Crowdsourcing ideas as an emerging form of multistakeholder participation in Internet governance

What are the linkages between multistakeholder governance and crowdsourcing? Both are new — trendy, if you will — approaches to governance premised on the potential of collective wisdom, bringing together diverse groups in policy-shaping processes. Their interlinkage has remained underexplored so far. Our article recently published in Policy and Internet sought to investigate this in the context of Internet governance, in order to assess the extent to which crowdsourcing represents an emerging opportunity of participation in global public policymaking.

We examined two recent Internet governance initiatives which incorporated crowdsourcing with mixed results: the first one, the ICANN Strategy Panel on Multistakeholder Innovation, received only limited support from the online community; the second, NETmundial, had a significant number of online inputs from global stakeholders who had the opportunity to engage using a platform for political participation specifically set up for the drafting of the outcome document. The study builds on these two cases to evaluate how crowdsourcing was used as a form of public consultation aimed at bringing the online voice of the “undefined many” (as opposed to the “elected few”) into Internet governance processes.

Read the full article in The Policy and Internet Blog – University of Oxford.