The Network of Centers (NoC) in Brief
The NoC a collaborative initiative among academic institutions with a focus on interdisciplinary research on the development, social impact, policy implications, and legal issues concerning the Internet. This collective aims to increase interoperability between participating centers in order to stimulate the creation of new cross-national, cross-disciplinary conversation, debate, teaching, learning, and engagement regarding the most pressing questions around new technologies, social change, and related policy and regulatory developments.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the NoC’s current focus?
There are three main focus areas for 2020. We seek to (1) increase the analytical capabilities of the network through its individual nodes as well as cross-network collaboration, i.e. continue to build NoC as a “sensory” system for Internet & society issues across the globe; (2) augment educational capacity across Centers and continents, drawing from the model of summer schools, fellows programs, and other educational activities across the NoC; and (3) offer practical guidance to policymakers through toolkits, playbooks, and other materials where NoC Centers work closely with governmental, private sector, and civil society stakeholders on problems they face translating values or principles into implementation. To learn more, please visit our "(Research) Activities" and "Events" pages.
What were previous areas of focus?
How can a Center become part of the NoC?
For more information on how to join the NoC with your center, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. In brief: The application process includes a short survey to learn more about the applying Center, a review process led by the Executive Committee, and a request for additional inputs to be shared on this website.
How can people in the NoC work together?
There are many ways to collaborate under the NoC umbrella. People affiliated with Centers in the network have collaborated to co-produce research papers, policy briefings, educational courses and materials, workshops, technical tools, exchange programs, learning calls, and other forms of outputs -- however, there is no set format or requirement for collaboration, and we encourage those interested in contributing to reach out to Centers working on topics related to their interests or to the Secretariat. More details can be found on the "Get Involved" page.
I'm not affiliated with a Center part of the NoC. What opportunities within the NoC are available to me?
We recommend taking a look at the Get Involved and the Programs pages. The NoC itself often serves as a co-convener or co-host of different events that in most cases are open to people not affiliated with a Center in the network. Participants of the NoC are also often present at large conferences (e.g., Internet Governance Forum, RightsCon, AI for Good) where interested contributors can meet NoC representatives to learn more about how to get involved in research efforts. Additionally, many Centers in the network host programs (e.g., fellowships, internships) which interested contributors may apply to; further information about programs can be found on the websites of each individual Center. Some Centers may also be able to host visitors at their Centers for shorter periods of time.
The Center I’m affiliated with is part of the NoC but I’m not sure who the contact person is or how I could get more involved.
Please find here the current list of Centers and contacts for each Center.
How is the NoC governed?
The Network is peer-based and built upon meaningful collaboration. It is directed by an Executive Committee, consisting of director-level liaisons of the participating centers, and operates based on the principle of “rough consensus”. The administrative lead (Secretariat) periodically alternates among participating centers in the NoC.
The following Centers currently form the Executive Committee: The Institute for Technology & Society (ITS) Rio, The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG), The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society (USA), The Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University Delhi (CCG), The Digital Asia Hub (DAH), and The Nexa Center for Internet & Society, Politecnico di Torino.
Who leads the NoC Secretariat?
As a decentralized initiative, the NoC’s coordination periodically alternates among member by Centers in the network and has included:
- 2013 - 2014: Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society
- 2015 - 2016: Nexa Center for Internet & Society at Politecnico di Torino
- 2017 - 2019: Institute for Technology and Society of Rio (ITS Rio)
- (Interim) 2020 - Present: Berkman Klein Center for Internet Society at Harvard University. More information under "Contacts Us"
How is the NoC funded?
The participating centers of the NoC can individually and collectively engage in fundraising efforts on issues relevant to the Network. The activities are governed by the respective rules applicable to each participating center (e.g. University’s fundraising and conflict of interest policies). The Executive Committee is responsible that any funding directed towards the activities of the Network will respect and bolster the values of the Network.
Does the NoC take policy positions?
The NoC operates independently from governments, political parties and economic interests and does not take formal positions on policy issues.
When was the NoC created?
Acknowledging a lack of internationally coordinated research and engagement activities in the areas mentioned above, a group of academic centers launched the NoC in 2012, within an international Symposium on Internet-Driven Developments: Structural Changes and Tipping Points (SCTP).
Who created the NoC?
The Network was incubated by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University in partnership with an international group of Internet & society Centers that included: The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet & Society, The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, The Centre for Internet and Society Bangalore, The Center for Technology & Society at the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) Law School, KEIO University SFC, The MIT Media Lab, The MIT Center for Civic Media, and The NEXA Center for Internet & Society at Politecnico di Torino.