IGF 2018 OF #40 ISOC Open Forum @ IGF 2018 Future of IGF: “The world is much better with the IGF than without it!”

Salle XI

Sub-theme description: Future of Internet Economy


Internet Society Open Forum is dedicated for the IGF participants that shares the common goal of advocating for an open, resilient, trusted Internet, and our own ISOC community comprised of chapters, organizational and individual members. 

The IGF has been a unique space to address global Internet policy issues in an open and multistakeholder mechanism, where everyone has a voice to ensure that sound, people-centric policies related to Internet emerge. 

Nevertheless, we are concerned that the IGF community is showing signs of fatigue – less high level attendance, difficulties to secure host countries and lack of stable funding sources. We cannot afford for the IGF to lose momentum, particularly at a time when concerns about the Internet are capturing the attention of political and commercial leaders around the world, leading to calls for policies and practices that may have serious implications for a global, decentralized Internet infrastructure.

Small steps can go a long way to making the IGF a stronger platform! Thus, the call for IGF reform is urgent if we want to ensure that all stakeholders can continue to have a say in the evolution of the an open, globally-connected, trustworthy and secure Internet for everyone. 



Internet Society


Agenda (60min):

Moderator: Frederic Donck, Regional Bureau Director, Europe

Part 1 - Initial remarks - Welcome and ISOC plans for 2019!

Andrew Sullivan, President&CEO, Internet Society

Part 2 Pitch talks and Group discussions (50 min)

Future of IGF: “The world is much better with the IGF than without it!”

Raul Echeberria, Vice-President Global Engagement

Online Moderator

Paula Real

Session Time
Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

- Session Type (Workshop, Open Forum, etc.): Open Forum


- Title: Future of IGF: “The world is much better with the IGF than without it!”


- Date & Time: Monday 12 November 2018, 9:20-10:20


- Organizer(s): Internet Society (ISOC)


- Chair/Moderator: Frederic Donck, Regional Bureau Director, Europe


- Rapporteur/Notetaker: Paula Real


- List of speakers and their institutional affiliations (Indicate male/female/ transgender male/ transgender female/gender variant/prefer not to answer):

Thomas Schneider, representing the past IGF host-country, Switzerland

David Martineau, representing the current IGF host-country, France

Gunther Grathwohl, representing the next IGF host-country, Germany

Lynn St. Amour

Raul Echeberría 


- Theme (as listed here):Evolution of Internet Governance


- Subtheme (as listed here):IGF ORGANIZATION & ROLE


- Please state no more than three (3) key messages of the discussion. [150 words or less]

  • Since the Tunis mandate, in 2005, a lot of things have changed, a lot of new challenges have emerged and a concern that the IGF community is showing signs of fatigue is also rising. 
  • There is a need to maintain the IGF as a space for dialogue in a multistakeholder fashion, with stronger participation of different stakeholders.  The IGF needs to continue to be attractive for all the stakeholders to come together to discuss facing challenges. The world is much better with IGF than without it. 
  •  In order to strengthen the IGF, there was a suggested solution for creating more tangible outputs and outcomes. There is a movement in this direction which started with Geneva Messages that came out of IGF 2017 held in Switzerland, this continued with Paris key messages that outlined specific outputs from the discussions held at the 2018 meeting. 


- Please elaborate on the discussion held, specifically on areas of agreement and divergence. [150 words] 

There was broad support for the view that the IGF is an important Forum which does not need to be reinvented or replaced, although there is a need to reform and improve it in order to keep it relevant.

Many indicated that the IGF can be improved and strengthened by guaranteeing more tangible or accessible outcomes. 

Some supported more High-Level Panels and a more relevant and focused agenda, while others noted that the IGF became a space to discuss not only Internet Governance, but also “digital issues”.

There was also an advice to keep the IGF in its existing role, as a space for dialogue rather than negotiation, highlighting that the IGF cannot be turned into a top-down arena. Nevertheless, is was noted that the Forum needs to improve its political visibility with high‑level representatives of all stakeholders.


- Please describe any policy recommendations or suggestions regarding the way forward/potential next steps. [100 words]

It was suggested to continue discussing the “future of the IGF”, in particular regarding the upcoming IGF 2019, in a continued way, a work that the MAG has already started. 

There was a suggestion to increase High Level Participation, to improve IGF’s political visibility attracting representatives of all stakeholders.It was also mentioned that perhaps there is a need for more tangible outcomes, including a suggestion to hold High-level Panels in order to discuss those possible outcomes. Furthermore, there was also a recommendation to think about IGF’s outreach and how the discussions at the Forum can haven real impact after the meeting. 



- What ideas surfaced in the discussion with respect to how the IGF ecosystem might make progress on this issue? [75 words]

IGF Community have to actively participate not only at the Annual meeting but also in a sustained way, making sure the IGF is built to improve more interaction between stakeholders, enhancing cooperation in digital and Internet governance related issues.  The IGF needs a more cohesive agenda, with less competing sessions. There is also a need to improve intersessional work, to continue the discussions in between meetings.  IGF Ecosystem needs to keep improving and evolving.

- Please estimate the total number of participants. 

50-60 px


- Please estimate the total number of women and gender-variant individuals present.

25-30 women


- To what extent did the session discuss gender issues, and if to any extent, what was the discussion? [100 words]

There was no gender issues discussion.