Mapping the Future of the Internet onto Global Scenarios: A preliminary view

By Heather Creech, Maja Andjelkovic, Tony Vetter, Don MacLean, Dale S. Rothman, Philip J. Vergragt on January 20, 2009

IISD has observed that consideration of the impact of the Internet and its associated technologies has been either absent or quite narrow in most sustainability scenarios. These scenarios have ranged from assuming the role of the Internet is neutral to viewing the technologies as a driver of globalization, albeit with a predominantly narrow focus on economic implications. Consequently, many scenario-building initiatives have failed to adequately consider how the Internet and related information and communications technologies (ICTs) are actually transforming institutions and governance, and impacting social development and environmental management. These scenarios fail to bring to the forefront of global governance challenges how the Internet/ICTs have an impact on issues such as privacy, security and trust of institutions. Policy decisions taken regarding Internet development, deployment, access and use can have significant positive and negative consequences in this broader context.

This paper begins to address the issue by offering a preliminary view of how the future of the Internet could be considered within global scenarios.

Report details

IISD, 2009