IGF 2018 WS #371 Capturing Memory and History of Women in Internet Governanc

Subtheme(s): 

Organizer 1: Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Organizer 2: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

After the session '#212 Navigating gender and youth challenges: telling stories about women, technology and creation' that was conducted at the IGF in 2017, this session seeks to continue work that highlights the influence of women in Internet Governance. History and memory work hand in hand to inspire and influence present and future work. Without a diverse history, however, we cannot expect to have a truly diverse future. Thorough this session we hope to begin the critical work of highlighting and celebrating diverse histories of the Internet Governance community.

These histories are especially important for women because, in the past there has been little attention paid to the work done by women in the Internet Governance policy making space which has led to critical actors, such as Joyce Reynolds, to nearly be forgotten from widely known histories. This means that women who enter into the IG space have few concrete role models in the community. This session seeks to fill this gap through the development of oral history skills amongst participants and well as the collection of histories of attendees.

Format: 

Break-out Group Discussions - 60 Min

Interventions: 

1. Initial intervention on History Project and the importance of maintaining a legacy for the upcoming generations and other female in the field (5 min).
2. Speakers interventions on their personal trajectories within the IG field (30 min)
3. Break-out Groups: each designated speaker will be assigned one of the break out discussion groups that will address the following questions (20 min):
(a) What does Internet governance mean to you? (a warm-up question)
(b) How did you get involved in the IG community?
(c) Tell me your ‘Internet Governance story’?
(d) Who has been a mentor or facilitator for you in the community? Try and name both women and men.
4. Groups intervention: each group will elect a story - amongst the ones told during the break out moment - to highlight to the general attendance.

Overall, this session will form part of an ongoing project called the Global Internet Histories Project run by Frances Cory and Anna Loup of the University of Southern California. As a result of the session, an archive of oral histories of women's participation in IG will be developed that will be hosted on the Global Internet Histories Project website. We will also work with ICANN Wiki and ISOC SIG Women to highlight the importance of women’s stories in IG history through the publication of blog posts and interviews using their pre-existing platforms.

Finally, in addition to the development of an archive, the practice of interviewing other participants will allow for networking amongst new and existing members of the Internet Governance community as well as a way for participants to learn from each other’s experiences.

Diversity: 

This session celebrates a diverse understanding of Internet Governance history through its focus on the inclusion of women in Internet histories.
We think it is of utter importance to give women the opportunity to tell their stories, experiences and cases of success while in the IG ecosystem in order to provide the new generations with narratives regarding the work that has been carried out up until today and the barriers encountered by many of the actresses working on the subject.
Having said that, the present workshop proposal includes representatives of different stakeholder groups. It is also important to note that when selecting our prospective speakers we took into consideration the generation, age and geographical diversity, the importance of giving the floor to new voices to be heard and also how we could explore the relationship between gender and youth through the proposal. Given the session is focused on Gender Issues, we thought it would be better to have an all women panel with diversity between them.
Workshop organizing team might add other names to the prospective speakers pool based on future confirmations.

The present WS submission will focus on the Importance of memory and legacy for the female community in Internet Governance. With the aim of assembling and fostering the importance of a Collective memory, the workshop will capture memory and history of women in Internet Governance, teaching attendees to conduct oral histories as a way to encourage community appreciation for historiography.

The idea is to build an empathetic environment to promote a collective memory work on different realities, experiences that women have been facing while in the Internet Governance ecosystem. Reaching out to fellow women in the field is a way of exchanging views and harnessing a trust-based collaborative relationship between generations, regions and stakeholder groups.

Following up on the work developed by different organizations and individuals such as ENIAC Computers and Uncommon Women, we seek to foster female participation by highlighting experiences and promoting the history of such trajectories.

By dividing the audience into breakout groups the WS aims to address initial questions regarding women involvement with the ecosystem such as (a) What does Internet governance mean to you?; (b) How did you get involved in the IG community?; (c) What is your ‘Internet Governance story’?; and (d) Who has been a mentor or facilitator for you in the community? Try and name both women and men

Final option to present the person that you interviewed to the group. Three-Four people could volunteer.

Discussion Facilitation: 

1. The workshop will be centered on a break-out-groups format. The moderator will introduce the speakers and they will set the scene sharing their stories and experiences on entering the IG ecosystem, challenges faced, and the barriers encountered by them.
2. The stakeholders and the audience members will break into discussion groups in order to promote a more intimate and informal conversation. The group work will enable attendees to conduct interviews with each other based on the proposed questions.
3. The remote moderator will have a key role for online participants, giving them the chance to interact with the break-out group methodology and express their opinions about the topic. The moderator will be in charge to express the online participants’ ideas to the attendees.

Online Participation: 

The workshop plans on collecting comments and questions from attendees which may enrich the debate through the hashtags #Gendernarratives #InternetHistoriesProject, before and during the workshop. During the workshop, the remote moderator will enlist questions, comments from both onsite and online audience.
A collaborative document will gather these records of comments and questions during and after the workshop, and will be integrated into the report. A variety of media can also serve as background material for this debate, based on previous workshops done at IGF.
The online moderator will encourage remote participants to add their answers to the questions in the chat so they can be added to the archive. The online moderator will also ask remote participants if they would like to have a one on one interview via skype after the session so their oral history can be added to the archive as well.
As mentioned above, apart from the online chat provided by IGF, we intend on following the discussion online through the proposed hashtags in order to ensure inclusiveness and accessibility to the proposed workshop.

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

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

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678