Digitalization transforms, pervades and affects all aspects of our social, economic and political lives. These impacts span a wide range of issues, which through digitalization become increasingly interconnected and interdependent. However, at the global level, these issues are addressed by institutions that were founded in the 19th and 20th centuries, and which are often incapable of ensuring effective cooperation between the relevant international actors.
At the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS, 2003 and 2005), governments adopted a first set of principles on what was called “internet governance”. The WSIS also saw the creation of the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which has played an essential role in identifying emerging topics and creating fertile ground for hundreds of formal and informal networks of cooperation to flourish. Those principles and the IGF have served us well over the last decade. But they no longer appear to be fully appropriate to the task of effectively and globally connecting the wide range of new issues and actors now taking part in the digital transformation.