WSIS Forum 2024: Tackling AI challenges

Multi-stakeholder collaboration for corporate accountability on ethical AI

A side event of the WSIS+20 Forum High-Level Event, Geneva, Switzerland.

The Collective Impact Coalition for Ethical AI 

In September 2022, the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) launched the Collective Impact Coalition for Ethical AI (“CIC for Ethical AI”), a collaborative engagement initiative aimed at driving measurable progress in the adoption of ethical AI principles by digital technology companies assessed under the Digital Inclusion Benchmark. As of April 2024, the initiative comprises 60 investors as well as 12 non-governmental organizations, research institutions, and other entities that collectively form a broad civil society arm. 

In its first phase (Sep 2022 – Feb 2024), the investor wing of the CIC has coordinated engagement efforts by lead and supporting investors for each company, with the primary aim of eliciting public ethical AI principles from those that lacked them. Through a structured allocation process that incorporated their engagement preferences, investors were assigned lead or supporting roles and sought dialogue with the companies, subsequently reporting on the outcomes in quarterly CIC investor meetings and via reporting forms. 

By September 2023, the Digital CIC had yielded the following results and findings, per its 2023 Progress Report: 

  • 19 of the 200 companies benchmarked in the Digital Inclusion Benchmark had published their first ethical AI principles. Overall, as of September 2023, 52 companies had published ethical AI principles, up from 33 in the 2021 Digital Inclusion Benchmark; 
  • Investors had led outreach to 44 companies that lacked a public set of ethical AI principles, of which 28 had been responsive to outreach through emails and calls on the subject; 
  • Preliminary data from WBA revealed that companies consistently failed to disclose information about how their principles are implemented (8 out of 52 companies with AI principles) and how AI-related impacts are considered in human rights impact assessments (6 out of 52). 

For more information and data regarding Phase 1, please see the 2023 Progress Report. 

The CIC for Ethical AI is currently in the next phase. In this new phase, the initiative’s formal scope will expand to include three new expectations of companies, building on the core expectation of publishing their AI principles. Companies will be asked to demonstrate i) how they are implementing their published AI principles; ii) how AI risks are reflected in their human rights impact assessments, and iii) what governance mechanisms underpin the development, deployment, and procurement of AI technology. The CIC will continue to engage with the companies that do not yet have public ethical AI principles. However, its coverage will expand to all 200 companies evaluated in the 2023 Digital Inclusion Benchmark.

Objective of the Side Event 

This event will explore the role of multi-stakeholder collaboration in tackling the challenges of AI, and will bring together governments, investors, civil society organizations, think tanks, business groups and other stakeholders in the digital sector to discuss how they can leverage common interests in driving corporate accountability towards ethical AI for an inclusive digital economy. 

Programme: Running Time 45 minutes 

Moderator Welcome/Opening remarks: 

Nicholas Sewe,  

Engagement Lead, World Benchmarking Alliance 

Panel discussion: 

  • Shabnam Mojtahedi, Legal Advisor, ICNL (International Center for Not-for-Profit Law) 
  • Michel de Souza, Public Policy Director, Derechos Digitales  
  • Benjamin Chekroun, Lead Stewardship Analyst – Proxy Voting and Engagement, CANDRIAM 
  • Caitlin Kraft-Buchman, CEO/Founder, Women at the Table  
  • Boni Pudjianto, PhD, Director of Digital Economy, ICT Ministry Indonesia  

Q&A session: 

Moderator invites speakers to respond to questions from audience 

Question to audience: How can multi-stakeholders work together to ensure implementation of regional and global AI governance policies? 

Closing remarks 

Moderator closing:

Nicholas Sewe, Engagement Lead, World Benchmarking Alliance 



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