The 16th annual IGF will be hosted in a hybrid format. The meeting will aim at accommodating the participation of stakeholders present onsite in Katowice or participating online, in a same way as much as possible. This hybrid approach also extends to the session organizing teams (organizers, speakers, moderators and rapporteurs) who will participate online or onsite. This further means that all session-engaged parties can participate onsite or online.
The overall objective is to make participation in the IGF 2021 meaningful and inclusive for all participants.
There are a few elements of the hybrid format which are under a careful planning process of the organizers. Please review the below as well as the frequently asked questions (FAQs).
First and foremost, the 16th IGF will be hosted on a unique digital platform through which the meeting discussions will be implemented in an equal manner for all participants, regardless if they will connect to it from the venue in Katowice or any other part of the world.
Also, the 16th IGF interactive programme will be accessible through a dedicated mobile application.
In addition to the 16th IGF physical venue for those participating in the Forum from Katowice, those participating online will also have an opportunity to enter its digital 3D equivalent. As onsite participants, the online participants will also have an opportunity to enter the meeting room and connect to the participating platform.
The IGF Village, composed of over fifty booths organized by different organizations at the venue, will have their 3D booths equivalents, which all participants can visit through the IGF 2021 platform. The materials available at the physical booths will also be available at the 3D booths.
As noted above, the 16th IGF sessions can have speakers/moderators/rapporteurs participating completely online or in a mixed setting. Regardless, each session would be allocated a room in Katowice with a screen projecting the Zoom room, support team of staff for technical and overall logistical implementation.
The time zone of the meeting programme corresponds to the Central European Time. The working hours of the meeting are slightly extended, ranging from 08:00 until 19:30 CET for bilateral meetings and side events; and from 09:30 until 18:30 CET for the programme sessions. However, for those challenged by the time zone difference or simply other commitments, there will be an opportunity to communicate interventions beforehand or after the session. The beforehand interventions can be guided by the concept note of each session in the 16th IGF programme already made available at the IGF website, while the post-session interventions could be made against the session report made available up to 12 hours after the session ends, as well as the transcript and video recording made available on the website shortly after the session ends.
Whether participants engage in sessions live onsite or online, or asynchronously (perhaps due to time zone difficulties) and watch session recordings, they will be able to register their input with session organizers using session-specific hashtags. All comments can be made on social media - with Twitter the preferred platform for ease of use - and tagged according to the guidelines here. Session organizers will be advised by the Secretariat to scan Twitter for comments and take them into account for their reports.
The bilateral meetings will also make it possible for participating stakeholders to connect online to the meeting room.
The social opportunities at the 16th IGF will also have a possibility for online participants to tune in. For example, the networking sessions will be also hosted in a hybrid format. The music night and receptions will have the opportunity for all participants to connect, chat and view the networking space. Throughout the meeting, there will be a networking space available. This will facilitate the participant's possible to visit the space, see who is around, chat and make connections.
If you have questions about the IGF 2021 hybrid format, please visit a set of answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, and listen to the discussion which took place at the IGF 2021 Town Hall on what the hybrid format is about.