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Digital Skills Workshops before 2021

A series of workshops open to PhD students of the Institute.

The Internet, Power, and the Civil Society

This workshop will discuss the impact digital technologies have on our political and economic existence. How is the Internet governed? How have digital government practices evolved? How does it affect your freedom and research/critical activities as a citizen, researcher or activist in the age of corporate and state surveillance?

This two-day workshop will take place over the following dates:

  • Saturday 12 October
  • Friday 15 November (2h)
  • Saturday 16 November, with a repeat on Sunday 17 November 

Saturday 12 October, auditorium A2

Governing the Internet: the technical, the legal and the political
(Roxana Radu, 4h)

The Internet is the largest collaboration of all times and the biggest global market, but also the largest mass-surveillance tool ever devised. Its governance is highly disputed, as its power is distributed among various centres of power. While the Internet infrastructure is in private hands, decisions about the technical architecture and the regulation of online behaviour reflect public interest considerations. This session will explore the technical, legal and political motivations underpinning Internet regulation and the current debates around public-private arrangements and digital rights.

Roxana Radu is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Oxford’s Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy, working on Internet regulation, algorithms and knowledge production in the public sphere. She is also a Research Associate at the Global Governance Centre, Graduate Institute in Geneva and a non-residential fellow at the Centre for Media, Data and Society, Central European University. Until May 2018, she was Programme Manager at the Geneva Internet Platform, a dialogue and capacity building centre for Internet governance and digital policy and was chairing the non-for-profit Internet Society-Switzerland. Roxana holds a PhD in International Relations/Political Science from the Graduate Institute. She is the author of Negotiating Internet Governance (Oxford University Press, 2019, open access).


Digital technologies: opportunities and challenges for state and non-state actors
(Jérôme Duberry, 4h)

This session provides students with an overview of the opportunities and challenges for the progressive digital transformation of international relations. Internet, social media, mobiles and other recent digital technology advances such as blockchain and artificial intelligence have unleashed powerful forces that shape and reshape the balance of power on the international stage. Technologies affect the performance of information-based activities and change how individuals, communities and organisations interact with each other. From digital diplomacy to cybersecurity, state and non-state actors must adapt to this new normal, and develop new competencies and instruments to influence, cooperate and compete.

Alumni and Lecturer at the Graduate Institute, Jérôme Duberry is also a Researcher at the GSI, University of Geneva. His research activities revolve around the contemporary transformations of society and international actors in a process of adaptation to the emergence of digital technologies. He holds a PhD in international relations from the University Pompeu Fabra (Spain). His latest book, entitled “Global environmental governance in the digital age”, discusses the impact of digital technologies on some environmental actors.

Friday 15 November

Internet Economics and Policies (Michael Kende, 2h)

The impact of the Internet is growing in breadth and depth, fostering innovative new companies, transforming traditional industries, reshaping government interactions, and increasing opportunities for social inclusion. The growth of the Internet has been enabled by the economics of the Internet; services are often free, usage at work, home, and public hotspots is often not metered, and the standards are open for anyone to develop new services, applications, and devices. These characteristics, in turn, fuel the growth of large platforms that have generated concerns recently about privacy and data protection, content availability, and market power that are leading new calls for governance. The workshop will introduce the economics of the Internet, the resulting issues behind the recent "techlash", and evaluate policies that are being discussed to address the concerns.

Michael Kende is a Senior Advisor at Analysys Mason, a senior advisor to the World Bank, and has been teaching a course on Internet Economics at the Graduate Institute for the past four years. Most recently, he was the Chief Economist of the Internet Society. Prior to joining the Internet Society in August 2013, Michael Kende was a partner at Analysys Mason, a global consulting firm focused on telecommunications and media. He was head of the Policy and Regulatory sector, head of the U.S. office, and most recently was in charge of developing its Internet practice at Analysys Mason. He has done a significant amount of work on promoting Internet development in emerging regions around the world. He is also working on the economics of cybersecurity, as a means to reduce data breaches and increase trust in the Internet. He has a Ph.D. in economics from MIT and after MIT, he spent five years as a professor of Economics at INSEAD. He was also the Director of Internet Policy Analysis at the US Federal Communications Commission, where he was responsible for managing a wide range of policy analyses and regulatory decisions.

Saturday 16 November & Sunday 17 November, room S6 (choose 1 day)

Exposing the Invisible: tactics and tools for safer investigations
(Laura Ranca, 6h)

At a time when the world is saturated with information, the act of verifying and investigating has become vital to assessing credibility and making sense of the noise and actions around us. Whether it aims to find the source of a problem, expose abuse of power or make sense of leaked data, investigation as a practice is relevant for the work of a researcher, a journalist, a Human Rights activist, a whistle-blower, or a concerned citizen trying to uncover information. Sometimes the mere act of questioning or researching exposes you to risks, even more so in the increasingly challenging environments around world. These risks vary based on the investigation methods and tools you use, the topics you address, the contexts you work in, and the capabilities of your potential adversaries.

This session will focus on evidence discovery, data collection and related safety and privacy considerations across multiple environments (online, offline, geographies and transit). It will introduce you to innovative techniques, tactics, tools and available resources meant to support you in the investigative process while incorporating essential security practices to help protect yourself, your data and the people you work with.

Tactical Tech is an international NGO that engages with citizens and civil-society organisations to explore and mitigate the impacts of technology on society. It uses its findings to develop practical solutions for an environment where digital technologies can contribute to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable society. Laura Ranca leads Tactical Tech's Exposing the Invisible project, which provides techniques, training and resources for safer digital and non-digital investigations. She is a researcher, investigator and trainer with over 12 years of experience in the field.