Global Network Initiative Code of Conduct for GNI Listservs, Forums, Activities, and Events


The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is guided in its activities by a set of [Core Documents], which clarify its purpose, structure, and governance. In furtherance of its mission and objectives, GNI is committed to providing a safe, respectful, and welcoming environment for all GNI members, staff, and guests (collectively, “participants”). All who engage in GNI listservs, forums, activities, and events (collectively, “GNI activities”) are expected to abide by the GNI Code of Conduct, which applies regardless of whether the GNI activity takes place in person or online.

Expected Conduct

GNI welcomes and supports people and organizations of all cultures, backgrounds, and identities. Although most GNI communications and activities are conducted in English, we encourage all who engage in GNI activities to recognize and appreciate that English is not a first or primary language for many participants. Communicating slowly and clearly can help ensure smoother communication and more equitable participation.

This Code of Conduct is intended to ensure that a collaborative, respectful environment is fostered by everyone who engages in GNI activities, whether online (webinars, mailing lists, social media, etc.) or offline (meetings, roundtables, learning fora, convenings, etc.). GNI aims to encourage vigorous and respectful expression of a diversity of views and voices on the substance of issues by fostering and preserving inclusive and collaborative spaces and building mutual respect, responsibility, integrity, and trust.

GNI can thrive when all participants:

  • Treat all participants with respect, inclusivity, and consideration;
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, exclusionary, or harassing behavior, materials, and speech;
  • Provide constructive feedback in a professional and respectful manner;
  • Maintain confidentiality as established for the setting in which individuals are engaged;
  • Collaborate with stakeholders from different backgrounds and welcome diverse perspectives, voices, and experiences;
  • Use communications channels (i.e., mailing lists, email threads) for their intended purposes.

Unacceptable Conduct

Individuals who participate (or plan to participate) in GNI activities, whether in person or virtually, should, with respect to the GNI activity, conduct themselves at all times in a manner that comports with both the letter and spirit of this policy prohibiting harassment and abusive behavior, whether before, during or after the activity. This includes statements made in social media postings, online publications, text messages, and all other forms of electronic communication.

Unacceptable behavior may include, but is not limited to:

  • Intimidation, harassment, or bullying;
  • Profanity, obscenity, slurs, or sexually-suggestive materials or comments;
  • Inappropriate verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, race, religion, and national origin;
  • Inappropriate physical contact and unwelcome sexual advances;
  • Violence or threats of violence, including violent language directed at another person;
  • Stalking, including repeated attempts of one-on-one communication despite requests to stop;
  • Failure to safeguard confidential or privately shared information, including publication of private communication without consent;
  • Posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information online (doxxing); and
  • Other conduct which could reasonably be considered inappropriate in a professional setting.


If you witness or experience behavior that you believe is contrary to this Code of Conduct at a GNI activity, or have concerns about any other form of mistreatment, please contact [email protected] or GNI staff immediately. You can expect a response within three business days.

GNI will endeavor to protect confidentiality where feasible and appropriate and will discuss the complaint with the complainant before taking any steps to investigate. GNI will retain the right to investigate and take action in response to any potential violation of this policy.

Incidence Response

Our staff has taken incident response training and responds to harassment reports quickly and thoroughly. As referenced above, if a participant engages in harassing behavior, whether in-person or virtually, the GNI staff may take any action they deem appropriate, ranging from issuance of a warning to the offending individual to expulsion from the GNI activity, depending on the circumstances. GNI reserves the right to exclude any participant found to be engaging in harassing behavior from participating in any further GNI activities.

Staff will also provide support to victims, including, but not limited to:

  • Providing an escort
  • Contacting hotel/venue security or local law enforcement
  • Briefing key event staff for response/victim assistance
  • And otherwise assisting those experiencing harassment to ensure that they feel safe for the duration of the event.


Behavior that violates the norms and expectations set out in this Code of Conduct will not be tolerated. Responses to such behavior may include actions up to and including termination of membership and/or rights to participate in ongoing and future GNI activities, as well as referrals to appropriate outside authorities. GNI may also communicate with the employer of a person who is found to have violated this Code of Conduct.

GNI will report the number of incidents that are considered under this policy and the number of incidents that are reviewed by the Code of Conduct Committee, as well as other, related information that is deemed relevant and does not identify individuals, on its website and/or in its annual report.