Emerging Technologies: Fostering benefits, managing risks through multistakeholder governance

12 November 2018 - A Main Session on Other in Paris, France


Title: Emerging Technologies: Fostering benefits, managing risks through multistakeholder governance

Length: 80 minutes

Format: Panel discussion

Venue: UNESCO / room Salle 1, Monday 12 November 10:00-11:20


Brief Description/Objective:

As the development and adoption of new technology into our daily lives is taking place at a pace never seen before, societies, policymakers and businesses are confronted with complex issues that they have never encountered before.  Artificial Intelligence, 5G, blockchain, and the Internet of Things have the potential to bring social, cultural, and economic benefits to all. But their same decentralized and autonomous independence features enabling such progress bring along relevant issues around the governance of such systems, who is responsible, why the systems respond the way they do and how we can ethical considerations be included. For emerging technologies to be at the service of mankind  and foster a human centered digitalization, they  must be guided by well-informed, sound, and sustainable policies.  

This main session will address governance, transparency and accountability, and ethics in emerging technologies.



Moderators will provide a brief 3 min. introduction to the topic to set the scene. They will open the poll (using Mentimeter) to ask the audience “What are the emerging technologies to discuss?”; participants will be invited to cast their vote,  and the word cloud of responses will be shown on the main screen. Moderators introduce the format and panelists.

The panel will be divided in three 15 minute blocks, one for each of the policy questions. During each block some panelist will provide their views for the technology of their expertise on policy question addressed (2-3min each). Each block is to be followed by a 8 minute open mic to enable public participation by expressing their views or addressing questions to the panellists.  (5+15+8+15+8+15+8=74)

Additional polls (using Mentimeter) will be set, such as asking the audience to position various mentioned emerging tech (IoT, blockchain AI, virtual/augmented reality, …) based on potentials (low/high) and risks/challenges (low/high); again, discussion will continue while participants cast their votes, and results will be shown in realtime.

In the remaining 6 minutes the rapporteurs will provide a brief summary of the session and the room will be vacated and arranged for the next session.


Policy Questions

  1. How can transparency and accountability be assured? What does it mean for each technology?
  2. How are ethics to be considered from a policy perspective? Can ethical considerations be enshrined in technologies? Are there relevant approaches that could be shared as best practices?
  3. How should governance for the development and adoption of emerging technologies be approached?


Chair(s) and/or Moderator(s)

Main Session Organisers / facilitators: Christoph Steck

Co-facilitators: Wafa Dahmani, Raquel Gatto, Nataša Glavor



Vladimir Radunović (Diplo Foundation), Civil Society, Europe

Olga Cavalli, Government, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC) 



  • Lorena Jaume-Palasi, Civil Society, Germany, WEOG Algorithmic Decision Making Manifesto - Algorithm Watch
  • Layla El Asri, Private Sector, Research Manager, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
  • Satish Babu, Chair, APRALO, ICANN At-Large, Asia-Pacific Group
  • Maarten Botterman, Civil Society, WEOG, ICANN Board, Dynamic Coalition on the Internet of Things
  • David Redl, Government (USA) Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information at the United States Department of Commerce


Plan for in-room participant engagement/interaction?

8 minutes open mic sessions following each of three policy questions are planned for participants engagement. Moderators will try to pick a few questions/comments from the audience preferably coming from various stakeholder groups.


Remote moderator

Monica Trochez, SSIG fellow from Colombia

Laura Bretón, SSIG Fellow from República Dominicana and ISOC RD


Plan for online interaction?

Remote moderator – TBC/Online participants will also be able to take part in 8 minutes open mic sessions following each of three policy questions. Online and off-line moderators will ensure online participants’ partake in these open mic sessions


Connections with other sessions?

In order not to interfere and overlap with other IGF sessions covering the topic of any of the emerging technologies and focusing on ethical considerations, bias, transparency and explanation of results, responsibility, multi Stakeholder approach needed for AI, improving accessibility with AI, AI based abusive content removal) the purpose of this Main session would be to direct discussion to the specific question of governability of emerging technologies and make it serve as a complement to the other emerging technologies related sessions present on the IGF.


Desired results/output? Possible next steps for the work?

Agreeing on rapporteur summary presented at the end of the session. Publishing session messages, and if possible make those messages open to comments so it could be developed further. And also link messages from this session with messages from other Emerging Technologies related sessions present on the IGF.




Additonal rapporteurs to be included if available. (Diplo?)

Session Time: 
Monday, 12 November, 2018 - 10:00 to 11:15
Salle I (Main)
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