The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a multistakeholder platform for discussion on Internet Governance issues. It is open to all to participate. The IGF2016 is scheduled to take place in Guadalajara, Mexico, from 6 to 9 December 2016.
The programme of the IGF is built primarily on workshop sessions organised by the multistakeholder Internet community. The call for workshop proposals is now open, until 6 June 2016. Please note that workshop proposals submitted after this date cannot be accepted.
Last year, the MAG introduced a few important changes to the workshop proposal process. These changes are included in the below list of 10 things for IGF workshop proposers to consider. All workshop proposers should read this list, in addition to three other helpful documents - IGF 2016 Guidelines for Workshop Proposals, Outline of Session Formats, and MAG Workshop Review and Evaluation Process for IGF 2016 - before starting work on an IGF workshop session proposal.
10 things for IGF workshop proposers to consider
1. Try a new session format. The MAG will be looking for workshop proposals that use new and innovative formats to encourage greater diversity and participant engagement. Break-out group discussions, debates, roundtables, birds of a feather, and flash sessions are all options for workshop sessions. You can also propose your own format for the session. These six format options exist in addition to the traditional panel format. Note that panel proposals must be submitted with a background paper (see number 7).
2. Submit a proposal even if you have never been to an IGF. During the evaluation process, preference is given to first-time workshop proposers in an effort to welcome new voices to IGF discussions. Please see number 10 for further information on resources to help you develop your proposal.
3. Attention to proposers from developing countries, including least developed countries: Preference is given to proposals from your areas, to encourage greater diversity at the IGF event.
4. Be clear about why the session should happen and how it will happen. Identify the Internet Governance issue that will be addressed, and how it will be discussed.
o Why: In your proposal, give a concise description of the Internet Governance issue that your session will explore, and its relevance to the main theme, Internet Governance Forum: Enabling Inclusive and Sustainable Growth
o How: Then explain how the issue will be addressed through the session format. For example, if the session is a debate on the “right to be forgotten” explain what aspect of the issue will be discussed, the major discussion points, and the perspectives to be covered. In addition, provide the agenda of the debate, including timings for debaters, moderator and audience.
5. Choose the length of your session wisely. Workshop Sessions are either 30, 60 or 90 minutes long. Pick the amount of time that is best for your session. For example, if you wish to give a brief presentation on a topic, the 30 minute Flash Session would be a good duration and format. Panel sessions require longer times. Note that different formats have different durations. Check the formats here.
6. Plan for online participation: The IGF is a global discussion, and those who are not “on location” also need to be able to participate. The MAG will pay special attention to the proposer’s plan for online participation, so ensure that you have considered how to accommodate online participants and that you have nominated an online moderator in your proposal. You could even check to see if an “online participation hub” is being planned by members of the Internet community in your locality or region.
7. Background papers are required for panel sessions, and are optional for others. Panel session proposals must include a background paper. Check the guidelines for this paper here.
8. Assign a rapporteur. All workshop sessions require a rapporteur to produce a summary report of the session (based on this template). Reports must be submitted to the IGF Secretariat no later than two weeks following the IGF event. If a report is not submitted, then the workshop proposer will not be allowed to submit a workshop proposal for the next IGF.
9. Note that participants/speakers need not be confirmed in your workshop proposal. The MAG understands that it is difficult to ask workshop session participants to confirm their attendance to the IGF at the proposal stage, so confirmation is preferred, but not required. However, kindly note that as of this year, speakers will be contacted to ask if they agree to be named in your proposal on a provisional basis (their confirmation is registered through a link sent in an automated email). Their confirmation is not required for proposals to be considered complete and eligible for evaluation. Even if speakers are not confirmed, you are asked to provide a description of the role each participant/speaker is meant to play in the workshop, particularly in question 13 (e.g. one speaker will share technical expertise on the issue, while another speaker will address the economic considerations of the issue).
Finally, remember that you don’t need to organize or participate in a workshop to participate in the IGF. All stakeholders are welcome to join the meeting in Mexico. All relevant information can be found at http://www.intgovforum.org/.