Course on Internet Governance and Digital Policy

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This just-in-time course on Internet governance (IG) and digital policy aims to assist permanent missions to the UN in New York to actively follow the increasingly relevant field of Internet governance (IG) and digital policy, with a focus on dynamics in the UN. The course is offered by the Geneva Internet Platform and delivered by DiploFoundation.


The course will benefit heads of missions and diplomats who follow IG, digital policy, cybersecurity, and related policy fields (e.g. telecommunications, human rights, trade). While improving their knowledge of digital policy, participants will also gain the practical skills and knowledge required to follow current IG processes such as the global IG architecture, privacy and data protection, and cybersecurity. The course focuses in particular on diplomatic and policy processes in the UN in New York, connecting these to the relevant discussions and negotiations in Geneva. Due to the blended learning course format which includes weekly face-to-face meetings, registration for this course is open only to applicants based in New York.


The course covers the following issue areas:

  • Introduction to IG and digital policies
  • Infrastructure and net neutrality
  • Cybersecurity
  • Legal issues
  • Economic issues
  • Development and sociocultural issues
  • Human rights
  • IG processes and actors

The course will be anchored in the current and upcoming dynamics at the UN, namely digital-policy-related discussions within the UNGA Second Committee including the future of work, ICT for development, the sustainable development goals and technological progress, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and robotics, big data, and gender inclusion and equality. The course will also cover the wider issues of cybersecurity, Internet taxation, and network neutrality.


The course will run from 29 March to 30 May 2018, using a blended learning technique combining dynamic exchange in an online classroom with weekly one-hour learning sessions held at the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in New York.

The first week of the course (29 March to 4 April) is an introductory and orientation week. Participants should plan to spend about one hour completing a series of easy activities designed to introduce the online classroom. The week will end with a one-hour online chat session, facilitated by the course coordinator, to explain how the course works and respond to participants’ questions. The orientation online chat session will take place from 1.30 to 2.30 pm on Wednesday, 4 April.

Following the introductory and orientation period, each week participants will read course materials and discuss them – with each other and with the course lecturing team – in the online classroom. Participants will complete a short quiz, designed to test their understanding of the materials for the week. Each week ends with the weekly learning session, where participants and course lecturers will build on the online classroom discussions, provide further inputs, and clarify open questions, especially as they apply to current events and the specific concerns of participants.

The first weekly learning session, facilitated by Dr Jovan Kurbalija, Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform, will take place on 11 April 2018 from 1.15 – 3.00 pm. The subsequent sessions will take place every Wednesday, and will last for one hour, from 1.30 – 2.30 pm. Light lunch refreshments will be served.

Two of the weekly learning sessions will be facilitated by Dr Jovan Kurbalija; the remaining sessions will be facilitated by an experienced lecturing team including Ms Anne-Rachel Inné (former VP for Government Engagement at ICANN), Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda (former Deputy Assistant Secretary at US Department of State), Mr David Satola (World Bank), Ms Virginia Paque (E-diplomacy and Internet Governance Programmes at DiploFoundation) and Dr Tereza Horejsova (Project Development Director at DiploFoundation).

Participants who complete the course successfully will receive a course certificate.

Course fee

The course costs are fully covered by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland.

Learn more and apply 

To learn more about the course and to apply, visit the course webpage.

The application deadline was 19 March 2018.

To ensure effective interaction, the class size is limited to 25 participants. In case more applications are received than can be accommodated, participants will be selected based on regional balance of countries represented, support for small and developing countries, gender balance, and responsibility for digital policy issues at the mission.

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