You are here

2019 IGF - MAG - Virtual Meeting - I

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during an IGF virtual call. 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, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

***

   >> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Good afternoon, morning, evening, ladies and gentlemen.  We will wait three more minutes to let other people who are still putting up the software log on.
>> Okay, good afternoon, morning and evening, ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to the first virtual MAG meeting of the 2019 process.  Before we start, a few reminders that this call is being recorded, and it's also being transcribed, both recording and transcription will be made public, it will be published on our Web site, and we will also make summary report of the meeting which will also be posted on our Web site.  We will also be using the hand up system.  If you go to the link, which Luis is going to put in the chat right now, then you can request for the floor, if you want to make an intervention.  The Chair will call your name when your time has come.  I would also like to ask you to please mute yourself until the Chair calls you.  Otherwise we will have feedback and also hear unwanted conversations in the background.  There is a link to the documents that we are going to be referring to in this meeting, and that link, I sent that link out earlier on today, and it's also going to be put into the chat.  Okay.  Without much further ado, let me hand it over to Lynn.  Lynn, are you there?
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: I am, thank you, Chengetai.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: To Chair the meeting.  Thank you.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you.  I would add one other point, if in fact you do need any additional support, whether it's with the queue system or Webex, then Luis Bobo and the Secretariat is extremely willing to help, you can either reach them through the chat or separately through E mail.  Luis is a genius, and he will help you sort through anything that is required.
What I'd like to do first is welcome everybody, and appreciate this is a very busy time of year, so appreciate everybody making time in their schedules, and also appreciate the fact that it's difficult to find a time that is civilized, that is within working hours, when we are distributed so globally.
We do actually rotate the MAG meetings across a couple of different time zones, so that we share the comfort or the discomfort as it may be over the course of the year.  We will be talking more about that later in the meeting.
Normally, we are having our first MAG meeting of any kind at a physical meeting, and we normally take time and do introductions there.  That is usually quite a lengthy process, taking from one to two hours and obviously, with a two hour time slot here, we don't have that luxury.
I see there has been a number of really interesting responses already to the request that we all do E introductions.  Frankly, that may tend to be more useful, for those that aren't here in the meeting and also help jog our memory downstream as well.  Thank you, everybody, who has already responded.
The first item is to move for the adoption of the agenda, which was published a few weeks ago.  There is one addition, I had sent out a note earlier this morning, in that we are joined this morning by representatives from United Department of Economic and Social Affairs or DESA, specifically by Mr. Stefan Schweinfest, the officer in charge of the division for public institutions and digital Government, DPI DG in DESA, which is where the responsibility for the IGF is, the responsibility for the IGF is located within the UN.
Just as importantly, maybe more importantly to Stefan, he is the director of the statistics division also.  We are also joined by Wyman, he supported the IGF for some years now and he is a senior governance and public administration officer in DESA.  We would like Stefan to say a few words, as the first agenda item, after adoption of the agenda, and want to give our appreciation for all the support we received from DESA last year, and certainly very happy that they are able to join us this morning as well.
With that, let me see if there are any other comments or suggestions to the agenda.  It is posted in the Webex screen there as well.  I do a slow count to 6, and we do like using the speaking queue, it obviously shows where you are in the queue, and certainly for physical meetings, it levels the playing field, and that everybody whether you are in the room or participating online has the same access to the queue.  But if you are stuck and you want to come in, write hand up in the chat room or jump in until we get some time to get familiar with the system.
Having used up some time usefully and seeing the queue is still empty, I will .... (background noise) was there somebody wanted to come in?  Call in user.
>> [inaudible] on the phone.
  (audio breaking up).
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Was there anything you wanted to say?  If you are on the phone, if you are participating by phone and can't signal and want to get in the queue, do as Benny just did and jump in.
With that, I call the agenda approved, I will first just turn to Chengetai and see if there is anything additional we should cover as a matter of kind of formal logistics, and then after that, we will move to Stefan.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: No, I think we have covered it.  Thank you.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Great, thank you, Chengetai.  Stefan, again, very welcome.  We are very happy to have you here.  The floor is yours.
>> Good morning, I hope you can hear me.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Very well.
>> Thank you very much, Lynn.  And very warm welcome from New York from the United Nations headquarters.  It is my pleasure to welcome the entire MAG.  It is a beautiful winter morning in New York.  I didn't nearly have enough coffee actually to face any serious challenges, but I'm very happy this early morning here in New York to really welcome each and every one of the new MAG which is of course to a large extent consisting of experienced MAG members and one third new MAG members, which is of course a beautiful composition and I think exactly what we need to move forward.  I'm also quite impressed how you are handling here all this modern technology.  I think we in the statistics division have to learn a little bit from you, and in a way, it's a beautiful example of what the Internet can do for us.  I mean, we can truly be United Nations people around the world, united to work together towards a common goal.
It's working very beautifully, and I'm quite impressed here.  I wanted to really thank all of you for your service.  The MAG is a voluntary contribution of all of your expertise from around the world, and you are bringing really very different perspectives and reflecting the classical stakeholder nature of this whole process, and its bottom up nature and we are bringing the best brains from around the world together, around the challenging questions of the Internet Governance.
So I was really pleased and privileged to meet quite a number of you in Paris and I learned a lot from you.  So I'm thankful for that.  I'm thankful to Lynn's leadership, that continues, and I think that is exactly also her experience what we need in this morning and of course I'm also thankful to my team, of course, primarily Chengetai, the head of the IGF Secretariat, and his team in Geneva, but also my colleagues here in New York and DESA who also are working towards supporting this process.
I think this year we have the MAG early, I mean compared to earlier years.  So Lynn has immediately taken advantage of this and called this early meeting, so you really are getting collectively a head start.  I'm very happy about this.  And also, in one other respect, we are in a good situation this year, the German hosting has been confirmed very early, so unlike this past year where we had to scramble a little bit and then we are grateful that Paris and UNESCO, the French Government could take over the hosting quite challenging situation, at a rather late stage.  We don't have those issues.  We can work quietly and consistently and in a very focused manner on the journey from Paris to Berlin.  And you are the stewards of this.
I think we are not only traveling from the IGF in Paris which I think went really well, I mean I was very impressed, we had the Secretary General there for the first time physically, we had the interventions from the highest level, President Macron and I think that is really a IGF meeting that gives us the boost for moving forward, and I think this is also exactly where we are right now.  We had made a commitment already before Paris, to take the IGF through the next level to take a really serious look at the original commitments that were made in Tunis, and asking ourselves honestly, are we on track, what can we do, what can we do even better.  There is a lot of sources of really great ideas, they come primarily of course from you, I mean the stock taking of the community is taking place, and you and your ideas will lead this forward.  But then we also have other voices that help us, and that are outside voices like the challenging things that we heard at the IGF, what our Secretary General said, what the President Macron said, what others are thinking.  We are getting feedback also, we know that there are suggestions from the European Commissions and others that have voiced ideas and proposals, and I think it's up to you now to take up all of these things, to carefully review them, and make an assessment to move it or, move the IGF to the next level, perhaps to satisfy this hunger that I feel a little bit here in New York by member states of being very focused and perhaps coming up with specific outputs and outcomes that do reflect the thinking of this particular community, and can help all of us move forward in a difficult area of the Internet Governance.
I think this is a very exciting moment, and again, I'm grateful to those who have already served and for the last two years, and I welcome those who are new, and invite everybody and perhaps just as a last point to emphasize how relevant this is at this moment, is for those of you who have not heard about it, or are not fully briefed, there is this High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation that the Secretary General has called, so there is a process of reflection on digital cooperation on the highest level going on.  And of course, the IGF has to play and I'm sure will play an important role.  This high level panel is a short lift, is designed to be a short lift injection of ideas, and will finish its work in March, April.
So I think the particular challenge of this MAG, the MAG class 2018 19 is to really look at all of these external, I was about to say challenges, but I would rather say stimuli, and assess them, and put that really in a frame that will lead us forward towards the remaining 7 years that the IGF right now has mandate, and really take the longer term perspective.
So, I thank you for your engagement.  I thank you for, thank Lynn for the leadership, and I certainly will be very interested in watching what comes out of your various discussions, and doing whatever we can here in New York at the UN headquarter, at the UN Secretariat to support your work.  Thank you for this opportunity.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Stefan.  Stefan is going to stay with us for a little bit.  He has another meeting in I think about 40 minutes or so.  I would like to make a couple comments and then see if there are any questions or comments.  We try through all of our MAG activities to be as open and engaging as possible.  So if there are questions or comments for Stefan, please signal in the queue system.
I want to thank Stefan and his team as well for helping with the early appointment or timely appointment of the MAG.  As many of us have said over the years, it's one of the sort of biggest improvements we could make in the process overall.  Time has pretty much not been our friend in past years, and one of the reasons for proposal one sort of front end loading the meeting if you will was to give us time to address some of the more strategic questions, some of the more strategic opportunities, typically that work has started in earnest sort of middle of the year after we have gotten all of the program planning and operational activities well under way.
So, we are looking forward to making some significant advances this year.  I also like the word stimuli as well.  I think that's a really good description, Stefan.  Thank you.  Are there any comments or questions for Stefan?  Luis or someone in the Secretariat just put the queue system link in the chat room again.  I don't see anybody requesting the floor, nor has anyone come in.
Stefan and his entire team have been very accessible to us, and specifically supported us and a couple of the working groups that we had last year, so clearly this isn't the end.  If there are other questions or comments, we can certainly bring them forward at a later point.  With that, thank you Stefan again, and Wyman as well, we appreciate all your support.
>> Thank you, my pleasure.  I will be listening in for a while, and Wyman will definitely be with you until the end of the meeting today.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Excellent, thank you.  The next agenda item is to review the time line proposals.  I will let Chengetai walk us through that, with possibly just one sort of statement.  I do think it's important that we do all we can and frankly, as early as we can in our cycle, with respect to looking at the suggestions that are coming through the taking stock, through the very good work that the working group on IGF improvements has been doing for two years now.  That work caught all the suggestions that came through the CSG working group on IGF improvements from way back in 2012.  Certainly stock taking activities from every IGF exercise from the retreat that was organized by DESA in 2016, by various other survey and stock taking activities as well.
That, and then some of the more recent stimuli, as Stefan said, has given us a lot to think about.  That was the main logic behind again proposal one and sort of front end loading the meetings.  I would like people to keep that in mind.  One of the source of frustrations in past MAGs is that we haven't been able to dedicate enough time to the more strategic or the items that really require more time, more time for the MAG and more time for the community as well, because of course all of us need to either consult with and/or engage with the broader community, and those processes as you know take some time.
I think with that, I will just ask Chengetai to sort of bring us up to date on where he thinks we are, given the discussion that started on the MAG list, and I'd also like to note that I do really appreciate kind of active participation in the list.  It certainly helps us to advance the work faster between the meetings.  I think it also helps those that aren't able to make the meetings really participate in the work as well.  From time to time, we all have difficulties catching up on the meetings.  So to the extent we do that, I think it also makes the work more accessible to the broader community as well, because of course our mailing list, the archives are open to the public as well.
With that, Chengetai?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Lynn.
As Lynn has said, I posted two proposals on the MAG list last week, proposal number 1 and proposal number 2.  The difference between the two proposals was proposal number 1 front loaded most of the face to face open consultations, all of the face to face MAG meetings and open consultations, and proposal number 2 had it more spread out.
After looking at the list and listening to people and consulting with other people, it seems that proposal number 1 has the most support.  So for the purposes of this call, I'm going to do away with proposal number 2, and just look at proposal number 1, and we can go through it.  If we want to suggest any changes or modifications to proposal number 1, then we can do it.  As Lynn has said, the MAG was announced very early this time around and we do have to take advantage of that, and start early and keep the momentum so that we can make IGF 2019 meeting the best possible meeting, with the most time available for us to make preparations, and also to answer or to react to the calls that we have been having from the community about our strategic objectives.
Quickly, we are keeping the first meeting which is on the 28th to the 30th of January, and most of you have already contacted Eleonora if you need travel support or, and if you haven't, please do so by the end of the day.  We won't accept any more after today.
For the time line, we started off in November, the announcement of the MAG.  For the, on the 28th November we launched the IGF community call for inputs which is published on our Web site.  I also sent a E mail out on to the MAG list asking you to distribute it out to all your various communities and mailing lists.  That keeps us up to date.  Now, after the stock taking, we are planning to publish according to this time line, we will publish a public call for issues.  Now we are going to go over in detail the public call for issues in agenda item 3.
But it's basically a public, for those who don't know, it's basically a call for issues to see what the community feels are important issues for this year, and with that, we are going to group them into baskets or categories, and from those issues and categories we are going to derive our main themes and also it's going to affect the call for workshops because we are going to ask workshop proponents to submit workshops around the most popular themes.
Now we are going to give people from the 2nd of January to the 19th of January to do this.  And then the Secretariat is going to analyze these topics 21st to the 25th of January, and this is so that we can send it out to the MAG list, and people have time to review it before the first face to face meetings.  Eleonora is going to go through what we did last year in agenda item 3.  So you can get a fairer idea of how the process went then.
Now for the first idea of open consultations and face to face meetings as we said we are going to review the stock taking and looking ahead.  We are going to have a strategic discussions, and we thought that it was very important to have the strategic discussion now, instead of in proposal number 2, where we had it later on in the, a month later, to have it now because it affects the work that we are going to be doing.  Then also a discussion on the intersessional workstreams, which ones we want to reach out and if we want to have new ones.  These can also be informed by the call for issues when we see what the community feels are important issues facing this year.
And then of course, the MAG working groups.  Now, I'm on point 5, and these are the invitations to the high level participants.  Last year, we had a late start, and we thought that it's very important to send out invitations to high level participants as early as possible, so that they can put it in the calendar, and we get the invitation out there first and they don't receive another invitations for the dates of the IGF 2019 meeting.
Traditionally we do this in cooperation with the Host Country, and if the MAG would want to suggest people as well, please feel free to do so.  I mean, we are open to suggestions.  The Host Country sends out the official invitations to mainly ministers, high level CEOs of companies, and also Intergovernmental Organisations, and NGOs.
With proposal number 1, we intend to launch the intersessional work on 4th of February, this is after the review of course, in the face to face meetings.  And unless we need volunteers from the MAG, two volunteers at least for each of the intersessional, and if we are going to carry out another enabling the next billion or the successor to enabling the next billion so we plan to launch it on 4th of February.  Then the call for workshops and other session proposals, this year, last year and in previous years as well, we have had the call for workshops and then we have had other sessions, such as open forums, and the Dynamic Coalitions, etcetera, done afterwards, and the deadline was also after the close of the call for workshops and other sessions.
This year, the thinking behind having them start and end at the same time is also that the MAG and the Secretariat and everybody gets an idea of how many sessions have been requested, and we will also stop if people are session shopping, if their workshop doesn't get into the workshop process through the workshop process, then some people are, would want to apply for an Open Forum or etcetera, because they failed to get through one process.
So in this way, we get everything done at the same time and we don't have this session type shopping, that has occurred infrequently I would like to say, and then we have the MAG doing the workshop evaluation from 15th of April to the 3rd of May.  Then after that, the Secretariat does its evaluation and the MAG reviews the results in the second face to face meeting, sorry, in the face to face meeting that will happen in June.
We also have the various calls of the village booths, etcetera.  It's very good to have it out there in public, because we intend to publish the time line once it's agreed by the MAG onto our Web site, so people know when the various calls are coming out.
The second face to face meeting will be in April, what we propose it to be in April, and this is also during the WSIS Forum, and we have traditionally held it during the WSIS Forum, mainly because people are in town, and the working group on improvements has also suggested that we hold MAG meetings at the same time as other meetings, so that people don't have to travel twice.  It is not a must that we should do this, but it's, the idea is to take advantage of people coming in.  There is pros and cons of doing this, but it has worked well in the past, but we are aware, open to what you think, what your suggestions are for this.
Then the agenda, the outline of the agenda is continuing the discussion of the IGF 2019 program, and also seeing how we are with the strategic priorities, if we should change anything or slightly modify anything, and also discussing the title teams and the various components and the main sessions.  We will also continue monitoring the best practice forums, the D.C.s and also the NRI work.
The third open consultation is the face to face meeting in, and the Host Country said that they are willing to host this meeting in Berlin, and these are the only dates that they can host the meeting, and that is 5 to 7th of June in Berlin.  This is one of the most important, well, all the meetings are important but this is very important because this is when the workshop selection happens.  We also do a review of the other sessions.  Coming out of this meeting, we should have a fair idea of how the schedule is going to be, how many workshop sessions we are going to have, how many Dynamic Coalitions, how many open forums, etcetera.
We are going to have a review of Day Zero the Secretariat will inform the MAG and the meeting on how the Day Zero sessions are shaping up.
Now we intend to publish, to officially publish the schedule in August, but from June we will be working on it, and we will also be informing the MAG, so it won't be so, the MAG will know how the schedule is going before the official published occasion date in August and but we will try and finish it as soon as possible.  But this also depends on the mergers, etcetera, and this is one of the reasons why we think that it's also important to have these meetings in the first half of the year, because it takes a long time for people to discuss and agree on mergers and then to invite the panelists, and also to see that they do comply with the session standards, which is regional representation, stakeholder group representation, and with this, the Secretariat helps the session organizers with this, and also the MAG during the June meeting, we have MAG volunteers who can help mentor session organizers sometimes, their first time session organizers who are not quite familiar with how IGF sessions should work, or they don't know the people to reach out to, to fulfill the geographical balance or the stakeholder balance.  The rest is just the IGF village plan, the bilateral meeting request system, and of course the media and communication strategy, which we plan to do together with the Secretariat, the MAG Chair, UNDESA, that also as MAG members you can also help with communications and publicizing the IGF meetings.
Again, I have the caveat that we must be very careful that when you represent yourselves, you are not representing the MAG.  You are doing it in your personal capacity.  You can only represent the MAG if the MAG agrees that you can represent them.  So that is another process.  Then we plan for the remote hubs, and we plan to open the registration in August, but we can even open the registration way before then, and finish it off in November, and then in 25 to 29 of November, we have the IGF Berlin.
Now, I will open it to questions, because I am sure there are some questions, I can offer clarifications and also Lynn, if Lynn wants to step in, and also members of the team, Eleonora, Luis, I don't know if you have something to say that I've missed anything that is important, that the MAG knows, please feel free to speak up.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai.  That was quite complete.  I'll give you a moment to see if there is anything from any other members of the Secretariat, and then if not, we will go to the speaking queue.  I see the message saying nothing additional from the Secretariat.  Let's go to the speaking queue.  Rudolf, maybe quickly if you can say who you are, which stakeholder group and country, to help build the community here.  Rudolf, you have the floor.
>> Hello, thank you, Lynn, thank you, Chengetai, I am from the German Ministry of economic affairs representing the Government stakeholder group and also the Host Country of next year's IGF.  I just wanted to take the opportunity to say hello, also from our side, and give our deepest appreciation for the MAG and its members and for the Secretariat and the Chair and of course DESA, in this common endeavor that is in front of us, which is the IGF 2019 in Berlin.
We are convinced that we will work together as efficiently and as positively as we are used to it in the MAG context, and on the concrete proposals lined out by Chengetai, this is just to support the idea of speaking to the first proposal, for various reasons and Chengetai, you have mentioned them, I think it is very important to have enough time in the second half of the years for all these very important but sometimes time consuming exercises of merging and fine tuning for the agenda.  This is first.
Second one, which is something that is very pragmatic, as the Host Country, we are delighted and it would be a pleasure for us to host the third face to face meeting, due to the very high demand on rooms, we would only have the capacity to do so on the 5 to 7 of June, it would not be in fact possible to do it in the second half of the year, because it has already been booked, fully booked our meeting rooms.
Lastly, I would also support to continue the tradition of doing the second meeting at the same time as the WSIS Forum.  This gives I think a good synergies, concerning travel expenses, concerning the issues, and also on a communication basis, you have a very good opportunity to get in touch with a lot of people from the WSIS context during this IGF meeting.  So just to sum up, thank you very much again.  We would strongly support the idea of sticking to proposal number 1, because of the outlined reasons.
We are looking forward to working with all of you together during the next months.  Thank you very much.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Rudolf.  Helani, you have the floor.
>> Thank you, Lynn, welcome to all the new MAG members.  I run an organization called learn Asia which does research in the Asia Pacific and I'm from the Civil Society sector.  Question actually is for I guess the Secretariat or Chengetai, thanks for the update, Chengetai.  I was curious whether you talked about the Secretariat sending invitations to high level stakeholders, just wondering what the success rate of that was last year, for the Paris IGF, if we have some numbers, I think that would be really useful.
Number 2, to reiterate that on the April dates, 8 to 12, the WSIS Forum, and a question which is is it like last year, that we will have the MAG meeting during the WSIS Forum, so people are in and out, just some clarification on that, or before or after.  Thank you very much.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you.  Chengetai, do you want to respond and then we will go back to the queue.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: For success rates, I'm not sure of the success rate for last year.  Last year we were fortunate because it was, also happened during the French digital week, so there were quite a number of activities as well going on, that attracted high level participants.  But we were also unfortunate in the fact that we started off rather late.  So unfortunately, I can't give you that, those statistics.
But this year, it is not in conjunction with the peace Forum, or with anything else.  So we really do have to start early, and also, it depends on the host country, because if the Host Country does take interest in inviting high level participants, and if the Host Country Minister invites his counterparts from other countries, then there will be more likely to attend and I think we do have that commitment this year from the Host Country.
As far as the April, I mean WSIS Forum, it will be during the WSIS Forum and it will be in the ITU building.  That is what we are proposing at this moment.  If we do it the day, I mean the week before or the week after, then people will be two weeks away from home, and there is going to be that weekend also which they are going to have to pay for to stay and do basically nothing, and Geneva is not exactly the most cheapest place.  But as Rudolf said during the WSIS Forum we can attract people that don't normally come to IGF MAG meetings, or who have not heard about the IGF or have heard about it and are interested and they can come into the room and see what we do.
Those are the advantages.  Yes, there is disadvantage, is that some people may disappear for an hour or two, to go to another session during the WSIS.  So we have to balance the advantages and disadvantages of holding it during the WSIS week.  It is my personal view that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, but I'll leave it up to you.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai.  One thing I think we could consider assuming we go forward with meeting 2 during the WSIS week is building on similar steps we took in line with the Paris digital week and Paris Peace Forum.  I know we all from time to time hear comments about what is the difference between WSIS Forum and the IGF.  This would be an excellent time to perhaps even do a small brochure similar to what we did for Paris digital week, which lists the two events, and their purpose, and maybe look to do something during the MAG open consultation, that talks to that, and then something during the WSIS Forum as well and perhaps even build on the invitees to the WSIS Forum, for the MAG open consultation in particular.  I think the MAG meeting can be hard work for someone if they are not a MAG member as they don't get to speak but the open consultation would be an excellent time to deepen the collaboration.  I think we can look at that.
I'm going to go to Paul in the queue.  But I'm aware that Stefan needs to leave us soon.  Stefan, if you would like to come in, I can give you the chance to come in after Paul, and if not, that is fine too.  No pressure.  Paul Rowney, you have the floor.
>> Thank you, Lynn.  I'm from Namibia private sector, MAG member.  With the public issue I think the plan is short particularly for us in the southern hemisphere, right now it's summer holidays for us, not everyone will be back in the first week of January, if there is a chance we can extend that further into January, it would be appreciated.  With the second face to face, I have no real issues.  I think, I don't know whether it's a five day MAG meeting happening within those five days and those three days within the five days are yet to be determined.  The second or third are quite close, but I understand the reasons for the third being when it is, and I think it is useful for us to have that at the host location.  I can also support that.  Thank you.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Paul.  Thank you for those specific comments or suggestions as well.  Stefan, was there anything you wanted to add?
>> Thank you, Lynn.  No, I can see you are already in full swing of things, and I certainly don't want to interrupt.  One or two last remarks.  First of all, particular thank you to our German colleagues for their warm welcome on our journey to Berlin, as I said earlier, I'm really in particular looking forward to them, as you can hear from the accent, we do speak kind of a common language, determined to put that to good use for the entire MAG and IGF community worldwide.
Then perhaps the last point, to wish everybody happy holidays and a good start into the new year, and I'm really committed with my team here in New York and of course with the IGF Secretariat in Geneva to be right there and support all of the important work that you will be doing next year.  Thank you very much.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Stefan.  Big thanks to Rudolf and the German Government as well.  I know that they have decided who their honorary Host Country Co Chair is, but that, I believe that announcement has not yet reached New York.  As soon as that is received, we will be making that announcement to the MAG as well.  And preparations are very much in order.  I was in Germany for another conference a month ago, and Rudolf set up a meeting with the heads or key individuals in all of the other ministries across Germany and with a Steering Committee that helps to organize the local German IGF.  So from a local perspective, things are in very much full swing there and we obviously couldn't wish for better support or more kind of active or energetic support, either.  So we are all very happy with that.
Let me go back to the queue then, and Raquel, you have the floor.
>> (pause).
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Raquel?  I don't see Raquel unmuted.  Maybe the Secretariat could unmute her and if not, we will go to Ananda and come back to Raquel.  Let's go to Ananda and sort out getting Raquel on line in a moment.  Ananda, you have the floor.  Ananda?  Luis, I see a note in the chat room, just to me.  Okay.
  (static).
Is it just for Raquel and Ananda, or are there more general connectivity problems?  Can others hear me?
>> Hi, Lynn, yes, we can hear you well.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Okay.
>> Hi, Lynn.  Yes, we can hear.  This is June.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you.  We can put a note to Raquel and Ananda and ask if they want to put their comments in the chat room or try again.  In case it's something as obvious as too early, too late and not enough caffeine, you simply need to hover your mouse over the Webex screen, and the controls pop up on the bottom, that should allow you to unmute yourself.  Apparently, the Secretariat cannot unmute us remotely.
>> Ananda is connecting, reconnecting now, but had some issues.  Raquel probably will connect soon, if we cannot unmute her in the conf for the moment but we can get them in the queue for you and just connecting so we can give them if that is okay for you for now.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Excellent, thank you, Luis.
Is there anyone else who wants to come in, in the interim?  Or Chengetai, any further thoughts based on the comments we have heard?  We will wait for Raquel and Ananda to come back on line.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: For the call for issues, I guess we can extend it by a couple more days, maybe even a week, Eleonora may be screaming at me, but I think we can do that.
>> Chengetai, if I may quickly, it's Eleonora, I'm definitely not screaming.  Don't worry about that.  I wanted to point out that the dates for the call for issues were set that way, so that the process would have concluded before the first face to face meeting, in case that wasn't obvious.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: You may scream at me for this for sure, if people want more time, is there any option to get it published before the end of the week, which gives more time and we keep the same end date?  If we have the text, we can review that, it's straightforward basic text.  I think the submission form is also very straightforward and very few fields.  Perhaps we can get that approved today.  But again   
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yeah, if there is no great changes, we can just update the dates, and extend it out earlier.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: The question is to Paul, does that help with the timetable in the southern hemisphere?  I'll give Paul a moment to think about that, and then let's go back, it appears as though Raquel should be able to speak now.  We will go back to the queue.  Raquel and Ananda, Jutta and Sylvia.  Raquel?  Raquel, it appears as though you are speaking but I can't hear you.
>> Yeah, that is correct.  She unmute herself but apparently it's a problem on her side.  Let's try with Ananda and I will try to help her.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Luis.  Ananda, you have the floor.
>> Can you hear me?
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Yes.
>> This is the first time I'm speaking and I'm so glad that I'm in the MAG, and I used to be with the MAG at IGF Nepal chapter.  We conducted two IGF in Nepal for the last two years.  I'm very excited that I can significantly contribute to the cause of IGF in Nepal, if not in the region and the whole group, thank you very much.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Ananda.  We are very very excited to have your contributions.
>> Thank you.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Raquel?  Let's try again.  Again, I can see you are speaking, but no volume.  I'll let Luis and you keep troubleshooting that in the background.  Then we will circle back here at the moment, which means we should go to Jutta, you have the floor.
>> Thank you.  This is Jutta Croll speaking from Germany.  Thank you for giving me the floor, Lynn.
Firstly, I would like to say warm welcome to all the new MAG members.  I'm a MAG member for Civil Society from Germany in my second term.  I'm happy to see all the new names, so far new to me and looking forward to see the new faces when we have our first face to face meeting.
There are two things I would like to say.  First, in regard of the public call for issues, if it's too much effort for the Secretariat to open it before Christmas, I would just suggest that we announce that it will be starting on the 2nd of January, so that the community will already know that they can fill in the short form at the beginning of the year.  I don't think that would also be like an extension of the time frame for sending in issues.
The second thing is, about the third meeting, I'm very glad that the colleagues from the federal Ministry of Economics have arranged to have the third open consultations and MAG meeting in Berlin, and for all those people who think it's close to the second meeting, yes, of course, but I can promise you, it's very nice to be in Berlin in June, and we will really try everything to welcome you there from Civil Society as well as from Government.  Thank you.  Bye.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Jutta.  That was a good suggestion as well with respect to the early announcement.  Paul, we will come back to your comments in the chat room in a moment.  Let's go to Sylvia, and then circle back to Raquel.  Sylvia, you have the floor.
>> Thank you, Lynn, thanks for giving me the floor.  I hope you can hear me?
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: We can, yes.
>> I also want to welcome everybody, all the new MAG members, and my fellow returning offenders, it's my second year on the MAG and I'm very happy to participate in, especially to have all the appointments done so early, and having that clear roadmap ahead in my desk to be able to have booked and organized with enough time.
I want to reinforce the words that I typed on the chat about supporting proposal number 1 for all the reasons, and others, that Chengetai mentioned.  I think, I actually don't think extending any of the calls for during the process is that useful.  I think what we can do better is promotion and making sure that we keep the momentum going.  I think there is a lot of interest just because the IGF in Paris kind of like just happened, and people are still digesting what happened there.  So the sooner we let people know that there are things happening, the better, even if they are on holidays.  If we do, because I am also in the south, and it's summer holidays, yeah, so if we move let's say to February, then it's holidays in the Chinese new year, and there is always something happening.  So I don't think really that is going to be a perfect time, and I would rather have the more time to work on the selection process, the scheduling and especially the intersessional work that is part of the demand let's say for a more comprehensive and high quality outputs that kind of we struggle when we try to do everything at the same time.
I also think it's very important to have that third meeting in Berlin.  It will help us kind of like scout the sights and understandings where things are happening, for those of us that do all the events, for the people that are doing, organizing social events and other activities around the IGF that is counting of venues so it's very critical, and it's additional expense, so that will be really good to be able to have such a long time ahead of the meetings.  So thank you very much for all this, small but very useful improvements.
I hope we can stick to the calendar proposed as much as possible.  Thank you very much.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Sylvia.  Good comments made there as well.  Raquel has been trying to get in for some time.  Let me see if we can pull Raquel in now.  Then we will go to Paul's comments.  If not, we will reverse that.  Raquel?  Raquel, I see you speaking but no volume.  This is very unusual because I know you spend hours and hours every day on line.
>> Hi, Lynn, sorry, this is Luis.  I unmuted her.  But she doesn't seem to be able to speak from her side.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Maybe you can ask her if she can put the comment in the chat room or a E mail, whatever is easier for her.  We can pulling it up and look at it that way.
>> LUIS BOBO: Will do.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Paul, you are in the queue.  Why don't I let you speak to your comments in the chat room.  Thank you.
>> Yeah, I wanted to add so people have a sense of understanding, in this part of the world when people go on holidays they tend to travel to their communities and villages and often these areas are disconnected areas, so they are not necessarily connected.  If starting earlier is not going to help, because people are starting to travel, they are on the road, people drive long distances to get to where they are going.  They spend two to three weeks with their families, in their communities.
Then by the first or second week of January, people are back.  If we don't extend it, we are disadvantaging a lot of people to put forth the call to issues.  I understand we have time lines, particularly with the dates for the first meeting and we want to have a summary at the third meeting, but my ask is if we extend it as far as we can into January, without impacting the consolidation process, and the preparations for that face to face meeting.  Thank you.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Paul.  I'll ask the secretary to come in, in a few minutes and respond to that.  I think you captured both the opportunity that we are missing by closing it too early and at the same time, the constraints on the other end given the dates of the MAG meeting.
Let's give Hannah the floor, and then we will see if Raquel can come in.  Carlos, and at that point, let's go back to the Secretariat and see if they can comment on where they think we are now given the specific comments here.  Hannah, you have the floor.
>> Thank you very much, Lynn.  Sorry (overlapping speakers) this is Hannah.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Is it?  Sorry (chuckles).
>> I always find and I'm sure you will see irony, when we start talking about technology, mine stops working.  (chuckles).
This is just, thank you, thanks for the flexibility of giving me the floor.  At first, thank you, Lynn for your leadership and to the Secretariat for all their guidance bringing us to this point, the previous MAG members, DESA, and to the Host Country.  I'm happy to be here and be part of the conversation.
I think Paul's point is quite salient.  I remember when we were doing the WSIS+10 review in New York here, the unofficial tag line was that the same amount of time that people spend online should be spent off line.  So with that in mind, completely support that many will be on holiday, and we should respect that.
But my question, understanding that it's difficult to push back time lines, also has to do with (background noise) the pace in the space we are talking about.  The question is how much flexibility is there, after the initial call for submissions, to add items and to tweak the agenda and the focus, understanding that it's great to do things well in advance, but god forbid cyber warfare breaks out in August when we are not meeting, do we have some flexibility to address (background noise) as well.  That is the main point.
The second one was regarding the second meeting, it's a request/preference for it to be towards the end of the WSIS Forum, completely agree with colleagues on the usefulness of having it coincide with it.  But for travel restraints but also to allow time to take in inputs of the Forum itself, if we do it at the end of the week, 11, 12, April, around there.  Thank you.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Hannah.  I'll respond to your last question, the last few years we have had a proposal from MAG members that we perhaps keep the certain number of workshops sessions open specifically (background noise) to address any late blooming topics if you will. if the MAG desires it, it is a possibility this year as well.
The call for issues just gives the MAG an early look at those sort of issues that are top of people's minds.  It is 200, 300 word submission.  It really is just to give a sense to the MAG of those topics that are most interest so that we can use that as we shape the subsequent call for workshops, call for submissions.
But neither one of those processes are cast in stone.  Should a very different profile of workshops come in through the workshop session process, I think the MAG would be very thoughtful about reviewing those and trying to understand what if anything is shifted between the two, and what impact that should have on shaping the overall programs.  So from my perspective, it still keeps appropriate level of flexibility.  I'll keep going through the queue and then come back to the Secretariat, with respect to the open discussion on extending the time line for the call for issues.
Raquel?  You have the floor.
>> Yes, thank you, Lynn.  Can you hear me now?
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Excellent, yes.  Thank you.  Thank you for your perseverance.  (chuckles).
>> Thanks, everyone, I'm sorry, thanks to you, sorry for the troubleshooting.  I just redownloaded Webex.  So now it's on.  That is the good thing.
Just to introduce myself, I'm not the lady with problems with technology, well, we all are, I'm Raquel Gato, I work with internet society, I represent technical community, I'm in my third term so my last one.  I'm from Brazil.
As I take the mic now I want to really say thank you for all the work done with the Secretariat, Lynn and UNDESA and of course the French team to pull up the last MAG.  It was incredible, what could be done in a short time, so really thanks for all the work, and to congratulate the Germans and very happy to work with the Germans and the new MAG going forward.
In terms of what was being discussed of the strategic view, I also appreciate this new opportunity that we have to start already and to do more of strategic thinking, that is important.  There were several changes that we made last or this year, and certainly, it gives us much more room for the change next year.
But I think it's important to give one step back and bring us to what we want in terms of having the stronger IGF, having this more focused discussions, and in this sense the proposals that Chengetai has outlined brings a lot on the heavy lifting that is the program, but my suggestion would also to bring some of the other inputs that we had during the MAG work, for example, the working groups, in particular I was participating in the working groups of improvements.  And there is a lot that we can streamline in the strategic thinking, and I'm sure Lynn can also send some of the outcomes of the working group with your strategic, strategy, and so on.
And just to flag this, so we don't miss the opportunity on streamlining this work that for me was really important.  And perhaps the last one is, in terms of the ask around which proposal we are more comfortable with, to be honest, both of them had pros and cons.  But I think the first one, I tend to get the first one as, also to support.  Personally, I'm not going to be able to attend the January meeting, but I will be following all the work.
And also, to support Paul's now proposal to, as far as we can, adapt the deadlines to the south, and to our summer vacations, as we are going to be off in January or hopefully going to be off in January.
So overall, I think those are my comments.  And welcome to the new MAG'ers, to the new MAG members.  Thank you very much.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel.  Very important points, and I think we are all in agreement that we need to pay as much attention as we can to southern hemisphere holidays, particularly given the importance we put on the northern hemisphere summer holidays, and I'm sure there is support to extend it as much as we can.  We will come to the Secretariat on that in a moment.  Carlos, you have the floor.
>> Hello?  Do you hear me?
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Yes, very well.
>> Good.  I am Carlos Alfonso, I am director of the Brazilian proactive research organization, former member of the board of the cgi.br, Internet Steering Committee and I'm still a board member of the Brazilian chapter of Internet Society.
I'm participating in the IGF process since the very beginning in Athens, and especially from the first IGF meeting in Brazil in 2007, then I had the opportunity to participate as a special advisor to the Vice Chair and the MAG, and I have had a few other participations in the MAG since then.  Now I'm very thankful for the opportunity to participate again as a full member of the MAG, and I would like to make a comment regarding the schedule, the proposal 1.
It seems that the proposal which is on line is the one Chengetai sent us, there is no modification.  But in the mailing list, there were a few suggestions of people who agreed with proposal 1, and has made some, in my view, some useful suggestions or important suggestion regarding coincidences with their schedules and so on.
I wonder if these people are on line and could comment on them, and so we would have the opportunity to insert them, if possible, in the proposal 1 right now.  But I see that we are past one hour of the meeting.  And I'm not sure if we will have time for that now.  So thank you.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Carlos.  I think if those people are on, I know the Secretariat has taken those comments into account, and we will go to Ben and we can ask the Secretariat to comment to them.  If not, of course, those individuals that did have comments online are on, and they want to reiterate them here, I think we can, we have time for that.
Let me go to Ben.
>> Thank you, Lynn.  It's Ben Wallis from Microsoft.  I wanted to talk just a bit about the time line, and proposals.  The time line in terms of the workshop approval process culminating in decisions of the meeting in June, I think that makes sense.  It provides plenty of time after the workshops are chosen for the workshop organizers to make sure the speakers are lined up and all that.  It makes sense to follow that process that are in proposal 1, where workshops are evaluated and approved at a meeting in June.
I've only been through the process once, but my experience when we held the workshop approval process at our meeting in July was that there wasn't really any time to do anything else at that meeting.  So I wanted to leave open the idea of having the third meeting in September, which would give us time to look at other things, such as the main sessions.  I did go to the meeting in April last year.  I was able to go to one or two WSIS Forum sessions, but then I spent the rest of the time in the MAG meeting.  So I don't see a particular value in co locating those two meetings, because I didn't really get to see much of the WSIS Forum because I was focused on the MAG.
Just opening up the idea of going with kind of January, June, September process, where we do finish the workshops by June, but give us a bit more time in September and it spaces out the meetings some more.  I wanted to keep those ideas open, and say why I thought that might be interesting.  Thanks.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Ben.  Chengetai?  I don't know if you have had time to digest the last comment, but certainly the earlier one with respect to the timing on the call for issues.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes.  For the call for issues, what we can suggest is that we can give an extra, is it five days, four or five days at the end, so that we will end on the 24th of April, the call for issues, and that will give us just enough time for the Secretariat to go through and collate the issues and send it to the MAG and the MAG can look at them on the way here to Geneva for the first face to face meeting.  Will that work?  That is as far as we can go in the current time line, given an extra five days.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Let me look for a quick affirmation from Paul.  He was suggesting anywhere between the 22nd and 25th.  I assume that works.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yeah, 24th.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: I'm reading the comments in the room.  It appears as though we are back to proposals on the table again where, I think as was called earlier the consensus online seemed to be sort of centering around proposal 1.  You know, if the main benefit of meeting late in September is for MAG meetings and other sessions, I think those are the sorts of things that we can progress through virtual meetings as well.
I think, and Chengetai, jump in here, that if we move that third meeting to September, we miss the opportunity to have a meeting in Germany, in Berlin.  That was the only dates available to us, were those in June.  That is certainly another key consideration given some of the comments we heard here and saw online.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: I think his proposal was to move the April meeting to September.  But then we have the other meetings, I think we have had September meetings once or twice, and they have mainly concentrated around main sessions, etcetera.  So it wasn't really concentrating on issues faced by the wider community, but you could basically call them, you know, MAG working meetings.  So I mean, of course we can always change the agenda for the September meeting.  But that is what we have done in the past, when we have had a September meeting.  And yes, the argument goes, yes, can those be done virtually, or do we have to have a face to face meeting to discuss those issues.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Very colorful language there (chuckles) in the chat room.
We will try and close this and call for a consensus, in just a moment.  My thought of going from January to June is that is the period when we have by far the most substantive topics, concurring with Chengetai's point here.  It would be on call for issues, themes, all the other discussions that we had last year with respect to shaping the IGF program, lots of focus on less redundancy, less tracks, trying to get more concrete outputs out of the process.  There was a lot of strategic work that took place in the working groups, last year, fund raising improvements and strategic multi year work program, and that is the kind of work that I think is much easier accomplished in a face to face meeting, where you have got basically three days worth of meetings to advance topics, not an hour or two of phone calls every other week, which is really hard to keep state personally.
I think the, I'm trying to read the comments in the chat room here as well, I have to say I think my strong preference is to stay with proposal 1, and have them in the first half, that allows us time to focus on all the strategic issues, that are always left to the very end, and very late, and frankly we make very little progress, because the current MAG can only take the work so far and then it stops, and resets, while the new MAG comes in.
I think as Stefan said in the early part of the call, there is a lot of stimuli or a lot of proposals or a lot of challenges that are being set for the MAG or sent to the MAG, and if we, I just think they are much better addressed through substantive in person meetings.
Again, the call, Chengetai and I, the Secretariat and I both took after the early comments on the chat room was for proposal 1, with some adjustments of the dates.  I think we have addressed the call for public issues.  I certainly think everybody is supportive of staying with the meeting in Berlin, I think the issue is whether or not we have a third meeting if you will, between January and June, or in September.  I think that is really the only choice that is still open for us.  Let me go to Sylvia in the queue and see if we can come back and close this, one way or the other.  Sylvia, you have the floor.
>> Thanks, again, Lynn.  I want to again support all the comments that you just made, and support the option number 1, from the experience from last, from this year, I keep saying last year, from the experience from this year, the substantive part of the work in terms of the strategy kind of trumps all the rest, that happens after the selection of the workshops is done, so the sooner we can agree on the strategic approach, the better.  Then we can concentrate on providing proper input and support for the intersessional work that probably will be charted and planned, have more time to incorporate improvements, and to do the whole process and all of that because it will not be rushed before the meeting with MAG, but from September to November there is time, that will give very little time to local host and the Secretariat to actually action any of our recommendations of these issues, so I really think that this is based on the Secretariat experience, and I fully support the proposal number 1, and as Lynn said, kind of tweaking, small tweaks for specific dates, but try to take as much as possible with what was, stick as much as possible with what was proposed.  Thanks.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Sylvia.
Just reading the comments in the chat room here, and Ben had said that he wanted to be sure it was considered, he wanted to float the idea of a hybrid proposal, but (chuckles) that he was flexible as well, I guess would be the way I'd interpret the ditch comment.
Are there any, is there anybody who wants to speak out strongly against supporting proposal 1, with at the moment the call for issues extended from the 2nd to the 24th of January, and if we don't put the call for issues out this week, then I agree with Jutta's suggestion, we can send a note either as part of the schedule here but a note to the community, giving them a heads up that it was coming, so that they could get prepared as well.
And then we still need to choose the specific dates during WSIS, I guess, if we are going with that time frame.  Let me see if there are, anybody wants to speak out strongly, and that would mean with a substantive set of arguments, that would move the third meeting to September, rather than in the first half of the year.  Feel free to signal, either in the chat room or to ask for the queue, the floor.  Okay.  So I'm not seeing anyone in the queue.  I'm reading Ben's comment.  Sounds like there is more appetite for January, April, June, meeting schedule, his concern was to make sure the June meeting had time over for other issues and the workshop evaluation, very pressed for time last year.  Yeah, I actually hope, Ben, that some of the items like the main sessions, in fact we get an earlier start on.  If we were to think about the main sessions earlier, in fact, we could certainly reach out to high level speakers, that tend to I think book their calendars far in advance, might also be able to find ways to engage the community and certainly the D.C.s, BPFs, NRIs, etcetera, in those sessions earlier as well.  Hopefully, it gives us more time to engage more broadly on the main sessions, than scrambling to pull them together under time pressure.
So it seems in the chat room, I want to thank Ben for bringing the point up, and for being open, as well.  Another comment came in, any other comments that would suggest changes to the process, please keep sending them in, either in the chat room or on the mail list, and we certainly have a lot of time to adjust whether it's through the agendas for the physical meetings and open consultations, or through the virtual meetings as well.  Chengetai, is there anything else you want to cover within that schedule?  Or anything you are looking for specifically now with respect to the April meeting?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: No.  There is nothing else on the schedule.  I want to remind that the schedule of course does not include the virtual meetings which we are going to discuss, agenda item 4.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Right.  Continue to see support in the chat room for option 1 as well.  Let's go forward with that.  I think we need to call the dates for the second meeting over the course of the week, so that we are not leaving people believing that there is a five day open consultation and MAG meeting, I think   
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: We are waiting for confirmation from ITU on those exact dates.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Right.  We can flesh out the agenda items as well.  It may even be helpful with a different graphic, because one of the things I found interesting, in fact the workshop call for proposals will still be open while we are having the second MAG meeting.  I think that is an excellent opportunity for us to look at what is coming in at that point in time, and take that into account as we actually shape the work over the second part of the year, and certainly use that to shape our discussions around the IGF program ultimately.
That was just a little hard to pull out when you look at the block format here.  Okay.  I want to thank everybody for that discussion.  And, yeah, one of the other options, I suppose, is if we think we need more time on the third meeting per Ben's suggestion, the Secretariat is actually suggesting perhaps we can ask the Germans if we could have Rudolf, if we could have a three day meeting, so three day MAG meeting, one day open consultation for a total of four days.  That might be another option.  We can take that on board, or we can try and move some critical pieces of the work ahead to the virtual meetings.  Again last year, I think we were building the process and making the selection all at the same time, and in fact trying to figure out how many workshop slots we were going to have, because of the compressed timetable too.
I think that year really was a little unusual.  We will take that on board, and see if there are any other suggestions we should consider, any other minor changes we can make.  The next item was the discussion on the call for issues, which I think the Secretariat is going to walk us through, again it's a relatively straightforward process.  We are looking for a 200, 300 word submission, without the exact count.  But Chengetai, could you walk us through perhaps the purpose quickly, and then the call itself, and the submission form, and at the end of that, if that MAG is comfortable we would like to take a call for support to go forward.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, thank you, Lynn.  For last year was the first time that we had the call for issues, call for issues had been issued before in some national, regional initiatives, but it's the first time that the main idea has adopted this and it's basically a call to see what stakeholders feel is important or what is of high interest to stakeholders.
And last year, we had nine categories, and under these nine broad categories, there were several subcategories to it.  At the end of the call, we decided to merge them, nine into eight, and we had one that was also open.  If you look at the first link, which has the IGF 2018 call for issues, it has a brief run down of the call for issues.  We also asked people for their stakeholder group and regional group, because we want to have a fair distribution to see what was of interest regionally as well and also by stakeholder groups, and this way we can make the best determination on how to structure the IGF program, and it's not overwhelmed by let's say people from the reorg countries who generally tend to respond to more on these online surveys or questions.
As Lynn said, yes, we ask for two to three sentences, which we didn't want a half a page or a page describing, just what the issues were, and if you go to category, you can see the various categories that we had or the baskets that we had, which is Cybersecurity and trust, digital inclusion and accessibility, emerging technologies, such as AI, distributed ledger system, etcetera, blockchain technologies, evolution of Internet Governance, gender and youth, human rights, innovation and economic issues, media and content, and technical and other issues, technical and operational issues, and then we had the other basket.
These baskets, I think they more or less worked well, as I said, we did make a slight adjustment at the end for the human rights and gender issues and youth issues, we put them all in one basket.  But generally speaking, I think it was very well received and we didn't have to make any more modifications to those baskets.
There is a background note, if you want to read up on it, and it's basically, it follows what I said in summary, but it explains it more.
When we received these issues, I'm going to hand it over to Eleonora who actually did most of the work, can you please tell us how, give us a overview of the submitted issues and how we grouped them together and what the results were?
>> ELEONORA MAZZUCCHI: Hi, Chengetai, hi, everyone.  Sure, happy to do that.  We received more than 330 submissions last year, which was a pretty decent number, we thought, if you think about the fact that that is maybe about 10 percent of the number of participants that come to the IGF annual meeting.  These were across all the ten actually, not nine themes that we had included in the call, including an option to select other, which the respondents could, under which the respondents could write in their own theme, if the other themes didn't really seem to apply.  So in a nutshell, to mold these many submissions into a usable framework for the program, we consolidated the common concepts and terms and distilled all of these submissions, the more than 330 into 55 distinct issues, and as Chengetai mentioned, further to that, in response to the MAG's feeling that ten was really too high a number for the thematic categories, we tightened these to eight, by merging a couple of categories with low submissions, and assigning the issues that were under other to one of the now eight themes.
What resulted was a spectrum of themes and issues which we later called sub themes, so themes and sub themes that the session organizers could choose from when we made the call for sessions, in particular the workshop organizers.  So the result was really kind of the loose structure for the annual meeting program, and I think that there is a link to this in the inputs document page that Chengetai shared but we gave a presentation on the results, when the process concluded, and as you will see at the end of that presentation, we did a, Chengetai referenced this too, a heat map on the issues which gave us very good insights into where the communities' interests were, and logically in 2018, there was a lot of reaction to current events and strong interest in data privacy, but also new issues came to the surface related to, for instance, democracy, refugees, and Indigenous Peoples.  So this year, the analysis ideally would again also try to pick up on what some of the new and previously undiscussed topics are that the community is proposing, and in turn, we could try to make sure that these are highlighted somehow in our session calls afterward, to really encourage substance for the program, that is new, and that shows that the IGF program is innovating and evolving.  We should try to maximize the input we get from this process.  Chengetai, did you want me to add anything?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: I think that was perfect.  If there are any questions, we can ...
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai and Eleonora.  We have Chenai Chair in the queue.  Introduce yourself.
>> Thank you, Lynn, thank you, Eleonora, hi, can everyone hear me?
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Yes.
>> Great.  Thanks, Lynn, thanks, Eleanora and Chengetai, I'm [inaudible] based in Cape Town but also Zimbabwe.  I want to ask with the call for issues, did you net out the regions that actually submitted, and issues, because I can see from ....
  (no audio).
>> We have lost you.
>> Yes.
>> I think I have the worst connection.  So I'm going to start from the top, my name is Chenai Chair, from research Africa representing academia, also Zimbabwe.  Thank you for the presentation, it's interesting on mapping what were the key issues, it's also Chenai, one N.
>> We can still hear you.
>> I want to ask if we also map which regions had the most participation in this call for issues, I might have missed it in the presentation, because it would be interesting to see, especially when we are thinking about the dates who participates the most in this.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you.  Chengetai, Eleonora?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: The region with the most participation was the western European and others group, that is basically western Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: African region, wasn't it second, if I remember?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Africa group was second, and then Latin America and Caribbean, eastern European, and then Intergovernmental Organisations and others with 11.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: That was in one of the links you sent as well.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: It is on the Webex now, if you take a look at it.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Also stakeholder, of course, too, which is usually led by Civil Society, and with the MAG has the responsibility to reach out across the world, both country, region and stakeholder group to ensure everybody is paying attention to the IGF and key piece of the process is the call for issues, is a key piece.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes.  The highest group that submitted was Civil Society followed by the private sector, and then the technical community, and then governments and then Intergovernmental Organisations.  Stakeholder group, that wasn't that great a difference between, it's still 40, but considering between the stakeholder groups and the regional groups, Civil Society and private sector were closer together than the first and second groups for the regional groups.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai.
  (static).
Sylvia, you have the floor.
>> Thanks, Lynn.  I wanted to ask the Secretariat if, Eleonora, with your experience with organizing submissions from last year, if you see the possibility for example of using some of the issues that were raised last year, I keep saying the last year, in the last process, to make sure that we don't end up, I'm not saying that we can only get new issues but let's say if issues were discussed during the 2018 and then they stay, or part of the conversation, that might also help us to see that what work groups or what sessions that are proposed are actually helping to evolve the discussion and move the conversation forward, and keep those that are more mature let's say, so the outcomes, also asked to improve the outcomes, in part, let's say is so critical for the IGF.  I think it would be good to have in the form, the one that you have incorporated, but then some sort of options so people can reflect from the issues from the previous process, so that if we do that, I don't know, three IGFs in a row let's say, and you aggregate information, then you can see, okay, the conversation around fake news started here, and has evolved this way, and that might help us on the analysis and the understanding of how the program evolves and gives the call for issues a lot more use, let's say, as part of the structure of the program.
I don't know if I'm making myself clear or it's just a ramble, but just thinking out loud.  Thank you.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you, Sylvia, some interesting comments.  Maybe we can provide some additional context in the call, which at a minimum would, I think, ask people to think about the discussions at the last IGF and ensure that they were working to advance the issues and move them forward, I'm sure there is much better language than that.
We have Paul in the queue and maybe I'll ask the Secretariat if they want to come back and comment on any of Sylvia's other points or any other points that have come up.  Paul, you have the floor.
>> I lost some of it, my Internet is quite bad today for some reason I don't know.  But anyway, a quick comment on the stakeholder groups, we have stakeholder groups but there are other groups that are not included.
  (voices in the background).
On the other drop down we have the option for other.  Maybe we should include other, to include corporate groups that don't fall in those, like academia doesn't fall into those necessarily.  Thank you.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: That is a good point as well.  Chengetai?  Anyone in the Secretariat want to comment?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: I'll take the question on the groups.  For the groups, I'm hesitant to put in the word, other, because we are using these groups for statistical purposes, for the academic community, they fall into Civil Society.  Yes, we could, but then, and I know there are people out there who are in more than one stakeholder group, but it would skew our statistics a bit, and I'm hesitant of changing the way we come to things at this, we can call it a improvement.
The other group is an easy category for people to drop in, I mean this is just me but I can discuss it further.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Chengetai, could you say something such as, academia and then in parentheses, Civil Society, so you could then roll those up so you had one Civil Society category.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: We can do that (overlapping speakers) that is a good idea.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: If there are some other categories that people self identify with more easily.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: They should write it down.  Then we can see.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: If you think of any others as well, if you want to put something else in, and again, just make it clear in parentheses, which mega category they would be captured in within the system.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, we are using the WSIS definitions 90 percent of the time.  I will look into that and see what we can do especially with Lynn's suggestion.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Eleonora, any reflection on Sylvia's earlier comments?  Or anyone else in the Secretariat.
>> ELEONORA MAZZUCCHI: Hi, and thanks Sylvia for the comment.  It reminds me of the input that we received in last year's stock taking process, where there was I think an appetite expressed for having a way of tracking how much issues are advanced over the course of the annual meetings.  I see Sylvia's comment as related to that.  I'm kind of wondering how to make this most useful for our call for issues, as you were saying, Lynn, maybe providing some context somehow in the call on what the issues were last year, and how they were advanced, or maybe even asking as part of the input that the respondents give, because we do ask them for two to three sentences on their issue, and not just a couple of words, to specify whether they feel that this issue needs to be advanced, or whether it has been overcovered, or I don't know.  I think what Sylvia mentioned adds a layer of complexity to the call for issues, but one that I think would be useful, and that I think the community wants.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Maybe we can as you said put a couple sentences that ask them to think about this call for issues in the context of past IGF activities, obviously not just the program, it's all the intersessional and NRI activities as well.  And that suffices for the call to issues.  When we come to the call for workshops, maybe that is another place to accentuate the fact that we are hoping to build on past work and past discussions and ask them to either review those sessions from past years, and comment on how it extends them or, then we can possibly do more in the call for workshops submissions, which would also, I think, address Sylvia's excellent comments.
>> I agree with everything you just said, Lynn.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Thank you.  So, at a minimum, I think we have agreed that we will get a heads up on the call for issues out this week.  We may still have the ability to get the call for issues out now.  If we can, without really over, without overtaxing the Secretariat, I mean that sincerely, it's year end, there is always a lot of things that get backed up to the year end.  But if it was possible, I think to get the call for issues out before the end of this week would be helpful.  A lot of people find themselves with some spare time too, and sitting around and thinking about some of these things over the next couple weeks, and if the form is open and they can drop their comments in, that is useful as well.
Let me ask, this is to the MAG members, if they are supportive with, as a stretch goal, getting the call for issues out, along the same lines as what we did last year, with a couple of additional I think kind of modifications to the introductory text, stretch goal would be to get that out this week, failing that, that we get a heads up notice out, and we target everything to be out and ready for the 2nd of January.
Is there anybody who wants to speak against that?  If you are supportive of it, put a plus one or some indication in the chat room, but again, if you would like to speak against that or have any further questions, then please come in.  Reading through some of the comments, obviously if we get it out this week, we will send multiple reminders and certainly one of them in early January as well.
I think this also means, and I saw a comment from Sylvia way back with respect to perhaps adding a comment.  That means we would stay with the baskets that were identified in the last year's call for issues as well.
>> Luis said he can get it out by the end of the week.  If everybody agrees, it can be done.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Okay.  Trying to give a moment for everybody to think this through.  We wanted to move as quickly as we can but not so quickly that people aren't getting time to think about it appropriately.  Seems that there is support for that.  Our last agenda item then is the schedule of virtual MAG meetings.
Traditionally, the MAG meetings last year, again we had a awful lot of work we were trying to get done the second part of the year, they weren't quite so frequent in the first part, I think.  But certainly the second part of the year, which is when we were actually doing a lot of the substantive programmatic work, working group work, strategic work.  We had calls every other week, scheduled for two hours.  And pretty much, we needed the full two hours as well.
I said the Secretariat does rotate them around time zones, so that we all share the comfort or discomfort equally.  I guess the Secretariat is putting in the chat room now a proposed schedule which Chengetai, do you want to talk us through?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, Lynn.  Yes, I mean, this is a very rough schedule which we just threw up.  So we will be following the same schedule that we did last year or this year, last year, we just call it last year, every two weeks.  We will be rotating them, the time rotations, so that it's not inconvenient just for one set of people, but it's going to be convenient for people at least so that they can attend, so we would be proposing that we start on the next meeting would start on 9 January, and that will be at 8:00 UTC p.m., and then the next one will be two weeks after that, 3rd of January and that will be at 11:00 a.m. UTC and the next one is the 13th UTC which is two weeks after the face to face meeting, as we have the face to face meeting, and then we just carry on with that schedule.
It will be good if we have it on one day, so we are suggesting Wednesday, because Thursday and Friday is the weekends for, in some parts of the world.  So I think Wednesday is a good day to have it, if it's convenient for most people, we can stick it at one day and have those times rotating.
Of course, there will be things like, I'm not too sure, we haven't actually checked if it's going to clash with an ICANN meeting, etcetera, but that is the main principle of this calendar.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Perhaps we can agree, thank you, Chengetai, that is very useful, certainly having a longer horizon is useful as well.  Perhaps we can agree that the next MAG meeting is the 9th of January, so we set that now, and allow the MAG members a little bit of time to look through the rest of the calendar, you to do the work you mentioned as well with respect to other competing meetings, and look to finalize that in the coming weeks or perhaps at our 9th of January meeting.
One of the things I'd like to do at one of the meetings in January, possibly the 9th meeting, is review the work of any of the intersessional activities we can, as well as the working groups.  That is a really big lift for one meeting, so if in fact it conflicts with something the week of the 21st, then maybe we do something two weeks in a row, the week of the 7th and week of the 14th, and perhaps in one of those, we are looking at all of the working group status reports, so that new MAG members have that, and in fact all MAG members have that understood before we get to the face to face meeting, and at the same time review the DPFs, the D.C.s, start a discussion as to whether or not, what our next major policy initiative ought to be or is there a continuation of connecting and enabling the next billions and it would be useful to have report on NRIs for the MAG members, to get people versed with all the activities across the IGF ecosystem.
Those are the topics that I think would be particularly useful in the first part of January, leading up to the face to face meeting.  Any comments or thoughts on that proposal from the Secretariat or from MAG members?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: It's fine with us.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: Any other comments?  MAG members?  I see some comments with respect to Secretariat invites and that sorts of thing.  I know the Secretariat and I as well, look through the comments in the chat room, sometimes a little difficult to absorb them fully in the midst of the meeting, and work to ensure that those comments are reflected in the meeting summary, as well as if we need to address any of the kind of text or conclusions we have reached here.
I'd like to offer my thanks to everybody for helping us get through some pretty substantive work items, that I think will help us get a good start on next year, and hopefully, give a more comfortable pace to a lot of the community members as well, both in terms of heads up and, heads up to the longer schedule as well as heads up to various activities.
Thank you, everybody, for making the meeting, for the comments and participation online as well.  I do think that is incredibly important.  And I want to wish everybody the very best for the year end, and your holidays, and we will talk to everybody in early January.  Thank you, Chengetai and to everyone in the Secretariat, just tremendous, tremendous work this past year, and very much appreciate all the support in getting next year kicked off so timely, so completely.  Thank you.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Lynn.  And thank you all.  Happy holidays.  One more thing, we are going to open up the registration for the face to face meeting, straight after this meeting.  So people can start registering now.
>> LYNN SAINT-AMOUR: That is a good point.  If we can all, I think the open consultations are so important, and sometimes they are well supported, and well attended, others not.  But I think this is just a great opportunity to pick up on all the strategic work, all the stimuli we have had, and really get some people to participate and hopefully new people to participate too.  So please use your networks to reach out and ensure that everybody is informed of the open consultation and the ability to participate, either in person or on line.  Thank you, everyone.  Happy holidays!
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you all.

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 411