The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2017 First Open Consultations and MAG Meeting from 1 to 3 March 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Ladies and gentlemen, can we please take our seats? We're about to start. It's quarter past 10:00. All right. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the second day of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group meeting, and let's just start. I'll hand it over to Lynn. Thank you.
I don't need to go over the, you know, orders of speaking and how to attract attention. Just please remember to say your names clearly for the scribes and also for the remote participation. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. I like just getting into the work as well.
Having said that, I do want to make one kind of intervention specific to the online participation.
I think there's still, you know, a concern or a thought that somehow the online participants are being grouped and put at the back end of the list, and I want to say that that's not what we're trying to do and we don't think it's what our process is.
What tends to happen here in the physical room is that, you know, a topic will come up and it's open and all of a sudden 10 flags go up and those, of course, are the flags that are noted here on the list that the secretariat is keeping. And then maybe by the time the online participants, you know, note in the WebEx room that they'd actually like the floor, there's already 10 and it feels like they are at the back end. I'm quite sure how we fix that. I'm open to any suggestions, particularly from the secretariat or people in the list, but I will say that, you know, the secretariat is sitting right here in front of us and when we get a request from them, it goes right in the place in the list in which we've received the request.
But perhaps -- Ginger and I had some emails last night. Perhaps we can find a way to do that a little bit better but I just want to make it very clear that there's no intent to just put the online participants, you know, at the back end of the list.
And if there are any suggestions over the course of the day here with respect to how to improve that, then please get them in and we'll weave them in as we can.
So with that, I'm posting -- the first order of business, of course, is to adopt the agenda for the day.
These two days' agendas all kind of overlap and they run together and the topics are in and out, and I tried to put just a bulleted agenda that would identify the things that we need to get through through the course of the day today. I think in doing this last night, it also kind of indicated to me that I think we could probably follow what I would say at least the more usual practice is I'm aware of in setting agendas, which is set the agenda, make it clear what the purpose is of the agenda item. Do we need a decision, is it for discussion, is it brainstorming, is -- so I think we can do that for future agendas and maybe make that more clear.
So it should be in the WebEx chatroom and displayed here.
What I'm proposing is, I've got just a couple of remarks to try and just kind of organize us for the day a little bit, give Thomas the opportunity to see if there's anything he wants to add or, of course, comment on here specific to the agenda.
One of the things we need to do is to come to the main theme or the title. If you've been following the discussion on the MAG list, I think we have sort of moved away from a theme discussion to a title, and we'll talk about that when we get there.
I think that may allow us a little more room to really develop some interesting themes, real good things, and Ginger had an excellent point on the MAG list yesterday.
We have an open question of whether or not we want to allow the workshop proposers to tag their proposals as we did last year, and once the MAG has made their selection, that sort of determines the tracks or subthemes, or do we want to go back to the previous years' practice where we had a small number of themes and asked the workshop proposers to identify which ones they saw their proposals aligning with. I just think we need to make that a conscious decision.
We need a discussion on -- and I hope that's a short discussion.
We need a discussion of possible intersessional activities. We have some assumptions around some of the BPFs that we'll get to. We want to hear from Constance on the connecting and enabling the next billion, a possible Phase 3. She sent a document to the MAG list a few weeks ago. Which actually reminds me, I'm not sure that the new MAG members that came on the list three or four days ago would have seen that, so she can recirculate it, if not.
DCs, maybe review those at a virtual meeting soon. I think that's actually a very significant piece of work and not one that we're actually prepared to do here today yet.
There is a Doodle poll open to schedule the time for our second face-to-face MAG meeting. It closes at 1:00 today central European time, which would be 12:00 UTC. And we will then -- is that right?
We will then close it -- we'll then bring the decision back into the room here, and of course that will affect the timetable for the call for proposals and the workshop, so we'll update that appropriately as well.
One of the -- buried in the agenda items here over the last couple of days, there's lots of look at the NRIs, BPFs, DCs, figure out the integration, that sort of thing. I know the NRIs have a meeting at lunch. I put in NRIs and just synergies there. I'm -- you know, this is really to give the NRIs some time to talk to the MAG with respect to the things that are of interest to them, and that may end up being kind of more how do we actually work together in the future than specific requests, but if they have specific requests, that's good as well.
Maybe take this opportunity to say Anja, when she read out the NRI, that was not the secretariat doing the work. She was reading direct from a submission from the NRIs to the MAG. I know there was a little bit of confusion at some point, but that was a NRI submission that Anja simply read out by -- on the request of some of the NRI coordinators that were here to just kind of move the whole process along.
We need to come back to the working group on workshop evaluation and timetable.
Quick discussion on formats, new formats. That obviously impacts the call for proposal.
And at this point in time I'd like to ask if anybody has any other business or if they see anything substantial missing that we must get through today.
We will likely start our two-week virtual calls effective leaving here, so in -- not next week, but the week after, and that's where we'll pick up a lot of this other work.
So let me -- I'm calling for approval of the agenda but I'm not specifically calling you to approve this agenda. I'm asking if there are any other AOB, if there's anything else we think we need to get done today.
So I have Thomas and then Lea. Chengetai, can you keep the list?
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Thank you and good morning. There's just one thing that I don't think we can spend time today, but the issue of the strategic planning is a separate track, probably, that I would just ask everybody to think about how to somehow start moving this along. We will not do this by June, or whatever, but whether you want to create a working group or some substructure that would start thinking about what this could be for the next nine years and maybe develop some time lines or ideas what we would want to achieve or you would want to achieve on the strategic planning, because if not, there's always another urgency that would prevent that from happening and we won't have any strategic planning by 2024.
So I think that should -- could be a parallel track somehow. Just that we don't forget this. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yeah. No, I have a proposal for that in my opening remarks, so I'll come to that. I don't want to open that discussion up now. I really want to see if there are any specific comments on the agenda.
So I had Lea and then Elizabeth in the queue.
Lea, you have the floor.
>>LEA KASPAR: Thank you, Chair, and thank you for preparing the agenda. Good morning, everyone.
Perhaps it's a similar comment to the one that Thomas made, and it was a question around when would be an appropriate time to discuss potential other working groups or, well, intersessional activities that do not fall under the ones that you listed there.
This might include the working group on communications, any working group to look at implementing improvements to the IGF, which could potentially be subsumed under the strategic planning. I'm not sure. But I can see that relates to each other.
So if you could clarify when we would be able to discuss that, I think it would be important to get through that today. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I was thinking we would do that under the MAG chair section. But if we need another section later on in the agenda, we can just slot it in.
Anybody online, Anja? No?
Elizabeth, you have the floor.
>>ELIZABETH THOMAS-RAYNAUD: Thank you both. So I think we definitely feel very strongly that the strategic planning is essential and needs to be prioritized. And in addition to looking at the ideas that were discussed yesterday and having a separate working group track, I think is important to have that work both started and taken very seriously and advanced forward. And I will offer to contribute and help with that. And I hear Thomas is very interested as well. So perhaps there's a proposal that we could explore in moving forward on that.
I would also say that I think we've spoken about budget, but we haven't put anything into the thinking around how we address that. And it feels like an elephant sitting on a lot of lungs when we're talking about what projects we're trying to achieve. And so I would like us to somehow integrate that into that topic as well.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Are we okay moving forward with this agenda? Looking around the room, I see yes. Call the agenda approved. Thank you.
So let me address the question that obviously is top of people's mind, given how we have fallen into it here. There's a lot of work that the MAG and the community have in various ways. Sometimes through their stock-taking submissions, sometimes through the work and activities of last year. Have indicated they think it's really important for the MAG to do. Some of that -- and I use the word "strategic work plan" as the first step. A lot of people I hear saying we need a strategic plan. Just to be clear, that may be what we decide we need but that's not what we're setting out to do. I think "strategic plan" means something very specific in some communities, business community or other communities.
The first thing we need to do, I think, is recognize some of the very strategic key pieces of work in front of us. And they cover making sure we are progressing against the CSTD Working Group on Improvements. They cover some of the retreat activities. They cover certainly the funding and what activities we might do here. They absolutely cover outreach, how do we get -- they cover the WSIS+10 call for us to specifically increase outreach and specifically to developing countries. It called for improvement in modalities of the working of the MAG. I have got a whole list here of things that we need to find a way to address.
What I would like to do is give Chengetai and I a little bit of time to just map out for the MAG and the community's review and approval the pieces of work that we see, define what we see the pieces of work are from the stock-taking, from all these discussions, and then put it in front of the MAG so we're all having the same discussion. There's a lot of things around what should the relationship be with the NRIs to the MAG. I think there's the same discussion on what should the relationship be between the BPFs and the MAG.
So I would like to put all those pieces together in a way that we can have the discussion here about what the priorities are and how we address the priorities.
And I think if we just charter a working group in the way we've traditionally chartered a working group and say they're going to go off and do these things, I'm not sure that's actually going to appropriately capture everything and appropriately prioritize everything.
So I'm not suggesting we define it. I'm suggesting that Chengetai and I with the help of various people -- but it's not a formal working group -- get organized so that we can put that discussion properly in front of the MAG and the community. That would say that we don't charter today a working group to go look at CSTD, and we don't even specifically charter the working group on communications today. I'm not sure I would say today that some of the things we were imagining doing in communications really should take priority over funding, for instance, or priority over some of the outreach activities, which is how do we get all the outputs of the IGF into the places where it can make a difference.
We all say repeatedly we have limited resources. And I think if we just charter four or five working groups and send them off, it's not going to necessarily thoughtfully address the priorities we see here.
So, again, just to be clear, all we're asking is that Chengetai and I work to pull those various threads together and try and prepare a discussion for the MAG which would outline kind of a possible roadmap for how we actually work through those activities over the course of the year.
So I will stop there, I think. I could talk about any one of those key things in pieces, but it's more a matter of how do we all get to the point where we know enough, what the work is in front of us, we're agreed on the priorities, and we can figure out how we're going to structure the work across all the resources we have, the MAG but then also certainly the community as well.
So Chengetai has started a list here. Miguel, Elizabeth, and Lea, that's a new flag? Miguel, you have the floor. It's Miguel Candia from Paraguay.
>> MIGUEL CANDIA: Thank you very much, Chair. And good morning. Just a generic comment for now particularly in asking permission to make procedural mistakes as it is my first MAG meeting.
First, what I can do offer is manpower being here in Geneva. So I put myself on the line to be on the working groups that we may decide or not to create today or even those who are already in place. Open to work with everybody. So straight on that.
And according to the way we see the issues, yes, I'm fully with you with the idea of giving a bit more time to work with Chengetai on the structure. So put me on the list on that. I think one of the principles we have to follow is just coherence between the different organizations, sectors. So we have to try and outreach as much as we can -- to reach out, not outreach, reach out in order to fit from them and make our work a bit easier and more informed so we can have pretty good decisions. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Miguel.
Elizabeth, you have the floor.
>>ELIZABETH THOMAS-RAYNAUD: Thank you. I very much appreciate the reflection and the proposal to work with the different inputs and the comments of the MAG. But I would like to add a suggestion perhaps to enrich or adapt that process a little bit. In the past when we've had work that we've been trying to do, whether it was on the intersessional, how do we move forward on these activities, we've actually used our presence here in one place to do meetings on the side and have, you know, a bit of a brainstorm or some of the things that we still have done to a little extent.
And I think it would be really useful perhaps rather than just leave it for you and the secretariat to go off and digest all of those things, that we first have an interaction perhaps over the lunch period where a number of people could sit and work with you and talk about those inputs that have come in and do a bit of a bouncing back in terms of prioritization and discussion. Because I think one of the things that is difficult to understand in the process at least for the time that I've been participating is at what point are we actually making those priorities. And I kind of feel like that strategic work plan discussion actually needs to factor in what is considered even among that list of priorities and to what end.
And so I think to benefit from the communities that are here in person and to the extent that we can incorporate those online in a discussion and then come back with a further enriched thought process on that, I would just like to put that out there.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And I think we can see whether or not we can accommodate that. This room is already booked for a community grouping that was organized some weeks ago.
So in terms of the online, that's probably not a possibility, but we weren't going to go away and appear a month later from a document without -- you know, we wanted to be fully transparent and really get input certainly from the MAG members and the community as well, in terms of those priorities, and it's to -- it's to think thoughtfully about that process.
You know, if there's people that can meet today and pull some things together, then I think, you know, that would be very, very helpful, but I just want to make it clear that it's not, you know, a black box and something that will appear in a week or two, so it really is meant to properly engage.
We have Lea. Next...
We have, sorry, Lea next in the queue, and then Avri and then we'll come back to the room here.
Lea, you have the floor.
>>LEA KASPAR: Thank you. Thank you, Chair. The red means that I'm on.
[ Laughter ]
>>LEA KASPAR: Got it. It's early. First coffee.
So, yes, thank you, Chair.
I do appreciate that it's important to have a thoughtful approach to this, and for you and the secretariat to think about how you are going to manage this process. We haven't done this before, so I fully appreciate that.
And perhaps to add, I like Elizabeth's approach, and I do think that it's important to actually have a completely open discussion among MAG members about this and perhaps to input into that process in an open way, rather than as a side session, if that's what, Elizabeth, you were suggesting. I'm not sure if I'm understanding -- if I understood that well.
Even the process around how that happens I think should be an open discussion.
I want to stress that I think it's important that we leave this meeting today with at least an agreement in principle that a MAG working group that will look at how we can support the improvements of the IGF is set up. And that doesn't need to -- that doesn't have to mean that we come up with it, go away and start drafting a charter. We could sequence it in a way that once there is a document or a framework that you and the secretariat come up with, in thinking how we can approach this, but there's an agreement in principle so that people can go away and have in their heads that they'll be working on this so that we start building momentum.
This is like the third year that we've talked about this and in 2015 I remember we said, "We can't do this because the WSIS review is coming up." In 2016, it was, "Well, let's wait. The retreat is coming up. We can't do it. Let's wait until, you know, the outputs of the retreat are done."
Now, we're saying, "Well, we need to up with a document that will kind of put all this together and see what the priorities are."
I'm just afraid that, you know, if we don't agree to do this and to have a group of MAG members who will dedicate their time, at least in principle at this point, to this work, that we will postpone this process further, and I would like to dedicate my time and to, you know, say that I'm happy to put time into that work, as well as to assist you and the secretariat and contribute to the broader conversation about what the best way around this is. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Lea. I mean, I think it's pretty clear that there will be some working groups actually established. There may be some other ways to do the work as well with kind of people more directly committed to taking the lead for this, depending on which particular task we're talking about.
You know, but I know sitting in this room today that if I say we need to go look at Item X, that I saw something in stock taking, a fairly significant piece of this room won't really understand what that work is or what it entails.
So I think the first thing we have to do is to say, "These are the key pieces of work we think we've heard the MAG say need to get done." There's been a lot of topics around emerging -- a lot of discussion around emerging topics and how we might do that.
There's been a number of very clear statements that say we really want to understand how we take advantage of international Geneva, and how we take advantage of international Geneva so that it helps us advance our work, build more outreach, build more partnerships, be more relevant and, obviously, you know, support objectives of the Swiss hosts as well.
So I think we need to think some of those things through, and it really is just to outline kind of the major pieces of work so we can start to understand what's in front of us and then figure out how we structure and organize it.
We don't intend to do this in a black box, so I'm sure there will be working groups. I think there's some things we might be able to move forward even a little more -- you know, more maybe informally or directly.
Avri, you have the floor.
Avri is on line, so you'll need the mic.
>>AVRI DORIA: Okay. Waiting for people to put on the mic. Tell me when it's okay to speak. Am I okay to speak?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We can hear you and we have microphones. Thank you.
>>AVRI DORIA: Okay. Thank you.
This is Avri Doria joining you from what we euphemistically call online participation. I've started to think of it more as aspirational participation.
I recommend to all of you that you take a meeting, maybe one a year, maybe every couple years, as an online participant and see what it feels like. It has a very different feeling than being there.
In terms of people going off and having discussions at lunch and doing stuff, I know it's wonderful. I love doing it myself. But I think one of the things we should think about is there's lots of portable ways for us to make mini-online participation possibilities, using a laptop and an external speaker/microphone. Those things exist.
So I'm suggesting that perhaps in the future some of us bring some of that gear along so that when we want to have an impromptu meeting, we can gather online people as well as the people who are lucky enough to have funding to get to the -- to get to be in the room.
So, you know -- and often I can scratch together the funding or, you know, deficit-finance some credit cards to get there. This time I couldn't, so fine.
So the DCs, I had been ready to talk about what's going on, but certainly willing to push that off to our next meeting. I'll let the DC, you know, coordinating group know that there wasn't time for it in this consultation and that it's moved to another meeting. I'm sure they'll understand.
I had -- while people were at the cocktail party last night, I had started work on a very bare bones charter for a working group on improvements and I have sent it out to the MAG list at this point, realizing that it's not something we're going to do, but perhaps when, you know, Lynn and Chengetai are sitting there figuring out what we should do, it's something that they can use as input.
I'm starting to believe that we're making working groups too heavy-duty, so that we can't just sort of start a group with a basic charter and have it evolve and actually get work started. I very much endorse what (indiscernible) said about it's been three years. I guess it was my frustration last night that said, "Let me start a charter." This would be the second one I've started for this work because last one when a charter was started, "No, no, no, no, we have the DESA retreat, we can't do it until we've had that." Then, "We can't do it until we've had the report from the retreat." Then -- and I very much, you know, hope that when Chengetai and Lynn start work on what our priorities are, it will be high on the list. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Avri. And that is, indeed, high on the list, and, in fact, I think would help us all move forward through the IGF work if we're able to address it quickly.
So I have Igor gore in the room. Brazil?
>>IGOR RESENDE: Thank you. Well, Brazil strongly supports the idea that we discuss a little bit about this collectively here. I don't know what is the best shape. We can find one here, I'm certain.
There are issues that we think are particularly interesting to consider.
For example, we have mentioned here the interaction between the IGF and the WSIS process, and of course the WSIS+10 has already passed, but there are still aspects of the WSIS process that are very important at this moment and the IGF is itself a result, one of the most important results, in my opinion, of the WSIS process. But there is another ongoing discussion on, which is the Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation, which is of course a totally separate track with a different proposal or different objectives, but Brazil is very much interested in exploring a discussion about what the IGF this year could contribute to the Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation in terms of promoting discussion, and we are actually pretty open to ideas. We don't have any specific expectations. But we think that even the international atmosphere of Geneva might be a helpful input to this possibility, and then maybe we could gather more views, more opinions, because that's -- as people who followed this from some time know, this is not a very easy discussion. It's not that obvious to find a way for building consensus on this view. So maybe that's something the IGF could contribute to also.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Igor. I mean if there was -- you know, a specific request or something further in mind, then it would be helpful to actually, you know, lay that out a little bit, but appreciate your bringing it here.
Thomas has the floor and then Lee.
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Thank you. And thanks to Igor for bringing this up.
Having been in that debate since 2003, I know what you mean with this is not an easy process, and if the IGF can help through providing some space for whatever the working group thinks is of help to it, I think it would make sense. I would support that we provide for some space in whatever form it needs to be discussed, so I guess also a concrete proposal of what the working group chair thinks would be most useful to him, but that we can have a look at it would be very welcome. Thank you for that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Igor.
Well, Lee and Cristina are sitting next to each other and I guess there's some negotiation going on between the two of them. They were -- they were the next two in the list, but Cristina is going to go first and then Lee. Cristina, you have the floor.
>>CRISTINA MONTI: Thank you very much. Thank you, Lynn. I just would like to express my appreciation and full support for your proposal. I think that this is not an alternative to further brainstorming and input from either a working group of the full -- or the full MAG discussions.
I would rather see this as a complementary effort, and I am confident that you and Chengetai together could put together a sort of zero draft or, you know, a starting point document on which we could further build, but I think it's important, precisely, because as we have been saying, years goes on, months goes on very quickly. We need, you know, a basis, something concrete which then we can comment on, but this document could help us better structure our work, organize ourselves, and maybe we could even think about -- depending on how you want to do this document, but maybe we could even think about different subgroups working on different elements of this broader and overarching plan or roadmap. So I think it's important to start as soon as possible and have something in front of us so that we can be more fruitful in our discussions. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Cristina.
Lee, you have the floor.
>>LEE HIBBARD: Thank you, Madam Chair. Lee Hibbard from Council of Europe. This is an important discussion for me as we look forward, because my job is to -- like all of our jobs is to go back to our homes, to our organizations, and to explain what happened, what was agreed, what's the added value of coming and bringing people, spending money on this event.
It's also a challenge because to explain the added value is as we've discussed yesterday, not so easy always, and it depends on my ability to communicate that added value often. That's one thing.
But when you're dealing with different organizations or different bodies, there is a need for a certain formality.
In the past, the Council of Europe has, you know, adopted text with the words "Internet governance" and "Internet Governance Forum." We supported the WSIS+10 review, which, you know, proposed -- which actually agreed between a bloc of 47 states, you know, a 10-year renewal which is -- which is, you know, I'm -- which must have helped in negotiations.
But every year we need to go back and review and reassess what's added value, why should we take part.
Organizing events is a shared approach and it's also very time-consuming. Colleagues don't have that time. They're willing to take part, they're willing to give their experts, they're willing to mobilize their networks, but in a sort of a time-efficient way.
Negotiating a workshop between different organizers is difficult, so people tend to back out a little bit. That's just one small example. But if we're being -- being a multiannual and looking through the next few years, there's a need to renew the -- let's say the relationships between different bodies, organizations, and I think apart from my job, my work, I would really encourage you to think about the -- the different organizations and their resources, how do you optimize them. I think simply by seeing who they are and what they can do, coming to the -- for example, formally, there's a need to send a letter to formalize needs.
Second -- I mean, for example, just a small example, we have an Internet governance strategy which has a mandate for different actions which was agreed by the member states. It's written down, it's agreed, and we then budget the resources to that -- to those actions. We all know about that. That allows us to do things.
We need that mandate in terms of the Internet Governance Forum as well. We don't have that written down. We have a general support for it, but really going further with resources and mobilization, and maybe coupling that with what's the real added value, we could create a better partnership between us and you, if you really want to optimize.
So coming to Strasbourg, for example, having a meeting, talking about that, and really underlining that, and maybe even writing something down could be a really important way forward in terms of a multiannual, going-forward approach.
To avoid it being too much discretion and people thinking -- there's some people thinking and consulting capitals and come back and forth, if we write it down and create the mandate more specifically, we could have more in the future. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Lee. And I think we've come to the last individual in the queue. Arnold, you have the floor.
>>ARNOLD VAN RHIJN: Thank you, Lynn, and good morning all. My name is Arnold van Rhijn, Netherlands government.
Just would like to support your proposal to come forward with a discussion paper on the improvements. I think it's worthwhile for starting this debate. It must be a structured debate. There's a lot on the table. As we all know, the CSTD list of improvements. We also have the important One Internet report of the Bildt Commission. It worked for two years on the outlook, how will the Internet look in the next 10 years, and they came up with an interesting recommendation, including in the field of Internet governance, so that could be taken on board as well.
In practice, we have a lot of activities going on. The working group on communication. We have had discussion, and still have, on the sustainability of the -- the finance part of the IGF secretariat. We have capacity-building discussions. So we need a coherent structure for the future to start the debate and to come forward, because we lost already one year, more than one year, and it's time, I think, to have it take off. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Arnold. I'm just going to make a final comment and then try and close this, see if there's enough support to go forward in this manner. We've heard a lot from returning MAG members. We have 12 new MAG members. Almost 20% of our MAG. They were actually appointed three days ago. I'm sure they haven't been able to fully digest the materials and the discussions that took place over the last year to understand what they should care about, what the community cares about, or what the priority is.
I think one of the things we need to do is to think about what a better transition is -- and that should come under the improvements for the MAG working group -- between the last year's MAG and this year's MAG.
I've had a lot of discussions both with returning and new MAGs that have very different opinions of sort of what our responsibilities are to BPFs and DCs. Are we still bound by the Tunis Agenda or not? Some believe that that should be sort of left to the side, now that time has passed.
So, you know -- and there's that range of, I guess, awareness of the issues and where we are and what the relationship is and the responsibilities of the MAG are, that I think we need to do a little bit better job of laying out and clarifying a little bit. And I think that's a piece of work that -- it's -- the fact that that hasn't been done well enough, that there wasn't a lot of time for the new MAG members coming in, I think is actually putting some kind of confusion in the work with respect to the role and how we progress some of these.
I also think a transition plan as the last MAG goes out, as the last BPF coordinators finish at the end of the year, I think we actually need to think about some things they could do that would actually help set the BPF discussions up for subsequent years, and they actually tend to do that in their reports. It's just that it's buried in the thousands of pages of various stock-taking reports and, again, I'm not sure the MAG is adequately aware of all of those.
So I think we can do some things to kind of -- maybe it's an orientation or it's a transition plan between the old MAG and the new MAG that would actually help set a little bit of kind of the operating framework so we're starting from a more consistent base.
And I'd be really interested in hearing from any of the incoming MAG members on what things in particular you would find helpful, which things weren't clear. You know, if it's not clear, where you look to get information or some of those things. And please, you know, let us know so that we can actually strengthen and improve that process as well. We need to get all the -- all the MAG members participating.
There's an awful lot of work to do with five MAG staff and a part-time voluntary chair. So I think we just need to organize it thought fully, as I said earlier. I'm sure there will be more discussion on the MAG list. Do we actually have support to go forward, start a process, Chengetai, with the MAG that will actually figure out how we actually structure and organize and prioritize this work? I see lots of heads nodding yes. So thank you. Thank you. I really appreciate it.
Again, we'll do it with full transparency. You have our email addresses and our phone numbers. And I think as Lee or Cristina said, if there are people who can get together today or in other venues or places and really brainstorm and send some thoughts in, please, please do. This isn't to stop that at all. In fact, we need to hear from it and I think just integrate it into one package that we can bring back to the MAG as a whole.
Carolyn, you have the floor. After that, I think we will move to the next item.
>> CAROLYN NGUYEN: Thank you, chair. With respect to your question about bringing the new -- the incoming MAG members up to speed so that we can all participate and contribute to this really important discussion in terms of improvement, perhaps what can be made available for the new MAG members is really a list of the reference documents that we should be looking at as well as the challenges, right, so that we can all be on the same page. That would be really great. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I like that, particularly like the challenges or the key activities in front of the MAG or something. I think that's a good idea.
Next on the agenda was to see whether or not there was anything Thomas actually wanted to say here.
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Not on what we just discussed. First of all, I need to tell you that I have to leave at lunchtime because I have some other obligations later today in Zurich and it takes some time to get there. But Switzerland will still be here. So Jorge will take my place. And we work together extremely closely so he knows everything that I know and more or less vice versa.
One thing that -- I don't know whether this is the right time. But we have been thinking a little bit about the discussion how to operationalize, creating incentives for people to use the experience, the international experience in the number of fields present here in Geneva. And something that you could think about is when you -- when we continue to work on the selection criteria and this process about the workshops, that we could add an additional non-binding criteria but add something that we would propose contact points to expert institutions here in Geneva that would be available for those who propose workshops, that we could create links where they could get in touch with the competent institutions and think tanks and expert bodies here in Geneva and then basically help create incentives that they would help bring in new people, people from outside of the core Internet governance circles. And whether that would -- an incentive would be done through -- that they can score points in terms of integrating, let's say, local expertise on whatever form that would need to be done, that is something that can be discussed, but that we somehow facilitate access to the expertise present here but also creating incentives that this is actually being done. Everybody says, yes, this should be done; but nobody knows how to do it. So we think about concrete ways in how to facilitate this.
And I wouldn't say this just as one-off in terms of -- of course, there's a special reason here with Geneva having a lot of international experts, but that could actually -- such a system or such an incentive could actually also be used for future IGFs to raise the awareness that you bring in local experts from the region or the country where future IGFs would be going to be held in order also to benefit from the fact that the IGF is moving around in the world, that we do not always have the same -- we know all the experts talking on the same issues but actually get some diversity based on the knowledge present and experience present in the country, that we get this into the workshops and into the sessions in a little bit more structured or incented way. This is just something for you to think about. I think we would have a good reason to start this here in Geneva.
That would also help us in the sense that we will -- the Swiss government together with the chair and with UNOG and with DESA, we will try to approach these bodies in Geneva from a top-down level and incentivize them.
If the same is happening in parallel bottom-up, i.e., those who are working on the issues, connecting with those working on the same issues here in Geneva, this is normally the best because if you only do one thing incentivize from top down or bottom up, things get stuck somewhere in the middle. And if it comes from both sides, that may be helpful. This is one of the things that I was trying to find a moment to share with you.
There may be others that pop up but for the time being, our main, let's say, goal is still to -- how to make best use of Geneva for the next IGF. And this is something that we will put a lot of energy on from our side. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So just a follow-up question, Thomas. I think that sounds really interesting and really excellent. I know when I've tried to do panels or sessions and other events, you're always trying to find differing perspectives and new blood and new voices and new faces. And, of course, just the fact that it's new means it can be hard to access.
So you're actually suggesting that you would actually look at putting a resource available, that if somebody was trying to develop a session, it needn't be a panel, it might just be you want some type of expertise in the audience, that you would engage -- a lot of the sessions last year were much more interactive and actually called on people. Somebody could say, I'm looking for somebody, preferably from this international organization with this type of experience and you would actually help make that linkage? Is that -- I don't want to be over subscriptive, but I want to make sure people really understand.
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Yes, thank you for this question.
To make it clear, this should not be a must. This is an offer. It's not an obligation. But I think it's an opportunity that we should try and work out how actually this is going to be done.
So what we're thinking is when contacting these organizations -- and we will reach out together with the support of our foreign ministry and UNOG, et cetera -- reach out and try and identify the most relevant, let's say, institutions, organizations, processes here in Geneva. We will try to find out who -- like, a contact point from their side or a focal point. And maybe we can put together a document also with the help of Diplo, of the Geneva Internet Platform, because they have monitored a number of institutions already in Geneva for quite some time, that we would put together something like maybe a list of what are relevant institutions in our view that would be, of course, a non-binding list as well, what are contact points that we could offer so that this can be easily consulted. And somebody wants to have a meeting on labor and digitization, how labor is transformed, that they get a contact point from the ILO. And if there is a think tank that is working on new governance models for I don't know what, that you can find this.
We need to see how we do this, let's say, electronically or what kind of database because we don't want to create something that is too big but something fairly simple. Maybe just a simple Excel sheet with a name, the mandate of the institution, and the contact email address and the phone numbers, something very low threshold that people can use.
So this is something that we developed in the past days, discussing this and listening to the discussions here. And it's an idea to just -- how to operationalize the fact that we have these people here. The fact that they are here doesn't mean you actually know who they are, what they do, and how to get to them. So we are trying to develop a structure or something that actually contact can be made. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: It's to build the linkage, not to suggest a speaker and the choice of the speaker and the need and everything happens between the session organizers and the entities, not the --
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: It's not to tell the session organizers you need to take person A or B from that institution. That's not the plan. But to offer them that they find people with expertise. So that's the idea. We're happy to receive feedback on how to do it -- (laughter) -- from all of you because you have probably been organizing workshops and sessions. So you know how people look for experts and look for diversity, look for missing elements and so on and so forth. So this is -- again, it's an offer. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: It looks like you might be going to get some input.
I have Elizabeth next in the queue.
Elizabeth, you have the floor.
>>ELIZABETH THOMAS-RAYNAUD: Thank you very much.
I really like this idea. Thank you, Thomas, for proposing it.
It also struck me that we are in Geneva and our MAG meetings are going to be -- our MAG meeting at least next one will be in Geneva. And that is an opportunity to create a primer for some of these communities.
And while I know we do often go out and share our message about what the IGF is with some of these institutions in different ways and different formats, perhaps we could try something different which is to invite them to share the angle or the element of what they're doing that's relevant to Internet. Perhaps in the program of the consultation we could find a moment to have a quick exposé to some of the different organizations that we could collectively identify as having a unique or interesting contribution or link to the work that we do. Because I think when you -- when you want someone to know more about what you're doing, to first understand what part of what you're doing is relevant to them could help all of us start that dialogue in a way and that could be very fruitful.
And thinking mostly about the WSIS Forum timing, there are so many of those organizations that are already linked into that activity. Perhaps it could just be a good opportunity.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thomas just said yes.
[ Laughter ]
Liesyl, you are next in the queue. And then I have Miguel.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Thank you and good morning, everybody. I don't mean to be quite so tactical this meeting as I seem to have been. But because I was asked to take a stab at revising the workshop proposal form since I seem to care so much about it -- (laughter) -- it strikes me in this context that along the lines of Constance's intervention and contribution yesterday about including something in the workshop proposal that asks the proposer if they would like to have something integrated from the DCs, the BPFs, the CENB, or the NRIs, that we could also provide a voluntary drop-down offer. If you would like any information about Geneva institutions or think tanks -- they may not need to just be Geneva ones -- but to go to this point directly.
I have sort of put that in a voluntary section of the revised -- my stab of the revised proposal plan. That may be one way to do it on the very front end because by the time we meet again in June, it will be maybe on the back-end of the workshop proposer thought process in regards to something like this.
I offer that as a very tactical way to possibly get to at least a mechanism for approaching this idea.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Liesyl. I think that sounds very interesting, and it kind of puts the connection at the right place as well when they are doing the proposal.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Sorry. And if I just may add, you might recall in Rasha's description yesterday about sort of the time frame and more front-end work as well, one thing we had come up with was the online collaboration space for speakers and proposers and things like that. That could also be utilized for this kind of engagement.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Liesyl.
Miguel Candia is in the queue and then Renata.
>>MIGUEL CANDIA: Thank you very much, Chair. And thank you very much, Switzerland, for the proposal of having such a list. That list of contacts I think actually would be a very useful nature.
Just to add to that, not only would it be nice to have in that kind of database or source of information to get from, we should talk to the special rapporteurs on different issues, those appointed by the Human Rights Council, for example, on privacy or the Internet of human rights or the effects of the Internet on the rights of freedom of expression or assembly and so on and so forth.
Why is this a bit different from the others? It's because they are independent. They are not actually -- well, they are part of the U.N. system, of course. But they follow no instructions other than their own work, or at least they should. That's why I would think to add them as well as those that would be special representative of the Secretary-General, for example, that would -- of course, those who have links with our -- with our work here. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Miguel.
Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Thank you, Chair. Renata. I would just like to come back again to the theme of IGF improvements and intersessional activities.
There was a draft already sent by Avri to the list supported by the host country chair which brings a few points to this. And I would like to suggest we build up on it. I'd also like to support Elizabeth's point on reaching out to IGOs, to intergovernmental organizations, and highlight the importance of intersessionals for this.
The BPF gender, for instance, partnered with ITU in its Equals campaign to bring this important effort to IGF even more. In that sense, I'd also like to note that we need to support the advancements of the working group on workshop evaluation because they are much needed to identify and ensure stakeholder balance and other diversity criteria do exist in the final IGF program.
And last, but not least, about the new MAG members, not only I think it's important that they get to know the history of the IGF but they do -- I would advise them all to have an active role in the intersessional activities. So DCs and BPFs could greatly use new energy. And we have very interesting new MAG member group that would be fantastic for these initiatives. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Renata. Many good points in there. Thank you.
Chengetai, did you have a comment?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: No.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I don't -- Segun? And then we'll move to the next agenda item.
>>SEGUN OLUGBILE: Okay. Thank you, chair. Sorry for coming in a little bit late.
I want to comment to the IGF improvement on intersessional activities. I'll be speaking from the point of view of the need to strengthen the working group on communication and outreach.
You recall that last year, the group was set up with the mandate to improve IGF communication and increase IGF new formation, penetration, and outreach. At the same time, raising awareness and bringing all stakeholders to the knowledge and values of IGF while motivating participation and engagement in IGF both in person and remotely.
Inasmuch as we have set terms of reference, that should have been the base of our goal. We are yet to really achieve much of what we agree in that terms of reference.
I want to call for restrengthening of that working group because it's a very important group within the IGF which can actually help us to strengthen the IGF improvement.
Let me also, related to the IGF retreat, the goal of the working group resonated well with the IGF retreat areas of concern, specifically to the community outreach which includes improvement in the overarching process of the IGF, enabling more relationships and communication with NRI, improving outreach and solicitation of the community input, including measures to engage new stakeholders who are currently unengaged and have new concrete ideas and innovation that can be best implemented to communicate IGF values across all stakeholders' groups.
Now, there are critical three areas in which we -- that may probably form the basis for us to restrengthen this working group. I would like to point your attention to that, that the -- we did the analysis of the IGF retreat. And we discovered that the principles that are centered on relevance of IGF to stakeholders on accessibility of IGF information in a more understandable way and understandability of IGF outreach effort.
So taking it from there, I want to propose that we would need to reconsider the need for us to have the working group and, at the same time, to create the opportunity for new MAG members to be part of that working group.
And I also would like to support the proposition from Mr. Van, who talked about the need for us to strengthen that. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Segun.
I mean, if your proposal is that we reconsider the need for us to have the working group at the same time as potentially offering, then I think we can maybe take that discussion to the mailing list and give the -- both to the returning MAG members but also new MAG members any additional information that they need or time to reconsider that and we can just continue to move it forward on the mailing list or at one of our next virtual meetings, so if that's okay with you.
Okay. Thank you, Segun.
The next item was the main theme or title, and Ginger made a very good point on the mailing list last night, in that I think when we -- historically, it's been a theme, as we saw, and it really was pretty sort of topic- or substance-specific.
I think a lot of the discussion yesterday sort of moved to how do we help people understand why they should be at the IGF, why they should care about the IGF, why it's important to them what they do, so that we get their instance in -- their interest in the first instance, and I think that was a little bit of -- or if not all of Thomas' point in kind of the question mark, which was to draw people in.
Maybe we are at the point where we're actually talking about a title, and I think there have been some good suggestions on the list. I saw -- I can't obviously follow the list in real time here but I saw some suggestions last night from Miguel and Israel, and there may have been others as well -- I'm not limiting it; I'm just not necessarily fully caught up on the list this morning -- which I think were sort of moving in that vein as well.
So what I want to do is put a question to the room, which is: If we think we could go forward in the next stage of our call for proposals with a title, that would actually give us a little bit more time to actually figure out what a main theme or a more descriptive paragraph is, either on the basis of polling, which is something Miguel mentioned yesterday, or on the basis of the MAG doing a little more work in terms of "Strategically these are some of the areas that we think really should be featured."
So to be concrete, I think where we've kind of evolved to through this discussion is the proposals are mostly more like titles, not themes, per se. That we go forward in the call for proposal with some sort of title and we identify the themes more as a result of some more strategic discussions around the MAG in terms of the sort of direction they think the IGF should take and obviously through some community consultation processes as well.
Theoretically, we wouldn't need to have the more specific theme until probably June time frame, at which point we would have had time to look through the session proposals and really have had some good substantive input to what the overall kind of program of the IGF should be.
So let me just see if, first of all, that question is clear, and then there are a few flags up here in the room as well.
Let me just ask first: Do I need to -- before people express an opinion on that, is the question clear?
Okay. So let me just go to anybody in the room here who needs clarity on the question, as opposed to expressing an opinion.
>> (Off microphone.)
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Sorry. The -- the question, I think, is not clear generally and we're not getting help, I'm afraid -- sorry guys in San Francisco -- but the transcription isn't working well so it's hard to follow even along that line as well. So I'm sorry if -- hopefully I'm not the only one that would request that you sort of repeat the charge again. Thank you. Look at all those --
>> (Off microphone.)
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. So let me try and say it again. I think the way the discussion evolved yesterday out of kind of a natural intent to say we want to tell people why they should care about the IGF, why they should come and participate in the IGF, and, I mean, I think that was part of Thomas' comment about, you know, the question mark, was to draw them in and to pull them in as opposed to just three or four -- you know, the traditional sort of theme we've had. And Ginger is the one who actually called that out specifically last night on the list.
If -- so the proposal is, partly since we haven't really had time to talk in any substantive manner about the themes and the content and where we think the IGF would go nine months from now in terms of substantive content, that we actually go forward for this IGF with a title, a catchy title, to use Ginger's words, and that we actually use another process to think about what the themes would be, and that we would work towards establishing that theme in the June time frame as we go through the workshop proposals.
That allows us to take advantage of something Miguel suggested yesterday, which is some polling for the -- the kind of topics and sort of things that were of interest. So I'm trying to clarify the terminology between "titles" and "themes" and if we agree that that's the approach -- because what we seem to be sort of, I think, centering on on the list are things which really are more catchy titles as opposed to themes and so I'm trying to call that out specifically.
So let me -- I hope that clarified. Did it?
Okay. So now we'll go back to the list of people who had comments.
We had Israel, Haojun, Raquel, Rasha, Liesyl, and Renata.
>> (Off microphone.)
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. Israel, you have the floor.
>>ISRAEL ROSAS: Thank you. Israel Rosas for the record.
In my opinion, we could have a catchy title that reflects the intention of the work of the MAG, mainly about the opportunity that it represents having the IGF here in Geneva, about the outreach with new folks in the Internet ecosystem, in the Internet community.
For that reason, I suggested a new title this morning like the "IGF 2017, shape the Internet you want."
So if some people want an Internet for peace, it's okay, or for development or for help or for innovation, I think it's broad enough to cover a lot of issues. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I guess that was support for a catchy title and some suggestions on what that might be.
Haojun, you're next in the queue.
>>HAOJUN JI: Madam Chair, are we going back to a discussion on the -- what kind of theme -- title we should have for the IGF next -- at the end of the year, right?
As I said, that, you know, the -- our discussion at the -- during the -- all the workshops, all these activities should be centered on peace and development. That's -- I think it's agreed by most of our colleagues here. But in the meantime, we need to have an attractive title.
I feel that to use things like "Internet" in the -- you know, because "IGF" is -- you know, is there already and, you know, it's an IGF meeting, so it's self-explaining, so we don't need to repeat words like "Internet" in the title anymore.
And the -- I personally very much feel that "Internet" is a year outdated word. It belongs to 20th century. Now we are in the 21st century. We are in the cyber age. And it means a lot more than the Internet. It means robots, AIs, big data. It also have something to do with space security, satellites there, and the concept is very complicated, and "Internet" itself cannot cover that.
So I would like to say that we have to, you know, have something to reflect this new reality, to say that we are in the cyber age or cyber community. I'm flexible with whatever you use, "shaping" or "massaging" or "forging," so long as it's not only catchy, it's -- I think we need t-o attract the biggest possible audience, I think we need to not only make it a bit catchy but also sexy and also captures the essence of our meeting.
So I was thinking a lot last night so I don't have much sleep last night. Can we say that "Shaping a cyber community for all"?
You know, it's self-evident that we're working for a better Internet or better cyberspace, but the purpose of doing that is to improve the welfare of the maximum possible amount of people of the world, so to have a title like "shaping" or "forging a cyber community for all," that sounds more inclusive. And under such a title or topic, we can have subthemes which covers security, development, et cetera, et cetera. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. We'll just continue getting both feedback on whether or not people are happy going forward with a title, and theme to be determined later, and suggestions for themes.
So we'll just keep throwing them out and go through the rest of the queue here.
Raquel, you're next. Then Rasha.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Okay. Now we go.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
So Constance and I also had a long breakfast -- perhaps not too much coffee this morning -- trying to, you know, go through yesterday afternoon's discussions.
I think, first of all, for the title, I think we are pretty close to -- to have something catchy and sexy and we're all aligned on that trend, so I would focus more on the themes, the thematic approach, which seems to be the core one.
Perhaps we went the other way through what Lynn was proposing.
So we had a rich discussion and many of the topics were from the themes were throwing on. We could pick "Future of the Internet," "Peace and prosperity," "Trustable Internet," to name a few that I'm forgetting. "Impact." Right?
So all of those concerns, themes, were raised.
One way that we could work through this top-down, bottom-up approach and kind of a mix would be throw a call for proposals in with these directions, which is not new, for example, in academic call for papers.
You ask papers to be under those overarching themes and then you have all the workshops, BPFs, you know, feeding in these main tracks, and then we can figure out this will be main sessions, BPFs, what -- and listen from the community what would be best workable. That's one idea to go in. So keep three or four, let's say, topics that we can make a call for proposals, let it open, whether workshops or BPFs. That's it.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel. And I think that sort of will be helpful in the next agenda item as well there.
Liesyl was next in the queue but she's coming.
[ Laughter ]
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Sorry. A bit of multitasking.
I guess to your request, Chair, I'll give an intervention on both the process, I guess, piece, and then the content piece.
From a process point of view, I'm very much in favor of getting input from the community on themes, whether they be subthemes or theme -- I'm a little confused as to --
A title, I get. A title for the event. I'm a little not sure if you mean a theme -- a theme with subthemes or just subthemes. So either way, we would just have to pose the question to the community in the appropriate way, and I'm sure there's many ways to do that.
So -- but I'm definitely in favor of getting input from the community to do that in a way that's helpful to putting the -- a program together at the end that reflects the workshop proposals and the balance that we've been talking about in the various areas.
With regard to the title, then, in a more -- I think that my thoughts about the discussion yesterday and, you know, the discussions over the past about the title, I agree it can be catchy but it can't be meaningless. I think it should be forward-leaning in a -- and really focusing on the positive. And I suppose I also would say, you know, not overpromise or under-deliver.
So those are all very philosophical ways to think about a title without providing a concrete thing, but I guess I would like that -- I've liked things like "Digitalization," "Shaping the future," things like that that are positive, forward-leaning, and give us a context that's not boiling the ocean or being too specific. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Liesyl.
Rasha, you have the floor.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you. Yes, to continue on really on what Raquel and Liesyl were saying, I think we'd need -- we do need to choose a title that really encompasses the theme, but I guess with any large size conference, we need the title to be big enough to sort of encompass a lot of themes but really the title does not focus on any one theme.
And so I was thinking of, again, something that has maybe "future" and that also kind of puts the -- the emphasis on enabling the community rather than -- you know, rather than the contributions coming from like a top-down entity.
So I was thinking maybe like "Shaping your Internet" with maybe even the word "your" in all caps, to emphasize the contribution of the individual members, or "Shaping the future of your Internet," if that's not too long, or "Shape your Internet" rather than "Shaping." Just variations of the same theme, really. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rasha, that was very helpful. Did you want to come in, Thomas? Uh-huh.
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Yes. Thank you.
Building on what Israel has said, and Liesyl, and now Rasha, I've also been thinking along the lines and if we -- and also our colleague from China, that maybe replace "Internet" with something that is "digital," based on that word, I would feel -- my more concrete follow-up is, either "Shaping your digital future," instead of "Shaping the internet you want." It's the same idea. It's just --
Or "How to shape your digital future," with or without the question mark. This would be a better thing.
Instead of talking about "Internet," "Your digital future." So we have the "shaping," we have -- that may be something that brings --
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Maybe "Shape your digital future"? As in "you shape"?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think those are both really interesting and helpful and we'll continue going that the queue. Wow, and it raised like five flags here in the room. Let me see. Chengetai is going to put the new ones in the queue here.
At the moment, we have Renata and then we have Avri and Miguel.
Renata, you have the floor. And Renata, actually, if you can move your flag to the left, then we can...
>> (Off microphone.)
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Okay. Thank you, Chair.
So about the words that we are talking about, I'd like to recall our discussion yesterday again on not repeating "Internet governance." I'd also like to echo Constance and (indiscernible) to tell us about having a backdrop on the SDGs, and we also did move forward on the ideas of peace and prosperity.
With that, I'd also -- I like shaping, forging, or imposing an idea as something I'd like to pose specifically in a bottom-up multistakeholder process such as the IGF.
We also have to be aware of the future that we're talking. Is it a consumer's future? Are we satisfied in technologies or reflecting critically about them? I'd also like to bring that in and build upon the words "peace," "prosperity," "transformation," and "resistance," opposing that to "barriers," "walls," "forging," "shaping," or "imposing."
So my suggestion would be something along the lines of "Peace and transformation, forging forward, empowerment, and resistance in the information society."
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Renata.
Avri, you have the floor.
Avri, you have the floor.
Avri is online, so you will need your headphones.
Avri, sorry, we can't hear you. I think you might still be connected but... we will wait until you come back in later. If you could just signal, we will put you in the queue immediately at that point.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: Thank you chair. First of all, I want to say that I'm okay with the title and defining the theme.
On the title, I like the word "shaping" or "shape" or "forging," although I like a lot the word "digital, I think we are not speaking about digital itself because digital might be connected or not connected. I would say something like "shape" or "shaping your connected future" because we are talking about the Internet. We are not talking about the digital devices or digital itself. That might or might not be connected.
I think as Liesyl already said, it's positive and forward leaning for the future, a constructive future.
On the themes, I think the themes might be defined by the proposals. And maybe June is a little late to select the theme because the proposals have to be evaluated regarding the themes. So I don't know how we can manage to do that.
What I think -- I think it's a catchy title, and it's really useful. The theme -- the theme that arises from the proposals, what we should do is we should kind of work really hard on communication and outreach of these themes. So it will be a really bottom-up definition because it will be arising from the proposals, from what the community proposed. So we should -- as a MAG should define from the selected proposals what are the main themes that are going to be what the IGF is going to be talking about and communicate on those in order to engage people interested in those themes. That's all. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Miguel. If I understand what you're saying, the themes would come as a result of the proposals we receive. But that actually does put us in about the June time frame. I thought you had expressed some concern about that at the beginning. No?
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: Okay. We were talking about kind of an open consultation on the themes. The open consultation might be the proposals, the call for proposals. So arising from the proposals, we could select from all the selected proposals -- select the themes we're going to -- we want to -- how do you say? I can't find the word.
What from the proposals we think is most important and work really hard on communicating and outreach on that way.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. That's clearer. I think that sort of mirrors sort of the process we ran this last year as well.
We have got quite a long queue here.
The next is Elizabeth and then we will go to Miguel Candia.
Elizabeth, you have the floor.
>>ELIZABETH THOMAS-RAYNAUD: It's not -- okay, there we go. Just trying to brainstorm how we might use a tag. And I think picking up on what Raquel was saying about having buckets of themes that could be used to help us deal with some of the challenges we're trying to address in terms of bringing the community of people and activities in the IGF around common threads and themes or buckets of topics or links.
So we were thinking about perhaps orienting back towards this idea of shaping the future, which I think is short and pithy but also not too complicated with words that have perhaps triggers or concerns for some people or misperceptions by others.
And then the buckets themselves could be something like inclusive Internet, empowering Internet, trusted Internet, or something along those lines. And within those, when people are tagging issues, if it's human rights, you know, the inclusive Internet could be part of that, and the empowering if we're talking about using the Internet for education or health or some of the sector and economic aspects that we wanted to have more appeal to and some of the security and other issues that we want to talk about and confidence-building issues and inside trust.
So the reason I think that there's an appeal for having some sort of themes or buckets is that having seen where IGF used to do that, it started out with those big themes that, you know, had workshops and main sessions structured around them, there was a way for people to sort of navigate and understand when they were first coming into the IGF that didn't already know and understand the universe.
But then we moved away from that because there was an appeal for a more bottom-up process. And I think we might be able to have our cake and eat it, too, if we do the loose bucket -- the broad buckets that then allow people to tag their issues, coordinate them that way, and then perhaps even look at a build process. And this is something that, you know, a few people have talked about off line, which is that the workshops could lead towards main sessions.
I think -- this is not my idea so I'm not going to take any credit for it. But when it was discussed with me, I thought there was a lot of appeal to that because you could move the main sessions and have a clear distinction of what their role and activity and benefit is over and above the other content sessions. There might be a way in which you could orient a part of the program in the sort of denouement that could appeal to higher-level actors that would want to engage and get and skim a benefit of the activity but that was more holistic than if you just -- whatever main session lands right next to the high level will capture this audience, et cetera.
I'm throwing out a few things that I know they're not all related to the same, but it's just to make the case to where those buckets could serve the actually bigger picture of what we're trying to do.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: For me to come back and ask a clarifying question, are you suggesting that we would use the same process we used last year which allow tagging of proposals but against a short list of major themes as opposed to -- we had a lot of themes -- a lot of possible tags last year. Is that what you're suggesting? Or that we go out front?
Of course, the program does actually collect everything up into themes and put the themes there so that people can make their way through an IGF by following the themes. I think you were talking about the front-end part of the process.
>>ELIZABETH THOMAS-RAYNAUD: The way that could be done would be you would reduce down those broad buckets into three or four max, that you would link from the feedback and input of the content and the desire to talk about certain topics or certain aspects.
You would be able to cull from that key issues that might help guide us in what we think make main session activities. There would be the natural link then to the workshops.
And you're not -- there's the way in which you overarch it and explain and categorize it before you get the links. But then the links will naturally fit into that.
So it's not -- it's not being prescriptive in terms of what they have to report back on, so we're not giving them a list and saying if you don't come in on this list of tags then it's not relevant. But you could perhaps identify what kinds of tags would be conceived or considered under certain -- but not exhaustively, if that makes sense. I'm sure others can complement what I'm saying more.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you.
Is Miguel Candia still in the queue? Yes.
>>MIGUEL CANDIA: Thank you very much, Chair.
It's a bit hard to have two Miguels.
[ Laughter ]
I really don't mind being taken on what my colleague just said, what my namesake just said.
As a diplomat, normally I tend to say I agree with everybody else. And then we normally go to the things we don't really agree on. But this is a very good discussion. I think everything we heard has a value, and I have to say that.
And what I can add on this is -- well, first, like a positioning thing. The theme should encompass whatever subthemes or buckets we have. So I'm favoring the catchy thing as well.
But what I think we don't -- I put this in writing already and send it by email. But the thing we never have to lose, we have to remind ourselves where we are in time right now. 2017 is the baby steps of the SDGs. And the implementation is a very important thing for pretty much everyone in the international community.
Within that, we as IGF, as MAG, we never -- we need to keep focused on the human side of whatever we're going to do. We see the Internet as a tool, as a breach, as everything we enable us to do for everyone. That's why I would somehow favor anything that has "you" in the title. That everyone who reads it sees himself as the recipient of the message. The title has to give a message to the person reading it so he can get interested.
In the email I sent all of you guys, the idea was something like "You are the future of the Internet," something like that. It's just a matter of food for thought. I don't think that's going to be the end of it.
We need to say something that is underlining poverty, gender equality, gender participation generation gaps. And I think something with that message would steer us in the right way. I think that's why I came here. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Miguel. You never know. It may be the end, or it may actually spark another bright idea. Thank you.
Samuel, you have the floor.
>> SAMUEL BAMBO: Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. I very much like the "trust." I was thinking if we could include something like "building trust in your digital future," it might sound good. Or we look at "IGF 2017, a place to shape your digital future." Those are two proposals I have. I think that's all for now. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you very much, Samuel. That's very helpful.
Segun, you are back just in time. You have the floor.
>>SEGUN OLUGBILE: Hello. Thank you very much. I've just been a little bit curious. The meaning of the topic being sexy, I really want to be (indiscernible). But, however, I have a proposition toward a particular title. Maybe perhaps it could help us make it sexy.
I want to propose that we should look at the issues of Internet as being under a threat. And just like my Chinese colleague said, the Internet -- that we note -- yeah, may actually be different from the Internet that we have always seen or known in the last past -- in the past century.
Now, I want to suggest if we talking about or look at shaping something or Internet or our future, I want us to consider something, some contention issues, which may probably help us to come up with a better conclusion when it comes to selecting a topic or title.
I don't know if you are good with the issue that is bordering on -- the integration of Internet, then the issues of prioritization and neutrality of the Internet, then the growing conflict among nations. Some of these things are going to impact the future we are all looking towards.
Also, we should also look at the stability of the Internet and the openness of the Internet, which is currently under certain threat because we have nations now taking different positions along the lines of security of whatever measure.
So I want to propose -- not really propose really, but I want to motivate us or inspire us to look at issues that could probably help us to address some of these important contention issues within the cyberspace.
Lastly, I also want us to look at how we can ensure that the Internet or the topic we're going to choose for the IGF theme should probably help us to address issue that has to do with stability and the reliability of the Internet because that will impact our future either in the short or in the long run. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Segun.
If we could actually try to get to some specific suggestions. I think there's support for a title and a process to develop themes later. But in the next interventions, there's another six, seven people on the list here to speak. If we could actually start to get to a really small number that we can debate and try and move forward and hopefully close on this in the next 15, 20 minutes, we can move on with the rest of the agenda.
Israel, you have the floor.
>>ISRAEL ROSAS: Thank you. Israel Rosas for the suggestion. I strongly support the suggestion by Thomas because I think it's broad enough to cover the issues raised here: Trust, peace, development, security, new technologies.
And, also, "shaping" is a thing that you can do in a collaborative way with the multistakeholder community. For example, I think that more energies focused on topic or title could be raised through Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion, maybe.
And about the idea of taking the call for workshop proposals as the community consultation for subthemes, I think I can support also. I think it's a good idea. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you.
So specifically you're talking about Thomas' "Shaping Your Digital Future" or "How to Shape your Digital Future"?
>>ISRAEL ROSAS: Yes, "Shaping Your Digital Future."
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Haojun, you have the floor.
>>HAOJUN JI: Okay. Thank you, Madam.
Actually, I don't know which proposal I'm supporting now after lengthy debate about what kind of title we should choose.
My impression is that "Internet" is outdated word and "digital" is also very much an outdated word also.
Now we are having more and more new emerging technologies. For example, quantum technologies is entering the stage of reapplication. And that goes beyond the traditional sense of digital. And even scientists working on quantum technologies don't understand what is this thing because this goes beyond our four-dimensional world. This can only be explained in five or six-dimensional world.
So we are entering a very mysterious, very, you know, scary world. And if we're still talking about the Internet, I think we are lagging behind the times. So I fully -- I strongly against using word like "Internet" or "digital" or things like that in it.
And I also don't like to have the title to be too lengthy, like a long sentence. People, especially young people, will be fed up. And I don't think a long sentence or two sentences include everything could be more attractive or more inclusive.
So I'm thinking if "shaping" is not good enough, can we use "work for"? That means we work together for, something like that. I know that "shaping" is a very popular spot in Russia and our countries that make our body more sexy. And it could be top down; it could be bottom up. And you can do something about yourself. That's it.
And can we say "Work for a Better Cyber Community for All" or "Work for a Cyber Community for all."
I also support include words like "peace" and "prosperity." But "peace," "prosperity," "empowerment," all these things can be reflected in our subthemes, topics of our workshops. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. I'm going to take a little bit of the chair prerogative and see if we can start narrowing this down.
I'm not hearing a lot of support for "cyber" or for "peace" and "prosperity." I'm hearing a lot for "shaping your digital world," "your connected world," "working together to shape your world," you know, "connected together we can make" -- you know, those are the things that I think I hear the bulk of the room focusing on and we need to get to sort of a string of three or four of them that work.
But if the folks that are in the queue today could help us bring that home, that would be much appreciated. Again, that's the sense I get from comments here in the room.
Next on the list is Juan. You have the floor.
>>JUAN FERNANDEZ: Thank you, Chair.
First, I'm going to begin about the subthemes.
I think that that is even more important than the title because the title is the title, the subthemes are the actual things that are going to be discussed.
I agree in principle that it should be selected by us, the MAG. That is one of our tasks. But I feel that we don't have the time to do it properly because to select the themes, that's a very responsible thing to do, and I don't feel that we have the time to do it here now in this present face-to-face meeting.
So either we go to the method that we used last year, that from the proposals of workshops we extracted from statistics the themes, and then in a virtual meeting we discuss it, or we can begin doing this in a formal way virtually.
Because I think that the selection of the subthemes, if we do it that way, then we will have to do it for the call for workshops, because when we call for the workshops, we should put, "Well, we are calling for workshops in this and this and this and this and this thing." So you see the responsibility. And that has to be done, very well done, you know, analyzing the trends, and not to be -- to leave somebody behind.
So that's about the themes.
And about the title, that -- the title is -- the first thing that you have to think of the title is: That title is for whom?
Is it a title for the Internet community or is it a title for the world at large?
Because in one way we could go a very nerdy way and try and trying to talk to ourselves, and we are a very particular community that really many other people does not share that jargon that we use.
So in that sense, I can say the following: I am for "shaping." The word "shaping" is not out of the blue. It's part of the definition of Internet governance. So I think that "shaping," it's even better than "working for," because shaping is how it is in the Internet.
I also agree that in the title, we should not repeat the word "Internet" or "governance" because it's already there. But we have to put something, you know, and I don't like "digital," because "digital," that's a little bit nerdy, you know. And I don't like "connected." We're having a -- we're trying to connect a billion that is not connected, so are we not talking to those unconnected, if we're talking only to the connected?
So I don't like "connected." I don't like "digital." So maybe some -- "cyber" -- as was said, "cyberspace."
Cyberspace is a concept that exists because it's -- maybe "Shaping your cyberspace," and if -- and my preference, but I'm in your hands if you want to leave it short -- my preference is in the title you should put some purpose because "Shaping your cyberspace" or "Shaping your digital future," if we keep "digital future" -- but I don't like it -- for what? In what direction i? Are we shaping it to be --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think we have the point.
>>JUAN FERNANDEZ: And so I would say "Shaping your digital future for peace and prosperity." That will be my preference. "Shaping your" -- if you want to put "your digital future" -- "for peace" -- for what? "For peace and prosperity." Okay.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Juan.
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Thank you. Just a quick reaction.
Well, others may not like "cyber" because that has a particular connotation, as well, at least in some areas, so --
But shaping your digital future for what? This is exactly the point. If you say "Shaping your digital future," everybody will react "for what?" and then the discussion actually starts, so you actually create an entry point for people.
If you have "for peace and prosperity," what about those who only want to make money or who care about their health and blah, blah, blah?
So if you predict them, how -- what their priorities should be for the digital future, if you -- if you leave it open, then you actually create more interest, in my personal view. So I would be happy with "Shaping the digital future" or if we focus it on Geneva, then we say -- on the IGF as a physical event, "A place for digital -- for shaping your digital future," but I think if we can like slowly but surely crystallize on something that we may agree on, that would be great. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think we definitely need to do that, so -- and I said a few moments ago, taking the prerogative of the chair, that I didn't see support in the room for "peace and prosperity," I don't see support in the room for "cyber," and in fact when "cyber" is mentioned, a whole host of heads shake no in the room.
So I think that what we're working with are things like "Shaping your digital future," "Connected future," "Shape your future." Those are the sort of things we're hearing.
We have about 12 people in the queue here now. I would like to just have very specific direct interventions in terms of what your recommendation would be towards a title to move forward.
Okay. And I agree with your point on the subthemes. I think -- I think there was support last year for continuing with the tagging process, and I just want us to make that a specific decision, not just a -- a slope-in, and then within that, we can decide whether or not we just have a small number of tags which might be possible subthemes, with the ability to write them in, or we go with the sort of expanded list we had yesterday and maybe we can do that off line.
So next on the list I have Kenya, Frederic, and then I'll just read out the next few. Avri is back in. I think she's got a connectivity fix. And then Mamadou, Michael.
>>KENYA: Thank you, Madam Chair. I just take the floor not to give you the very specific formulation that you're asking for but just to let you know that I've taken time to reflect and do some research on the work you did after IGF 2016, and actually I was just looking at the stock-taking report, and I looked at Paragraph 31 which talks about possible themes for the IGF, and it talks about aligning -- closely aligning the theme with the U.N. sustainable development goals and it goes on to say that we need to link up whatever we do with the high-level political forum. It talks about the U.N. Commission on Science and Technology.
So the issue is this discussion is like it started last year, so we need just to go back and see, and it says that many contributions emphasized the need to closely align the theme with the U.N. sustainable development goals.
So why can't we start there and then we see if we can build on that, unless our mind-set has totally shifted.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. No, and I think we're back in the title-versus-theme. The room agreed some time ago that we would move with the title and that's what we're discussing right now. I could well expect to see, I think, something around sustainable development goals somewhere in the themes, so I don't think we're losing the notion of sustainable development goals being, you know, an interesting piece or big piece of the Internet governance work we do.
Avri, you have the floor. You will need headphones. Avri is on line.
>>AVRI DORIA: Thank you. Can I be heard by anyone?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: By everyone.
>>AVRI DORIA: Fantastic. And apologies for making you all put on your headsets. It's a horrible thing to do to you.
I guess many of the things I wanted to say have now gone by the bye, but a couple things I still want to go back to, so with your indulgence, Chair.
I think this catchy title exercise we're doing is fine. It might work. But one of the things I want to ask is that are we going to include the community in our -- while we're looking for themes based upon this catchy title?
I think one of the things we have to remember is that we need to pull them in. And we don't need to do big written comments with, you know, long lengthy periods. We can do quick polls on line where we inform everybody that for the next week, the next two weeks, we are collecting views on the following and get quick input without needing to do a full extravaganza on it.
So I would just like to suggest that.
I'm glad we've let go of the notion of that "we want," because we know that there are people that want lots of things that perhaps shouldn't be wanted, so I think it's good that -- that we shouldn't do that.
One of the things, though, that I was looking at is that, you know, we've talked -- I'm glad also that we've gotten rid of "digital" and "cyber," but we have to remember that we are here about the Internet and I think we keep forgetting that. And, you know, it's -- it's the Internet in all of its aspects. It's the Internet in dealing with cyber, in dealing with quantum, in dealing with the artificial impact on the Internet, on our privacy, on our information, on our rights.
So it's -- it's all of that.
So when we say "the Internet," we're not referring to some distant past thing that is no longer relevant. All of these topics affect and are affected by the Internet.
So I actually think we should include "the Internet" in our catchy title because that is our responsibility is the -- is Internet governance, and so I think forgetting that -- so -- but I'm very sympathetic to the idea of expanding, of looking forward.
And so in using that broad notion, I've been listening to the suggestions. I really did like Thomas' suggestion, but I came down with, "How should we shape our Internet in the future?"
Because we're looking at governance, we're looking at normative issues. So what are the things we should be doing and what are the things we should be enabling?
I think "shaping" is a good word to keep because when we're talking about government (indiscernible) we're talking about a shaping activity. We're not ruling, we're not regulating, but we're helping to shape. We're enabling.
And as I said, I think that referring to "Internet" in it brings us back to our core responsibility -- and that's the wider IGF community's core responsibility, not just the MAG's -- of shaping an Internet future.
And so I put that one, so hopefully by the end of my wandering comments, I've gotten back to where you wanted to be.
And the last note I'd like to make is, I'm amazed at the amount of time we have spent talking about our lack of time. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And just done again.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Avri.
A quick comment on "Internet." I think -- I don't -- the proposals -- or the sort of sense I'm getting is it's either go to be "Internet Governance Forum, colon, X" so "Internet" is there or it will be a catchy title and there will be an Internet Governance Forum logo or "Internet Governance Forum" underneath somewhere, so I think the title "Internet" will be clear just through the way we do that.
>>AVRI DORIA: I don't think so.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I've closed the queue.
Arnold, you're the last one but there's about 10, 11 folks in front of you. I'd like to really try and keep the interventions at this point focused on that short collection of words we've talked about, and if people could do it in sort of 30 seconds or less in terms of what your -- your thought is and why.
And I really don't like to be unfair to Mamadou and Michael who have been in the queue a long time, but the queue has just been -- been running on, so if you could give us your thoughts.
Mamadou, you're the next. Thank you.
>>MAMADOU LO: I won't be long. Just to say that I really want to support Miguel's idea on theme, saying "Shaping your connected future," "Shaping your connected future." Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. That's very clear. Thank you. Michael?
>>MICHAEL ILISHEBO: Good morning, Chair.
Let me just give you a small quote. It says, "If you have a hammer, you tend to say every problem as a nail."
That's the beauty of multistakeholder. Each one represents the actual stakeholder where they come from. As somebody from the law enforcement, I see a theme -- I'll say I've seen the past 10 years' themes, there has been nothing on security. It has been on growth, sustainable growth, but there's been nothing on security.
I'm suggesting we come up with a theme that says "A secure Internet for shaping either a cyber future" or anything that is catchy but at least something that has to do with security. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. I would actually hazard a guess that in one of the themes, there will certainly be something about security, going specifically to the title here, though.
And Avri, I forgot to respond to something.
We had previously agreed that actually we would involve the community in the themes, and there are a couple of different suggestions that have come up in the room about how we might do that, but it's clear that in the themes, we will actually hear from the community.
Nigel, with some exception, quick and to the point, please.
>>NIGEL HICKSON: Sorry. Yes, absolutely, quick and to the point.
"Shaping your digital future," I think is appropriate. I think "connecting" works as well, but I think "digital" is broader and encompasses a lot of work that's going on understood in other institutions.
Secondly, I think we should consult on the themes as has been proposed. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Nigel.
Raquel, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Okay. So very quickly, first, I was looking back on the themes that we -- or titles that we had before.
In 2010, we used "Developing the future together," so there is no mention to "Internet," "digital," et cetera, just as a matter of reference.
But I would like to support where also Thomas is going. He put out "A place to shape your digital future."
I think there needs to be a call also, a call for action there. So either it could be "Be at the place to shape your digital future" or just make it simple, "Shaping your digital future," but just support on that line. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel.
>>CRISTINA MONTI: I will be very brief.
I see that we are converging towards "Shaping your digital future."
In my mind, I think that "digital future" is a little bit abstract. I don't know exactly what it is, and it seems something distant.
So it's -- it's not urgent. It's not for now.
So maybe a slight tweak could be "Shaping the digital society," because it's about all of us, it's about people, it's a bit more concrete, and it's -- it's now, it's not future. We have to act now in order to shape our future.
So either "Shaping the digital society" or "connected society," but have a more -- a more concrete element there. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Cristina.
I'm going to take the next five or six people in the list, and if there isn't a clear consensus by then, we'll put two up and go for a quick straw poll.
And I mean the online room as well as the physical room here.
Next in the queue, Wisdom, and Wisdom is on line as well, so headphones.
>>WISDOM DONKOR: Hello. Thank you, Madam Chair, and good morning to everyone.
I have a bit of my thinking that is different, in line with the topic that we are discussing.
I'm thinking there has been enough of shaping within our community and there has been enough of digital and all that, and all this does happen before, but what impact are we seeing?
So moving forward on this, I'm thinking impact would be more appropriate on the topic that we are selecting because taking into consideration last year's theme, when the theme was put out there, you know, all the proposals that were coming in were geared towards that theme. So if we get a theme related to impact and where we put it out and we say, "Hey, community, this is what we are seeing. There have been a lot of shapes out there. There has been a lot of digitization. And what the views? What impact are you seeing?"
And then the community can think and then say, "These are the things that is actually going on. This is the impact that we are seeing. This is the negatives. This is the positives."
So when we get the impact, we're actually moving forward to next year's IGF, and it's really informing to policy decision, direction, and order, because the community virtually tease out the issues from the community and then bring it to IGF, for IGF to know that these are the things that are going on and this is the direction that we should -- we need to go to actually meet our targets and all that.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wisdom.
Next in the queue is Miguel Estrada.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: In order to avoid confusion, if you want to call me Nacho. Everybody knows me as Nacho. So you will be the Miguel going forward. You call me Nacho. It would be okay for me.
The discussion is narrowing. I think there may be a couple of accepted words. "Shaping," for example, I think it's kind of accepted. There's an option of building it over there, and it's a good option. It's "shaping," "building," whatever.
The thing would be "Shaping the Future," it's okay. It's already accepted. "Your" -- I can't recall your name, but "your" means society in any way. It's your Internet. So society is already included in the title.
I love the place, too, because it invites you to go there. So it's a place, too, a place where we are going to do this.
And I think the discussion is narrowing towards the words "cyber," "digital," "connected," or "Internet." So we should be defining on those words and no more, I think.
I'm for "connected." "Cyber" is related to security. "Digital" is too broad. But it's been used again on digital transformation stuff so maybe it could be used. But I'm for "connected" on maybe "Internet."
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. Thank you. I may still say Miguel. It's more fun to say than Nacho, but thank you, Nacho.
Next we have Rasha. Again, we are trying to keep it to 30 seconds, concrete proposals, but I'm sure you would anyway.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: As long as I don't waste my 30 seconds waiting for the mic to come on.
I think we need to make a commitment to -- if we use the word "shaping," we need a shared understanding that it's not us that is shaping, it is them that is shaping their future. I mean, if you want to integrate the community, we cannot be telling them, come, we will shape it for you.
I just want the emphasis to be a sort of "Shape your digital future" so that you would be shaping your digital future or maybe "Enabling your Digital Future." But either way we need to have an understanding amongst ourselves that it's not us that is shaping that future, it's the community that is shaping their own future.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's a good point. I saw a lot of heads heading around the room in sympathy. Chengetai has actually probably had the title written over here on the paper for some time. He just pointed to something he wrote, which was "Shape your Digital Future," which is maybe an interesting one.
Igor, you have the floor.
>> IGOR RESENDE: Thank you, Chair. I agree with Nacho. I think we are very much in doubt not only about this specific word.
I would like to speak in favor of "digital" because I think "digital" suggests a very strong connection to economy issues. If you look at the way things are being discussed in other fora, like the OECD, WTO, Digi20, you see the idea that the economy is becoming a digital is not an old idea. It's just a very recent recognition and almost consensus.
I think it expands a little bit the scope, yes. But it also includes a community that needs to be included in the IGF discussion, which is the community that discusses the economic aspects of Internet. So I think it's a good idea.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Igor.
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Just to very quickly jump in to support Igor on this because "connected" at least to me and people around me is connected cars, connected devices. It's a techy device-oriented things. "Digital" is economy and society, normally at least what I hear in that context. So I would strongly support what Igor has said. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Thomas.
Haojun, you have the floor. Again, 30 seconds, please, concrete suggestions.
>>HAOJUN JI: Okay. Thank you. I can live with the word "digital," although I don't like it very much. But "shaping" is okay. So can we say "Shaping a Digital Future for Peace and Prosperity" because without "peace," no matter what kind of good Internet we have, if cyber war happens, if nuclear (indiscernible) was attacked by cyber weapons, we are all gone. No people there. What's the point of having a very good Internet? Thank you. So "peace" should be there. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think we agreed to take "peace" and "prosperity" off the table from the short selection a while ago. There wasn't support if you look back over the conversation of the last hour and a half or so for that.
We really need to close. There really -- at some point we need to call a consensus, a rough consensus. And there really wasn't support for that. But also lengthens the title, as you've suggested.
I have just three more people in the queue. And then we're going to put a suggestion out, if it doesn't close.
So I have Moedjiono.
>>MOEDJIONO SARDJOENI : Thank you very much. I support the title, short, but very in the future. Maybe "Shaping the Digital Future," "Enabling the Digital Future," like that.
So two things.
And another one, "Shaping the Digital Future" or "Enabling the Digital Future." Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Moedjiono.
Segun. Quick and to the point, please.
>>SEGUN OLUGBILE: Within just a few seconds. I want to propose this. "Shaping the Future We Want." "Shaping the Future We Want." Or "Working for the Future We Want." Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think those were on the table earlier as well, and I think there was a lot of confusion around who the "we" is and "want." I think right now we are really coalescing on something like "Shape your Digital Future" or "Shaping your Digital Future."
I have got two more. We hadn't seen Aida's comments. We will go to Arnold and then Aida.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: A quick thing. Sometimes I can't see because some people are -- so if you move your cards a little bit like Renata and et cetera, if you move your cards this way, then I can see them.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So, Arnold. And then Aida, we'll come to you, if it's okay.
>>ARNOLD van RHIJN: Thank you, Chair.
I heard a lot of words. And I favor words like "digitalization," "the future." And the question mark. That is so important to reach out to our potential participants to the IGF to hear their views. So that should be in the title.
My proposal is: "Digitalization for a Better Future" followed by a colon, and then the main question "How Can You Contribute?" Full stop. Because we are all working for a better future thanks to digitalization. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. That's actually quite a long -- I'm not sure we all have the same view of the future, which sort of starts to stream you towards a consistent view. But I'm not sure that's one that will move forward. Didn't hear a lot of support for some of it earlier. "Digitalization" came up earlier yesterday as well.
Aida, you have the floor.
>>AIDA MAHMUTOVIC: Okay. Thank you. While I understand that "shape" is probably here to stay, I don't know if you are aware that online we are having sort of parallel MAG meeting around the overarching theme here.
So we are strongly thinking that "shape" could be also excluding some and we would suggest to maybe change it to "grow" or "growing the digital future" or something like that. So that's it. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yeah, I mean, this is an awkward place to be and it's not fun. But I think "grow" coming in too late and there's heads nodding around the room saying it's not kind of interesting enough.
I appreciate the back channel. But I don't think the back channel actually serves everybody well in this room. So I hope we actually manage it properly and that things that need to be said so that everybody hears them and they are on the record are actually said in the room here.
I don't know. It's tough to call. Egypt, you want to, Hisham, come in. And then I will put a proposal forward.
>>HISHAM ABOULYAZED: Thank you, Madam Chair. I don't want to prolong the discussion. I think it has already taken some time. Yesterday I put to your attention the terminology of "digital opportunity." And I think we are now narrowing down to what seems to be accepted by most people to use the word "digital."
So my proposal is a theme or a title, "Shaping the Digital Opportunity of Tomorrow." The word "opportunity" I think makes the title more human than just the abstract word of "digital." "Digitization" is for some, I think, a totally different concept that is the transformation of information into a digital form, which is a little bit different than what we do here at the IGF.
So this is my proposal. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. And I appreciate it.
I don't think there's any -- I don't think we can take forward "opportunity" at this late stage. I mean, the way these processes work. We kicked this off yesterday. We had some discussion in the room. We had some online discussion. We've been trying to narrow it down around a small selection of words based on support here in the room.
When things aren't mentioned repeatedly, that's a lack of support for them. And so I haven't -- and I know you made the same point yesterday, "opportunity." I didn't hear that get a lot of support.
I think right now honestly this is not an easy thing to call, and I'm kind of looking to Thomas and Chengetai. I think the closest I could get to sort of judging some sort of consensus here around the room is "Shape your Digital Future." If somebody wants to play with those four words and figure out how to make it a question or bigger exclamation point or "your" in capital letters, I think we can do that offline. Let me put that forward and say is this -- the other thing I think is we've had 11 years of pretty much, as Juan said, kind of nerdy, very insider-like language. I think anything that starts to make it a little more exciting, a little more aspirational, a little more forward looking with reliance on the themes later is worthwhile trying. We also want to reinvigorate the IGF.
So let me turn to Thomas for that, and then I will ask Chengetai if he has any comments or reflections.
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Thank you. Actually "Shape your Digital Future" and then I would put an exclamation mark. We don't have a question mark but maybe an exclamation mark as an invitation to come and actually shape your digital future. Of course, we want to have opportunities. I'm with you. But the shorter the formulation is, the more like, pop, it is and "Shape your Digital Future" and exclamation mark is something we can try because it's fairly different than what we have had before. We can discuss for hours. We will never have something that everybody is 100% fine with it. If nobody has a fundamental problem with it, to turn it around, then I think let's give it a try. Go with "Shape Your Digital Future!" exclamation mark, and see if people follow this call to shape their digital future. Thank you.
[ Applause ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Can I say, Segun, for leading the first clap there. Thank you.
So we're going to call that item closed.
We have a quick -- I think we'll come back to the tags and themes later. I think Constance may only be with us for this morning. And Constance actually helped lead the Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion phase 1 and 2.
The next agenda item after the tags and themes was to look at some of the major pieces of intersessional work and reviewing CENB and possible phase 3 is on the agenda.
So I'd like Constance to make a short presentation, and then we'll see where that discussion leads us.
So, Constance, you have the floor.
>>CONSTANCE BOMMELAER: Thank you. Thank you very much. So the purpose here is to report back on progress made with regards to phase 2 of Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion. You'll remember that two years ago when we decided to rejuvenate the best practices, we also launched this new track of work on policy options for connecting the next billion with this idea that we should take seriously the call of the CSTD, which was endorsed at WSIS+10, to allow the IGF to develop more tangible outputs in line with its mandate in the Tunis Agenda.
So with the first phase, you will remember that we had looked at the different policy options for connecting the next billion. We had focused on the infrastructure aspect, increasing usability, enabling users, entering affordability and, finally, creating, enabling environments.
It was a bottom-up exercise. About 30% of the input came from the national and regional IGFs. And the way we had positioned this work was to say that some international organizations look into policy options. But what would be unique with this IGF product was that it was completely bottom-up crowdsourced.
And then it was decided based on the work that happened the first year with the second phase to focus more narrowly on how ICTs can help reach sustainable development goals, with also a lens on local and regional specificities.
So here we use the work of phase 1, the list of policy options. And we tested them against this assumption that ICTs, the Internet, is a horizontal enabler for sustainable development goals.
In the discussions that happened at the IGF in Mexico, there was then this idea and a call from the participants that it would be interesting if we were to further this work, first of all, to keep in mind the U.N.'s current focus on sustainable development goals. And we know there is a call for a deep dive on a few of them. I think SDG 1, 2, 3, 5 and 9. And you'll remember that 5 is about gender equality and 9 about innovation industry and infrastructure. So fields where the IGF community has a lot to contribute.
And, again, there was this idea that we could use the basis of phase 1 and 2 so the list of policy options. And then the deep dive we've done on local, regional specificities in linking the Internet in sustainable development goals by using the case studies that we could collect not only through the NRIs but also as we launch a call for proposal in the course of the IGF's work.
And this would allow the IGF to showcase the tangible work that is going on in the field and that is led by many of the leaders of national and regional IGFs but also of contributors to the global IGF. So we would attach case studies. We would showcase successes to the policy options that we've developed throughout phase 1 and phase 2.
I would conclude by saying if we are in the spirit of trying to tag the contributions and to attach the relevant work to the various main themes or subthemes, again, I don't think this piece of work or the BPFs or other type of intersessional activities should live on their own and have a separate main session.
I would really encourage MAG members to think of this as a piece of work that we could weave into one of the main themes, that the MAG would agree upon in the coming weeks. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Constance.
Marilyn, you have the floor. I don't see anybody else requesting the floor at this point in time. Okay. And then Haojun after.
>>MARILYN CADE: Thank you. Marilyn Cade. I take the floor to make a comment to reference back to the work that the NRIs did in the first rounds of contributing. The way that was done -- and I want to describe it because I think it's something that the NRIs should talk about themselves.
But the way that was done was they were invited to contribute, and Constance was very gracious in actually coming onto a couple of phone calls, working calls, to help to brief the NRI coordinators and the community, and you can see the really great response that happened as a result of that.
Access continues to be a very high priority in all of the surveys that have been done, but the reason I mentioned this is, I would like to also suggest that -- and I made reference to this in an earlier contribution, an earlier statement on the open consultation day -- yes, there are certain SDGs that are identified for each of the next three years. 17 is not mentioned specifically but I would like us -- I would like the MAG to consider including 17, which is about public/private cooperation and extending -- to me, it is a horizontal SDG and I think has significant applicability to the particular focus areas and strength and engagement of the Internet governance community today.
The second final comment I would just make -- and I was able to send Constance a private email -- Goal 5 and Goal 9 I believe still deserve considerable existing work, both on, Ginger, equality and diversity and on the infrastructure area.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marilyn. Haojun, you have the floor.
>>HAOJUN JI: Thank you, Madam Chair.
As I remember, you know, the sustainable development goals 2030 itself at the very beginning emphasized the importance of peace and security because without peace and security, there would be no development to talk about. If a cyber war broke out, it may trigger outer space war, and it would further trigger a nuclear exchange. The human race would not be exist -- on the face -- the surface of the earth anymore. So this is very important.
And also, there are a lot of negative things on the Internet affecting sustainable development.
So from now on, I hope that peace and security is not something we shy away from, but rather we have to focus on it, and in the upcoming, you know -- the IGF conference or intersessional activities, workshops, we should encourage people to discuss about that, not like, you know -- we should not pretend that peace and security has nothing to do with us. This is a very dangerous trend.
And the second thing is that while we're giving people to present their ideas about how Internet and new technology could enable people, we should also remember that the new technologies are very disenabling. Many people are losing their job. And how do we handle that? Those negative externalities of new technologies. We should, you know, take the negative and the positive side together. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Haojun.
I don't see any other requests for the floor here or any requests from on line. Constance is looking for support from the MAG to go forward with a Phase 3 of the CENB, and I guess the question then is to the MAG: Do they feel that they understand that well enough and are prepared to respond to that request or are you looking for some additional information or time to do so?
Constance, is there a specific question or anything you want to put to anybody or any additional information?
>>CONSTANCE BOMMELAER: I think it would be useful, perhaps, for the MAG to think about, first of all, whether or not they want to pursue this work, which is, you know, tightly linked to the sustainable development goals and the development agenda in general of the United Nations. And if there is interest in pursuing this effort, then we would proceed as we have in the past. We would put out a draft framework for comments, for the MAG's consideration, with terms of reference very clear.
I think the methodology point is extremely important, to enter the process as open and transparent, and that information would be published on the Web site.
And then also perhaps consider that following the call for contributions that the MAG will issue, that this proposal should also -- could also be fine-tuned then.
But to start with, I guess, yes, whether or not there's appetite to fine-tune the proposal for the MAG's consideration, perhaps on a next call.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Carolyn, you have the floor. Thank you. Thank you, Constance.
>>CAROLYN NGUYEN: Thank you, Chair, and thank you, Constance, for putting forward the proposal for work.
Here's one thought with respect to making sure that this work which has been very important and productive, you know, grows within the strategic plan.
So as we look at the strategic plan, we know that on there is realization of the SDGs, so I really like Constance's idea of focusing on case studies, but I wonder if there's a way to include this work as part of the strategic plan, perhaps chunk out the SDGs so that at -- by the end of it, all 17 will be addressed with case studies, but just focus on a few of them at each of the phasing as a possible way forward.
Another couple suggestions with respect to the case studies is that one of the -- one of the issues that's been identified is that there's a lot of information out there and there's a lot of tips.
Is there a way to also either include this in a larger -- for example, like the GIPO project, for example, so that it becomes a reference? Because one of the things that we hear a lot from many of the governments and the regulators is where do they go to get this information.
So think about how to integrate this into a larger body of work, and case studies as well, just to make the information more useful.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Carolyn.
>>CONSTANCE BOMMELAER: Thank you very much. I think those are two very useful proposals. First of all, this idea of perhaps focusing on those SDGs that are the most relevant for the IGF community and the most timely when thinking about the broader agenda, and we know there's -- there is a focus on a few of those SDGs at the U.N.'s level.
The other idea that you put forward was also put forward in the main session in Mexico, i.e., including this in a broader effort. We know there are a number of IGOs or international organizations that are working on this issue that were invited on the panel at the IGF, and we had put forward this idea of including this in a broader coalition that could include universities. WEF is doing some work in this area, but not just WEF. And the idea was accepted.
So if the MAG were to be interested to pursue the effort, yes, what you described is exactly the path forward, I think.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thanks. I don't see any other hands raised but I want to just -- two things, I think.
This effort is about connecting and enabling the next billions, and if some linkages with some of the SDG efforts and some of the work that came out of Phase 1 and Phase 2 bring some of that work into the CENB, I think that's fine, but I just want to make sure that we're all being really thoughtful in sort of separating it out. The whole purpose of this pilot was connecting and enabling the next billions, it wasn't how do we do the SDGs across years or --
I think to Carolyn's point, what the IGF wants to do with the SDGs over the remaining period is a really strategic question and one we'll come to, but I want to make sure that when we're evaluate everything program, we're actually evaluating it in the context of the kind of the remit, which was connecting and enabling the billions. So I just wanted to make sure. I thought there were two points in your comment and I wanted to try and clarify that and separate that a little bit for the rest of the room.
But Elizabeth looks...
>>ELIZABETH THOMAS-RAYNAUD: I guess I'm a tiny little bit confused about the open-endedness of the intersessional topic as connecting and enabling the next billion.
Where do we -- how do we come to that sort of open-endedness piece about it? Because as I recall, it was proposed two years ago that we initiate some work on that in the policy menu and options, and that was -- sort of the first one was done and the second one was done, and I think part of the question, if I understood and interpreted Constance's proposal correctly, is that if there's a similar kind of work exercise that we would perceive as intersessional going forward, is -- is she sort of scoping out the topic or approach, as opposed -- or refining the topic or approach, as opposed to using the topic and then what's our next year 3 for that particular topic.
So I put it out there. At what point did we leave that as an open-ended activity? Because I don't -- I don't see where that happened.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: If I can make sure I understand it, what -- is there an assumption in the room that CENB is an ongoing activity? Is that what you meant? Not the open-ended?
So I don't think there's a flatout assumption. I think on the basis of the work that the folks did around CENB and some of the input that came out of the main session last week, I would actually treat this as a proposal, which is, I think, what Constance is saying, which is, does the MAG think that a major intersessional work for this coming year could be a connecting and enabling billions Phase 3 along the lines she outlined.
If we don't have enough information -- and she's not asking us to give her a full approval and go ahead. She wants to know if there seems to be enough interest in MAG to bring this forward as a major intersessional, that she would go away, I'm sure with support and input from many, and bring back a more formal proposal to the MAG.
If there are other suggestions from the MAG and something they think should be done as a major intersessional project, then I think we should bring that forward. And I don't know if that answers your question. There is -- so there is no assumption, I think, from the MAG that CENB continues forever or is automatically in this year. I think that's what Constance is saying. There was some input from the work we did last year. There's some interest in doing something more. Does the MAG think that that is an appropriate intersessional major work effort?
And the answer could be: Not sure, I need to think about it a little bit more.
I think I would say then I think the MAG should tell Constance whether or not there's sort of enough interest for her to go away and develop a slightly more detailed proposal so that we can react to it, or if you're really not sure, unless it's a real "no," then I think we just schedule a future call to talk about it a little bit more.
Liesyl -- oh, sorry. Renata had the floor and then Liesyl, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Thank you, Chair. And thanks, Constance, for bringing this proposal.
I'd like to highlight that it's -- this theme is not exhaustive, connecting the next billion, so it's not like it's going to be something instantaneously solved.
So it's also something we've dealt with in the BPF, gender and access, that to talk about connecting women, it needs to be an ongoing work, it needs to encompass empowering women, it needs to encompass meaningful access.
So I'd not only like to lend my support to the proposal, but also to highlight the importance of the continuation of intersessional activities and projects of the IGF.
And we did -- we did discuss, during the whole day of the backdrop on SDGs and action lines, so we should see this as an evolutionary process and not have a full stop every time there is a determinate period for an intersessional activity or a project.
And so I think we need to -- to really put our energy on thinking about long-term plans for intersessional efforts, too.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And I think that's a very good point, Renata.
I think one of the things -- if the MAG decides to go forward and understand a little bit more about this proposal, we need to really understand the NRIs' interest in it as well, because the NRIs actually supported significantly the first phase and the second phase, and if the NRIs said "little interest" or "high interest" because of the things that they feel they need to address in their countries, then I think that's a really important element to bring in.
I think it also -- the conversation underscores we really need to figure out how we work some of these relationships in terms of really understanding what the right intersect point is between what will help the NRIs with their missions and what will help maybe IGF and MAG to respond to the other elements of the community that we hear from.
So I think we -- but there's a saying in the, you know, Internet, be conservative in what you send and liberal in what you receive, so if we can actually be open in terms of trying to understand what some of those other inputs are, and be welcoming and understand what would be helpful, then I think we'll actually get the best and the richest proposals going forward.
We don't have all the processes in place to do that, I think, as smoothly and elegantly as we'd like, but hopefully that will come to be over the next year.
That was just because, Renata, you just triggered some comments and thinking in my mind.
We have Liesyl in the queue and then Miguel Candia.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Thank you, Chair. I guess I'm in the camp of wanting to know a little bit more about what the -- a specific proposal would be. And I appreciate Constance putting out these ideas as a way to spur the thought process and determination of ideas.
So I think I would be in that camp to get a little bit more.
And I -- I want to touch on something that, I guess, everyone else said.
Carolyn made an interesting point about how does this get integrated with other work that's going on, so that may be one thing to think about, rather than -- and let me tie it also to what Elizabeth said with regard to the open-endedness of, you know, what this might could be.
And then to Renata's point about -- I think she was making a point about either very, you know, specific issues or places where it may -- where things might not be -- have -- might not have been fully addressed.
So can we look at it in a way that provides some specificity, that gives more structure, direction.
I'm not sure what that is, frankly. I'm -- I wasn't intricately involved in the work and I appreciate the product, so I'm thinking, is there a way to augment or the -- the -- or further the awareness and distribution and use of the product that it is.
So maybe that could be part of the process as well. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yeah. I think those are very helpful comments, Liesyl. Thank you. We have Miguel in the queue, and then Avri, and then I'm going to close the queue, put a proposal forward for what we might do with this going forward on the basis of comments here, maybe a couple closing remarks from Thomas, who is leading us, and then break.
So Miguel, you have the floor. If you could be fairly brief, that would be helpful in terms of the time and the interpreters.
>>MIGUEL CANDIA: Thank you, Chair. As brief as possible.
I just want to make mine in the words of the last two speakers and support that.
I just want to -- I just wanted to make -- well, first I'm happy to see that I'm not the only one with a bit of doubt. I do see that connecting the next million [sic] is a very important endgame and objective for the IGF, particularly.
We shouldn't do so by forgetting that, you know, SDG 5, that is, gender equality, empowerment of all women and girls, is one of paramount importance to resolve the gap between connecting the next million for -- of genders. And also with SDG 17 which allows us to bring to -- altogether all the other SDGs, so those two need to be in whatever thing we do. But I will wait for the proposal that you just mentioned now, so I'm happy to -- that you said that before my intervention. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Miguel.
Avri, you have the floor.
Avri is on line, so you'll need headphones if you don't have them on already.
>>AVRI DORIA: Thank you. Again, apology for forcing people to put on headsets.
I very much support.
I think until we have connected the last billion, this needs to remain a goal and needs to remain something that we work on in a continuous manner. You know, I think it's really good for us to come back each year and sort of say, "Okay, you know, what are the objectives for this year in this project," but I think it's an essential project. So I would very much appreciate seeing Constance take this and develop the theme further, develop what it's going to do further, because as long as it's a goal of connecting the next billion, until we've gotten to the last billion, it should be something we work on. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Avri.
And many people in the room have their headphones on, not just everybody, and we don't want to miss your words, which is why I just sort of trigger it.
Based on the last couple of comments, I think we would ask Constance to go away and develop the proposal a little bit further. You could probably reach out to those folks that have had some specific comments. Constance did post this to the list about two weeks ago, so you have her email address. If there are things you specifically want to follow up on or question or have interest in, you can contact her to do that, and we'll schedule that for a future call.
And I -- and I know you already are, as well, but I think we need to find a way to really kind of pull the other pieces of our intersessional activities in, not just the NRIs but we have a BPF on gender and a proposal to do another year of BPF on gender, so -- but I know you're well integrated in those pieces of work, so we'll schedule that for a future MAG meeting.
We will come back at the beginning of the next meeting to close on the tags and the themes. I think we are really close. I just want to make sure it's agreed with respect to the way forward. And then we'll pick up with a quick update on the BPFs. I think the DCs -- I mean, not only would I think they would be better served at a later -- I think actually if we do a little bit of preparatory work, Avri, so people understand the DCs, the roles they play, their history, for new members in particular, that would actually help us have a really proper discussion.
Then we will come back and do the second meeting timetables, NRIs, workshop, and working evaluation, quick question of formats, new formats. And everybody can leave thereafter and go and enjoy the weekend. We still have a lot of work to do this afternoon, too.
But I thank everybody for staying with the pace and really keeping their comments and their time allotted here.
Thomas, did you have any comments you wanted to make before you leave?
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Yes. Well, basically I wanted to thank you all. We have an enormous lot to do. We have lots of different ideas coming from different parts of the world. And I think we have been working together very constructively to get some things done, get other things on track, make sure that people are more or less on the same page. And I just wanted to support those -- or say this not just on the Skype list but also here, that remote participation is an issue, is a challenge. And we have to do everything we can to create equal access to all ways of communication to the extent that is possible. It's not possible 100%. I think we should take this very seriously, that we really integrate remote participants as much as we can.
And, of course, I want to thank Lynn as a chair, who I think is doing an excellent job. I'm looking very much forward to continue to work with you, Chengetai, UN DESA, everybody here.
Yeah, try to get done whatever you can before you leave tonight.
[ Laughter ]
That's basically what I hope you will do. And I will be informed, and we will continue to work together. So it's a pleasure for me to be part of this. And I'm very much looking forward, yeah, to continuing work. Thanks all I have to say for the time being. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Chengetai has one quick update since we are one minute ahead on the results of the poll, if people want to stew on that over lunch a little bit.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Since it is -- let's wait ten seconds.
No, it is 1:00. So the poll is closed.
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: (off microphone).
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes.
[ Laughter ]
So the most convenient dates for everybody seems to be 13 to 15th of June, that is during the WSIS Forum. That's the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of the WSIS Forum.
So those are the dates that we are going to work with and try and confirm that we can do it. We'll send an email out as soon as we have solid confirmation that that is possible. But it's something we can think about during lunch as well. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Sorry, Liesyl?
>>LIESYL FRANZ: (off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And the results of the poll are, of course, in the poll. If you took the poll, you can go in and see the results. And, honestly, if you didn't take the poll, you can go in and see the results now.
Thank you very much, everybody. Really appreciate -- I know the kind of pace we managed to get through this morning and look forward to seeing everybody back here promptly at 3:00 so we make sure and get through.
And there is a community group event here which I would like somebody to introduce -- I'm not quite sure who -- so that we know the time, location, and if there's desired participation.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I take it, it starts at 2:00?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Sandra or Aida?
>> (off microphone).
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: 1:00 to 1:45.
>>ANJA GENGO: The NRI meeting, which is an informal meeting, starts now and it goes up to 1:45.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Is that a meeting just for NRIs, or are you looking for --
>>ANJA GENGO: Everyone is welcome. Yes, thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: It's really as the NRIs wish. Just trying to make it clear.
>>MARILYN CADE: Marilyn Cade speaking. I would just like to make a quick suggestion. We have done these meetings in the past. And sometimes small conversations have continued in the background, which makes it very, very difficult for the NRIs who are participating remotely to actively participate.
So I would make two suggestions. One is if you're not specifically going to focus on this session, perhaps you would realize that there's a number of remote NRIs. And, secondly, I've been asked by one or two of the remote NRI coordinators if there could be preference to the remote NRIs speaking so that they actually -- and I turn to Anja on that who I think is going to be -- Anja, I assume you're going to be moderating this session. But perhaps there would be some way to give some priority attention to remote NRI coordinators who haven't been able to contribute given the topic is actually work of the NRIs.
>>ANJA GENGO: Thank you, Marilyn. Yes, we will try to make a balance between online and on site present here participants. Of course, the priority will be given to the NRIs. But depending on the items on the agenda, there will be a space for other interested colleagues of the NRIs to intervene especially related to the annual IGF meeting.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I would like to stay. I have been told I need to release the interpreters for the lunch break. We are now moving into the NRI session which will be moderated, facilitated, driven, owned, et cetera, by the NRIs.
We'll be back here at 3:00 promptly, everybody. Thank you.
[ Lunch break ]
[ Gavel ]
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Let's all sit down and start the meeting, so I think some of us have got flights this evening. So I think if we can end a little bit earlier, it will be good.
Okay. Let's start.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. Good afternoon, everybody. We have the WebEx chatroom. I guess it never goes down, right? It's up and --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yeah.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I'm sorry. Luis, if you have it easily to hand, actually I was going to put the agenda up but it doesn't matter. I think everybody has it in their email as well. There was one item we didn't quite complete on this morning and that was tags or sort of predefined subthemes.
While a few more people come in, though, actually, let me -- I should have started by asking Jorge to introduce himself. Thomas said a few words before he left, but Jorge is here in his stead, and a fine replacement.
Do you want to say a few words?
>>JORGE CANCIO: Hello. Just good afternoon. My name is Jorge Cancio. I'm working with Thomas for the Federal Office of Communications and I hope to serve as a good co-chair during this afternoon. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. So I said this morning -- we were talking about themes, and I'll just reset in general.
We've agreed on a title, which is actually meant to get people to pause and think about what the IGF is and attract some interest.
We clearly recognize that we need to come out of -- the program needs to have themes. Themes. Sometimes we call them tracks.
What we did last year for the first time was actually ran a system of tags. About, from memory, 20 or so were sort of pre-populated that people could choose, and there was also a blank field to fill in a tag if none of those tags really seemed to match your subject matter.
When the MAG then went through and chose the proposals for the program, those were then aggregated up into themes. So we actually did have themes. They were color-coded, they were grouped appropriately, and that was actually used to schedule appropriately throughout the IGF program as well.
We can clearly maintain that system. I think there was a lot of support and appreciation for it from the community.
There was an earlier discussion that said maybe we -- and initially Miguel had suggested yesterday maybe we go out and poll on what some of the themes should be.
I think if we -- and then this morning he actually said maybe we can just use the workshop proposals that come in and how they aggregate up to let -- have that help predetermine the themes.
You know, I think we were on the path to stay with the tagging and let the workshop proposals, as selected, be the ones that set the themes for the program. I just want to see if there's support for continuing in that path or if, based on the various discussions that have been held here over the last couple of days we need sort of any adjustments or changes to that process.
Juan, you have the floor.
>>JUAN FERNANDEZ: As usual, I think that we could have a middle way. Maybe there are some themes that, as you mentioned, they're obvious or something or that we can agree that we can propose and leave open for the community to propose that.
Yesterday, for instance, I mentioned taking advantage that this is Switzerland, you know, it's Geneva, to have something special for Geneva. I proposed peace, but if people don't like peace, maybe we can have cheese instead, or something, for being essentially from Geneva. But I think that we can move in that direction.
If there are some themes that we can agree here, the MAG, we have -- we have the prerogative to do so, and we propose that, but also I think it's good to leave open for the community in some way to receive some feedback.
So I'm in your hands on this, Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Juan. And that's exactly what we did last year was left some fields that could be populated, and there's probably room for the MAG and the host country to -- for fine-tunes, once we see what the work proposals are. Raquel, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Is it time? Okay. Thank you, Madam Chair.
So I was going in the same direction as Juan, and you clarified this is the trend. But just to make sure this is clear, because, I mean, having too many -- as you mentioned, like 20 or 30 tags might be, you know -- as one of the organizers, when I was tagging, I could see like there is "future of Internet" or Internet "future," so some of the tags were kind of the same and it can be confusing at the end.
But my point is, if we have some themes or, you know, a direction, we can -- and we can then bucket them into smaller trends, it's much better. Or tracks. Especially if we are going to use that later for the main sessions. And we spoke about it and perhaps having fewer main sessions and target discussions.
So just to have a clarity if that's the way we are going. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel.
We could take the list of themes from last year, both those that were populated and new ones that came in, send that out to the MAG and give the MAG a couple of days to look at it and if there's anything that they think is just inappropriate or there's opportunity for consolidation, do a quick sort of scrub, if you want, and send it back in. I think it's probably appropriate to do that in any case because the world does move over the course of a year. So if I could ask the secretariat to do that, Brian or Eleonora. I think Brian's already on it.
You also kind of commented on main sessions. We had a number of discussions yesterday. We're going to have to have a fuller discussion, but I think some of the things I heard was, one, should they even be called main sessions. You know, if we're going to do 90-minute sessions or -- and we want -- and we want them to stand out from the rest of the program, then I think we need to just sort of spend a little bit of time thinking about how we make that happen. Should they be tied more closely to some of the specific themes we have? And I think that's sort of the, you know, more detailed kind of programming elements for the moment.
We should kick that discussion off on the MAG list sometime soon. We usually try and agree the main sessions by about June, so that it can actually be fully populated, but that means we need to start the discussions pretty soon, so we'll do that then.
I'm just trying to clear up some of the confusion, I think, from yesterday over the main sessions.
Rasha, you have the floor.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you. I think they're usually called plenary sessions, the bigger ones, and maybe we can have like one main session with like one or two keynote speakers. I don't know if that works for IGF.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: In our world --
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: -- I guess we must have settled on a generic description. They actually are called main sessions. And, in fact, they are plenary. No other sessions that are run parallel to them.
The real advantage to them historically has been that they take place in the bigger rooms and they have interpretation in six official languages.
But, again, I think we really need to think about what is the purpose of those sessions, irrespective of what they're called.
I don't see anybody else asking for the floor on that, so I think we'll move forward on that note, which means we drop back to the discussion of possible intersessional activities.
The first one in the agenda -- we covered the CENB earlier today.
There was also an item on best practice forums.
Last year we had four: Gender cybersecurity, IPv6, and IXPs.
IXPs had run for three years. I think they've been there since the beginning of the best practice forum. And my understanding from talking to the coordinators is that they don't believe that it's -- there's enough significant new work to be done on IXPs that they would request another BPF from the MAG. They are requesting that we spend some time figuring out how we actually help their work get noticed, deployed, and to the places where it needs to be, which I think is something we all know we need to do in any case. So there is no request for an IXP BPF.
IPv6, the same. I think they think they've covered it as much as they can at this point in time and there's not a request for an IPv6 BPF.
Jac, who is one of the coleaders with Renata on the BPF for gender, we've had two different themes the last two years.
Jac and Renata did put out a proposal for a BPF this year based on gender which I've asked Renata to just take a minute or two and introduce.
What we need to do is decide whether or not we know enough now on that work and its importance to actually say, "Yes, we support a BPF on gender and we need more information" or, you know, a fuller charter or -- or we move it forward to a time when we have more discussion. It really depends on how comfortable people are with sort of their understanding of what's being proposed.
Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Yes. Thank you, Chair. Renata here. And I'm recalling any mail sent by Jac who has been now for two years a facilitator of the BPF gender. And the BPF does focus on investigating challenges that impact women and girls' ability to access, engage with, benefit from, and participate in the development and decision-making of the Internet.
And given the backdrop also of discussion in SDGs, I would remind of SDG 5, gender equality, and like other intersessional initiatives, the BPF gender has focused on this theme in a bottom-up, multistakeholder, and community-driven manner.
In 2015, published a report which we also summarized as a recommendations roadmap in an infographic to visualize these policy recommendations.
And in 2016, we worked with relating gender and the gender digital divide. And it's for this reason that we would like to reiterate the importance of the BPF as a recurring theme and ensure the integration of gender continues to grow and to strengthen the IGF work, including choosing a particular topic or deepening the studies already made concerning the gender digital divide.
Some of the cross-cultural and integral (indiscernible) with gender will enable the BPF to become a valuable platform, to deepen analysis, bring together diverse stakeholder groups, and collect best practices in specific and emerging aspects in Internet policy and governance issues.
We have also marked up that we had a partnership with ITU. So for 2017, we would like to continue building on this work, to focus on identifying initiatives that address particular barriers already identified and surfacing best practice.
We will again make submissions to other activities and continue collaborating with U.N. Women and the ITU on its equals, which was our partners in 2016. And engage with NRIs like Brazil IGF, like IGF in Asia-Pacific regional IGF. And we would like to express our appreciation for support from IGF secretariat, from the MAG, from MAG chair, and to note our thanks to Anri van der Spuy for her excellent work in supporting this BPF.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Renata.
Rasha, is that an old flag that's up?
The MAG actual charters the BPFs, the thought being that there's a substantive piece of work that we believe would help the world and is aligned with our mission and fits nicely with sort of the priorities there. So Renata is asking whether or not we're supportive of continuing a BPF on gender. And I guess I'm asking for an indication from the MAG members here whether or not it's yes and they feel comfortable, they understand it fully. Do we need something fuller in terms of outlines, questions on the partnership that's proposed? Or are we all just ready to go forward?
Anja, you have someone online? Other, Ginger, okay, great. Ginger is online, so headphones, and then we have Liesyl.
>>GINGER PAQUE: Good morning, everyone -- sorry. Good afternoon, everyone. What I'm about to say in no way diminishes the importance of remote participation. But since we're talking about best practice forums and Renata has had a particular concern for those of us who use online participation so much, I'd like to bring up the possibility of a best practice forum, a dynamic coalition, or a working group which we have discussed at different times. And I'm going to say that I don't think it's appropriate -- this is my very personal opinion -- to address online participation in any of these three formats.
The reason is that we seem to have much more efficient practical progress when we deal with specific points at the time they're happening.
Online participation is a cross-cutting inclusion process, and we're addressing it in each -- in outreach we need to deal with. And the online mailing lists are part of online participation, meeting dynamics. It seems like we work very well directly with Luis, Chengetai, and Lynn who give it such good priority.
And this way -- you know, we did try a working group. And it seemed like we were spending more time and energy writing terms of references and policy guidelines and procedures than we possibly could working with remote participation technology and techniques.
So, for instance, Rasha, Lynn, and the whole MAG have been open to improving online participation possibilities for the workshop guidelines and for the workshop selection.
I think that we're just managing to do it in a more practical manner in terms of what the MAG work is.
If for the general MAG, general IGF population and part of the content of the IGF, a best practice forum like gender or something for sharing of experiences, that's something, for instance, that Renata who I see has just again put forth the idea maybe should move forward in that area.
But as a matter of practical purpose and practical work for the MAG, I think that the system we're using right now is just -- requires a lot less work to get a lot more output and a lot more proactive change.
So I don't personally have the time to form a dynamic coalition, a best practice forum or lead an initiative of that type for the content and substance of the idea.
I'm very, very happy to continue to work as an advocate and work with the secretariat and everyone who is so aware and so open to these details. But for our specific work on the MAG, I think that what we're doing right now is going very well. And I would encourage everyone to keep it in mind and let it be an immediate-response activity to deal with each situation as it arises. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ginger. I mean, it's both encouraging to hear and maybe it means we're all kind of breathing this a little more deeply or regularly and we can just keep taking it in stride with all of our operational activities.
Renata has got her flag back up. I will ask her if she's coming in directly on the point.
Just for a little bit of background, there was a discussion on the MAG list, or has been a few times, that maybe we should have a best practice forum dedicated to online participation. And Ginger is just proposing from her perspective -- and she has been a key leader and key proponent of improving our online participation practices -- that that perhaps wasn't necessary.
I don't know. Renata, is your flag up to respond directly to it? Okay. If you're okay, Liesyl, we will close that out and then go to the other.
Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Yes, I would just inform the MAG that Ginger's idea of remote participation, actually one of the groups that constitutes civil society coordinating group -- coordination group, which is the Internet governance caucus has also put forward this idea in discussion with Ginger.
And there are many of the IGF community which are not here, like Jeremy Malcolm, (saying name), who are interested in this. So I would thank Ginger for -- for pointing out that I could be leading this. It's -- I'm not sure if it's quite a -- it's quite a -- I think an opportunity to be pointed out like this as the leader of the Internet Governance Caucus initiatives on this, like Ginger was, so I would be happy to support her in moving forward with this. But, again, she has been a champion of remote participation in our community. I believe we need more champions. So it would be good, indeed, if this BPF came forward, and I would totally support it.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Then I think the next step, Renata, is for you to write up, you know, a draft in terms of the kind of purpose and charter, and if there's not a standard process for doing that, we can -- we can help to make sure that it puts the right discussion in front of the MAG.
And what I hear you saying is this wouldn't be specific to what the IGF does or the MAG does, but in general how online participation can be advanced around the world to help in all situations.
So if you could write that up, you know, at a time when you're ready to present it to the MAG, we'll schedule some time in one of the meetings. Thank you.
And Liesyl, you have the floor.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Thank you, Chair.
I think I raised my flag in response to the question about the BPF on gender, so I'll stick with that. Certainly I'm all for anything that the secretariat and the, I guess, organizers, host country included and contributors, can do to improve remote participation for the IGF and I have no objection to if people want to have energy focused on it as a broader question.
But with regard to the BPF on gender, I'm absolutely supportive of that continuing, that work continuing. I would be interested to know a little bit more about the partnership that the Renata laid out, and I would be curious if there's been outreach to other women's types of groups or programs that could also be leveraged in the BPF, but I think that -- that there is a body of work still yet to be done and I welcome the energy and expertise of those who would like to do it.
So I would support it continuing. I'd just be a little bit more interested in the partnerships and outreach. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Liesyl. We'll actually ensure that Jac sees that, as I'm sure she will.
So let me then move forward.
Is there support, then, for going forward? Jac did put it out on the list a week or so ago for moving forward with the BPF on gender. It actually has a fuller title but I just haven't pulled the email up and -- is it gender equality this year?
So support for going forward?
And we can certainly pass on the request that we're interested in what other organizations and that sort of thing they've reached out to and what more we can do to advance this. We'll continue to move that forward.
There was -- Markus last year led a BPF on cybersecurity, which was actually kind of an aggregation of two BPFs from the previous year with a slightly different focus.
He did mention in the open consultation on Monday that that BPF also was looking to continue in this year but we have not received a proposal for him -- from him, so we will follow up with him off line, ask him to send in a formal proposal, and we'll take up consideration of chartering that BPF once we have the proposal in mind.
So at this point, we have two BPFs that we believe are going to be moving forward next year. Gender is yes. Cybersecurity we're waiting for the proposal on.
Are there any other BPFs that at this point in time the MAG would like -- a MAG member would actually like to put forward for consideration by the MAG? Miguel? Nacho, you have the floor.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: Thank you, Chair. I was thinking about some -- a BPF on local content, if it could be considered, or policy, local policy on fostering local content and local content everywhere.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: If you could write up a more formal proposal or a more formal idea, then we can bring it forward to the MAG. I'm not sure we're able to say much more than on that at this point in time.
Okay. Then we'll go forward with that as kind of a rough operating plan for the year on BPFs.
Samuel, I'm sorry, I couldn't see your card, so Samuel, go ahead, and then Renata and Raquel.
>>BAMBO SAMUEL: Okay. Thank you, Chair. I was just consulting with Renata, and I was thinking that we could have a BPF on Internet shutdowns, if it was possible. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And how to route around them?
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Sorry if that was an inappropriate comment.
I -- I think in the same vein, if -- if there's a BPF you think, you know, is of interest and should be brought forward, then write it up and the MAG will take it up in its deliberations.
I don't think at this point in time that we really have time for kind of an open discussion of what it might be or wouldn't be, but if you and Renata are interested in progressing that, then maybe write something up and send it to the MAG list.
And, again, our goal isn't to have lots and lots of BPFs because they are actually -- they are a lot of work and they depend a lot on key parts of the community as well, so we want to get just the right number of BPFs to move the important issues forward and -- you know, and that can be sustained. I'm not sure who was -- I guess Renata was first. Renata.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: I would like to -- thank you, Chair.
I'd like to thank my colleagues who are both bringing very interesting aspects for developing countries, Miguel bringing the idea of local content. Multilingualism is a very important aspect also for developing countries, so I do hope that we develop this idea. Totally support my colleague from Cameroon on the shutdown conflict. I would not even say Internet shutdown but I would say conflicts in Internet directly, because this is something that does not only affect one country. It can happen anywhere. Currently it is happening a lot in developing countries, so it does speak directly to IGF.
And anyhow, I'd be happy to try and lend support, of course. I am -- although I am in my second year, I am learning a lot about the IGF, so I would also invite other MAG members to join in and help those initiatives. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Renata.
We have Raquel, Segun, and Juan, and then I'd like to close this topic, I think.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Okay. Thank you, Madam Chair.
So I have support of a proposal and then a question, so let's go to the support first.
I do support Nacho's proposal on the local content and glad to work with you, Nacho. I think beyond -- we always talk about access, and beyond the accessibility part or the availability part, you have also the relevance of the content, the local content, so let's work on that, if you want some help.
Then in terms of the proposal, I would make a general call. Since we defined the title as looking into the future, our digital future, perhaps the BPFs could look more ahead.
One of the topics that I hear in the room and seems important is artificial intelligence. It's something we don't hear that often into the IGFs, and I think it's going to be interesting to have a BPF on these forward-thinking topics.
And the question is, we've also spoken earlier on having, you know, the call for the community also to submit their comments or their suggestions on BPFs, if this is the one, we need to go through it, it's the time, I don't know. So just thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, that's a good comment, particularly the latter one with respect to -- I think in a lot of our processes -- well, the MAG is here because we're drawn from the community and we're supposed to represent the communities. We all have our own processes and our own expectations in our communities of what that consultation looks like, and I'm not sure we've sort of fully understood how to best bring that into our own MAG timetable, so appreciate bringing that forward and appreciate any other thoughts you have specifically on how we can operationalize to it.
Segun, you have the floor.
>>SEGUN OLUGBILE: Yeah. Thank you, Chair. I want to bring it to your attention that last year we discussed on the best practice forum on corruption, which was I think approved provisionally by the MAG members, but unfortunately we are unable to reach a conclusive agreement on that. But, however, I want to propose that that best practice forum should be reinforced, and probably we can slightly modify it. It could be best practice forum on corruption and good governance. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Segun, thank you. Thank you for reminding as well.
Segun's right. In the MAG meeting last time, there was sort of a discussion on corruption that was put forward by Mike Nelson, one of the MAG members, supported at the time by quite a few MAG members. A fuller concept note was drawn up, but it never was actually fully launched.
Mike is no longer a MAG member. He has indicated that he might have more time, looking forward, to contribute to that effort, but I think if there's -- maybe, Segun, I could ask you to reach out to Mike and see if he's still willing to take that concept note, bring it forward, and then we actually need to put a fuller framework in place, and of course understand whether or not the MAG still thinks that's appropriate. That did get a lot of support last year. Thank you.
Juan, you have the floor.
>>JUAN FERNANDEZ: Thank you, Chair. I'm not going to argue in favor or in -- against any of the proposals. What I wanted to suggest is that the same as Rasha did to formalize the process of workshop evaluation. We need to formalize the way that we select dynamic coalitions and best practice forums because -- and put it in writing. I think that -- that's a suggestion even for the next nine forums for this mandate, although maybe I will not be in the IGF but I think that we should do that.
For instance, for dynamic coalitions, there are some unwritten rules that it needs to have some critical mass, it needs to have some champions, this, this, and that, but we have to agree on those terms. Of course always, as always, like in the workshop evaluation, that will not be carved in stone. We could always be flexible with that. But at least we need a guideline. Because otherwise, this turns out to proposals of personal preference and arguing for and that. We need to have some sort of conceptual framework of how a dynamic coalition should be proposed and accepted and how best practice forums.
Maybe somebody will volunteer, as Rasha did with the workshop, and do some skeleton proposal and we can discuss it off -- on line, you know, from -- you know, remotely. But that is my suggestion.
I think it -- we're always, you know, fighting fires here, but I think we have to take the time and do that for the benefit of future MAGs and for future IGFs. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I couldn't agree more. It's a lot of work trying to pull these agendas together and making individual outreach and phone calls to figure out whether or not there's support for going forward, did they really work it through their earlier process appropriately, and so we definitely need more process, if I can say that, behind --
So that was actually part of this kind of what are all the buckets of work we see in front of us and which -- what are the real priorities and how do we get them done that Chengetai and I were going to try and put a little bit of structure around just so we can have the discussion in a more holistic manner.
Oh, okay. Sorry. We have Markus on line and Carolyn afterwards.
Markus you have the floor. Headphones.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Yes. Can you hear me?
My apologies for not being there in person. I have some minor stomach upset which caused me to stay at home. But at the same time, I experience also the challenges of remote participation, so it's an interesting experience.
But I was just going to say a few words on the best practice forum on cybersecurity. I had already, I think on the very first day, said that the group would be keen to continue as the work was conceived from the beginning of the multiyear project.
Last year, it focused on what I would call the comparative advantage of the IGF as a forum that brings people together which would not normally talk to each other, but based on the work with a strong emphasis on collaboration, the proposal now is to have two tracks.
One track would be taking the policy options of connecting the next billion as a starting point and look at each of these policy recommendations in detail and identify the cybersecurity implications of each, and then try to find best practices within the community, working closely with the NRIs. That is obviously a great resource for identifying regional best practices.
And the other track I think that was also mentioned by other colleagues, next year is sort of -- oh, no, this year is the U.N. Governmental Group of Experts is expected to publish their report. There are new global commissions on cyberspace, but they're usually not multistakeholder, and we would like to use the Geneva meeting in December as the place where we actually give them exposure to the multistakeholder community.
So these are in a nutshell, two tracks, very preliminary, that we have developed in the first call after Guadalajara. But the group definitely will be very keen to get the green light to move ahead with their work as soon as possible as it may be done.
And also, we had this discussion on main session or not. I mean, the group does not ask for the limelight, and I agree it doesn't make -- necessarily make much sense, but it definitely then could also feed into a main session on cybersecurity, as cybersecurity is an issue which is high on the agenda and it was also highlighted in the GA resolution which extended the IGF's mandate, so it is definitely, I think, an issue that is of interest to the broader community.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Markus. We'll actually take up your last point when we move forward at a future meeting to determine what we want to do with main sessions or not.
I'd actually tried to close the queue on this a little bit before, but I think your last intervention maybe caused one or two more questions.
Let me just clarify one thing first. Are you talking about two tracks within one BPF or are you talking about two separate BPFs?
>>MARKUS KUMMER: One BPF. Sorry. That is a --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: One BPF.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Yes.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. The next step obviously is to write that up in a bit more detail and get it in front of the MAG, and then I'm sure we'll be happy to give you some feedback and I would suspect probably support it as well, but the sooner you get the feedback -- the sooner you get the framework in to us, the sooner we can give you the feedback.
Carolyn, you have the floor.
>>CAROLYN NGUYEN: Great. Thank you, Madam Chair.
I wanted to support Juan's comment with respect to documenting the -- you know, what are the criteria in terms of best practice forums, as well as the DCs, so that it can help us, especially for the newcomers, to evaluate and contribute appropriately to the conversation.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Carolyn.
Renata, is that an old flag? Excellent. You know, the richness of returning time.
Liesyl, you have the floor.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Thank you, Chair. I really did resist coming in, but I unfortunately felt the need. So thank you for letting me take the floor just to emphasize that I think with regard to Markus' comment on the intended tracks for the BPF on cybersecurity, I would definitely need to see more detail and explanation about what that would be. I certainly don't have any objection to a BPF going forward on cybersecurity. There's always things to talk about. I'm just a little concerned that the conversation with the U.N. GGE over the course of the past three days and the commission has been a little bit confused and muddled. So I would really need some clarity on what is intended there.
The U.N. GGE is a group of governmental experts discussing very specifically the behavior of states in cyberspace. There are clearly lots of things that deal with practices that others might do, but that is not the intent of the U.N. GGE.
Secondly, the Commission on Cyber -- Global Commission on Cybersecurity, whatever that was that was launched at the Munich Security Conference, as I understand it, is still in very -- its own deliberative phase as to what the kinds of things it is going to cover. And I -- I was a little bit confused, if I just may say, by comments previously that it would be a group to provide advice to the U.N. GGE because that's how I heard it be described before.
So just to say that I think that definitely needs a very specific description about what you would be trying to achieve.
I completely agree that conversations about any aspect of cybersecurity can be multistakeholder. I just don't know if any every single one of them needs to be, like the U.N. GGE, for example. And the Commission is a multistakeholder group, so at least made up of different stakeholders. It might not be open in the way that IGF is, for example. And, of course, it's always good for them to be able to provide information about what they're doing to the extent that they can.
I just -- I just think that we need some level of specificity. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, thank you, Liesyl.
Arnold, I think you have your flag up as well. And then we'll close out.
I really don't want to start a significant discussion on GGE, GCSC and cybersecurity at this point as fascinating and as interested as I am in it. I don't think it's appropriate for just now.
But, Arnold, you have the floor.
>>ARNOLD van RHIJN: To make two comments. One is to support Juan's proposal to have guidelines for selecting the BPFs and dynamic coalitions.
Second one is on the second track, which we just heard from Markus Kummer on the U.N. GGE. We agree with Liesyl, that we need to look very carefully in what is really meant by this. As I already explained yesterday, there is a Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace. It's been launched two weeks ago. We're a multistakeholder platform. And one of its tasks is to give input in its deliberations within the U.N. GGE.
But we have to look how we can go further with this. So we will come back to that, of course. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Arnold.
Segun, is that an old flag up? Okay.
And Elizabeth and then we'll move to the next one.
>>ELIZABETH THOMAS-RAYNAUD: Quickly, thank you.
I would like to reiterate support for what Juan and Carolyn have said about the process piece that might help us address this kind of a question because I would be concerned also with the idea that a best practice forum which for me suggests a kind of -- we have had the IXP examples and those very tangible, practical outputs, would be quite different than a policy discussion informing a policy discussion. So I would encourage us to explore that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's a very good point.
Is there anybody who actually wants to volunteer to kick off writing guidelines and that sort of document for best practice forums? Juan is negotiating with Carolyn, I think, to see if he can get a partner here.
[ Laughter ]
I'm sure -- I'm sure, Juan, if you were to lead this with one other person, that the secretariat has some, I'm sure, supporting documentation and even some kind of component pieces of the processes that would actually help move it along quite quickly as well.
>>JUAN FERNANDEZ: It would be very, you know, I don't know -- by throwing the idea and then backing off. So I will do it. I ask everybody that has an idea regarding this to send it to me. For instance, what Elizabeth just said is one of the main ideas that I had. The best practice forum is a result-oriented thing. It has to be the consequence of discussion carried out in subsequent IGFs, like happened with the IXPs, that happened in many forums. So it's a way to formalize an output for the IGF.
That was one of the ideas that I would put in those kind of -- but I invite everybody to send to me, and I would try to formalize it and send it to the secretariat back.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Two things. I mean, Juan's obviously looking for support. And maybe some of the new MAG members want to join him as well in terms of supporting that.
I would also think, Juan, that a really good resource for you are the co-coordinators of some of the old or current best practice forums. And best practice forums are also supported by some part-time consultants because there's a significant kind of collection and output and consolidation. I know they have put out a document a couple of years ago that kind of collected some of their experiences. I'm sure you could probably get conference calls or something with them as well to help.
If I could ask -- if, Brian, will you do that from the secretariat and be the liaison? But if you could point him to the Web site and the paper and maybe who were the past consultants, something to get him up and running quickly because that would help us as we review the couple of BPFs that are in the early stages. Thank you. I would like to close this portion of the possible intersessional activities for the moment.
We talked about DCs briefly this morning. I'd actually like to work with Avri to figure out how we kind of trial run something which is sort of an orientation for new MAG members about DCs, the history, who they are, what they're doing, where we are, what the kind of current status is, and then we could talk a little bit more about the MAG role, and then if there are any other sort of thoughts about how we might better integrate the work of the DCs with these.
So I don't want to put Avri on the spot. But if I could work with her to just get that sort of full subject in front of the MAG in a really kind of full and complete way, I think that would aid the discussions.
Renata, did you have a further comment? Okay. You have the floor. And then we'll move to the next item.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: I come back a little to -- Thank you, Chair. And I would could back later to the BPFs and then to the DCs.
Just I think it's great that Juan has volunteered for BPF guidelines. I do remember we had a guide on the BPF last year, so I would suggest building up on that because, of course, there are always things it can do, for instance, for the visibility of the work.
And as we discussed remote participation and also for the working group on outreach, communication strategies, I think what we really need would be a way to integrate these efforts. So updating the intersessional activities to become more integrated with the IGF itself and its outreach efforts.
On that note, I received -- I have a message from Youth IGF Uruguay to think about a DC on emerging technologies, so by technology, virtual reality and their impact on society. So this is one interest on running a DC on this.
And I will ask for more information and certainly be in contact with Avri and Markus to see how can this be moved forward. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Renata.
So the next item -- we did close on the second MAG meeting and the dates. It's on the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 13th, 14th, 15th of June. It runs concurrent with the WSIS Forum which is that week. Those dates were chosen to facilitate travel by some MAG members and still allow people that wanted to participate in that meeting or other meetings here in Geneva to do so at the beginning and end of the week. So the secretariat can send out any further information as needed to sort of solidify that.
I say that because that means the timetable we were working towards yesterday with respect to some of the workshop call for proposals and things is still the valid timetable.
We will go to that in just a moment. I wanted to -- there are three main items left basically: The finalization of the working group on the workshop evaluation and timetable, discussion and format and new formats, which I think Miguel was going to share sort of the -- his conclusion on where we were after the experiments we tried last year and which ones he would suggest we bring forward. Those two items are obviously linked.
Before we get to that, though, I just wanted to update quickly kind of a discussion on the NRIs. And this is really sort of not really well thought out from my perspective. I'm trying to draw together a number of NRI threads and discussions that have happened here over the last couple of days.
The NRIs had a community gathering or an informal community gathering here. Did include the participants that were online as well. It had a number of NRIs but obviously not all the NRIs -- we are up to over 80 or so now.
One of the things we talked about was to try and get clear on a metaissue about what are some of the relationships that we need to think about between the MAG and the NRIs.
There was a submission which was read out by Anja, the submission was from the NRIs which talked about some ideas they had out of their efforts from last year as part of the stock-taking exercise.
That I think was too brief a discussion. And I think the NRIs themselves need some more time to really figure out, you know, what would be helpful to them out of the IGF process. And I think the MAG itself needs to think about -- you know, we mentioned a few times it would be great if we could figure out how to integrate some of the NRIs a little bit more into some of the work we're doing.
So I think this is a little bit of new territory for us. Last year was really the first year we had so, so -- we more than doubled NRIs last year from 30 something to 70 something and now we're at 83. It's tremendous, tremendous growth.
And I think both the NRIs themselves need to find some way to figure out how -- what additional support they need to be able to coordinate and collaborate amongst themselves as fully as they would like to and then what's the right relationship and bandwidth, if you will. I'm trying not to use a role or a position or a title, but what's the sort of right bandwidth between the MAG and the NRIs so we can be as supportive as we can with respect to them moving their work forward. And, likewise, a lot of our work actually really depends on really deep and really good connections with the NRIs.
So what we said was that a couple of us, Chengetai and I and Anja from the secretariat -- and Anja is going to be -- Chengetai and Anja from the secretariat and Anja will be the focal point for that. Are going to work with a couple of the NRIs to try to capture where we think the various NRI component discussions are coming out of these few days. We will obviously bring that forward to the MAG. It will go forward to the NRIs. They're going to do a consultation with the NRIs as well.
And then I would expect that initial kind of consolidation of where we think we are to start to feed into the work plan we want to build with respect to what are some of the additional things we need to do going forward.
So I hope that's clear. I want to first ask any of the NRIs -- or anybody who was in that meeting at lunchtime -- if there's anything they'd like to add and really just looking for sort of assurance that was captured appropriately. And if not, by all means, please fix it.
Aida, do you want to say something?
>>AIDA MAHMUTOVIC: I just want to say thank you for the recap. And just to emphasize that I believe on both sides, we thought that this is something we need to do in order to progress really in a good way. So thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Marilyn, you have the floor. And then I'll...
>>MARILYN CADE: My comment is just thank you so much, Chair. And also, Anja, I believe we also -- and I think that was inferred but I just want to reinforce it, that we thought this could be done very quickly so that it could be synthesized and given to the MAG in a very prompt manner so the MAG members don't have to worry that it's going to be drawn out.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's a very good point. And I think that's really important because that will, I think, give us a process, and it may only be a pilot, but a process for how we actually get these parties together to figure out how they actually interface in all the parts of the program. So what should the expectations be on the various sides with respect to stated needs from the MAG or the NRI.
So, again, the first document is just going to be trying to capture what we think are the pieces of the work we'd like to see done between -- on the NRIs and the MAG.
I think it was a really good meeting. I think everybody feels that, you know, there's good intent to work together and to figure this out. No bad intent ascribed anywhere. Just that's it's certainly a growing need and a growing population and we need to figure out how to pull it in a little more efficiently than to date.
In which case, we will close that item and then move back to the working group on workshop evaluation and timetable report.
And I would like to invite Rasha as well as the leader of that working group to walk us through. This is something which, unless there was one hell of a reason, we actually need to approve before we go out today. Again, that is a critical next step with respect to the call for proposals that will actually be used for our evaluations as a significant trigger for the rest of our work over the year.
You'll all remember, if we can put it up there, the timetable working towards.
Wherever you would like to, Rasha. You are very welcome up here.
Rasha did send out a revised proposal last night based on the discussions from yesterday. And I know Liesyl had actually done some work on the forms as well, which is very useful. I'm not quite sure we need to go into that detail here. But if people have questions, Liesyl is prepared to talk through it as well.
Maybe while Rasha is just getting set up -- and I don't know if Luis has the -- yes, finding the document to post.
Susan was also working on some guidelines for the various formats so that we could understand what the appropriate kind of -- those guidelines for submitting them and what proposers should keep in mind as they actually choose their format.
I'm just behind on email. Has that actually gone out, Susan? There's actually not a lot of work to be done there. I think it's more some tidying up because there are things that existed before. So we will get that out quite soon as well. Thank you for making the effort as well. I know it's not been a good time.
Are you ready, Rasha?
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you, Lynn. We want to finalize the proposal to the best of our abilities and based on some of the feedback we got yesterday. Again, I'll walk you through the main points of the proposal and the main changes that have occurred from yesterday basically. Again, we have divided the modifications into what's going to change on the three stages of evaluation.
So on the first stage, we have introduced the speaker session collaboration space where basically panelists are invited to find good panels or panels are invited to find good speakers.
And we're hoping that will reduce the need for us to go in and merge sessions, that the mergers will sort of happen on their own.
We now do specify that each proposed session should have at least three confirmed speakers. And, again, we're defining a confirmed speaker as a speaker who has been contacted and expressed interest and intent to participate. So while we do realize that some people might be confirmed and then still not end up showing up but we at least are looking for that initial intention to be here, to be at the IGF.
I just want to go back and reiterate that really the guiding principles for this whole process has been to make the process less subjective and more focused on the individual proposals. So we're hoping that we are able as MAG members to give each individual proposal more attention and more focus than we've been doing before and to do so in a consistent manner basically.
So really fairness and equity, if you want to say, are the main guidelines here.
What we're doing to the second stage is, again, we are dividing the sessions by format, so, for example, you know, birds of a feather would be evaluated against birds of a feather rather than, I guess, a normal panel kind of thing.
And we are developing guidelines for each format, and accordingly the criteria will differ slightly. The criteria will be modified.
So I have agreed for four basic criteria for the basic panel session format and the four criteria are basically relevance, content, speaker diversity, and format.
We sort of realized that the -- these criteria are going to differ slightly by format type. So, for example, if you have a debate, it's very important that you have an equal number of speakers on each side of the debate, that they are definitely from different groups that sort of give us an opposing point of view.
On the other hand, if you have like a birds of a feather session, we're obviously not looking for stakeholder group diversity then but we're looking for maybe gender diversity or geographic diversity, whatever applies to that particular situation.
So I guess I want to -- I want to reiterate that the -- these criteria are not going to be applied by computer algorithms. It's us who are going to apply them. So we are obviously going to use our sound judgment to apply the criteria as applicable, not just -- you know, not just blindly, obviously. So if something does not clearly apply then, you know, diversity carries so many facets to them, so if this is a session about Egypt, then obviously everybody will come from Egypt, but then, you know, do you have gender diversity, do you have stakeholder diversity? I mean, there are other aspects of diversity. And if it's a session about business, then maybe everybody comes from business, but, again, within business there's a lot of diversity.
So, I mean, the criteria will be applied, you know, not -- not blindly, but we are the ones who are going to apply them, so obviously we're going to use our minds, you know, seeking out how the criteria apply to particular situations.
And I've actually added, based on feedback from -- that I received yesterday by email, I added to relevance. I added that relevance is basically we're looking for relevance to Internet governance in its broader sense.
So, I mean, you know, because somebody said, "Well, maybe something like climate change and the Internet is not going to count as directly related to Internet governance."
So, again, we are the ones applying these rules and we can sort of definitely have some flexibility to include the important aspects that might not have "governance" in the name, basically, but have some aspect of governance.
So, again, each reviewer is going to give each criterion a score from 1 to 5, 5 being the best, so we're now asking for four different scores per proposal and then the average of the four scores will be the score eventually given to the overall -- the overall score given to that particular proposal by that particular reviewer.
We are asking that each proposal is to be routed to 12 MAG members divided equally among the stakeholder groups, and if an evaluator has like a conflict of interest or something, they can indicate that on the system and the system can route that to another MAG member.
Roughly, we're anticipating that that will give every MAG member about 55 to 60 proposals, according to the overall number of proposals that we get submitted to the IGF.
The MAG members will still have access to the whole list of proposals so you can see the bigger picture. We're hopefully going to have statistics from the secretariat on the number of proposals maybe aggregated by hashtag, so you can sort of get an idea of what topics have more proposals than others, so on and so forth.
And then there's like an overall guidance of the definitions of the different numbers to be used in the system.
As for Stage 3, again, we're hoping that the speaker session collaboration space will help minimize the numbers of mergers needed. That is not to say that they will be nonexistent. We will still -- again, at the third stage in the face-to-face meeting, we will make that judgment as we see fit. And, again, there will be an assessment by the MAG for the overall balance of the program, so if we deem that a particular issue was very important but maybe didn't have enough diversity of one type or the other and this was like the only session proposed on that particular topic, then we'll obviously bring that up if -- if a good percentage of the MAG deems that this is a worthwhile session.
And by the way, another point of clarification, it doesn't have to be like right below the cutoff line. I never said that, actually. It -- the sessions that will be pushed up can be pushed up from anywhere in the proposal pool, if enough MAG members deem that this is a good session but maybe proposed by a first timer and then -- and maybe they didn't write a good description of the session or something of the sort.
So, again, we would be flexible in interpreting the rules that we have but we're hoping that any exceptions that we make would be very minimal and would be for good reason.
Again, the advantage is that mainly we'd be giving more focus and more attention to each individual session, hopefully, without developing some kind of evaluator fatigue over the huge numbers that you -- that we used to look at before.
The -- another advantage to the proposers of the session is that they would actually get to learn where are the strengths and weaknesses of their particular proposal. Even if they get accepted, they can still see that this particular aspect of the proposal was very good, so that can help them in the coming years, or if -- if the session was rejected, they can still know what went wrong and they can -- they can hopefully look at that again for the next year. And the feedback doesn't have to be elaborate because I remember Avri was concerned about that yesterday.
The feedback that you -- that you give does not have to be elaborate. It could be one or two sentences. I mean, we're not really asking for much, but it helps the proposer know how can this be improved.
Oh, and the other important thing that I added yesterday is with regards to remote participation as, again -- as per the feedback that was in this room, so I have added remote participation to the questions under speaker diversity. So that's another change from yesterday.
And that's pretty much it, I think. I'm happy to take any questions.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Segun, you have the floor.
Thank you, Rasha.
>>SEGUN OLUGBILE: Thank you very much, Chair, and I also want to commend Rasha for a well done job.
But I have issues concerning the fairness of the process which has always been the area of concern.
May I suggest something? I don't know if it could be -- how can I put it -- okay. So let me just express myself first.
May I suggest that the workshop evaluation from a particular region should be evaluated by a MAG member from another region, so as to, you know, bring the process of fairness into it? Because really, I think it's becoming increasingly difficult to bring in fairness because we have seen in the past where the MAG member to one has changed or they have been grading and evaluating a workshop proposal along the lines of their affiliated organizations.
So for me, I think it's essential for us to do that transparency and ensure that this time we are able to reduce the impact of that conflict of interest. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Segun.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you, Segun. That's an interesting point. We can certainly look at that. Although I'm not sure whether it's better to have people who are completely from outside that region look at the proposal or maybe to have a balanced geographical diversity of the MAG members looking at the proposal.
Because I'm thinking, for example, if there's a proposal from the MENA region and, you know, somebody from Latin America, for example, is looking at that, they might not be very familiar with the specifics. So maybe it's also beneficial to have just one person from the region.
And I'm not also sure that technically we can get to that level of specificity at least this year, so I'm thinking maybe we can take this year to just test the system as a whole and then decide next year what we want to -- what we want to do with it.
My initial thought would be to have a diverse geographical distribution rather than to have people from a particular area, because then you also are going to get the question, you know, if there's a session on the United States, then which -- which region gets to evaluate that, or is it going to be all regions except for the United States.
I mean, it gets to be very complicated, so my initial reaction is to have just people from different parts of the world, rather than to exclude one or to include another.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rasha.
I'd make one other comment as well. I think -- and I find myself doing this too. I think our mentality keeps going back to it's a ranking and everybody is doing it and I think we -- we're looking sort of down at it from there, as opposed to what we did in the process was build in three extra steps and nearly three extra weeks of substantive, thoughtful review by the secretariat and the MAG against a whole series of criteria that are up to us to define.
So I actually think we're putting a lot more deep thought into the program and the individual proposals.
And then we have tools such as the standard deviation, which if there's a wide range of opinions on -- you know, as Mike Nelson always says, that may actually determine that it's an extremely interesting panel. But we have those tools to help us figure out which of the ones we pull in. And I also have heard a comment or saw a comment somewhere which said, "Well, if it's going to be cut off at X, you're only going to look at 5 to 10 more proposals."
We've never said that. What we're doing is building a lot of extra time into the proposal to ensure that we can assess, you know, sort of the diversity of what's coming in, are there any imbalances or balances we want to adjust for, and then how do we actually assess filling those imbalances by that thoughtful kind of human review.
So I just want everybody to keep that in mind because it's less about the ranking, which is what it was always about before, and now more about a more thoughtful systemic review.
So in the queue, I have Michael and then we have Avri, Ginger, and Elizabeth.
And Michael, you have the floor.
>>MICHAEL ILISHEBO: Just to follow up on what my brother Segun has said on the composition of people to review some of the proposals, I think it should be balanced in such a way that each region must have a representative on a particular topic that comes from another region.
Say for Africa, the issues that might be affecting Africa, if you give somebody from the United States, he may not even be able to understand.
Here in Africa, we're talking about access, affordability, but if you go to the U.S., access is not an issue, affordability is not an issue.
So it has to take somebody from Africa to explain and tell them that in Africa, actually these are the real issues we are facing. Otherwise, if we balance it in such a way that each regional MAG member is present in each group that is formed to evaluate a certain workshop proposal from another region, at least it gives a balanced view than -- as we have said, than just giving proposals from Africa to Africans. It becomes biased that probably the proposers, I may know them or somehow someway their organization, I might be a in association with that organization, so my judgment will be not based on merit, it will be based on association, because I get something from them. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Michael.
Avri, you have the floor, and Avri's participating on line so for those of you who don't have headsets on.
>>AVRI DORIA: Okay. Thank you. Avri speaking. First of all, I want to thank Rasha for her leadership and for the work that the group did on this proposal. I think trying something new, and I think taking into account the comments that have come through, is quite useful.
There's two points I wanted to speak on.
One in terms of the point that came up, Segun, and a comment made by Michael.
I really do like the idea of making sure that there is full geographical distribution of people within each of the evaluation subunits or, you know, groups.
So somehow algorithmically, when deciding who gets to review, not only making sure that the -- that each of the stakeholder groups is represented but also the regions. And I know it makes it slightly more complicated. I think that's what Rasha was referring to, and I think that that's a good idea.
We don't want to make it just the region, but we certainly don't want to include [sic] the region from the review.
The second point I wanted to make had to do with something I feel is sort of a push/pull, a conflict of what we're trying to achieve in terms of the speakers, and I accept the notion that we're going to try and include speakers.
But part of what it says there is "judging that they are qualified."
Now, judging that they are qualified normally excuse us to well-knowns, to the people we know, but one of the stated goals was to make sure that we include new voices and voices we may not know.
So I just feel a slight bit of concern about that notion, in that when we're looking at the speakers, we're looking more at the diversity and such, but that we're not delving down into biographies, especially when it's somebody that's newish, it's somebody that's younger and hasn't established a 50-year track record, that we don't exclude them.
So I just want to be cautious about that qualification to talk about the issue. Thank you.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you, Avri. These are very important points. I do agree with the full geographical distribution, yes. This is what I was suggesting. I don't want to speak on behalf of the tech people, though, so I'm -- I'm not entirely sure that we'll be able to accomplish this technology-wise for this year, but this is definitely what we have in mind for the following year, if not for this year.
As for the speaker qualifications, that's a very good point that you're making, of course, and, again, I mean, you know, we are the ones who are going to be making these judgments and these are just guidelines for us to keep at the back of our minds.
I'm thinking we're going to have the session proposer maybe include a one-paragraph bio on each speaker, and we as MAG know to actually welcome new voices if that paragraph sounds like the person knows, you know, what they're talking about.
So we're just looking for a very -- I mean, for any indication that this person can bring something new to the conversation and I don't think that should be a very -- a very difficult thing to do.
So -- but definitely the point on new voices is definitely well noted. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rasha. Ginger is next in the queue and she's on line.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: If I -- if I may, before Ginger gets in, she has very kindly agreed to draft a couple of sentences as guidelines to the proposers on remote participation and so I just want to thank her for that.
>>VIRGINIA PAQUE: Hello. I -- this is Ginger. I know that earlier I wasn't being heard, so Rasha's voice did get in.
I have two quick questions for Rasha.
One, you do mention that the feedback we will be writing will be apparently given to workshop organizers. We have always written feedback for the organizers, and as far as I've been able to tell they have never received it.
So I would like you to please confirm that they will, indeed, get our feedback; that there is going to be some kind of mechanism in place to make sure the organizers do get the feedback that we write. We take the time to do it and it's valuable for them, so that's a very important step. Would you please confirm it.
Secondly, would you, Rasha, please address the point what did you consider and was there a decision made on whether workshop organizers, using that feedback and knowing their scores, would have a chance to answer or rebut or lobby for their own workshop, for anyone's workshop, the way -- because they might not be in the meeting where we consider them and there might be points that we don't know about or information they may be able to give that would show us that their workshops really do merit inclusion. Thank you very much.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you, Ginger. I was actually not aware that the proposers do not get the feedback. Okay. Maybe Chengetai will clarify that. But unless there's something technologically -- a technological barrier, I think they should be able to get it without a problem.
As for your second point on the workshop organizers sort of defending their sessions and getting back to us, I'm not sure how that can happen because that would require us to go through a second round of evaluations for all the sessions because basically the scores -- or at least for the sessions that we do provide feedback to because then the scores will be different. And then, you know, it kind of introduces a bit of unfairness because if, for example, a score received -- a session received a score of 3.2, for example, and then after we gave the feedback, they received a 4 and replaced a session that had gotten a 3.9 and got through, well, we didn't really provide feedback for the 3.9 session. Maybe if they had a chance to improve -- so what I'm saying is unless they all get a second chance, then it's probably not fair. And I'm not sure how we can do that within one round of evaluation. It probably -- it complicates matters a little bit. And I'm not sure at least that it could happen for this year. Maybe we can think about it more for the following cycle. But off the top of my mind, I'm not seeing how that can happen this year.
>>GINGER PAQUE: This is Ginger. May I jump in, if I would.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, we do send them feedback, correct? Right. Yes, they have received the feedback.
We can discuss why offline, if you want. But it does take a very long time. And Eleonora is the one who sends it. Yeah, they do receive it.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Is there something more you want to say on that, Eleonora? It is an important point. The reviewers spend a lot of time preparing the feedback and the secretariat spends a lot of time preparing it as well.
>>ELEONORA MAZZUCHI: Sure, if you would like me to clarify. In the MAG evaluation form, comments are actually not mandatory on each proposal. So the comments per proposal can vary a lot. Some proposals have a lot of comments. Some have few. But each proposer gets the comments that were in that evaluation form at the end of the selection process.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Ginger, this is a critical point. So maybe if you still have questions or believe otherwise, Ginger, you could take it offline with Eleonora.
>>GINGER PAQUE: May I please jump in. Please excuse me. I don't mean to be aggressive.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: It's fine.
>>GINGER PAQUE: If I were in the room, you would see my eyes and you would see my waving my arms and you would allow me to speak. So, please, excuse me.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Please, go ahead.
>>GINGER PAQUE: I have always -- I have always made feedback comments. I know others do. And every workshop organizer I have talked to as explained that they do not receive it. So this is a very important point. And I do think I would like to re-emphasize that we must find a way to do it.
Secondly, just very quickly, I also would like to try to address online for this year, some way of balancing the feedback that only people who have an in with a MAG member who speaks out for their proposal are changes made or are they lobbied -- can they have a voice in the final negotiations. And I think we need to do something about that. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ginger.
Two flags came out specifically to that point when you were speaking. So I will have them. I'm glad you insisted on coming in. I was just about to say that I can't see the Webex chatroom so was there actually a follow-up question from you.
Jim, was there something you wanted to add and then Renata and then we will go back to the proper queue.
>>JIM PRENDERGAST: Jim Prendergast. As somebody who has worked with folks in submitting workshops for several years, I have always gotten feedback. I'm not aware of the problems that are being discussed right now.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you.
And, Renata, you put your flag up as well. We'll obviously troubleshoot this offline because there's clearly a difference of opinion here.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: I would like to highlight -- Renata -- I would like to highlight that the changes in workshop evaluation are not coming just out of the MAG's hat. This is coming from the community. There was a request. There was a taking stock. So we need to move forward on this.
And as moving forward requires, we will observe changes so there will be a testing period. So about the feedback, I would definitely like also to see this moving forward. We could test it, submitting a workshop, doing a feedback and see if someone receives. It's quite straightforward.
But I would also address also in conjunction with Ginger's point about having a MAG member in the room talking specifically about a workshop moving forward, I think there are two things on this. There is a phase when the program of the IGF has been finalized that we do have to address diversity criteria. If there is a workshop from Micronesia which is really interesting but is being underevaluated for some reason, yes, we will address it. And then also MAG members have to be accountable for their community.
So I cannot count the many occasions where I talked to Brazilians in other events asking me: So did you see my workshop? I sent it. How did it go? How about the evaluation? What should I change in the evaluation in the future? So our communities will ask us about workshop evaluation. And, yes, we need to speak for our communities. So this is also our responsibility.
I do not see it as a lobby. I see it as representation.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think Ginger's point is just that it's not fair to those that don't have that kind of contact in the room. And I think that's a fair point. And maybe we can go away and think about how we might actually adjust for that.
But I think it's also incumbent upon the MAG members to really act kind of responsibly as well and not sort of abuse or be abused in this position by being an inside or stronger conduit to the decision-making process.
So Liesyl was in the queue. You have the floor.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Thank you, chair. I just wanted to note that I have revised -- or taken a stab at revising the program -- excuse me, yeah, the proposals -- the session proposal form. And I think it takes into account some of the uncertainty, I think, that people are feeling about sort of what -- how we will -- we will be assessing them.
It doesn't change too, too much the sort of the setup of the proposal form that we had before but adds in some additional elements to capture the four criteria I think in a more organized way and also capture the things we need to know as the reviewer to make those reflections, for example, more information about the speakers directly requested so proposers aren't guessing what they have to put in there and giving them indication that, you know, for example, please describe how you will reflect the diversity required in the IGF in your session, the diversity requirements include gender, geography, stakeholder group use, persons with disabilities and policy perspectives. MAG evaluators will also note if speakers and/or organizers are from developing countries and/or if they are first-time IGF session speakers, organizers. So it's a little clearer, I think, in the proposal form itself rather than in a background document that they may not have at the ready when they're making their proposal.
And then I added a voluntary information section which includes things like, you know, if it's a sustainable goal, if you would like to incorporate speakers from the intersessional work, speaker content, the discussion here about a possible incorporation of -- or facilitating contact with IGOs, think tanks, et cetera, and things like that.
I think whenever it is the appropriate time, I'm happy to send that out for comment and review as part of this process. But I think that would be helpful for people to see, oh, and comment on.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Liesyl.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Quickly.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Elizabeth, you were next in the queue.
>>ELIZABETH THOMAS-RAYNAUD: So I think one thing I wanted to say is that I think the work we're doing is really important and we're making progress and we're taking a change and a shift. As I said before, I really appreciate your vision for that and leadership through it, Rasha, and your dedication to supporting that as chair, Lynn, in helping facilitate our dialogue and action on that.
I want us to remember as we're seeking for the perfect option, that we're not starting from a perfect place either. So we are looking at testing and trying and tweaking things but sometimes when I'm hearing criticisms or concerns, it strikes me that our assumption might be that what we have right now is perfect.
So I think we should take the risk to try a few things and maybe some things will be better and some things we'll need to tweak.
I really like the fact that how much we're talking about this right now is framing for us the responsibility that we have as MAG members for deliberating this process, for evaluating and really reflecting a little bit more deeply on our role in the program and so I think that that awareness raising about our responsibility in the process is good and the refinement of the role and focusing of the role on that responsibility is also really positive. So I wanted to highlight those things.
The one thing I think we haven't fully developed in some of the conversation both outside and in the chatroom that we might need to put some more structure, parameters, or explanation around is stage 3. And that is the evaluation and rebalancing process. I think the call for statistics and the building up of more time for us to have a proper evaluation and analysis of what is there before we go through that process will help us very much.
But I think it's critical that we have also a common understanding of what the goals of that exercise will be because my sense from the last two experiences I've seen is that we had the goals and then we had a process. And in the end, I'm not sure we all felt like we achieved our goals through the process. We were exhausted. We finished the process with a dissatisfied feeling. And part of that might even be that we didn't have a process that aligned to those goals.
And now I'm afraid that we might have a really good process with less clarity on what those goals are. So let's make sure that when we get those analytics and before we sit in the room and start debating the readjustments, it might help us be more vigilant about, you know, so and so has this workshop and it's great and more that we can actually defend it towards a specific action as Renata said and meet those responsibilities but where they align with those goals. So thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Elizabeth.
Israel, you have the floor.
>>ISRAEL ROSAS: Thank you. Israel Rosas for the record and for the remote participation. I want to commend Rasha for the proposal which I absolutely support.
And thinking about the regional sensitivity, perhaps a way to tackle the issue for this year is adding an optional field in the proposal form for the proposers to provide specific explanation about their proposal. I mean, these particular proposals mean sensitivity about affordability because in Africa or in Latin America, this specific issue is important for these and these and these reasons. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Maybe I can suggest that Liesyl can send you her current form and see if that's addressed there in some manner or if you would be looking for something else specific unless Rasha actually has some thoughts at the moment.
And then we're going to Laura and then Jorge.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you, Israel. I think this should be part of a normal part of writing a description of the abstract. I think there's responsibility on us to provide maybe better guidance for people on how to write a good abstract and that should not be too hard to do.
Definitely within -- we're going to -- (background noise) -- write some kind of, like, guidelines to presenters explaining the new system and explaining how to do what is expected of them. Definitely this is something to take into consideration.
The other thing that I want to ask, if you don't mind, Lynn, about people advocating certain sessions at stage 3. While I do believe that if there's one session from the Arab world in the whole IGF, I probably would feel compelled to talk about it, if the content is good enough. It has to bring something to the table. But, still, I mean, I would like, you know, look for content from Latin America even though I'm from a different part of the world.
So I think between what Renata was saying and Ginger's concern, which is definitely a very valid one, and what Lynn was saying, I mean, we have a responsibility to look for basically content that could add something but maybe due to lack of experience, it didn't make the cut of what we expect of a proposal. I think regardless of where that content comes from or who the stakeholder is, I think we all have responsibility as independent evaluators to also carry that through. I think that's very important.
Just a general comment to the MAG, I think again building on what Elizabeth said, which is very true, this process is far from perfect. I mean, we're hoping that this is a better system than what we had before. We're not saying it's perfect. We're actually -- if I may, I would request the MAG to give us at least two evaluation cycles to arrive at something that is close to what we think is satisfactory for all of us because, I mean -- and I would ask you to please -- and I remind you again when the time comes for us to do evaluations, to sort of keep a side file with your notes on the new system as you're evaluating. Just tell us how we can make this better. And hopefully by the next cycle we can achieve everything that we had hoped for at least on the technical side and then incorporate your feedback again.
So give us a chance and do tell us your feedback because obviously that's very constructive, and we'll try to accommodate all the feedback we can. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Laura -- thank you, Rasha.
Laura, you have the floor.
>>LAURA WATKINS: Thank you, Chair.
I'd like to start by saying I absolutely agree with Renata and Elizabeth. These changes are necessary. We're not starting from a perfect place. And even if this is not going to be a perfect solution, we'll need to make further changes next year. And it's an incremental process.
But I do think it's a really positive step in the right direction.
I have a couple of clarifying questions on the suggestion. Some people are expecting to -- from the ongoing sort of Skype chat, there does seem to be a little bit of concern and confusion around some things.
Can I -- I think I asked this yesterday, but I just want to be really sure because I'm not sure I have got my head around it totally.
So when there's an algorithm to allocate proposals for scoring, do the same 50 proposals get batched up to be allocated to the same 12 MAG members? So if I'm batched in a group with, say, Liesyl or anybody, would we score exactly the same proposals or are they kind of meshed --
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Nobody is matched in any grouping. What we are aiming for is to have random routing of a proposal to 12 people.
>>LAURA WATKINS: That's what I thought it was. I just want to make it absolutely clear.
If I don't rate a proposal because of conflict of interest or because it's not in my language or I don't understand it, does that get reallocated to somebody else?
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Yes.
>>LAURA WATKINS: And the final question -- sorry, it's a suggestion. I think there's quite a lot of concern because we've gone from, I don't know, 70, 80% of the MAG reviewing all of the proposals to now 12 people reviewing the proposal. If more people reviewed all of the proposals, would that kind of allieve some of the concerns around sort of, say, bias or people being harshly scoring and then dragging proposals down? I personally would be very happy to -- even half my workload. I'm more than happy to review more than 50 or 60 proposals. I just wonder as a first step in the right direction if just having more people, more eyes reviewing a proposal would just alleviate some concerns. Thank you.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: My feeling is that 12 people should be -- should be enough. I'm also keeping in mind that in a few years, I mean, we are hoping to expand the IGF and so right now we're getting about 250 proposals. In a few years, we may be getting 500 or we may be getting 1,000. And I don't think the number of the MAG members are increasing much. So if right now you are reviewing around 60 proposals, you know, in a couple of years, that could be 120 proposals. And so pretty much we're going back to the bulky number that -- the problem with the bulky number is it inevitably reduces the amount of attention that you can possibly give to each individual session after a number of sessions. I mean, I would think that you spent maybe, you know, 10, 15 sessions on the first -- 10, 15 minutes on the first few proposals and then that time is bound to go down as you keep going, because you -- you get tired and because the number is so large.
I do realize that some people will -- will feel more comfortable with a larger number. My feeling is 12 is -- is good enough, but I'm -- I mean, I'm willing to listen, obviously.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Jorge, you have the floor.
>>JORGE CANCIO: Thank you so much, Lynn.
In reality, it's just a small comment, following up with something we discussed this morning about the intention to really try to reap the expertise we have in Geneva and for this IGF, and -- which is something that Liesyl mentioned regarding the -- also the form of the proposals and where we are trying to find some text on a voluntary possibility of finding suitable experts within the IGOs, NGOs, think-tanks that are around Geneva. And we are looking into one possible list of actors that could be relevant and which could be contacted by workshop organizers or session organizers, and we would also offer the possibility of helping them, I guess in cooperation with the secretariat, to get in touch with the right people.
So that's something which is a work in progress, I would say, and which would go into the -- in the form for the proposals, but I wonder whether that could or should have some kind of reflection in the -- in this paper for the evaluators so that they know that this is one possibility that could be of value and to really take advantage of, the expertise we have here for this year's IGF.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yes. Thank you, Jorge. I mean, I think that's an important point. I think that probably belongs more in the guidelines for people when they actually start to write the proposals and submit them to understand that that resource is available and that's a document that Susan's working on.
And I do think, as Liesyl said this morning, if there was some way to embed it in the -- in the form, I mean, with a drop-down menu or something like that would be really cool.
But, again, this is just -- it's almost a resource indicator or connector, not suggestion, right?
I mean, every time we have the discussion, I sort of see some body language. People aren't quite sure what's being suggested and it's more trying to facilitate people who have perhaps an organization or an entity in mind, getting a contact in, and if they've been notified that, in fact, they might be receiving a request for support of some of these proposals, they're more apt to actually make a contact on the other side and feed back.
So is there anything you wanted to add, Jorge or Rasha?
>>RASHA ABDULLA: No. I'm just -- I was thinking we -- we have a list of like resource persons and I'm wondering if another panel list can be created or something.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yeah. I think the resource persons, as it's been used to date, is really people who sign up to be a resource and be contacted, and this is somebody working on a paper who said, "I'd really like to talk to somebody from the Inter-Parliamentary Union here in Geneva but I don't have any contacts there." Both Geneva and the Swiss government and, in fact, UNOG have said they would be happy to help facilitate those initial contacts into those organizations, and that's what we're looking to do.
So I don't know, maybe there's a way to tie the two together, but I'm -- we can maybe go off line and think about that, but I -- I don't know. I mean, I think we need to make sure -- I think that is an excellent offer, a really helpful offer. We've all said we really want to leverage being here in kind of international Geneva. I think we need to make sure that we do that really clearly. It may or may not be something that would be so pertinent downstream. I would suspect it would, but if we can just make it available quickly and easily, then we can figure out how much it should be embedded for future years.
Sorry, Laura, I got an indication that said you might have been looking for a follow-up on the last discussion and I didn't see that, so...
>>LAURA WATKINS: It was only to come back and just say my suggestion of more than 12 was a sort of as a stepping point for this year rather than jumping right down from kind of, I don't know, 78% of MAG. I don't know what number that is. To me, it seems like quite a jump down to go down to 12 and I just wonder if it would help people feel more comfortable if that number was slightly higher. I don't know what the sort of statistic -- statistical validity of that would be kind of around that proportion, but that -- I just wanted to come back to say that. Thank you.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: I think it's important that we look at this not just in terms of numbers. I think it's important that we see this as a process that will allow us to dedicate more attention to each individual session. So I -- I honestly think there is a tradeoff between the number of sessions that we get to review and the amount of attention that we give to each session. I mean, that's just -- you know, that's just human nature inadvertently. I mean, you have a set number of hours in the day, you have a set number of overall hours that you can dedicate to this process, and so if the number gets -- the larger the number is, the less attention you can give to each individual proposal. So I'm hoping that we can try it with 12 this year and give it our full attention and see how that works, again, rather than maintaining the idea that the success of this process was dependent on how many MAG members reviewed each -- each project. I don't think that's what makes it, really. I think it's the attention to the details and it's the attempt to be fair and uniform across your evaluation decisions that makes the difference.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rasha. I have Miguel in the queue and then Nacho.
>>MIGUEL CANDIA: Thank you, Chair, and thank you, Nacho, for the patience.
Well, I -- it's -- it's been a very, very useful conversation for me, particularly because I'm -- I'm taking -- I'm using the newbie card as much as I can, and I'm going to take advantage of it, so it's good for me to speak now.
First, Rasha, thank you very much for the work. I have to say I like it. I can say in a more -- it in an easier way.
Just a couple of things that I -- that caught my eye.
When we talk about the qualifications for speaking about the issue, I think it limits us. For example, if we are talking about a situation where we have to bring someone very young, a girl, a boy in on ICT, for example, and they don't really have qualifications for it, so maybe we can -- this is, you know, a way of thinking. We could work the word "qualifications" to "suitable background" in order for us to be able to be more -- to look for them. Because we may be not looking only for academics. But that is just a way of giving us more freedom of movement.
And in the process of selection, when we were talking about the feedback and -- or the lack of feedback and so on, I don't think there is a lack of, but what caught my attention is that -- so there is no -- something like that two-tier system where you send them the -- when we send them our response and they say, "Okay, but I don't really agree with the qualifications -- with the grade you gave me and we think with this more information, you will change that and see the importance of our event," for example.
So I don't know. Adding a moment of consultation to -- as diplomats, we love consultations so -- just because it will give us more transparency and in the end we can justify our decision.
And with the number, I fully understand Laura's point, but I agree with your point of view. I think 12 is enough in the sense of how many situations we will take it into account. Sorry. How many proposals we will take into account.
And my question is: After the review of the group, it goes to the MAG, in turn, or the decision of the group is final?
And the last thing that I have a question on is how easy it is for us, the MAG, to change what we decide today as a guideline? Of course it will take another decision from us, from this same body, but I don't know this. That's why I'm asking. Is the process of getting something reopened very difficult or not? We can, you know, hope on being able to evolve easily? And that's my only thing. Thank you.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: I just need to clarify. Are you talking about how easy it is to change like the guidelines for review or your score on an evaluation?
>>MIGUEL CANDIA: The last question on the guidelines review.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: I think to answer your last question, I think we need to agree on something today for this cycle, if I understand correctly, and then whatever we agree on we carry through.
As I said, I will ask you all to please provide feedback as the process is going for us to try to modify it again for the following cycle.
I don't think we can keep changing in the middle because that obviously takes a lot of problems and the MAG as a collective body needs to agree on the guidelines, which is why we kind of need to do it today.
Just to clarify what happens after you submit your review, I think we can have the system open for you to change your -- your review maybe until the deadline, so you can change your own review scores, if maybe, you know, you gave a session 4 on something and then you've seen other sessions and you wanted to go back and make that a 3 or a 5 or whatever, I think you can -- you can be able to -- or you should be able to do that.
Once the -- once all the reviews go in, what happens is then the MAG as a group looks at all the evaluations and we decide together, on Stage 3, what happens.
It's, I guess -- I mean, not every -- we won't go back and change scores on every single session but we'll look at the full picture and then see what we -- again, do we want to pull something up that was weak on a particular point and we -- and didn't make the cut and we just want to pull it up anyway because it had extraordinary strengths in some other area or how we do that. So this is basically how the system works.
For the two-tier evaluations, I do realize that this is -- obviously would be very helpful for the proposers, but, again, this is the same point that Ginger made. I'm not seeing how we can make that in a -- in a fair manner so that the same chance would be afforded to everybody without having to give everybody feedback and then wait and do another round of evaluations. I'm not seeing how that can be done otherwise.
And I don't think we can afford the time to do that. At least not this year. But it's certainly something to think about -- for us to think about. If MAG members feel that this is -- this is the route that we should take, then maybe we can think about for the next year how can we make that happen.
As for the qualifications or for the suitable background, I mean, this is really what we mean and I don't want us to get hung up on semantics too much because, again, this is not a computer algorithm that's going to make that decision. So, you know, if there's a kid from an inner city who is coming in to give a testimony about something that only a kid from an inner city would be able to give, that -- for me, that's a very high qualification. I mean, that's what qualifies the kid. So we're not looking for an academic degree per se, but we're looking for whatever makes that person able to speak about whatever they are here to speak about. I think as -- as MAG members, if we have that understanding, then, you know, we can -- we can make the right decisions, hopefully. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rasha.
I think Chengetai wanted to come in a moment ago.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. Once the process has started, we cannot change the rules. We can only change them afterwards because we -- you can't move the goalposts while the game is being played, so -- yeah.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. Nacho. It is now your turn.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: Thank you, Chair.
Regarding the feedback, 96 out of 250 proposals were accepted and the average cut was 3.85. So over 3 and below 3.85, there were 130 proposals that the MAG was not forced to give feedback. That's why many proposers, maybe they didn't get any feedback, because we were not supposed to do that.
So what I'm proposing is maybe we should raise to -- to the proposals we rate less than 4 and give them feedback to -- sorry, I will start over again.
We should change the "less than 3" to "less than 4," so in that way, if the proposal gets a 3.5, for example, it has feedback.
Then I think 12 is really small number. It's a big change to go for -- from 55 to 12. I think we should try to grow a little this number.
And I would like to go back. I think it was discovered -- discussed already, but I'd like to go back Liesyl's idea on the wildcard, I think it could save us a lot of time to get some -- to push some proposals in during the discussions on our next meeting because those subjects we think or those topics we think should be included in the IGF, it's easier to -- just to vote them and have a full agreement on both than to discuss each one by each one, if it could be included or not. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that would be something we could look at and I think that's a -- you know, a full MAG responsibility. If we think it's more helpful, which I do, to give feedback to more of the proposers, I think we can make that determination.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Yeah. I think we just need to decide. My understanding was that we're basically giving feedback to, quote-unquote, poor or poorer quality sessions, and I'm not sure that anything below 4 is -- that we can call poor or poorer, unless we want to give feedback to every session or to every session that we feel we have something to tell them.
So unless we make it -- if we're going to define a score, I think, well, maybe at least it should be like 3.5.
4 is too high to give feedback to like everything that's below 4. We call this great inflation. I mean, not every session can get a 5. You know, I mean, obviously it's -- you know, it's not -- 4 is considered a good session. It's not something that you need to help like the people who have -- who have proposed.
So, I mean, I'm open on like the cutoff line of what you want to -- like what grade you want to give feedback below, and I'm also open to the idea that you should give feedback to everybody then, but it depends on what the MAG wants.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. Go ahead, Miguel.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: If I -- taking my example of 3.5, there would be fifty- -- if we go back to last year, there will be 51 proposals without feedback that wouldn't get in. So Ginger's concern, it's real and I think it happened but it -- it didn't happen because of the secretariat of the MAG. It happened because of the procedure.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So I don't want to take a lot more time discussing whether it's 3 or 3.5. It wasn't just to try and make the poor ones better, it was to give useful feedback. And, you know, honestly it's probably fairly frustrating to get a 3.75 or something and know you didn't make the cut. That's still a fairly high ranking one on that one.
It sort of feels that there's support here in the room for maybe kicking that cutoff line back so that we give more proposers feedback, which frankly would be in line with already cutting -- you know, with the fact that everybody is already reviewing less proposals in any case. So if people are okay with that, we'll do a little bit of work with the secretariat and maybe Miguel and Ginger and figure out where that line should be somewhere between 3 and 4, and if people are okay, we can leave that at that point and move on.
Thank you, Nacho. I had put myself in the queue moments ago based on a question I had from somebody which said there's a couple of lines in Section 3 where it says the next five to ten that fall just below the line will be pulled up. So I'm looking for clarity on that because I don't think we meant if the cut-off line is here these proposals are in, we're just looking at the next five or ten. I think there was probably an assumption that there was probably room to move five or ten up, but I'm not sure we even need to be that specific at this point in time.
We said really what we're doing is looking to adjust either any imbalances that we see overall or to feature any areas that we think are really important. So I don't think that was a practice the working group was intending to work to, in which case I would take that out.
But, Rasha, I see you have the floor.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: That's actually the text that's currently in place. That's not the modified text. That is the text that's currently on the Web.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And we didn't like it much last year either.
[ Laughter ]
>>RASHA ABDULLA: That's not what we're proposing. That's what is currently being implemented.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Oh, okay. So in the draft document, Rasha, actually here's the current process and text and here's the proposed. She's saying what I just read was in the current text. Okay.
Then I was right with my earlier comment.
Thank you. And I hope that answers the question. If it doesn't, then we can come back.
Liesyl, you have the floor. I don't have -- Miguel, are you in the queue again? No? And Arnold.
And then after that, I would like to close it and see if we can move forward.
Liesyl, you have the floor.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Thank you, Chair. I just wanted to recall my comment earlier about aligning myself with folks that have suggested that we need to have more MAG reviewers on each proposal. It is a dramatic job. I totally agree with you, Rasha, it's not scientific, which is why it is more about a feeling and sort of experience with the workshop proposers, what their reactions are, what I think their expectations are of us as evaluators, and what they expect out of the results.
So while I have been game, despite my original hesitation when we were last in Geneva about this, to talk about how to rationalize the workshop evaluation process as something that provides more rigor and paying attention to each proposal as you have outlined, which I think is really important.
But I think that it would be very hard to explain to the community why they used to have 55 reviewers or 50, if you take away the 10% that didn't do it, and now they have 12 and there may or may not be that much diversity on the number -- the 12 that got to review them. I just think that -- I just think that that's too large a drop.
And while I appreciate thinking of this particular year as an experimentation and see if it doesn't work and then ratcheting it up next year, if people don't like it, that's going to have a lot of disappointed people in the process this year.
So I hesitate to think of that dramatic -- one year as that dramatic as an experimentation. So I would really urge us to consider having more than 12 reviewers on each proposal. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Liesyl.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Sorry, I was just going to say, I'm not sure what that means for the math. It's a good thing it's not scientific since it's not my forte. Whatever it means for the math, I think it needs to be more.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We said all along this wasn't about taking the MAG reviews -- each individual MAG's review from 250 to some number. We are trying to put a process in that gives a good result, a fair result, a balanced road, a statistically representative result and actually embed in the process more substantive, qualitative, thoughtful review against the imbalances and/or in a positive way any criterias or things that we particularly would like to feature. That's really where the goodness is coming from in this process.
If people are comfortable with a different number -- I know Renata -- Renata, Rasha really likes three per. But I am happy going with a higher number as well. Because, as I said, this isn't -- I'm going to say this pretty directly. This isn't how the MAG feels about the workload. It's about whether or not the community actually feels this process is an improvement on the process that we've had in the past.
So, Rasha, you have a comment. And then, Arnold, we will come to you.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you. I just want to clarify for the record that I never said it's not scientific.
[ Laughter ]
>>LIESYL FRANZ: You did. You did!
[ Laughter ]
I don't think so. I strive to be scientific, but -- it's my training. That's my -- I mean, maybe I should strive to be less scientific. I'm not sure.
[ Laughter ]
But the problem is that I strive to be scientific actually in everything I do. I'm trying to get this to be as scientific as possible. That doesn't mean that it has to be about numbers, though, because people think "scientific" means numbers. And that is totally not true. And you could be a wonderful qualitative person and still be scientific. "Scientific" means that there is a process, that there is rigor to the process. This is what "scientific" means. It doesn't have to be about numbers.
So I think we might be underestimating the community's understanding of how a process might still be very successful in working. I think we should explain to the community as we should realize ourselves that this is really about the quality of attention that we give to individual sessions. Again, my concern was not that I'm going to drown in papers for, you know, two weeks. That's not really what it's about.
My concern is by the time I start the process, halfway through, I had forgotten how I had graded the first sessions. The review process -- the larger the number, the less consistent you are. This is just again scientific. This is just fact. Thank you.
So, again, I mean, I honestly think 12 is a good enough number. I don't know if there is a way for us to get a feeling around the room or around the online --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We're pretty good at judging rough consensus. We'll come to that --
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Unfortunately I'm not in the WebEx chat.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We'll come to that in a moment. If you have any more specific comments on Liesyl, we will take them now. Otherwise, we will move --
>>RASHA ABDULLA: I want to emphasize that we will diversity in reviewers at least stakeholder group for year and more and more for the coming years. Really just keep in mind that the larger the number of proposals you take upon yourself, the less quality you will be able to give to each proposal and the less uniformity there will be across the whole process. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I actually think that's understood pretty clearly. Thank you very much, Rasha.
We have Arnold and then Renata. And, Arnold, just before we do that, there is this Skype backchannel and then there's the WebEx chat, neither of which I'm really following closely enough.
After I hear from Arnold and Renata and Carolyn -- sorry, Hisham was actually after Arnold. I should look to my -- is this -- normally it is only -- I don't know. It's some community kind of Skype that people are using as a backchannel to understand things better, which I think is useful. I think we just need to be careful that it doesn't distract from the attention cycles that people are putting into the room. I think we need to make sure that comments that are clearly important to the evaluation of this should be on record in the room. Maybe that's even in the WebEx chatroom or something in some case. But I think it's something we need to troubleshoot for the next meeting offline.
So when we get to the next four comments or so, I'm going to try and see where we are by judging sort of rough consensus on I think what is the only remaining point and that is the only number of reviewers per stakeholder group. I say that just so you know where I'm sort of leaning with respect to how I intend to wrap up this item. So if you have serious objections, you should start getting them in line now.
Arnold, you have the floor. And then Hisham.
>>ARNOLD van RHIJN: Thank you, Lynn.
Arnold van Rhijn, Netherlands government for the remote participants.
I'm supportive to any improvement of the evaluation process which we are now talking about.
I'm very grateful for your hard work, Rasha. And I can support a lot what you have been proposed.
We are talking here about numbers, but we have to realize or so it's all about content and people behind those proposals. That's a fact. But at the end, we will have to come up with numbers.
So we are approaching the end of this week. And I will do some advanced math because it's not quite clear how it works in practice. Either you explain it this afternoon to us all or we have to do it another way. But I come up with some thing -- some numbers right now.
We are 55 MAG members. Let's say we receive 200 proposals. I've heard each person should judge around 55 proposals.
Then I also heard there's a need to do some random routing of a proposal to 12 people. How does it work in practice? It's not clear to me. Well, as I said, this looks very promising what you have proposed. But I want to see how it works in practice. But if it is too long to explain, then let's find another way to get the answer because I have to leave within a couple of minutes to catch my flight.
[ Laughter ]
Sorry for that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We can't leave that unanswered. I actually think it's very easy to explain very quick. So we will have Rasha do it. Here we go, Rasha.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you. The 55 to 60 number is basically based on an estimate of what we received last year, which was 250 proposals. If each proposal is being judged by 12 members, that gives us 3,000 evaluations that we need to do. So if you divide that by the 55 MAG members, that roughly comes up to 55 proposals.
Of course, we might receive more than 250 and so I said 55 to 60 because the number might increase. And if somebody indicates on the system that they are not willing to rate a certain proposal, then that proposal gets routed to 12 different people. That's one extra proposal for another 12 people.
So on average, I'm estimating that every member will judge somewhere between 55 to 60 proposals. Of course, that number -- I mean, we can't have the hard math until we know how many proposals come in because, you know, I mean, that's when we figure it out.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Can I just underline where -- Rasha didn't start out and the working group didn't start out. I should be clear, the working group didn't start out saying 55 per is a good number. It started out saying three reviewers from each stakeholder group is -- will give an appropriate statistical kind of process. And then when you do the math, that's what it equates to. But there was nothing which started out and said we want everybody to review 55 or 60 proposals, just to really underline that.
Next in the queue, Hisham.
>>HISHAM ABOULYAZED: Thank you. Thank you again, Madam Chair.
Well, I want to start by again commending Rasha and the working group for doing this terrific job. I think it has been overdue for quite some years. And it's excellent that we have reached a point that we have this solid proposal in front of us.
Listening to the discussion, I just have a couple of remarks to add maybe to the benefit of the discussion. The way I understand the evaluation, there will be the opportunity for evaluators to pass on some of the proposals in front of them to submit and to reroute them to the system to be allocated for other evaluators. I think the table at the end of the document, the very last page, needs to indicate a deadline for that to also allow enough time for the newly allocated evaluator to still have some time before the final deadline of the MAG evaluation. So this is one thing.
With regard to the number of evaluators, I fully appreciate the justification made by Rasha, I think. If we maybe think outside of the box, that we have been working within for the last ten, 11 years, we have made accustomed ourselves that we need the full MAG to review all proposals. But if we look at this with a fresh eye, I think the 12 is a gate number to do the job.
I just want to hear confirmation that we will still find a way to introduce the geographic dimension, diversity, I mean. I see nodding from the secretariat at the time. But I still want to see a confirmation that this is something that could be introduced to the system.
Finally, with regard to the feedback to those proposers who did not make it, I think we will need to introduce some -- something after the third stage maybe of the evaluation specifically to those who have not been selected, after the final selection had been made. Although they have been above the cut of number, whatever that is, say 3.5 or 3-point whatever, if we can actually go back to the evaluators of those proposals and ask them at a later stage to give feedback for those proposals. Some feedback because I don't think we can do this from the very first beginning. There's a total difference between, I think, feedback for weak proposals versus those who have been good enough but maybe repetitive but needed to be neglected for other better proposals. Those are my remarks. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, thank you, Hisham. One very important point was I think we need to make sure that we do back off in the end. So if any need to be rerouted, we can reroute them.
I'm closing the queue with what's here now and then going to work for a proposal.
Rasha, if you have a comment on that, you can. And just so we're all clear, I have Renata, Carolyn, and Nacho in the queue.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you. I just need to correct something I said minutes ago. If somebody indicates on the system that they cannot review a certain proposal, that proposal will be rerouted to one person, not to 12 because, you know, the rest of the reviewers are doing it. It's just one proposal that's going to be rerouted to one person from the same stakeholder group.
Unfortunately Arnold has left the room. Maybe I can email him and clarify that. That's a mistake that I made.
The feedback at a later stage, yes, that's a very good point. So maybe we can -- we have three weeks to review all workshops and maybe we can indicate to MAG members to kindly let us know if there's a particular workshop they're not going to review maybe by week two so we can -- so that will just take a quick skip through the workshops just to indicate if there's something that you're not going to review so that we can have time -- another reviewer would have time to have that added to their thing. Yeah, it's a very good point. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rasha.
Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Thank you, Chair. Renata. I would just like to address to Rasha and to the room quickly the scientific dilemma. Emphasize we're not looking for safety in numbers but creating a methodology to address the community's concern of evaluation. As of all methodologies, it has techniques that can be adjusted over time.
So discussing between 12 or 16 evaluators to me is not that important. I'm fine with either number. It is the process of focusing on quality and evaluation and accompanying it that I would like to put as priority.
And I would, again, bring the point about backchannel talk. Indeed, we do a lot of multitasking. But I agree with Chair that we have to be responsible and put on record what we want to be as such on the WebEx chat, which is summarized and publicized for the community.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Renata.
Carolyn, you have the floor.
>>CAROLYN NGUYEN: Thank you, Chair. A couple of comments. First of all, thank you so much for putting this process together and to improve upon the existing process.
My understanding is that your goals are to improve on the quality as well as the transparency of the evaluation, and I think that message came out very clearly.
It feels like in looking at the comments and listening to the discussion that there are two concerns expressed. One is around a number of 12 and then, secondly, is around the ability of reviewers to game the system. And that's an interesting comment only because it's really questioning the integrity of the MAG members. I'm not going to address that.
But with respect to those concerns being the concerns, I want to suggest -- make three proposals. One is if the objective is to really improve on the quality and transparency, then perhaps each reviewer can input comments for the score that's given in each of the four categories.
So, Rasha, going back to something you suggested earlier, this would mean inputting a comment for every score regardless of what the level of that score is, and that can help in the stage 3 as well.
Secondly, Rasha, in various comments, you had made the suggestion that standard deviation will also be looked at. I don't see that written in the document. And I think clarity on that -- again, I think what people are concerned about is sort of the algorithm will take precedence over any final discussion. So I think the comments as well as mentioned the standard deviation may address some of that concern because if the average is the same, then there's no concern with respect to gaming. I find it difficult that 12 people would collude to gain something.
I think that those comments will do that.
So I think that those comments will do that. And then, thirdly, Liesyl's suggestion of a wildcard, again, if we're thinking about improving quality and transparency and only addressing the concerns around gaming, then the wildcard idea again may be something to address that. So those are the three suggestions that I would make.
I think 12 is sufficient, again, towards the notion of quality.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Carolyn.
Nacho, and then we're going to close on this. I will remind everybody we have one more item before we leave here and that is formats which are exceedingly important as well to this discussion.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: As you ask, I spoke with Ginger and we agreed on suggesting that as we are reducing our job -- our continued amount of job as a MAG member, we suggest every proposal should have feedback, not -- we should not be obligated to do that, but it would be great. We also propose especially the ones below 4, that rated below 4, have their feedback in order to get the ones selected better and those that are not selected understand why they were not selected.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Nacho.
Let me try and take a couple of the points that are open.
I think -- well, I don't want to do this backwards.
Let's start with are we all supportive of going forward with this proposal?
And we'll come to the wildcard, the number per stakeholder, and the reviewing cutoff, but are we as a MAG comfortable with going forward with this proposal?
I see lots of heads nodding yes in the room. Can somebody help me judge from the WebEx or the online participants?
Or maybe the issue is just are there any strong objections from anybody in -- on line? No?
Okay. So Juan, you have the floor.
>>JUAN FERNANDEZ: Well, I don't want to interpret the rest of the feeling. Yes, sure. I think that we are all in agreement with that, but with enough flexibility for the third stage that the -- not an algorithm, not a standard deviation, not a formula could substitute the open discussion, especially if it's well prepared, of all us exerting the most uncommon sense. No? Common sense is the most uncommon of all the senses, okay?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that was nicely said.
So hearing no objections and, in fact, seeing -- in the room, and I appreciate that that doesn't apply to those that are on line because I can't see your heads moving, but that there were no serious objections, then we are moving forward with this proposal.
We will take one more pass at it because I think there is some language that can be clarified. I think some of the comments around if it's standard deviation.
I think we could do something with the introduction and the header of this, which is why we're actually doing this, which is a lot of the comments that we've heard, I think, in the room to introduce it to the community.
I also like the idea of a wildcard flag in some manner, and I really would like us to go away and think about how we do that, whether it's an asterisk or a tick, or if that is impossible, then we just make sure that every reviewer knows that they have that possibility and we do it manually, worst case. But I do like that notion a lot.
For those that haven't actually graded these proposals before, the secretariat and the form does actually help somewhat with kind of traditional -- not traditional. Sort of frequent comments on why a proposal was found, you know, wanting in some area. So it's -- you can -- there are free-text boxes. You can certainly comment, but there are some things to aid with some of the more common kind of shortfalls that we've seen, so it's not overly onerous.
I would be happy saying -- and, again, I'm going to look for whether or not there's any strong objections -- happy saying below 4. If we're really going for fewer reviews, below 4, encouraging every MAG to actually put some comments in on the proposal. Not every proposal. I think we can encourage them to do every proposal, but if a proposal's really good and it's highly ranked, I'm not sure what you're going to say that would be significantly more helpful. If there's something that stands out that you think would make that 4.5 proposal great, then I suspect you would put that in the comments anyway, so, I mean, I think we can take a lot of responsibility to really doing the process thoughtfully.
Now, with respect to the number of reviewers per stakeholder group, which I think is the only item that's left in this, I'm -- I'm torn. I'm torn because I think calling -- calling consensus is not numbers and it's as much of an art, you know. And in the technical community we used to say you continued going until all serious, strong objections were addressed, because if it is a serious, strong objection, you have every obligation to address it. It would potentially have an impact on the outcome.
And I know part of this group feels that there is no objection, that it wouldn't -- whatever -- hurt the outcome. I think this is as much sort of comfort level and emotional and where we're moving from, and I think it's also testing it with the community.
I have to say my gut says we would go to four per proposal. I think that would make the community a little happier. I think it buys us a little bit of room going from full to four per stakeholder. I think the people that have expressed some -- some concern with it are pretty -- pretty serious in their concern and I don't know how to assess kind of -- like I say, I don't think it's a quality objection, per se. I think it's almost more gut level and where we've coming from and community assessment and trying to do the right thing on the whole large sphere.
So I would like to go forward with that and I guess understand, both from online and people in the room, if four is enough for those of you that thought the number should be higher, and for those of you that thought three was the number are supportive of going to four per stakeholder group.
>> (Off microphone.)
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Please, please. And Rasha, I'm -- and thank you very much for the work and I'm really not trying to, you know, run over your particular view on this three per stakeholder. I'm trying to find a way forward that keeps everybody kind of as supportive as possible.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you. I just -- I think whoever thinks that the drop from 55 members is drastic is going to feel that it's drastic even if we drop to 20. It's still going to feel like a drastic drop.
I fear that if we make it 16 this year, we might have to increase it again next year. I don't think we'll be able to reduce it next year because we've already reduced it a lot this year. I don't think we can go back next year and say, "Okay, let's go with 12 now." So I'm more inclined to try 12 for this year, and if people are not happy, to increase it next year. Because there will be people who are not happy anyway. People who think every proposal should be reviewed by 55 people are not going to be happy even if it's dropped to 20. They're just -- in their minds, it's the whole MAG that needs to review the proposal. So I don't think it's going to make much difference to this category of people if we reduce it to 12 or to 16.
I think if -- again, if they don't like 12 -- if we don't like 12, if we feel that the process was lacking, then we can increase that number next year. I think it's going to be very difficult to increase it again next year if we start at four per stakeholder group or to decrease it next year because we've already decreased it drastically this year. So that's just my point.
And, again, it's really about the quality and not about the number.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: This is why diversity and multistakeholder forums are so important to these discussions because I -- I would look at what you just said and actually reverse it and have said we have an obligation to the community to make the community feel as comfortable as they can, and I would prefer that we tried a higher number and if it worked really well and everybody is comfortable and it proves out, we drop to a lower number, which is sort of the reverse of you, being people are going to be happy either way.
I don't know how we assess that when we actually don't have the community that we can go out and address quickly. The community is supposed to be represented through the MAG members here. So we need to find a way very, very quickly in the MAG to figure out what number of reviewers per stakeholder group we could all live with, and that has to be on the basis of what you think your communities would be comfortable with. I think that's the only way we can actually attempt to get a community readout.
>> (Off microphone.)
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Rasha just said a Doodle poll. I have to say I was sort of coming to the same thing as well. You know, whether it's the three or the four, we don't need to know that today. I suppose we could run a Doodle poll and give those two options and, you know, ask the MAG members. You know, they could consult, if they care to. They probably have, I don't know, three or four or five days to consult, if they want to, within their own communities. The problem with doing that kind of consultation back out in the communities is we need to make sure they've got the full story to send out to the communities, and if you don't do that, you're actually doing the entire process here a disservice because people won't understand the full totality of what we're trying to do here.
So I guess I would come back to my original proposal and try and settle on three or four here now in the next two minutes so we can go to formats.
Forcing functions are great things, as painful as they are, and you can't know how deep a breath I take when this actually closes.
Do we have anybody who can help us close on three or four per stakeholder group either in the online or in the room?
Miguel, is that a new card? Okay. Miguel, you have the floor.
>>MIGUEL CANDIA: Thank you, Chair. It's Miguel Candia for the record.
Just a practical question. If we have more than 15, 18 members having the reviews, we -- we increase the amount of proposals we're receiving as a group so we take more hours per person. Is that what we want? Or we want to have a bit less of workload for -- per each human being?
And on the other case of three or four, I -- I certainly believe that if we are having more members, it should be more per sector, but if we're keeping 12, three is enough.
So one decision depends on the other. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. If I understood your question -- and I'm going to say this quite directly -- this exercise has never been about reducing the workload on the MAG. You know, it really isn't. I've lived through MAGs where I've evaluated 250. It was actually trying to move it away from what was a fairly quantitative spreadsheet Excel ranking sort of thing into a much more thoughtful process which actually looked again, as we've said many times, against imbalances, corrections desired, aspirations for where we wanted the program to be. That -- we built in two and a half extra weeks for that process in the MAG, for MAG review on the front end, and that's where, I think, the quality and the thoughtfulness comes.
And then the proposal is if it goes up in number, it goes for all. So it's either three per stakeholder group, which is 12 reviewers per proposal, or it's four, which is 16 per proposal.
Carolyn, you were up first and then Nacho.
>>CAROLYN NGUYEN: Thank you, Madam Chair.
With respect to your specific question of, you know, 12 or 16, I think that this conversation is very much about the quality of the review, which is what the intention is.
It's not about reducing the work for the MAG but it's about increasing the quality and the transparency.
I very much resonated with the comment from Rasha that says, you know, it's much easier to just start here, but then also with the very important point that Juan made, which is very much make sure that people understand the flexibility as well, so that we can have a full discussion for the workshops that are deemed to be controversial.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, I think that's clear. That's been stated a few times.
Nacho, you have the floor.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: Thank you, Chair.
I think what's kind of required for us as MAG members is to bring balance to every decision we -- we have to do. In that way, we should take -- we need balance for gender, we need balance for regions, and we need balance for stakeholders.
We have five regions and we have four stakeholders. The thing is, I think that the best way would be to have five members, one from each region and one from -- and also take into account from the stakeholder. That way, I think it would be less -- sorry, it would be less hard for the community to understand the change, because I don't know, from the outside, it may sound that we don't want to work and it doesn't sound good, so we are a fortunate group of 55 people, 55 persons that were selected to be here and to do a great job, that many of the -- out of the community remember who wanted to be here, and we're reducing our workload and it's -- I think it may be difficult for them to understand to the community.
So at least we should guarantee the community we will be respecting the balance that -- the balance they might have in each of the groups.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I'd really like us just to strike "reducing our workload" from this discussion. That has never been the driver for this. It's always been -- I just want to make sure that I'm kind of underlining that.
If we had more time, we would take a break and we'd get a few people to go away and talk to each other and, you know, ferret this out a little bit more and see where we were.
I am going to propose that we spend five minutes, 10 minutes in here, from Miguel on the format of the formats, see if we can close on that. I think that's a really short, straightforward discussion. I'm going to think for a few minutes myself whether or not we try and put a number out and see if there's closure, take it to the list, or remain with the current proposal of three.
But Miguel, can you walk us through -- that's the last piece we need to know for the call for proposals, which, again, if you all recall the overall schedule we're working to between now and June.
So Miguel, can you walk us through that?
If you could take just about five minutes. I think everybody has a good sense of where -- even faster? Yeah.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: Okay. So I'm going to show you the results of the new session format, given the last IGF.
Well, the objectives of these formats were to explore new or fresh formats to share projects, views and ideas and attract a broader Internet community, mostly focused on youth.
We tried three different formats, one was the corner sessions. I'm not going to explain the format. I'm just going to say that they didn't work. I think the main reasons were the lack of communication. They were really difficult to explain, and maybe if we should -- we -- we would define a subject or a topic to talk about, it would be easier for people to participate.
The sessions didn't happen. Nobody showed up, so we have to cancel.
Then we had the un-conferences. We had good results. Not as good as we thought, but almost every slot was covered and we have an attendance of around 40 people going, coming, in and out. We have better on-site communication, you will see in the pictures, and the -- and the format was also easy to understand. If you want to present something, you can -- you could do that.
This was the better communication we had. We had the incredible idea to put this board in the middle of the -- of the lunch area so people got notice of the format and, well, they completed all the work. These were the sessions that took place and this was the room.
The setup was different than we -- we asked it to be, but it -- actually, it was not a problem because it was not -- was not a full -- a full room. A crowded room. Sorry.
The lightning sessions were the best of the three.
The main reason for the success, I think, were that nonselected workshop proposers were contacted and they got really enthusiastic about having the chance to present.
The space and the location provided -- provided by the host was great. I think it was one of the things that got more attention to them.
This was the place, for the ones who weren't there. We had a lot of participation from people, people who maybe didn't know that the sessions will be happening there and when they got to maybe drink a coffee or smoke a cigarette, they found out and started participating there.
The reasons -- Eleonora run a survey. You cannot see the questions there, but you see the results. The questions were what did -- well, what do you think about -- it's okay, Luis.
The next one, please.
What do you think about the sessions? People answered they were great and a welcomed addition. It was a great idea, interesting content, excellent way to include diverse and quick presentations. They enjoyed the outdoor setting. It was an easy-to-find location. I think that was one of the keys. If you were walking around the venue, you would see the sessions happening so you would take part in them.
There were some problems with noise, smoke, and smell because they were really near the lunch area, but they didn't (indiscernible).
When Eleonora asked them how they could be improved, they asked they should be actively promoted. We notice that. We communicate them, but it was not enough. It could be better.
Well, also for remote participation, it was really difficult to have them because the space was set up in less time and it was really difficult to happen. But I think it could happen in the next IGF.
And some said that 20-minute sessions could be made a little longer. That wasn't the idea. The lightning sessions are short. That's why -- I don't think they should be longer. I think they should keep short.
How valuable the people who responded to the survey considered the sessions were to the IGF program? It was 80% gave them a five. So they were really, really great.
Well, for the future, I will ask the MAG some questions: Should the working group continue with this work? Should the working group continue to try new formats? I think that should be answered later in the list. And if so, should we give a chance to the corner sessions that did work? Should we communicate it in a better way? Should we gather people differently? Should we continue and give more space to the unconference sessions, that they were good but if we communicated better maybe they could be better.
Go back a little.
Should we continue with the lightning sessions as they are, especially for non-selected proposals? Or should we include them in the first open call? That's something we should decide. Should we try new formats? I have a proposal. I already told -- I think it was proposed yesterday. Luis, if you want to go -- is the hot topics.
I will explain it very shortly. Some topics that may be hot in March or April but outdated by the end of December. Maybe we will bring them into the IGF. Having hot topics would make the IGF more relevant for media covering. And how could we bring those topics while keeping the IGF spirit? The process for selecting workshops is really long. It's really hard. So is there a process we could define to get those topics -- those topics inside the IGF. The proposal is really simple, and it needs a lot of work, of course. But we could reserve X, I don't know how many, but we could reserve X rooms for the hot topics. And some hot topics could be selected. For example, the procedure could be ten proposals by the MAG, open them for rotation from the community and then, for example, three, four, five out of those ten --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Miguel, I think hot topics or emerging topics is something we can take up later when we actually talk about the overall shape of the program because it doesn't affect this call for proposals. And I don't want to rush it.
>>MIGUEL ALCAINE: I will share the presentation --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, no. I would like you to just be very specific in terms of which -- from the working group or which ones the new formats you would propose keeping and ensure are in the call for proposals. And is there any that you think are not necessary to go forward again, that we just know that quickly.
And then some of these other topics are critical. We'll come back to them. The hot topics, emerging topics is one that's a fuller discussion.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: I would like to keep the three -- -- the corner sessions that didn't work. I think I know why didn't work. We could do it better. And, also, we could change it or adapt it to the hot topics.
The lightning sessions, I think they really worked, and the unconference also. So I would keep the three of them and search a way to combine maybe the hot topics with the corner sessions or something like that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. I hate rushing this so much as well.
I would like to ask the interpreters, though, if they could stay for sort of an extra ten minutes just so we don't end this end of the meeting without interpretation for the online record later.
Miguel, you did tremendous work. I know every time I say everybody really liked the new formats and had a lot of good work, he actually complimented Eleonora and Brian as well for helping him with that. I never said once said, Miguel, "It was great work" without him saying "Couldn't have done it without Eleonora." Would like to recognize everybody in that.
Could we get a quick sense of the room here. If not, this is maybe one we can take to the list, that we allow those sorts of new formats to continue to go forward through the call for proposals? I know in past discussions we had everybody was just so happy about it.
I will make the point, as Chengetai just said, remember, this is not Mexico. It's Switzerland in December. So nice outdoor corners and that sort of thing -- I think it could be a great incentive for us to get the IGFs back into September and October for the future.
So we'll work to ensure that those are reflected appropriately and in the guidelines piece up front, that we're clear on what any sort of criteria or any additional information that we need to do to have people understand that new formats is a part of it.
I really would like to, you know, put on the table a sincere thank you to Miguel and to Eleonora for their work. I think it added just a great dimension. And it was under your leadership and sort of continuing championing it that we moved forward.
Israel, do you have a quick comment on this that's critical? Because we need to come to -- okay. You have the floor.
>>ISRAEL ROSAS: Thank you. Israel Rosas for the record.
Just to note that the -- if possible, I would like to invite Nacho to develop a more specific description of these.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That would be great. Actually, if you could do that in the next few days, that would be fantastic because that could ensure any thoughts you had to explain them was embedded in the guidelines that go out at the time of the call for proposal.
I'm going to -- I'm going to go back to the original proposal as put forward on the table by the working group. This is not just Rasha that put that proposal on the table. It was the working group which had three per stakeholder. I appreciate some of the other comments that have come in, but those numbers have been with us for some time and coming in with, you know, significant numbers and a different objection that late in the process. I think we have to put some reliance on the work of the working group.
If people are really uncomfortable with that, you need to raise your flag either online or here and say so. But, otherwise, we're going to go with the working group recommendation of three per.
So I want to give time. Is everybody in the online queue, are there any significant objections being raised, Anja?
I want to thank everybody obviously for dealing through so many hours of quite a detailed discussion. I think as Elizabeth said so nicely earlier, this really is about the work that we're trying to do. And it is about kind of informing and setting for us the right mindset as we actually go through. She said that much more elegantly earlier. We can look it up in the transcript.
We will watch this process very, very carefully. We will ensure that the front-end and back-end for the thoughtful human review, if you will, in the process is really everything it can be as we go forward.
I do think we need to put together a package of materials or some additional text that explained to the community why we're changing the process in this manner. It would be great if the working group would actually do that as well since they have been so steeped in the discussion. And then we'll work towards the launch.
The schedule calls for this to be launched no later than two weeks from now, the middle of March. I have forgotten the date off the top of my head, unless Eleonora or Luis have it.
I think it was the 15th as well. I could do the math, if I wasn't so tired.
So I think we need to stick to that timetable. There's a couple of pieces of work that are probably nearly complete, probably 85, 90% work: The forms, some of the guidelines. We have done this before. We'll clean them up and make sure we have taken into account everything we have heard in this discussion and that it is actually reflected in some of those opening paragraphs so it's clear what the motivation is and what drove this. I think Renata has had good words several times in terms of what we're trying to do here.
I would like to thank Renata and the working group -- sorry, Rasha and the working group. Renata was a part of the working group. Rasha and the working group for doing this work and driving it forward. I do think it's going to make a substantive, qualitative difference in the program and the workshops that are chosen as well as the feedback and value back to the community as well.
I actually think we managed to complete everything we needed to for this first MAG meeting, not without, you know, probably some little bits of pain and pushing here which I hope weren't too, too much. And I really want to thank everybody for their forbearance with some of the kind of consensus calls we've had to take here.
With that, I want to ask Jorge if he has any final words. And then we have a few thanks to do here at the end.
>>JORGE CANCIO: Thank you. Actually, I just wanted to thank you all for this excellent work and this excellent cooperation. I think we have enjoyed these three days of intensive work. We've made a lot of progress really. And we're looking forward to continuing cooperating as host country with Lynn, with IGF secretariat, with UN DESA, UNOG, all interested parties and, of course, with you who are really the key to make this program a real success and really interesting for all the outside world that is really affected by this new digital life, this new digital future we want to shape.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And I'm really excited about what we've done here as well because there have been many ideas that have come up in the background in discussions which I think is actually going to make this a sort of rich IGF. And I actually hope that the efforts that we're putting in place in different places to really take advantage of international Geneva will actually help future IGFs as well. I think it will broaden participation and outreach, bring some new blood in and increase the visibility in a lot of important areas and institutions where we probably haven't had as much as we'd like. So I think it's just a tremendous opportunity.
I would actually like to thank both OFCOM and the Swiss Foreign Affairs who are actually both sort of jointly leading and taking much of this. We have had representatives in the back of the room here. I can't even imagine what this actually feels like or looks like to someone who's not steeped in a multistakeholder community process. But thank you very much for staying here and for all your efforts and support, both to date and over the coming year.
I would like to thank the interpreters.
>> Thank you, Madam.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And the scribes as well. Both of those efforts are really critical to supporting participation.
I would actually like to make a separate callout, too, to all the online participants. There have been so many people who have gotten up in the middle of the night their time, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 a.m. to start a very long, basically a ten-hour day. It's hard. And the contributions you have made have been actually very, very helpful. And we are open ways to improve it. Thank you very much. This discussion would not have been nearly as rich or nearly as helpful without the online participation.
With that, I think -- I thank the secretariat and UNOG for hosting us and wish everybody a bonne weekend. And thank you very much. We'll see you all no later than mid June. Thank you.
[ Applause ]