Elon University

The IGF 2017 Survey – The future of the Internet? In just a word or brief phrase describe the Internet’s future

Researchers from the Imagining the Internet Center conducted a video survey of Global Internet Governance Forum participants in Geneva in December, 2017, recording interviews with 180 people from 61 countries/territories and various stakeholder groups around the world about the ongoing evolution of the Internet. Use the video viewer to see their responses. Click on the first video to begin a player that will cycle through all visible on this page or click on those you wish to view. To see additional videos, click on the numbers at the end of the video column to display additional videos – there are dozens more than you see here. The question on this page:

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET? In just one word or a brief phrase, in 5 seconds or less – describe the Internet’s future.

This is one of FIVE QUESTIONS asked of each survey participant at IGF 2017. To see responses to the other questions, click here to return to the survey homepage.

Among the respondents are leaders involved with the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group, Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet Society and civil society, business, government, academia, as well as non-governmental organization leaders from across the world.


Since 2006 the United Nations has facilitated global Internet Governance Forum meetings to encourage discussion of issues. IGF is one of the World Summit on the Information Society efforts toward sustainable development.

The IGF does not make decisions regarding the evolution and operation of the Internet. Those tasks are taken on by many other global multistakeholder organizations, including the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG), Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), all of which consist of people who are continuing to work to evolve an open network on which more and more people can exchange a widening range of communications.

The Internet of 2017 is a extremely complex system on which both humans and untold numbers of bots communicate. It is estimated that nearly 3.9 billion of the world’s nearly 7.6 billion people have access to the Internet. The first billion was reached in 2005. The second billion in 2010. The third billion in 2014. In 1995 only about 1 percent of the world was connected.

As Internet accessibility, quality of service and responsiveness becomes more and more vital to day-to-day actions, entrenched institutions and newly rising organizations are challenged to identify and navigate intertwined threats and opportunities.

Global politics and everyone’s social and economic futures are weighing heavily in the balance of the decision-making of the multistakeholder organizations that have influence over the future evolution of the Internet.

Many additional global organizations are continually working to assess how their involvement might move the future forward in concert with the technical organizations for positive change, thus the Global Internet Governance Forum is at a turning point in its own evolution in 2017.

Interview participants in some aspect of the 2017 Global IGF Video Survey:

Vint Cerf, chief Internet Evangelist, Google, United States; Raúl Echeberria, vice president for global engagement, Internet Society, Uruguay; Said Zazai, fellow, the Asia Pacific Internet Governance Academy, Afghanistan; Christopher Yoo, professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School, United States; Tiemo Wölken, member, the European Parliament, Germany; Sindy Obed, Youth IGF fellow, Haiti; Melissa Sassi, program manager, Microsoft, United States;

Matt Greenspan, project manager, WSIS Forum, United States; Satish Babu, chair, All SIG Group, India; Andrey Shcherbovich, lecturer, Higher School of Economics National Research University, Russia; Suzan Jacob, manager of customer care, Bocra, Botswana; Tshoganetso Kepaletswe, deputy-chief executive, Bocra, Botswana; Lillian Nalwoga, president, Internet Society of Uganda, Uganda; Garland McCoy, president, Technology Education Institute, United States;

Ezekiel Tari, chairman, Maewo Telecommunications Committee Inc., Vanuatu; Reza Khawar, ICT director general, Afghanistan Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Afghanistan; Tahar Schaa, management consultant, Cassini, Germany; Cindyneia Ramos Cantanhêde, law student, Federal University of Maranhão, Brazil;

Farell Folly, member, NCUC at ICANN, Benin; Omar Mansoor Ansari, co-founder, TechWomen Asia, Afghanistan; Raoul Fotso, co-founder and manager, Eduair, Cameroon; John Carr Obe, secretary, UK Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety, United Kingdom; Su Sonia Herring, project coordinator and editor, Youth IGF, Turkey; Muhammad Shabbir Awan, board of directors, Internet Society, Pakistan;

Tereza Horejsova, director project development, Geneva Internet Platform, United States; Renata Aquino Ribeiro, researcher and teacher, E.I Consulting, Brazil; Olga Cavalli, director, South School, Argentina; Rohan Daswani, student, The Island School, Hong Kong; Ziad Abdel Tawab, director of Communications, Egyptian Government, Egypt; Jacqueline Treiper, co-executive director, ICANNWiki, United States; Giovanna Michelato, CGI, Brazil; Noha Salama, senior director, IT at Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty, Egypt; Bronwyn Mercer, fellow and intern, Youth at IGF and Digital Lab Forensics Lab at INTERPOL, Australia; Sandra Raub, fellow and youth lawyer, Youth at IGF and HB Legal, Australia;

Divyansh Agarwal, fellow, Youth at IGF and Internet Society, India; Pierre Baud, student, HEIG-VD, Switzerland; Danill Doneda, professor, University of Rio de Janeiro , Brazil; Kimmy Wu, student, Federal Institution of San Paulo, Brazil; Gabriel Souto, CGI.br, Brazil; Chenai Chair, researcher/communications manager and evaluations advisor, ICT Africa, Zimbabwe; Joy Wathagi Ndungu, co-founder and trainer, Digital Grassroots, Kenya; Chencho, department of IT, Bhutan Government, Bhutan; Joash Ntenga Moitui, junior research fellow, Centre for Human Rights and Policy Studies, Kenya; Akinori Maemura, general manager, Internet Development Center of Japan Network Information Center, Japan;

Mikhail Anisimov, deputy head of Information Department, Russia Coordination Center for .RU/P?, Russia; Komi Elitcha, IT engineer, Linux, Togo; Julian Casasbuenas, Colnodo, Colombia; Sumon Ahmed Sabir, chief technology officer, Fiber at Home, Bangladesh; Nicola Brown, issues advisor, Internet New Zealand, New Zealand; Israel Rosas, Internet policy analyst, Mexican Government, Mexico; Abubakar Karsan, executive director, Union of Tanzania Press Clubs, Tanzania; Olusegun Olugbile, CEO, Continental Project Affairs, Nigeria; Francilene Garcia, secretary, Science and Technology for Brazilian Government, Brazil;

Eddan Katz, lead of Digital Protocol Network Initiative, Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, United States; Esther Mwema, co-founder and coordinator, Digital Grassroots, Zambia; Khadka Bahador Thapa, director, Arati Saving Credit Cooperative, Nepal; Kumal, professor, Indian Institute of Management, India; Roshan Pockharel, policy director, Centre for Law and Technology PVT.LTD, Nepal; Roopinber Perhar, executive council, the Asia Pacific Networking Information Center, Australia; Michael Hausting, Switch registry .CH, Switzerland; Shreedeep Rayamajhi, social activist and blogger, Nepal; Yves Mathieu, co-director, Missions Publiques, France; Antoine Vergne, international projects manager, Mission Publiques, France; Okasana Prykhodko, director, European Media Platform, Ukraine; Luã Fergus, Youth Observatory, Brazil;

Martin Hullin, manager of operations, Internet and Jurisdiction, France; Ucha Seturi, CEO, Telecom Operators Association, Georgia; Frederic Donck, director, Internet Society, Belgium; Daniel Obam, communications secretary, National Communications Secretariat, Kenya; Hans Peter Dittler, board of trustees member, Internet Society, Germany; Niel Harper, senior manager, Next Generation Leaders, Barbados; Markus Kummer, chairman, IGF Support Association, Switzerland; Karen McCabe, senior director of technology policy and international affairs, IEEE Standards Association, United States; Lianna Galstyan, external relations manager, Internet Society, Armenia;

Mohamad Najem, co-founder, SMEX, Lebanon; Nikhil Pahwa, founder and chairman, Internet Freedom Foundation of India, India; Louis Andriamparany, president, ISOC Madagascar, Madagascar; Vlad Olekhnovich, volunteer, Youth NGO Falunster, Belarus; Enrico Calandro, researcher, ICT Africa, Italy; Carmen Bouley de Santiago, international project manager, Missions Publique, France; Elizabeth Milovidov, founder, Digital Parenting, France; Milton Mueller, professor, Georgia Institute of Technology School of Public Policy, United States; Ike Adinde, CEO, Digital Bridge Institute, Nigeria; Divina Frau-Meigs, president, Savoir Devenir, France;

Tom Mackenzie, senior consultant, Items International, France; Bo Zhong, associate professor, Pennsylvania State University, United States; Andrii Pazuik, vice president, Ukrainian Academy of Cyber Security, Ukraine; Augusto Mathurin, founder, Virtuagora, Argentina; Kyle Shulman, global project manager, Internet Society, United States; Daniel Araújo de Medeiros, Division of Evaluation of Mineral Resources, Brazilian Government, Brazil; Sally Wentworth, vice president of global policy development, Internet Society, United States; Zhaocan Li, Trainee, UNESCO Geneva Liaison Office, Switzerland; Natasha Tibinyano, working member, Namibia IGF, Namibia; Florence Poznanski, director of the Brazil Desk, Internets Without Borders, Brazil;

Claudio Lucena, professor, UEPB Brazil and FCT Portugal, Brazil; Wout de Natris, owner, De Natris Consult, Netherlands; Alieu Sowe, Gambia coordinator, the Give 1 Project, Gambia; Nigel Hickson, vice president, ICANN in Europe, Switzerland; Varsha Bedi, member, Federation of International Film Producers Association, United States; Hast Bahadur Sunar, program coordinator, NGO Federation of Nepal, Nepal; David Morar, graduate research assistant, George Mason University, United States; Dave Allen, vice president of operations and strategy, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, United States;

Rainer Rodewald, digital facilitator, EuroDIG, Germany; Beatriz Lins, researcher, University College of London, Brazil; Hanane Boujemi, program coordinator, Internet Governance MENA, Morocco; Kamel Saadaoui, director, Tunisian Ministry of ICT, Tunisia; Serge-Parfait Goma, co-director, NGO EGF Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo; Menno Ettema, “No Hate Speech” Movement Coordinator, Council of Europe, France; Baher Esmat, vice president of Stakeholder Engagement for the Middle East, ICANN, Egypt; Adam Peake, senior manager for civil society and engagement, ICANN, Netherlands; Khalil Talbi, director of mass market retail, Maille Club Group, Tunisia;

Khaled Fattal, chairman & CEO, the Multilingual Internet Group, United States; Tobias Feakin, ambassador of Cyber Affairs, Australia; Moira de Roche, chair, IFIP IP3, South Africa; Madeline Carr, associate professor of International Relations and Cyber Security, University College London, United Kingdom; Fabricio Solagna, researcher, Universidade Federal Do Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil; Zmarialai Wafa, ICT specialist, Internet Society, Afghanistan; Marcel Hofmann, key account manager, Switch, Switzerland; Leticia Silva, student, Dom Bosco Catholic University, Brazil;

Sharada Srinivasan, research fellow, University of Pennsylvania, India; Aziz Taqwa, director of information technology, American University of Afghanistan, Afghanistan; Sarah Kiden, open web fellow, Mozilla Foundation, Uganda; Ines Tlili, project manager, IEEE, Tunisia; Ireen Sultana, sub editor, BDNews24.com, Bangladesh; Nilmini Rubin, vice president, Tetra Tech, United States; David Ng, co-founder, eHelp, China; Michael Oghia,external consultant and strategy developer, Internet Society, Serbia;

Eva Chu, CEO and education consultant, i-education, China; Eagle Chan, school principal, i-education, China; Dia Kayyali, program manager, Technology at Witness, United States; Halit Ünver, policy advisor, University of UUML, Germany; Yuliya Morenets, executive director, Together Against Cybercrime, France; Syed Iftikhar Shah, software engineer and director of IT, Government of Pakistan, Pakistan; Driart Elshani, traveling professor of computer science, American University in Kosovo, Kosovo; Frederico Links, chairperson, Action Access to Information Namibia Coalition, Namibia;

Saba Kidane, founder and president, Opportunity for Women and Children at Work, Ethiopia; Nate Ng, secondary school student, HKYFG Lee Shau Kee College, China; Jayson Cheung, secondary school student, Raimondi College, China; Ephraim Percy Kenyanito, program officer of digital for Article 19, Kenya; Ishan Mehta, researcher, Internet Governance Project, United States; Karel Douglas, manager of legal affairs, Telecommunication Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago;

Guilherme Canela, regional adviser, UNESCO in Latin America, Brazil; Ignatius Mugwagwa, permanent auxiliary, the UN Geneva, Switzerland; June Parris, member, Internet Society of Barbados, Barbados; Helena Qian, medical student, University of Newcastle, Australia; Rachel Pollack Ichou, associate program specialist, UNESCO, France; Mark Thwin, managing director, First Myanmar Corporate Group, Myanmar; Brian Cheung, secondary school student, Raimondi College, China; Matthew Lange, food scientist at University of California Davis, United States;

Andreas Vlachos, lecturer and machine learning researcher, The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom; Koen van den Dool, project assistant for Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace, Netherlands; David Wright, director, UK Safer Internet Centre, United Kingdom; Benoit Renaudin, artist, IGF, Switzerland; Manu Bhardwaj, vice president, Mastercard, United States; Yannie Ng, student, St. Paul’s Secondary School, China; Zita Pau, student, St. Paul’s Secondary School, China;

Andrea Beccalli, director for Stakeholder Engagement, ICANN in Europe, Belgium; Adja Maty Sembene, fellow, ISOC Youth IGF, Senegal; Ambrose Ling, secondary student, Raimondi College, China; Sabrina Abualhaiga, ambassador, Youth IGF, France; Ana Cristina Amoroso das Neves, director The Department for Information Society, Portugal; Shawna Finnegan, logistics coordinator, Association for Progressive Communications, Canada; Edowaye Makanjuola, telecommunications regulator, Nigerian Telecommunications Commission, Nigeria.

– Global Internet Governance Forum 2017 video interviews were conducted by Alexandra Roat, Cammie Behnke, Melissa Douglas, Maya Eaglin, Meagan Gitelman, Alex Hager, Jared Mayerson, Emmanuel Morgan and Jackie Pascal of Elon University’s School of Communications, under the supervision of Elon faculty Dr. David Bockino and Professor Janna Anderson of the Imagining the Internet Center.