Event date: 23 June 2022, 17:30–18:30 CEST
In this talk, researchers from the Geneva Academy will shed light on the different examples of cyber operations (e.g. Stuxnet, NotPetya, and SolarWinds) allegedly conducted or sponsored by states to explicate their geopolitical effects and challenges to international law. As the importance of ICT grows in the modern world, cyber operations have become an integral part of state and non-state actors’ strategies against other states and actors. Researchers will present their findings as part of the project on disruptive military technologies.
For more information, and to register, please visit the official page.
Acronym: CyberPeace Institute
Address: Campus Biotech Innovation Park, 15 avenue de Sécheron, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland
Stakeholder group: NGOs and associations
The CyberPeace Institute is an independent and neutral non-governmental organisation (NGO) that strives to reduce the frequency, impact, and scale of cyberattacks, to hold actors accountable for the harm they cause, and to assist vulnerable communities.
The Institute works in close collaboration with relevant partners to reduce the harm from cyberattacks on people’s lives worldwide, and provide assistance. By analysing cyberattacks, it exposes their societal impact and how international laws and norms are being violated, and advances responsible behaviour to enforce cyberpeace.
At the heart of the Institute’s efforts is the recognition that cyberspace is about people. It supports providers of essential services to the most vulnerable members of society, ultimately benefitting us all, like NGOs and the healthcare sector. Attacking them can have a devastating impact on beneficiaries and patients, putting their rights and even lives at risk.
To deliver on this mission, the Institute relies on donations and the generosity of individuals, foundations, companies, and other supporters. This support enables it to assist and support vulnerable communities, including NGOs, to enhance their resilience to cyberattacks.
The Institute also provides evidence-based knowledge and fosters awareness of the impact of cyberattacks on people, to give a voice to and empower victims to highlight the harm and impact of cyberattacks. It reminds state and non-state actors of the international laws and norms governing responsible behaviour in cyberspace, and advances the rule of law to reduce harm and ensure the respect of the rights of people.
Created in 2019, the Institute assesses the impact of cyberattacks from a human perspective, focusing on the rights of people. It grounds its analysis on evidence and the impact on human well-being, telling the story of people, linking with the technical reality of cyberattacks, and assessing it against the violation of laws. The Institute advocates for an evidence-based, human-centric approach to the analysis of cyberattacks as essential to the process of redress, repair, and/or justice for victims. It works collaboratively in its research, analysis, assistance, mobilisation, and advocacy. It engages with vulnerable communities to understand their needs for cybersecurity support and provides free and trusted cybersecurity assistance to vulnerable communities.
The CyberPeace Institute
- assists NGOs and other vulnerable communities to prepare for and recover from cyberattacks.
- investigates cyberattacks targeting vulnerable communities, analysing these attacks to provide alerts and support and for accountability.
- advocates to advance the rule of law and respect for the rights of people.
- anticipates threats to people associated with emerging and disruptive technologies.
- Examples of operational activities
- Assisting humanitarian and other NGOs with free and trusted cybersecurity support.
- Analysing cyberattacks and highlighting their impact on people and how they violate the rule of law.
- Documenting violations of international laws and norms and advocating for strengthened legal protection in cyberspace.
- Offering expertise and support to states and civil society in relation to responsible behaviour in cyberspace.
Digital policy issues
Cyberattacks against critical infrastructure have been on the rise, from attacks against hospitals and vaccine supply chains to attacks on the energy sector. When such disruptions occur, access to basic services is at risk. It is vital that there is an increase in the capacity and ability to improve resilience to cyberthreats in critical sectors, such as healthcare. The CyberPeace Institute urges stakeholders in diplomatic, policy, operational, and technical areas to increase their capacity and resilience to cyberthreats.
The Institute advocates for capacity building aimed at enabling states to identify and protect national critical infrastructure and to cooperatively safeguard its operation. This includes capacity building, implementation of norms of responsible behaviour, and confidence building measures. In strengthening efforts to protect critical infrastructure, the Institute calls for the sharing of lessons learned between countries to assist those with less capacity and fewer capabilities.
NGOs in civilian-critical sectors, for example water, food, healthcare, energy, finance, and information, need support and expertise to help them strengthen their cybersecurity capabilities. While these NGOs provide critical services to communities and bridge areas not covered by public and private actors, they lack the resources to protect themselves from cybersecurity threats.
Examples of the Institute’s work in this regard:
- Calls to governments to take immediate and decisive action to stop all cyberattacks on hospitals and healthcare and medical research facilities, as well as on medical personnel and international public health organisations.
- Capacity building is essential for achieving cyber preparedness and resilience across sectors and fields, and activities focus on providing assistance and capacity building to NGOs that might lack technical expertise and resources.
- Publication of the strategic analysis report Playing with Lives: Cyberattacks on Healthcare are Attacks on People, and launch of the Cyber Incident Tracer (CIT) #Health platform that bridges the current information gap about cyberattacks on healthcare and their impact on people. This is a valuable source of information for evidence-led operational, policy, and legal decision-makers.
- Monitoring and analysing how cyberattacks and operations are and have been, targeting critical infrastructure and civilian objects in the armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation through the publicly accessible Cyber Attacks in Times of Conflict Platform #Ukraine. The information on cyberattacks can be used to identify developments or clarify the law in relation to the use of cyber operations in armed conflicts, and for accountability in any future judicial proceedings.
NGOs play a critical role in ensuring the delivery of critical services, such as the provision of healthcare, access to food, micro-loans, information, and the protection of human rights.
Malicious actors are already targeting NGOs in an effort to get ransoms and exfiltrate data. Often these NGOs do not have the budget, know-how, or time to effectively secure their infrastructures and develop a robust incident response to manage and overcome sophisticated attacks.
With this in mind, the Institute launched its CyberPeace Builders programme in 2021, a unique network of corporate volunteers providing free pre- and post-incident assistance to NGOs supporting vulnerable populations.
This initiative brings support to NGOs in critical sectors at a level that is unequalled in terms of staff, tools, and capabilities. It assists NGOs with cybersecurity whether they work locally or globally, and supports them in crisis-affected areas across the globe.
The Institute believes that meaningful change can occur when a diversity of perspectives, sectors, and industries work together. To address the complex challenges related to ensuring cyberpeace, it works with a wide range of actors at the global level including governments, the private sector, civil society, academia, philanthropies, policymaking institutions, and other organisations. The Institute contributes by providing evidence-led knowledge, emphasising the need to integrate a genuine human-centric approach in both technical and policy-related projects and processes, and by highlighting the civil society perspective to support and amplify existing initiatives.
To contribute to closing the accountability gap in cyberspace, the Institute seeks to advance the role of international law and norms.
It reminds state and non-state actors of the international law and norms governing responsible behaviour in cyberspace, and contributes to advancing the rule of law to reduce harm and ensure the respect of the rights of people.
Contribution to UN processes
- In 2021–2022, the Institute contributed to and commented on various UN-led processes (notably the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on Advancing responsible state behaviour in cyberspace in the context of international security (UN GGE) and the Working Group (WG) on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the rights of peoples to self-determination).
- The Institute has closely followed the work of the UN Open-Ended Working Group (UN OEWG) on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security, advocating recognition of the healthcare sector as a critical infrastructure and raising concerns about the lack of commitment towards an actionable and genuine human-centric approach.
- In the Open-Ended Working Group on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies 2021–2025 (OEWG II), the Institute set out three key action areas and related recommendations, and is contributing its expertise in relation to the protection of humanitarian and development organisations from cyberattacks.
Participation in international initiatives: The Paris Call Working Groups
The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace is a multistakeholder initiative launched by the French government at the Paris Peace Forum in November 2018. The Call itself sets out nine principles promoting and ensuring the security of cyberspace and the safer use of information and communications technology (ICT).
- To operationalise these principles, in November 2020 six working groups were created to work on various issues that relate to them. The Institute co-led WG5 with colleagues from Geopolitics in the Datasphere [Géopolitique de la Datasphère] and The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS).
- The work of this group led to the Final Report published during the Paris Peace Forum 2021. It presents a methodology to facilitate understanding of how the implementation of normative, legal, operational, and technical measures, or the lack thereof, contribute to stability in cyberspace and ultimately to cyberpeace.
- The Institute contributed to WG3: Advancing the UN negotiations with a strong multistakeholder approach, leading to the publication of the final report on Multistakeholder Participation at the UN: The Need for Greater Inclusivity in the UN Dialogues on Cybersecurity.
At the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, in May 2022, the CyberPeace Institute joined Access Now, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and Consumers International to call on decision-makers to take action and initiate a moratorium limiting the sale, transfer, and use of abusive spyware until people’s rights are safeguarded under international human rights law.
This is in addition to a call made in 2021, in which the Institute joined more than 100 civil society organisations calling for a global moratorium on the sale and transfer of surveillance technology until rigorous human rights safeguards are adopted to regulate such practices and guarantee that governments and non-state actors don’t abuse these capabilities.
Digital technology plays an important role in conflict mediation and global peacebuilding. It can extend inclusion, allowing more women or people from marginalised groups to take part in or follow a mediation process. It can make mediation faster and more efficient and can allow mediators to draw on resources from around the world.
However, digital technology brings risks, too. It can increase polarisation, for example, and allow disinformation to spread to more people, more quickly. It can increase vulnerability to malicious actors, spying, and data breaches. These risks can undermine trust in the process.
Mediators work in low-trust, volatile contexts and don’t always have the knowledge to assess the risks posed by digital technology. A new online platform helps to raise awareness of those risks, as well as offering training on how to deal with them. The Digital Risk Management E-Learning Platform for Mediators was created in 2021 by the CyberPeace Institute, CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation, and the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (UNDPPA) Mediation Support Unit.
As part of the integration and engagement with the stakeholder ecosystem in Geneva, the Institute is a member of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services (CCIG). Various academic collaborations are ongoing through participation in conferences, workshops, and lectures,
namely with the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Centre for digital trust EPFL (C4DT), the University of Geneva (UNIGE), and the Graduate Institute (IHEID). In 2020, the Institute formed a strategic partnership with the SwissTrust Valley for Digital Transformation and Cybersecurity.
The Institute and its staff have received several awards for innovative and continuous efforts promoting cyberpeace including the 2020 Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), second prize for Innovation in Global Security, and the Prix de l’Economie in 2021 from CCIG.
Address: Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Stakeholder group: International and regional organisations
Founded in 1980, UNIDIR is a voluntarily funded, autonomous institute within the United Nations. One of the few policy institutes worldwide focusing on disarmament, UNIDIR generates knowledge and promotes dialogue and action on disarmament and security. Based in Geneva, UNIDIR assists the international community to develop the practical, innovative ideas needed to find solutions to critical security problems.
The research areas of UNIDIR’s SecTec focus on cybersecurity, such as threats and vulnerabilities related to information and communications technologies (ICTs), and the use of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) applications in warfare. SecTec has supported the UN processes on ICTs Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) and the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) and continues to support the OEWG on security of and in the use of ICTs (2021–2025). It focuses on research and awareness raising on this topic with a broad range of stakeholders and maps the cybersecurity policy landscape.
Digital policy issues
SecTec builds knowledge and raises awareness of the security implications of new and emerging technologies. Cyber stability is one area of focus for UNIDIR, the work of which supports the implementation of specific norms and recommendations previously agreed by member states. It also explores options to strengthen cyber stability and crisis management mechanisms. UNIDIR provides technical and expert advice to the chairpersons of the UN GGE and OEWG on norms, international law, confidence-building measures, capacity building, cooperation, and institutional dialogue. The annual Cyber Stability Conference brings various stakeholders together to promote a secure and stable cyberspace and in particular the role of the UN processes such as the OEWG on Security of and in the Use of Information and Communications Technologies (2021–2025).
Launched in 2019, the Cyber Policy Portal is an interactive map of the global cyber policy landscape. It provides profiles of the cyber policies of all 193 UN member states, in addition to various intergovernmental organizations and multi-stakeholder instruments and other initiatives. This confidence-building tool supports informed participation by relevant stakeholders in all policy processes and promotes trust, transparency, and cooperation in cyberspace. The updated version of the portal was launched in May 2022, providing several new features, such as full text search, and is available in all UN official languages.
Accessible from the portal, the National Survey of Implementation of United Nations Recommendations of Responsible Use of ICTs by States in the Context of International Security collates national take-up of the recommendations from the 2015 GGE report, with a view to assisting assessment of their further development and implementation. The survey allows UN member states to conduct regular self-assessments of national implementation of the recommendations.
It can also support UN member states in responding to an invitation from the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to continue to inform the Secretary-General of their views and assessments on the issue of developments in the field of ICTs in the context of international security.
It supports transparency, information sharing, and confidence building by giving UN member states the possibility of making the results of the survey publicly available on their national profiles on UNIDIR’s Cyber Policy Portal.
The Cyber Policy Portal Database provides direct access to documents and references through the profiles of all 193 UN member states on the Cyber Policy Portal. The database allows searching across several categories, including state, type of document, topic, issuing body, and more.
- 2021 Cyber Stability Conference Report
- Enhancing Cooperation to Address Criminal and Terrorist Use if ICTs
- Non-Escalatory Attribution of International Cyber-Incidents: Facts, International Law and Politics
- Due Diligence in Cyberspace: Normative Expectations of Reciprocal Protection of International Legal Rights
- International Cyber Operations: National Doctrines and Capabilities Research Paper Series
- ICTs, International Security, And Cybercrime
- Applying Chapters VI and VII of the Charter of The United Nations in the Cyber Context
- International Cooperation to Mitigate Cyber Operations Against Critical Infrastructure
- 2020 Cyber Stability Conference Report
- Electronic and Cyber Warfare in Outer Space
- Supply Chain Security in the Cyber Age: Sector Trends, Current Threats and Multi-Stakeholder ResponsesLimiter L’utilisation à des Fins Malveillantes des Menaces et Vulnérabilités Dans Les Tic [Limit the Malicious Use of Threats and Vulnerabilities In ICT]
- Stemming the Exploitation of ICT Threats and Vulnerabilities
- Fact Sheet – Gender in Cyber Diplomacy
- Cyber Stability Conference 2019 Report: Strengthening Global Engagement
- Innovations Dialogue 2019 Report The Role of Regional Organizations in Strengthening
- Cybersecurity and Stability
- 2022 Cyber Stability Conference: Protecting Critical
- Infrastructure and Services Across Sectors
- International Cyber Crisis Management Regional Workshop Series
- National Survey of Implementation of United Nations Recommendations on Responsible Use of ICTs by States in the Context of International Security
- Open-Ended Working Group Cyber 201: Framework Recap
- 2021 Cyber Stability Conference: Towards a More Secure Cyberspace
- ICTs, International Security, and Cybercrime: Understanding Their Intersection for Better Policy Making
- Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue: Enhancing International Cooperation Mechanisms for Cybercrime And Cyberterrorism Investigations
- Political, Technical and Legal Aspects of Attribution: Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on the Norms of Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace
- Applying Chapters VI and VII of the United Nations Charter in the Cyber Context
- Due Diligence in Cyberspace: Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on the Norms of Responsible State Behavior
- 2020 Cyber Stability Conference: Exploring The Future of Institutional Dialogue
- 2019 Innovations Dialogue Annual Conference
- 2019 Cyber Stability Conference: Strengthening Global Engagement
- The 2nd International Security Cyber Issues Workshop Series: The Role of Regional Organizations in Strengthening Cybersecurity and Stability
- Implementing Cyber Norms: National Experiences and Emerging Good Practices
- Unidir Side Event: Supply Chain Security in the Digital Age
- Multilateral Responses to Cyber Security Challenges: A Conversation with the chairs of the UN GGE and the OEWG
- Operationalizing Cyber Norms: Critical Infrastructure Protection
- Geneva Peace Week: Legal and Humanitarian Challenges in the Age of Cyber Conflict
- Presentation to the FirstSsession of the OWEG on Regular Institutional Dialogue
- Historical Briefing on the GGE Process for the GGEInformal Consultations – 5 December 2019 (Part 1& Part 2)
- The 2nd International Security Cyber Issues Workshop Series – Preserving and Enhancing
- International Cyber Stability: Regional Realities and Approaches
- The UN, Cyberspace and International Peace and Security
AI and the weaponization of increasingly autonomous technologies is one of UNIDIR’s current research areas. It aims to raise awareness and build capacities of various stakeholders, including member states, technical communities, academia, and the private sector. Research on AI covers a broad range of topics from human decision-making, autonomous vehicles, and swarm technologies.
UNIDIR SecTec is currently developing the Artificial Intelligence Portal. This tool will gather available information at the national, regional, and international levels on policies, processes, and structures that are relevant to the development and use of AI for military or security purposes. The portal will be developed to support transparency, information sharing, and confidence building in the field of AI.
- UNIDIR on Lethal Autonomous Weapons
- Table-Top Exercises on the Human Element and Autonomous Weapons System
- Known Unknowns: Data Issues and Military Autonomous Systems
- The Black Box, Unlocked
- Modernizing Arms Control
- Swarm Robotics: Technical and Operational Overview of the Next Generation of Autonomous Systems
- The Human Element in Decisions About the Use of Force
- The Role of Data in Algorithmic Decision-Making
- Framing Discussions on the Weaponization of Increasingly Autonomous Technologies
- Increasing Transparency, Oversight and Accountability of Armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
- Change in the Air: Disruptive Developments in UAV Technology
- Towards Ethically Driven Robotics and Automation Systems
- Predictability and Understandability in Lethal Autonomous Weapons
- Capturing Technology: Rethinking Arms Control. The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Cyber Operations
- Webinar Series on the Technological, Military and Legal Aspects of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems
- Predictability and Understandability in Military AI
- The Weaponization of Increasingly Autonomous Technologies: Future Scenarios
UNIDIR’s research equally focuses on security dimensions of innovations in science and technology. In synergy with the Secretary-General’s Agenda for Disarmament and recent UNGA resolutions on the role of science and technology in the context of international security, UNIDIR proactively identifies and examines emerging and over-the-horizon innovations. It analyses potential implications for international security and facilitates dialogue among relevant stakeholders to encourage cross-sector cooperation.
- Exploring the Use of Technology for Remote Ceasefire Monitoring Aad Verification
- 2021 Innovations Dialogue Conference Report
- Exploring Distributed Ledger Technology for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation: A Primer
- Exploring Science and Technology Review Mechanisms Under the Biological Weapons Convention
- 2020 Innovations Dialogue Conference Report
- Advances in Science and Technology in the Life Sciences
- Magnifying Nanomaterials
- Virtual Launch of the Technology and Ceasefires Publication: Exploring the Use of Technology for Remote Ceasefire Monitoring and Verification
- Directed Energy Weapons: The ‘new’ Option for Militaries
- 2021 Innovations Dialogue: Deepfakes, Trust and International Security
- Drones and Counter-Drone Technology: An Escalating Dynamic
- New Technological Opportunities to Bolster Treaty Compliance
- Innovations in Life Sciences2020 Innovations Dialogue: Life Sciences, International Security and Disarmament
- Scientific and Technological Responses to Pandemics: Drawing Parallels Between International Security and Public Health
- National survey of implementation of United Nations recommendations on responsible use of ICTs by states in the context of international security
- Cyber Policy Portal Database
- Artificial Intelligence Portal (to be launched)
- Biological Weapons Convention National Implementation Measures Database (to be launched): Over the last two decades, many initiatives designed to reduce biological risks have emerged at the international, regional, local, and institutional levels, including risk assessment mechanisms, codes of conduct, dual-use education, and voluntary peer review initiatives. It is unclear what happened to many of these measures or indeed whether they worked. To take stock of these earlier risk-reduction measures and build an evidence base to inform the development of future measures, UNIDIR will develop a virtual repository of these risk mitigation measures, complete with insights around lessons learned from these instruments.
- Space Security Portal (to be launched): Space policies and doctrines are evolving rapidly as more states articulate their perspectives and approaches to addressing space security. Building on the success of the Institute’s Cyber Policy Portal, UNIDIR will develop and sustain a Space Security Portal to serve as a one-stop online hub for materials on the space security policies of key stakeholders, including states and regional organizations.
Future of meetings
Acronym: Geneva Graduate Institute
Address: Case postale 1672, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland
The Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva Graduate Institute) is an institution of research and higher education at the postgraduate level dedicated to the study of world affairs, with a particular emphasis on the cross-cutting fields of international relations and development issues.
Through its core activities, the Institute promotes international cooperation and contributes to the progress of developing societies. More broadly, it endeavours to develop creative thinking on the major challenges of our time, foster global responsibility, and advance respect for diversity.
By intensely engaging with international organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), governments, and multinational companies, the Institute participates in global discussions and prepares future policymakers to lead tomorrow’s world.
In 2022, the Institute launched a new Competence Hub on digital technologies. The Tech Hub brings together a diversity of internal and external expertise to explore technologies from a human-centred and human-biotype-centred perspective. The focus will be the exploration of current and future technological innovations from a social science perspective, with an interest in the socio-political, governance, and geopolitical consequences of the current technological revolution. It will progressively structure different kinds of activities as well as welcome and foster research projects.
This transdisciplinary and horizontal initiative enables the Institute to forge and express its own unique voice on the digital turn and its consequences. It has indeed a particular role to play in the exploration of all those questions that need a transdisciplinary social science and humanities perspective and are by nature profoundly inter-transnational. The reality is that the Institute is already producing research and knowledge on those questions and diffusing them through teaching and events.
As part of its main strategy, the Institute seeks to develop digitally driven innovation in teaching and research, as well as information technology (IT) services. At the same time, as a research institution focusing on global challenges and their impacts, the digital turn has become one of its fundamental and policy-oriented research areas.
In terms of research, a growing number of researchers and PhD candidates analyse the impact of digitalisation on international relations and development issues. A few examples of research topics are cybersecurity, hybrid threats and warfare, surveillance technologies, internet governance, digital diplomacy, digital health, digital rights, digital trust, digital economy, the future of work, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, AI and humanitarian law, and AI and peace negotiations among others. The Institute has also developed expertise in using digital technologies as new research methods, including computational social scientific methods and big data analytics.
In terms of teaching, its Master, PhD, and executive education courses are increasingly focused on the effects of digitalisation on society and the economy, and more generally the global system. Some examples of courses are Digital Approaches to Conflict Prevention, Digital Innovation in Nature Conservation, Internet, Technology and International Law, Introduction to Digital Social Science Research, Technology, Society and Decision- making, The Politics of Digital Design, AI and Politics, Internet Governance and Economics, Technology and Development, and Digital Diplomacy and Power Relations on Cyberspace. Digital skills workshops are also organised for students to provide them with basic digital competence for their future professional or academic life, including big data analysis, introduction to programming with R and Python, and data analysis in various contexts.
The Institute is now involved in the development of a doctoral school on Digital Studies. This is a partnership with University of Lausanne (UNIL), École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), University of Geneva (UNIGE), University of Neuchâtel (UNINE), and University of Fribourg (UNIFR) and will be hosted by CUSO (Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale). As part of its membership of SwissUniversities, it also offers a very complete programme for doctoral students – Strengthening Digital Skills in Education. Launched in 2019, the second phase of that programme runs from 2021 to 2024.
Over the years, the Institute has developed a performing IT infrastructure with secured data storage space and digital platforms (e.g. Campus, Moodle, TurntIn, Zoom, MyHR, Salesforces, Converis) to provide seamless services as well as dematerialised/paperless processes (e.g. student applications, course registration) for students, staff, and professors.
The Institute has developed digital tools (e.g. app for students, responsive website) and used digital services (e.g. social media, Facebook, Google ads) for many years in its student recruitment and communication campaigns.
Digital tools are also part of the pedagogical methods to improve learning. Flipped classrooms, MOOCs, SPOCs, and podcasts, to name a few, are used by professors in Master’s and PhD programmes, as well as in executive education. The Institute also supports professors in developing pedagogical skills and in using digital tools. Workshops are offered to all faculty members at the end of the summer to prepare them for hybrid teaching and the use of new technological tools in the classroom.
The Institute also organises workshops, seminars, film screenings, and other events on the digital turn, ranging from the digital divide and the governance and regulatory aspects of data to cybersecurity.
Digital policy issues
Some of the Institute’s prominent research initiatives are listed under respective digital policy issues sections.
Conflict and peacebuilding
The faculty carries out a number of digital policy-related research projects, some of which focus on AI in particular. For example, the project titled Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS) and War Crimes: Who is to Bear Responsibility? aims to clarify whether and to what extent the requirements for ascribing criminal responsibility for the commission of an act – and in particular the key concepts of culpability theories – can be applied to the use of LAWS in combat operations. This analysis will serve to identify lacunae and inconsistencies in the current legal framework in the face of the advent of military robotics.
This project explores how the increasing digitalisation of peace processes affects international peace building efforts that take place in a global environment characterised by friction between liberal and authoritarian approaches. To make sense of these dynamics, the project draws on the concept of apomediation, to suggest that solutions to conflict are no longer simply supplied by human agents, but through a complex entanglement of human-machine networks.
The Intrepid Project aims to develop a general understanding of how policy announcements by state agencies are interpreted by journalists in ways that send signals, indicate intent, and otherwise provoke economic and political reactions. Machine learning (ML) techniques and the semantic and syntactic properties of announcement texts are then used to develop models of the announcement interpretation process.
A number of projects carried out by the Institute’s members address the relationship between digital technologies and health. For instance, the Modelling Early Risk Indicators to Anticipate Malnutrition (MERIAM) project uses computer models to test and scale up cost effective means to improve the prediction and monitoring of undernutrition in difficult contexts.
The Institute hosts the new Digital Health and AI Research Collaborative (I-DAIR) directed by former Ambassador of India and Visiting Lecturer at the Institute Amandeep Gill. I-DAIR aims to create a platform to promote responsible and inclusive AI research and digital technology development for health. This platform is supported by the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator (GESDA).
The project Governing Health Futures 2030: Growing up in a Digital World, hosted at the Global Health Centre (GHC), explores how to ensure that digital development helps improve the health and well-being of all, and especially among children and young people. It focuses on examining integrative policies for digital health, AI, and universal health coverage to support the attainment of the third sustainable development goal (SDG).
Questions about the potential impact of the internet are now routinely raised in relation to political events and elections in most places. The project on the Digital Infrastructuring of Democracy asks how the digital infrastructuring of democracy unfolds through regulatory and political processes, with a heuristic focus on both its transnational dimension and its specific reverberations in democracies of the Global South. The project concentrates on one thematic controversy related to each aspect of infrastructure: the accountability of algorithms for code, data protection for content, and encryption for circulation.
Taking stock of the centrality of AI in society and in the citizen-government relation, this project hosted at the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy seeks to engage with youth in Switzerland to explore the future role of AI in democracy through storytelling and narrative foresight. It will give a voice to the citizens of tomorrow and collaborate with art schools to design participatory AI art.
Future of work
Focusing on the Global South, the project African Futures: Digital Labor and Blockchain Technology strengthens empirical knowledge on changing trends in employment in the region by way of a two-pronged approach to the increasingly interconnected global division of labour: (1) App-based work mediated by online service platforms and (2) the use of blockchain technology in mining sites for ethical sourcing, traceability, and proof of origin.
The emergence of AI and digitally mediated work represents a fundamental challenge for most developing economies. Coupled with jobless economic growth, rising human productivity, and the exponential increase of the available labourpool, few jobs can be said to be safe from automated labour. This project examines the impact of digital work and automation in the Global South, from blockchain technology to ride-sharing apps, to inform debates on automation, computerisation and non-standard forms of work.
Projects carried out by the Institute’s members also address the role of digital technologies in enhancing financial inclusion. The project Effects of Digital Economy on Banking and Finance studies digital innovations and how fintech extends financial services to firms and households and improves credit allocation using loan-account level data comparing fintech and traditional banking.
- Digital collections that allow free access to historical documents, texts, and photographs on international relations from the sixteenth to the twentieth century.
- Two free online courses (MOOCs) on globalisation and global governance.
- Podcasts showcasing professors’ and guests’ expertise (What matters today, In conversation with, Parlons en).
- Podcasts are also integrated into the curricula of several international histories and interdisciplinary Master’s courses to encourage students to use social network platforms to popularise their findings.
Future of meetings
Social media channels
LinkedIn @geneva graduate institute
YouTube @Geneva Graduate Institute
Address: 7bis, Avenue de la Paix CH-1202 Geneva, Switzerland
Stakeholder group: Academia & think tanks
DiploFoundation is a leading global capacity development organisation in the field of Internet governance.
Diplo was established by the governments of Switzerland and Malta with the goal of providing low cost, effective courses and training programmes in contemporary diplomacy and digital affairs, in particular for developing countries. Its main thematic focuses are on Internet governance (IG), e-diplomacy, e-participation, and cybersecurity.
Diplo’s flagship publication ‘An Introduction to Internet governance’ is among the most widely used texts on IG, translated into all the UN languages and several more. Its online and in situ IG courses and training programmes have gathered more than 1500 alumni from 163 countries. Diplo also hosts the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP).
Diplo also provides customised courses and training both online and in situ.