Internet Governance for the Next Billion Users

24 October 2013 - A Workshop on Enhanced Cooperation in Bali, Indonesia


This workshop will explore how we can increase effective communication and collaboration among stakeholders in the Global South with varying backgrounds and interests. The goal will be to develop a set of “best practices” for dialogue, advocacy, and sharing of regional points of view, especially as a means of setting the agenda for a discussion of cyberspace issues with the Global North. The term “Global South” is here used to refer to developing countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, the populations of which will soon make up the majority of the world’s Internet users. It is defined in contrast with the countries of the “Global North,” which control most of the world’s information infrastructure and possess a dominant influence on ICT policy. The workshop will convene a multi-stakeholder group of policy makers, academics, activists, and business leaders from countries across the Global South [and North] in order to establish dialogue and facilitate knowledge-sharing and capacity building. In doing so, it will seek to build bridges between stakeholders in different regions and spheres with an emphasis on identifying points of commonality between the challenges they face.


An emphasis will be placed on identifying new and existing leaders from each region beyond those who are usually seen and heard, in order to bring in civil society groups working on a grassroots level; identifying platforms (inside and outside of cyberspace) for promoting popular education on Internet governance; and identifying challenges and opportunities for further dialogue within the Global South and between the Global South and Global North. Issues that are commonly discussed from a “Northern” perspective will be nuanced and tailored to more accurately reflect “Southern” viewpoint. For example, though cybercrime is typically discussed in terms of large-scale disruptions to infrastructure or attacks on financial institutions, the South may more commonly face challenges related to organized crime groups, online child-trafficking, or safe havens for fraud operations. Better understanding both within countries of the Global South and between the South and North can facilitate cooperation between stakeholders in addressing these challenges.