Inter-Parliamentary Union

Acronym: IPU

Address: Chemin du Pommier 5, Case postale 330 , 1218 Le Grand-Saconnex, Switzerland

Website: https://www.ipu.org

Stakeholder group: International and regional organisations

The IPU is a global organisation of national parliaments. It was founded more than 130 years ago as the first multilateral political organisation in the world, encouraging cooperation and dialogue between all nations. Today, the IPU comprises 178 national member parliaments and 14 regional parliamentary bodies.

It promotes democracy and helps parliaments become stronger, younger, gender-balanced, and more representative. It also defends the human rights of parliamentarians through a dedicated committee made up of members of parliament (MPs) from around the world.

Digital activities

The  IPU’s digital activities have significantly increased over the past few years with the creation of the dedicated IPU Centre for Innovation in Parliament. The Centre researches the impact of digital technologies on parliaments and coordinates a network of parliamentary hubs on innovation in parliaments. It also publishes the landmark World e-Parliament Report and hosts a biennial World e-Parliament Conference.

The IPU holds many of its inter-parliamentary meetings either in a virtual or hybrid format as part of its strategy to bring together as many parliamentarians from around the world as possible while reducing the carbon footprint of international meetings.

Digital policy issues

Capacity development

In line with its objective to build strong and democratic parliaments, the IPU assists parliaments in building their capacity to use information and communications technologies (ICTs) effectively, both in parliamentary proceedings and in communication with citizens. The IPU has also been mandated by its member parliaments to carry out capacity development programmes for parliamentary bodies tasked with overseeing the observance of the right to privacy and individual freedoms in the digital environment.

The IPU also encourages parliaments to make use of ICTs as essential tools in their legislative activities. To this aim, the IPU launched the Centre for Innovation in Parliament in 2018 to provide a platform for parliaments to develop and share good practices in digital transformation strategies, as well as practical methods for capacity building. The IPU holds the World e-Parliament Conference, a biannual forum that addresses, from both policy and technical perspectives, how ICTs can help improve representation, law-making, and oversight. Every two years it publishes the World E-Parliament Report, providing insights into innovation strategies and good practices, based on survey data from around 120–140 national parliaments.

As of August 2020, eight regional and thematic parliamentary hubs were operating under the Centre for Innovation in Parliament, covering IT governance, open data and transparency, Spanish-speaking countries, Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. Each hub is co-ordinated by a national parliament and brings together parliaments to work on subjects of common interest, such as remote working methods during COVID-19.

Sustainable development

The IPU works to raise awareness about the sustainable development goals (SDGs) among parliaments, and provides them with a platform to assist them in taking action and sharing experiences and good practices in achieving the goals.

Privacy and data protection

One of the IPU’s objectives is to promote and protect human rights. Its Committee on Democracy and Human Rights is involved in activities aimed at contributing to ensuring privacy in the digital era and the use of social media as effective tools to promote democracy. A 2015 resolution – Democracy in the Digital Era and the Threat to Privacy and Individual Freedoms – calls on parliaments to create adequate mechanisms for the protection of privacy in the online space, and to ensure that legislation in the field of surveillance, privacy, and data protection is based on democratic principles.

Digital tools

Freedom of expression

The IPU’s Committee on Democracy and Human Rights works on promoting the protection of freedom of expression in the digital era and the use of social media as an effective tool to promote democracy. In 2015, the IPU adopted a Resolution on Democracy in the Digital Era and the Threat to Privacy and Individual Freedoms encouraging parliaments to remove all legal limitations on freedom of expression and the flow of information, and urging them to enable the protection of information in cyberspace, so as to safeguard the privacy and individual freedom of citizens.

It offers virtual training sessions for parliamentarians. Its IPU Parline database is an open data platform on national parliaments, which includes data on the age of people in parliament as well as a monthly ranking of women in national parliaments.

Social media channels

Facebook @InterParliamentaryUnion

Instagram @ipu.parliament_official

LinkedIn @Inter-Parliamentary Union

Twitter @IPUparliament

YouTube @Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

International Electrotechnical Commission

Acronym: IEC

Established: 1906

Address: 3 rue de Varembé, 1211 Geneva 20 , Switzerland

Website: https://www.iec.ch/

Stakeholder group: International and regional organisations

The IEC is the world leader in the preparation and publication of international standards for all electrical, electronic, and related technologies. A global, not-for-profit membership organisation, the IEC provides a neutral and independent institutional framework to over 170 countries, coordinating the work of more than 20,000 experts. We administer four IEC Conformity Assessment Systems, which represent the largest working multilateral agreement based on one-time testing of products globally. The members of each system certify that devices, systems, installations, services, and people perform as required.

IEC International Standards represent a global consensus of state-of-the-art know-how and expertise. Together with conformity assessment, they are foundational for international trade.

IEC Standards incorporate the needs of many stakeholders in every participating country and form the basis for testing and certification. Every member country, and all its stakeholders represented through the IEC National Committees has one vote and a say in what goes into an IEC International Standard.

Our work is used in the verification of the safety, performance, and interoperability of electric and electronic devices and systems such as mobile phones, refrigerators, office and medical equipment, or electricity generation. It also helps accelerate digitisation, arteficial inteligence (AI), or virtual reality applications; protects information technology (IT) and critical infrastructure systems from cyberattacks, and increases the safety of people and the environment.

 

Digital activities 

The IEC works to ensure that its activities have a global reach in order to meet all the challenges of digital transformation worldwide. The organisation covers an array of digital policy issues.

 

Digital policy issues

Artificial intelligence and the internet of things

AI applications are driving digital transformation across a diverse range of industries, including energy, healthcare, smart manufacturing, transport, and other strategic sectors that rely on IEC Standards and Conformity Assessment Systems. AI technologies allow insights and analytics that go far beyond the capabilities of legacy analytic systems.

For example, digital transformation of the grid is enabling increased automation, making it more efficient and able to integrate fluctuating renewable energy sources seamlessly. IEC Standards pave the way for the use of a variety of digital technologies relating to smart energy. They deal with issues such as the integration of renewable energies within the electrical network but also increased automatisation.

The IEC’s work in the area of AI takes a three-pronged approach. IEC experts focus on sector-specific needs (vertical standards) and conformity assessment, while the joint IEC and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) technical committee on AI, JTC1/SC 42, brings together technology experts, as well as ethicists, lawyers, social scientists, and others to develop generic and foundational standards (horizontal standards).

In addition, IEC Safety Standards are an essential element of the framework for AI applications in power utilities and smart manufacturing. IEC Conformity Assessment Systems complete the process by ensuring that the standards are properly implemented.

SC 42 addresses some of the concerns about the use and application of AI technologies. For example, data quality standards for ML and analytics are crucial for helping to ensure that applied technologies produce useful insights and eliminate faulty features.

Governance standards in AI and the business process framework for big data analytics address how the technologies can be governed and overseen from a management perspective. International standards in the areas of trustworthiness, ethics, and societal concerns will ensure responsible deployment.

The joint IEC and ISO technical committee also develop foundational standards for the IoT. Among other things, SC 41 standards promote interoperability, as well as architecture and a common vocabulary for the IoT.

 

Hardware

The IEC develops standards for many of the technologies that support digital transformation. Sensors, cloud, and edge computing are examples.

Advances in data acquisition systems are driving the growth of big data and AI use-cases. The IEC prepares standards relating to semiconductor devices, including sensors.

Sensors can be certified under the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components (IECQ), one of the four IEC Conformity Assessment Systems.

Cloud computing and its technologies have also supported the increase of AI applications. The joint IEC and ISO technical committee prepares standards for cloud computing including distributed platforms and edge devices, which are situated close to users and data collection points. The publications cover key requirements relating to data storage and recovery.

 

Building trust

International Standards play an important role in increasing trust in AI and help support public and private decision-making, not least because they are developed by a broad range of stakeholders. This helps to ensure that the IEC’s work strikes the right balance between the desire to deploy AI and other new technologies rapidly and the need to study their ethical implications.

The IEC has been working with a wide range of international, regional, and national organisations to develop new ways to bring stakeholders together to address the challenges of AI. These include the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the standards development organisations, ISO, and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

More than 500 participants followed the AI with Trust conference, in-person and online, to hear different stakeholder perspectives on the interplay between legislation, standards and conformity assessment. They followed use-case sessions on healthcare, sensor technology, and collaborative robots, and heard distinguished experts exchange ideas on how they could interoperate more efficiently to build trust in AI. The conference in Geneva was the first milestone of the AI with Trust initiative.

The IEC is also a founding member of the Open Community for Ethics in Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (OCEANIS). OCEANIS brings together standardisation organisations from around the world to enhance awareness of the role of standards in facilitating innovation and addressing issues related to ethics and values.

Read more

e-tech

IEC and ISO Work on Artificial Intelligence

AI for the Last Mile

Computational Approaches for AI Systems

–  IEC Blog

Artificial Intelligence

–  Video

Ian Oppermann (AI with Trust)

AI with Trust conference interviews AI Governance

 

Network security and critical infrastructure

The IEC develops cybersecurity standards and conformity assessments for both IT and operational technology (OT). One of the biggest challenges today is that cybersecurity is often understood only in terms of IT, which leaves critical infrastructure, such as power utilities, transport systems, manufacturing plants and hospitals, vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Cyberattacks on IT and OT systems often have different consequences. The effects of cyberattacks on IT are generally economic, while cyberattacks on critical infrastructure can impact the environment, damage equipment, or even threaten public health and lives.

When implementing a cybersecurity strategy, it is essential to take the different priorities of cyber-physical and IT systems into account. The IEC provides relevant and specific guidance via two of the world’s best-known cybersecurity standards: IEC 62443 for cyber-physical systems and ISO/IEC 27001  for IT systems.

Both take a risk-based approach to cybersecurity, which is based on the concept that it is neither efficient nor sustainable to try to protect all assets in equal measure. Instead, users must identify what is most valuable and requires the greatest protection and identify vulnerabilities.

Conformity assessment provides further security by ensuring that the standards are implemented correctly: IECEE certification for IEC 62443 and IECQ for ISO/IEC 27001.

ISO/IEC 27001 for IT

IT security focuses in equal measure on protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data – the so-called CIA triad. Confidentiality is of paramount importance and information security management systems, such as the one described in ISO/IEC 27001, are designed to protect sensitive data, such as personally identifiable information (PII), intellectual property (IP), or credit card numbers, for example.

Implementing the information security management system (ISMS) described in ISO/IEC 27001 means embedding information security continuity in business continuity management systems. Organisations are shown how to plan and monitor the use of resources to identify attacks earlier and take steps more quickly to mitigate the initial impact.

IEC 62443 for OT

In cyber-physical systems, where IT and OT converge, the goal is to protect safety, integrity, availability, and confidentiality (SIAC). Industrial control and automation systems (ICAS) run in a loop to check continually that everything is functioning correctly.

The IEC 62443 series was developed because IT cybersecurity measures are not always appropriate for ICAS. ICAS are found in an ever-expanding range of domains and industries, including critical infrastructure, such as energy generation, water management, and the healthcare sector.

ICAS must run continuously to check that each component in an operational system is functioning correctly. Compared to IT systems, they have different performance and availability requirements and equipment lifetime.

Conformity assessment: IECEE

Many organisations are applying for the IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components (IECEE) conformity assessment certification to verify that the requirements of IEC 62443 have been met.

IECEE provides a framework for assessments in line with IEC 62443, which specifies requirements for security capabilities, whether technical (security mechanisms) or process (human procedures) related. Successful recipients receive the IECEE industrial cybersecurity capability certificate of conformity.

Conformity assessment: IECQ

While certification to ISO/IEC 27001 has existed since the standard was published in 2013, it is only in recent years that the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components (IECQ), has set up a true single standardised way of assessing and certifying an ISMS to ISO/IEC 27001.

International standards such as IEC 62443 and ISO/IEC 27001 are based on industry best practices and reached by consensus. Conformity assessment confirms that they have been implemented correctly to ensure a safe and secure digital society.

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Video

 

Social media channels

Facebook @InternationalElectrotechnicalCommission

LinkedIn @IECStandards

Pinterest @IECStandards

Twitter @IECStandards

YouTube @IEC – International Electrotechnical Commission

Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development

Acronym: BCSD

Established: 2010

Address: Place des Nations, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland

Website: https://www.broadbandcommission.org/Pages/default.aspx

Stakeholder group: International and regional organisations

The Broadband Commission is a public-private partnership fostering digital cooperation and developing actionable recommendations for achieving universal connectivity.

Established in 2010 by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), H.E. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, and Mr Carlos Slim Helú of Mexico, its mission is to boost the importance of broadband on the international policy agenda and expand broadband access to every country. Today, the Commission is composed of more than 50 Commissioners who represent a cross-cutting group of top CEOs and industry leaders; senior policymakers and government representatives; and experts from international agencies, academia, and organisations concerned with development.

The Commission acts as a UN advocacy engine for the implementation of the UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, leveraging the strength of its membership and collective expertise to advocate for meaningful, safe, secure, and sustainable broadband communications services that reflect human and children’s rights.

Digital activities

The Commission focuses on closing the digital divide and promoting broadband development in developing countries and underserved communities, ensuring that all countries reap the benefits of digital technologies. Its efforts are detailed in its flagship annual State of Broadband Report and take the form of thematic Working Groups, regular meetings, and advocacy activities at the margins of other flagship events such as the World Economic Forum (Davos), GSMA’s  Mobile  World  Congress  (MWC), the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), and the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

In 2018, the Commission set seven objectives in its 2025 Advocacy Targets to guide efforts to ‘connect the other half’ of the world’s population by expanding broadband infrastructure and access to the internet. They reflect ambitious and aspirational goals and function as a policy and programmatic guide for national and international action in broadband development.

The Commission hosts between two and four Working Groups annually to dive deeper into prominent issues affecting broadband access, affordability, and use. Working Groups are proposed, chaired, funded, and led by Commissioners, with the support of external experts. The culmination of the discussion and research of these groups is a consensus-based report, which provides actionable recommendations for achieving the Commission’s targets and thereby elements of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Digital policy issues

Telecommunications infrastructure

The Commission promotes the adoption of best practices and policies that enable the deployment of broadband networks at the national level,  especially among developing countries. It engages in advocacy activities aimed at demonstrating that broadband networks are fundamental to modern societies and the achievement of the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs). It publishes an annual State of Broadband Report, providing a global overview of the current state of broadband network access and affordability, an update of the Commission’s seven Advocacy Targets, and insights from Commissioners on impactful actions for accelerating progress.

The Commission has launched a number of Working Groups focused on information and communications technology (ICT) connectivity, including the World Bank led Digital Infrastructure Moonshot for Africa and the Working Group on 21st Century Financing Models for Sustainable Broadband Development in 2019. These initiatives aim to provide governments and policymakers with a set of holistic policy recommendations to foster innovative financing and investment strategies to achieve the Commission’s targets for broadband connectivity and adoption. The Working Group on School Connectivity identified a set of core principles to help governments and other interested stakeholders to develop more holistic school connectivity plans.

The ongoing global pandemic has shined a light on the critical role broadband networks and services play in making economies and societies work and thrive. In response to the effects of the pandemic, the Commission adopted the Agenda for Action: For Faster and Better Recovery to accelerate the world’s response. This initiative includes immediate and long-term efforts that governments, global industry, civil society, and international organisations can undertake to support the development and strengthening of digital networks that remain so integral to our economy and society. The three pillars of resilient connectivity, affordable access, and safe use of online services provide a framework for all Commissioners to mitigate the adverse effects of COVID-19 and lay the foundation for a better and faster recovery.

Access

When advocating for the rollout of broadband infrastructure and bridging the digital divide, the Commission underlines the increasing importance of internet access and adoption as an enabler of inclusive sustainable growth and development. It pays particular attention to aspects related to the deployment of infrastructure in developing countries, hybrid education and capacity development, and online safety (particularly for children and youth), in addition to the digital gender divide and the empowerment of women in the digital space.

Recent broadband reports covering these topics include the Commission’s Working Group on Digital Learning, Vulnerable Countries, and the Gender Digital Divide. These Working Groups aim to advance progress on the Commission’s 2025 Advocacy Targets on Broadband Policy, Connectivity, Digital Skills Development, and Gender Equality.

Sustainable development

The Commission advocates for actions to be taken by all relevant stakeholders with the aim of closing the digital divide, a crucial step towards the achievement of the SDGs. The Commission’s annual State of Broadband Report looks at the progress made in implementing broadband networks in various countries around the world, which it regards as an essential element in addressing the digital divide.

The Commission also addresses the impact of digital technologies on specific issues covered by the SDGs. One example is the recent Working Group on VirtualHealth & Care, whose final report outlines practical recommendations for the future of digital health services presented in a framework of six key policy pillars. In 2021, the Working Group on Smartphone Access was launched to examine the smartphone access gap and provide strategies for achieving universal smartphone ownership so that all communities may benefit from access to digital services.

Also active in environmental and climate change issues, the Commission’s activities (ranging from publications and events to advocacy actions) cover the link between climate change and ICTs.

Interdisciplinary approaches: Digital cooperate

The work of the Commission contributes to the UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, which lays out how all stakeholders can play a role in advancing a safer and more equitable digital world. Through its various Working Group initiatives and the advocacy of its Commissioners, the Broadband Commission is a prime example of SDG 17 (Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development) in action. The Commission makes policy recommendations and advocates implicitly for global digital cooperation, providing considerations for all sectors to work in tandem to reach the goal of universal connectivity.

Digital tools and initiatives

Resources

The Broadband Commission’s website, social media, and various online channels feature landmark reports, which are available for free:

The Broadband Commission has also been instrumental in launching the following global initiatives:

Social media channels

Facebook @broadbandcommission

Flickr @Broadband Commission

LinkedIn @broadband-commission

Twitter @UNBBCom

YouTube @Broadband Commission

Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator

Acronym: GESDA

Established: 2013

Address: c/o Fondation Campus Biotech Geneva, Chemin des Mines 9, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland

Website: https://gesda.global/

Stakeholder group: NGOs and associations

GESDA was established to explore how future science breakthroughs can most efficiently be translated into and used as tools for the benefit of humanity. GESDA interlinks the digital revolution with other disruptive fields of science and technology, and with the diplomatic world.

GESDA’s work is guided by three fundamental questions:

  • Who are we, as humans? What does it mean to be human in the era of robots, gene editing, and augmented reality?
  • How are we all going to live together? How can technologies reduce inequality and foster inclusive development?
  • How can we ensure the well-being of humankind and the sustainable future of our planet? How can we supply the world’s population with the necessary food and energy and regenerate our planet?

GESDA brings together an outstanding community of academic, diplomacy, and impact leaders to reflect and act on how to use the future to build the present. Its work is structured around three flagship instruments:

  • GESDA Science Breakthrough Radar®

This digital platform – updated continuously and released in paper copy on a yearly basis – maps impactful emerging topics currently researched in science laboratories across the world and anticipated breakthroughs at 5, 10, and 25 years. Curated by the academic community, it provides descriptions of over 300 breakthrough predictions relevant to the global community.

Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipation Summit accelerates the science diplomacy nexus. Bringing science to the table of multilateralism, it engages diplomacy leaders to examine the impact of future breakthroughs on people, society, and the planet, as well as their implications for future global governance and geopolitics.

GESDA’s instrument to co-construct science diplomacy solutions with relevant transdisciplinary and cross-community task forces. In 2022, GESDA has eight solutions pathways and four initiatives in the making. These propositions are communicated at the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipation Summit.

GESDA structures its anticipation, acceleration, and translation work across five thematic platforms addressing potential future science and technology advances, as well as their related challenges:

  • Quantum revolution and advanced artificial intelligence (AI), with for instance the challenge of privacy.
  • Human augmentation, with for instance the challenge of advanced gene editing or neuroenhancement.
  • Eco-regeneration and geo-engineering,  with for instance the challenges of synthetic biology, decarbonisation, and regenerative agriculture.
  • Science and diplomacy, with for instance the challenge of future world geopolitics, including multilateral conflict modelling, forecasting, and prevention.
  • Knowledge foundations with for instance the challenge of the future of work and labour, including rising inequalities and inclusive growth.

From the end of 2022 onwards, the GESDA Board of Directors will choose and fund (in partnership with other foundations) a limited number of large-scale, high-impact solutions and initiatives aiming to:

  • Help the world population benefit more rapidly from the advances of science and technology as stated by Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
  • Contribute to inclusive human development by reducing poverty and inequality while increasing the number of developing and emerging economies, in line with Agenda 2030.
  • Leverage the role of Geneva and Switzerland as a hub of multilateralism capable of anticipating cutting-edge science and technologies, as well as translating them into effective tools for

GESDA was created as a global independent foundation and a public partnership in 2019, for an initial start-up phase of three years. The founders – the Swiss Federal Council and the Canton of Geneva with the City of Geneva-decided in March 2022 to prolong the Foundation for 10 years.

The ultimate objective remains to strengthen the contribution of Switzerland to multilateralism as the host country of the UN in Geneva.

Digital activities

Advanced computational tools, such as AI and high-performance computing, are reshaping all fields of science.

GESDA’s specificity is that it focuses on ‘science anticipation’. Its ambition is to comprehend the future digital disruptions and their implications for other fields of science, geopolitics, and mankind.

GESDA’s headquarters are located at the Campus Biotech in Geneva.

Digital policy issues

In 2022, GESDA’S Science Breakthrough Radar considered 28 interdisciplinary and interrelated scientific emerging topics. In addition to the anticipated breakthrough, the Radar presents an overview of the sentiment and the actions of civil society on these topics.

Platform 1: Quantum Revolution & Advanced AI

Advanced artificial intelligence

AI, already a world-changing technology, is set to grow in power and influence. It is clear that our current systems realise only a small part of AI’s potential, and as it grows more powerful and flexible it will affect us ever more profoundly. Anticipating and directing how that growth will occur is a vital part of the research effort in this area: we must shape advanced AI to be reliable, transparent, and equitable, but that may require a deep reappraisal of how these technologies

Quantum technologies

The effort to process information in entirely novel ways using the unique properties of subatomic particles is making significant progress. Quantum technologies are already impacting sensing, imaging, and metrology. Quantum computing and communications are also drawing closer to meaningful real-world applications. The potential exists for quantum technologies to radically alter medicine, finance, and online commerce, and to accelerate scientific discovery.

Brain-inspired computing

Computing researchers are looking to harness biological innovations honed through millions of years of evolution. If they can achieve even a fraction of the energy efficiency and processing power of the human brain, for example, we will have unleashed an extraordinary new era of computing. Brain-inspired computing seeks to take neuroscience’s understanding of the brain’s architectures and processes and use them to create autonomous, low energy information processors that offer the potential for radical new computing applications.

Biological computing

Living matter uses more than just brains to process information. The biochemistry of cells, bacteria, and other biological systems and organisms is a form of information processing that has vast potential for technological exploitation. Biological computing seeks to harness, and sometimes re-engineer, biological information processing to perform tasks such as environmental sensing, pollution remediation, and medical diagnosis. These new thinking devices may be very different to today’s conventional computers, requiring us to rethink how we can use them to best effect.

Augmented reality

The speedup of digital communications,  combined with developments in hardware and software, means that we can now receive real-time data and sensory experiences that enhance our normal interaction with our environment. Such overlays of augmented reality are already being used to train people in virtual work environments and to improve certain leisure activities, such as online gaming. As technology progresses, the hardware such as glasses that provide a view of information about our surroundings and the objects within them will become ever more ubiquitous. Augmented reality is likely to change the nature of our daily interactions with other people and with our surroundings, and even the way we switch between the real world and virtual environments such as the metaverse.

Collective intelligence

Human intelligence is already remarkable. However, the potential to combine the intelligence of individuals with accumulated wisdom and experience, online repositories of learning, and the powers of technologies such as AI, offers the chance to move to a new level. The field of collective intelligence is truly multidisciplinary, involving psychology, economics, computer science, and a range of other fields. It is far from mature, but has enormous promise. If we can harness human capabilities, collective intelligence has the potential to help solve a wide range of societal challenges, from politics to business to conservation, in local and global organisations.

Platform 2: Human augmentation

Cognitive enhancement

Through deep-brain, temporal lobe, or cortical stimulation, but also non-invasive stimulation techniques, neuroscientists aim at restoring brain functions affected by common neuro-degenerative diseases. Combining the learning from these interventions with advanced AI technologies, the mid-to-long-term goal is to close the loop between brain activity and computers in order to augment the cognitive capacities of human beings. While the human brain is not always able to take the morally optimal decision (e.g. the ’trolley problem’, but also AI-assisted policing or an AI-augmented judiciary), the forthcoming augmentation – or even fusion – between computed and ‘brain’ intelligence will allow the enhancement of human decision-making on moral and ethical issues, with the risk of brain hacking via computational systems.

Human applications of genetic engineering

Genome editing is already improving diagnostics and treatments for cancer and potentially many other diseases of ageing. Such research into human applications of genetic engineering is also pointing the way to a future in which bodies can be engineered to be free of cancer, HIV, and other infectious diseases. Genome editing even promises to make such changes heritable, meaning future generations will not require preventive therapies. Small-molecule drugs and other interventions now in clinical trials promise to significantly reduce the burden of disease on society, radically altering what it means to age. Advances in AI and the availability of genetic data, speed up the discovery of new therapeutic approaches but also the identification of complex genetic pathways.

Consciousness augmentation

Lab research suggests that it is possible to expand consciousness beyond the limits imposed by human senses, standard cognitive capacity, and injury or disease. Such consciousness augmentation could help us better coexist with the species with which we share the planet, improve our understanding of how humans can educate themselves, and give us new ways to diagnose and assist people suffering from debilitating disorders of consciousness. Digital technologies, combined with advances in neuro-sciences, are key to providing a means to connect brain analysis with brain stimulation or providing virtual environments to expand consciousness.

Future therapeutics

Although innovations in medicine have been radically extending the human lifespan for more than a century now, there is still plenty of room for improvement. Cardiovascular and metabolic diseases are largely preventable, but still end a significant number of lives unnecessarily early. However, a range of new treatment options are coming into view, and these future therapeutics could have a great deal to offer medical practitioners. Advances in information technology, biotechnology, and a basic understanding of how human biology operates are enabling the use of electrical signals, AI-driven data analysis, cell therapies, and even the mechanisms of the immune system to improve the maintenance of good health, the diagnosis of disease, and the results of medical interventions.

Platform 3: Eco-regeneration and geo-engineering

World simulation

The burgeoning field of world simulation is experiencing rapid developments. The increasing convergence of big data, advanced computer modelling, and AI will allow us to model complex systems, from societies to whole ecosystems, with ever greater predictive power. This will prove an invaluable guide in policymaking.

Ocean stewardship

Our relationships to the oceans must change. We urgently need to understand them better, and to help repair their ecosystems where possible. There are pathways opening up that will make this happen. We can deploy the emerging technology of autonomous sensors to gather relevant data, for example, and continue to explore the vast biodiversity of the ocean and the myriad cold adapted organisms rapidly disappearing from the planet’s retreating glaciers. As our understanding of their complex, interdependent networks grows, so will our ability to perform proper ocean stewardship and find solutions to the problems they are facing.

Infectious diseases

Although humanity has made great progress in reducing the impact of infectious disease, there is still plenty to do. The COVID-19 pandemic made it clear that new diseases are emerging all the time, and that our interconnectedness provide sample opportunity for them to spread quickly, with devastating results. The problem of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and Zika remains unsolved, highlighting the importance of seeing disease as emerging from human actions in, and interactions with, our environment. Medical technologies, such as vaccines, are only part of the solution; we also need to use multidisciplinary research to garner a deeper understanding of the ways in which infectious diseases arise and emerge. Digital technologies provide the means to develop powerful monitoring and containment strategies.

Platform 4: Science and diplomacy

Science-based diplomacy

It is now almost impossible to separate diplomacy from the influence of science and technology. Computational modelling, analysis, and AI are set to play important roles in international relations, especially when it comes to interactions between groups of people. Researchers are already compiling vast databases of historical interactions between actors in various international forums. Mining these databases produces an instant picture of an actor’s past statements and positions and helps to find common ground in negotiations. These databases are the bedrock of science-based diplomacy, a strategy that is likely to become more powerful, more comprehensive, and more widely used. Indeed, negotiation engineering aims to depoliticise these discussions by automating certain aspects of the process.

Digital technologies and conflicts

The increasing power and availability of digital technologies are fundamentally changing the nature of conflict in the twenty-first century. The interactions of digital technology and conflict are an urgent subject of research. The war in Ukraine, for example, is being hailed as the first hybrid war, a concept long talked about in policy circles in which conventional battlefield tactics are combined with cyberattacks and information warfare to achieve military goals. Perhaps the most impactful use of digital technology in the Ukraine conflict has been the exploitation of commercial satellite imagery for military and propaganda purposes by both state and non-state actors. Surveillance technology is also rewriting the nature of modern conflicts, and there is growing concern about the increasing convergence of biosecurity and cybersecurity.

Democracy-affirming technologies

Much has been written about the potential of technologies like social media and data analytics to spread disinformation and polarise society, thus weakening democracy, but there is now a countervailing movement. A Summit for Democracy hosted by the USA in December 2021 highlighted these threats in an attempt to counter them, the White House Office of Science and Technology announced a new grand challenge competition designed to spur the development of democracy-affirming technologies. Further advances come from innovations in fact-checking websites and tools that have been designed to help people better assess the validity of information online; digital identity technologies, which are emerging as a critical tool for helping democracy transition into the digital age; and technological means to evade attempts at censorship.

Platform 5: Knowledge foundations

Complex system science

Our world is hugely susceptible to the powerful winds of change unleashed by economic, social, and political forces that interact in intricate feedback loops. In the past, scientists have struggled to understand and model these forces. But in recent years our ability to gather and process data has enabled computer models and simulations of our world on a wide variety of scales with increasing predictive power. While this approach is in its infancy, it raises the prospect of more stable economies, more fruitful and productive negotiations, and more peaceful societies.

Future of education

Much of the progress in all fields of research over the next quarter-century will depend on the knowledge we gain, exploit, and pass on to our children. But the need for innovations in education goes much wider. We need to find ways to exploit educational technology for individual, lifelong learning and we need to better understand how learning happens in the brain. Education is the lifeblood of humanity, and improving its delivery is central to all of our futures.

Future economics

The global effort to make humanity’s existence sustainable, with societies, cities, and citizens that are resilient to inevitable change, is vital. Most countries’ and most global companies’ strategic futures now include policies that engender sustainable future economics. The move to renewable power has considerable momentum. Less well developed are attempts to create circular economies that exploit Earth’s resources while leaving its capital unchanged. The impact of intelligent machines on the way we work will also become a driver of social, economic, and political change.

Synthetic biology

Breakthroughs in our understanding of biology and our ability to manipulate it are now making it possible to redesign nature. Driven by breakthroughs in our ability to read and re-engineer the genetic code, synthetic biology is on the cusp of transforming agriculture, medicine, and manufacturing; a central driver for its inclusion as a new Radar topic. There are already around 400 scientifically feasible use cases for synthetic biology that could have a direct economic impact of $4 trillion. Schmidt Future recently released a report outlining how to build a new bioeconomy. Based on these advances, the convergence of advances in AI and in fundamental biology, combined with lowering costs in DNA synthesis will power this new revolution.

Future of meetings

Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipation Summit (annual event in October) – all sessions accessible online.

Science and Diplomacy Week (annual event in May) – most sessions accessible online.

GESDA Science Breakthrough Radar(provides a platform for online contributions).

GESDA regularly contributes to relevant global meetings across the world.

One of two annual board of directors’ meetings is held online.

Social media channels

Facebook @GESDAglobal

LinkedIn @gesda-global

Twitter @GESDAglobal

Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance

Acronym: DCAF

Established: 2000

Address: Maison de la Paix, Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2D, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland

Website: https://www.dcaf.ch/

DCAF is dedicated to making states and people safer through more effective and accountable security and justice. Since 2000, DCAF has facilitated, driven, and shaped security sector reform (SSR) policy and programming worldwide.

Digital activities

Cyberspace and cybersecurity have numerous implications for security provision, management, and oversight, which is why DCAF is engaged in these topics within its work. DCAF has implemented a cycle of policy projects to develop new norms and good practices in cyberspace. At the operational level, cybersecurity governance has become a prominent part of SSR programming.

Digital policy issues

Capacity development

DCAF supported the drafting of the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s (GCTF) Zurich-London Recommendations on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) and Terrorism Online. Subsequently, it co-developed the Policy Toolkit, which transforms these recommendations into practical tools for states. DCAF applies the Policy Toolkit in its work in the Western Balkans. Several UN bodies – as well as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) – are planning to incorporate it into their activities. DCAF has also developed a French language guide on good practices concerning cyberspace governance for the Ecole nationale à vocation régionale (ENVR) de la cybersécurité in Senegal, which is mainly targeted at cybersecurity practitioners in Francophone Africa.

DCAF contributes to effective and accountable cybersecurity in Europe and Central Asia by providing practical guidance and support for the governance of the cybersecurity sector; supporting the development of national and international legal and policy frameworks to promote good cybersecurity governance, and facilitating multistakeholder engagement in cybersecurity. This work is organised in several service lines: providing national cybersecurity assessments; developing policy advice; enhancing regional and transnational cooperation between cybersecurity authorities; building the capacity of computer emergency response teams (CERTs); promoting dialogue and coordination between state and non-state cybersecurity actors; and publishing policy research on good governance in cybersecurity. DCAF regularly works with partners, including the (International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), the OSCE, and DiploFoundation.

To increase the transparency and accountability of the security sector in the Middle East and North Africa, DCAF supports the automation of internal processes, information sharing, document management systems, and data visualisation and analysis in parliaments, ministries, public administrations, and oversight institutions. Furthermore, four online Sector Observatories (Marsads) provide centralised information and analyses on the Tunisian, Libyan, Palestinian, and Egyptian security sectors and their actors, and three legal databases provide searchable online access to legislation governing the security sectors in Libya, Tunisia, and Palestine. Finally, DCAF has provided legal expertise to national oversight institutions in regard to possible privacy violations through and misuse of COVID-19 apps developed by national governments.

In 2016, DCAF developed a social media guide for ombuds institutions and the armed forces under its jurisdiction to support the use of social media as a safe and effective communication tool.

DCAF uses social media platforms to inform stakeholders and the public about its activities, including in relation to cybersecurity.

Digital tools

Social media channels

LinkedIn @DCAF

Twitter @DCAF_Geneva

YouTube @DCAF Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance

Geneva Science-Policy Interface

Acronym: GSPI

Established: 2018

Address: Uni Mail, Bd du Pont-d’Arve 28, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland

Website: https://gspi.ch/

Stakeholder group: Academia & think tanks

The GSPI is a neutral and independent platform that aims to foster engagement between the research community and Geneva-based international policy actors around some of the most pressing global challenges (including global health, climate change, and migration). 

It works to foster science-policy ecosystems by brokering collaborations and enhancing capacities across the interface between the science, policy, and implementation communities. This includes an annual call for projects, the Impact Collaboration Programme (ICP), the production of policy briefs, as well as learning opportunities and resources to advance the professionalisation and recognition of the science-policy field of practice in Geneva and beyond.

The GSPI is based at the University of Geneva. It receives support from the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the backing of leading research institutions in Switzerland and Europe.

Digital activities

As part of its activities at the interplay between science, policy, and implementation actors, the GSPI tackles a range of digital issues. With data being a centrepiece of evidence-based policies, many of the GSPI’s activities touch on digitalisation and the use of digital tools in domains such as health, migration, development, and the environment.

Digital policy issues

Artificial intelligence

The project MapMaker, a collaboration between the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH Zurich) has enabled the development of an online visualisation tool to inform data-driven decision-making on marine biodiversity conservation at the international level.

Digital standards

Together with the Geneva Health Forum (GHF), the GSPI has established a working group including key humanitarian actors to harness knowledge and best practices around the digitisation of clinical guidelines for management of childhood illness in primary care in low and middle-income countries. In line with the efforts of the WHO, and the principles of donor alignment for digital health, the working group has developed recommendations on how digitalisation can improve the management of childhood illness. In September 2021, the results of this work were shared with experts and the public, providing a platform for discussions on the lessons learned and future trends in the field.

Emerging technologies

In 2018, the GSPI organised policy discussions on the use of drones as part of humanitarian action. The conversation centred on the practical use of drones to deliver humanitarian aid and what can be done by stakeholders such as policymakers, the private sector, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to maximise the opportunities and reduce the risks of such technologies.

At the 2019 Digital Day, together with the University of Geneva, the GSPI organised a discussion exploring what experience and know-how Geneva-based organisations could share to empower and protect users in the context of the digital revolution.

With a number of other partners, the GSPI co-organised a discussion at the 2019 WSIS Forum on aerial data produced by drones and satellites in the context of aid and development. The session explored the interplay between international organisations, NGOs, and scientists and how they can work together to help monitor refugee settlements, provide emergency response in case of natural disasters, and scale agriculture programmes.

Data governance

The project REDEHOPE of the University of Geneva and the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has led to the development of an online diagnostic tool to help countries identify and visualise issues in their housing data ecology, and access appropriate datasets to formulate more robust, evidence-based housing policies at the country level.

Sustainable development

In 2020–2021, the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention (BRS) secretariat benefitted from the support of ETH Zurich to develop an online platform to identify and signal the need for evidence and information to the scientific community in the field of chemical and waste management.

A project from ICP 2021 addressed the hurdles facing policy actors in accessing and making sense of data in migration research. The project partners (the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Graduate Institute) developed an interactive digital toolkit for policy officials to support them in leveraging migration research for evidence-based policymaking. The toolkit, based on IOM’s flagship publication, the World Migration Report, was launched in June 2022.

ICP 2021 brought support to the development of interactive analytical tools providing information about all UN sanctions to inform both humanitarian practitioners and sanction policy actors on practical ways to safeguard principled humanitarian action in areas under a sanction regime. This project is a collaboration between the Graduate Institute and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

ICP 2022 selected a collaboration between ETH Zurich and IOM that seeks to bring more effective policy expertise in the management of migration to address migrants’ needs and increase social cohesion between migrant and local communities. The collaboration will develop a toolbox to be used by IOM and its partners to facilitate the use of the Immigration Policy Lab (IPL) Integration Index, a survey tool for governments, nonprofits, and researchers to measure the integration of immigrants around the world.

Human rights principles

Also in the framework of its ICP, the GSPI has supported a collaboration between the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and OHCHR’s B-Tech project. Some of the new fast-evolving technologies, such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), facial recognition technologies, and the internet of things (IoT), can have profoundly disrupting effects on sociopolitical systems and pose significant human rights challenges. This initiative provides authoritative guidance and resources for implementing the UNGPs in the technology space and placing international human rights law (IHRL) at the centre of regulatory and policy frameworks. Aimed at policymakers, the technology sector, and all those working on the regulation of AI, the policy research carried out in this project (see resulting Working Paper, 2021) brings fresh insights into how current initiatives on the regulation of AI technologies could incorporate the protection and respect for human rights. Published by the Geneva Academy, the paper also calls on states to adopt a ‘smart mix’ of mandatory and voluntary measures to support their implementation and how this applies to the AI sector. This GSPI-supported science-policy process will formally feed the development of a ‘UN Guiding Principles check’ tool (working title), which will provide states with a roadmap to assess their regulatory efforts across different policy domains relevant to technology.

Digital tools

Social media channels

LinkedIn @genevaspi

Twitter @GenevaSPI

Ecma International

Acronym: Ecma

Established: 1961

Address: Rhône Street 114, 1204 Geneva, Switzerland

Website: https://www.ecma-international.org/

Stakeholder group: NGOs and associations

Ecma International is an industry association that works on standardisation in information and communication technology (ICT) and consumer electronics.

The association develops global standards and technical reports to facilitate and standardise the use of ICTs and consumer electronics. It also encourages the correct use of standards by influencing the environment in which they are applied.

Its membership includes entities such as Alibaba, Apple, Bloomberg, Google, Hitachi, HP, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Meta, Microsoft, Netflix, and PayPal, as well as prominent universities and research institutes.

Digital activities

Since its creation in 1961, Ecma has published numerous standards and technical reports covering areas such as data presentation and communication; data interchange and archiving; access systems, interconnection, and multimedia; programming languages; and software engineering and interfaces. FORTRAN, one of the oldest programming languages developed by Ecma, was approved in 1965. ECMAScript, with several billion implementations, is one of the most used standards worldwide.

Digital policy issues

Digital standards

A large part of Ecma’s activity is dedicated to defining standards and technical reports for ICTs (hardware, software, communications, media storage, etc.). This work is carried out through technical committees and task groups focusing on issues such as information storage, multimedia coding and communications, programming languages, open XML formats, and product-related environmental attributes. The standards and technical reports developed in committees and groups are subject to an approval vote in the Ecma General Assembly. Once approved by the assembly, some standards are also submitted to other standardisation organisations (such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)) for their approval and publication through a liaison agreement that Ecma has with those organisations.

Telecommunications infrastructure

Network security

Sustainable development/Digital and environment

Programming languages such as ECMAScript (JavaScript) and C#

Data-related standards

  • Multiple Ecma standards covering issues such as data interchange, data presentation, and data communication
  • Ecma technical reports covering data communication and data interchange.

Technical committees (TCs) and task groups (TGs) covering issues such as access systems and information exchange between systems (TC51), information storage (TC31), product-related environmental attributes (TC38), ECMAScript language (TC39), office open XML formats (TC45) and ECMAScript modules for embedded systems (TC53).

Information storage

Standards developed by Ecma include optical and magnetic storage systems (disks, cartridges, etc.), methods for determining the life expectancy of storage media, and the interchange of information on media by specifying its volume and file structure.

Where other optical storage systems such as compact discs (CDs), digital versatile disks (DVDs), or hard disks only store data on their surface, holographic data storage goes beneath the surface using the entire recording medium.

Holographic storage is a high-capacity storage technology that records binary information into holograms (three dimensions), which can be read by low-power laser beams. In December 2021, the ECMA-420 standard was published. It specifies device interface information and requirements for high-speed image retrieval and collation using holographic optical correlation based on shift-multiplex recording of coaxial holography.

Ecma has several projects in development, which include a standard on a quality discrimination method and an operating method of storage systems for long-term data preservation. This standard will enable data storage systems to be built using optical disks for storing and accumulating important digital information safely and on a permanent basis. There is also a plan to develop a standard defining a holographic data storage system with a capacity of 1,000 Gbytes per disk, which will enable long-term data preservation storage systems to be built, with features such as high capacity, long-term reliability, and lower operational costs.

Future of meetings

Ecma meetings, such as its General Assembly, typically take place as a physical meeting to allow face-to-face discussions and interaction among members, but remote attendance is possible by using videoconferencing and other digital tools for the members that cannot attend in person. Ecma TCs hold either physical, hybrid, or virtual meetings depending on their specific needs.

Ecma meetings are typically held outside of Ecma’s HQ at the invitation of a TC member who hosts the meeting at their own or another facility.

Economy and efficiency are factors in choosing the meeting place and the meeting mode. Digital or a combination of digital and face-to-face meetings are possible options. This is decided by the committee.

Social media channels

LinkedIn @ecma-international

Twitter @EcmaIntl

Kofi Annan Foundation

Acronym: Kofi Annan Foundation

Established: 2007

Address: P.O.B. 157, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland

Website: https://www.kofiannanfoundation.org/

Stakeholder group: NGOs and associations

The Kofi Annan Foundation is an independent not-for-profit organisation, established in Switzerland in 2007 by the late former UN Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Kofi Annan. Its board is composed of prominent personalities from the public and private sectors, and it has a small team based in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Kofi Annan Foundation wants a fairer and more peaceful world, where no one is left behind, democratic principles and the rule of law are upheld, and divides are bridged through dialogue and international cooperation.

The Foundation works closely with partners from international and regional organisations, foundations, universities, and civil society. It channels expertise, convenes all stakeholders around the table, and forges coalitions of trusted influence that can make change happen.

The Foundation has four strategic objectives:

  • Strengthen democracy and elections, because popular legitimacy provides the basis for democratic governance, accountability, and respect for human rights and the rule of law.
  • Facilitate youth engagement and ensure that young people’s voices are heard because they are active agents of change and must be given the opportunity to shape the world they will inherit.
  • Enhance transitions to peace, promote reconciliation, and build trust and cohesion within societies, because it strengthens their ability to withstand future political, economic, social, or environmental shocks.
  • Raise awareness of Kofi Annan’s values and actions and promote his core belief that structured international cooperation is key to solving challenges in today’s interconnected world.

Digital activities

The Kofi Annan Foundation addresses digitalisation within the scope of youth, peace, and trust, as well as elections and democracy in the follow-up to the Kofi Annan Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age (KACEDDA).

The Commission proposed a series of actions to mitigate the negative impact of social media on elections and democracy, several of which the Foundation is directly implementing. These include new models to counter political disinformation, pre-electoral pledges regarding digital behaviour and activities, and the gauging of digital vulnerabilities of elections. The Foundation is also mobilising digital tools and platforms to increase the representativeness and inclusivity of elections and democratic decision-making, particularly for young people.

Digital policy issues

Violent extremism

The Extremely Together programme consists of young people from around the world working to counter the impact of extremism in their own communities. An initial cohort of ten impressive leaders has grown over the years to include national hubs in Uganda, Somalia, and soon the Sahel. Digital tools allow these young people to draw on the network and support of the Kofi Annan Foundation and share experiences to improve the impact of their work.

Fostering youth leadership

Sharing the leadership values, wisdom, and lessons of Kofi Annan with the next generation is an important element of the legacy work of the Foundation. Digital tools allow us to reach young people in every corner of the globe who would otherwise not be able to benefit from his advice and that of the people who worked closely with him. Two cohorts of Kofi Annan Changemakers – young leaders from different fields and backgrounds – have now harnessed digital communications tools and platforms to improve their leadership skills and build critical capacities.

Content policy

The Foundation works with civil society, electoral management bodies, and the private sector to develop capacity and tools to counter electoral-related disinformation. It is developing tools to mitigate negative foreign interference in elections and to identify elections at risk from digital threats.

Supporting election with integrity

Regarding its activities on elections and democracy, the Foundation’s digital work is based on KACEDDA’s findings. The Commission was first established in 2018 and was composed of members from civil society and government, the technology sector, academia, and the media. The objectives of the Commission were to identify and frame the challenges to electoral integrity arising from the global spread of digital technologies and social media platforms, develop policy measures to tackle these challenges and highlight the opportunities that technological change offers for strengthening electoral integrity and political participation, and define and articulate a programme of advocacy to ensure that the key messages emerging from the Commission were widely diffused and debated around the world.

In addition to articles that deal with issues such as the interplay between democracy and the internet, the impact of digital on elections and democracy in West Africa, and the digital dangers to democracy, the Commission published an extensive report titled Protecting Electoral Integrity in the Digital Age. It addresses, among other things, hate speech, disinformation, online political advertising, and foreign interference in elections. The report proposes a set of 13 recommendations that address capacity building, norm building, and actions to be taken by public authorities and social media platforms. The Foundation is now working to implement certain recommendations, in cooperation with key stakeholders from civil society, academia, the private sector, and government.

Interdisciplinary approaches

Building a more effective architecture for digital cooperation.

The Foundation facilitates the sharing of lessons and expertise across countries to counter the negative impact of social media on elections, particularly harnessing the potential of South-South partnerships and building the capacity of civil society and electoral stakeholders.

Ensuring the protection of human rights in the digital era.

The Foundation works with electoral stakeholders to mitigate the impact of online disinformation and hate speech, and to ensure threats from the digital space do not undermine citizens’ rights to political participation and that digital tools increase voters’ ability to make informed and educated electoral decisions.

Future of meetings

The Kofi Annan Foundation regularly organises online/virtual webinars, roundtables, and regional events on a variety of topics, including the impact of COVID-19 on democracy and elections in various regions of the world, youth resilience during the pandemic, violence against women in politics, and disinformation during elections.

The Kofi Annan Changemakers initiative uses digital tools such as Zoom and WhatsApp to connect with cohorts and partners and to share information about the programme. The programme consists of a week-long online module of training and presentations, where the 12 Kofi Annan Changemakers, mentors, and speakers participate remotely.

The Foundation holds its board meetings online, with decisions on programmatic and resource matters taken by members participating remotely.

The Foundation also convenes its weekly team meetings in a hybrid manner as well as annual virtual meetings of its Electoral Integrity Initiative.

In this exclusive 10-part podcast, Kofi Time, Ahmad Fawzi, one of Kofi Annan’s former spokespersons and communications advisors, examines how Kofi Annan tackled a specific crisis and its relevance to today’s world and challenges. Kofi Annan’s call to bring all stakeholders around the table – including the private sector, local authorities, civil society organisations, academia, and scientists – resonates now more than ever with so many who understand that governments alone cannot shape our future. Join this journey of discovery as Ahmad Fawzi.

Digital tools

interviews some of Kofi Annan’s closest advisors and colleagues including Dr Peter Piot, Christiane Amanpour, Mark Malloch-Brown, Michael Møller, and more. Kofi Time is available on SoundCloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts

Raising awareness of Kofi Annan’s Legacy

The Kofi Annan Foundation uses digital tools to raise awareness of Kofi Annan’s legacy, by providing electronic access to selected speeches and quotations as well as to a collection of his papers compiled by the City University of New York on our website, and to some of his recorded statements and discussions via our official YouTube channel.

Future of meetings

Annual reports online

Virtual meetings: Zoom, Microsoft Teams

Monitoring and analytics: Meltwater, Google Analytics, Sprout

Email marketing: Mailchimp

Podcasting: Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Headliner

Creative and collaboration: Adobe Creative Cloud, Miro, Canva, WordPress, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint

Social media channels

Facebook @KofiAnnanFoundation

Instagram @KofiAnnanFoundation

LinkedIn @Kofi Annan Foundation

YouTube @Kofi Annan Foundation