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

Research Advisors

Laurent Elder
Research Advisor
Laurent Elder leads IDRC’s Information and Networks program, which aims to better understand how information networks can be used to promote open, inclusive and rights based information societies in the South. From 1999 to 2004, Laurent was in Senegal at IDRC’s office for West and Central Africa. There, he worked with the Acacia initiative, a program looking into the impact of information and communication technologies in Africa. Laurent holds an international M.B.A. and a M.A. in history, both from the University of Ottawa.
Lee Hibbard
Research Advisor
Lee Hibbard is the Internet governance co-ordinator at the Council of Europe. He is responsible for the Council’s Internet Governance Strategy 2016–2019, including the setting up of a platform between governments and major Internet companies on their respect for human rights online. In recent years, Lee facilitated public policy on human rights for Internet service providers, network neutrality, freedom of expression on the Internet, and the protection and empowerment of children online.
Lee Tuthill
Research Advisor
Lee Tuthill is a senior counsellor in the Trade in Services Division of the WTO, a unit that oversees the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). Her responsibilities include ICT services and electronic commerce, as well as issues related to cross-border trade in ICT-enabled services. In these areas, she covers policy developments, regulatory reforms, market trends, new business models and trade practices, including analysis of how they relate to the GATS framework and trade liberalization. Her work entails close collaboration with ICT ministries and regulatory authorities around the world. She has published articles on WTO and FTA telecommunications negotiations and on digital economy issues and also serves on the editorial board of info journal. Previously, she worked on economic and trade policy for the USITC. She attended Columbia University, where she was awarded Masters of International Affairs degree.
Leonid Todorov
Research Advisor
Leonid Todorov serves as deputy director for External Relations in Russia's Internet registry and leads the Russian Internet Governance Forum Steering Committee. Since the onset of Russian reforms, he served for more than a decade as chief of staff to the late Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar. His focus is on Internet governance, new gTLDs, international cooperation and cyber security. He is on the steering group for the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG), the ccNSO ICANN Strategic and Operations Plan Working Group, and on the ISOC Advisory Council. Leonid earned his M.A. in Linguistics from Moscow State Pedagogical University and did postgraduate studies in management and business leadership in Copenhagen and Taiwan.
Leslie Daigle
Research Advisor
Leslie Daigle has been actively involved in shaping the Internet’s practical evolution for more than 20 years. She was an appointed member of the Internet Architecture Board for eight years, and elected as its chair for five of those years. Leslie was most recently the Internet Society’s first Chief Internet Technology Officer. She is currently principal at ThinkingCat Enterprises, where she has launched the online InternetImpossible.org storybook of the Internet’s experienced global impact.
Lorraine Eden
Research Advisor
Lorraine Eden is a professor of management at Texas A&M University. Her current research focuses on two areas: the economics of transfer pricing (the pricing of related party transactions), and multinational (MNE) strategies for coping with institutional distance, liability of foreignness and “hot spots” (e.g., conflict zones, corrupt economies, tax havens). She teaches courses on transfer pricing, MNEs and the economics of international business. From 2008 to 2010, Lorraine was the editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Business Studies.
Mark Raymond
Research Advisor
Mark Raymond is the Wick Cary Assistant Professor of International Security at the University of Oklahoma, and a Fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in International Theory, The Cyber Defense Review, the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs and the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal. His current research examines the politics of global rule-making, as well as Internet governance. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto.
Martina F. Ferracane
Research Advisor
Martina F. Ferracane is a PhD student at Hamburg University focusing on cross-border data flows. She is affiliated with ECIPE, where she worked as a policy analyst on digital trade and data flows, covering also innovative technologies such as 3D printing and digital fabrication. Moreover, she is the founder of Fab Lab Western Sicily, a non-profit organization which aims to promote digital education in Sicily. She has previously worked at the European Commission and at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok. Martina holds a Master’s degree in economic internationalization, integration and international trade from the University of Valencia in Spain and a Bachelor's degree in economics from the University 'La Sapienza' in Rome.
Matthias Bauer
Research Advisor
Matthias Bauer is a senior economist at the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) in Brussels, Belgium. He studied business administration at the University of Hull, United Kingdom, and economics at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany. He received his Ph.D. after joining the Bundesbank graduate program on “Foundations of Global Financial Markets and Financial Stability."
Meryem Marzouki
Research Advisor
Meryem Marzouki is a senior researcher in Political Sciences with the French National Scientific Research Center, currently with the Computer Science Laboratory of Paris 6. Her multi-disciplinary research interests focus on Internet governance, human rights, and the rule of law. She is a member of the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet), and of the European Internet Science Network of Excellence (EINS).

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