The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) just released our paper on “Innovations in Global Governance: Towards a Distributed Internet Governance Ecosystem.” It is part of a series of research papers supporting the Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG). The GCIG was established in January 2014 “to articulate and advance a strategic vision for the future of Internet governance”. (The GovLab Director Beth Noveck is a commissioner on the GCIG).
Our paper starts from the observation that…
“developments in how the Internet is governed have not kept pace with this rapid technological innovation. Figuring out how to evolve the Internet’s governance in ways that are effective and legitimate is essential to ensure its continued potential. Flexible and innovative decision-making mechanisms are needed in order to enable disparate governance actors to address and respond effectively as changes in the network occur”
We subsequently outline a path toward a distributed yet coordinated framework to accommodate a variety of existing and emerging decision-making approaches. The paper draws on the lessons learned of open governance practices and suggest ways to apply them to Internet Governance, and its various settings and stages of decision making.
In particular, the key features of the emerging Distributed Internet Governance Ecosystem, which we detail in the paper, include:
- Enhanced coordination and cooperation across institutions and actors using innovative collaboration methods, including crowdsourcing;
- Increased interoperability (e.g., through the creation of a common Internet governance ecology) with regard to identifying and describing issues and approaches;
- Open information-sharing and evidence-based decision-making; and
- An emphasis on expertise- or issue-based organizations that allow for both localization and scale in problem-solving.
We encourage discussion and additional insights on the paper from interested readers. Please do share your comments and suggestions in the forum below. We look forward to incorporating them into a subsequent version of the paper.
Above all we call upon public leaders to develop diverse governance experiments in how we maximize the potential of the Internet for all.
See also: The Quest for a 21st Century ICANN: A Blueprint. ICANN Strategy Panel on Multistakeholder Innovation & The GovLab. May, 2014.