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Closing session: wrap-up and concluding remarks

Page history last edited by Mary Murphy 8 years ago



Philipp Metzger, Director-General, OFCOM

Jovan Kurbalija, Director, DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP)



Session notes


Jovan Kurbalija opened the final conference session with a recap of previous sessions. He discussed the recurring themes of regulation, transparency, e-participation, policy development, and capacity development. He remarked on the ultimate goal of inclusiveness, suggesting that ‘the ultimate demonstration of effective inclusiveness is successful e-participation.’ In recapping day two, he reminded participants that complexity is not necessarily a bad thing, but rather a reflection of reality. It is important to shift attention to the State’s highest offices: transparency can lead to information overload, and potentially, to paralysis. Therefore, discretion is necessary, in combination with transparency, and context determines how this should be applied. Avoiding unrealistic harmonisation of Internet governance processes is important, but it is also crucial to ensure that decentralisation does not occur, as a result. More important than defining the tools measuring data is to note what data you want to collect, and why.


Philipp Metzger, Director-General of the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM), presented some thoughts about the conference and its purpose, as well as about our current context. He suggested that Geneva is a hub for IG, but at the same time, it is a ‘building under construction’ with different layers. In Geneva there are many elevators to help actors move up to the higher levels of debate in that building. Moving between different layers of the building should be perceived as a challenge, rather than as a dead end: an avenue to continue walking down together. The conference has helped to highlight this opportunity.


The need for mapping demonstrates the reality of the changing times and needs in IG. Metzger illustrated the enormous complexity of the situation by likening it to a bowl of spaghetti. He referred to the many IG-related exchanges and events going on throughout the year.


Looking back at the topics treated throughout the conference, he mentioned some concerns that have to be addressed in the future given the enormous complexity of IG. These were information overload, policy questions, and neutrality, both from a technological and a political perspective. Furthermore, human rights and data protection, as well as transparency, accountability, and inclusiveness, are all valuable principles that have been discussed for a long time. We need to ensure continued commitment of all parties. Metzger finished his address by thanking all participants for the active discussions and by reminding them that there are many open and inclusive forums that deal with IG, including the Geneva Internet Platform.


In closing, Kurbalija invited participants to compose tweets to summarise the conference and its work. This could be a valuable exercise in condensing IG complexities into just 140 characters.

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