Governance Innovation for a Connected World: Protecting Free Expression, Diversity and Civic Engagement in the Global Digital Ecosystem

Conference Report

July 31, 2018

Worldwide, the internet and the increasingly important social media and content applications and platforms running on it have assumed an extraordinary and powerful role in people’s lives and become defining features of present-day life. This global digital ecosystem has created immeasurable benefits for free expression, social and cultural exchange, and economic progress. Yet, its impacts, and the easy access to content it provides, have not all been either foreseeable or desirable, as even a cursory scan of the daily news will show.

In this environment, the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford University and the Centre for International Governance Innovation, in cooperation with the Department of Canadian Heritage, invited government, business, academic and civil society experts to an international working meeting in March 2018 to explore governance innovations aimed at protecting free expression, diversity of content and voices, and civic engagement in the global digital ecosystem. One of the goals was to bring different players and perspectives together to explore their similarities within a comparative public policy context.

This publication reports on the meeting’s discussion as participants sought innovative approaches to deal with both present and emerging challenges, without impeding the creativity and benefits that the internet can bring.

 The report is also available in French.