Crowdsourcing a Magna Carta for 'The Web we Want'

4 September 2014 - A Workshop on Other in Istanbul, Turkey


IGF 2014 sub theme that this workshop fall under

IGF & The Future of the Internet Ecosystem


Could we, as international citizens of the Internet, create a set of general principles, a "Magna Carta" for the Internet? Can we design a platform that enables us to crowdsource from across the world a vision for the "Web We Want"? Could we overcome linguistic, political, and cultural barriers in order to mobilize around issues of net neutrality and pervasive surveillance? How can we design both a technological platform and social process in a way that overcomes rather than increases barriers to inclusion? How can we get the participation of those who are disconnected or otherwise excluded from the Internet itself, the majority of the world?

It seems like such a document should be directly crowd-sourced from the Web itself, yet open-source tools for involving massive amounts of users in collaborative editing, discussing controversial topics, and reaching consensus are still in their early stages. Traditional internet governance bodies work mostly over mailing-lists, but massive volumes of email prevent many people from participating in the age of Facebook and Twitter, and provide little help for structuring debates and issues. How can we build more effective socio-technological scaffolding is needed to let people engage effectively in multi-stakeholder processes?

Panelists from across the world will discuss and compare their experiences in large-scale constitutional crowd-sourcing, and will suggest best practices in order to extend these efforts in designing participatory platforms to engage users in political discussion and action. Ranging from the Tunisian Constitution to the “Decálogo da Web Brasileira (Brazilian Web Decalogue) to new technical platforms such as DCENT and social standards at the W3C, we hope to learn how to build from these experiences to create a "Magna Carta" for the Web, so that we can build not only the Web We Want, but the world we want.

Name(s) and stakeholder and organizational affiliation(s) of institutional co-organizer(s)

Renata Avila
Civil Society
Web Foundation

Caroline Burle
Civil Society

Harry Halpin
Technical Community
World Wide Web Consortium

Has the proposer, or any of the co-organizers, organized an IGF workshop before?


Type of session


Duration of proposed session

90 minutes

Subject matter #tags that describe the workshop

#constitution #crowdsourcing #webrights #webwewant #governance

Names and affiliations (stakeholder group, organization) of speakers the proposer is planning to invite

Opening Comments

- Caroline Burle, NIC.BR

Confirmed Speakers:

- Carlos Affonso, IGF Rights and Principles
- Wafa Ben Hassine, Civil Society, Tunisian Constitution
- Vagner Diniz, Civil Society, NIC.BR
- Nica Dumlao, Civil Society, Foundation for Media Alternatives/ Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom
- Mike Godwin
- Cristiana González, Academic, University of Sao Paulo
- Jaako Korhonen, Government, Finland's OpenMinistry
- Nnenna Nwakanma, Civil Society, Web Foundation
- Ahmet Sabancı, Civil Society, Turkey's Alternative Informatics Association

Final Comments

- Harry Halpin, Technical Community, W3C

Name of Moderator(s)

Desiree Miloshevic, Industry, Afflias

Name of Remote Moderator(s)

Renata Avila

Description of how the proposer plan to facilitate discussion amongst speakers, audience members and remote participants

The moderator will give each participant a "pecha kucha" section for the first have to describe their background, social methods, or technological tools for democratic engagement, and then there will be questions followed by open discussion. The goal is to focus to see if these tools can help in creating a "Constitution/Magna Carta" around net rights in particular

Description of the proposer's plans for remote participation

We will allow questions to be taken and points made from the Internet, using standard W3C-style IRC and messaging. This part will be moderated remotely.

Background paper

No background paper provided

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