets: This proposal aims to explore how digital governance processes, namely WSIS+20, can be made fully inclusive. As such, the aim of this session directly correlates to Sustainable Development Goal 16. This SDG commits to building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. This open forum will examine how one such institutional process, WSIS+20, can function in an effective and transparent manner, ensuring inclusivity and participation at all levels. The break-out group discussions will also focus on the question of how to broaden and strengthen stakeholders from developing countries’ inclusion in the WSIS+20 review process (16.6, 16.7, 16.8).

This proposal also links directly to the SDGs’ target to promote the political inclusion of all by 2030 (10.2), including gender specific targets to ensure womens' full and effective participation at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life (5.5).