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IGF 2017 Workshop Session Formats and Evaluation Criteria

 

This year, proposers have seven (7) different workshop formats to choose from. The format must be clearly described in the workshop proposal. MAG members will evaluate workshop proposals against four basic criteria: Relevance, Content, Diversity, and Format.

 

1. Is the topic of the session relevant to Internet Governance? Further, is the topic relevant to the overarching theme of the IGF?

2. Does the content of the proposal clearly define and describe the Internet policy issue to be discussed? Is the proposal complete and well thought out?

a) Note: This criterion does not focus on grammar, syntax, or fluency in the English language.

3. Is there diversity amongst the proposed speakers or lead participants?

a) Note: Gender, geography, stakeholder group, policy perspective and/or age are the diversity criteria. Proposals from developing countries and first-time proposers are especially welcome.

b) Note: Some session formats do not support all of these criteria – for example, diversity does not necessarily apply to the flash session format because this format is for short presentations on a policy project or issue, as opposed to a discussion on a policy issue.

4. Does the content of the proposal mirror the selected session format? If the proposal is for a break-out group discussion, for example, does it describe how participants will be organized in to separate groups? If the proposal is for a debate, does it identify the issue for debate and the two teams to present opposing arguments?

 

While the relevance and content criteria apply uniformly to all of the workshop session formats, the speaker diversity and format criteria can vary according to the session format. Some formats have different criteria. Below is a description of each format and criteria. Please read this information while developing your workshop proposal.

 

*Please also note: rooms will have fixed furniture with no possibility of re-configuration. Most will be ‘classroom style’. The Secretariat will do everything possible to make room assignments based on a workshop’s stated format, but organizers must exercise flexibility in their planning and should be ready to work with the room they are assigned.

 

Break-out group discussions involve several separate, smaller conversations that take place during the same time. The discussion topic is introduced at the beginning of the session to all participants in the room, usually by a moderator or subject matter expert. The participants then break out into small groups and discuss this topic or aspects of this topic. Experts or moderators can be “assigned” to each group to clarify specific issues if needed or to keep the conversation flowing. At the end of the session, the groups come back together and can summarize their discussions for everyone, or moderators/experts can share results and conclude with suggestions for possible next steps.

Time:

· 90 mins; or
· 60 mins

Layout:

· Room with enough chairs and space for splitting out into several groups (6-10 max per group);
· Several roaming microphones for group reporters;
· Printouts/collaborative online platforms (e.g. a wiki) for notetaking;

Note on Diversity criteria: The speakers and discussion leaders who are involved in both the organization and the running of the session should be diverse.

Example: WS 37 Internet Fragmentation – Getting next 4billion online [Description; Video, Transcript & Report]

 

 

 

A roundtable discussion puts speakers in conversation with one another on a particular theme or issue. A moderator will introduce subject matter experts (if any) at the table and explain the discussion topic before engaging all discussants in the room in a roundtable conversation.  Everyone ‘at the table’ is given equal weight and equal opportunity to intervene. Workshop proposals for the roundtable format should identify the subject matter experts and describe how  walk-in participants will  be encouraged to participate in the discussion.

Time:

· 90 mins; or
· 60 mins

Layout:

· Hollow-square or room with large round/rectangular table; additional seats outside of the circular/rectangular configuration for additional participants;
· Table microphones;
· If speakers are participating remotely, the use of video/audio conferencing;
· Online participation station.

Note on Diversity criteria: The subject matter experts and moderator identified in the proposal should be diverse.

Example: WS 28 The Right to Be Forgotten and Privatized Adjudication [Description; Video, Transcript & Report]

 

 

 

A debate is a productive way to weigh opposing views on an issue and to assess the logical arguments supporting each view. Two sides to an issue are presented – one side argues in favour of a proposition, and one side argues against. Each side can be represented by one person, or alternatively, a team The highest quality debates usually result from comparing two extreme positions.  Debates can take several formats. One popular format is the Oxford-style debate: http://www.ox.ac.uk/oxford_debates/. Debates usually have strict rules and timing and are judged by one or two moderators. Audience participation and/or scoring of the debate should be built into the session agenda and the debate teams must work together before the session to prepare their arguments.

Time:

· 90 mins; or
· 60 mins

Layout:

· Two podiums; with a table next to each podiums for the debater(s) to sit;
· Rows of chairs for the audience;
· Roaming microphones to capture questions/comments from the audience (depending on the debate format         used);
· If speakers are participating remotely, the use of video/audio conferencing;
· Printouts and/or a shared online space for collaborative drafting/notetaking;
· Online participation station.

Note on Diversity criteria: Debates naturally require two speakers, or speaker teams, with opposing views. The debaters and judge panel (if applicable) should reflect diversity. 

Example: WS 196 On cybersecurity, who has got our back?: A debate [Description; Video, Transcript & Report]

 

 

 

The BoF session format is suggested for when a group of attendees come together based on a shared interest on an Internet policy issue, and carry out discussions without any pre-planned agenda. The call for participation can be announced at the plenary, online, or on a bulletin board at the IGF event.

Time:

· 30 mins;
· 60mins; or
· 90 mins

Layout:

· Several circular tables or a circle of chairs to enable group work/discussion;
· Online participation where possible;

Note on Diversity criteria: For this format, organizers are encouraged to run the session in an inclusive way, in order to ensure that a diversity of views from diverse participants are incorporated into the discussion.

Example: WS 19 Enhancing linguistic and cultural diversity in cyberspace [Description; Video,  Transcript & Report]

 

 

 

In the flash session format, an individual/organsation can inform the community about the work they have done on an Internet policy issue, or project, or propose a project and invite collaboration with the community. Flash sessions are shorter in duration than other formats (30 minutes). The use of audio/visual materials is strongly encouraged. This format is not suggested for discussion, but for presentation.

Time:

· 30 mins

Layout:

· A podium/table for the presenter;
· Chairs for attendees;
· Online participation station (for remote viewing of the flash session).

Note on Diversity criteria: The diversity requirement does not apply to flash sessions on an individual basis, because they are presentations. However, the MAG will work to ensure that there is diversity amongst flash session proposers.
 
Example: WS 169 Regional Participation in Brazil: Growing Initiatives [Description; Video, Transcript & Report]

 

 

The panel format is suggested for sessions where a diversity of experts explore an emerging Internet policy issue, including the technical or legal features of an issue. Panels are also an effective way to compare and contrast the various positions of several main actors. In the panel format, several speakers or subject matter experts provide opening remarks on a question and then address questions from the moderator. Small panels (a maximum of 5 speakers) are preferred to increase audience participation. Time should be allowed for questions/comments from the audience. . 

Time:

· 60 mins; or
· 90 mins

Layout:

· Panel table with speakers;
· If speakers are participating remotely, the use of video/audio conferencing;
· Several roaming microphones to capture audience questions/comments;
· Online participation station.

Note on Diversity criteria: Panels should adhere to the diversity requirement to the fullest extent possible in light of the discussion topic. For example, if the panel is exploring perspectives on a regional basis, geographical diversity should focus on including different speakers from different countries within the region. Gender, stakeholder group, age, and policy perspective should also apply.

Example: WS 6 Can law enforcement catch bad actors online anymore? [Description; Video, Transcript & Report]

 

 

If you wish to propose a format different to those listed above, please describe your format in detail and include your plan for in-person and online participation. Any new proposed format should fully reflect all of the 4 criteria.

Time:

· 30 mins
· 60 mins; or
· 90 mins

 

 


 
 

Contact Information

United Nations

Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa La Bocage

Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10

Switzerland

+41 (0) 229 173 678


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