Developing a Strategic Vision for Internet Governance

22 October 2013 - A Workshop on Internet Governance Principles in Bali, Indonesia

Internet Governance Forum 2013

Workshop # 300 Report

Developing a Strategic Vision for Internet Governance

Organizer Name 

Shull Aaron

Organizer Entity 

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)

Workshop Theme 

Internet Governance Principles

Consise description 



Efforts to study and practice Internet governance start, virtually without exception, from the premise that the Internet is currently governed by an innovative, unusual (perhaps unique) ‘multi-stakeholder’ model. Preserving that model is a primary goal for the broader Internet community as well as for many governments, though not for all.

This panel explicitly questions: (1) the coherence of the multi-stakeholder model at a conceptual level; (2) the accuracy of the term as a descriptor for Internet governance broadly conceived; and (3) the appropriateness of the model for every issue area that might plausibly be included under the heading of Internet governance.

Existing examples of multi-stakeholder Internet governance vary in both the composition of stakeholders and in the nature of authority relations between them. Accordingly, greater precision is needed if the model is to aid innovation.

While existing Internet governance arrangements are based on a primarily private form of governance exemplifying a hybrid mixture of for-profit and non-profit entities, the appropriate distribution of responsibilities between corporations, civil society and the state is contested. It may also differ between different dimensions of what could plausibly be included under the heading of Internet governance.




Panel introduction by the moderator Introductory remarks by each panelist (5 minutes) Panel moderator to pose a set of questions to the panel Moderator will open the floor to questions from attendees and remote participants Concluding remarks by the panelists Moderator to conclude the panel


Aaron Shull

Remote Moderator 

Cambria Olding

Have you organized workshops at previous IGFs?


Workshop format 


Workshop Transcript 


Brief substantive summary of the workshop and presentation of the main issues that were raised during the discussions 

This workshop sought to evaluate the future of the multistakeholder model in light of current political pressure on contemporary governance mechanisms. It also questioned the tendency to treat multistakeholderism as a unified phenomenon. Instead it suggested that a more nuanced understanding of types of multistakeholderism offers the potential to create a more productive discourse and to match particular Internet governance functions with appropriate governance mechanisms. The panel examined the historical trajectory of Internet governance, and highlighted the complexities arising from the increasing global nature of new entrants into the Internet governance policy space. 

Conclusions drawn from the workshop and further comments 

Ensuring openness, transparency and accountability in Internet governance is crucially important; however, there is a need to remain open-minded about the appropriate means for accomplishing these goals. Various stakeholders will need to think carefully about the values and goals of their respective communities while realizing that outcomes to refine and update legacy governance mechanisms will be the product of ongoing processes of rule making. The notion of the multistakeholder model as a unified phenomenon is definitionally inadequate to meet current governance needs. 

Reported by 

Mark Raymond and Aaron Shull

Estimate the overall number of women participants present at the session 

About half of the participants were women

To what extent did the session discuss gender equality and/or women's empowerment? 

It was not seen as related to the session theme and was not raised

Discussion affecting gender equality and women's empowerment 

Not Applicable 

Workshops Staticals 
Number of FEMALE participantsNumber of MALE participantsNumber of Young participantsNumber of Developing Countries ParticipantsNumber of Developed Countries ParticipantsNumber of LDCs participantsNumber of TOTAL Participants
43 43 20 25 55 5 86