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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

Rethinking the Internet Governance Dialogue Event

14:00 - 15:00
17 April 2015
Building 58, Room 1007 Highfield Campus University of Southampton

For more information regarding this event, please email Samantha Collins at .

Event details

Internet governance (IG), at its core, is a global discussion between governments, businesses, civil societies, technical experts, academic researchers, and other interested parties on how to shape the evolution, use and regulation of the Internet. A central debate concerns whether a federated multi-stakeholder approach (the current model) is more appropriate than a centralized intergovernmental model, where countries would enter into treaties negotiated between governments. Another issue concerns the role now played by the US government in managing the operations of the Internet. 2015 is a milestone year for both of these issues, with the UN 10-year review of progress made with the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and the expiration of the contract between the US government and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for management of the Internet technical parameters.

Due to high demand we have increased the number of seats available so there are still a few left if you wish to attend, you can do this via our Eventbrite page.

These dialogues have been ongoing since the late 1990s, when the Internet was nascent. Since then, the Internet has of course come to underpin a vast digital economy, with pervasive impact on the economic, social, cultural and political aspects of every country in which it is easily accessed. The resultant increased interconnectivity, enabled by a confluence of technological advances, means that these are no longer isolated national issues, but have immense impact at the global level. Thus Internet governance issues increasingly need to be balanced between a diverse and often conflicting set of economic, social, cultural and political needs.

At the same time, what we have traditionally considered “the Internet” is also changing rapidly, with the advent of, for example, the Internet of Things, transnational cloud computing technologies, advanced big-data analytics, augmented and virtual reality, consumer robotics and social machines. Each of these extend the reach and impact of the Internet in novel and unforeseen ways, and add new dimensions of complexity to every level of global Internet governance and regulation.

It therefore seems fitting to explore how the ongoing discussion on Internet governance can be rethought to enable more comprehensive, nuanced, evidence-based dialogues, and engage more interdisciplinary academic researchers in the discussion, with the objective of contributing new rigour, expertise and perspectives on specific issues in a way that would enable progress in the overall policy debates. Often, technical, economic, cultural and political issues are conflated, without the benefits of rigorous evidence—for example, economic analyses, sociological studies—or a more holistic framework.

This talk will give some context for the current IG discourse, suggest why rethinking the dialogue is timely, aim to tease apart the issues, and engage with the audience in an interactive discussion on a better framework to rethink these issues in ways that would enable progress in the policy debate about both individual issues and broader Internet governance. Hopefully the discussion can help to shape a holistic, interdisciplinary and truly global research agenda on Internet governance for the years ahead.

About the Speaker

M-H. Carolyn Nguyen is a Director in Microsoft's Telecommunications and Internet Governance Group. Her work is aimed at influencing global policy-making on issues related to Internet governance by engaging with stakeholders, participating in public policy dialogues and venues such as ICANN, ITU, and IGF, and raising awareness of the impacts of technology. Her past activities have included policy initiatives on privacy, security, open/big data, the internet of things, intelligent systems, and their effects on existing social, economic, and policy frameworks. She has worked at the intersection of these disciplines, collaborating with researchers, subject-matter experts, and industry pioneers, developing an evidence base to encourage a more holistic approach to policy. Some of her work included co-editorship with Kieron O'Hara and Peter Haynes on the Digital Enlightenment Forum Yearbook 2014 on "Social Networks and Social Machines, Surveillance and Empowerment"

Prior to joining Microsoft, Carolyn held a number of positions with Research in Motion, Avaya Communications, Lucent Technologies, and Bell Laboratories.

Her experience includes a range of business and technical responsibilities in developing and bringing to market innovative telecommunications solutions globally.

Carolyn received her BSEE from Princeton University, MEng from Cornell University, and PhD from the Center of Telecommunications Research at Columbia University. She also completed Executive Business Management Programs at Harvard Business School and London Business School.

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