Event Highlight

2017 Global Digital Futures Policy Forum: Tension between fragmentation of the internet and globalization

Posted May 05 2017

Few human achievements are as global in nature and ambition as the internet. Yet this global resource is expanding and being challenged by geopolitical, technological and policy trends. Are borders - physical and digital - coming back?

Columbia SIPA’s Digital Futures Policy Forum is envisioned as a long-term intellectual initiative to reimagine our digital future, focus on the potential benefits and costs arising from global digital technology changes. The purpose of this conference is not only to identify immediate challenges but also to look ahead to emerging challenges and possible policy responses.

Across six panels focusing on industrial vs commercial uses of the internet, digital trade, trust and assurance, global platforms and international development, conflict and democracy and financial systemic risks, this year’s Global Digital Futures Policy Forum will focus on this tension between fragmentation of the internet and globalization.

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  • Beyond a keynote by Eric Schmidt (Alphabet Inc.), confirmed speakers include:

    • Usman Ahmed (PayPal)
    • Douglas Brent (Trimble)
    • Anupam Chander (UC Davis School of Law)
    • Josh Corman (Atlantic Council)
    • Laura DeNardis (American University)
    • William Drake (University of Zurich)
    • Andrea Glorioso (EU Delegation to the US)
    • Gordon Goldstein (CFR)
    • Jason Healey (Columbia SIPA)
    • Dean Merit Janow (Columbia SIPA)
    • Sean Kanuck (Stanford CISAC)
    • Karen Kornbluh (CFR)
    • Ronaldo Lemos (Institute for Technology & Society Rio)
    • Petros Mavroidis (Columbia Law School)
    • Susan McGregor (Tow Center for Digital Journalism)
    • Angela McKay (Microsoft)
    • Ricardo Melendez (ICTSD)
    • Peter Micek (AccessNow)
    • Eli Noam (Columbia Business School)
    • Joseph Nye (Harvard)
    • Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh (UAE)
    • Greg Rattray (JPMorgan)
    • Katheryn Rosen (Atlantic Council)
    • Paul Twomey (ArgoPacific, Former ICANN CEO)
    • Matthew Waxman (Columbia Law School)
  • This conference was hosted by:

    For nearly 70 years, Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) has been equipping future leaders with the skills, knowledge and intellectual curiosity to solve the world’s most critical public policy challenges. Through a rigorous and multidisciplinary curriculum, practical capstone projects and field work that engage real world issues, and connections to world-renowned scholars and practitioners, SIPA students learn to make a positive difference in the world, whether in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. At home in Columbia’s prestigious university community and the global City of New York, SIPA is also a uniquely diverse, international and entrepreneurial community that brings together world leaders of diverse backgrounds, skills, and perspectives.

    SIPA recently launched a new initiative around technology and policy called ‘Tech&Policy@SIPA’. This ambitious effort fuses public policy, engineering, data science and entrepreneurship through a variety of activities, including new courses on data analytics and visualization; a Challenge Grant that invites graduate students to combine ICT and data to solve urban challenges globally; participation with Columbia Entrepreneurship in a start-up lab in lower NYC; and interdisciplinary research around internet policy issues including internet governance and cyber security. This new research is aimed at deepening collaboration at Columbia University across disciplines as well as convening interdisciplinary expert groups, such as at this Conference. By equipping the next generation of public policy students and scholars with a deeper understanding of new technology, nurturing organizations that are building novel tech-based solutions to pressing public policy problems, and supporting cutting-edge interdisciplinary research, SIPA is stimulating a host of creative endeavors at the intersection of technology and public policy.

    With support from:

    Carnegie Corporation of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation's agenda focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.

    Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, United States that develops, manufactures, licenses and supports a wide range of products and services related to computing. The company was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4, 1975. Microsoft is the world's largest software maker measured by revenues. It is also one of the world's most valuable companies.

    With the participation of:

    The Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) is a university-based research center focusing on strategy, management, and policy issues in telecommunications, computing, and electronic mass media. Founded in 1983 at Columbia University, the institute is the first research center for communications economics, management, and policy established at a US management school. Its location in New York City provides a unique foundation for these activities. Research collaboration among academic, corporate, and public sectors is vital in analyzing the complex problems associated with managing communications enterprises, systems, and policy in environments of rapidly changing technology and regulation.

    The Data Science Institute at Columbia University is training the next generation of data scientists and developing innovative technology to serve society. With nearly 200-affilated faculty working in a wide range of disciplines, the Institute seeks to foster collaboration in advancing techniques to gather and interpret data, and to address the urgent problems facing society. The Institute works closely with industry to bring promising ideas to market.

    And assistance with live streaming from:

    The Internet Society