Elon University

Keynote – Vice President of Global Policy Development at the Internet Society Sally Shipman Wentworth Encourages IGF to Make Its Voice Heard

IGF USA LogoBrief session description:

Monday, July 24, 2017 –  Sally Shipman Wentworth, the vice president of Global Policy Development at the Internet Society, delivered a talk at the close of IGF-USA 2017 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. Read the print story and see video highlights on this page. You can view the full, archived video of Wentworth’s talk here.

Details of the session:

As the day’s closing speaker, Sally Shipman Wentworth, vice president of global policy development at the Internet Society, emphasized the value of the IGF’s multistakeholder governance model and reiterated that it should be publicized as an available and effective model of finding answers and action where Internet governance is needed.

“There are big issues happening out in the world, but [those facing them] have nowhere to go,” Wentworth said. “We need to stand up and say that this model is effective to have these conversations. There is pressure from usual suspects to put in place cyber sovereignty controls. There are challenges emerging in countries that we thought were aligned with our way of thinking. We believe that the multistakeholder model is strong/effective enough to answer these tough questions.”

While she made clear her belief that IGF has a history of effective governance, Wentworth expressed concern that complacency could harm the organization’s value. She warned that the emergence of technology like artificial intelligence and a global explosion of online hate and disinformation was causing a flurry of reactive political activity, and that the IGF needs to make its collective voice heard now more than ever.

“We have to be careful,” Wentworth said. “We can’t allow a vacuum to form by strong voices who traditionally defended the model. We need to put the model to work now. We need to demonstrate the efficacy of the model.”

Part of putting the model to work, she explained, requires attendees to go beyond the conversations taking place at IGF-USA and use knowledge from those discussions to move forward. Wentworth also celebrated the inclusion of new people, new ideas and new voices at this year’s conference.

– By Alex Hager

Click here to return to IGF-USA 2017 homepage.

The multimedia reporting team for Imagining the Internet at IGF-USA 2017 included the following Elon University School of Communications students, staff and faculty:

Janna Anderson, Bryan Baker, Camille Behnke, Liam Collins, Diego Pineda Davila, Colin Donohue, Maya Eaglin, Christina Elias, Meagan Gitelman, Alex Hager, Tommy Kopetskie, Deirdre Kronschnabel, Jared Mayerson, Emmanuel Morgan, Grace Morris, Jackie Pascale, Mariah Posey, Alexandra Roat, Ginna Royalty, Alexandra Schonfeld, Jamie Snover, Erik Webb, Brooke Wivagg