The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2018 First Open Consultations and MAG Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from 20 to 22 March 2018. 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.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I'd like to open the first day of the MAG meeting. Obviously the second day of this process here. The first agenda item is going to be approval of the agenda. Before we display that, though, and go there, I'd like to give all of the MAG members a heads up, both those here physically and those that are participating online. I'm going to ask for a quick round of introductions where I'll ask you to state your name, your country or your organization, which stakeholder group you're here representing, and hopefully in sort of ten words or less what the IGF means to you or why you think the IGF makes a difference. Again, it's ten words or less, not ten minutes. We have 55 MAG members, although I'm not quite certain how many are participating. 28 new MAG members, which has got to be one of the largest turnovers of MAGs in its history. And actually I think that's very exciting because I think that will give us a lot of new blood and hopefully a lot of fresh ideas and enthusiasm and energy. But before we come to that, I don't know, if we're going to be displaying the agenda on one of the screens or the WebEx, somewhere? Again, we approve the agenda day by day, and today we're going to have some opening remarks by Ambassador Schneider who was the host country co-chair for IGF 2017, and then the rest of the day we'll actually be discussing various topics related to the development of the IGF annual meeting and a number of the other intersessional activities as well. So the agenda has been posted for a few weeks. We're still trying to figure out what we're doing with all the screens here. I don't know if we need two transcription screens. Might be useful over the course of the day to be able to display some of the documents they're going to be referencing too. So if we can do that in the -- in the background. Chengetai says they're getting another laptop to be able to facilitate that. It's not critical at this point in any case. But let me call for approval of the agenda. Actually you're approving or you have a comment? Thank you. And I don't see -- we're going to be using the speaking queue again today as well, so I don't see any comments yet in -- it's not in the WebEx -- from the speaking queue. So we'll call the agenda approved. And actually we're going to have some remarks from Thomas and myself, and then we'll open the working part of the meeting. But just now I'd like to have each one of the MAG members again state your name, country or organization, stakeholder group, if you are a new MAG member, incoming MAG member, or returning MAG member, and then sort of in ten words or less what the IGF means to you, why you think it matters. And some of the MAG members have cards. I don't think all of the MAG members have cards. So we're just going to start and go down the rows and kind of go back and forth. So Ji, could we quick off with you?
>>JI HAOJUN: Thank you, Madam Chair, give me this special favor, but actually I'm not prepared. I'm glad that this year China, from different stakeholders we have a stronger presence.
[ no audio ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: There's something in the background which as you say are now unmuted and I'm quite sure who's being muted or unmuted. But Ji, again, you should introduce yourself, so your -- the status, a new MAG member, returning, your country or organization and why it matters. Would you do that, please?
>>JI HAOJUN: My name is Ji Haojun from China, government sector. As I was stationed here in Geneva as a member of the Permanent Mission of China to U.N. and I have also been working on Internet governance off and on member for quite a few years. Internet governance is a very difficult thing, it's a fragmented process, and I would hope that MAG can be one of the converging points for our future way forward. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ji. And you're a returning MAG member as well, if you didn't say that. Rudolf.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Good morning. My name is Rudolf Gridl. I am a new MAG member. I'm from Germany Ministry for Economic Affairs and responsible for Internet governance. And?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Why does the IGF matter to you? What do you (indiscernible).
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Okay. It matters to us because we will -- I mean, it matters to us in general but very specially because we will be host of the 2019 IGF in Berlin, and we are eager to participate this year and next year in the programming and content and organizational matters.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Jennifer.
>>JENNIFER CHUNG: Good morning, everyone. My name is Jennifer Chung from .ASIA organization, the private sector. I'm an incoming new MAG member for this year, so very happy to learn and grow with all of the MAG colleagues. Thank you very much, Mr. Ji, for the very kind introduction. For us in .ASIA and also myself personally the IGF is very important to us because it is the crucial platform for us to have Internet governance policy debated, and we very much support that. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jennifer. Helani.
>>HELANI GALPAYA: Good morning. I'm Helani Galpaya. I'm with an organization called LIRNEAsia which is a ICT policy and regulatory think tank working across the Asia-Pacific. And to (indiscernible) and to me the key differentiator of the ITU -- I mean, of the IGF, sorry, is that this is about equal footing, and I take those two words very seriously. At its best yes, it could be a learning -- a space where things are negotiated and done, but I think if that doesn't happen, I never lament about this because the IGF is really a connecting and a learning space where issues are debated. And as policy (indiscernible) civil society we work in the spaces where things are actually negotiated in other fora with other IGO's and in other multilateral agencies. But the importance of the IGF I think is quite different. It's great if we come up with outcomes, but we have already shaped the (indiscernible) change the way people think, and when we go to those other fora, it carries through. And a lot of the debates that take place elsewhere have already been debated, at least at one IGF by the time another big inter -- intergovernmental agency takes it on. So I see this space as quite valuable. And I'm not, you know, crying about the fact that there's no strong outcome, although I would be very happy if there were great outcome documents.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Helani. And you said -- I'm probably going to mispronounce a few names, and if I do so, please correct me. I had several lessons last night to try to say Wout.
>>JUTTA CROLL: You're pronouncing it perfectly. Thank you. My name is Jutta Croll. I'm a new incoming MAG member working for the Digital Opportunities Foundation in Germany, so I represent civil society. And what IGF means to me, you can see from the name of my organization that we always put the opportunities for society, the opportunities of the Internet for society in the focus of our work and doing so for nearly 20 years now. I've learned that the IGF is the only cross sector platform where we can have an exchange with stakeholders from other areas and learn how they do address issues like the digital divide, for example, like digital literacy, like child protection on the Internet, and so on and so on and also new technological innovations that might affect all the work that we are doing. So that's my focus on Internet governance. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Sylvia.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Thank you, Madam Chair. My name is Sylvia Cadena. I work for the APNIC Foundation, representative of the technical community. I am originally from Latin America but based in Australia, so I'm listed on the MAG as Colombia but half of my working life is in the other side of the world so I guess I will play ball in both fields. And on the same token, for me, the IGF is important to bring the issues that are relevant for the technical community in terms of capacity building and knowledge about what the technical implementation of the Internet actually means for all the stakeholders. So for our organization across -- in the area across the globe, what is really important about the IGF is to be able to clarify technical issues that will affect and impact how Internet governance policy is debated so when those policies come through, they don't affect how the Internet actually works. So that's why I'm here, and I'm happy to be here and contribute.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yes, Sylvia. Julian.
>>JULIAN CASASBUENAS: Thank you, Madam Chair. My name is Julian Casasbuenas. I'm from Colombia, and I'm representing civil society. This is my third term in the MAG. And for me, IGF means an opportunity to use information and communication technologies, especially the Internet. And I see these as a platform, IGF as an innovative platform that allows multiple stakeholders to participate in the development of the Internet. So it can serve as a platform for human development and to improve the quality of life of a lot of people and that can -- that are not yet benefit by the Internet. So our work is mainly to bring these technologies for those people and improve their quality of lives. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary. No.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you. Good morning, all. My name is Mary Uduma. I'm from Nigeria, and I'm from the technical community group of stakeholders.
And, since I'm taking the floor for the first time, may I use it to congratulate you, Chair, and colleagues that are here. And I'm happy to be here to work with others that have been down the line from them.
And I've been involved in our WSIS, first phase and second phase. And I've been involved in IG issues in my region, in my country, in my subregion. And this is -- I'm so much interested in IGF because this is an open platform. No hierarchy. Equal footing. Free learning. New knowledge. Sharing. So it's a place where we level out on important points on IG issues.
And we take back whatever we learned from here and get back to our region, to our mission. I've seen IGF grow in my own country and bringing in different stakeholders and getting buy-in in what we do in IGF.
So I'm well interested in IGF. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary.
>>JUNE PARRIS: Good morning. I'm June Parris. I'm from Barbados. I represent ISOC Barbados.
I'm sort of new to Internet governance --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Your mic again. Mic.
>>JUNE PARRIS: Yeah, hi.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Just press it once. We heard the beginning.
>>JUNE PARRIS: I'm new to mics as well. I'm new to Internet governance. I'm excited about it, because it sort of brings everything to place in what I thought about the Internet over the years. I worked with the Internet. I worked several years. I never really understood how it's governed. This is my chance now to find out and to pass this information back to my people in Barbados and to try to get them to understand the whole concept of Internet governance.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: You should be able to help us, then, with a lot of our messaging. Thank you.
>>MICHAEL ILISHEBO: My name is Michael Ilishebo. Government stakeholders. I work for the Zambia police service as a law enforcement officer. I went to the Internet governance school which was held in Mauritius 2014. I've come to understand the importance that Internet governance brings to this space. As somebody from silent voices (phonetic) which is the law enforcement identity, there are a lot of issues that are discussed here that must also trickle down to the law enforcement.
There are various issues of cyber security, freedom of expression, and many, many more.
Internet governance to me definitely means a lot because it brings me in the forefront of global issues that are discussed pertaining to the Internet.
We have issues of cybercrime. We have issues of child online what? Protection? And other various issues.
So, basically, being the law enforcement seat on the MAG, I think this needs in the future to bring in more law enforcement officers so that, as we go on and on discussing matters of Internet governance, we also take really the knowledge that we get from the forum and applied from where we -- from stakeholder groups where we come from. Zambia has no Internet Governance Forum. Like we don't have the initiative of human rights, though we are currently pushing to have one, God willing, by the end of this year.
Basically, everything the government in the past one year -- I'm a second term MAG member. I'll try (indiscernible) to ensure that it trickles down to the country level. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you.
>>SORINA TELEANU: Good morning. Sorina Teleanu from Romania. I work with DiploFoundation. And I also chair the executive community of SEEDIG, which is the regional IGF for Southeastern Europe.
I am a new MAG member, but I'm not new to IGF processes. I'm proud to be on this committee with everyone else.
I will be very short about why the IGF is important to me. Speaking as someone from original community and coordinating the regional IGF, I think the IGF is an important space for bringing the voices of regional communities into global discussion. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sorina.
>>LIANNA GALTSYAN: Hello. My name is Lianna Galstyan. I'm from Armenia. And I represent civil society. I work with the Internet society of Armenia. And I'm a new MAG member. And we are doing a lot of activities in the Internet governance locally. In Armenia we have launched a school of Internet governance. And I want to bring that perspective, a local perspective to this, number one.
And why it is important, I would not say about that. But I would rather say that for several times we have launched our first IGF three years ago and this year we will have the fourth one.
And for all these years we are trying to bring MAG members to our national IGF. And it was a rather challenging activity.
And it turned out to be easier for me to be a MAG member myself than to bring a MAG member from the region, actually. So I hope that this challenge will result in this way. I also hope I will be the channel for bringing the perspective not only national to the global one but also vice versa as well.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Israel.
>>ISRAEL ROSAS: Thank you. Good morning, everyone. My name is Israel Rosas. On behalf of the government of Mexico for the IGF, it's important for my host country, of course. But also because this is the main level space to exchange ideas and practices and also for discussing emerging issues as well as the classical ones. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Raquel.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Good morning, everyone. My name is Raquel Gatto. I work with Internet society representing the technical community. I can literally say I grow with the IGF, I've grown with the IGF. Starting in the second meeting when it was held in Brazil, I served working with remote participation, bringing remote participation and youth engagement to the IGF. And also I've been a Ph.D. recently working those issues of the multistakeholder approach and international law.
I really see the IGF why it matters because it's really this powerful space to bring everyone together.
And it's one of the most successful examples where the multistakeholder approach works and where we can really see this new paradigm on the Internet governance ecosystem.
I'm also very passionate about the NIR, the National Internet Registry objective. I'm in the program committee for the LAC IGF. And especially for seeing national IGFs in my region, Latin America. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you very much.
>>ZEINA BOU HARB: Good morning, Lynn. And, since it's the first time I take the floor, I would like to welcome all the new MAG members and congratulate you for your renomination as chair.
My name is Zeina Bou Harb. I'm the head of international cooperation at the OGERO Telecom, which is the public fixed line operator in Lebanon.
I'm a MAG member for the third year. And my organization is considered as a government since its a public authority,
I'm also currently working on the establishment of the Lebanese IGF, which was launched in December last year. And I'm the head of the Lebanese Secretariat, the Lebanese IGF secretariat.
We are interested in participating in the IGF because we need to bring the views of the Lebanese community and maybe the views of the Arab region to the global community and to learn and to learn from other initiatives because the Lebanese community is really asking to have this discussion in Lebanon. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: Good morning, everybody. My name is Nebojsa Regoje. But for all those who have a problem pronouncing my name, they can call me Jeff, just Neb. No, that's really easy.
I come from foreign affairs ministry of Bosnia Herzegovinia. I'm spokesman of the ministry. I'm one of the pioneers of Internet governance in Bosnia Herzegovinia. I started relatively soon, 10 years ago, And, ever since I got in touch with this issue, I realized that the same way that IGF can give some experiences and advices to my country, I believe that small countries have a possibility to contribute to IGF.
That keeps me working on these issues. Thank you very much. I'm looking forward to working with all of you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Danko.
DANKO JEVTOVIC: Madam Chair, fellow MAG members, my name is Danko Jevtovic. I'm from Serbia. I'm a new MAG member. I'm coming from the technical community. I'm currently have my consulting company but previously managing the cc country code top-level domain name registry for Serbia. I'm one of the (indiscernible) in Serbia. I'm familiar with the work of the IGF, mostly with my work with ICANN and with Central European Association of cc registries. I think that IGF process is very important for transitional countries and for communities, and I'm here to serve my local community and also global community and work with fellow MAG members to make the IGF great.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. I'm pretty proud of how well I've been doing the pronunciations to date and I'm not sure if it's Heiki.
>>HEIKI SIBUL: Very nice. My name is Heiki Sibul. I'm from Estonia, and I work in the Estonia Internet Foundation. I'm new MAG member. And for me, the IGF is very important that different stakeholders and the very different countries discuss together best practices in future of Internet. In Estonia, access to the Internet is human right, and it's my dream that its there in all of the world. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Arnold.
>>ARNOLD van RHIJN: Good morning, everyone. My name is Arnold van Rhijn. Correctly spelled. Arnold van Rhijn. Yeah, correct. I'm from the Netherlands government, and I work at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. This is my third year on the MAG, and my aim this year as MAG member is to help to further improve the global multistakeholder Internet Governance Forum by getting, amongst others, more funders, strengthening the secretariat, continuing the valuable work during the intercessions, and innovating as much as possible the programming of the IGF. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Arnold.
>>ADAMA JALLOW: My name is Adama Jallow. I am from the Gambia. A new MAG member, as well. I am very new to the IGF, but this is a great -- almost a form of civil society representative from the civil society but also will represent my country as a nation because I am the first Gambian representative from the MAG. So I am very honored and I'm privileged to be within the midst of you all.
So my interest in the IGF is based on the fact that the Gambia haven't really established a concrete Internet policies and laws in the Gambia. So this is a good opportunity to learn and find means to improve and then establish and improve the Internet laws and policies that are going to be adopted and then recognized by the Gambians, the youth and the government as a nation. So it's a great opportunity and a learning platform for me. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Adama. Mamadou.
>>MAMADOU LO: Hello, everybody. My name is Mamadou Lo from Senegal. Private sector. I'm working right now in the Agricole Bank of Senegal, as a communication officer. I'm also involved in the information field of Internet governance, so help the African community (indiscernible) community know more on what happening on Internet governance by (indiscernible) some information on Internet governance. I think also information is very, very important for IGF because that help us be aware what happen right now in the field of Internet governance, the issues pertaining to Internet governance, and I am working on that by sending some information weekly on our -- on our mailing list. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Before we move to Wisdom, just one second, Wisdom. Could I actually ask Anja to help organize the online participants? I meant to ask earlier, so that when we're finished here in the room, saving the best for last, we'll come to the online participants, but it's just a little more difficult to figure out how to stream them in. So if I can ask you to help organize that, that would be great. Thank you. Wisdom.
>>WISDOM DONKOR: Yeah. Good morning, everyone. My name is Wisdom Donkor. I'm from Ghana. I work with the National Information Technology Agency and also the Ghana Open Data Initiative project. I'm from the government sector, and I see IGF as a bridging point considering -- considering the issues of the developing countries, especially Africa, and then what we need to do to solve our Internet problems and all that. So I see this IGF as a platform way stakeholders come to bridge the gap and also I see IGF as a vessel of reaching the (indiscernible) developing group considering the many issues within the various economic sectors, within the economy of the developing countries. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wisdom. Omar.
>>OMAR MANSOOR ANSARI: Thank you, Madam Chair, and good morning. My name is Omar Mansoor Ansari. I'm from Afghanistan, and I'm from private sector. A president of TechNation, a technology company based in Kabul, Afghanistan. I'm also engaged with the ICANN business constituency in the Afghanistan chapter of the Internet Society. I've been working on the IGF Afghanistan since last year.
My first introduction to the IG was 2003 when I participated at the WSIS phase 1 in Geneva, the youth caucus member. And since then I was participating in the WSIS meetings, but I actively started participating at the IGF since 2012 when it was in Baku. I was appointed as MAG member a couple of years back, so this is my third and last year as a MAG member, but I'll be happy to contribute.
We have a strong interest at TechNation and community in Afghanistan who's active in the IG. Strong interest in policy and programs related to the IG, as we believe Internet and access can happen enhance lives and livelihoods and production and productivity of individuals and institutions. And we see IGF as a great platform to realize this end and also collaborate, exchange ideas and knowledge and experiences with other countries and nations. And that's why we would like to be actively participating as private sector community, business community, as well as community from the developing countries, so we want to be the voice of the developing country, in the private sector from the developing country. And that's the primary reason we are happy to contribute to the global development. Thank you
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Omar. Xiaofeng.
>>XIAOFENG TAO: Yes. Thank you. I'm Xiaofeng Tao. I'm a professor of Beijing University of posts and telecommunication. I'm also a member of China Association for Science and Technology. And I'm a new MAG member. This is my first year. But I have joined IGF from the first beginning, so I'm very happy to work with you. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Paul.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Good morning. My name is Paul Rowney. I'm with the Africa ICT Alliance. I'm one of the board members there, and I'm representing them here. The Africa ICT Alliance is an alliance of business organizations across the continent trying to enhance ICTs in collaboration across the continent so that we build and develop solutions for ourself on the continent. Myself, my interests are in financial and digital inclusion, and the work that I do takes me across the continent, particularly on the digital inclusion around connectivity, (indiscernible) connectivity, et cetera. So from the IGF, on our continent we have many challenges and we need our leaders to better understand what's happening on the continent and also listen to the people and their advisers and the business and the civil society communities to create a better society. And the IGF creates that multistakeholder forum that enables the different stakeholders to engage at the same level at the same platform, which is something we're not necessarily privy to in our own countries. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Paul. Rasha.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Good morning. My name is Rasha Abdulla. I'm a professor of journalism and mass communication at American University in Cairo, so I come from Cairo, Egypt. This is my third year in the MAG. It's been a very nice experience. A huge learning curve, and hopefully I've been productive in my own little way. For me the IGF is a -- is a perfect way to gather people who you might not be able to get in the same room outside of such venue. I come from Egypt which is at the intersection of Africa and the Arab world, and we have a whole different set of challenges. And so it's, I think, interesting to bring that perspective to the table sometimes and just help people see things from a different perspective and see how we can all work together. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rasha. Rasha's very modest. "In her own little way," in her words, was to drive the MAG to revamp the selection process last year, which was an enormous improvement and quite a big task as well. Ben.
>>BEN WALLIS: Hello. I'm Ben Wallis. I'm British. I have attended the last two IGF meetings, and I'm a new MAG member this year. I work for Microsoft. I'm representing the private sector. I don't know if I'll manage ten words, but I'll go for 20. For me the greatest value of the IGF is the opportunity it provides to learn from others by hearing a really broad range of views and ideas on Internet governance issues that I care about.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ben. That was about the closest we've come to ten words, I think. So certainly should be recognized. Thank you. Timea.
>> TIMEA SUTO: Hello, everyone. First of all, I'm very sorry. I seem to have lost my voice, so this is what I can manage today. So I'll try to keep it short. My name is Timea Suto. I'm from Romania and Hungary. (indiscernible) a couple days ago. I work for the International Chamber of Commerce and Business Action to Support the Information Society initiative of ICC. So in short ICC BASIS. ICC is the world's largest and most representative business organization with members of all sizes and all sectors from about 100 countries around the world. And for me, what IGF is is a unique open forum for inclusive policy dialogue on issues of Internet governance and a challenge for all stakeholders to contribute freely to open discussions. So this is why ICC BASIS is engaged and why we try to keep members engaged since the beginning of WSIS process back in 2003 on an array of Internet governance issues and WSIS follow-up issues. So thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Timea. Miguel.
>>MIGUEL CANDIA: Thank you very much, Chair. Good morning, everybody. My name is Miguel Candia. I'm a returning MAG member for my second year, very happy to be. And I'm a diplomat coming from (indiscernible). I was up until recently posted here in Geneva. So now the nature of my work is going to change a bit. I work for the foreign affairs ministry, and I've been involved with IG issues pretty much since I got to Geneva six years ago. And I've been growing in the knowledge of it from year to year. Very happy to have this -- this learning curve as well because it is -- it is indeed an issue that we have to take into account in every single situation we have now. That would be for presentation. I'm sure I'm going to use ten -- use my ten words by just saying I'm using my ten words, but I wanted to say one thing. We -- we're in the moment that the SDGs are taking over and the whole world is coming together to try to realize them. And we have to understand that Internet is the most important tool to do so in a connecting world. And that's why we do believe that the IGF is a fundamental instance and a place to talk very freely and very openly about how we want to -- how we want to and where we want to take the Internet. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Miguel. Pablo Bello just came up here to say that he had to leave to go speak at the WSIS forum but he's from Santiago, Chile, private sector, served two terms and he's the Secretary General of the Association of Inter American Telecom Enterprises, or ASIET, and I believe he's actually physically located in Spain. But he came up here to sort of say his apologies, so I wanted to make sure it was sort of read into the record, if you will. I'm actually running out of my ability to actually even see place cards back there. So no, I know there are still more. We have Sumon there. Sumon.
>>SUMON AHMED SABIR: Thank you, Madam Chair. I'm Sumon Ahmed Sabir from Bangladesh, technical community here working for private sector and also (indiscernible) digital and local (indiscernible), and (indiscernible) with the APNIC development process. Before going to IGF, I like to welcome all the new MAG members and, of course, want to congratulate (indiscernible) for winning our (indiscernible) 2018. And at the beginning of IGF, the Internet actually become a very powerful tool and it can really do more for the society. And, of course, there are challenges that it can be used for -- for the firm, for the society, and for the people. So Internet governance is very important and getting more and more important to us. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sumon. We also have in the room representatives from governments that were previous host countries and representatives from some of the intergovernmental organizations as well. So as we've already included one or two of them here and they do participate in a speaking capacity -- well, not formally being one of the 55 MAG members but if they can introduce themselves as we go around, as well, because you seem to be clustered in the back. Carlos, do you want to say a few words?
>>CARLOS FONSECA: Yes. Thank you, Chair. Good morning. Welcome to the new MAG members. My name's Carlos Fonseca. I work for the Brazilian government. I'm the head of the Information Society Division of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. As Lynn said, I'm representative of Brazilian government here. So Brazil has hosted actually two meetings, IGF meetings, in 2007 and 2015. Not to mention NETmundial which was organized in 2014. I think I believe this -- this speaks a lot about the importance we attach to the whole, you know, IGF process and but if I -- if I might just add a word for those who are not familiar with it, Brazilian Internet governance system has always been multistakeholder but both in nature and the operational terms. The Brazilian Internet steering committee is about to celebrate its 22nd year, and from its beginning in 1996, it has been integrated by members board of government, academia, civil society, technical community, and private sector. And I think in many ways it's considered to be a model of multistakeholders. So I think it speaks for itself and how important for us is multistakeholders and, of course, I believe the IGF is a (indiscernible) of that principle. So I think that's what I have to say. Thank you.
>>KENTA MOCHIZUKI: Good morning. My name is Kento Mochizuki. I'm Japanese. I'm a house lawyer for Yahoo Japan Corporation. And I'm resource reporter for Internet governance, international data privacy and international threat. Sorry. Thank you.
Actually, I'm a returning MAG member from business community. And, in a previous IGF, last year's IGF, I developed the main session digital economy.
Also I'm a member of the multistakeholder steering group of Asia Pacific regional IGF and also the member with the Japan delegation to the working group on enhanced cooperation from the 2016-2018.
This matters to me because IGF is a very great important platform. The multistakeholders come together to discuss wide range of policy issues relating to the Internet. And actually that is for the optimal rule and policymaking as reflected in the IGF code of conduct. I'm very much looking forward to working with you all. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Kenta.
>>MARCELA MUNOZ: Thank you, Chair. Good morning, everybody. My name is Marcela Munoz from Costa Rica. I'm based out of Geneva, the permanent mission as Costa Rica to the U.N.
I am a new MAG member, so thank you for welcoming me here today.
In a few words we believe that Internet and other digital advancements are here not only to stay but to continue shaping our lives, including our security both as individuals and as society. Of course, in that whole context, the agenda 2030. I believe in that particular venture, the IGF is the multistakeholder platform that enables us to share best practices, knowledge, experiences, principles, and for us to build some commonalities around governance of the Internet. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Marcela. Now in the back. Yes.
>>VALENTINA SCIALPI: Thank you, Chair. Good morning, everyone. My name Valentina Scialpi. I represent the European Commission here. We strongly support members of the MAG and of the IGF, which we for long now supported both financially and morally by participating to the MAG meeting and also through the IGF itself. And I'm proud to say that the last IGF in Geneva I was a Commissioner that participated, to show the commitment at very high level that the European Commission has toward Internet governance. And we will continue to do so because we believe the IGF is the only truly multistakeholder platform that can convey these policy options and debate under the stakeholders together to debate policy issue. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you for supporting such a large delegation at the last IGF as well and for the statements in support of the IGF. It's helpful.
Christine, I think you're next.
>>CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you. My name is Christine Arida. And I work for National Telecom regulatory Authority of Egypt. I'm here representing the government of Egypt as your former host. We hosted the IGF in 2019 (sic). And we continue to value the IGF as a very important platform for collaboration and for the Internet governance and Internet policies on a global level. And we also very much value the processes of national and regional IGF, which we think are increasingly providing a space for local and regional dialogue and collaboration, but also an opportunity to bring up grassroots perspective to the global Internet governance agenda.
So my congratulations to your appointment, reappointment, Lynn. It's a pleasure to have you again. And congratulations to other members of the MAG. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Christina.
>>CONCETTINA CASSA: Good morning. I'm Concettina Cassa. I'm from Italy. I work for Agency for Digital Italy Agency of Prime Minister office, so I represent the government.
I'm a newcomer. And I am very happy and proud to be part of my committee.
But the meaning of IGF, I think IGF is actually a very good way to have the opportunity to debate Internet governance issues in an open, transparent, and multistakeholder way.
And I think it makes a difference because you can debate in an equal footing. So I think this is the best way to share ideas and also to address Internet governance issues.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Concettina. This is a heads up. We're getting down to the last one or two individuals in the room here, in which I'll come back to you. Because I think you weren't there. Then we'll go to the online participants. So thank you. Samuel. And then Giacomo, and we'll go back.
>>NDICHO BAMBO SAMUEL: Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. My name is Ndicho Bambo Samuel. I am from Cameroon. I'm working with the ministry of external relations. I'm a second year MAG member. It's an honor to be here. And I want to welcome, first of all, the new MAG members.
The IGF is a very important platform where government, where civil society, where technical body comes together to discuss everything Internet and governance.
My greatest ambition coming on to the MAG was to be able to get my government at the national level to open up and to talk more on Internet governance, something that they always held as a monopoly.
I am happy that last year during the IGF, I was able to get the ministry of communication to come on board. And I'm hoping that the governments of many other conservative countries should be able to do the same so that the IGF becomes a very multistakeholder community for everybody. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Samuel.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Yes. Thank you, Chair, for the floor.
I'm here representing the EBU, European Broadcasting Union and World Broadcasting Union. We are involved in this process since 2003. So for 15 years I think was also for us.
And glad for that. We support the IGF process since many years taking care of the host broadcasting and supporting the communication. And I hope that we will have later some moments to talk about what we did this year.
And, of course, we look for work -- the changes and improvements that has been discussed and longly debated on these years. Making the IGF something more efficient and more useful for the debate on the Internet governance. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Giacomo.
I think we did every MAG member or host country member or IGF member with us physically. Let's move to the online queue.
Thomas, there's three or four people and then you.
Alejandra, I think we're hoping you're unmuted.
Alejandra, can you try speaking now. You're unmuted. Let's come back in a moment then.
Who was next up? Natasa? Natasa, you have the floor.
>>NATASA GLAVOR: Can you hear me?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We can, yes.
>>NATASA GLOVER: Hello. My name is Natasa Glover. I'm from Croatia. And I represent the government stakeholders. And we approach the IGF initiative that exists for three years now. We manage to (inaudible) -- the community and debate about the various Internet.
And then I'm very proud to be a MAG member and being in position to shape the future of Internet as well as to form our understanding of the concept of Internet governance and to be in a place where ideas are exchanged for important Internet governance matters. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Natasa. Thank you very much for participating online as well. I know it's not easy.
Should we try Alejandra?
And Wanawit was next.
Alejandra? Alejandra, can you try speaking?
Why don't we move to Wanawit then and come back to Alejandra? >>OPERATOR: You are now unmuted.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I'm not quite sure. Do they have to be unmuted here? No? They can unmute as well? Okay. Well, let's move to Wanawit. I'm not seeing anything from Wanawit at the moment. So, Miguel?
>> Can you hear me?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yes, we can.
>>OPERATOR: You are muted by the host.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO: Hello. I'm Miguel Ignacio from Argentina. And I am a member of the ALAC TLD. And I'm from -- (inaudible) organization.
And I've been in the MAG for two years now.
I was -- I've been working for a session working with many of you. And also we've been working with you and we take --- (inaudible) Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Miguel. Miguel has, obviously, made many contributions because he's really been a champion for two years now of piloting new session formats within the MAG, which has been really well-received and much appreciated his work.
Let's see if we can go back either to Alejandra or Wanawit. And, if that doesn't work, we will offline ask them if they can just send in a couple remarks. We'll capture it for everyone.
Alejandra? We're still not hearing Alejandra.
And Wanawit is putting a note in the chatroom saying he's not able to connect at the moment. Is that everybody from the online participation, Anja?
There's a lot of people, but a lot of them are in the room. I think Jennifer had actually asked to do an introduction for Jianna who is not able to be here.
Did I misunderstand?
>> Thank you, Madam Chair.
Jianne Soriano is also a new MAG member. I've asked her to send a introduction. And we're waiting for that. When that comes through, it would be very nice if the chair could read it out for her and have it on the record. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Alejandra is saying she's having problems, so we'll try to fix those problems later.
I want to thank everybody for the introductions. They were obviously very, very thoughtful in terms of why this matters to you. I know it takes some time. But it's just incredibly important that we actually do it. The work we do for the most part is off line. It actually requires a lot of collaboration, cooperation. And to the extent we have at least some depth in our relationships and understanding of what's important to everybody and where they've come from, I think it actually helps the discussions going forward.
So I want to thank everybody for the time.
I don't think -- Timea, did you have --
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you. Just a quick word to introduce a colleague, a fellow business representative from the MAG, Christoph Steck from Telefonica, (inaudible) who is going to join us later on today has been very active with the WSIS membership on IGF in the last couple of years just to convey his thanks. And he's looking forward to working with all of us here.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you.
And I'll just say a few words about me as well. This is my third year as the chair. I had previously served one year formerly as MAG. I had several positions in the private sector covering over a decade between Digital Equipment -- actually maybe significantly more than that -- in Digital Equipment, AT&T and General Electric in the very beginning. And I was president of ISOC for 14 years. And that finished a few years ago. And brought me to this position. I have actually participated in every one of the WSIS 1, WSIS 2, and the prep cons. All of those activities were several weeks long and very intense.
I think they stood the community really well, because it gave us a common language and a common set of reference whether it's the Geneva documents or the Tunis Agenda. And I have been to every one of the IGFs as well.
So that's just by way of a quick background. Now I'd like to introduce -- yes, sorry.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: In connection with us, introductions on our Web site, we do have a list of MAG members and also a short -- I think you can call it a biography of them. So I would like to kindly ask you to look at yours. And, if you think it needs updating or if it's missing, could you please send a short paragraph to Anja, and she can update it for you. That's at [email protected].
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. Do you want a few words for yourself as well? You're an institution.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: My name is Chengetai Masango. I've been with Internet governance since -- yes, in my teens. I was here during the first stage of the WSIS in Geneva and then I came to the working group on Internet governance. I was secretariat there. And that transitioned to the Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum. And I've been here since the genesis, I suppose.
I think that's good enough.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Where are you from?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I'm from Zimbabwe.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: One quick -- maybe we could actually add pictures to the bios on the Web site as well. Again, it's just another dimension of really helping people to kind of connect would be helpful.
So, if you could send that in. I don't know if you need any special specs or something, but Luis could make that clear. And we will send that in. Without further ado, I'm sure Thomas is just itching to get into it. This is Ambassador Thomas Schneider. He is Vice-Chair of the Swiss Federal Office of Communications and heads the international relations service there.
Thomas, maybe you could just say a few words as well about sort of your history and experience here and your activities. I said yesterday that the Swiss government has been very, very supportive of Internet governance since the very early stage. And, frankly, ahead of the formal WSIS summits and things. And they've been steady and stalwart and consistent with us and also very much appreciated. And that kind of culminated as well with them stepping up to host the IGF last year here in Geneva.
>>THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Thank you, Lynn. Yes, as you said, my name is Thomas Schneider. I've not been there when the Internet was created but I've been --
[ Laughter ]
I've been in the Internet governance debate, a part of it, since the big bang that happened around the late '90s, early, early 2000s and I've been working at OFCOM since 2003 at that time as the right hand of Mark (saying name) who was the state secretariat that was responsible for organizing, preparing, and negotiating the first phase of WSIS. I am one of those who has been to all of the 12 IGFs so far, and I'm still convinced that the IGF is something that is unique and needs to be not only preserved but actually strengthened and further developed. Yeah, I'll stop here because I think we have to move on to substance.
So I've been asked to share some of our experience as host country of last year's IGF with you. We have a presentation, a PowerPoint, that is ready to be put on the screen. For this you've already heard some remarks by my colleague Jorge Cancio yesterday in the open consultation. This presentation is focusing more on the, let's say, our experience with concrete issues and proposals for improvement. So it's slightly different than what Jorge told you yesterday. But, of course, it follows the same logic. I'm the master of (indiscernible), up and down, left and right. Okay. Yeah. These are lessons learned and some suggestions by us.
So again, as I said, we think that the IGF is unique. Not only because of its bottom-up process but also because it has probably the broadest range of diversity of people that get together from very -- with very different backgrounds and the fact that we had the opportunity to have the IGF in Geneva last year with its 30 whatever the exact number is of IGOs, intergovernmental institutions, and hundreds of NGOs and think tanks and private institutions that in one way or another deal with Internet governance issues, of course, one of the key goals for us was to try to help break the silos between these institutions and connect people, get them into the IGF, thus enrich the already wide range of people that have been participating. So that was one of the key goals.
We were also trying to help with introducing some innovations. As those who have been into this discussion for a longer period know that there has been several -- or every year we have the discussion on how to improve, how to further develop the IGF, and there's lots of ideas. Not everything is consensual. Some people are more cautious than others. And there has been back and forth with what kind of output, tangible output or less tangible output, for instance, the issue of interactivity is one that is -- and the formats that would be more promoting interactivity is something that is also constant hot topic at the IGF. We have managed to introduce something that has not happened before at the IGF. Usually there had been at the opening session or the opening afternoon there had been speeches of important representatives of our stakeholders, one after the other. And we've asked the president whether she would be willing to do something slightly different and engage in a more interactive dialogue. So we actually -- and she was very happy to do that. So we had -- on the Monday afternoon in December we had an interactive round table with about 10 or 12 people to discuss in a more free and more interactive and more spontaneous way some key questions. And we also then had on the second day in the morning another interactive high-level session that was chaired by our director general, by Philip Metzger, the director general of OFCOM, and we think after the feedback we got that this was something that actually was appreciated by the panelists themselves but also by the audience that instead of having a series of 20, 30 speeches that are not -- not related to each other, to try and often wove the high-level people into an exchange, a substantive exchange on some issues. We hope, of course, that this will be used as an experience that will be continued and further expanded.
Then a second thing is the -- what we call the Geneva messages, is something that is also an attempt to create or produce a more tangible outcome that people can use, the ones that have been participating at the discussions but also the ones that have not been participating at the discussions, that they can use to take home to share with others when they go back in their silos where decisions are taken, that they can refer to the most obvious trends or elements of the discussions from the IGF. So in addition to the chairman's summary, which is a detailed, very descriptive report that is less useful to point to a particular -- particular trend or a particular element on an issue where everybody seems to agree or everybody seems to disagree, we tried to use the messages or offer the messages so that you have a few bullet points that you can refer to whenever an issue is discussed elsewhere and you can say well, at the IGF everybody wanted to go in this direction or this is the next thing that should be done as people thought in the IGF. So we really hope that this is something that is useful for everybody to make reference to the discussion and take and continue the discussions that were held at the IGF for the -- in other fora.
We didn't invent this. This was actually something that the European Dialogue On Internet Governance, the EuroDIG, has done since the begin. That also the German IGF, the Swiss IGF, and others are doing. And these messages are not negotiated. So we -- all of these messages try to avoid that instead of listening to each other and trying to understand each other, that people start negotiating out of context. This is definitely not the plan. So it is a transparent process in the sense of who's drafting the messages, who's taking the responsibility to produce them immediately after the meeting as a best effort to just mirror the discussion and state where the discussion is. We are also hopeful that this is being seen as a value added to the IGF as a form of hopefully tangible and useful outcomes.
Then, of course, another issue for us was to show that Geneva, with all the institutions that deal with different aspects of our digital governments from climate issues to health issues to labor issues to what have you that actually people get aware of the potential that is here in Geneva and they make the best use of it. And, of course, a big thanks to all the MAG members, to the MAG chair, and to the secretariat that everybody was working extremely hard to make the IGF 2017 happen.
Now to some suggestions for the future. One of the challenges is that -- and we also experienced this, that even in Geneva not everybody knew that the IGF exists when we started to talk to people about the IGF. So we need to continue to raise the profile of the IGF and the communication. When the IGF started in 20 -- 2006 in Athens this was one of the only global fora that was discussing Internet issues. Now we have hundreds and hundreds of conferences and all somehow deal with digital governance or Internet governance. But the IGF is different. And we need to explain to people it's unique. We need to be able to better explain this to the people. We need to explain them that this is not a conference like most others where somebody sets the agenda in a small group, invites the people that the organizers would like to see there, define the issues. But this is a bottom-up process where everything that gets enough traction is considered to be important by the community will get a space. So there's no -- there's no agenda setting from above, but the agenda setting is from the experts in the field. That makes a huge difference because new issues will pop up and often pop up first at an IGF and that -- it has been said by others, shape the agenda of the other and prepare the direction of the discussion of follow-up discussions in other fora. This is not to be underestimated. The IGF is not a decision-making body, but it's also not just a talk shop where people meet and -- at receptions and talk. It's actually the -- the agenda-shaping process for all IG debates. And this is something that we should -- in order to promote the relevance of the IGF, in order to attract the right people and to attract more funding, we'll get to that later -- this is something that we need to be communicating better, all of us. And the ones that are here, the people in the MAG, the people that are at the core of the IGF process, we have a key role in communicating this. So this is probably the most -- the most important learning for us, that we still need to do better in communicating what the IGF is about, how it's different, and what the concrete unique value added of the IGF is. And, of course, the presence of the U.N. secretary general and other high-level people helps normally to attract attention, attract resources, and so on and so forth. And we also were trying hard to focus, to the extend we could, to shape the issues in a way that politicians, citizens, businesses would consider them relevant for them. So it -- of course, some aspects of Internet governance are technical, but they have economic, political, social aspects to it. And if you put them in the front when you communicate, normally it's easier for people to realize aha, this is not just a technical issue that I don't have to care but this is actually having an impact on myself, on the people that I want to vote for me or on the businesses that I'm -- that I'm conducting. So this is also something that is very important, we think.
So as I say, the outreach can and should be enhanced. This does not cost a lot of money resources but it's work in the sense that you need to communicate, you need to talk to people, you need to explain things in a way that they understand it. Again, we have -- Geneva is a good place to do that. There's a -- close to 200 diplomatic missions here, IGOs, NGOs, and so on. So Geneva can be used for this. But, of course, that can go beyond Geneva, and everybody should use their networks to reach out to the people and explain to them why they should participate at the IGF. And not just at the global but actually at the regional and the national ones too, because of this unique bottom-up and inclusive approach.
More systematic inclusion of NRIs is something that we've also debated since the NRIs basically emerged. This is also an eternal debate in the EuroDIG context. Everybody is willing to work together more closely, to coordinate. But then often people don't have the time, they don't have the resources to actually correspond with each other. And several ideas have been floated around to how to facilitate communication, coordination, or interaction, whatever you call it. In the end, the essence of this, the more -- the more united or jointly the NRIs work with the IGF, the more they are mutually supported because this is the network that has synergies, of course, and scale effects and it also helps to communicate the -- on national and regional level what is the nature, what is the value added, the spirit of the IGF. So, of course, this is something that all means -- all ideas should be used to enhance this interaction.
Then the mix of stakeholders, something that is also a constant hit in the discussions is the stakeholder diversity in the sessions. We've seen some -- or we've heard from many people that some sessions there were maybe more civil -- way more civil society people than people from other stakeholders and then in other sessions there was -- it was the other way around. And how to try and encourage actors that want to discuss the same issue but they want to discuss it from their angle with the people that they think that they support, maybe their vision or their angle and then you have like three, four, five, six workshops on the same issue, but again, everyone in their silos. This is also something that we have been debating for years. And also there we really have to try to encourage, incite people to get together and cross these silos because the discussions benefit if you have different views and stakeholders that normally did not cooperate, who do not work together, if you put them in the same session, normally this is where -- where innovative ideas emerge, because you hear things that you have not heard before from the people that you normally are used to listen to this. So this is something that I would urge you to have a little courage and urge people to work together and not just everybody should do their workshop but actually try to do things together with your opponents or whatever you call them, people that don't share your views. But this is normally where people learn something.
So yeah, these are a few more points. It is always a challenge that you spend much time preparing, logistically preparing, the flow of a session and so on, but there's not enough time to actually concentrate on the substance and try and make sure that the discussion this year is not the same as last year and the year before the last year. To try and go more in-depth into a topic and not just scratch the surface is something that is easily said. It's less easily done. It would require normally some preparation that people maybe put a document or provocative thesis out before the meeting so that people do not start from zero doing this during 60 or 90 or whatever minutes. But you actually -- or you go back to what has been discussed last year, take the messages, inspirations, and see like how has an issue developed in the meantime. Also there, it's not so easy, but we can do better in trying to go more in depth with the sessions, with the topics, with the issues. And that goes together with maybe creating in the framework of the multiyear, the discussion on the multiyear program to try to have continued debates about issues that we know they will be on the agenda again the next year and so on so that we really try to not do everything in the same way all over again every year but actually follow up on the previous discussions and create work tracks, substantive work tracks, at least on the priority issues that we know that they will come up.
Then another thing that we learned in EuroDIG, in EuroDIG we also, in the beginning, made call for proposals for workshops and had the problem that everybody wanted to have their workshop approved in the way they proposed it. And then we switched and we did not call for workshops anymore, for sessions, but we were just calling for issues. And then we basically forced the people that were wanting to discuss the same issues, we forced them to get together and organize the sessions together. And this worked pretty well, and people are now used to that they -- it's not they will not run their own show but they will run a joint show with others or a shared show. And this is something that we could think about on focusing more on issues and then gather people around the issues and let's asking for concrete workshops where everybody is like why did I not get the workshop but the other ones got it and these discussions would also maybe be diminished. And then, of course, another important thing is highlighting the linkages to the 2030 agenda which clearly are there.
With regard to discussion formats, obviously, the less panelists you have on a stage or whatever you call it, the more time is there normally to interact with the audience. Normally, you have a large number of people that are also experts that are sitting in the audience. And often it happens that it's somehow the same people that end up being panelists in many occasions.
So, for instance, what we do on a national level at the Swiss IGF is we have no panelists at all. This is the system with the IGF that there are no panelists. We just have two short entry statements. And the whole audience is involved in the discussion. And this is producing, again, much more innovation, more new ideas than if you have 10 panelists that will take up all the speaking time and less interaction.
So, again, an urge for trying to go as interactive as you can and also have the courage to say we have very important people, but we don't call them panelists. We don't separate them from the rest of the participants. You may call them key participants. Whatever.
And let everybody in the audience be part of the discussion.
So this is something that is helpful. And also the experience here at the WSIS, forum if you have 10 panelists and no time to not even give the mic to one person in the audience, I don't think that this is the most effective way of using the crowd intelligence that is present in the room.
The other issue is whether this is also not a new discussion whether the 3-hour length of the main sessions is something that we may try something different to maybe use two hours for some issues, use one hour or use 90 minutes. But that also depends on the issue, depends on the maturity of the discussion of an issue or how narrow or how broad an issue is. So that is something that, of course, should and will be reconsidered.
With regard to the tangibility and usability of the outcome already explained, the messages that we were able to introduce last year and we'll hope that they will -- that the system will be continued, the Geneva Internet Platform, which is a capacity building initiative, they were very supportive and helped us with formulating the messages and going to all the sessions. Of course, the GIP is also at the disposal of future IGF meetings to be used with their great network that they can help to gather the elements for producing a tangible outcome.
They also do daily reporting, for instance, on the WSIS forum here on the digital watch observatory. And then, of course, the network can be used and should be used to enhance and disseminate the work, the best practices.
Also there the more simple the language and the communication of the best practice of the dynamic coalitions and so on, the easier people will get access to it, will be able to use it, will be able to participate. If things are written in long sentences, in long -- if you get long texts, many people don't have the time to try to find out what this is about. So the more accessible we communicate, the lower the threshold for people to participate, and the higher the impact is that we get.
Yeah. Improving information sources. Again, the GIPs is at the disposal. There are other structures that can be used to -- yeah, help communicate and share, spread news, get feedback, and so on and so forth.
With regard to the long-term planning, yeah, we really need to spend more resources on the multi-year strategy to how to make sure that the -- we don't just try and organize an annual event and spend most of the time organizing the event, getting the people in that don't have enough resources to try to strategically develop an issue or develop the discussion on an issue together with other partners.
So this is really something that we think is fundamental. Of course, if you have a host country, it's good to communicate it as soon as possible. But I don't think we need to discuss this. We are -- this is not all in our hands.
And we also think that we would benefit from a closer cooperation, also on substance, on strategies, not just on exchanging logistical experience, which is something that works very nicely. But also on the strategy to -- maybe involve the former, current, and future hosts also more on a strategic level like where did the IGF want to go? What did we want to achieve with the IGF and how can we cooperate more efficiently to achieve that? Again, this is not a new discussion. We've been having this every year. And we have been able to introduce and develop the IGF significantly in many ways since its beginning. We know that some things work better, others work less. We know what we could do differently. So this is all fine.
There's only one challenge because we can ask for improvements all day long. If we don't have the money, and the resources to actually to invite more young people to communicate better, to -- what have you, build 10 roads for different security accesses and all these things. If we don't have the resources, this is all wishful thinking. And we can continue the same and complain about the same things year by year. So we really need to make sure that the IGF, the Secretariat, the host countries, all the structures get the funding that they need.
And I don't think the problem is that the funding is not there. Because governments, businesses, and also civil society spend millions and millions for other things.
The problem, again, is communication. It's communication that we are not good enough in explaining why it is useful and necessary to fund the IGF properly, to spend resources on the IGF. As people say, well, you don't take decisions. You don't have 50,000 ministers and CEOs in your meetings and so on and so forth.
Yes, we don't take decisions. But there's a value added to not -- to listening to each other first and then taking the decisions in other fora. But we need to explain this to people why the IGF is unique, why it needs to be properly resourced. Because only then we can fully, yeah, seize the potential that the IGF has.
So I'm inviting everybody to join the effort in trying to communicate better and then also the effort in encouraging everybody to raise funds, to look for resources. Because the more we have, the more we can actually use them to build the IGF better. Of course, we will also do our best and be part of this exercise in every way we can. That's it for the time being. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Thomas.
I think those slides have been -- we have them. And if they're not posted, we'll post them. And they've been shared with the online participants as well.
Great. So, as I said yesterday, we have an awful lot of work to do over the next two days. Closely coming up on a day and a half here.
The stakes are really high. I mean, not only are we all living in a really challenging environment geopolitically, certainly the issues in front of us that we're confronting in the Internet space or Internet governance space ever more challenging and ever more complex and, frankly, much more broadly impacting us on a daily basis and society generally and broadly.
The IGF, as referred to a couple times, as the only truly equal footed multistakeholder process. We need to find a way to make more of that. It's the only process that is also open, inclusive. We can always do more, certainly. But to address international public policy issues.
That's what we're here for at the end of the day.
And, at the same time, turning over the last few years, there have been more and more fora and commission and other efforts popping up, which I think diffuses energy and dilutes energy and attention occasionally. And, in fact, we heard that over the last couple of days of the WSIS forum. And several of the panels that participated have reported to me.
So I think this is a time for the IGF to really take advantage of its uniqueness and, frankly, its longevity. We've been here for 13 years now. And prior to that really extensive WSIS 1 and WSIS 2 process. That's almost two decades of actually dealing with and trying to understand Internet governance issues and bottom-up open consensus space open properties. As I said yesterday, it seems like it would be really straightforward. But have their own set of complexities and really are quite nuanced as well.
Across the IGF ecosystem we have tremendous knowledge. Really tremendous, tremendous knowledge. We have tremendous reach. When I say the ecosystem, I don't mean just the annual meetings and the DCs. Obviously, we're talking about the NRIs. we're talking about the major policy initiatives. We're talking about a lot of our other collaborative relationships with some of the other organizations we work for.
I could have said unparalleled, and it would have been just as true. Unparalleled knowledge, and unparalleled reach and unparalleled passion for what we're doing here.
So we have truly, truly global multistakeholder community. One, again, that I don't think is matched in any other process that I see in the U.N. or in other IGO efforts. Although many of them claim to be multistakeholder, I think, fundamentally, there's still a lot of difference between those processes and our processes and expectations of our participants.
We have the best all-around perspective of the technical economic, societal, and political challenges we're facing. And we have a very strong and very knowledgeable civil society participation in our efforts.
And I actually think that's something that we really need to be proud of. Over the last couple years there have been an awful lot of discussions in civil society and the fact that civil society is the bulk of the workshop proposals that come in and participants. And at the end of the day, we're all civil society. We leave our day jobs behind and go home. But we start doing something on the Internet. We're doing that in a civil society capacity. To me, if we're concerned over an imbalance or an overrepresentation of one group in our work, the only reasonable thing you can do is step up the participation of those other groups. It's the only reasonable thing.
So the MAG really needs to -- for a few years now we've talked about the need to actually bring in more private sector and more government participation.
Sometimes say senior policy makers because, obviously, it's not just governments. We really need to make that kind of a cause, a real cause in everything we do, everybody we talk to, all the work we do. It's not just outreach and it's not just slightly better materials or more materials. You really have to have a passion for pulling those other communities into the work.
I think we've heard a lot through certainly the open mic sessions at the end of the last IGF, frankly, the end of most of the IGFs, the stock taking formal submissions, the compilation the Secretariat did, statements and calls for work form such as from the Internet society, you know, comments from the Dutch government. A whole host of people are actually calling for the IGF and the MAG to step up and really look at the IGF and its role in these kind of Internet governance issues.
So I think one thing I'm not quite sure how to gauge is what the appetite is of the MAG and the community -- because the MAG is really here representing the community. What the appetite is for making some of those changes. We've had some really specific suggestions. We've had suggestions such as less tracks, less sessions, less topics. Sometimes people say more focus or they'll say prioritization. We've had suggestions that we take a more kind of collective look at topics and figure out a way to stream them so that they build on each other. We've had suggestions of setting two days of the IGF meeting aside to deal with just a small number of topics that really do that in a very sort of thoughtful way within intent leaning towards some sort of output or some sort of position or something that actually comes -- something we can take away from these discussions. We can say we actually helped advance these set of discussions for the world at the IGF here.
We've had suggestions in all sorts of forms, including some of the things that I heard in the working group on enhanced cooperation that we find a way to much more deeply and broadly support government participation in the IGF. And the working group on enhanced cooperation there was quite a discussion on whether or not there ought to be special outreach, special sessions for governments on processes when we ask the governments what would be of interest to them, what would they like to engage on, and find a way to actually pull that in in a multistakeholder fashion so there's that level of engagement here at the IGF.
We've had lots of other ideas as well.
What we've done in the past years, I think, is sort of tinkered a little bit about the formats. We introduced some new session formats. We encouraged fewer panels. We encouraged more interaction. We tried to encourage more diversity. We get things to sort of liven the sessions at the IGF more. But I don't think many of those actually focused on kind of content, topic, or substance or intent almost.
If the MAG and the community are spending all the resources and efforts we're spending all together in IGF every year, what's our intent? I know -- what do we -- I don't think it can just be about there were some good discussions and, obviously, we're much more than that. But I think there needs to be -- we're helping the world understand and get to grasp with some particular issues or some portions of some of these issues.
I'm going to stop now and just open it up to MAG members. I'm not quite sure what kind of our appetite is for taking on some of the suggestions that we've heard and maybe more radically thinking about what that annual meeting is. The MAG has responsibilities beyond the annual meetings. Obviously, we charter best practice forums. We should figure out which one of those would be helpful. We also have had a major intersessional policy initiative called Connecting and Enabling the Next Billions. We've had that for three years. Is that appropriate to continue? Is that the right priority? Should there be a different set of initiatives?
And then, of course, we have the ongoing request from all parties to figure out how we can collaborate more with the D.C. efforts and the NRI efforts that are both such critical pieces of our ecosystem here.
Normally, at this point we'd be starting a discussion on doing some things. And I just think that's too premature. And I think that's going to lead us back down a track to the formats we had before.
So I'd like to try a little bit of an experiment here and kind of ask the MAG to help all of you -- because I'm here just to support this effort. I am not driving the effort. It's not my decision. It is the decision of the MAG and the community. But I'm trying to figure out how to help process a discussion that helps gauge what the MAG's appetite and through that what the IGF's community appetite is for a more radical thinking about what the IGF annual meeting at this point in time is meant to accomplish and what we want to do with that. So with that, I'll open the floor. We did want to use the speaking queue so we can support the online participation in an equitable way with those physically.
Make sure to pull it up. Sorry. Just trying to figure out what we're doing slides in the room so can people can see the difference. We have the speaking cue up.
We have a few people in it. Jennifer and Mamadou are the next. We'll start with Jennifer, and go through the rest. Jennifer.
>>JENNIFER CHUNG: Thank you, Madam Chair. With your indulgence, I'm going to read out the introduction from Jianne Soriano, the incoming MAG member, if that's okay.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Just do it with enthusiasm so we don't lose anyone.
>>JENNIFER CHUNG: Sure. She's an incoming MAG member. She is from NetMission Indonesia. And the YIG also from civil society. Her origin is from the Philippines. And to her why the IGF matters, the IGF provides a platform for young people to discuss Internet issues in local, regional, and national levels. She believes that, if used, the issues are of concern and we want to address and be engaged with it.
Bianca Ho, MAG member, from the 2014-2017 was her mentor in the IG process. And she was also a founding member of the youth coalition on Internet governance and also a NetMission.Asia ambassador. And she looks forward to continuing to provide the youth perspective to the MAG. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jennifer.
We have Mamadou in the queue.
>>MAMADOU LO: Thank you, Madam Chair.
And thank you, Thomas, for your report.
On this I would like to echo Thomas's remarks on communication for the IGF. For this I would like to say this. If possible, and if it is not the case already, to accept IGF during Internet governance event like ICANN meeting of African Internet government summit. I think also working groups on communication has yet to be done there. And I call for each charter to be reviewed to better enhance communication on IGF. Also, I see that we still have good content on IGF Web site with regular updates. But also we need to communicate wide those contents between secretariat and also to others from the language people. In this I'm ready to volunteer to be part of any transition team from English to French. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Excellent, Mamadou. Rudolf.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Thank you very much, Chair.
I am, as I talked before, new MAG member. And I'm going to profit from this new fresh capacity that I have to give perhaps an impression that I had from the last IGF and also from the session yesterday.
And then I would like to convey to you a little bit what we have gathered in Germany by the meetings with our IGF Germany and our stakeholders during the last weeks where we had intensive discussions about all the issues that have been raised by you, Chair.
So first, one of the observations, and that might be one of the reasons why it -- why it is like it is, was that at least yesterday we had a room full of people with only very few very vocal persons speaking. And those shaping the discussion. So I think this is true for everybody. If we want to have a broad picture and if we want to have a consensus or a direction that we want to go to, we all have to speak out and give our impressions, not only few. I found it very striking yesterday. And when I was last year here was my first IGF and when I first time in my life saw the agenda of the IGF it was, it seems to me, like a piece of modern art because it was very colorful and very bright and shiny but -- and very impressionist, but it did not give to somebody from the outside any, you know, red line or any, you know, focus or where does it want to go, what is the -- what is the priority and so forth. And this is why I can nearly, everything that has been said by Mr. Schneider, support. When we -- when we were discussing with our German IGF, Germany IGF and our stakeholders, one of the first points that came up was, we need more structure, we need a logical structure of the IGF that gives a -- that gives a focus on priority issues that we have to define in the MAG. Not so many, three, four, perhaps five, but five would perhaps already be too much. And then it would perhaps be good to have one day one theme and go into this theme like, for instance, artificial intelligence from a very general into a very deep perspective. And there you have something for the newcomers, you have something for the experts, you have something for governments, businesses, and so forth, and perhaps it is a very good idea what has been reported from the EuroDIG not to call for workshops but to call for themes and issues. So this was one of the points.
The second point was that we were very much pleased by what -- what is being called the Geneva messages, and this is really something that we should be built on. And if we succeed to have this kind of a focused approach, the messages could be even sharper and even clearer and they could very well feed into the discussion for legislator, for international organizations, for business models, and so forth.
We also read the -- the mandate of the IGF, and I'm just flagging it here without asking for it. It is possible for the MAG -- oh, oh. This is a cause of -- this is because of my intervention.
[ Laughter ]
Okay. What I was going to say, I mean, it is -- it is in the -- in the mandate of the MAG. I mean, perhaps it's not the thing we should aim at but just to flag it, it is possible to give recommendations. It is possible. Perhaps it's not easy but it is possible.
The third point was that the inclusion of -- and you said it -- the Global South is very, very important. And we are, at least in Germany, now speaking with our ministry for cooperation in order to trying to for our 2019 host country role to try to give help and assistance to those who want to assist and who want to come. Not only remotely but also on the spot. Because it's not possible to have this size discussion only in the northern half -- in the northern hemisphere. It's not good.
One more thing, it has been said, and it has been also reported to us, that the business community or the representation of the business community was not as broad as we could have wished. One of the arguments that came from our business community from the larger and not so larger companies was, they would like to have the possibility for some kind of presentation of themselves. I don't want to talk about sponsoring because then we go into a very difficult situation with the U.N., I know it, but we should think about possibilities to have -- to have -- to have the companies, to have, you know, some booth or something because then they -- for them it's much easier to give funding and also to assist on various levels.
And no, I think that was basically what I wanted to say. Thank you very much.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Just a quick comment on the companies giving a presentation of themselves. We do have the IGF village, and if a company wants to give a -- have a booth showcasing their Internet governance efforts, they can.
>> (Off microphone).
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. I mean, they can't sell, you know, some cards or whatever, but they can say this is Deutsche Telecom, and this is what we do in Internet governance sphere. Yeah.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: At the same time, I think we need to be quite careful with that because there are costs associated with it in terms of venues and space and a host of other things as well. So we'd need to think that through I think quite carefully, venue dependent.
Next in the queue was Sylvia.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Thank you, Madam Chair. I think that we have to strike some balance between like reality and dream, let's say. And I think that although I -- when you asked, Madam Chair, about the appetite for reform, I said to (saying name) when we were on the train this morning, that I have the (indiscernible) with me. So I'm happy to work on deconstruct things and try to figure out new things. But I also, because a lot of the work that I do is on innovation, I also know that the challenge, when you decide to innovate, is that you tend to get rid of things that although might seem boring or not as exciting as others, then you tend to take them down and that actually makes life very difficult for newcomers and also gives the idea that nothing has taught before when there is actually a wealth of knowledge and experience from previous years. So I, you know -- I guess we need a cautious (indiscernible), let's say, to tackle the challenges on how to structure the -- the program of an event and how to incorporate the intersessional work into the event as such.
On that point, I think that one of the biggest challenges that we may have when talking about more interactive formats is that the whole process starts with session. So you have to come up with a session. You have to come up with a plan. If it is a workshop or a round table, then the -- the session is -- you start looking for who's going to speak in that and then it's -- then it's the never-ending queue of speakers. So I think the methodology to approach the issue is putting us in a -- repeating the problem over and over again. But I think that the IGF has a tool that is very useful, that is a resource person list, and I think that maybe one of the issues that can -- the innovations that can be introduced is to try to ask for the -- instead of only people maybe also try to figure out what is the contribution that a specific organization would like to do to the discussion? So if we had like a resource list of organizations and people that they appoint, right? Maybe that is a way for the MAG to consider who the MAG will appoint or call to be part of sessions. So then the MAG can have a little bit more not control, let's say, because we want to be a bottom-up approach but a little bit more control on how the flow of the conference actually takes place. Because the problem is you have a session, you approve a workshop, and then how that workshop fits into what (saying name) was explaining, for example, about -- which I really like your idea about okay, let's have a theme on a day and then you start with a new common information and then I would put it the other way around. Because if it was the end of the day, I would be so tired that I probably would not get to the deep end. But let's say you have a theme for the day. If the MAG has a contribution from organizations that can fit into that puzzle for the day, then it would be easier to build a puzzle for that list of sessions or facilitated discussions that is you may have around a particular issue. But when you start building the puzzle based on workshops as such and measures are an issue and my workshop got accepted and yours don't, who was mentioning? Makes life difficult. So I think that maybe having a clearer picture about what organizations want to bring to the table can help to structure sessions better. And I think that it will be also good to ask those organizations what kind of diversity are they bringing to the table and that also will help to address many of those challenges. So if that request for resource organizations instead of resource person is based on stakeholder, region, gender, and et cetera and then the diversity of viewpoints will be picked up and we will be able to identify who is arguing for an A or a B or a C or whatever. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sylvia. I just want to clarify one thing, given there are so many new MAG members. Historically what the MAG has done is put out a call for workshops. A few years ago we put out a call for workshops on the basis of a main theme and some subthemes or tracks. And then the workshops were chosen on the basis of their individual merit and filled out the modern art painting that Rudolf talked to.
Two years ago we decided as the MAG to go with just a main theme, tried to make it fairly broad, and asked the community to submit workshop proposals and then again depending on the ones that were chosen on their individual merit, we aggregated those into themes. So we sort of backed into themes through some tags. None of those processes are written in stone or on tablets that need to go forward. If the MAG determined that it wanted some piece of the process to follow that really open community process, it could. If the MAG said it wanted to dedicate some of the, you know, program space, if you will, to something that was either more streamed, as I think one of the words Thomas used, or, you know, kind of an integrated thematic flow or something as Rudolf just said, it's up to the MAG to decide if they want to do that. So I just -- you know, for those that have either been on the MAG for some years, it's not cast in stone that we follow the exact same process that has been followed for many of those other years. We, of course, need to make sure that any things that do come up, you know, are supported by the community at large or the community at least understands what the MAG is trying to do and any of the changes they're making. But I think those are some of the decisions we need to come to today, because we should come out of these two days with a strong idea of what the overall program looks like, what we want to accomplish with the program, and then that would obviously lead to an appropriate call for proposals. Raquel, you are next in the queue.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thanks, Madam Chair. I want to go straight to the point and answer your question about appetite for the MAG to review and really be bold on reviewing the program. Yes, plus one, thumbs up, whatever you want to call. It's time for action. I think I said before yesterday but it's time to take this tactical approach and be also -- bringing the IGF, it's not only yes, we've talked about fewer sessions, focused discussion, streamlining discussions, better outcomes, et cetera. But it's really the moment where the IGF can show its power to be flexible. I mean, that -- there is a distinction between reviewing, reforming, and being innovative and being disruptive. We are not going against the principle that the IGF has settled which is being bottom-up, being multistakeholder, being agile. And that's important to remember. Right? That's where what we want for the IGF and its future. And I really thank Thomas for his presentation and setting the scene. I could agree with most of them. But I think it's also an opportunity that we make those changes while not drifting or not changing the principles that we are -- that region is of the IGF. And we have this opportunity also with the new MAG, and I want to recognize that we have half -- almost half of the MAG that are new and so we can bring this refreshed views and we can really make a difference on the future of the IGF.
So just to keep it short, yes, let's talk the details for the afternoon. Thank you.
>>SUMON AHMED SABIR: Thank you, Madam Chair. I like the idea of Rudolf and also Sylvia that having multiple themes so that it get easier for the newcomer to actually find out where to go. Also can avoid actually some conflict in interest, like actually having two sessions but happening parallel and some (indiscernible) as well.
Saying that, and a third point (indiscernible) start of it, bottom-up (indiscernible) approach that can guide the sessions in a better way so that it can really help.
I'd like to focus on three issues actually that came up in different speeches from different stakeholder. That one is including governments into the -- including more into the IGF processes actually and another issue came up that a report in outcomes should reach to the other stakeholders. And I want to mention that is a marketing issue because we have some (indiscernible) like BPF and all the workshop have some reports. Does it reaching to the people actually, that's the point. Are we -- actually I can remember in the last meeting I proposed that whether we can (indiscernible) even so but probably that's not the right idea. But what I think that every government has a mission in Geneva, and if we can have a session (indiscernible) or separately, we can bring all the mission (indiscernible) here and share what happened the last IGF and probably what we'll be discussing in the next IGF, and most of them will find their own challenge into that. And they can actually look at it and they can give their feedback. So (indiscernible) actually inter government and we can also open up some outreach to the government and (indiscernible) government to the other stakeholders in that particular country. So that's what I focus on at this moment. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Rasha, you're next in the queue.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you, Lynn.
I think we've heard yesterday and today some very interesting suggestions and feedback on how to make things better. I think we all agree that we need to make things better. We started this process last year with regards to the sessions. And I think we -- I think the plan was to keep continuing on that this year. I think we heard yesterday from several members of the community that the people already feel that the program was more -- substantially more focused. But we still have a long way to go with that. And, actually, some of the suggestions that might help us do that are already in the rules that we came up with last year. But there was probably not enough time for us to vet the whole system properly. I want to thank you Luis again for the wonderful job he did last year with the technical aspect of that. Because it was such a short amount of time he had to come up with a whole new system.
Maybe with Liz helping again this year we can catch a few of the pitfalls.
So I guess what we're hearing, we -- there seems to be, like, two contrasting objections that we need to arrive at. Number one, get more focused. And that would entail that a certain speaker does not appear 10 times and speak 15 minutes every time. And, at the same time, include more people and be more inclusive of the community at large.
That, I think -- if we focus on some of the rules that we've come up with last year, that could be accomplished. Including, for example, that we had set to restrict every speaker to a maximum of three sessions. This is already in the rules. However, that did not happen this year. So there were many speakers who appeared in five sessions or more. And I'm wondering if our wizard, Luis, might be able to put something in the system that would flash a signal when a speaker has been proposed for more than -- or approved for more than three sessions.
I mean, we can talk about the details. But we need to catch that. Because some speakers were there in every session.
Just the same faces. And that restricts newer members of the community to become involved in the process. The other thing is I somehow don't feel that people put enough effort -- I don't want to generalize. But some people don't put enough effort or thought into the proposal. I think that people come close to the deadline. And they just want to put anything in there and then they will work on it later, You know, during the time between the proposal actually submitted and the actual IGF. We've all received invitations to speak on panels after the panel is accepted or very close to the IGF time.
And I think, again, we need to work around that. And we need to send a strong message to the community early on that enough effort needs to be put in the proposal at the submission stage, not later. At the submission stage.
So, again, last year, we stipulated that speakers that get -- whose names get on the proposal should be confirmed speakers. They should have confirmed their willingness to show up on the panel if their visas were granted and all the logistics work out. That's something else that I don't think -- I mean, I've talked to people in the conference who said oh, my God, I'm on this panel. And I didn't even know until this morning. This still happens, and somehow we need some system. Maybe a generated email to every speaker whose name appears on the list. Maybe the proposer would include an email. And an automatic email would be sent to that person telling them your name has just been added to this proposal. Would you click this link if you approve or something of the sort?
And that, again, I think could be done with a minimum amount of effort, but it would accomplish a great deal.
So I have a few very specific suggestions. I don't know if you want me to go through them now. Would that be appropriate?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: If suggestions are in line with what you just said, I think it's maybe more appropriate a little later. A lot of these have to do with the back end of the process on my mind and kind of not what we're actually considering the overall shape. Thank you, Rasha.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Sounds good.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rasha.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: One more thing I think that's a good idea if we could focus on a few things. I, however, would not put one thing per day because there means that sessions would be put in parallel regarding the same topics that people are interested in. So people would be kind of torn where to go. So I think it needs to be distributed.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I'm not even sure one theme per day means that's the only thing that happens on that particular day. You could actually have a theme that has others in the session as well which simply says, if you wanted to follow, use whatever example, artificial intelligence. You have the ability to follow that in a -- you know, a streamed manner, if you will. But also choose -- you're at a beginner level. You don't want to participate in the expert. Go to other sessions and come back in. Think we need to all be pretty open here.
Paul, you were next in the queue.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you. Paul Rowney. I just want to go -- there's also mention about connecting the experience. And, you know, whether we should continue talking about it or not.
Coming from Africa, I think we should. Because that's where a lot of the disconnected citizens live. But I think we also need to start looking at why we haven't connected them. You know, what is inhibiting everyone getting online? Things -- challenges of things like language. You know, we present Internet to them in certain constricted languages. And most people on the continent don't speak the languages, particularly the disconnected people. It is a pressing issue. Other issues such as AI and big data, et cetera, are on the continent. We're not really participants. We're affected by it. But we're passengers. But getting our citizens connected, getting our communities out of the digital economy are key to transforming Africa and enabling it to be an equal partner moving forward. I'm just saying we should keep it on the agenda, but maybe start to interrogate why we're failing. And there's many reasons. And I can bring many of them to the table as to why we're not achieving it and how we can overcome those challenges.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's useful. And maybe you could even talk to Raquel who is one of the leaders of the Connecting and Enabling the Next Billions, which was a major policy initiative, intersessional policy initiative. While, at the same time, of course, access was a pretty significant piece of the IGF's agenda overall.
But, if there are thoughts on another particular activity we can do and drive in a manner that might be appropriate -- and Raquel is not here. Yes, I think there's a question as to whether the Connecting and Enabling the Next Billions there is a phase 4 that would be useful and the right priority for us or should we move to something different? Soriana, you're next.
>>SORINA TELEANU: Thank you. Sorina Teleanu speaking. Just following a few comments what has been said before. I do agree we should try to be a bit more bold and try to bring some innovations into the format and the content of the IGF. On the idea of looking that introducing some overarching topics for teams, I think that's a good idea. But I agree also with the chair that we should not stick to one thing per day or something like that because it might not work with the many people around.
Giving you one example of food for thought, at SEEDIG, which is a much smaller initiative, this year at community input we have children data as our overarching topic. And we are not discussing the tough core because that's impossible but we are showing the connections with the various stations so that people have the general idea of discussions are about and how the various decisions link to each other. That's one thing to maybe consider as we look at the stations.
Then another thing: Maybe we can reduce the number of parallellizations. I know this has been discussed for a long time. But we keep hearing the same thing that it's too much and people cannot actually focus on everything.
We have had discussions at SEEDIG also for the last four years. And we keep asking the community whether they want to go into parallellizations. And they keep saying no because we want to be more or less around the same space and be involved in the same discussions.
Again, I'm aware that is something that could work for the IGF because it's a much larger scale initiative. But maybe looking into reducing the number of sessions is something we could do.
Then my last point, something I was discussing with Sylvia a couple of days before. And that relates to the content of the meeting itself.
We have been having IGFs for the past 11 years. And we keep hearing I think all of us people keep complaining that we do hear people saying the same things all over again at least on some topics. So maybe we could at least encourage session organizers to look at the reports of last 10 years' sessions and make sure, when they write their session description or proposal, they suggest how they're actually going to continue that discussion. Maybe the secretariat can help here with putting the reports together based on teams. And maybe, when the IGF gets a bit richer, we can look a bit into doing some text analyzing or text mining to actually offer the community some sense of where the discussion is on a specific topic. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think those are all very useful suggestions and ones we should consider as we look at kind of the front end of the workshop or program process.
Next in the queue is Jutta.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you for giving me the floor, Chair. I'm tempted to give the suggestions that have been given before. But I tried to look a little more into the reasons why we see the need for improvement.
When we are -- I understood that many people coming to the IGF first time they just get lost. They are overwhelmed on the topic, on the program, on the agenda.
And the reason I think is what do people expect when they come to their first IGF? They usually expect a typical conference with a typical program with high-level speakers, panels, and that so on and so on. Most people do not know that the IGF is different. And we've been talking about the uniqueness of the IGF, the bottom-up approach, the openness speaker footing. But many people come to the IGF, and they're not aware of that.
And I think still the Internet is different from what many people have grown up with.
And also Internet governance is different from the governance of many other areas. People are just not used to it but still the strength of the IGF. And I do think we need to make the program attractive for all stakeholders.
And also to make it clear that it's one of the strengths of the IGF that -- (inaudible) many of the high-level speakers did not turn up. And we had much more debates with other people that usually would not speak.
So I still remember that as a very good experience, and I think we should try to match the communication task to make clear why the IGF is different. And then we can stick to some of the formats that we already have, and we can also have room for improvement.
I do like the idea of having a structure of the program by topics.
But this could also become a pitfall. Because then people might only show up for a specific day when this topic they're going there is addressed. But then we would lose the benefit of a cross exchange like we always had at the IGF.
I just would like you to have that in mind when we consider how we can improve -- we need a mixture of sticking to something and having something innovation happen.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jutta.
Carlos, it looks like you had the floor.
>>CARLOS FONSECA: Yeah, Thank you, Chair.
Just a few thoughts on what was said previously about the MAG's influence and the importance for the IGF to reach out to other stakeholder governments, particularly in the private sector.
I believe we had a discussion last year. I'm -- the fact that we are still discussing this proves that we have not yet found a solution to the problem.
Last year this issue was raised. If I remember well, it was raised in June in a meeting here in the context of evaluation of workshop proposals. This was a moment when we debated this thing.
If I remember well, maybe the secretariat can help me with that. I think 19 out of the 265 both proposals, workshop proposals let to the evaluation came from governments. And both as a lead proposer, or co-proposer, which represented something like five percent of the proposals. Then another 7% came from IGOs and 10% from the private sector.
Almost 70% came from civil society.
Of those 19 proposals that came from government, none of them was selected in the first evaluation process, which forced us to put some extra work during this meeting in June. In order to have it linked, I think, four of them finally selected for the IGF.
I think the situation is possibly going to repeat itself this year. Though it's maybe important to understand why so few proposals came from government. And then why none of them was selected during the first stage.
And the answer to that question, I think, is pretty obvious. Governments are not engaged in governments and not familiar with the way the IGF works. And then the problem here is to understand ,if governments do not understand the IGF because they're not engaged or if governments are not engaged because they don't understand? I mean ,the other way around. This is something we need to try to understand.
Another problem has to do with the proliferation of different fora discussing aspects of -- different aspects of Internet and digital economy.
This proliferation is a fact. We have I don't know how many global committee on this and global commission on that and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
This means that a competition for the attention of different actors ,increasingly for the attention of government actors. And let me speak for myself. I've been invited to 100 different things, and it's very difficult to be here and be there, et cetera, et cetera
So I think this poses two sets of problems or challenges, both in terms of communication, how to better communicate and how to better explain the importance of the IGF. I believe we should not take it for granted that people or governments understand this uniqueness and longevity of the IGF, to use some of your words.
This also poses challenges in terms of outreach. And then about outreach, I think it would be maybe wise to refer to some of the suggestions that were made previously.
Obviously, the fact that the Secretariat is in Geneva makes it very easy for the secretariat to try to reach out to diplomatic missions. You know, I think Thomas mentioned and another colleague mentioned it.
Why not use this fact -- you know, to try to organize meetings or briefings? It's very common for IGOs that are in here in Geneva to organize briefings. This happens all the time. They organize this sort of thing all the time. All the time.
My mission is invited to dozens of those briefings. I'm not sure our Secretariat here does that. But I think, if it does not, he should do. Because it's something the missions are used to. And, if you organize a briefing about topic -- I believe the mission will send someone. Because it's used to doing that. And they have dozens of diplomats working here. So it would be very easy to do that. Let's organize some briefing on one topic, and then they will send people. They used to doing that. It's in their DNA. So they're going to do that.
Maybe another thing would be, as someone mentioned, and I think it's a good idea, how to use NRIs to try to reach out to national governments. It's something that could be feasible. Why not do that? NRIs are in a position to maybe they can reach out to their national governments easier than, you know, the Secretariat or we can do.
Finally, just another word.
I think it would be very important to establish connection with other fora, including IGOs. They're discussing topics related to Internet governance such as the World Economic Forum. You were invited, and I think it was important that you participated. And it's important. But also the G20. Also the OECD and, et cetera. The G20 two or three years ago established a task force on digital economy. It has been working on different topics that are related to our business here, directly or not. But they are related, right?
Last year the Germans were -- chaired the G20. And we established a roadmap with 11 -- if I remember well, 11 different areas with priorities, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Now, the Presidency is suddenly in Argentina. And Argentina is organizing that. And we already had a meeting in January. And we're going to have a meeting now in April, and the focus will be on work, on jobs creations. And then there will be another meeting in another -- so, et cetera.
The last meeting that happened in Buenos Aires I remember, ITU was invited, WTO was invited, IMF was invited, World Bank was invited, the IDP, et cetera et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
But the IGF was not invited.
I mean, why not? Right? I mean, we had to be there and to participate.
The same goes with the OECD. There is a committee on economic digital economy policy. And it's supposed to be a multistakeholder event because, you know, civil society is represented there. Trade unions are represented there, et cetera, et cetera
So, you know, this is just a few ideas. But I think that there is work to be done there.
And, to answer to your question about the World Economic Forum I think you asked yesterday, if it was appropriate or not to participate. I think it's a no-brainer. Of course. Yes. You know, the IGF should be in touch. The IGF should connect. And the MAG chair should be there.
So this is my opinion.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Carlos, a lot of good ideas. We did do some outreach last year with Diplo. In fact, with a lot of the IGOs that were here and the year before in Mexico was a mission -- sorry, in the U.S. in New York with the Mexican mission there to reach out to the missions in New York. We can do much, much more of that. But the message is also important that when you talk to the missions here or the IGOs here or government, it actually goes back to capital as the message as well. If we actually want really appropriate engagement, lasting engagement, then it needs to get back to capital and move out from there. And, of course, a lot of the other entities you mentioned, a lot of the organizations in this room participate in them. And I think one of the things we could do in a very low overhead way would be ensure that whenever they have the opportunity they make it clear, you know, the role of the IGF, where we fit in. If we need to prepare some sort of standard talking points for that, we can do that. But I think there were a lot of good ideas, we should take some of them up, and at the same time encourage everybody here to use the opportunity to promote the IGF every time you can, when you yourselves or your organizations are participating in those events. A lot of good ideas. Thank you.
Next in the queue is Ben. Ben Wallis, you have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you, Lynn. Yes. So I'd like to make three points. The first is about the fundamental nature of the IGF. So as I said in my introduction, the value for me is how the meeting, the annual meeting brings together such a broad range of ideas and views and experiences. And it's given me the opportunity both to learn about new topics and to learn new perspectives on topics I thought I already knew. So I think it would, therefore, be a mistake to look for more concrete output in a way that would dilute from the energy that enables such a rich exchange of views and turns it, I think as Mark mentioned yesterday, into a negotiating forum.
So the second point is how might we get more out of the existing written outputs. So I wanted to echo some comments from non-MAG members yesterday. There are already many outputs. I think one thing we could do as the MAG this year is consider how they could be better presented, organized, and marketed. On top of the existing written outputs from every meeting, I agree with a number of speakers today and yesterday that the Geneva messages were a welcome innovation from the last meeting. Indeed I thought Canada made a good point. That part of their value was in making the output of each session more uniform. So as I understood it, the Geneva messages were just for the main sessions, but I think we could try and do the same for the reports that come out of other sessions, providing organizers with a clear framework and a template for when they produce their reports and making sure those reports do come in. So, for example, that could include if there has to be a half page or one-page summary, and that would make it easier to compile outputs from each session into a more readable set of proceedings for each annual meeting. A rich repository of easily browsable, searchable material that will live on on the IGF Web site.
The last point I wanted to cover for now is about the reduced participation of non-constituencies. And particularly this is -- the point that's being raised is how to increase government and business participation. I agree that's a concern. As a MAG member representing the private sector, I will take responsibility for finding ways to reach out to the business community, encouraging their engagement, wider engagement at the IGF. I thought it was an important point from Carlos just now but the NRIs might be well placed to reach out to national governments and encourage them to participate in the annual meeting. It could be helpful to encourage workshop organizers to invite business speakers which wouldn't already be planning to attend the IGF. They might not even be aware that it exists. So that might be start-ups or SMEs which are -- we might be aware of that are doing something interesting with technology that's contributing to digital transformation and digital inclusion. But they might not be aware of the IGF. And it might also be a question of having topics or framing discussions which in a way that they're of interest to those constituencies which have low participation. So for business it might be about framing the discussion in a way that asks them to think about how do they feel they do or can contribute to the SDGs or what prevents them from contributing to the further of the sustainable development goals? Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ben. A lot of good suggestions and in particular with respect to some of the thoughts about how we can increase private sector participation. Look forward to trying to put some of those into practice and coming up with more. Helani, you have the floor.
>>HELANI GALPAYA: Thank you, Lynn. I want to pick up from a comment I think I heard from Michael Nelson yesterday. There are still many sessions or many speakers in many sessions that are talking about interesting projects and not interesting governance issues. So I think, you know, we need a way to ensure that the panels are really related to Internet governance. There are many other venues where you can present, you know, great community initiatives or connectivity initiatives. We need to be able to pick up the governance-related issues that come from those initiatives and design panels around them. I think otherwise we're going to lose relevance, and this is part of the reason some people now think they should just go speak in other fora and not at the Internet Governance Forum.
Second, I see some danger in assigning themes per day because people sometimes do want a broad perspective on things and they want to be multiple places. So following a theme throughout the multiple days might be easier, but I do very strongly support teams. So whether they're arranged across days or whatever, that's a different matter. But I do support teams, and I think it might be possible to find this ground-up versus highly-curated balance if we do it right. Of course, it also means that there's more work from us as MAG members. So if we go back a few years ago when there were themes announced and we could propose themes along workshop proposals and, you know, along those themes, we have a set of themes that we collectively agree on. We call for proposals on those themes. But we also, in the submission form, allow for new themes because we should not be so proud to think that we know all the emerging themes. That's part of the richness of the bottom-up initiative. So we do allow for that. And then we, either in small groups or collectively curate, we have ownership for some of these themes as small groups of the MAG. And then we really pick A, the best proposals. If there are new teams, then we assign people to curate those teams and we decide whether these ten proposals should be merged into seven, five, two, or maybe call for more and so on. And we give conditional acceptance on actually implementing that merger because often workshops are merged and then some people just completely get axed and nobody checks whether now the regional representation, gender balance, the viewpoint representation is maintained in the new merged proposal. So bottoms-up and a slightly more hands-on curated approach. And a two-step approach might be good. I know people are rolling my eyes -- their eyes because they're like oh my God, another round for us to do.
I also do support cording, sort of visually cording the program based on themes and level of expertise. So newcomers and experts will find it easier to sort of navigate. They'll understand where this session is being pitched at as a very introductory or expert session. And I really do support the proposal somewhere from the back that came about enforcing what we say we want to do, you know, three or whatever the end we decide on panels per speaker. I mean, and I speak as somebody who's starting with one speaking slot in Rio in 2006, has moved up to eight unfortunately, and not by choice but because I feel responsible because I'm the only person from Asia and the only female in the panel so you feel you're obliged to. But I really should not have to be that way. And I'm civil society and 70 first of participation is civil society. So it's a ridiculous situation. So I think we should enforce these things and a lot of the IT tools can be used like just confirming that the government person who's invited is actually aware that they're invited. I've been in so many panels where the people aren't aware. So let's also use technology to enforce some of these things that we are trying to enforce. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Many good points, Helani. Thank you. Miguel, who is -- who is participating online. So you'll either need to watch the transcript or put your headphones on. Miguel, you have the floor.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: Hello, can you hear me?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yes.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: Thank you, Chair. I agree with many comments from Thomas and also from you, Lynn. I think we need great changes to the IGF to keep well running and also (indiscernible). I believe (indiscernible) approaches (indiscernible). I think intersessional work should become the rule instead of the exception. We should try to make the IGF (indiscernible). (indiscernible) experiences we had. As many (indiscernible) we see on a specific topic we shouldn't accept sessions on that topic without asking the proposers to join those (indiscernible). I think we'll have reduced the number of sessions and (indiscernible) the stakeholder and bottom up period of IGF will happen.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Miguel. Now we have Miguel Candia, who's actually here in the room.
>>MIGUEL CANDIA: Thank you very much, Chair. I don't know why my name appears in all caps letters. I presume it's -- I presume it's to differentiate myself from the famous Miguel.
[ Laughter ]
Chair, I wanted to start by thanking ambassador for an excellent conversation from last year. I do believe it was a very interesting way of looking at the IGF, at the organizational part of the IGF. And we have come with -- with good lessons from it, good messages, positive messages, strong messages.
I support a lot of the proposals that were made on the floor. I don't want to repeat them all. But I wanted to say that at some point it felt that we were criticizing a lot the work -- or the way we did past IGFs, when I do see evolution. It's bound to be like that. We need to learn from mistakes, from past experiences, and I think what we need to make it steps -- to make it even more useful, innovative, and to keep it up to date with the demands that -- nowadays demands. Because what we -- what I'm seeing is that the magnitude has changed. The idea was there all the time, from the beginning. But now, now we have more people talking about the issue. Now we have more people talking about the IGF and its health, and now we have a task of making the IGF even more known, the IGF itself, its results, even with or without outcome documents, as it is now. So breaking these new silos that I would -- I would say just because of the proliferation of fora, the issue became so big and it's going to be like that for the next few years unless -- up until we take a road that would take us all together to, you know, a more formal way of governance. But so far the beautifulness of the IGF is that whoever meets us, they have to -- that it's free and open and that it's -- and participation is -- it's very diverse and creative and voluntary. So that's -- that's what we need to keep. I suppose we're going to go into more depth in the next point of the agenda, so I'm going to stop here for now and thank you, Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Miguel. We have about seven or eight people in the queue, and we have nine minutes before we break. For those we don't get to in the queue, of course, we'll pick up when we get back from lunch. Carlos, are you in the queue again?
>>CARLOS FONSECA: Sorry about that. That was a mistake. Sorry.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And Israel, are you in the queue?
>>ISRAEL ROSAS: Yep, briefly.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, no, it's fine. I'm not -- I'm just trying to say that if anybody is looking at the queue and there's quite a long list, if we don't get to you before lunch, we'll pick it up after the break.
>>ISRAEL ROSAS: Thank you, Chair. Israel Rosas for the record. Just to briefly show my support to promote changes and improvements to the IGF, I mean, we all know that the IGF is a unique space, a bottom-up multistakeholder space. This goes on to promote the (indiscernible) and exchange of ideas. And I build on previous comments about better publicize or share the outcomes of the current year effort. Thinking out loud, perhaps we could take advantage of the messages of (indiscernible) the name collisions on the rise, all the intersessional work in order to collect (audio problems) for every meeting we could have a unique publication in order to make easy to share the outcomes to the broader community. I agree with my colleagues that we -- we have a lot of firms, a lot of spaces to discuss Internet-related issues, but this is a unique platform to address Internet governance issues according to the multistakeholder model and a community-built effort. So perhaps we could promote that kind of participation and this effort of the communication and outreach. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Israel. Those are good comments. And I noted earlier the comment on maybe we should think about using something similar to Geneva messages for all of the sessions, and I think you extended that even further with respect to some of the intersessional activities as well. I think that's an interesting idea. You know, one of the things we keep trying to say is how do we make all the information that comes out of the IGF more accessible, you know, more comprehensible, easier to find. Something like that could be a relatively straightforward way to build that up. Those are all good ideas. Next in the queue we have Arnold. Arnold.
>>ARNOLD VAN RHIJN: Thank you, Lynn. We still have seven to eight months, depending on the summer holidays, to go before the IGF will take place.
And -- if the IGF 2018 is going to take place in November. I think if it will be held in October, it will be less.
So there's a great pressure on us as MAG to come up with a good program.
And it's definitely, to the other speakers before me, and I support what Thomas Schneider from the former host country said as well as my colleague Rudolf from Germany.
Briefly, I'd like to focus on priority issues instead of selecting workshops. We have had in the past years lots of discussions where there was indeed a call for focus, but it's not for being implemented. So I think now is the time to do that, to make a new change. I wouldn't say a radical change.
But we have to make -- come up with a new concept.
And, therefore, I think we should call for topics or issues. Like -- this has been done in the European Internet Governance Forum, called EuroDIG.
And I heard also the U.S. saying that it is in the U.S. IGF, the mainstream. Come up with topics for discussion. And then it will be implemented in the program.
Whether it will be in workshops mixed with all stakeholders, it could even be separate tracks. Civil society. Dealing with five issues, five topics. The business sector. Likewise, on the first two days of the IGF, and perhaps come up with their messages. And then the next two days of the IGF which in my view could be four days, maximum.
And last two days, it will all converge into a plenary session where we can have an in-depth discussion on these topics, on these messages, which come from each stakeholder group. And then try to see where we come up at the end with some IGF messages.
And I think here is also a very important role for the national regional IGFs to come forward with topics, not only to tell the -- their stakeholders back home that there is a global IGF and you should go there. But also to discuss with their stakeholders on the topics that -- the real priority issues which is at stake in their own country.
We had our debriefing meeting in a couple of weeks ago in the Netherlands on the IGF in 2017. And we came up with, indeed, this new concept of picking priority issues ourselves. We named a few -- e-skills, Internet of Things and ethics, block change, standardization in relation to secure hardware and software. So there are some topics, which are already floating around. And this could be, perhaps, part of the future agenda of the IGF 2018.
We'll discuss that. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Arnold.
I think we'll have to make that the last intervention before lunch, given the time. And I'm sure other people have other meetings or people have other meetings scheduled during lunch.
We'll pick up the queue as it sits here. I encourage people over the lunchtime to think about -- I can't say I can gauge kind of what the kind of level of appetite is for, you know, really trying something different. And some portion of the -- I hear some people speaking for it. I hear others looking for a change that I would say is more of a tinkering sort of level. And I think we need to find a way to get a call or a consensus as a MAG to gauge where they think there is room for innovation or experimentation, If there -- if the MAG believes there is room for innovation and experimentation in the program next year, so that we can then begin to figure out how we actually process our way forward through that.
So we can think about that in small meetings over the lunch hour. That will be great. We'll be back here at 3:00. Thank you.