UNCTAD eWeek: Building Inclusive Global Digital Governance

Wednesday, December 6, 2023 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CET (UTC+01:00)
Public Event: Virtual Event (Virtual)

The 2021 Digital Economy Report, published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), pointed to the need for improved global data governance, noting that “existing institutional frameworks at the international level are not fit for purpose to address the specific characteristics and needs of global data governance.” Since that time, the situation, if anything, has become worse. There are still no global frameworks, but technology has continued to march forward, particularly with the advent of generative artificial intelligence (AI) that has caught the world by storm — and by surprise. What was once confined to a specialized domain has now permeated the daily lives of ordinary users, entangling with our routines and activities. Yet there are no coherent guardrails in place, no user-friendly manuals, and no national or global standards or regulations.

This situation is similar to, and just as troubling as, the large digital platforms that have played an important role in the lives of countless individuals worldwide, facilitating access to diverse information, communities, cultures and services, but at the same time monetizing personal data with virtually no safeguards. What can be done to improve this situation so that the benefits of these technologies can improve the lives of all while minimizing harms? This session will discuss the latest developments in data and AI governance and provide concrete suggestions on how it can be improved, particularly from an international and multi-stakeholder perspective.

Event Speakers

Susan Ariel Aaronson is a CIGI senior fellow, research professor of international affairs at George Washington University and co-principal investigator with the National Science Foundation/National Institute of Standards and Technology, where she leads research on data and AI governance.

Silvana Fumega is a specialist in the intersection of data, policy and inclusion.

Nanjala Nyabola is a CIGI fellow and an independent writer and researcher whose work focuses on the intersection between technology, media and society.

Lorrayne Porciuncula leads the Datasphere Initiative, incubated and catalyzed by the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network.

Evelyne A. Tauchnitz is a CIGI senior fellow and senior researcher at the Institute of Social Ethics ISE, University of Lucerne, Switzerland. Her expertise lies within digital technology, specifically global governance, peace and conflict research, ethics and human rights.

Robert (Bob) Fay is a CIGI senior fellow and an expert in the field of digital economy research.