Crowdsourcing Ideas as an Emerging Form of Multistakeholder Participation in Internet Governance
Policy & Internet, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., September 2015, DOI: 10.1002/poi3.99
22 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2015 Last revised: 14 Apr 2017
Date Written: August 14, 2015
The online crowdsourcing of ideas for institutional change and legislation drafting has been widely adopted by public bodies from the local to the international level, for improving legitimacy, transparency, and accountability. In multistakeholder set-ups, such an approach seems to fulfill the promise of openness, real-time engagement and cross-fertilization of ideas. Global Internet policymaking appears as a natural experiment for harnessing the potential of crowdsourcing, in particular, as a means to restore trust after the Snowden revelations of mass surveillance. This article investigates two key initiatives of online collective brainstorming for digital policies: ICANN’s Strategy Panel on Multistakeholder Innovation and the NETmundial process, highlighting the merits and limitations of crowdsourcing as an emerging form of multistakeholder participation. Our findings underscore the need for leveraging sufficient community interest for substantial input; defining procedures for the collection and screening of inputs; and committing to institutionalizing rules for incorporating feedback.
Keywords: crowdsourcing, Internet, participation, public policy, Internet governance, ICANN, NETmundial
JEL Classification: O33, O38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation