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

Patrik Fältström
Research Advisor
Patrik Fältström is head of research and development at Netnod. Previously, he was a distinguished engineer at Cisco, technical specialist at Tele2, systems manager at the Royal Institute of Technology, researcher at Bunyip Information Systems and a programmer in the Royal Swedish Navy. He has been a member of numerous advisory groups and investigations related to Internet, both public and private sector. Patrik holds an M.Sc. in mathematics from the University of Stockholm.
Jan-Peter Kleinhans
Research Advisor
Jan-Peter Kleinhans is Program Manager at Stiftung Neue Verantwortung, an independent, charitable think tank in Berlin. He focuses on policy issues in the field of IT-Security, protection of National Critical Infrastructures and surveillance by law enforcement agencies. Before joining SNV he was an intern at netzpolitik.org where he wrote about the Snowden revelations, government surveillance and human rights violations on the Internet. Jan-Peter holds a BA in Information Systems from Darmstadt University of Technology and a MA in Communication Theory from Uppsala University.
Samantha Bradshaw
Research Advisor
Samantha Bradshaw is a DPhil student at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) focusing on the politics of cybersecurity protocols. Prior to undertaking her doctoral degree, Samantha worked as a researcher at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, supporting the work of the Global Commission on Internet Governance. Samantha holds a Master’s degree in global governance from the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts (joint honours) in Political Science and Legal Studies from the University of Waterloo.
Kilnam Chon
Research Advisor
Kilnam Chon is a professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and also taught at Keio University and Tsinghua University. He developed the first Internet in Asia, called SDN in 1982, and his pioneering work inspired many others to promote the Internet’s further growth in the region. He has founded various regional Internet organizations such as Asia Pacific Networking Group, Asia Pacific Advanced Network, and Asia Pacific Top Level Domain Name. Kilnam received a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from UCLA.
Suk-Ho Bang
Research Advisor
Suk-Ho Bang is dean of the College of Law at Hongik University in Seoul. From 2008 to 2011, he led the Korea Information Society Development Institute, which is a broadcasting, telecommunications and Internet policy research institute founded by the Korean government. He has served on the board of the Korea Broadcasting System, co-chaired the Korean Association for Info-Media Law, and led the Cybercommunication Academic Society. Suk-Ho received his J.D. as well as LL.M. from Duke University School of Law, and received his LL.B. from Seoul National University.
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.
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.
Youn Jung Park
Research Advisor
Youn Jung Park is professor in the Department of Technology and Society at State University of New York (SUNY) Korea. Prior to her work at SUNY Korea, she was a senior research fellow at Economics of Infrastructure section (EvI) at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. She was the co-founder of the UN WSIS Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus (2003). Youn Jung holds a Ph.D. in Information, Science and Technology from Syracuse University.
David Clarke
Research Advisor
David Clark is a senior research scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, where he has worked since receiving his Ph.D. in 1973. Since the mid-1970s, David has been a key figure in the development of the Internet; from 1981 to1989, he acted as chief protocol architect in this development, and chaired the Internet Activities Board. His current research looks at re-definition of the architectural underpinnings of the Internet, and the relation of technological architecture to economic, societal and policy considerations.
Nanjira Sambuli
Research Advisor
Nanjira Sambuli is an ICT researcher and policy analyst based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is interested in and works on understanding the unfolding impacts of ICT adoption in governance, innovation, entrepreneurship and societal culture in Kenya, and across Africa. Some of her research outputs include an assessment of Cybersecurity and Cyber-resilience in East Africa (CIGI) as well as Challenges and opportunities for advancing Internet access in developing countries while upholding net neutrality (Journal of Cyber Policy).

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