The Discussion Paper Series
There is no absolute truth – this is the guiding principle for Prof. Wolfgang Kleinwächter, who edits the first of the discussion paper series. The Co:llaboratory Discussion Papers are meant as a platform to inspire the discourse about relevant Internet and society policy topics The series follows the motto “MIND”, which stands for Multi Stakeholder Internet Dialog. Accordingly, Kleinwächter wants to pick up topical and controversial questions regarding the governance and development of the Internet by inviting a variety of diverging opinions. Thought leaders get the opportunity to introduce controversial arguments in what may be called a modern-day pamphlet.
|Bertrand de La Chapelle, Vint Cerf and editor Wolfgang Kleinwaechter in Nairobi|
MIND always introduces a central argument in the form of a proposition essay and then offers responses by a variety of peers from the academic and technical community, private sector, civil society, as well as from government. Consequently, a dialogue will evolve, encompassing all important stakeholders and thus impacting the societal discourse.
The publications are thus debates captured in writing, which invite all interested readers to take part, for example, through online discussion on the interactive versions of the texts (interactive version of MIND#1 in German). This “multi stakeholder stress test” will not only bring forward international dialogue, but it will show where perspectives overlap.
The Path of MIND
Until now, MIND encompasses to volumes. The first MIND is a German-language publication. It was published in May 2011 and is available as print, PDF or as interactive version, enabling online discussion. MIND#1 centers around the proposition by Bernd Holznagel and Pascal Schumacher of the University of Münster, who argue in favour of accepting a free Internet as one of the constitutional rights. The responses vary from “the state should not have a say in Internet-related matters” to “the Internet does indeed need a newly-defined wholesome juridical framework”. Future issues of MIND will alternate between an English and a German language issue.
“Internet Policy Making” introduced in Nairobi
On September 27th, MIND#2 was launched in Nairobi during the United Nations Internet Governance Forum (IGF). It features Bertrand de la Chapelle’s essay on multi-stakeholder Internet governance and its implications. Responses come from Vint Cerf (Google), Catherine Trautmann (European Parliament,) and ten other experts.
Chapell’s introduction invites great applause, but also words of caution. While some suggest that “it is our duty to make multi-stakeholder governance work”, others fear that “Internet governance will remain a preserve of the few.”
From this MIND volume, it becomes clear that a dialogue in Internet policy making was long overdue, especially because it will greatly influence “the future of humanity.”
Therefore, of course this text will also be available for online discussion. Do not hesitate to broaden your MIND, feel free to participate (the interactive version for MIND#2 is in preparation).