Public Knowledge at IGF 2017

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This week Public Knowledge’s Director of Global Policy, Gus Rossi, and Development Manager, Katie Watson, traveled to Geneva, Switzerland for the 12th Annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The IGF brings together people from a variety of stakeholder groups, including public interest organizations, government agencies, industry representatives, academics, and others in order to discuss their work and the challenges they each face in creating good internet governance policies. This annual event serves as an opportunity for attendees to learn more about the important work other groups are carrying out, and to share best practices.

Public Knowledge, together with the Alliance for Progressive Communications, organized a highly attended panel on developments at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Gus Rossi moderated the panel. Public Knowledge also participated in a civil society coordination meeting in preparation for ITU’s main political meeting, Plenipot 2018 in Dubai. It's critical that civil society organize domestically and transnationally to defend an open Internet.

Katie Watson attended the conference as an Internet Society Youth@IGF Fellow. She joined twenty-six other young leaders from around the world to discuss regional internet governance issues and provide input to the stakeholder groups from a youth perspective. At the Collaborative Leadership Exchange the day before IGF, Katie led discussions on the effects of artificial intelligence and automation on the future workforce, and the global implications of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality decision. She also attended sessions on bridging the digital divide, youth engagement in internet governance, and the policy challenges emerging technologies pose.

Public Knowledge is pleased to be involved in these high level discussions on the future of internet governance, and to connect with like-minded organizations from around the world. We look forward to utilizing the information we learned and the new relationships we made to be more effective in our work in the coming year. Both will be particularly helpful as PK continues to fight for the public interest in a complex political atmosphere. 

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