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It is with great pleasure that I invite you to read this multi-disciplinary and forward-looking Working Paper Series.

Over the past two years, Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) supported the research of numerous experts and next-generation scholars that is reflected in this Working Paper Series.

These papers engage topics fundamental to understanding today’s and tomorrow’s world, and they tackle complex subjects that range from who should govern the Internet, to what the rules of engagement for cyber conflict are likely to be, to how privacy should be addressed in this age of Big Data, to how digital technology can be used to reshape traditional economic sectors and business models, and many more.

This academic work was undertaken with the vital support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York as part of SIPA’s Tech & Policy Initiative, an ambitious effort to explore the intersection of the digital world and SIPA’s core fields of study.

The goal of this Initiative is to bridge the gap between policymakers, academics and practitioners in cybersecurity, internet governance and the digital economy and to have a powerful impact on government policies and the behavior of the private sector.  As an institution, SIPA is becoming a global hub for policy-relevant, multidisciplinary training, research and engagement on the important issues around technology and public policy. The Tech & Policy Initiative draws on many disciplines and talented researchers within SIPA, in other parts of Columbia University, and outside entities to develop insights that will translate into better and more effective policies.

This volume also includes papers prepared for SIPA’s 2016 Global Digital Futures Policy Forum, an annual conference that brought together more than 200 scholars, private sector leaders, legal experts, entrepreneurs, technologists, and others to discuss the domestic and international dimensions of data governance in the context of technological change and globalization.

We hope you will find these papers insightful and an illustration of the many opportunities and challenges associated with tackling this complex and ever-evolving field.


Merit E. Janow
Dean, School of International and Public Affairs
Professor of Practice, International Economic Law and International Affairs