[IRP] Problem of abject poverty and hunger (was Re: Call notes...)

Norbert Bollow nb
Wed Aug 10 10:54:15 EEST 2011

Parminder <parminder at itforchange.net> wrote:

> Yes, we need to show that we do notice abject poverty and hunger, and I 
> am not sure there will be any other clear initiative at the IGF to do 
> so. And of course, in any case, civil society should stand up first in 
> case of such issues.
> However, perhaps by habit trying to be a little difficult :), could we 
> actually look at what is happening in that part of the world and what 
> are the normally recognised causes for it, and see where does global 
> governance, and if indeed it does connect, Internet governance, figure 
> in. And accordingly, what a meet on global Internet governance cna and 
> should say to these people facing such trying conditions. That I think 
> would be even more appropriate. Just my 2 paisa.

Strongly seconded. We need to engage with the real problems,
and their systemic causes, and figure out in what (small or
perhaps bigger) ways we can contribute to actual progress
towards the problems getting solved. The internet and IG are
not magic bullets, and by just participating in the IGF we're
not doing anything that contributes to these problems going
away. But there is something that we have that I believe is
of value with regard to these challenges: In the ICT world,
systemic processes are more easily visible and they occur on
a faster timescale than most physical-world development and
economic decay processes. So maybe internet governance could
be seen as a kind of laboratory that is valuable for learning
important lessons about systemic phenomena, lessons that are
important for addressing the problem area of poverty?

So what IMO should be done is to really work on understanding
the systemic processes in internet governance and in physical-
world development and economic decay, analyzing parallels and
differences, and looking for what can be learned from the former
that may possibly be applicable to the latter.


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