GNI membership brings together individual experts (including academics joining in their personal capacity) and academic institutions, civil society organizations, ICT companies, and investors from all over the world to promote privacy and freedom of expression. All constituencies play an active role in promoting the GNI Principles and work collaboratively in a multistakeholder manner, while maintaining distinct roles. For example:
- Academics bring analysis, research, and insight into trends to the work of GNI;
- Civil Society Organizations bring their in-depth knowledge and expertise on human rights along with direct connection to people on the ground in many countries around the world;
- Companies commit to implementing and upholding the GNI Principles within their organizations; and
- Investors include consideration of the issues covered in the GNI Principles into their investment decision making.
This page outlines the application requirements by constituency and the membership application process. Interested organizations and individuals are encouraged to contact GNI at [email protected] to express their interest in GNI membership before submitting a statement of intent (SOI).
The academic constituency is open to individual experts (including academics) joining in their personal capacity and academic institutions.
Individual Experts, including Academics
The academic constituency allows members to join in their personal capacity. Potential applicants may be academics affiliated with a university or other institution of higher education in a given country, dedicated to independent research and teaching in the university environment in areas related to GNI’s mandate, and who want to join in an individual capacity. Potential applicants may also be independent experts who possess appropriate work history and demonstrable expertise in human rights and/or the Internet and ICT sector. Publications, advocacy and/or public speaking on subjects relevant to GNI are preferred, but not necessarily required from potential applicants. To apply for GNI membership as individual experts or academics, please review the relevant SOI requirements.
The academic constituency is also open to research centers, clinics, institutes, or other entities affiliated with academic institutions of higher education involved in independent research and/or teaching in the areas related to GNI’s mandate. To apply for GNI membership as an academic institution, please review the relevant SOI requirements.
CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS
The civil society constituency is open to research or advocacy-oriented civil society organizations working on digital rights issues at global, regional, national, or local level. To apply for GNI membership as a civil society organization, please review the relevant SOI requirements.
The company constituency is open to ICT sector entities who consider that they would benefit from implementing the GNI Principles and Implementation Guidelines. These may include equipment manufacturers, network operators, telecommunications, or Internet service providers. Such entities are usually for-profit or benefit corporations but may also be not-for-profit in nature. Applicants to this constituency may apply first for a one-year “observer” status, which allows for participation in GNI’s policy and learning (but not assessment/accountability) activities on a trial basis. Learn more about the value of GNI membership for companies in this one pager. To apply for GNI membership or observer status as a company, please review the relevant SOI requirements.
The investor constituency is open to investment firms or groups anywhere in the world. To apply for GNI membership as an investor, please review the relevant SOI requirements.
MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION PROCESS OVERVIEW
Step 1 – A Statement of Intent
Interested organizations and individuals are encouraged to contact GNI at [email protected] to express their interest in GNI membership before submitting a SOI. When submitting a SOI, please follow the criteria per constituency as described on this page.
Step 2 – Follow Up
Once we have received your SOI, GNI staff may contact you to discuss membership in more detail, if your application is viable.
Step 3 – Consultation with existing GNI participants
We will talk with members of the constituency that you plan to join. For example, if you are an academic, we will consult with the academic constituency. As a next step, your application materials will be reviewed by our multistakeholder Membership Committee.
Step 4 – Decision by the GNI Board
As a final step, the Executive Director will make a recommendation to the GNI Board members who will then vote on your application.
Step 5 – Notification of the GNI Board’s decision
You will be contacted by the Executive Director to inform you of the GNI Board’s decision.