6th European Summer School on Internet Governance (EuroSSIG)

Meissen / Germany July 22 – 28, 2012



Programme / Lecture notes

Photo gallery 2012

Learning in a multistakeholder environment: EuroSSIG teaches the Internet governance leaders of tomorrow

The 6th edition of the European Summer School on Internet Governance (EuroSSIG) in Meissen / Germany completed after six days of intense lectures and discussion end of July 2012.

For its 2012 version, EuroSSIG received 110 applications from various countries all over the world. Out of this, 25 applicants were approved representing 22 countries, from Malaysia, India, Comoros Islands, Botswana, Burundi, Niger, Brazil and Peru etc. with a majority from Europe (Armenia, Albania, France, Germany, Norway, Serbia and Ukraine). This year, the distribution of fellows among stakeholder groups was rather balanced between academia (8), civil society (5), business sector (5), governmental agencies (3) among others (4). EuroSSIG brings together students with various backgrounds to promote a better understanding of the global Internet Governance controversy and to provide comprehensive and structured knowledge on the various aspects of Internet Governance.

The 32 members of the faculty are outstanding international experts from the world leading universities as well as experienced managers from the Internet community who have actively participated in WSIS, WGIG, IGF, EuroDIG, ICANN and other Internet policy making bodies.

EuroSSIG’s annual one-week program covers the political, legal, economic, socio-cultural and technological dimensions of the governance of the Internet as well as issues like human rights, cybercrime, privacy and intellectual property. The course includes also practical oriented lectures about the management of critical Internet resources (CIR) like domain names, IP addresses, root servers and Internet protocols. Speakers came, inter alia, from the ICANN board, RIPE NCC, the Council of Europe, the European Commission, ISOC, Afilias, Verisign, Verizon, Walt Disney Company, EURid, DENIC, SWITCH, nic.at, nic.br, eco, AT&T, Google and the Paris based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The 2012 EuroSSIG program was slightly modified offering more interactive sessions like parallel Workshops conducted by faculty members.

EuroSSIG is convened in an old monastery – a place where the father of the German enlightenment Gotthold Ephraim Lessing went to school – and offers a unique environment and atmosphere for intense studies. Since 2007, more than 175 fellows from all over the world have enjoyed this combination of middle age architecture with 21st century ideas what creates the special “Spirit of Meissen”. “It is the best place in the world for such a course on Internet Governance”, reaffirmed Milton Mueller from the University of Syracuse, author of the standard work “Networks and States”.

“Internet governance is not yet an established academic discipline you can study at a university’s faculty”, Wolfgang Kleinwächter, founder and chair of the EuroSSIG faculty said. “It is a multidisciplinary issue which crosses law, business, history, political, social and cultural science, informatics and mathematics and it has a very practical component. This special kind of knowledge is needed by a broad range of various constituencies working in the Internet world”. And he added: “With EuroSSIG we provide a high level space for learning in a multi-stakeholder environment where we enable fellows to become leaders of Internet Governance of tomorrow.”

EuroSSIG’s self-claimed aspiration to train “leaders of Internet Governance of tomorrow” has proofed not being just a common marketing slogan – over the years since its inauguration EuroSSIG fellows made outstanding careers in international organizations, governmental bodies, leading enterprises or universities.

The establishment of the EuroSSIG goes back to discussions within the UN Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) which was established by the former UN Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, to prepare the 2nd phase of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis (2005). Meanwhile, there is also a South Summer School on Internet Governance for Latin America and the Caribbean which had its 4th edition in Bogota in March 2012. The launching of comparable summer schools in other regions is under discussion.

During the forthcoming 7th IGF in Baku, Azerbaijan, the SSIG concept will be presented and re-discussed. The 7h EuroSSIG will take place early August 2013 in Meissen again. The EuroSSIG is a private initiative, organized by Medienstadt Leipzig e. V., a recognized At Large Structure (ALS) under the ICANN Bylaws, and is supported by a broad range of Internet businesses and service providers.

Background image by: Manfred Kloppert, Dresden