In the beginning of the session, the moderator, Ginger Paque, made some initial remarks. She mentioned that remote participation is more than discussing about tools and platforms. It is an issue related to development, capacity building and access. It was also noticed that we are moving from remote observation to remote participation in the IGF and that we are starting to explore and integrate several forms of remote participation, such as social reporting and continued online discussions. After these remarks, the floor was opened for the speakers and other attendants.
• Remote participation can have a lasting transformative effect on global governance. It allows us to enhance diversity and inclusion. But for that potential to be fully fulfilled, capacity building and a change in attitude from the global governance institutions themselves are necessary
• Remote participation should be encouraged for very practical reasons: a) it opens the policy process to more people and therefore the IGF benefits from expertise that would otherwise be disconnected from the policy process; b) it increases legitimacy of global policy-making and a sense of “ownership” of the process
• The use of the expression “remote participation” was criticized, as “remote” implies “distance” and “less importance”. The expression “enhanced participation” could be used instead
Evaluation of remote participation:
• Remote participation was a very successful experience in EuroDig and this was due to preparation. Intensive preparation before the meeting is the key
• Remote participants should have more impact on agenda-setting and policy-shaping. They don’t often feel that they are actually shaping the topics for discussion.
Integration of channels and “networked participation”:
• The platform for remote participation can be used to keep people who are present in the IGF connected to all sessions at the same time and aware of what is taking place in all of them. It is not only useful to remote participants
• This year there was strong combination of formal and informal remote participation. In WebEx there was the more formal type and the informal one was on social media. There is challenge to make people aware of both
• What we call “remote participation” really is “networked participation”, as those present in the meeting are engaged of formal and informal remote participation and take advantage of both. This backchannel conversation affects what is being said in the meeting