Global Network of Internet & Society Research Centers

Status: 
ongoing
Period: 
October 2014 - present
Funding: 
80,000 € (until 2016)
Funding organization: 

Compagnia di San Paolo (in-kind from 2017)

Person(s) in charge: 

Juan Carlos De Martin (coordinator), Antonio Santangelo (Senior Researcher)

Executive summary: 

The Global Network of Internet & Society Research Centers (NoC) is a collaborative initiative among academic institutions (https://networkofcenters.net/centers).
Since late 2012, the Nexa Center is amongst the eight founding members of the Global Network of Interdisciplinary Internet & Society Research Centers (NoC). During 2013 and 2014, the Nexa Center has been involved in several NoC activities, as member of the Steering Committee. In October 2014, the Nexa Center took the role of administrative coordinator of the Network, until October 2016. The Nexa Center is playing the role of contact point and facilitator. In particular, building on previous work and achievements, the main objective of the Nexa coordination strategy 2014-2016 is to contribute in making the NoC the most relevant Internet & Society research community worldwide both as a group of institutions and as a network of individuals. Since 2017, the Nexa Center is involved in the development and implementation of a semantic connected platform, an umbrella tool that collects and connect knowledge, project, people, resources from the world of Noc. This platform is the improvement of the previous NoC online community platform, always realized by the Nexa Center in 2016.

Background: 

The NoC is a collaborative initiative among academic institutions with a focus on interdisciplinary research and a strong attention to the social impact and policy implications of their research agenda. During 2013 and 2014, the Nexa Center has been involved in several NoC activities, as member of the Steering Committee. In particular, the roadmap and guiding principles for the NoC were discussed, with the aim to set up common practices for knowledge exchange amongst the NoC members (such as learning calls, workshops and conference), and joint research threads, focusing on interdisciplinary topics such as the role of online intermediaries, and Internet governance. In October 2014, the Nexa Center took the role of administrative coordinator of the Network, until October 2016.

Objectives: 

Several initiatives were foreseen as part of this initiative. Some of them relate to internal management (including the online presence of the NoC), others with the facilitation of research projects, such as the ones on Internet Governance models and on the role of Online Intermediaries (see http://www.networkofcenters.net/research), as well as other special initiatives, such as the public consultation on the Italian Declaration of Internet Rights.

Results: 

Last Update: 2020-6-13

See the NoC recent updates.

On December 2016, the Nexa Center handed over the activities to the next NoC coordinator, the ITS in Rio de Janeiro.

On December 2016, the Nexa Center handed over the activities to the next NoC coordinator, the ITS in Rio de Janeiro. On November 23, before handing over the activities to ITS Rio, the NoC counted 76 Research Centers. A full list of the Centers is available at networkofcenters.net/centers: On October 8, 2016, an informal meeting of the NoC took place in Berlin in the occasion of the AoIR2016 conference. For Spring 2016 a series of Hangout Calls on Internet & Society hot topics is planned. Since 2017, the Nexa Center works on the development and implementation of the new semantic connected platform of NoC. A “beta” version of this platform has been presented by the Nexa Center within the annual meeting of the NoC, which took place in Rio de Janeiro on November 6-12, 2017.

From 2018 onwards, including the reporting period, the Nexa Center, in addition to actively participating in the informal (hangout calls) and formal meetings of the NoC, continued to collaborate with its community. The collaboration took the form of two main initiatives: the presentation (Elena Beretta) of the research paper “Ethical and Socially-Aware Data Labels (https://nexa.polito.it/nexacenterfiles/Beretta_Data_Ethics.pdf) within the Conference “AI: Legal & Ethical Implications” held in the Center for Cyber Law & Policy, University of Haifa (http://cyber.haifa.ac.il/); the collaboration to the first design of an Erasmus+ Jean Monnet - Networks initiative (“Growing European Societies in the Digital Age: Sustainability, Social and Legal Issues”), together with the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (Barcelona), the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (Berlin), the Center for Internet and Society (Paris), the Haifa Center for Law & Technology (Haifa) and the New Research on Digital Societies (Warsaw).

From 2019 onwards, the Nexa Center continued to collaborate with its community by participating in the "NoC @IGF 2020 and in the Research Sprint “AI and Content Moderation”. As part of the Internet Governance Forum 2020, the NoC organized, in collaboration with Wikimedia Italia, the Virtual Village Booth: the Nexa Center participated in the “Interactive Chats” , with a speech by Juan Carlos De Martin (available here) to talk about the projects of the center and the experience of Biennale Tecnologia, and contributed to populating a virtual exhibition space dedicated to the works of the centers pertaining to the NoC. As part of the project “The Ethics of Digitalisation – From Principles to Practices”, organized by Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG), the Nexa Center participated in the Research Sprint “AI and Content Moderation”, with an interview with Juan Carlos De Martin and Antonio Vetrò: the sprint, which took place virtually over the course of ten weeks from August until October 2020, was the first research format of the project “The Ethics of Digitalisation – from Principles to Practices” under the patronage of the German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. This project, which will run until July 2022, aims to foster a global dialogue on the ethics of digitalisation by involving stakeholders from academia, civil society, policy, and the industry. The project comprises research sprints and smaller clinic formats hosted by several research institutes of the Global Network of Centers.

Related Publications: