In line with NoC’s guiding principles, the Network will continue to expand over time, building upon existing and future collaborations with the participating centers and collectively evolving its structure and practices. The Network is peer-based and built upon actual collaboration and it is directed by an executive committee consisting of director-level liaisons of NoC’s founding centers, with governance based on the principle of "rough consensus". The administrative lead, which has been exercised by the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in NoC's first two years, periodically alternates among the participating centers. In October 2014, Nexa Center for Internet and Society at Politecnico di Torino took the administrative lead, which was passed to the Institute for Technology and Society of Rio, in 2017.
The NoC encompasses two types of participants:
- “Participating Centers”, i.e., academic research centers whose agenda is primarily focused on Internet & Society topics;
- “Affiliated Participants”, i.e., other types of institutions, still with Internet & Society-related open threads, carried out, e.g., as non-academic research centers, policy-support entities, or think tanks.