Never have I imagined that I would be attending the annual Internet Governance Forum, however I passed the obstacles and made it through.
As an undergraduate majoring in accounting and finance, being a part of the Cambodia Youth Internet Governance Forum and attending the Internet Governance Forum was an astonishing experience.
What have you learned from the Internet Governance Forum?
The 18th Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance was held at Kyoto International Conference Center, Japan. For this year, the overarching theme of the discussion was ” The Internet We Want – Empowering All People” and the discussion also revolved around the eight sub themes ranging from AI & Emerging Technologies to Sustainability & Environment.
Attending the event was an enriching experience that provided me with valuable insights, new perspectives, and practical experiences. I want to take this moment to reflect on what I have learned from the event and how it has impacted me.
As a part of this wonderful experience, all the participants were given the opportunity to choose
the session that they wanted to attend and I was very lucky enough to be able to attend the dream session of mine.
This IGF was a valuable experience that helped me to learn more about Internet governance and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Moreover, I also got to learn and hear about the other perspectives of people from different backgrounds regarding different issues. Coming from someone that is not from a tech background, I got to learn about the latest developments in AI and blockchain, and how these technologies are being used to develop new Internet applications. We also learned about the challenges of cybersecurity and data governance, and how to mitigate the risks associated with these issues. Aside from that, I learned about the importance of digital rights and the need to protect people’s privacy online. Lastly, I learned about the work that is being done to bridge the digital divide and ensure that everyone has access to the Internet.
What was the most interesting session about the event?
Coming from an accounting and finance background, the most interesting session for me was the one on “AI & Emerging Technologies.” This session explored the potential benefits and risks of AI and other emerging technologies, and discussed how to ensure that these technologies are used for good.
I was particularly interested in the discussion about how to mitigate the risks of AI bias and discrimination. This is an important issue, as AI systems are increasingly being used to make decisions that affect people’s lives.
Another interesting session was the one on Emerging Tech and Solutions for Digital Inclusion. It was a fascinating and informative discussion about the potential of new technologies to help bridge the digital divide and promote digital inclusion.
This session also highlighted the importance of multi stakeholder collaboration in developing and deploying emerging technologies for digital inclusion. Speakers from government, business, civil society, and academia all emphasized the need to work together to ensure that these technologies are used in a way that benefits everyone.
The session on Emerging Tech and Solutions for Digital Inclusion was a very positive and hopeful discussion about the potential of new technologies to help build a more open and inclusive digital world. It was interesting to hear from both the top-down and bottom-up perspectives on this issue, and to learn about the challenges and opportunities for digital inclusion.
The High Level Panel on Evolving Trends in Mis- & Dis-Information was the final and most engaging session. Hearing the opinions of professionals from all around the worldwas an intriguing sight, particularly Nobel Laureate Ms. Maria Ressa on current patterns in disinformation and misinformation, as well as to formulate suggestions for resolving these issues.
Being a part of this session has helped me to gain a deeper understanding of how misinformation and disinformation are becoming a growing issue in developing nations like Cambodia, where people have a tendency to believe anything they see online.
The Highlights of the Annual Meeting
Aside from being able to attend all of the fascinating sessions, meeting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was a huge surprise. Hearing his take on the subject of “Generative AI” in his keynote address was really enlightening. The speech was a really uplifting, wise, and helpful addition to the IGF 2023. In addition, it aroused my curiosity and caused me to wonder how Japan would fulfill the promises made by Kishida in his speech.
What is your plan after returning to Cambodia?
After returning to Cambodia, I plan to share what I have learned at the IGF with my colleagues and other stakeholders. In order to spread knowledge of Internet governance concerns, I also intend to give presentations and write blog entries and articles about the IGF. I also intend to keep learning about upcoming technologies and internet governance. Finally, I intended to collaborate with civil society groups to support the use of technology for social good and to fight for digital rights. In addition, I’ll collaborate with organizations and governmental bodies to create guidelines and procedures that promote welcoming and inclusive online communities.
In order to make sure that the Internet is created and used in a way that benefits all Cambodians, I think it is critical that Cambodians get involved in the global discussion on Internet governance. I’m determined to use my expertise to positively impact Cambodia’s Internet landscape in the future.
Feeling about Japan
Regarding Japan, I feel really good. Japan’s dedication to innovation and its robust collaborative culture are impressive. Japan’s dedication to the multistakeholder process in Internet governance also strikes me as admirable.
In particular, the IGF 2023 in Kyoto left me rather impressed. Internet governance issues are discussed globally at the IGF, and it is critical that all relevant parties—governments, corporations, individuals, and civil society organizations—have a voice in these talks. Japan demonstrated its commitment to multistakeholderism and an equitable and open Internet by hosting the IGF in 2023.
Japan’s investment in developing technologies is another thing that impresses me. In many new fields, including artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and quantum computing, Japan is a leader. I think these technologies have the power to completely change the world, and I’m thrilled to see Japan staying at the forefront of their advancement.
All in all, I feel really good about Japan. Japan, in my opinion, is a nation dedicated to multistakeholderism, innovation, and teamwork. I’m interested to see how Japan will continue to advance global development and the Internet.
Gratitude to Open Development Cambodia
I want to express my gratitude to Open Development Cambodia (ODC) for making it possible for me to travel to Kyoto, Japan in 2023 for the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).
I am appreciative of ODC for acknowledging the significance of my involvement in the IGF. With the help of ODC, I’ve been able to network with other stakeholders who share my enthusiasm for Internet governance and learn from professionals around the globe. I have no doubt that ODC and the Cambodian community as large will benefit from the information and expertise I have obtained at the IGF.
I am committed to using the knowledge and experience that I have gained at the IGF to support and to contribute to the development of a more open and inclusive digital Cambodia.