Half of the world’s population now uses the Internet to connect, communicate and interact. But basic access to the Internet is under threat, the technology that underpins it is increasingly unstable, and a growing number of people don’t trust it to be secure. The Global Commission on Internet Governance provided recommendations and practical advice on the future of the Internet. Its primary objective was the creation of “One Internet” that is protected, accessible to all and trusted by everyone. In its final report, the Commission put forward key steps that everyone needs to take to achieve an Open, Secure, Trustworthy, and Inclusive Internet. 

To take a look at the commission's full body of research, please see: https://www.cigionline.org/series/gcig-research-volumes

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The recommendations in our report are the result of comprehensive planning, consultations, analysis, and the belief in an open Internet for all. Learn more for yourself today and read the report.

Three Possible Futures of the Internet

The Internet as we know it today will not be the Internet of the future. Our actions now will determine how it evolves, for better or for worse. The following three scenarios explore these possibilities—however ideal or troubling they may be, they’re the theoretical result of our choices and actions.

A Dangerous & Broken Cyberspace

The Internet breaks due to malicious activity, and overreaching government regulation. Basic human rights are violated, online privacy is non-existent and government surveillance follows. Criminal data breaches are the norm and cyber attacks become more frequent.   The public loses its trust in the internet and people simply stop using the network. Its potential is truly lost.

Uneven & Unequal Gains Stunted Growth

Some users are able to enjoy some of the many benefits offered by being connected, while others are permanently locked out. Freedom of expression suffers, as does access to knowledge because governments don’t preserve the Internet’s openness. As a result, more than three billion people are left off-line.   Inequality and unrest spread, with minimal cooperation by governments across borders. Sharing and innovation are limited and stifled. Many are left behind.    

Broad, Unprecedented Progress

An open internet that enables unprecedented progress and opportunities for individual freedom, knowledge and innovation. Billions of new users join us online narrowing digital, social, and economic divides. GDP growth reaches upwards of $11.1 trillion by 2025. Government and industry collaborate across borders to manage the risks of online activity. This future requires concrete actions to ensure that the Internet becomes open, secure, trustworthy and inclusive for all.

GCIG Research

Commission

Carl Bildt
Chair of the GCIG
Carl Bildt served as Sweden’s foreign minister from 2006 to 2014, and was Prime Minister from 1991 to 1994, when he negotiated Sweden’s EU accession. A renowned international diplomat, he served as EU Special Envoy to the former Yugoslavia, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, UN Special Envoy to the Balkans, and Co-Chairman of the Dayton Peace Conference.
Fen Osler Hampson
co-Director of the GCIG
Fen currently serves as chancellor’s professor at Carleton University and continues to provide leading research and insight to policy makers in the areas of Canadian foreign policy and international and regional security.
Gordon Smith
Deputy Chair of GCIG
A former Canadian deputy foreign minister, NATO ambassador and G7/G8 Sherpa, Gordon Smith is a distinguished fellow at CIGI. He has been a key contributor to CIGI’s G20 research activities, events and publications; his current work focuses on the convergence of technology and global affairs.
Patricia Lewis
co-Director of the GCIG
Patricia Lewis is research director of international security at Chatham House. In previous positions, she has been deputy director and scientist-in-residence at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Middlebury College, and director of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research.
Angel Gurría
Angel Gurría joined the OECD as secretary-general in June 2006, following a distinguished career in public service. As Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from December 1994 to January 1998, he made dialogue and consensus-building one of the hallmarks of his approach to global issues. From January 1998 to December 2000, he was Mexico’s Minister of Finance and Public Credit. As OECD secretary-general, he has reinforced the OECD’s role as a “hub” for global dialogue and debate on economic policy issues while pursuing internal modernization and reform.
Anriette Esterhuysen
A resident of Johannesburg, South Africa, Anriette Esterhuysen is the executive director of the Association for Progressive Communications, an international network and non-profit organization committed to providing affordable Internet access to all people to enhance social justice and development. She was previously executive director of The Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT), where she helped establish Internet connectivity in South Africa.
Beth Simone Noveck
Beth Simone Noveck, founder and director of The Governance Lab, is a visiting professor at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and the MIT Media Lab. Currently on leave from the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School, she served in the White House as the first US deputy chief technology officer and is founder of the White House Open Government Initiative.
Dae-Whan Chang
Dae-Whan Chang is chairman of the Maekyung Media Group, which includes the Maeil Business Newspaper and Maeil Broadcasting Network. He served as Acting Prime Minister of Korea (2002), chairman of the Korean Association of Newspaper (2005-2010), chairman of the board at Sejong Center for the Performing Arts (2008-2011) and member of the National Competitiveness Council (2008-2013). He serves as board member of World Association of Newspapers and founder and executive chairman of World Knowledge Forum.
Dame Wendy Hall
Dame Wendy Hall is professor of computer science and executive director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton. One of the first computer scientists to undertake serious research in multimedia and hypermedia, the influence of her work has been significant in many areas including digital libraries, the development of the Semantic Web, and emerging research discipline of Web Science.
Dian Triansyah Djani
Dian Triansyah Djani is the director general of America and Europe in Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was director general for ASEAN Cooperation and drafter of the ASEAN Charter. He was also Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the UN, WTO, ITU, WIPO, WHO, UNCTAD, ILO and other international organizations in Geneva. He served, among others, as President of the UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board.

Research Advisors

Laura Denardis
Director of Research of the Global Commission for Internet Governance
A scholar of Internet architecture and governance, Laura is a CIGI senior fellow and professor at American University. She is an affiliated fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project and previously served as its executive director.
Aaron Shull
Research Advisor
Aaron Shull is CIGI’s Chief of Staff and General Counsel. As General Counsel, he responds to legal inquiries from Senior Management that relate to corporate, contractual, employment, occupational health and safety, intellectual property, dispute resolution, and compliance related matters. As Chief of Staff, he operates as an effective liaison and conduit across all departments, providing guidance and advice on all matters of strategic and operational importance.
Ahmed Abdel-Latif
Research Advisor
Ahmed Abdel-Latif is currently Special Assistant at the Office of the Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). From 2007 to 2015, he was Senior Programme Manager for Innovation, Technology and Intellectual Property at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD). As an Egyptian career diplomat, he worked at the Permanent Mission of Egypt in Geneva (2000-2004). He has taken an active part in international debates on intellectual property, innovation and development. He holds an LL.M in International Law (LSE), a BA in Political Science (American University in Cairo) and the Diplome of Sciences Po Paris.
Andrew W. Wyckoff
Research Advisor
Andrew W. Wyckoff is the director of the OECD’s Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry. Prior to the OECD, he was a program manager of the Information, Telecommunications and Commerce program of the US Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, an economist at the US National Science Foundation and a programmer at the Brookings Institution. Andrew holds a Master of Public Policy from the JFK School of Government, Harvard University.
Bertrand de La Chapelle
Research Advisor
Bertrand de La Chapelle is the Director of the Internet Jurisdiction Project, a global multistakeholder dialogue process developing a due process framework to handle the diversity of national laws in cross-border online spaces. He served as a Director on the ICANN Board from 2010 to 2013. From 2006 to 2010, he was France’s Thematic Ambassador and Special Envoy for the Information Society, participating in all WSIS follow-up activities and Internet governance processes, including in particular the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), and was a Vice-Chair of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). Bertrand is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique, Sciences Po Paris and Ecole Nationale d’Administration.
Bill Graham
Research Advisor
Bill Graham is a senior fellow at CIGI. From 2007 to 2011 he led global engagement activities at the Internet Society. Before that Bill was Director of International Telecommunications Policy and Coordination, Government of Canada, serving as head of delegation during the UN World Summit on the Information Society. He was a member of the Internet Governance Forum's Multistakeholder Advisory Group from its formation until 2011, and then served one term as a member of the ICANN Board of Directors.
Carolina Rossini
Research Advisor
Carolina Rossini is a Brazilian lawyer with over 13 years of experience in international law, transactions and policy, with a specific focus on Internet, telecom, intellectual property and human rights. She has worked in the United States and Brazil. In February 2014, she joined Global Partners Digital as an associate, and Public Knowledge, to lead their international work. Her previous affiliations include project director at the Open Technology Institute, International Intellectual Property Director at Electronic Frontiers Foundation, a fellow at the Berkman Center at Harvard University, a project coordinator at Fundação Getulio Vargas Center for Technology and Society and in-house council for Terra Networks S/A.
Christopher Yoo
Research Advisor
Christopher Yoo is the John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer Information Science as well as the director of the Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a leading voice in the “network neutrality” debate that has dominated Internet policy over the past several years, and is also pursuing research on copyright theory. Christopher testifies frequently before US Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission.
Chun Eung-hwi
Research Advisor
Chun Eung-hwi is chair of OpenNet Korea and on the board of Korea Green Consumers’ Network. He is involved in several Internet related bodies, including the Korea Internet Governance Association, Korea Consumer Agency and the National Assembly Research Service. Previously, he was a member of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, the Korea Network Information Center and DNSO/ICANN. He is a graduate of the KDI School of Public Policy and Korea University.
Clem Herman
Research Advisor
Clem Herman is a senior lecturer in the Department of Computing and Communications at the UK Open University, and was previously director of the Manchester Women’s Electronic Village Hall (WEVH) pioneering the use of ICTs to empower women. She has published widely on gender issues in technology and is the founder and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Gender Science and Technology.

Partners & Sponsors

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We are the Center for International Governance Innovation: an independent, non-partisan think tank with an objective and uniquely global perspective. Our research, opinions and public voice make a difference in today's world by bringing clarity and innovative thinking to global policy making. By working across disciplines and in partnership with the best peers and experts, we are the benchmark for influential research and trusted analysis. To learn more about CIGI's research on Internet governance, including free online publications, please visit:www.cigionline.org/internetgovernance.


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Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, is based in London, UK. Chatham House's mission is to be a world-leading source of independent analysis, informed debate and influential ideas on how to build a prosperous and secure world for all. Chatham House produces independent and rigorous analysis of critical global, regional and country-specific challenges and opportunities, while offering new ideas to decision-makers and -shapers on how these could best be tackled from the near- to the long-term. To learn more about Chatham House’s research on cyber security, please visit: www.chathamhouse.org


Sponsors

CIGI, Chatham House and the Commissioners of the GCIG would like to recognize and thank the following sponsors for their generous support which facilitated the work of the GCIG on one of the most pressing global public policy issues of our time, Internet governance.

  • Canadian Copyright Corporation
  • Government of Canada
  • Government of Jordan
  • Government of the Netherlands
  • Government of Sweden
  • Government of the United Kingdom, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Al Qassemi
  • International Development Research Centre
  • Kakao Corporation
  • The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Maekyung Media Group
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Ministry of Research and Innovation of the Province of Ontario
  • Oasis500
  • Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Synergia Foundation
  • The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands
  • The Royal Patronage of HH the Crown Prince of Jordan