The WSA Joins the Internet Governance Forum, Kyoto 2023 for “The Internet We Want – Empowering All People”

‘Your work is now more important than ever. We need to keep harnessing digital technologies enabled by the Internet to help deliver on the sustainable development goals, take climate action, and build a better world.‘’ 

- United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres, IGF Kyoto 2023

From October 812, 2023, 11,145 stakeholders registered from 92% of UN member states to join the Internet Governance Forum, a global multistakeholder platform that brings together the global community to discuss public policy issues related to the Internet. 

WSA Chairperson Professor Peter Bruck attended the forum in Kyoto, Japan alongside WSA Winner Gloria Mangi, Founder and President, Africa Queens Project, Tanzania, WSA National Expert from India, Osama Manzar, and WSA Gambia National Expert, Poncelet Ileleji.  

WSA hosted "Hack the Digital Divide" in Kyoto, with an interactive knowledge transfer session. Moderated by WSA Chairperson, Professor Peter Bruck and joined in person by Gloria Mangi and online by Tiffany Tong, Co-Founder Aloi, Singapore & Nepal, Matias Rojas De Luca, Co-Founder Socialab Chile. WSA members and alumni examined the multifaceted issues of digital divides and the imperative task of promoting economic growth through entrepreneurship and innovation. Sharing the WSA solution mentality, the session highlighted the need to showcase and learn from those achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals with digital tools and technologies. 

Watch the IGF Session

During the forum, WSA members met with Amandeep Gil, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Technology. Amandeep extended an invitation to the WSA community to participate in shaping the "Global Digital Compact," a crucial document for the UN Summit for the Future scheduled for September 2024. They emphasized the importance of high-level international policymakers learning from successful instances of digital technology's positive social impact and concentrating on actionable measures within the UN's capacity.



Alongside other key members of the international digital expert community Professor Peter Bruck held a meeting with Vint Cerf, who has played a pivotal role in IGF leadership, offering valuable insights for the WSIS+20 Review Process, jointly organized by ITU, UNESCO, and UNDP in preparation for the 2025 UN General Assembly. Recognized as the "Father of the Internet", Cerf stressed the importance of selecting exemplary innovation practices on the Internet for social impact. He also commended the WSIS' global efforts on the "impact layer" and the global recognition it provides to social entrepreneurs and Network Capital. The WSIS and its global community of social entrepreneurs aspire for the IGF to expand its focus beyond legal issues and legislation and address the critical issue of market power. 



Participating at the Internet Governance Forum in Kyoto was a valuable opportunity for the WSA network as a means to connect with key stakeholders, influence policy discussions, and share WSA best practices. By engaging in the IGF, WSA showcased its commitment to promoting digital innovation with a social impact and contributed to critical conversations on internet governance and technology's societal implications. As a community we look toward meeting UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Technology, Amandeep Gil’s invitation to contribute to the “Global Digital Compact” in the lead-up to the UN Summit for the Future and continue to solve, digitalize, and create impact.