About the global IGF network

The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) network is a multistakeholder policy platform, initiated by the United Nations with the aim of exchanging information and sharing good policies and practices relating to the Internet and technologies. It brings together representatives of various stakeholders and social groups on online governance, in particular governments, the private sector and civil society, including the technical and academic community, and promotes dialogue and policy-making internationally. The first international IGF conference under the auspices of the United Nations took place in 2006 in Athens and is since then organized annually. In parallel, multiple national and regional IGFs are organized every year globally, in order to promote multistakeholder dialogue with a regional focus and strengthen democratic policy making relating to digital regulation within the respective communities.

What is the goal and the impact of IGF?

The primary goal of IGF World and its national and regional initiatives (NRIs) is to promote equal and constructive dialogue between the various stakeholders and to influence the discussion in the relevant decision-making bodies at national and international level. By bringing together representatives of various groups, the Internet Governance Forum promotes the discussion of relevant and controversial topics such as the democratization of the internet, the legitimacy of digital policy making and the future of a technology-driven society. Providing a platform for the representation of different viewpoints and the exchange of ideas, policies and concerns, the IGF presents a valuable crosspoint of opinions and interests, with the aim of creating better, more effective and more inclusive policies. While the IGF does not make any binding decisions, but rather has an advisory role, its conclusions and policy suggestions are widely recognized and taken into consideration by governments, academia and the private sector on a regional, national and international level.

What are NRIs?

National Regional Initiatives (NRIs) are InternetGovernance Forum movements with a regional or national outreach and a corresponding focal point. While serving as a point of information regarding the global developments in the fields of democracy and technology, NRIs function as platforms for the discussion of these topics on a local or national level, especially focusing on the aspects and viewpoints prioritized by their respective communities. Using a bottom-up consultation process, the NRIs strive to include all stakeholders (governments, civil society, private sector, technical community), to work together on issues pertaining to the Internet, all acting on equal footing. Taking into account all received inputs from their communities, the NRIs develop comprehensive agendas that reflect the needs of the community, and logistics for organizing the major annual event(s), where different stakeholder groups will gather and discuss the issues of highest priority to them.

What is Youth IGF?

Bearing in mind that a genuinely democratic discussion should be open to all age groups, alongside the original IGF events, the United Nations have introduced the platform of Youth IGF conferences. These events usually take place at the same time as the respective NRIs and interact with them in order to offer the younger generation an active role in decision-making processes.