TS Workshop 258/134: Improving the IGF: How can we get the most out of IGF Improvement Processes? / IGF improvements Internet Society and ICC BASIS
Sixth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum
September 28, 2011 - 09:00AM
The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Sixth Meeting of the IGF, in Nairobi, Kenya. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: Good morning everyone. Welcome to the workshop on improving the IGF. How can we get the most out of IGF processes?
I'm Jeff Brueggeman with AT&T, one of the co-moderators. And my co-moderator is Jeanette Hofmann from the Social Science Research Center in Berlin. And we're happy to be here today.
I'm just going to do a quick introduction and then we will jump right in. The issue of IGF improvement has been an ongoing source of discussion in the IGF process and the public consultations every year as well as during the IGF meetings. In addition, the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development has established a working group to look at IGF improvements. So I see we have a diverse group of stakeholders both on the panel and in the room and this should be a lively discussion.
The only ground rules we have is that we ask that people try to be succinct and high level in their comments. And also please try to make constructive proposals. And we really want to this to be a great interactive constructive dialog. So please be respectful, and this should be a very interesting discussion.
With that, I'll turn it over to Jeanette.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Good morning also from me. It's my role to introduce our panelists. We have two representatives from government. First Ana Neves from Portugal. The head of international affairs at the Knowledge Society Agency, with the Ministry of Science.
Then we have Mr. William Tevie, over there -- he is here, by the way.
I forgot to mention that.
So Mr. William Tevie, he is the Director General of the National Information Technology Agency of Ghana.
Then we have from the Technical and the Business community, Patrik Faltstrom, senior consulting engineering with Cisco systems.
And we have Raul Echeberria, over there. Executive Director of LACNIC, the Internet address registry for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Then we have two speakers from Civil Society. Anriette Esterhuysen from APC couldn't make it. Instead we have Joy Liddicoat, also from APC.
And we have finally Parminder. He is with IT For Change from India.
We thought we don't do introductory statements. What we would like to do instead is go through all the issues that have been proposed as issues for improvement. And we thought we would ask our panelists to discuss these issues. And the audience can chip in at any point.
Before we do that, we thought we would ask Patrik to set the scene for those who are new to the process, because Patrik has been with the IGF and the IGF improvement process from early on. So, Patrik, why don't you start.
>> PATRIK FALTSTROM: Thank you very much. Patrik Faltstrom is my name, and as Jeanette said from the technical community here.
So what I would like to try to explain is what we have done so far and where we are.
The whole process regarding IGF started in 2005 and is based on the outcome of the WSIS process and the Tunis agenda. So that is where the whole idea of process is anchored.
The IGF was created with something called the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group and that's one of the things that I'm coming back to, a Chair and a Secretariat. The Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group or MAG is the smaller group that has been sort of, from a normal conference perspective, it has been hosting the yearly conferences and many open consultations on top of the internal meetings that MAG has had.
The MAG itself has been running under the Chatham house rules with individuals as participants. So what was discussed in the MAG and IGF process has to do with both the agenda for the upcoming IGF meeting, the summary of the previous IGF meeting, the IGF process itself, and this is one of the issues I think we should discuss today, how effective that has been. But what has been discussed is also the IGF process itself. And specifically the format of the open consultations, the MAG meetings, the IGF meeting, the operations of the Secretariat, appointment of MAG members and other officials. So that has been part of the discussions.
So just like all other organisations, I think it's important to remember that the MAG and IGF process has evolved over time. So, when we are talking about having the CSTD working group on IGF improvements, it is not the case that IGF has been static for these five years and suddenly we are trying to make a change.
In some areas there were agreements to changes and changes have been done. In some other areas there were agreements that there are problems, but we have not reached agreements on what to change to. In some areas there are not agreements that are the problem, and because of that we have also not been able to change anything. In some areas there have been agreements that things work very well and no changes have been made, of course.
So what has now happened is that this change process that has been discussed in IGF and MAG is now happening in more places, not only on the IGF meetings. One of the things that is being discussed is how effective this is to discuss it in multiple fora. The CSTD has the working group improvements on the IGF process. So that is one area where things are discussed and we are discussing it here as part of the IGF as well. And some people, like me personally, think that splitting up the -- discussing things in multiple locations is something that is not very effective, because people get confused and we're discussing more where to discuss the problems than discussing the problems. And I think we need to reach agreements on how to move forward.
>> JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: You might mention the status of the working group. That might be of interest, too.
>> PATRIK FALTSTROM: The status of the working group is that it was running and was supposed to deliver to the CSTD this spring. It delivered to the CSTD a Chairman's summary and it is now extended. So that's where we are.
So, the working group and IGF improvements is still ongoing.
It was up until a year ago something also on top of all of this, some uncertainty of the existence of the IGF, which is now as we all know resolved by the decision in the UN General Assembly on the five-year extension of the IGF itself.
So let me stop there and let others chime in. Thanks.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Thank you, Patrik. We want to go through these various issues, as I said before, and our goal is to sort of present the various opinions we have on each of these issues. And if we are lucky and have a constructive discussion, perhaps at the end we can at least see where we have common ground among the diversity of speakers and in the audience as well.
So the first issue we thought we would like to discuss concerns diversity of participation, including developing stakeholder participation. So, who of our panelists would like to speak up on that topic? What exactly needs improvement? What would you suggest? And of course why would you make such a specific suggestion?
>> RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Hi. Thank you.
I think that the participation is an issue that is not easily resolved. There are many things that we have to consider. One of them is probably what is the priority -- how much of a priority is the IGF for people in governments and other stakeholders from all the countries around the world?
For example, now we are meeting here in Africa. And so we have a broader participation from Africa. But we have participants from Latin America or Asia, maybe. And this is because those stakeholders from those regions are also participating in other things and they have to spend the limited resources, and they have to prioritize what forums they will attend. And so this is something that we will not change from here.
The other thing is that if -- it's difficult to travel. So it is very good that IGF rotates and meets every year in different regions. This is a very positive thing. And this is something that we should not change in any way.
And so this is, as I said before, having our meeting in Africa gave some more opportunities for Africans to participate. Having a meeting in Latin America provides for opportunities for Latin Americans to participate. But I think that the most -- the only way to, in my view, to improve the participation is through the regional meetings.
So, the limitations that I said before, I think that's still the most productive way to have more people involved in IGF is through the regional meetings.
For example, we organise the proprietary people in Latin America and we have more than 100 people from 20 something countries. This is participation that we wouldn't have in a meeting in Kenya. So the regional meetings are sometimes more important than the IGF itself if you see those meetings as part of the process.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Does everybody agree here that not much can be done about the main IGF session, but we should focus on the regionals?
>> WILLIAM TEVIE: Yes, from our example from West Africa, we have also had a West Africa IGF meeting, which has really been patronized by the countries in West Africa, the Cambia and other places. And we have had local Ghana IGF meetings which attracted more than 100 people where we discussed various topics. Like Raul said, it's sometimes difficult for us to send a quantity of people to the normal IGFs, but when we do it regionally, it's very, very important for us to spread the number of people who can actually participate. In Ghana, the authority has a slot for about five to six people every year for the IGFs. But, you know, locally, we also have every year an IGF which attracts more than 100 to 200 people.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: I hope you don't mind if I privilege the panel for the time being?
>> AUDIENCE: That's okay. I was just going to ask him a question.
Where does that take us if we have the regional participation and it's a great idea? Do you go to those meetings and then you bring to this meeting the regional perspectives? And if so, is that properly represented? How do we get to grapple with that? Because that's really interesting.
>> WILLIAM TEVIE: This is -- I think this is another topic that we have to talk about, how to improve the way in which we channel the inputs from the regional meetings. I think that this is an area of -- a clear area of improvement in IGF. So we are doing that now. But we can do that better, as we should find a way to bring in a more effective way the inputs from the regional meetings.
>> PARMINDER JEET SINGH: I was about to disagree on the point that the lady over there made about making it -- the regional IGF. And that brings me back to the principle point of participation. Participation is determined by -- to what avail. What issues are being discussed and to what avail. If you discuss growing Mangos, certain farmers go there, or trade issues, certain kinds of people go to that. And so we have to determine what is being discussed and to what avail. After discussing, what happens?
For me, participation in the IGF and the participation issues in IGF is -- and I believe that -- about the global regional thing, that Internet is a global entity. Most people agree. There are issues about the governance which can't be broken down to the regional parts and people agree.
And right now decisions are being taken about the architecture of the Internet which are not being taken in a Democratic manner. Now, that is a principle. Now, if you don't agree with that, if you want to go further down, but to whatever extent we agree to that, then we need a mechanism to take in those associations. And if you have a policy mechanism that takes those decisions, and we can discuss what the decisions will be, then we have to say that the decisions are taken in a Democratic manner with every view presented and everyone's heard and everybody's Democratic rights given space.
So to me the IGF participation is determined by what happens here. What issues get discussed and to what avail. And the kind of people I would want to talk about the participation of, which is the marginized groups, which are more than half of the world's population, they need to know what are the issues which will be addressed here and whether they will get solved. So I understand that the participation issue is linked to what happens in the IGF and whether there is a link of IGF to the kind of policymaking mechanisms which don't seem to exist, and right now they are looked at by a group of countries, and right now they are not being represented.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: You are saying not participation for the sake of it, but in the context of concrete policy issues.
>> PARMINDER JEET SINGH: And participation is always with reference to people who want to push a policy agenda, they should see something coming out from that.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Patrik is next.
>> PATRIK FALTSTROM: Yes, I think the whole discussion about participation is quite complicated. And the question from Patrice on where do the ideas from the regional IGFs get taken? It's the case that many of the ideas that are brought up locally probably stay locally and go to governments and are distributed among the stakeholder groups in that local environment. So, what is happening in this multi-stakeholder discussions we have is that we see the ideas are floating around in a more mesh-like scheme in peer-to-peer environments, which are popular nowadays on the Internet. So it's more complicated than just saying that all the information ideas should be moved to one spot and be distributed. That is not the world. We have to remember the ability of the Internet to do remoteoth via e-mail and remote statements and meetings like this.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: I like the mesh-like streams, the whole mess we have looks much more orderly, so thank you for this image. I think this helps.
Ana is next.
>> ANA NEVES: Thank you very much. Well, I'd just like to reinforce the role of the regional at the national IGFs. So, IGF should continue in its current format as it has been a real success. It has encouraged regional and national IGFs, increased remote participation, promoted a dialog and mutual understanding, and helped to clarify issues that seemed very complex and confusing at the outset.
Where was it written in the Tunis agenda that regional or national IGFs should be set up? I don't see it there. So it was because IGF worked and is working. So everybody considered that IGF was a very rich format that should be replicated.
So regarding the criticism that we normally hear about IGF, I think it's more because some persons, some stakeholders, they don't have money to be at IGF or be at the preparation or at consultations for the IGF, or the annual IGF, but you cannot say that the IGF didn't work, because in fact it's replication of the IGF. It's so interesting, because it is something that replicates the dynamics and the interests at the regional -- at the regional -- sorry.
>> LUIS MAGALHAES: Level?
>> ANA NEVES: -- level. Thank you.
So, when you have a regional or a national IGF, you are doing something for your region, for your country. And you are discussing the things that are more important for your country, whether you are what is so-called a developed, an emerging, a developing country.
So I think that the most important thing here is twofold. One is that if we don't have more participation from some countries, it's because there is no money for such participation.
And, secondly, we should really focus on this replication of the IGF format. Because it is something that was not written down.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Thank you, Ana. The funding issue we will address a bit later. But we will certainly remember it.
Now Joy wants to speak.
>> JOY LIDDICOAT: Thank you. And I'd just like to echo the point of my colleague which has just been made. I think in terms of the idea about how to grow participation, this is an issue not only for Civil Society in terms of resources, but also for private sector and indeed governments, for all participants. And that perhaps one way to -- one of the concrete suggestions that APC made in order to foster and support some of the regional IGFs which have begun to blossom and flourish as a response of the forum that IGF provides is to perhaps link the coordination or the establishment of those with the UN regional offices themselves.
So that, for example, in the Pacific, there was a regional office, in Asia, there is a regional office. And in order to support those IGF forums, they are in their spaces in which government, Civil Society and to some extent private sector is also familiar with, as spaces.
I echo also, I support the comment about peer-to-peer and niche environments. The regional and national IGFs are still blossoming and blooming. Each year there are new national IGFs which take place and they take place because in local contexts people see these forums as something useful for them.
So I would caution on the one hand from seeking to democratize and encourage the flourishing of IGF spaces to turning those into spaces which must drive up towards a global IGF when, in fact, it's not necessarily the way in which they are constructed.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Thank you, Joy. I think we had a few people who wanted to comment as well. Please introduce yourselves.
>> JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: We have Bill Smith and Bob Pepper and Luis and Bertrand.
>> BILL SMITH: I wanted to respond to some comments, that if I heard correctly from Parminder, around the architectural decisions of the Internet are not being made in a Democratic and participatory manner. I've personally been involved with both the IETF, W3C and other of the technical standards setting organisations related to the Internet -- and there are many of them. They each have their own set of processes and procedures. The IETF, which does the bulk of the standard related to the Internet and the W3C, which is more specifically Web oriented, both use a consensus based approach. The IETF, it's an open, transparent and equitable and inclusive. Anyone who wishes to can participate. There are no obstacles or fees to participation. Their meetings are held I believe three times a year.
One week meetings. They rotate around the globe, making it possible for people to be able to get to meetings. In addition, they use the telephone, Internet, conference calls. I myself have been on conference calls at any hour of the day regardless of where I am on the globe and traveling.
Accommodations are made for all participants in all of the groups that I participate in, so that anyone can participate from anywhere.
And so the use of a combination of the face-to-face meeting, which is always a beneficial thing to sit down, speak with people, get to know them personally. Break bread with them. Very important. So that when you continue the dialogs via teleconference or e-mail, you can understand where an individual is coming from.
But the consensus based approach, for me, is in fact far better than democracy.
It is much harder to reach consensus, unanimity. That is the true definition of it. It's much more difficult and takes more time, frequently, to reach consensus. But it does get everyone who participates to a point of agreement. And that's, I think, extremely important.
>> JEFF BRUEGGEMAN Let's take some of the questions and then get a response.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Parminder, let's collect a few comments.
>> PARMINDER JEET SINGH: It's because he asked a question as a clarification. He proceeded from something which I said, which was -- can I?
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Yes.
>> PARMINDER JEET SINGH: I should, every time I speak, should clarify that I'm not talking about technical and operational matters. The WSIS and Tunis agenda separates technical and operational matters from the Internet and the Public Policy issues. And I don't have great problems with the manner in which the Internet's technical architecture gets negotiated. I have some; we can talk about it.
But I'm talking about the Internet social system. The larger session system and the Public Policy issues around it. If somebody doesn't know that there are issues, go to the OECD policymaking mechanisms, and you'll know the whole ecology of those issues which I'm referencing.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: I'd just like to remind the audience that diversity of participation is the issue that we are addressing right now. So you can take this outside, if you want. But we don't discuss this matter here right now. At least as far as I'm concerned.
So, Bob Pepper is next.
>> BOB PEPPER: Thank you. I'll try to refrain from Parminder's comment. I do think it's relevant in terms of participation. And there are multiple dimensions of participation. We are talking at the moment or we started talking about geographic participation, and then being able to leverage the regional IGF's to improve and extend the geographical participation. These have been great.
The point about IGF being a rich format, I'd also say it's a dynamic format. Because we have had the opportunity within IGF to have a lot of issues raised. One of the reasons that we have been able to raise those issues is because we don't take votes. It's not decisional. Sometimes the issues that are raised have other forums for resolution.
But, you know, we have an entire agenda looking at sustainability. There is a dynamic workshop on gender participation. These are not things that were in the original, you know, WSIS mandates. But we have had the opportunity to do that. So participation is both geographic.
But the second part of the participation, which I think we need to talk about and do a better job is within each of the various sectors. Private sector, Civil Society or government, no matter where we are geographically or where the annual meeting is, how do we improve the participation from across the whole spectrum of interested parties? Individuals, organisations, academic, Civil Society. And I do think that part of it, we're doing a lot better. There are more people involved today than in the past. Part of this is education. Part of it is leveraging the technology. Not only for participation, but also for making people aware of the IGF and the expansiveness and the dynamism of the agenda and the ability to bring new issues up at the IGF. So that expands the participation.
We have to talk about both of these dimensions.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Yes. I think this is a very good point. Many people have pointed out that so many organisations never show up here, although it's relevant to them as well.
The next one on the list here is Bertrand. Please keep it as short as possible because we have so many people who want to speak up.
>> BERTRAND de La CHAPELLE: I want to make two quick points. First, I'm happy that Paraminder made this clarification. Because he is playing a role here which is keeping and establishing a standard of reference for democracy and accountability. That is a high standard which is needed, but that is implemented absolutely nowhere in the policy environment today. And what you're saying is actually a direct criticism of the existing international intergovernmental frameworks and not at all a criticism of the technical frameworks. And in this respect, I think we're all in complete agreement.
The second point I want to make is participation is one element. The key factor that we need to focus is to make sure that it is not only people that are represented, but viewpoints. It is essential to make sure that the diversity of viewpoints is represented. And sometimes the diversity of viewpoints can be represented by one person who does not come from that region or that group, but that convey this. And I want to insist on this distinction. It is not a delegation, a hierarchical successive elections to a higher body. It's to make sure that the global, the regional and the national have the diversity of viewpoints taken into account.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Thank you, Bertrand. I'd like to close the list now. I have another few people on the list. I have -- the next one will be Anita and Chuck and Luis.
>> ANITA: Thank you. In respect of discussions that are on Global Public Policy, I would like us not to romanticize the local, especially since our lives are governed increasingly by the mesh, the analogy of the mesh that was forwarded.
Here I think it's important to remember that neither are we celebrating the tyranny of the global or tyranny of the local, nor the totalitarianism of the global. I think we have to steer clear of both. And toward this, we need to actually look at existing models.
I mean, we have the regional ECOSOC and the global. And then we have to look at the fact that there are free trade agreements, and then you have the WTU. And there is attention and in respect of Internet governance. The fact remains that we are seeking to do what is bottom-up, which does not preclaim what may be centralized. Because I don't think it's intrinsically a bad word. And our experience in running democracies like India at the decentralized level shows that a free-for-all decentralized bottom-up process is not necessarily completely inclusive, diverse and ethical. We have to reconcile both so that neither is a local tyrannical or a global totalitarian.
Just one more point. Democracy does not preclude consensus, but it takes into account the fact that the process of arriving at consensus is fraught with conflicts. And dealing with the conflicts and the contestations is what is important. And that means ethical frameworks and that means us not just to fly with the mesh that is free flowing at the local, but the mesh as it is. You know, if you zoom out and look at the global picture. Thank you.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Thank you, Anita. Next please. Chuck.
>> Chuck from Verisign. I want to reinforce the value of the regional IGFs from a business point of view. And I'm copying something that Jeff said in an earlier session. Businesses, small, medium or large, really often don't have time -- a lot of time to devote to things like this. So if we want to encourage them to participate in the regional opportunities which tend to be briefer and closer, facilitate what businesses need. And again I think that -- Joy made the point that this isn't just a Civil Society issue or a government issue. It's also a private sector issue.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Thank you, Chuck. Belli, please.
>> BELLI: Thank you. This is Belli with ICANN. I'd like to make a distinction between when we talk about participation and how to do participation, especially from developing countries. We always talk about what the IGF needs to do in terms of remote participation, funding, et cetera. And of course the example of the regional/national IGF is very important. But I want to also emphasize what we as stakeholders have to do when we go home. I mean, there is some homework that everyone has to do. Because especially in developing countries, if there are not mechanisms and processes in place for stakeholders to take part in any Internet policy processes at the national level, it's unlikely that the stakeholders will be able to contribute to the global Internet discourse. And there are too many examples there. So I think what is important for developing countries, and I come from a developing country and I work in a developing region, there is an effort that needs to be exerted.
More effort needs to be put in in order to allow the broader stakeholder groups to take part in Internet governance processes at the national level. Only then the same stakeholders, whether business or civil societies, et cetera, will have the opportunity and the competency to be able to participate in global processes. Thanks.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Thank you.
Next is Luis.
>> LUIS MAGALHAES: I'm from Portugal. Well, first I'll address a few practical suggestions and then I'll make a general comment.
To begin with, let me just start with a disclaimer in the sense -- which is the fact -- that I believe that we already have very good standards in terms of participation and openness. So what I'm mentioning is just how it can be slightly improved. It's not a major breakthrough.
So one of the things that actually I think we should do is that this interaction between the global and the regional and the national fora requires the adoption of certain processes and procedures, for instance, so that they work in both directions. So that the regional and national fora fit into the global forum and the global forum fits into the national and regional fora, not only at the annual global forum but in the preparation processes and throughout the year in intercessions.
So one of the things that I think is needed is actually to convene representatives from -- speak persons from the different national and regional fora, to get together with the MAG in intercession to contribute to preparation and to feed in and out contributions from both processes. If we have this organised moment, we certainly are establishing a very strong link between the two processes, and it is something that is achievable without I think too much trouble.
The other thing regards the remote participation process, which is of course a way of somehow overcoming the difficulties that always exist of being -- if everybody wants to participate being present in person.
As a matter of fact, IGF has set up quite an exceptional and remarkable efficient way of remote hubs, which are an example to other instances. But the way the hubs are now working, they are mostly only interactional, except there is somebody that collects questions that come through the Web and then voices it to the people who are attending the meetings.
The technology now allows for a more interactive possibility, and even for the people who are on the hub to appear on the screen and speak to the plenaries. And I think that would also be very important to achieve this. So I think this is also a very practical thing that can contribute to that.
Now, the general observation I'd like to make, to close, is that actually in the -- yes. It's going to be very short. It's actually the problem we have in what concerns participation and diversity. It's not as much that we have quite a lot to achieve on this direction, I think, because things have improved and we are now out to carry on. The problem is that the discussion of the so-called improvements of the IGF are leading to the appearance of proposals that in certain cases limit the multi-stakeholder approach, in terms of proposals that are advanced, and advanced with ideas of making it more intergovernmental and more United Nations like procedures. And that's where the problem, I think, is. I think we have to keep attention that this beautiful movement and quite productive in terms of interaction between people will pursue in an open and actually multi-stakeholder way.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Thank you, Luis. The transcript is stuck.
We would like to now close that first issue, and I hand over to Jeff for the second one.
>> JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: I do think we want any remote participant questions in. Let's prioritize the topics. We want to talk about the substantive development of the IGF including the MAG structure and process and the public consultation process.
So I'll ask the panelists first if you have any comments about the development of the substantive areas being addressed by the IGF. Anyone?
>> ANA NEVES: Well, on this issue, I think that sometimes people to some degree mix the multi-stakeholder process of IGF where all stakeholders do explain to each other what their views are, with the actual decision-making process that each stakeholder group already runs. So the point is that we do not know yet how to run a multi-stakeholder process effectively.
Each stakeholder group is on top of having -- that the multi-stakeholder process is run according to the way their discussions have always been run.
So bearing this in mind, IGF meetings should continue to be free from constraints. And to make dialog within different stakeholders easier and more informed, seeking the development of social growth along with the more shared knowledge that this setting allows. The MAG composition should be improved in order to be better understood by the community, because as far as I understood, it is not perceived in the best way.
So bring more clarity to the prep processes and should be provided a system of an annual turnover of at least one-third of its members. The multi-stakeholder action should continue with the balance of representatives on equal footing that will ensure that different people from different communities, continents and countries will have a seat at the MAG. But the MAG should continue to exist.
>> JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: Thank you, Ana.
>> JOY LIDDICOAT: Thanks, Jeff.
A couple of offerings. Firstly, in terms of the initial term of the working group, I mean, there were -- there was a rich collection, a wide variety of suggested improvements in terms of making the IGF a more effective forum for dialog that can indirectly influence policy. So I think it is important to not forget the rich ideas that have gone before and to keep bringing them forward. And there may be some within those that we should recall.
But, very clearly, also, the sort of broad consensus was that the IGF should be a multi-stakeholder forum that can influence policies and build capacities. But that should not make policy.
And I think APC's view is that the divisions and views among working group members seem more on the constitution of the MAG and the capturing of discussions at the IGF. And we might be useful to have discussions about the constitution of the MAG and how that can be enhanced and strengthened. But we think also there was effective cheering. And with the use of skilled facilitation, we can ensure an appropriate confluence of those views in terms of recommending improvements.
A concrete suggestion is that we think it would be helpful to more clearly distill the messages out of workshops to facilitate collaboration amongst diverse stakeholders and institutions. So we would be hopeful that a recommendation could be made that the IGF communicates its most salient outcomes of main sessions and workshops, not only by way of a concluding summary. So that it doesn't compromise the nonbinding, Non-recommending nature of the way in which multi-stakeholder groups are participating, but rather seeks to reveal those more richly so they can be used in other processes.
>> JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: We will be talking more about capturing the outcomes of the IGF. But, Raul, you had a comment?
>> RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Yes. Thank you. The composition of the MAG, I think the MAG was a good invention and it has worked very well. There have not been a lot of complaints about the composition of the MAG, maybe some criticisms at some point, but nothing really big.
But it works well because there was a Secretariat that generated interest in all the stakeholders. So the second point is that one thing we should keep is an independent Secretariat that can create the confidence with all the stakeholders. But I don't think that is going to be possible to recreate the same situation. And so the -- this mechanism of the black box for electing the MAG members probably should be modified.
And so maybe there should be a more transparent process, more open nominations. Probably a combination of those -- both things. An open mechanism for nominating people from different stakeholder groups and at the end of the day probably somebody that could take a decision and appoint some members among those that have been nominated with the Secretariat.
But that's all for this.
>> JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: Thank you. Parminder?
>> PARMINDER JEET SINGH: In a short composition, there are many issues which one would like to speak about. But just one.
Since the nature of key issues around the Internet have moved on from what were the key issues around 2000, 2005, which were more infrastructure to more social issues, the MAG composition should reflect the shift in issues and we should move away from infrastructure and CISs to the social issues which concern people and also the people with whom we would like to reach the marginized groups. And we tried to go like by a formal society, technical people, and not really go out to the social groups, which are not there.
The second issue about the programme development, and I think a lot of time has been spent trying to talk about what should not be discussed, what we should discuss. And I think if the MAG doesn't bring out real issues in the structured manner to the IGF, there could be thousands of people coming to the IGF that discussion doesn't take place.
We should structure it better. There was discussion that we should go to the key policy questions in each discussion. I think there was a discussion taken to that effect. But I saw the IGF for the discussion yesterday and I don't know how it will be in discussions today. But that wasn't the fact. With this postmodern fascination with meshed reality and meshed lives, I think we don't really get anywhere. And for people who need it, in fact, that part is important.
>> JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: Thank you.
>> PATRIK FALTSTROM: I'll try to respond to a couple things. I think the MAG composition is one area where I agree with Ana, that in my opening statement when I said that there is something which we sort of have a consensus that something needs to be done but we don't have a consensus on what to do because we don't know how to solve that problem. One of the ways of MAG, while I was on MAG until I rotated out, one thing we tried to do more and more were, I claim, have much fewer meetings closed. I think today all meetings are open, which means that it should not really matter whether you are a MAG member or not, much at least.
The second thing is the programme paper produced, for example, of the IGF is based on the input during the open consultations and written statements and remote participation.
One of the things that I personally have been a strong advocate for is that MAG should be very careful about inventing themselves and writing things that didn't come in through the open consultations. Which means that the MAG should invent fewer things themselves, but still have a responsibility that all the issues are covered, just like Bertrand mentioned. Regarding reporting back from the workshops, Ana and I have been hunting how many workshops and trying to get them to report back. And they just don't. So this is not something that is a core issue. This is a bottom-up problem in the process.
>> JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: We will live up to that in this workshop.
>> PATRIK FALTSTROM: Thank you.
>> NURANI NIMPUNO: I would like to just say that I think it's important to keep this process open. And I think that there is a risk in over formalizing the process, because by doing that there is a risk that you restrict it and stifle the process. I think the IGF has proven to be very capable at evolving and changing as new issues arise and as the needs change.
I think it's fantastic that we can sit and discuss the IGF here at the IGF in an open and inclusive forum, where everyone can participate. We have all sorts of people in this room and everyone can comment.
So, I only want to caution against moving these discussions into too formal and strict environments, and allow the IGF to continue to evolve.
>> JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: I'd like to ask Cathy if we have remote participants or comments. Open it up to them? Bertrand?
>> BERTRAND de La CHAPELLE: I just want to highlight this as a question or problem. There are two trends. The desire to rotate people and get new blood regularly. And the fact that because of the way actors are selected, there is a tendency to have some actors, particularly in the governmental space, who are permanently reconducted. It is not necessarily bad. Because in certain cases there is a need to have some major actors there. And it's better that they are there. I just wanted to highlight the distinction between something that is emerging as sort of a permanent membership, not making comparisons to the Secretariat council. But you see the difference of status and the way those people are selected.
The second point in terms of making the process of selection more transparent, I was wondering whether using a light Nom Com process, maybe using people who are rotating out, they can get a vetting committee to facilitate the balancing of skills. And I'd agree with Parminder that making sure that the composition reflects the types of issues that are going to be addressed is important.
The last thing is regarding the programme. We have been struggling with that, making progress but still struggling with what I would call the work flow of the IGF.
And this stream of activity that should go from the workshops to round tables, gathering the different workshops that are connected, whether we call them feeder workshops or round table doesn't matter, and domain sessions. We are still struggling with that. I do believe that any type of subject should be able to evolve from the broad discussion workshops to the main session through an aggregation process. And that's one of the ways to explore.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Actually, people from the government side should say sorry, a Nom Com with us. We have other mechanisms of selecting people, so we have to keep that in mind.
>> BERTRAND de La CHAPELLE: I meant it mostly for the nongovernmental actors, because I agree with that distinction.
>> JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: We had a question over here and then you.
>> Thank you. I'm Maria Lim from Brazil, the Technical society. I think we have to differentiate the opening of the process and the things taking place. There are issues that we have to address to have real inclusion in the process. For developing countries, it's difficult that the open consultations take place in Geneva. It's hard for us to go there. We have to do some outreach initiatives and ask ourselves who is not here and should be here. Maybe the organisations which are here would fund people to come to the IGF. We should develop some kind of standards that would foster people who never came to the IGF to come here for the first time. Like Nic did in Latin America, bringing people who never came to the IGF. That was one of the criteria that they have applied.
And that's important that we renew the people who are coming to the meeting.
The second point is about the outcomes of the IGF. This has been discussed in the working group for IGF improvements, and we spent many times and talking about how we should call it, outcomes, outputs, message, or whatever. And I believe that is really important. As was said, we are in an open space where everybody can participate. And we were really stuck in this discussion in the working group. And I would look forward for suggestions on how we could make the IGF more outcome oriented, without disturbing the nonbinding nature, but also making sure that it creates messages and outputs, policy options, that are discussed here even though they are not consensus, but that can be fed into policymaking and other fora.
>> JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: That's a great segue to what is going to be the third topic. Let me take this question and if there are any other final comments, Bill, Teresa, on the substantive programme, and then we will talk about the outcomes and the IGF. Okay. Go ahead.
>> My name is (Inaudible). I'm with the World Press Committee. Excuse my bad voice.
I just wanted to talk for a minute about decision-making and position taking. And more precisely, the nature of consensus. It seems to me that there is confusion where consensus is being proposed here and what I heard. So the idea of democracy. But consensus is a form of democracy. It is different from vote taking but not from democracy.
And I was brought up and educated in a Quaker system and it was the Quakers who invented the system of consensus. It seems not to be very well understood any more in the UN system. But it does not provide that a minority of one or two can prevent a decision. What it provides for is that if somebody in a minority can demonstrate to those in the majority that the opposition to a position is based on a question of principle, then the others accept that there should be no decision. But if the person who is in the minority is only expressing a personal interest or a personal preference, then that is not accepted by the majority as a reason not to go forward. And I think that this little more sophisticated understanding of what is consensus needs to be restored to the way it's practiced at the IGF under the UN system.
>> JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: I think this has been a fascinating discussion about consensus. And I really think we should find a way to continue this discussion. So Bill?
>> BILL SMITH: Yes. Make sure that goes in the report that we never see.
>> JEFF BREUGEMANN: So noted. And there will be a report.
>> BILL SMITH: Yes, I'm sure. I wanted to follow up. Actually, I think your intervention was spot on, as the British say. Consensus is an art form. And it's -- I would very much like to see us all get back to doing consensus based work, where we agree basically that we are going to attempt to agree.
And that if we hold principal positions there are reasons for it and everyone needs to understand that and work to resolve those issues where we can. At times we may not be able to.
I wanted to follow up on Bertrand's comment on the MAG and continuity and the statement that basically that at times it's a good thing to have people stay on.
And I think that we can learn from other organisations where, as an example, boards or technical advisory groups will roll over a portion of their members or population on a regular basis. So if you have a, you know, if it's 50 percent that turns over, 50 percent are up for selection, election, nomination or whatever, or you do it on three year terms, one-third, one-third, one-third. This works very well. It provides the continuity that is necessary typically for organisations and brings in new blood.
The other thing I think we would find is even if we didn't have term limits, people tend to want to change what they're doing over time. So I think it's important.
Social issues. I agree that the social issues are very important. But I believe it would be a mistake for us to underweigh the technical issues on the MAG or any of the other groups. The technology for the Internet is constantly changing. And for us to believe that it will remain constant is a mistake.
And then we will have -- there will be issues where the social issues are attempting to drive technical solutions with no representation. And from my perspective, that is when we end up with some of the worst policies is when the policy conflicts with the technology. And one of the things I like about the IGF is the ability for such a diverse group of people to get together, from high level to low level, young to old, very broad spectrum, to discuss issues and then to take those back into the appropriate fora, whether it be technical, policy, wherever, to make the -- truly make the decisions that need to be taken to drive the agenda that gets discussed here.
>> JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: Thanks, Bill. You and others made good suggestions and analogies to other models and examples. And I would encourage us to capture -- arguing against interest here, it might be helpful to try to capture some of that in the report as well.
>> PATRICE LYONS: CNRI. I've been involved for years with the IETF and the various formative bodies. We were starting up the Internet Society years ago. And Bill I would agree with you, to actually just address social issues, without having an informed knowledge or having at least a discussion of the technical implications of what you're talking about, could lead to results that, although they are nice at the moment, they don't go anywhere. They're not practical. And I think that is one of the really good things about the IGF is that it's in a form where you can express both technical and social and then the mixture of the two.
Concretely, I was thinking that instead of, in the MAG, for example, where you invite comments from outside, which is good and probably should be people come with their workshop and the Dynamic Coalitions, that perhaps there could be substantive areas that have emerged in whatever discussions or even generated by the MAG in their discussions with the regional and national groups, where they could actually suggest a substantive area and then invite folks to address it.
Now here I'll give you a very specific and I'll make it short. When I was in Hyderabad for the IGF, I talked with a young man from the Government of India who is doing remote healthcare and he was using a smartphone to diagnose and help with caring for people. Now, that had a very social implication in the local community. But it was also very advanced technology.
So if you in the MAG presented, say, healthcare as an issue, you might have participants that would be particularly interested in that topic, where they may never show up at an IGF again unless they address what concerns them. Then you could say well what are the new technical things happening? What have you done? What are your experiences? Let's share ideas, so that we can then inform one another about what is happening. And I think maybe that is something to think about going for.
>> JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: Thank you. I'll put in a plug for the emerging issue session after this. This is actually trying to take the same issues we're discussing for the IGF, but with that technical lens. And that's a good thought.
>> PATRICE LYONS: It shouldn't be just technical. All the interactions together.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: The next point we just decided to merge two different points we have, due to time. So the next point will be about how to actually capture what we achieve at IGF and how do we amplify the impact of the IGF? The two are obviously related. And you can address it from any angle you like.
So, who of the panelists would like to speak up on outcomes and impact of the IGF? Both obviously need improvement. Perhaps one should also say that many people celebrate the evolving dynamic nature of the IGF. But when it comes to capturing achievements, we haven't been too innovative over the last years. So Raul wants to start.
>> RAUL ECHEBERRIA: I will make a short intervention. Probably I'll speak again later. But my point is that are we sure that we have to amplify more the impact of IGF? Because I think that the IGF is having a big impact.
So, I think that currently the information that is being set up based on IGF discussions and in many forums, many organisations, and even at the governmental level, local level, it has -- they are receiving the impact of the IGF.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: That reminds me of the notion of impact is perhaps a diverse one as well. We need to probably spell out what we mean by impact.
So, Mr. Tevie, you want to speak?
>> WILLIAM TEVIE: I would like to say that the IGF has not been static. It's a process, and we should look at, you know, self-improvement, self IGF improvement as we go along. And look at best proposals and best practices that are being looked at.
We should ask people for constant assessment and don't wait years later. So after every IGF, after every process, we should be able to get feedback from them as to how we're moving.
So people should look at the end of every workshop, should look at how the MAG, the government process went on. And since IGF is moving from region to country, we should also study the improvements in the country and regional level also to see how it can feed into the greater IGF. That's all I can say. Thank you.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Thank you. Good point. Next is Ana.
>> ANA NEVES: Thank you.
Well, look at how IGF was in 2006 and now look at how IGF is in 2011. Well, there are similarities, but the themes are totally different, aren't they?
So IGF meetings should continue to be nonbinding, free from constraints, which are associated with attempts to reach negotiated documents, and we should not have this track of negotiated documents. We should be free from constraints so we can fully benefit from open multi-stakeholder dialog. We have to have more shared knowledge and meaning among different stakeholders. The outcomes of IGF meetings are already very rich, I must say, with full written transcripts of plenary sessions, full written proceedings, these are already most and better organised outcomes than other large communication fora in any area and anywhere. So dialog and debate in a constructive way toward social, political and economic growth alongside with the perception of what is new, unique or not. Internet policy issues around the world should be the key word to shape the outcome and impact of IGF meetings.
Well, a Chair's report could be a very valuable outcome to get the real sense of what level of consensus exists or not on some topics, or identify more clearly areas of disagreement, to clarify different points of view, and to signal progress.
Finally, it might be useful to have an additional outcome in the form of clear cut messages as bullet point messages, signifying the main points addressed at workshops. There could be outcome highlights that could be about subjects of interest. There could be a compilation of up to three messages from each session workshop, and a Rapporteur designated for all of them, but never a negotiated document. That takes a lot of time and result in the least denominator, instead of the highest idea. This approach has further advantage for allowing for different participation by different parties and organisations according to their variety of interests and points of view.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Thank you.
>> PARMINDER JEET SINGH: I can take on from what Ana said. She says the difference between 2006 and 2011, and either I don't see much difference and if I see a difference the difference is that there was a lot of full expectation in 2006 and 7. People were thinking that we are moving toward something. The multimodal Democratic participation and the Internet are shaping the society.
And today, that's -- however going back to the principal point of capturing outcomes, the relationship is back to where I started. To what avail and is there something that we are speaking to? Bill spoke about policy processes in the technical space and he said things get disclosed. And he used a word and "they go back to the appropriate mechanism." And I pin him down to that phrase.
They go back to appropriate mechanisms. Now, which are the appropriate mechanisms to which the social issues about the way Internet is impacting the society? And we are talking about the global issues of this kind? Go back. My contention is there is not an appropriate place at the global level. It's been done in a Democratic manner. It's appropriate that there is that place and IGF has a relationship to that. And once we have the think, let's not talk about the composition of it. Let's agree that there could be some appropriate space. If there was an appropriate space, which is making important policy decisions -- and I should talk about Patrik that I don't mean a central thing. There are central elements and distributed elements in that -- and I don't think that there is one set of committees deciding things.
So if there is that kind of body, I would say it would change automatically.
Let's say there was a big assembly going to discuss search engine neutrality and come out with recommendations, and we as multi-stakeholder groups were assembling on the side and discussing things, I know we would be very eager to get our positions in. If they come over and say we have all used them, fine. And we will include your views. We say no, we want to give written inputs, we want to frame something, we would be doing those kinds of things.
So I think it's all relative to whether we have a belief in a globally Democratic system of developing related policies.
And this is a reason I think the way the group has done it, the technical committee is doing it, Civil Society committee is doing it, business committee is doing it, they want to give input to the policy processes. The same group should give inputs. It's not always that we would have one input from the IGF, but there should be an attempt to converge. The groups say we think that search engine neutrality should be formed by these things and they are putting out a paper and other groups talk about other things. And all of that goes into the IGF policymaking process.
It's possible on certain issues that committees and representatives of different stakeholders agree to different things, and that goes out. And this is happening, health assembly, you name it. This is happening. Outside stakeholders have been giving input into the decisions.
I don't want to go into the details of how to do it through IGF. We should vocal on them, producing background material, working groups, take it to the IGF. IGF has round tables, and there are divergences. And then after that, the same group sits down and looks at what kind of things we put together into a document that addresses a clear set of policy issues, and that's the only way other stakeholders are going to influence the policymaking processes.
The last point is that I do think -- I'm very pessimistic about whether IGF will change. I think after ten years all stakeholders would view the fact that we don't invest enough in strengthening the IGF. The IGF is the only place that we could have, and I'm speaking about my dire prediction got your views in an authoritative manner. This is written down, the options are there. Why don't you include them? We could have done it, but we are working somehow to our own detriment, and that is something I don't understand, really.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Thank you. Just as an aside, I'd like to remind you that in the MAG a few years ago we once discussed the possibility to have roundtables that are more outcome oriented for specific issues, where we thought they had been discussed for several years, and there might be a sort of consensus in the air.
I don't remember -- I really don't remember why we decided to finally go against it. But that was something --
>> RAUL ECHEBERRIA: I remember.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: You're on the list anyway. But first it's Joy. I just wanted to say we have discussed these issues. And they weren't as controversial as they might seem.
>> JOY LIDDICOAT: Thank you, Jeanette.
Firstly, in terms of capturing outcomes and improving impact, I think some of the evidence of impact is right before us. And, for example, there are many, many ways in which Civil Society uses the outcomes of its inputs and its participation in the IGF, and many, many policy processes beyond the IGF itself. At the national level, to influence government regulation, to participate in the development of Internet, you know, telecommunications policy, many, many of these discussions are taken back directly to local and national levels. So I think the absence of a single document or a single thing capturing those does not represent the absence of an uptake of those outcomes in particular places.
I think, in addition, there are a number of places in the United Nations, for example, where the Internet Governance Forum can be offering its outcomes, where it's currently not doing so. For example, making links with the United Nations Human Rights Council where they are discussing these issues in congenial ways that are not connected to the representatives here or other technical forums. So perhaps there are ways in which -- and in turn, the discussions in those forums influencing government policy directly through their obligations either under international law or Human Rights standards.
So perhaps my concrete suggestion there is that the IGF outcomes be offered, be tabled to a multiplicity of these forum, to encourage their consideration and the processes that they are using, rather than necessarily the need to create a full mechanism for that, but rather to offer those.
And the other thing of course that the APC has suggested before is the possibility of thematic IGFs. If there are particular topics where either at the regional or global level it is felt a richer deeper discussion and dialog is needed, then there is the possibility of thematically focused IGFs themselves.
So, and in concluding, I would say that I pick up Patrik's point about those of us who don't do our homework and capture the outcomes of sessions, but neither do we draw on the wonderful Rapporteurs and others who capture those points for us and use those in other places. So I encourage the utility of those materials that we produce in the very process of our workshops.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: I think this is a very important point, that beyond the question whether we want more formal outcomes or not, there is a lot we can do just with improving reporting and using the transcripts and the reporting from the workshops in other venues, also in next IGFs.
So the next person is Raul.
>> RAUL ECHEBERRIA: Okay. I will not recreate the discussion about why the round tables were not implemented in IGF that round tables -- the outcomes oriented. But the synthesis is that it is impossible to implement a negotiation mechanism for having any kind of outcome. You need some kind of negotiation. You need to define who will be participating in that negotiation. Those were the concerns that were raised at that time that they were not raised properly. So it didn't happen.
But the point also is that I think the IGF should remain in the way that it is. I think that it is very important what you say recently and what Joy said, that in regard to that, there are a lot of materials that can be used and it's a kind of outcome. Ana also mentioned that. The kind of outcomes that she proposed. In part this already exists, the reports from the workshops and the reports from the main sessions.
I think that's the -- I think that the IGF is already providing outputs and I have an example. This is regarding the IXPs. The promotion of IXP was limited to the technical community and the IXPs. In 2006, the first IGF, as part of the discussion of access, we started to discuss a more broad -- with a broader audience the importance of the Internet Exchange Points. And we have been discussing that for five years, until now. Now we can see that many governments are involved in the creation of Internet exchange points and also many international governmental organisations like CTU and ITU are spending money in promoting Internet exchange points. So I think it's an example of how the IGF have influenced the international agenda.
So we are providing outcomes and we are providing not only outcomes but guidelines. But it is up to the -- each stakeholder to take their own conclusions about the discussions in the IGF.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: I'm sorry, I have to close the list because we are running out of time and some people -- we have already a long list of speakers. Sorry, it's always a privilege for those who are quick and opinionated.
The next one is Bertrand. Please keep it short.
>> BERTRAND de La CHAPELLE: We have a lot of data. It's not used correctly, because the Web site is not powerful enough because of lack of resources in the Secretariat. There is an effort to need to be done to do this.
The WSIS forum Web site is wonderful and empty. The IGF Web site is very full and ugly.
The suggestion in addition is to use an open data approach. All the transcripts, all the videos, all the elements that have been collected should be accessible so that everybody can reuse them, put them somewhere else, and redo their own synthesis and so on. We are making a mistake when we talk about producing outcomes and synthesizing. We don't need to have consensus decisions. We are the shaping space. The purpose is to show that there is no agreement and there is agreement when there is. IE, this is a question of funding again. I would suggest that a dedicated effort is made so that people in the Secretariat are added to be doing the synthesis of each workshop. It needs maybe four or five people that would be doing the synthesis of the workshops with the organizers on an agreed template, reporting on what is agreed or not agreed. What are the positions of the different actors. No consensus, no negotiation.
The third element is I support not necessarily the motion of thematic IGFs, because I was discussing that with some people and they were saying the notion of additional IGFs is worrisome. But meetings that gather some actors who met at the IGF who decided to go more for and bring more focused people is an outcome. If people get out of here and who were working separately, say they will organise one conference for people concerned with this limited topic that is an outcome.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Thank you, Bertrand. I think also the regional IGFs play with these kinds of outcomes with synthesis. Perhaps the global IGF can learn from that a bit.
So now we have -- I don't know your name. I'm sorry.
>> My name is Ann Augerbeck from the Swedish Media Council. I've been attending IGFs and EuroDIG in Serbia. But I see that we are missing young people. The participation of young people is growing, but they are an excluded group which have their own youth hours which is not meant for you. So I really would propose as a vitamin injection for the future is to involve the whole generation we have out there, who were born into the digital society. They have a lot of experiences. They are now young adults, and they have a lot of ideas. And I think that would really be something you and -- a new vitamin injection for the future IGF.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Thank you. It's also an important point for diversity.
And then Frank on the left. Please keep it short. We are running out of time.
>> FRANK: Thank you. My name is Frank Urban. Urban Associates. I followed the Internet WSIS for many years. The discussion here has been useful. I think it's somewhat of preaching to the choir. I think most of the comments have been how to improve a process that is working. That's good. That is helpful. A number of useful illustrations have been made as to how it's working, why it's good, and how to improve it.
But it seems to me that maybe for future discussions, it should focus on a couple of points. One of the criticisms that are weighed is that the IGF needs to be empowered. That's somehow or another expressed in different ways, empower the IGF.
Produce results. Implement those results. Those are explicit concerns that keep coming around. And I think it would be useful as we look -- go forward on how to improve that, the IGF mechanism, that we try to address and understand what is meant by improving the -- empowering the IGF, for example. That seems to be a core concern.
So I urge the discussants and members to take that into consideration going forward. Thank you.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Thank you very much for the statement.
Now our last comment. Please introduce yourself.
>> Thank you very much. Mime Mohammad Borham from the Egyptian Ministry of Affairs. I want to talk about how to impact the impact of IGF. A good idea is to embrace the success stories of how people, especially the youth, use Internet and use mobile Internet for the developmental aspects.
For example, we have Indians who are using the handheld devices for healthcare. We have Kenyans using IMPESSA. And today I heard on the Kenyan radio that they developed IMPESSO so they could allow people to give money to the landlords. We have Egyptians in my home country who developed a marvelous tool where they could direct traffic through remote observation centres, through tweeting. So, if we could bring these people here, into these kind of fora, and have workshops of just success stories, they could -- and then we could sort of display these success stories in the media, IGF could have a much bigger impact on a large group of people in different countries, in developing countries.
Thank you very much.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Thank you so much. We have only a few minutes left and we would like to use them to wrap up and perhaps very briefly summarize what we see could be consensus points. We know this is a dangerous strategy, and we might be beaten up afterward. But we thought we would try anyway.
So I will start with the first issue, which was on diversity. I will just mention a few points I thought I don't see too much opposition to. The first one is that we should keep in mind that we have high expectations and high standards in terms of diversity compared to other international processes and organisations, particularly intergovernmental organisations.
Then we looked at a few ways of improving diversity. There is of course the focus on regional and national IGFs, which diversify the participation in the overall process. And there is remote participation as a way of enhancing participation.
But we should also keep in mind that the notion of diversity is more complex than it seems at first glance. Diversity is, as we mentioned here, a matter of regions, of points of views, of people and organisations and issues. Not least issues. And the division between those does overlap or sometimes is also contradictory.
And, finally, the point that Anita made and I thought we probably agree upon is that we should neither romanticize the local nor the global level because neither of them implies a guarantee for sound and accountable politics.
Before I go to the last one, perhaps you want to --
>> JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: Briefly, in talking about the programme development, I think there was discussion about how the MAG is important in having a transparent and representative process, and as Raul said, engendering trust in the process. There was a discussion about what could be various concerns about whether there has been enough turnovers and the black box concern about the selection process.
As Patrik noted, it's difficult to think about what are specific solutions. The overall agenda development process, I think we had good ideas about ways to -- whether it's bringing more input from the regional and national level, or making sure that there is outreach happening to make sure that we really are getting a broad view of what should be the agenda for the IGF. And that that is a very -- not just transparent, but also an attempt to keep the agenda moving forward.
Parminder noted how much the issues changed over the years and questioned whether there was -- we should be focusing more on social issues. Others said we should have a balance and mixture of both things like infrastructure as well as social. But I think there was general agreement that the substantive agenda evolved a lot over time and needs to continue to do so.
We had a very interesting discussion about consensus development and the role of that. And Bertrand distinguished between the thought process and thought leadership that happens at the IGF compared to the consensus development. But I think we will try to capture those ideas that were discussed as a way to both think about the IGF process itself as well as maybe the Internet Governance process itself.
And then, finally, I know we will transition to the last issue, but we will be capturing these ideas. Marilyn is the Rapporteur. Part of our process is to capture what we said here today and give a good report.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: The last issue, I'll keep this short also because I didn't have enough time to think it through. So I would like to use Bertrand's last statement and base my own comments on that.
I very much liked, and I think many people would agree to that, to understand the IGF process as a decision shaping space. I think that is probably a consensual point of view.
And also --
>> BERTRAND de La CHAPELLE: Issue shaping. I said issue shaping.
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: Okay. Also, decision shaping doesn't mean -- it doesn't imply at all that the decisions are taken at the IGF. Many people said that, that people take the discussions to other fora that are perhaps designed to make decisions.
>> (comment off microphone)
>> JEANETTE HOFMANN: The second point that I think we could agree upon is that there is a lot of data that is under used, and we should focus on our strategies on making better use of the data we produce here.
And another thought I'd like to add in my position as a moderator is that perhaps the boundaries between what can be done within the IGF and what cannot be done within the IGF might be different between the national, the regional and the global IGF. And that they might also differ over change, or that they -- they evolve, these boundaries. So we should be open to other possibilities that seem impossible right now.
With that notion, that comment, I'd like to thank you for this really interesting debate. We both would like to thank you. And I hope you enjoyed the discussion as much as we did.
(End of session, 10:35)
- Parent Category: IGF 2011