Is there a place where you can find examples of best practices in broadband deployment? How would you share your expertise and work that may impact the further evolution of the Internet? Who can you talk to about crypto currencies? How would you find out what regional organizations are giving guidance on the development of national cyber strategies? How would you analyze online gambling? Are there advocacy groups in your country that focus on intermediary liability issues?
The truth is, it’s not easy to find which people and organizations are working on specific Internet governance issues. Nor is it easy to share your expertise and hightlight practices and resources that could be useful to others. While there’s plenty of data, it tends to be scattered, and clustered chiefly in silos within large organizations. Tapping into a wider, decentralized body of knowledge—experts that exist around the world, citizen and user groups that harbour a wealth of experience—remains difficult.
That’s why the NETmundial Solutions Map, a crowdsourced information-sharing resource and endorsedNETmundial Initiative (), is trying to change the way we map the Internet governance ecosystem. Next week, at the Internet Governance Fourm (#IGF2015) meeting in Brazil, we will be launching a global campaign that calls upon members of the community to put themselves, and their organizations #OnTheMap, and to start share their work and their expertise. The Map is already partnering with organizations like Global Partners Digital, Association for Progressive Communications (APC), the Berkman Center, and the Global Internet Policy Observatory (GIPO) – among others – to provide an interactive platform where information on Internet governance issues can be shared, expanded upon and curated by users. Just like Wikipedia, the Map enables individuals and organizations to contribute their knowledge of the field, ultimately providing a common resource that is crowdsourced and peer-vetted.
Like the Internet itself, the Map relies on bottom-up participation to create value. This makes the knowledge-repository aspect of the Map unique, as well as important: if you don’t see yourself, your organization or your initiative, just enter the information yourself! You can contribute your knowledge to a range of issues related to Internet governance, for example by listing the actors involved in the space, current solutions and efforts (such as laws and policies, technical standards and tools), or by identifying further resources (such as research, courses, etc). Use the Map visualization to see connections between different Internet governance actors and solutions, as well as gaps that could be filled by new forms of collaboration.
The value of the Map depends entirely on the data submitted by users. For the Map to be genuinely useful, it requires regular and up-to-date contributions – on actors, solutions, and resources – from the global Internet governance community.
Please add yourself #OnTheMap today at https://map.netmundial.org/. Put yourself, your organization and your project #OnTheMap. Then, let others know that you’re #OnTheMap @netmundialmap. In this way, you can help turn this global, crowd-sourced and innovative new tool into a sustainable and evolving resource.
We are also eager to engage new partner-organizations in the further development of the Map. Let us know if you would like to join us and our existing partners in this effort to share the collective expertise on Internet Governance (firstname.lastname@example.org or @netmundialmap).
Finally, if you plan to attend #IGF2015, looking forward to meet you (or join our session on Monday, November 9, at 16.30 pm).