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

Return
to cigi
2017
One Internet GCIG Logo

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

Paul Twomey
Paul Twomey was the CEO and president of ICANN from 2003 to 2009. He has held executive positions within the Australian Government’s foreign trade organization and has served as CEO of the National Office for the Information Economy. He is former senior consultant with McKinsey & Company. Paul is also the founder of ArgoPacific.
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.
Joseph Nye Jr.
Joseph Nye Jr. is a University Distinguished Service Professor and former dean of the Kennedy School at Harvard University. He has served as assistant secretary of defense for International Security Affairs, chair of the National Intelligence Council, and deputy undersecretary of state for Security Assistance, Science and Technology.
Moez Chakchouk
Moez Chakchouk / @mchakchouk
Moez Chakchouk is chairman and CEO of the Tunisian Post, and former Chairman and CEO of the Tunisian Internet Agency, the primary Internet service provider in Tunisia. Moez has served as a research engineer at the Centre of Telecommunication Studies and Research, Director of Interconnection and Access at the Telecommunications Regulation Authority and Adviser to the Minister of Communications Technology.
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.
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.
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.
Mathias Müller von Blumencron
Journalist Mathias Müller von Blumencron is editor-in-chief digital media at the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Prior to his current appointment, Mathias was an editor-in-chief of Germany’s leading weekly Der Spiegel, where he managed all digital products, and editor-in-chief of Spiegel Online, which he built into Germany’s most successful and award-winning news site.
Pascal Cagni
Pascal Cagni is an independent director at Kingfisher and Vivendi. He is a business angel in multiple start-ups of the digital economy. From 2000 to 2012, Pascal led Apple EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India, Africa) to become the largest and fastest growing region for Apple.
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.

Research Advisors

Peng Hwa Ang
Research Advisor
Peng Hwa Ang is director of the Singapore Internet Research Centre and professor at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University. He was a member of the 2004 Working Group on Internet Governance and he went on to co-found and serve as inaugural chair of both the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet) and the Asia-Pacific Regional IGF (APrIGF).
Jeanette Hofmann
Research Advisor
Jeanette Hofmann is a political scientist with a focus on Internet governance. She heads a research group on Internet policy at the Berlin Social Science Center, is co-director of the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, and professor for Internet policy at the Berlin University of the Arts. Her current research interests include multi-stakeholder processes and the role of technical, legal and social norms in Internet regulation.
Slavka Antonova
Research Advisor
Slavka Antonova is a professor and graduate director at the University of North Dakota, Communication Program. She has conducted an original research program on the power dynamics in ICANN and the IGF, and the multistakeholder process in global Internet governance, which has yielded one book, Powerscape of Internet Governance: How was Global Multistakeholderism Invented in ICANN? (2008), two book chapters, and a number of journal articles and conference presentations. Slavka was engaged in the leadership of the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet) between 2008 and 2010. She is vice-chair of the law section of the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR).
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.
Susan Chalmers
Research Advisor
Susan Chalmers works as a Policy Specialist in the Office of International Affairs at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), within the US Department of Commerce. Her portfolio includes matters related to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), intellectual property, and intermediary liability. Susan has been an active member of the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group and was previously the Policy Lead for Internet New Zealand, the administrator of the .nz country code Top Level Domain. She holds dual Bachelor’s degrees in French and Piano Performance from the University of Michigan, a JD from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and an LLM from the University of Auckland Faculty of Law.
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.
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.
Divina Frau-Meigs
Research Advisor
Divina Frau-Meigs is professor of Media and ICT sociology at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, France. She is a specialist of Cultural Diversity, Internet Governance and Media and Information Literacy (MIL) as well as a researcher in the media uses and practices of young people. She holds the UNESCO chair “Savoir-devenir in sustainable digital development”. She coordinates the French National Agency Project TRANSLIT, on the convergence between media, information and digital literacies (www.translit.fr). She is responsible for the implementation of the European project ECO, producing MOOCs on digital humanities (www.ecolearning.eu). She is the scientific expert on the Erasmus + ECFOLI project that promotes strategies for conflict resolution via MIL (www.ecfoli.eu/fr). She also conducts a research mapping youth online radicalisation for UNESCO. She currently is the co-chair of the European Chapter of GAPMIL, the Global Alliance of Partners for MIL. She is co-founder of the Know*ing initiative for rebooting the Internet via education 3.0 and new literacies.
Olaf Kolkman
Research Advisor
Olaf Kolkman is chief Internet technology officer with the Internet Society, which he joined in July 2016. The Internet became his professional focus in 1996, when he joined the RIPE NCC as a Scientific Programmer. In 2007, he became managing director of the Open Source and Standards development foundation NLnet Labs. Olaf has had numerous responsibilities in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF): he chaired the various working groups; he was IAB member from 2006 to 2012 and its chair between March 2007 and March 2011; served in various IETF committees and was Acting RFC Series Editor in 2011.

Partners & Sponsors

cigi-logo_0.png

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.


ch-logo.png

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