The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2018 Second Open Consultations and MAG Meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland, 11-13 July. 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: Okay. We'll just take another 30 seconds and give everybody a moment to settle in and come to order. That was almost immediately.
Chengetai, do you want to open it first?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: There's nothing to say. Just remember what I said yesterday. Introduce yourself please when you speak and we're using the queue. Yes, let's start the meeting. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So today is the second day of our overall meeting but the first day of the two-day MAG meeting. I will introduce quickly again here at the table the panelists. We will then go to an approval of the agenda, and we can do fuller introductions.
But to my left is Ambassador David Martinon who is the foreign affairs -- ambassador of foreign affairs within the French government and has been instrumental in bringing the IGF to France since our first discussions in the back of the Internet and Jurisdiction conference.
We are very, very pleased to have you here with us today.
And, of course, we have Frederic Paruta who continues with us here with us and will be with us tomorrow as well, counseiller from the French mission here in Geneva.
First order of business is approval of the agenda for the next two days. It has been posted on the Web site for some time. The primary activities in front of the MAG are to, of course, approve the final, possibly a few workshops, with conditions, to agree on the title for the event, to agree on preparations for the main -- hopefully this year will be called thematic sessions. Those are the substantive pieces of work in front of us.
Ambassador Martinon is here this morning to brief us on some of the specifics of the French preparations for the IGF, also explore some of the synergies perhaps with the Paris Peace Forum and, of course, share some thoughts or plans on the high-level session. So with that, let me see if there are any suggestions for any other business or any requested amendments to the agenda.
We are using, as Chengetai said, the speaking queue so I will give a few seconds for people to log in and get registered before calling the question.
Seeing no requests from the floor, I will call the agenda approved.
And, again, really request that everybody here in the room -- of course, those of you that are participating online, it's perhaps more natural for you to do so -- really use the speaking queue. It levels the playing field between those that are here physically in the room and for those that are participating online, which is the most important from my perspective but it also shows, of course, where your place is in the queue which is also particularly helpful.
So with that, I don't actually have any other introductory remarks. My remarks yesterday were, I think, fairly complete in terms of the work ahead of us and the importance of what we're doing here.
Without further ado, I would turn to Ambassador Martinon and we will work through the first set of introductory comments and specifically move to briefings on the state of preparation.
Ambassador, you have the floor.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: Thank you very much, Mrs. Chair or Chair, whatever is the right expression.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Chair.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: Can you hear me? Yes. So I'm very happy to be here in Geneva back at the Palais des Nations where as an ambassador for digital affairs I used to work as the French expert at the U.N. group of governmental experts on cybersecurity. For those who know that meeting and that round of negotiations, I can tell you it's definitely not multistakeholder. It's rather sort of a cold-war atmosphere that I don't expect to sense today.
So the short story is the following, I attended -- Lynn and I attended the global meeting of the Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network back in -- what was that, February, March? I think it was March.
And on the margin of the meeting Lynn and I talked as we usually do, and Lynn told me that there was no host country for the IGF in 2018.
So I just took note of it, and I came back to Paris and I started discussing with the advisors of President Macron. And I eventually made the informal proposal that France would host the IGF but that was back in April, meaning there was no budget for that. There was no time for that. There was no clear understanding around the President of what is exactly the ideas but, still, the discussion went on.
I put the emphasis on the fact it had been hosted here in Geneva at the Palais des Nations and that our German friends would host the 2019 edition. So that could be something that could be played around the idea of a three-year sort of informal mandate during which we could try and do our best to give more visibility to the IGF and maybe to bring new people in it and notably heads of state and government. And so eventually the proposal convinced President Macron -- or should I say President Macron was eventually convinced that it was an interesting idea. And so I said that to Lynn and to Chengetai, and we had ongoing discussions about what we could do, the thing in Paris and when. And eventually the French presidency decided that it would be on the 12th, the 13th, and 14th of November. Why? Because it has to be in the fall because before that there's the high-level meeting at ICANN -- the ICANN high-level meeting in Barcelona which is the end of October. And then we have the plenipot of the ITU. And then it's December. So basically the right timing was obviously November.
We know that the plenipot won't be finished by the time, but my experience as a former Frenchman at the plenipotentiary is that basically very political discussions, if there are to be some discussions, are mostly -- happen mostly during the first week of the plenipot and the second and the third are really about technicalities and working groups. We understand most of the countries will have staff -- or delegates still in Dubai but we thought it was worth trying to do it.
And the main idea was that France will welcome a large number of heads of states and government on November 11th in Paris for the celebration of the end of World War I.
And so, first of all, you can't do that many diplomatic conferences or international conferences in the same trimester anywhere in the world. In Paris, if you paralyze the circulation, traffic, et cetera, I can tell you the Parisians are very happy people all the time but they can show some signs of impatience. And that would probably be the case if we were to sort of freeze every activity in Paris for another week or something like that. So the first idea was to try and concentrate events on the same basically period of time.
And, second, the idea was to, again, make the most of the presence in Paris of these heads of state and government to try and bring them into the Internet governance discussion, which is not that obvious. And I have attended a few IGF global meetings, and my memories are that I remember President Rousseff in Joao Pessoa. I don't remember listening to any speech from the Turkish President in Istanbul. I don't remember if there was the Mexican President in Guadalajara. I'm not sure.
So I think this is one of the challenges that IGF has to face: How do we attract political decision makers into the discussion so that they get -- they can be -- they can be fed intellectually. They can get the substance of what we are talking about here at the IGF. So that was the idea.
And then we came into the organizational -- the questions of organization: How do we make that happen? And the scenarios are -- the scenario is still undecided. There are at least two options. First would be -- sorry. First I have to say that the idea was to, of course, synthesize it. We have to make it lean in terms of cost. Just like our Swiss friends did it last year here at the Palais des Nations.
So the recommendation from Lynn at the very beginning of the idea was to try it do it on the U.N. premises in Paris. And, of course, it brought us to envisage the UNESCO as a place to host the summit.
So we entered into talks with UNESCO and we're still trying to make it work and we believe it will work. But, again, UNESCO has a schedule that is planned a long time in advance. And the three available days were, again, 12, 13th and 14th of November. On 15th -- on the 15th, they have already other events and it wasn't possible to have a four-day meeting in Paris at UNESCO.
So the remaining question is how do we welcome these high-level characters? Do we try to do it Day 0 on the 11th? But again the 11th is a day of celebration in Paris, and there will be a lot of diplomatic events, the celebrations, and also something at the Paris Peace Forum.
Or do we sort of do that high-level segment of the IGF on the occasion of the opening ceremony on the 12th -- on the morning of the 12th of November? So this question is still undecided. It's in the hands of the advisors of the President.
I would be mostly favor the second option because if we are to do a Day 0 somewhere else, then the connection with the IGF would be less visible. It wouldn't -- it would probably make less sense. The idea is really to bring the heads of state and government inside the community, not to do something else elsewhere. Again, that's just my position, and I won't be the decision maker on this.
If we are to do something at the Paris Peace Forum, which is the first edition, we hope, of the global forum, that will be dedicated to all -- to all discussions, negotiations about governance, like digital, climate, environment, open data, et cetera. If we are to do this inside the Paris Peace Forum, again, we might lose something. So I really keep on pledging for sort of a revived opening ceremony with a maximum of heads of state and government, if we can make it, because, I mean, their time is very expensive and it will be another challenge to keep them in Paris after the 11th, even if it's only for the morning of the 12th. It's always difficult. They have busy schedules. They need to be back in their capitals. So we know it's going to be a challenge, but at least it's an interesting one.
So this is where we are. We still have everything to do in terms of organization. We're still at the very beginning of the process. But at least again as you know, President Macron announced officially during the Viva Tech meeting that France would propose -- or had proposed to host the 2018 IGF. And I received a formal letter from our friends and partners at the U.N. confirming that the French proposal was accepted. So now we can move forward and make it happen.
So now we can move forward and make it happen.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ambassador. I think it does deserve accolades.
[ Applause ]
It is a challenge holding any global conference. It is particularly a challenge when you hold a global conference with half or less of the normal runway of holding one so we are deeply appreciative of everything you personally have done and the French government for its support as well.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think we can take some questions on that. I do want to -- There's a lot of new MAG members as well. We need to make it clear that we use the term Day 0. Day 0 means something different to a lot of people in this room. it's normally a whole host of community events.
What the ambassador was talking about was a high-level forum which traditionally happened on Day 0, which was the day ahead of the conference. And in fact, the ambassador is talking about the high-level event which he is suggesting might actually take place on the morning of the first day of the conference. That would be Monday morning.
And again, recall for everybody that this year there is no formal Day 0 or formal space dedicated to Day 0 because of the events taking place in Paris, because it would be on a Sunday, because we're at a U.N. headquarters. A number of reasons. And the community is encouraged to hold the Day 0 events, you know, if it is still of interest. And as Chengetai said yesterday, we are promote those and publish those on the IGF website, but they won't be logistically supported in the same way as they have been in past years. And again, that's just a special circumstance for this year.
We can -- I don't know if there are any other general comments on -- I guess you sort of covered the opening ceremony and the high-level roundtable or high-level session.
Let me just see if there are any comments or questions or reflections. I see there is a speaking queue from the floor here, so we'll work our way through that. And again, this is the MAG meeting. Typically in the MAG meeting it is MAG members that speak. Our meetings are open to observers and observers are extremely welcome, but they are not normally granted the opportunity to speak unless it's an exceptional situation. And everybody knows I like a lot of flexibility, but usually that costs me emails at the end of the day, so in order to be sort of fair and equal with expectations, we'll try and respect that fact that it should be MAG members that are speaking here today.
Renata, you have the floor. And perhaps you could just, again, as Chengetai said earlier, introduce yourself and which stakeholder group you're representing.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Hi. Renata Aquino Ribeiro. I am from Brazil, and I am a professor at NGO I.T. for T in EI research.
I am very happy that Paris is so welcoming to IGF and has known a lot of flexibility towards adapting the calendar to the IGF events. I would like to ask about the other event that will be happening at a similar date, which is the Paris Peace Forum from the 11th to the 14th. It has an area of new technologies.
Some U.N. events have traditionally the concept of side events. I wonder if there will be any communication between these two events, and what can we expect of this event also for the IGF audience who may be interested in being there on the 11th, for example?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: You can -- As you wish. You can take them as they come.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: So the Paris Peace Forum was decided, like, one year ago. The preparation has started one year ago. The panels, the activities have been decided like six months ago, so there was no way we could sort of replace the Paris Peace Forum with the IGF.
There was no way we could do them separately in terms of timing. That could have made no sense to have the Paris Peace Forum and then three weeks later the Internet Governance Forum. Sometimes about the same topics.
So the idea was to make, out of that challenge, an opportunity and to show that there would be -- that there was logical and natural relations, interactions between the two events. They won't be located at the same place. The Paris Peace Forum will be at La Villette, which is in Paris but in the north. It's a beautiful place. And it will be a smaller event with several sort of locations associated with topics. Again, as I said, there will be debates about governments in the field of climate and environment. There will be, you know, other topics like that.
And, yes, there will -- it has been planned for a while. There will be the questions of -- digital issues will be addressed, too, and the organizer has, for example, launched invitations, for example, to Microsoft just -- and the idea was to let Microsoft express their views on the Digital Geneva Convention and all the ideas that they have been promoting in the last -- in the last years.
And the idea of the main organizer, who is a colleague of mine and a friend, that happens, was that, you know, he told Brad Smith -- he told Brad Smith, "You know, I know David won't like it, so it's a good thing." We're not particularly in favor of the Digital Geneva Convention as the French government. But the idea was to give them a chance to express their views, and to be -- yes, and to be contradicted to.
So this is just to give you an idea of what will happen at La Villette.
So how will we make it work between the IGF and the Paris Peace Forum? We believe that it could be a good idea for some participants, some of the IGF to take some times -- some time, one day or two, because it starts earlier, to go and see what happens at La Villette. And then we believe it will be a great way of attracting new people at the IGF. All the people who will be attending in the Paris Peace Forum who are interested in all forms of government, and governance, sorry, we guess it will sort of tickle their curiosity and try and attract them to the IGF. So that's the idea.
How are we going to make it work? So it's not that far. It's like half an hour by -- by the French metro. So it is definitely workable. Notably on November 11th.
So the thing we need to do now is to make sure there is sort of consistency between the two programs. Basically that's the idea.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ambassador.
Next in the queue we have Rudolf Gridl.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Good morning, Rudolf Gridl from Germany government.
First of all, thanks to the French government for hosting the IGF this year, and I think that the idea that you outlined at the beginning that we could have some common idea, some common mind-set on this Switzerland, France, Germany, this is something that with the guidance of the MAG could be a very -- a very good aim, actually.
On the high-level event, and you know -- of course you notice that the schedules are very heavy of all the business heads of state of government. And the question was if there would -- or if you had the idea of having the heads of state and government and also a ministerial segment or just the heads of state of government. This was not so clear for us.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: So it will depend on the option that is eventually decided. I guess if we have the heads of state, we don't need a ministerial meeting.
>> No. Probably not.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON:
Because they have to obey.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you.
Liesyl Franz. Liesyl, you have the floor.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Thank you, Chair. Good morning, Ambassador. My name is Liesyl Franz with the State Department in Washington. And greetings to you from my leadership and colleagues at the Department as well.
I'd also like to extend our thanks to France and to you for your efforts in -- and quick diplomacy within the French government to host the IGF this year, and do so in short order and give us the venue for which we're gathered here today to help organize.
I -- sadly, however, the timing does have some effect on our participation in the IGF -- not only because it will be the first time for me that I will miss one since Athens, so just on a personal note -- but it will affect the U.S. delegation's participation in the IGF. And we're looking at ways to mitigate that and make sure we have strong participation in both the plenipotentiary conference, of course, and in Paris for the IGF as well.
So we will continue to work that. Of course I'm speaking about the government, and there will be many other stakeholders that will participate in both the plenipotentiary and the IGF, I'm quite sure.
So we will look forward to working with you and your team as well as within the MAG and with the IGF secretariat on the plans for IGF in Paris, and how we might be able to do exactly what you say by leveraging the adjacency of the peace conference and the -- the Peace Forum and the IGF. Frankly, I have no idea of our planned participation in the Peace Forum, so I will endeavor to -- to ascertain that and see how we can also leverage the two.
But again, just wanted to thank you for -- for your hosting, your appearance here today, and continue dialogue on how we can continue our participation.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: Thank you, Liesyl, for these very kind words. Please convey my regards to your colleagues in D.C.
You know, in -- no date was perfect. December was most probably too late for everyone, and then waiting for the end of the plenipot, what would be the -- what would have been the interest, in fact, just for delegates to come back home, clean their shirts and come back? I don't know. But anyway. There was no way we could do it differently in Paris.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, ambassador. Next in the queue is Sala. Sala, you have the floor.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Good morning, Your Excellency. My name is Sala, a very long name but you can call me Sala. I come from Fiji and it's really a privilege for us to hear that France stepped up to actually take on the mantle to host, particularly in relation to -- I completely understand that governments prepare their budget cycle a year in advance and this in fact was not budgeted for, but the fact that you have actually gone out of your way and to actually negotiate and come up with this is just phenomenal.
So on behalf of my region, I thank you. The Internet Governance Forum means a lot to us.
And completely understand that even with the dates, you really don't have to -- personally, this is my own personal view and not as a MAG member -- you don't have to justify the decisions for the date. It's completely understandable given the last-minute preparations of it all.
And just the fact that for the first time in the history of the IGF, again, someone could correct me because there have been people who have been here for way longer than I've been, but I don't think it's reached the level where it has had presidential attention, if you know what I mean.
So I think the fact that France is hosting it and it's got that level of presidential attention is something to be kept alive, particularly by the community, particularly in the global context where a lot of the Internet governance public policy issues have surfaced to the fore where there are a lot of wars. I mean, whether it's the trade, discussions on e-commerce, or whether it's the plenipot that's happening in Dubai or whatever it is, or whether it's -- whatever it is. Or cybersecurity discussions in the NATO and what.
And so -- And the fact that it's being held simultaneous to the Paris -- to the peace summit, and the first one -- is it the first one; right? The first one is absolutely phenomenal and something to be leveraged on. And I absolutely love your idea about having some high level. And I think we should move away from what traditionally has been done in the past -- again, a humble suggestion -- where there have been just ministerial meetings. But if we had the presidential and cross country, like from select countries, to have some level of high-level discussion and maybe put in, say, like UNCTAD here, they have the Ambassador Jack Ma with Alibaba, or maybe Facebook, just to have a mix of high-level private sector and presidential to have discussions on maybe some issue that can have some relation to -- whether it's cybersecurity, peace, or something to do in that area, whatever the thematic area is, would be a draw card not only for the IGF, but it would ensure that in terms of budget cycles for countries, particularly those from the developing and emerging markets, the small island developing states, it would send a strong signal. It would send a strong signal, strong message that this is something that at the presidential or head of state level deserves attention. Because normally as far as a lot of countries' state craft goes, ICT is usually on the back burner for most developing countries.
So I thank you again. It's a real privilege. And somebody sent me an email to ask you this question, so I'm asking on their behalf.
I have a multiple entry visa so not a problem for me, but for those of my colleagues who do not have visas, visas, so we're wondering if there would be logistical arrangements to enable a smooth transit or smooth applications for them. So that's just a logistical question.
And other than that, Mr. Ambassador, welcome on board and glad to have you lead us.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: Thank you very much for your very kind words. So I take your point on visas. This is of course part of the very long list of topics that we will have to -- to -- to address. I -- I agree with basically everything you have said. Not "basically." Everything you have said. Not only on the budget topic. Thank you for what you have said because I tell you, it's not easy.
Right now, I guess I'm the number one -- I'm the public enemy number one of the French Ministry of Finance.
[ Laughter ]
80% of the people at the financial department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hate me. I guess I have a contract on my head. So I feel safe here.
[ Laughter ]
I welcome your warm things because maybe in a moment I be sent to -- I don't know where, by the way. So, yeah.
[ Laughter ]
So, yeah. But thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you., Sala. I agree, those are important comments.
Next in the queue we have Lianna Galstyan. Lianna, you have the floor.
>> LIANNA GALSTYAN: Thank you. Lianna Galstyan speaking. Actually my question was about the visas. Sala has asked that.
I wanted to raise that because it's really very important for all the participants to receive the invitations to have this opportunity. So since it's covered, I would like just to take the opportunity to say thanks for hosting this year's IGF because we have been waiting for this for so long, for many months, for the host to be identified. So thank you for that.
>>FREDERIC PARUTA: And also on the visa question, we are going to work on that, of course. But I just recall Chengetai's word yesterday, the area is a Schengen area. So getting to Switzerland or getting to France would be the same procedure.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Frederic.
Next, Raquel Gatto. Raquel, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much, Chair. My name is Raquel Gatto. I work with Internet Society. I represent the technical community. I also come from Brazil. And I should start with, good luck with Croatians. And see you in four years.
[ Laughter ]
I couldn't pick on soccer.
But, well, first of all, thank you very much for France to host the IGF. As Lianna was saying, we were really eager to have this host opportunity. I see it as a good opportunity to cross-pollenate as you were saying with the Peace Forum and other Paris events, also working with UNESCO who has been very involved in the multistakeholder discussions.
And going very objective to one of my questions, which is about the high-level panel and how you also envision, because usually when you have heads of states, you do have certain protocol. But the opportunity we have with the IGF is also getting the multistakeholder dialogue. It's the IGF DNA. So how would you envision this opportunity, as was mentioned Brazil, for example, NETmundial where President Rousseff was there and we had the queues with microphones. Anyway, it's just one of the examples. How would you consider that?
And then to Liesyl's point, I would also not underestimate the impact it might have with PP18, or plenipot clash. And then it depends on how it goes. It might stem a little bit on the last week with the political. And if there will be any specific outreach to those delegations to make sure that we don't get underrepresented into the stakeholder groups.
And, finally, just to support the visa issue, now as Internet Society, more of my hat, we do bring a lot of the fellows. And even though there is the treaty, usually if you have a specific letter or if you reach out to your diplomatic chain that has been done for Brazil, for example, and other places, it might easy the way for the people attending the IGF. Thank you.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: So three topics. So visas, of course, we'll send instructions to our consulates around the world. What will be exactly the instructions other than to help facilitate the delivery of the visas, that I can't tell you about the price I don't know. I won't be the decision maker on that.
Two, about the high-level segment, this is something we need to discuss obviously. If the decision is to retain the option of doing it around the opening ceremony, you're right, there is the protocol, but there is also the need to have something maybe more dynamic, maybe more thematic, by the way, to prevent long speeches about everything and which may not always be substantial.
We need to keep in mind the fact that there are other stakeholders that need to speak and need to be considered the same way as representatives of government.
By the way, I have the experience of having organized the Open Government Partnership Summit in Paris in December 2016. And what was striking -- so the OGP is a multistakeholder organization, for those who are not part of founding countries just like Brazil, just like the U.S., just like Britain and others.
So for the first time in my life, I saw a very official opening ceremony with the two co-chairs talking on the same podium. And one of them was the French president, and the other one was the chairman of an NGO. So that can happen. We can work around that.
So, again, we need to talk about it. I would love the idea of, you know, different panels in which panels we could have heads of states and governments, leaders from civil society, leaders from the industry -- why not -- talking about one topic, another topic, et cetera. So, again, we need to think about it. But I think it could be done with -- and, by the way, we need to make sure that it attracts interest from people who are absolutely not really aware of those topics and that we need to bring into the discussion. So this is just the beginning.
You had a third point.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Just a very operational point, too. If there is any outreach to mitigate the attendance with the clash of PP.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: Yeah, yeah, the answer is at the plenipot, we will need to solve all those problems in the first days of the conference.
[ Laughter ]
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Good luck with that.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: I think it's the only option.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: I certainly hope you're right.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: I have no doubt about it, by the way.
[ Laughter ]
And you had a very important first point, which is my last. The support from Brazil in terms of soccer --
[ Laughter ]
-- sorry, in terms of football because we're in Europe is extremely significant. And I really value it.
[ Laughter ]
>>RAQUEL GATTO: We can do a side event on soccer.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Rudolf Gridl, you have the floor.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: No, no, it was by accident. Sorry.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So returning a gift of time, Livia, Livia Walpen you have the floor.
>> LIVIA WALPEN: Thank you, Chair. Good morning, everyone. My name is Livia Walpen from the Swiss government. As you know, we hosted last year's IGF here at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. So I would really like to thank the French government for its commitment to host the IGF this year in Paris. I mean, from the Swiss perspective we can say it's not an easy task but it's worth doing it.
And on the high-level segment, we would actually support having it on the 12th so that the high-level representatives are actually really participating in the IGF and are not separate from the IGF.
And, of course, we would also really support an interactive format as Switzerland tried to do it last year. And I can also say that we have actually already pre-reserved both dates, so 11th and the 12th, just to be sure in our Minister Leuthard's agenda. And I would just like to call on all other government's representatives here to encourage their ministers as much as possible to come to the IGF, too. Thank you very much. And we are looking forward to cooperate and to the IGF 2018 in Paris. Thank you.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: So let me thank the Swiss confederation for having hosted the 2017 edition. Thank you for that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And, Livia, that was a good point. When we all look at our communities, if there's anything we can do, whether it's from the French government or from the secretariat or DESA that would actually support kind of early outreach efforts or reservation in individual's calendars, let us know. We can clearly send notes, memos, put things on the Web sites, whatever. If there are some things that would help you get the attention of high-level participants and reserve those dates from all the communities, all the stakeholders, do please let us know.
Timea. Timea Suto, you have the floor.
>> TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Chair. And good morning to everyone. And good morning to Ambassador Martinon. My name is Timea Suto. I speak as the private sector on the MAG. I come from the International Chamber of Commerce. It's a business organization representing companies big and small across all sectors in over 100 countries. And I just wanted to join the course of my colleagues here in the MAG to thank you personally and to thank the government of France for all your efforts and for bringing IGF to France.
We are a global organization but we are headquartered in Paris so there is a personal interest for us. And we're very happy to have the IGF at home.
We will be engaging a lot of international events at the same time, but we're trying our best to bring both us and our membership to Paris for the IGF and to make the IGF a truly multistakeholder event at all levels. Just wanted to offer our support working with you and your team and the MAG to bring participation to all levels of the event. Thank you so much.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: Thank you very much. And I really appreciate the support of the ICC.
I must say that for everybody, that for ICC members, it will be something like a 15-minute drive from their headquarters to the UNESCO. So that's -- that's quite an effort.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. And, Timea, for sure, if there's anything we can do. As you know, we have had the objective of increasing participation from private sector and certainly from government and senior policymakers. If there's anything we can do to reach out to ICC specifically members, not simply through BASIS, please let us know. I think you will find full support from the French government as well as the secretariat.
Mamadou, Mamadou Lo, you have the floor.
>>MAMADOU LO: Thank you. Mamadou Lo from Senegal, private sector. Thank you for helping us to bring IGF into France, in a French country. I have just one question. You know that France foreign policy has a big force in Africa. On this side, regarding Africa French community weakness on participation in the IGF, does France have a specific communication plan to bring more Africans from French countries to the IGF this year? Thanks for that.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: So -- (speaking French).
As regards the involvement of Africa, we've started talking with our sister or partner organization, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, whose headquarters by the way are -- it's an eight-minute drive to the UNESCO. So, again, you will be in very close vicinity to the IGF.
So we've talked to the OIF, and I understand from the very long list of submissions that the African community has been very dynamic in submitting proposals to the IGF. So I guess the first result is there.
And then, of course, I guess, French (indiscernible) around the event will address the question of the digital divide because, of course, this is a crucial question for us. I was at the OIF three weeks ago, and I had the occasion -- the opportunity to address those topics. So you know they are dear to us.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. That was an excellent question and really good to hear that the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie will be involved. They have been involved in many digital matters for decades frankly.
Veni, Veni Markovski, you have the floor.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: Thank you. I'm a MAG member. And coming from a Francophonie country like Bulgaria, I speak no French whatsoever.
[ Laughter ]
Having said that, just cheer a little bit, people. I was wondering if -- we discussed in the MAG in the last years and in the last few months and in discussions with DESA that I have had -- I'm based in New York. I'm the ICANN's vice president for U.N.engagement.
One of the things that I would kindly ask you to think of bringing to the IGF is actually new people outside of the usual IGF community which are great people. They know everything about the IGF, but we are in need of more people and especially businesses that may come to the IGF this year because of a high-level participation and governments but also because it's in France and you are taking some new initiatives and digital and stuff like that.
So I don't need to persuade you. I mean, you know better than anybody here what you guys are doing.
But it will be extremely useful for the future IGFs and this one as well, for the success of this current one and for the success of the next one, if people from new companies come from high-tech French companies, come and understand what's the value of having a U.N. summit or U.N -- not summit, U.N. meeting under the U.N. umbrella to discuss all the things related to the Internet and for us to be able to explain to them. So I'm more than happy to talk to anybody who will be there, although I may be at the plenipot.
I'm sure there are enough people who will be able to talk to these businessmen and women and explain to them what's the importance of them being at the IGF, not just because it's in France and because there is a high-level participation but also because of -- and you mentioned the GG that you are a member of, there are a number of events taking place at the United Nations, at other institutions, intergovernmental institutions. But the IGF is the only one where actually under the U.N. umbrella you have a multistakeholder forum where we can discuss issues that may become items in the agenda of the U.N. General Assembly. And this year in particular, there will be a couple of documents that are going to be discussed in terms of cybersecurity, cybercrime. Every year there is something new coming.
So if they -- if these businesses understand the value of being part of this conversation, that will make the IGF even more relevant. And for the future we can take it from Switzerland -- thanking the Swiss government for the last year -- and then to French and then to Germany and beyond to the other continents that are coming for the next few years until there will be another negotiation at the U.N. WSIS +20. And there will be another -- we need more reasons why the IGF should continue. So I really urge you to reach out to French businesses that are not actively participating in the current discussions around the Internet but they could come because they're in Paris. Thank you.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: Thank you. I would say three things. The first is I would like to confess the fact that one of the arguments I used to convince the President that France should host this edition of the IGF was to put again -- reassess, not reassess, say again -- put again the emphasis on the attachment of the French republic to the U.N. system. Notably when it comes to Internet governance.
And, again, the IGF is placed under the authority of the Secretary-General. This is very significant for us. And that was part of -- that was one of the reasons that we wanted to put forward.
Second, on your question about how could we involve the digital ecosystem, the industry, there will be another event at the same time which is called -- which will be called the Tech Gov Summit, which will be sort of gathering of civic tech companies at the city hall of Paris. So, again, that's another opportunity to cross-pollenize the audiences and to attract people from the industry and from the startup ecosystem to the IGF and maybe people from the IGF to this Tech Gov Summit which I hope will be full of very positive surprises and very positive experiences.
Three, how can we assure that we do have -- create these bridges with the industry? That's a question for us, French government. Of course, it's a question for the MAG. And this is the kind of question we will need to address together.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's very, very well said, and I have just recently been put in contact with the organizers for the Gov Tech Summit. The last time I looked was approximately a week or so ago, and the website wasn't updated for this event in France, but you can see some of their past activities and events. And I think there are some fairly natural linkages there as well, so we'll need to build on that.
Christine, you have the floor. And again, we're relying on MAG members here at this part of the session, so if you're not a MAG member, you should refrain from taking the floor.
Christina, you have the floor.
>>CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you, Chair. Good morning, everyone. My name is Christine Arida and I speak for the Egyptian government who was the former host of the IGF in 2009.
So I would like to congratulate France and thank the French government for hosting the IGF this year, given all the timing and other challenges we are all well aware of.
But I also would like particularly to welcome Mr. Ambassador, your views and endeavors to bring the heads of state into the IGF rather than just building bridges but also to bring them into the community. And I believe this is very positive. I think it's also very much well needed at this stage of the IGF.
So I do join Switzerland in supporting having the high-level session or slot or whatever on the 12th, if possible.
And also, being a proponent of national and regional IGFs, I think that -- I think that there is an opportunity here. If we can really build those bridges and do those linkages, I think there's an opportunity for NRIs, for national and regional IGFs to really strive and make use of that opportunity that France is offering this year. So I thank you for that.
Just one last thing is I believe that -- I understand that the decision will take time, maybe, but I think the earlier the decision is taken, I mean, the more time we will have to reach out to senior government officials and, you know, do whatever is necessary to secure that this happens, whether within our countries or within our regions as well.
Thank you very much.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: Thank you. So I was -- last Thursday I -- I spoke before the Paris IGF -- the French IGF, sorry, who is holding its events now, these days. It's not over yet. As you know, the French charter of the IGF has been officially recognized. And so of course the idea is to work on the basis of what the French IGF has been building, has been working on.
We have a very close relationship with them, and they will be fully included in the process of preparing the global IGF. So I can only invite every local and regional IGF to be part of it. If that is necessary. I mean if this invitation is necessary.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you.
Mary? Mary Uduma, you have the floor.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you, Chair. My name is Mary Uduma, for the record.
I just want to join my -- my voice in thanking the French government, and particularly the ambassador for coming to our rescue when it seems as if we're at the crossroad of not holding the IGF in 2018. Also, we even proposed that we do an online thing. That would have disenfranchised those of us that have infrastructure challenges in joining meetings online.
So I'm from Nigeria. I'm from Nigeria, and I want to thank you, want to say that we're grateful to you. It is an opportunity for us also to reach out to our government to say that they, too, should participate.
My government -- The government of Nigeria have been strong in supporting the local IGF. That's the national IGF. And we hope that -- We had already started drafting letters to the minister, to even get to the head of state. And the earlier your decisions are made and the letters of invitation sent out to the heads of state, that would be good for us. And I'm happy that you have already answered questions on the -- on visas, because we have a lot of young people that want to come to the IGF to bring the new voices. So you should also be looking at that to ensure that we have the young people at the -- at the event and that will increase participation. And inclusive participation of the women as well as those -- the physically challenged people or disabled people. When we were in Brazil, I think it was Brazil, we had sign language. So someone was interpreting to do that. We're not able to, so it was an innovation we saw in Brazil. Though I raise it last year, but we're constrained with funds, so we couldn't do that. If you can get to the point of making sure that there's inclusive participation that, would be fine.
Thank you again. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary.
Kenta Mochizuki, you have the floor.
>>KENTA MOCHIZUKI: Thank you, Chair.
Good morning. My name is Kenta Mochizuki from Yahoo Japan Corporation. Actually, I'm in-house counsel for Yahoo Japan Corporation and also representing Japanese stakeholders.
I also would like to thank the French government for hosting this year's IGF under challenging, very, very challenging situation. I do appreciate it.
I really look forward to the cross-collaboration between IGF and also the Paris Peace Forum. I also support the idea of high-level segment in a multistakeholder format on day first of the IGF. Just in case, I'd like to know the detailed agenda of the Paris Peace Forum so that we can discuss in detail how we can collaborate each other. I would appreciate if you could share when the confirmed detailed agenda of the PPF will be published, or if already published, please let me know how I can get it.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: I don't have the program right now. It's still in the process of -- it's in the making, but I'll make sure we can share it. And by the way, it will be posted on the website, I guess, even before I would have the opportunity to tell it to you. So this is the Internet speed.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Kenta.
Next we have Utoyo Donny. You have the floor.
>>UTOYO DONNY: Good morning. My name is Donny, actually from civil society organization, but now I'm being here representing the government of Indonesia.
First we want to deliver our highest appreciation and (indiscernible) to French government that during the critical time stepping forward to offer as the IGF 2018 host. Based on our experience as a host country for IGF back to 2013, actually there were no challenge could not be resolved with multistakeholder collaborations becomes the foundations. We also believe that the IGF 2018 in France will be successfully facilitated for full discussion, and (indiscernible) Internet governance which we will also suggest that having the high-level panel during the opening session would bring a good impact, not only in term of having the full discussion but also to attract governments from some countries to attend the meeting itself.
We also (indiscernible) and personal (indiscernible) from our (indiscernible), Mr. Pangerapan, that he already set his schedule to attend IGF 2018 to lead the multistakeholder delegation of Indonesia.
Thank you very much, Mr. Ambassador.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: Thank you very much. I must say that I have great memories from the IGF in Bali. I notably remember that I kept on telling my colleagues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and my wife that I was going to the IGF in Indonesia.
[ Laughter ]
That was absolutely necessary. And then they discovered that it was in Bali, and my reputation suffered from it.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: It was, indeed, a great, great IGF.
Wisdom Donkor, you have the floor.
>>WISDOM DONKOR: Thank you, Madam Chair. My name is Wisdom Donkor from Ghana. I work with government.
I have two things on my mind. When it comes to Africa, we have some challenges when it comes to Internet. When you take our rural communities, for example, majority of them are not connected to the Internet. Majority of them don't have access to Internet. And this also make it difficult for them to access some of the government services that has been put online. And so those living in the urban areas, they mostly have access to this Internet.
Now, this is what I'm looking at if the French government cannot help in pushing so that our government can actually take this Internet governance issue -- issues seriously. Number one is the educational sector. So we have education spread across every country within Africa, those that are fortunate to have Internet, some of the universities in our countries. And even this Internet assets that they have are not even that strong to our (indiscernible), everyone.
So I'm looking at if we can push for the inclusion of Internet governance and educational curriculum within the African countries. So if the French government can pick up this and push for this so that our government can begin to think along this line and including Internet governance in the educational curriculum for developing countries. I think this would go a long way to solve the issues of bridging the gap of this Internet governance and access issues within developing country. It will also help address these gender issues that we talk about. It will also help address the cybersecurity issues that we talk about and et cetera, et cetera.
The second one is access and connectivity. It looks like the governments in Africa are relaxed when it comes to these issues, though there are one or two countries that are taking up this challenge in addressing the connectivity and access issues. So if your outfit or the government of France can take up this, and then push our government to see to some of these needs for the African countries.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: Well, thank you. So you can count on the French government to support these views during the discussion that we will have the following hours. We are absolutely convinced that discussions around connectivity and new ways of bringing connectivity everywhere are absolutely crucial. I've seen in the long list of submissions that there is notably one around the development of the new space industry, which is really changing the game, change the conditions of the promotion of connectivity. We think that is of true interest and it's absolutely crucial. So you can rely on us to be on your side in the discussion.
Two, about education. Well, the IGF will be hosted at UNESCO. So it may be a hazard, but that's an opportunity that we all need to seize to bring on. And I can tell you the people at UNESCO are very interested, they're very happy to host the IGF, and they're really eager to promote those topics in the Internet governance discussions.
By the way, I don't know if you said that, but our main contact at UNESCO is Moez Chakchouk who is a former member of the MAG. He's a great guy, and who is actually a former -- he used to be a cyber (indiscernible) in Tunisia. So he's absolutely on the same page as us, and it's a good thing.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I agree. He was actually with the Tunisian Internet agency, and in fact I had the opportunity to spend some time with him at the Hague Summit on Accountability recently at the Hague. So they are very supportive and very interested in participating, participating deeply here.
I'd like to close the queue with the names that are up there, turn back here for some final remarks, and then we'll move on to the rest of the agenda. The ambassador is with us all day today, so we can come back if there are subsequent other questions or comments. And of course we have Frederic with us tomorrow as well.
Next we have Michael I.
Michael, you have the floor.
>>MICHAEL ILISHEBO: My name is Michael Ilishebo from Zambia, government stakeholder group. I work for Zambia Police Service.
And the first thing is I would like to congratulate the ambassador for having taken a light speech but just a light conversation from Lynn when she just mention that there was no host for the IGF. To me, a right person at the right time with the right conversation strikes the balance of result because I don't think there was a formal request from the IGF to the French government to host this year's IGF. However, through the good will of our ambassador, he (indiscernible) and here we're talking about France hosting the IGF in November.
Mine is just a comment, not a concern nor a question. We've had three countries so far. Last year the IGF was held in Europe. Next year it will be -- This last year it was held in Europe. This year it will be held in Europe. Next year it will be held in Europe. And probably 2020 might be held in Europe. And at most, these meetings are held in the fourth quarter of the year. Basically for us who come from regions that don't experience extreme weather, it's so punishing for us to come and almost freeze in these countries during the time of the year. And I would think that probably Germany might think of hosting the IGF next year probably in September or earlier. No, no. It's just a suggestion. Just to talk. I'm just trying to get consent because like I saw last year there were some delegates who didn't anticipate the weather pattern. You would drop from off the bus, you would see how they are wearing, and you would feel pity for them that they can't move. It's almost a kilometer from the Palais des Nations to the main gate. I felt pity for my fellow Africans. Of course for the Europeans, it's normal for them.
So basically just a comment. I'm not suggesting that things might change or things would change.
So basically, we'll be in Europe for the next three or four years, if possible even five years. So I would like to thank Lynn and the IGF secretariat for finding -- for fighting this battle of bringing the IGF in France because as a MAG member, we suffered and we had to dodge a lot of questions on where the IGF will be held. People are asking you ten questions in a day. You can't give them all the answer. Of course we told them it might be held in Switzerland. Of course we told them next year -- for the next three years things looks like it's all the same, but for 2018, let's keep our hopes high it will not be held online. It will be held -- it will be physical meeting, face-to-face meeting.
So basically I want to thank the ambassador for having taken this initiative and convincing His Excellency, president of France, for hosting this meeting. Despite it's not going to be a traditional IGF meeting where and four days, Day 0 and other event, this time around we are looking at only having three days. We can't blame them because factors that were to play were not, like, equal. Germany who hosted in the normal sense, they have two years or more to prepare. France had only a few months. Preparations, as we have said, have already begun. So we don't expect France to give us an give that we've had the past or future IGF because we just came into where we had no country to host us. So basically I would like to thank the IGF secretariat, Chengetai and the group, Lynn as part of the MAG chair and the French ambassador for having taken the initiative and (indiscernible) us from the embarrassment of failing to tell the community of where the IGF will be held.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: Can you hear me? Yeah. First, I don't -- it shouldn't come as a surprise for anyone in this room that Lynn can actually convince anyone.
[ Laughter ]
So she wouldn't take no for an answer. She wouldn't take silence for an answer. So she deserves the credit.
[ Applause ]
Two, about Paris in November, I'll admit, not my favorite time of the year. But there are other conditions in the general context that you have to keep in mind. What if we had organized it earlier in the year, like next week? Good weather, summer, hot, fine. But imagine if the French team loses the FIFA World Cup or, worse, if the French team wins the FIFA World Cup, I tell you the Parisians will be unbearable. So in November, they will have sort of not yet swallowed it completely, I guess they will be more bearable than anyone, including me, by the way.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, David.
Michael, those are very, very valid comments. I know we said this often, but it's probably worthwhile saying it again, under no circumstance would we have strived to have three IGFs in a row on the same continent. That is totally against our principles and our values. It really is about inclusion and sharing and diversity, so moving it around to different regions. As in the first ten years where many of them, if not all of them were, in fact, in developing countries, that's always been a key goal as well, to facilitate participation.
I think we all understand why we're here. But we've also made a very strong commitment to do everything we can to rebalance over the remaining years. And we need to look at the diversity over the course of the years.
We should also say that it's within the process of hosting a U.N. event, it's not like a normal conference. You don't just find some sponsors and a venue. It actually needs to be supported by a government.
And typically as I understand it, the U.N. doesn't go out and source governments to do that. You actually look for offers to come in and to support.
In that context, sometimes we have a relatively limited choice. That is still the choice -- the situation going forward for the next seven years. I can't say that we're swamped with offers. We have some interesting offers and very promising offers. But if the community wants the IGF held in other regions and in other countries, then you need to help us reach out and get the attention of the appropriate governments to make the offer. And we will do everything we can to work with them to ensure they understand what that actually -- what that actually involves.
But those are some pretty -- pretty straightforward kind of restrictions, if you will, in terms of how the IGF is actually sourced going forward. And I did -- I'm not a U.N. employee, so I did have to go out on a little bit of a limb in terms of trying to encourage things to happen here. And I'm very glad it worked.
So, again, I just -- we all want greater diversity in our IGFs, then we all need to actually help identify good potential host countries for the future.
And, Michael, to your last point, I actually lived in Geneva for, like, 23 years. And it was cold, but it wasn't nearly as cold as it could have been. There was no bees, which is a very well-known wind here.
But so do appreciate, again, the need to get greater diversity in the locations for future meetings.
Zeina, Zeina Bou Harb, you have the floor.
>>ZEINA BOU HARB: Good morning. I'm Zeina Bou Harb, representing the Lebanese government in the MAG. My intervention is maybe related to the issue raised by my colleague, and I would like to ask -- first, thank the French government for hosting the IGF in this short delay. But my question is related to the channel used by the French government to invite the heads of state to the Paris Peace Forum and whether -- maybe we can grab this opportunity to invite the heads of states that are not engaged in the IGF. For example, in the Arab region, there are a lot of countries that are not engaged in the IGF, like the GCC, like UAE, like the Saudi. And those might -- might support the whole process if we can get them to attend or to be invited and maybe in the right way or to get them interested in the IGF process. Maybe we can seize the opportunity of having the Paris Peace Forum, an invitation sent to them in order to bring them to attend also our effort on the IGF. Thank you.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: So thank you for raising that point.
So, first of all, the Paris Peace Forum isn't that much about government. It's not that much about heads of state and government. It's a multistakeholder forum. So the invitations to heads of state and government will not be directed to the Paris Peace Forum but to the celebrations of November 11th, meaning as you pointed out, they will be addressed to heads of states and government in countries which were involved in World War I.
But your point is crucial. I think the French government needs also to invite countries that are from every region of the world and that are -- that have a stake in Internet governance discussions. So I take your point, and that looks very logical to me. And that's my position.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. What I would like to do is to conclude this session, we have been joined here by Wai-Min Kwok, who is a representative of UN DESA. And as you all know, UN DESA is the actually administrative host for the IGF activities and the secretariat. I'd like to give Wai-Min a chance to make a few comments. And then, Ambassador Martinon, we can come back and see if you have any concluding remarks. Wai-Min.
>>WAI-MIN KWOK: Thank you. Thank you, Chair. I'm Wai-Min Kwok. I'm here on behalf of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Ambassador, in particular, I would like to extend a deep appreciation on behalf of the Under-Secretary-General on Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Liu Zhenmin, to the government of France for hosting the Internet Governance Forum. As many colleagues here mentioned, it came at a very critical time. And I think right now we all have the peace of mind that it is going to happen.
In particular as well what we just heard Zeina and also others mentioned in this room, that the IGF is a very dynamic community and there has been increased participation, increased outputs, including concrete outcomes that we see through NRIs.
There is this challenge we know and is highlighted that we have to have increased participation of senior government officials, of senior leaders of the private sector. So the fact that it's going to be hosted with a high-level event, the Peace Forum, it's a very critical opportunity. And I share on behalf of DESA, I would like to say if there is any role that you think the senior management of UN DESA, of the Secretary-General, that we can do in terms of bringing increased participation, increased visibility to the Internet Governance Forum, we would be most happy to see how we can work together. Thank you, Ambassador. Thank you.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: Thank you very much. Thank you very much to UN DESA.
Just as concluding remarks for this part of our work, I just want to thank all of you for your kind words and your support. It's very reassuring for the French government to register the support of the MAG in this endeavor. And I should conclude there because we have so much work to do today, so let's go to work. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Excellent. Thank you.
[ Applause ]
And with deep appreciation, of course, for the upcoming IGF event but also deep appreciation for the support we're going to get as we all push on through an awful lot of work over the next day and a half here.
What I would propose with respect to the agenda is we talked a little bit about the thematic proposals, in other words, the primary workshop selection process. That would allow us, if we need to, some time over the lunch period to perhaps continue some of the work in less formal groups.
When we come back after lunch at 3:00, perhaps we could take a little bit of time and look at some of the main titles. I'd like to take advantage of the ambassador being with us here today because, of course, the host country has a particular interest in getting a title that meets their interest.
In your package of materials, you've actually seen a list of all the titles for the past 12 just to give you an example. And I think the French government has been thinking about some possibilities as well. We should leave here tomorrow with that agreed so we can formalize that in all of our communications.
And then we could later today I think -- we can either continue that session and talk a little bit about main sessions and thematic sessions, if that's of particular interest or if there are any particular thoughts from the French government, because that is something also we need to complete by tomorrow; or we could come back and look at the thematic workshop. I think we'll just wait and call that after we see how the rest of the morning session goes. Is that sort of a reasonable way to proceed?
So yesterday we closed the meeting -- and I appreciate everybody staying late as well. There were a small group of very committed people, dedicated, who stayed even later to kick around some additional ideas.
If we remember, the situation or scenarios we had in front of us were at a very high level the following. We have 344 proposals that came in, sorted into eight themes. Those themes had been determined by a call for issues done some months ago. That supported the call for workshop submissions along those eight themes. And we established through the work the secretariat did and other community members did that there was high alignment between the themes in the call for issues and the actual workshop proposals that came in.
And then the MAG went through a grading process, and we also recognize that we have the room for basically 60 workshops. That leaves room so there are some assumptions there with respect to open forums, main sessions, and some of the other community intersessional sessions that we've talked about.
The secretariat had done an analysis which looked at the top 40 proposals, not respective to theme, just the top 40 proposals from the MAG grading exercise. The notion being that we would leave the 20 to get to the 60 for which we have room to use any -- to use to pull on any critical topics -- I also like to say we're still sort of five or six months away from the IGF so we need to take that into account as well -- of course, to look at any imbalances or overrepresentations. Do we have too many cybersecurity workshops and not enough, you know, access or something?
There was a proposal that had come in from Raquel which said we could perhaps get to a list of top 40 by taking the top five graded by each theme since we're trying to have a thematic focus and a more focused approach. And we sort of did a really quick analysis and said, there's probably not actually a lot of difference. You'd have a few which moved up and a few which moved down, and that's probably accommodated in the move from 40 to 60.
But Raquel with support from a couple of other members has actually a proposal that pulls that together. The other thing we said is we have two categories, two themes that had relatively few workshop submissions: Media and local content. I forgot. Media and content was less than 5% of the total submissions.
So I think the question in front of us, is that really enough to constitute a theme? There was another one which had a relatively small number as well.
And if there are substantive issues that are captured within those two themes, we can probably accommodate them under one of the themes. Again, this goes to the MAG's stated intention based on community -- repeated community requests to get a more cohesive program with less sessions in parallel, et cetera.
So Raquel has actually looked at the top five for seven themes, setting aside the media and content as a theme but not the workshops. We should still look at the workshops and see whether or not we want to pull any of those in. What she's actually suggesting is we start from that as a basis and then we could use -- that actually gives us 35 workshops. In fact, we have a balancing of 25 we can do. And she's also taken some of the other comments from our discussions yesterday about mergers and some of the other diversities we want to ensure are in place and suggested a process for walking through.
So my proposal to the room is -- and, again, I want to say that I think in her analysis, she said two workshops rolled in and two rolled in from the 40 that we had in front of us with the MAG. So last night we kind of came to the conclusion and said, really, it's two different paths to the same end because we had this 20 or 25 workshops that we can balance to get from 40 to 60.
So if people are okay with that, that's what I would propose we walk through.
I'll come back to you in a moment, Sala.
If not and there's an objection to that, then I would like kind of a concrete statement on what the objection is and a concrete proposal because we shouldn't lose too much time on process discussion and we should move as quickly as we can to the thematic content, precisely because as I said I think it's two roads to the same path and frankly the same subset of small workshops.
With that, I see I have Sala -- no, sorry, first I have Ben Wallis in the queue. Ben, you have the floor.
>> BEN WALLIS: Thank you, Lynn. This is my first year as a MAG member, so I don't really have a sense of how this is going to work out over the next 36 hours. I'm curious.
You used the number 60, and it sounded like it was a fixed number rather than a loose number. But we were provided three scenarios by the secretariat. In fact, my preferred scenario is scenario 2 where there would be room for 66 workshops and 24 open forums. So just before we started working out how many workshops we have, I just wondered whether we decided the number was 60 and we were going with scenario 1, I guess.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So I will take a first shot at it and get the secretariat a moment to respond.
The open forums are actually to accommodate governments and intergovernmental organizations or international organizations. There is a set of criteria that they are expected to submit the questions against. We are a forum that's convened under the United Nations' rules. And there are expectations in a lot of these forums that they have certain access in terms of a piece of the agenda, if I can say that.
The secretariat had received -- I'll turn to Chengetai here -- 40 proposals and brought that number down to --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: 30.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: -- 30 on the basis of meeting the appropriate criteria.
If we were to move to a lower number of 24, then we need to take some of those open forums out because there is a hard number of slots.
Even with the roughly 100 slots we're looking at in total, that's still ten parallel tracks. So one level we haven't met, one of the community criteria, which is less parallel tracks, what we are trying to do is make sure we don't actually have parallel substantive themes, you know, two significant cybersecurity workshops running parallel.
But it's still quite a broad set of workshops over the course of the day.
I will let the secretariat respond to anything else with respect to kind of the open forums and that process. But know that we are working with a relatively limited top number, and from there we need to allow room for other.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: One other thing I think Lynn did mention but I'd just like to underline, the open forums are also a way to have higher government representation within the meeting. And that is something that we have been pushing for.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So elliptically you are answering Ben's question. I just want to make sure we're clear. It feels like we are very firm on 60 if we pass the --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. We'll try to keep it at 60. I mean, we don't know because -- let's work with 60. And then if there's space, we can always add some more. But let's just use 60 as the working figure.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Typically we have left a little bit of discretion for the secretariat because there are occasionally requests from the host country that are important to support as well. Again, as I said, we're still six months away from the initiative. If there's a significant event or topic or issue that comes up, we have in the past tried to accommodate that minimally.
Sala, you have the floor.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you, Chair. You asked for a concrete proposal. We've submitted a draft proposal on the MAG mailing list with a draft methodology and a call for comments. No, it was a call for comments on the MAG mailing list. Raquel did send an email in relation to themes.
Just very briefly -- this was dated yesterday. It was sent yesterday afternoon. Essentially one of the things we didn't disagree with Raquel. In fact, in relation to themes and subthemes, that's one of the areas we looked at for criteria for rebalancing and the second criteria being geographical diversity, gender representation, content for MAG dialogue, and meritocracy.
Having said that, a bunch of us came early today. It wasn't planned. We were just early. So we started to sort of assist the process. When I say "a bunch of us," this is Helani -- Helani, raise your hand -- Ilishebo Michael, mary Uduma, Zeina Bou Harb, Renata, Wisdom, June Parris from the Caribbean, Natasa from Europe and Jutta from Europe and myself. And Lianna. Oh, my God. Sorry, Lianna. Yes, my apologies.
What we did, a bunch of us looked at the themes that got dropped out from the top 60 selection and the subthemes that got dropped out. The list is compiled and it was looked back by the representatives from the African, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East.
We also looked at geographical diversity that got dropped out from the top 60 workshop proposals. That was again looked from lenses from right across the region. And what we also did was we pivoted the top 60 and we compared it to the NRI and we made a list. So we'd like to be given time, maybe like 20 minutes, and work with maybe Raquel and Rasha. We've been copying Rasha in on all of our work since she is the working group chair for the evaluation of workshop -- of workshops so she would know what we're doing. And we'd be happy once we just polish something, send it to the entire MAG as a baseline for further discussion or however you want to direct. But that's just from us, Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So it's a little bit difficult to know what's the right way or best way to proceed here. There is a concrete proposal and writing from one subset. There was this meeting that took place this morning. And what I think is my guiding principles, we can't lose an hour to a process discussion. And no discussion in here is ever 20 minutes, particularly one of process that involves lots of different charts and lots of different metrics and lots of different spins on the same data.
I guess I would say do -- I don't think the processes are different in intent. They're all trying to adjust in that last 20, 25 to ensure thematic and subthematic and gender and region and stakeholder diversity. So from my perspective, all we need is one solid starting point on 35 or 40. Evaluate those, and then move to the 20 and 25. And I have no vested interest in which starting point it is, but I think to start to have a lot of discussions at a base process line, I'm just sure we're going to lose a lot of time.
But let me see -- I see other people that are in the queue getting anxious to come in as well. So let me go back to the queue, and then, Sala, we can come back to you at the end.
Liesyl, you have the floor.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Thank you, Chair. I don't know if this will help make it easier or not, but, first of all, thank you very much to Raquel and the crew this morning for taking such a hard look and trying to come up with a solution that helps us with process. But I think I'd really like to put a plug in for the integrity of the process we have already taken in evaluating the workshops and the time we took.
So to me, if it is, indeed, a matter of rolling in two or rolling out two workshops, then I daresay why don't we stick with the original block that were the top whatever. I don't mind if it's 35. I don't mind if it's 40. What I'm concerned about is relitigating that part of it that we've already evaluating and have a result from.
So perhaps whether it's three 35s (indiscernible) I don't care, 35 or 40, then on top of that we can take into account Raquel's proposal for managing the -- the balance by theme and gender and topic so that we're working from that base rather than starting over.
I really -- I feel quite strongly about that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Liesyl. I'm just going to tin going through the queue to get the perspective of other members here as well.
Next is Helani. Helani, you have the floor.
>>HELANI GALPAYA: Thank you, Chair. Very short one. Strongly I was going to say, but now I will just second what Liesyl said; that I think we have to give a chance to meritocracy. Everyone put in a lot of time. It's really not fair. I would even just say leave the top 40 by itself.
The additional point is that when we look at -- when we look at the last 20 and we try and be inclusive, we also do keep in mind that they say we're going to have a case, you know, the remaining three regions or something like that.
>> There is someone in the Webex room.
[ Speaking simultaneously ]
>>HELANI GALPAYA: Thank you. Thank you very much. Just on the other 20, I think this is great that people want to be, therefore, inclusive and think about regional, gender topics missing, and I think we should go through that process; however, we should base it again on the substance, because if we really want, you know, I don't know, a topic X and that's a really, really bad proposal, I think we should just feel free to say no. We shouldn't really scrape the bottom of the barrel in the name of inclusivity.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Helani.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Yeah, actually, I have nothing to add to that. That's exactly what I was going to say. Especially also on a very personal basis, I took a lot of my personal working time to go through all these workshops and do all the evaluations, and I think many of us did the same. And we have a result, and we should, to the largest extent possible, stick to that meritocratic result.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rudolf.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: I'm sorry; I'm not on the list. Sorry? Okay. Sorry.
I fully understand what most of you are saying about the meritocracy and how we took personal time on grading, and I did the same, but I think we, in the first meeting, we kind of agreed of having those baskets or those thematic tracks in order not to have so much of the same things that usually was happening in the IGF.
So I'm not so sure about that. I believe, yes, we should pay a lot of attention to the better qualified workshops, but we should take into consideration that we want to bring back relevance to the IGF and relevance -- we won't be bringing back relevance if we're just going to speak about, I don't know, four of the eight tracks we decided to speak about.
Relevance is not just for one group or another. It's for the four stakeholders, or five. I don't know how much you identify. But I think we should pay more attention in that.
We agreed having the tracks. We agreed reducing the amount of workshops. And that would bring more elements and also would make more affordable IGFs for the future. So we won't be -- there will be an opportunity for lower-income countries, for developing countries to host new IGF.
So I think it's important, it's really important. It's not just about the amount of workshops. It's about a couple more things.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. So I'm going to close the queue now, though we still have another seven or eight speakers in front of us I guess, and try to close on this quickly because we're now proving the point we cannot get through any discussion in less than a long time.
I do want to make a little point, though, is we're talking about a very minor difference, you know? It's either meritocracy based on the top 40 grades looking at all of them or it's meritocracy looking at the top 40 grades looking at themes and we think there's a difference of three or four workshops. It's not 20 go out and a new 20 come in.
So to Liesyl's point earlier, which was seconded several times which means it's quadrupled or whatever is the right time, we could just as easily start with the work of the secretariat which is the top 40 on the absolute and then look at those that would roll in or roll out on the base of the thematic. But what I want people to understand is that this is a relatively minor point we're talking. It's not 20 workshops difference.
So let me go through quickly, look for short, concrete suggestions on what we do for approach here, and we'll close the list and then call the question after.
And Sala, I don't see you on the list but I will give you a moment to call back given your first introduction.
So the next is Raquel.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you, Madam Chair. And you brought the point that I was going to make. Like, it's just a few workshops.
So I went -- by the way, I just sent an email, for the people who had some comments, and it's just a suggestion that perhaps can move this better forward, that integrates the thematic and ranking approach, both meritocracy and the thematic balance. And I played with a lot of scenarios. I'm a lawyer, by the way. I don't know that much about Excel, so if anyone wants to just review that, it's fine. It's open.
But what I did was the best scenario that I found was taking -- taking out the meat in content one for the reasons Lynn had mentioned. It was the lowest from the community input. It was graded below four, and so on. So it would never make it in any of the scenarios up to the point -- to the list. So working with seven themes, taking top five from seven themes gives you 35. 35 proposals. Then rebalancing the 25 by ranking the rest of the 25 slots give you the 60 magical number. It's by ranking, whatever -- regardless the team that you use. So that's the composition of the first -- the first list.
Then I compared to the top 60 ranking only regardless of the theme, all of them. And there are only two proposals that got out and two proposals that get in in this scenario; right? The two that got in, it's under the human rights approach. So it's really -- I mean, we're not talking about much here. I think we can quickly move to the process. I can show or send to the list, whatever works, this Excel sheet so you can see what is in there.
So then if we can start, we use this as a starting point, I think it's easy. It's the smallest difference that we can have and bring both. It's really comparing those.
And then for the overall approach, what I -- I captured from yesterday, et cetera. So it's a three-steps approach. Again, three magical number you always have. The first one was agreeing on the thematic and ranking list. Then working with a cohesive analysis. That would bring five steps. I put mergers as a first step, if we agree with mergers or not, because the reasoning is if we agree with the merge, based on this first list, we might have more slots. So we might end up with 50, 55, and then we can bring even more from the other that will come. Then it's the 15 balance, it's the variance balance, because this was also a comment I pick up. Like when the evaluators, like one give two and the other five to the same proposal, perhaps there is something there that we need to look.
The potential proposals, those that had something but were not there yet that we might want to bring, and the diversity criteria. I put diversity just in the end to explain the reasoning because perhaps once we have the final list and the potential slots that we are going to fill in, then we can have a better review of the diversity balance of this program.
And then the third and final step is the agenda shaping by itself, and it's allocating those themes and tracks all together. But I think we are far from here so I am not going to mention more -- further.
>>XIAOFENG TAO: Many proposals from developed countries. This is good. However, we should encourage more people from developing countries to submit proposals as well. Based on the proposals this year, we can see the proposals from developing country, a lot have higher scores. This is partially because they are not good at English writing. IGF is about the global governance. It should cover every inch in the world.
By the way, from (indiscernible) perspective, this target could be achieved mainly in developing country. Therefore, I expect MAG members to accept more proposals from developing countries in order to encourage more people and country to get involved IGF activities.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Xiao, I think that's a principle we all hold here, and I think that's the purpose of cutting a line at 35 or 40 to go to 60, is precisely to do that. And that allows us to be fairly discriminate in terms of those proposals we pull in, and even those that we think, as submitted, aren't strong enough, it gives the opportunity for MAG members to actually go back and work with the proposers to ensure they're all fully developed.
So totally agree, and I think that's the purpose of looking at these other various diversity criteria.
So thank you.
Next we have Rasha.
>>RASHA ABDULLAH: Thank you, Lynn. Good morning, everybody.
This has been quite confusing and frustrating for me since yesterday. And once again, I have to say I really wish this process had gone through the working group. There's a working group on workshop evaluations. We've been working on this for the better part of two years. This has always been a team effort. We could have had this conversation a week or two earlier if this had gone through the working group.
I just think the way this happened just undermines the whole process, honestly, and it undermines the idea of team work. I understand that Raquel had problem joining the working group, but I'm sure Luis could have taken care of that, or if you had just emailed me your proposal, I could have cc'd you and forwarded to the working group.
But anyway, having said that, I'm strongly opposed to taking the top whatever number of workshops across themes for several reasons. First of all, I think the suggestion was on the table at the earlier point and we rejected it, if I remember correctly maybe at our last face-to-face meeting or maybe the first virtual meeting after that, but that idea came up before and we rejected it for the following reasons. First of all, the proposed workshops are not evenly distributed across themes so it's really not fair to choose the same number of workshops in the final list across the themes. This is one point.
Secondly, this process strongly undermines the stronger proposals. What if there were 20 strong proposals from one theme. I mean, that's the effort of the community. It's true that we do try to push some workshops through forsake of diversity, I think we all agree on that, geographical diversity, language diversity, stakeholder diversity. Of course we take care of that. This is the principle that we work on. But we can't just take, you know, five or six from each theme regardless of the quality of the workshops. That just simply is not fair.
I don't think it matters how many workshops are going to be in or out based on taking the same number of workshops from each theme because that's only true for this year. We don't know how it's going to be next year. It's the process we're really talking about and it's the process that we've been trying to arrive at for the past two years.
I think the proposed process of just taking an equal number across themes is just simply not fair. It undermines the whole process, really.
So here's my suggestion, which is largely based on the original plan but also takes into consideration the effort done by Sala and her group. I went across the list of accepted workshops last night, tried to see where the cutoff points were, and I actually -- this is just a coincidence, obviously, and I don't really mind what the exact number is that we agree on, but I think if we take the top 50 workshops, the top 50 workshops cuts us off at exactly the 4.0 mark. So the next one is 3. -- I think 75 if I remember correctly, so there's quite a gap in between. So that's a nice, you know, solid number.
We would work out the strongest mergers amongst these 50 workshops. So that would leave us with about 15 slots for us to push through any workshops that we want to push through based on the process that we've always done, which basically is based on diversity, diversity of everything, which Sala's email this morning explains nicely the different factors of diversity that we need to take on.
I think that would be the most fair solution at this point. And I think most importantly it would preserve the sanctity of the process that we have created because I think it's a process that we've all agreed upon. We have taken months to agree upon this process. We cannot simply just change it in three minutes. At least we need to take our time if we want to change it, and I feel very strongly about that. Thank you.
[ Applause ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rasha. So I'm not hearing a significant difference between your suggestion and Liesyl's that was seconded by a number of people except the 40 versus the 50. And, honestly, I will point out again that to me this isn't one process versus the other because we are talking about a difference of three, four workshops moving in or out of the rankings.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: But that's not the point. I'm sorry.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I know the point is the process.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Right, yeah.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: On the other hand, I think the working group met too infrequently, too late. And a working group of two people, you know, I have to question whether or not that's really the consensus of the group. So that's the other thing I'm trying to balance with respect to participation here as well.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: It was open to all MAG members. It's better than individual efforts, I think.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. We're not going to go there. Called late, two members participate.
I'm going to respect the queue at the moment, okay? Jutta has been really.
>> (off microphone)
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We said we would put you at the end because you came in first.
Jutta has the -- what I'm trying to put forward from the floor is are we going to stay with the 40 that came through the secretariat, which has been supported by an awful lot of people here? Do we move to an amendment which Rasha is suggesting which moves us to 50 because of a cut-off at four? From my point, there's nothing magic about cutting off at four. But if people feel better about that, we can certainly go with that process as well.
So we can hear some direct comments on the proposals that are here and try to close this with the next five speakers or so.
Jutta, you have the floor.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you so much, Madam Chair, for giving me the floor. I do feel some responsibility speaking now. Jutta Croll speaking for the Digital Opportunities Foundation from Germany.
I do completely agree with Rasha that we can't change that we've already agreed on, and the procedure was agreed to.
I do still think that we have some maybe misunderstanding how the whole procedure did work. Please bear in mind that more or less half of the MAG members are new this year so they -- and I'm one of them. We had to learn about the whole process. We had to learn about the scoring and the creating of the workshop proposals.
I still think what Lynn said at the beginning of the discussion, that we see that we had a different balance between the eight themes that we agreed on over the whole proposals and among the 40. So if we go with the 40, there might be an imbalance with regard to the themes.
I do think that we might be able to reduce the list not only by merger but also by looking at whether we can accommodate a little bit higher number by reducing the time slots. If we reduce proposals from 90 to 60 minutes, then maybe we can have a little bit more than 60, maybe 65. I don't know whether that would work out. But with the proposals that I have been looking at, there were a lot that asked for 90-minute slots and that could be reduced to 60 minutes.
We need to be careful about that. And I do understand that if we merge, we cannot reduce in the same way also to 60 minutes. Then we would just not accommodate the whole spectrum of speakers and of topics. But, still, I do think it would be possible.
The last thing I would like to mention is that we also need to pay attention to the subthemes that are not yet represented. And the small group that met this morning accidentally found out which subthemes were not represented under these themes.
And one that is to my heart is child online safety, so I have to mention that. It's a subtheme under human rights, gender, and youth. And I don't find any of the proposals among these that is related to children's rights especially. It's about human rights but not children's rights. And we have the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child that is important to us. And there is not an amount of proposals that is about child online safety.
And having that in mind, that we have these overall strategy about connecting and enabling the next billion, I do think we can't afford to leave out child online safety when talking about connecting so many more people to the Internet. It's just that these two strategies need to go in parallel. Thank you so much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jutta.
So to be clear, I'm going to go through the three or four folks that are up there, give Sala the floor as well. And, again, just so we continue to try to close on this, it feels as though we're moving in sort of support of the sanctity of the process and that would follow the sort of secretariat activities again whether that cut-off is at 40 or at 50. That's where I think the room is heading. So I put that out there so we can continue to check it.
Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Thank you, Chair. Renata.
I have the utmost respect for my MAG colleagues and the working groups, but I have also a great respect for the IGF community. And I listened to yesterday's open consultations, to the people who bothered to stay online and tell us what do they expect from the workshop selection.
I think none of us are remembering the points that were made yesterday that were very clear. I will read just a couple of phrases from one of the contributors. On the breakdown of top-rated workshops, we're still lacking regional and gender representation. And in many events that's happening for the second year in a row in Europe, you should be fostering regional representation from regions other than WEOG.
Also from a quick look, there are only three gender-related workshops. When you see the speaker stats between the top 40-rated workshops, we have 20 more male speakers than female speakers.
So my comment is more in the sense of asking the MAG members to look for a means of balancing regional and gender representation in speakers in any other matter possible. Quality of content is very important, but we should continue to foster the IGF as a space for exchanging different narratives and experience that it has always been.
So, please, do what the IGF community is asking: Balance regional representation. Do not have only workshops from WEOG group. This is what they ask. This is what we need to do.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Renata, that's very well-said. And I think that's precisely the work of the MAG here when we look at that 20 or 25 slot, is to work towards addressing those imbalances. Again, whether it's an overrepresentation or an underrepresentation. And, again, against themes, subtheme, gender, region, stakeholder, against all those aspects, that's absolutely what we're here to do.
Liesyl, you have the floor.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Thank you, Chair. And thanks for letting me come in again, partly because I forgot one thing I wanted to ask about and also to react a little bit to this conversation.
So let me start with the reacting. I agree with Nacho's comments about the relevance and flexibility and commend particularly his work on new formats and in bringing in new topics and new people in an innovative way into the IGF, so I think we should continue to strive to do that. But I think we can accommodate that in the balancing that we're doing, in deliberating the remaining 10, 20 -- we're probably not at 25 at this point, so 10 or 20 that we are going to massage for the balancing effort that we're looking forward to doing.
And I think that we can also accommodate Renata's impassioned plea for regional and gender diversity in that context as well.
I do have some sympathy for Helani's comment that in the balancing we should be taking off -- working with proposals that may not have hit the floor or 3.75 mark but aren't at the 1 mark. So we should be still instilling a quality assessment in our balancing effort.
And, lastly, I think we should consider that if flash sessions can be accommodated in that remaining number, we can actually maybe accommodate more than 20 or -- 10 or 20 workshops, if my math is right.
I'd like to ask a question about the open forums. And I'm sorry that Chengetai may be gone now, stepped out.
Both in substance and in relation to the number of slots we have, am I reading the right list that shows that there are some organizations that have more than one open forum on the accredited or whatever the accepted list of open forums? Because if that is true, then my recommendation would be that we ask those organizations to pick one open forum and provide that and then we'll have a couple, you know, blocks of time that we can ascribe to more workshops from the community.
Just to Raquel's point about mergers, I think what I'd like to say about that, that really needs to be a sort of managed and limited part of our work in the next day and a half because at the outset, we will spend all day and tomorrow talking about those.
I am sympathetic to Rasha's comment going to 50, not only because it's a 4.0 mark but it preserves the integrity of the process and the work that we've done, as I've said. I don't think we should go to 35 given the conversation in the room. But other than that, I think we can accommodate the balancing in that delta that we have.
So if we could clarify the open forum thing, that would be great. Thank you.
>> Thank you, Madam Chair. So to answer this quickly, we do allow a maximum of two open forums per eligible organization if the -- within that same organization, there are two sort of different departments that are making the proposal, they are sort of two different wings of the same organization.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: I'm not sure. That might be something we could discuss, especially given the shortened time we have for the IGF. But I think there are at least one organization that has three.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Let's take a side conversation to go and look at that as well. I think that's a reasonable request. I actually thought I had understood it was one per organization, not with any great degree of confidence that I had it right. But that was kind of my general understanding.
Kenta, you have the floor.
>>KENTA MOCHIZUKI: Thank you, Chair. My name is Kenta Mochizuki for the record. Actually I'm a little bit late. I simply support what Liesyl said. What I deeply understand, some concerns were expressed. I mean, take top 40 and then correct several imbalances by using the last 20 or more available slots, depending on the result of our deliberation.
Actually, I think there are, you know, a little bit many workshops. So maybe we can think about merging several workshops in the top 40.
So for the facilitating our deliberation, we should take first top 40 and think about how to improve imbalances.
And then what I also will say, is that we should accept what the secretariat and the MAG have ever done to select the workshops. This is very important, and we've already decided this process. So we should keep this process forward.
And one question is that I'm wondering whether there is a wild card process this time, too. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Kenta. I was -- I will take Alejandra and then go to Sala and we're going to see if we can close this.
>>ALEJANDRA ERRAMUSPE: Thank you, Madam Chair. I'm Alejandra Erramuspe from the government of Uruguay.
I think we all agree in the necessity of the diversity and all of us are in that, in short. All of us are in the important of the many progressive tool. We can work with the first 40 or 50, and then we have the space to cover discussion of the different regions, gender, et cetera, and rebalancing with the next 15 or 25. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Alejandra.
And, Sala, thank you. I wanted to give you a chance to come back, again given you were the first speaker here. You now have the floor. Thank you for your patience.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you, Chair. First of all, I say this with the greatest respect, Chair. You know, we have a working group chair, first of all, and that's Rasha. And she's done a lot of work, and the team behind her -- not that I'm part of that working group, but they have done a lot of work. It's very important, especially for the new MAG members who are coming in to know that, like, when you have working group chairs, at least have the courtesy of collaboration. That being said, let's move forward.
I really like what Mr. Tao said. Mr. Tao, you know, seriously, a thousand exclamation marks. I mean, if there's one reason I'm on the MAG or the reason why I do this, I volunteer to wake up at 1:00 a.m -- I shouldn't say bloody 1:00 a.m., but to wake up at 1:00 a.m. conference calls. And I know obviously other people wake up at 3:00 a.m. as well and that sort of thing -- is because I want to make sure to give a voice of people of the developing world in the little space that I have.
That being said, I won't even go into the mathematics of how the top 60 is not even a proper yardstick where the bias factor has been removed. I won't even go into that.
Take, for example, if we were to take the top 60, there would still be stimulus that we would need to do, and obviously we have been discussing that, on how we can bring it back to an equilibrium.
So that's in contention is -- actually, there is not much contention. But what's in contention is process and methodology.
But as far as I'm concerned from the developing world, I'm concerned when I see 26 African countries who put in workshop proposals and only six who make it into the top 60, that's when I'm concerned. I'm concerned when a Pakistani advocate or lawyer, when Facebook got shut down in India, she was the lawyer that actually took the matter to high court, her workshop which actually had -- you know, you could check all the boxes as far as grading was concerned according to the criteria didn't actually make the list.
Now, that shows that -- Jutta brought a critical point yesterday in terms of how do we know in different terms and different biases. That's why the working group, which is chaired by Dr, Rasha, developed a criteria to help as much as possible reduce the bias.
I really like the email that Sylvia posted -- was it two weeks ago -- when you questioned: Is this the final selection? It cannot be the final because each MAG has not had the purview of thought of the full sample space. That's absolutely correct.
Now this is all what all we're saying -- and, Madam Chair, if I could very respectfully say this. You know, from where I'm sitting when you sort of talk with Raquel and sort of come up with a decision, like it seems like it's sort of like an ISOC bias. My apologies. I thought I should just be up front and say.
But sitting in here, a room of diverse people with diverse spaces, and what we really would like to see is diversity, included in a reserved basket. This is all I have to say and then I will shut up, I promise. I'm sorry. This is riles me up because I'm passionate about this.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sala.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: We need to create a reserve basket, and we've already identified countries that have fallen through the crack. Completely agree with Liesyl in the sense that we need to make sure that we do not undercut. We completely understand that we are not saying we want to undercut meritocracy. No, we're not saying that. What we're saying is those that fell through the cracks, make a reserve basket and look at how you can merge. And if anyone is to lead that process, it should be Dr. Rasha.
With that, I thank you, Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sala.
Let me address a couple of things. I like to think there is no (indiscernible) preference or bias. What I actually liked was a written concrete proposal. That's what drives the work forward. That's what I was reacting to. And I didn't see it. I'm not sure when it came in, but I didn't see it.
Look, at some level, I think there's also an underlying thread here that seems to think that somehow the MAG has arrived at a decision on the basis of this independent, individual group's grading process that is disenfranchising certain. I actually want to really draw a hard line under that because I don't think that's clear at all. I don't think it is any MAG member's intent to disenfranchise any part of the community.
We're working through a process which split 344 workshops up across 55 MAG members, and a reasonable place to start, if you don't want to come in and spend months discussing each workshop, is to find some cutoff. That cutoff was established at 40 because of the workshops we have.
That doesn't -- to my mind, and I said that yesterday, that 40 is not sacrosanct. If we come in and that 40 is just so completely overbalanced or underbalanced in some, we have the responsibility to look at those 40 and figure out how we actually adjust them. We can adjust them by asking workshops to add more diversity in, we can take some out, we can move some up, because at the end of the day, the MAG has always been clear that they want a program that is representative of the community's interest, to Renata's point earlier, and representing all the diversity that we can get. And we have a responsibility to work with those workshop proposals that don't match that kind of criteria and quality. And I think that's what we're all here to do.
So I want to make sure we're not sort of ascribing or assuming that somehow the MAG is collectively not paying enough attention to some of these things because it couldn't be further from the truth. I mean, look at all the passion there is here in the room. I think we're trying to underline some starting point, evaluate that; again, see where some things are overbalanced or overrepresentive, others are underrepresentative, and figure out the best way to adjust that. And again, that could be strengthening some, pulling some down, pulling some up, doing mergers. But at the end of the day, we're all striving to have a program that meets the community interest that is balanced across all of our key diversity metrics.
So if I take where -- Nacho? Okay. Please.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: I think we are mixing two different things. One thing is the grading, and the other is the program shaping.
The grading had its working group, had its process, and I think what we are doing is we are kind of trapped in this grading process. The grading process had its output, and what we have to do is to see how we use those outputs.
So these are two different things. I don't see any -- any end to it. It's like an endless discussion on two different things that are -- at that are related, but the outputs of one is the input of the other, but no more than that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I agree. We're assessing the results of the grading process to get to the program that we all want, shaped appropriately.
I will come to -- Raquel, you have your hand up -- in a moment, but I think the place where I think there is some coalescence is that we stay with the process that was identified through the past several months. We can either start with the 40, which is the analysis that the secretariat has done that they have actually put in front of everybody, and that at least gives us a consistent kind of view, or Rasha had an amendment to that process which would say we would look at the cutoff of four, and anything that was ranked over four goes in the 50, which for my mind is still part of a review process because now we need to reassess what that's done to the imbalances and overbalances.
I'll recall the presentation Eleonora made yesterday. She actually had themes and subthemes and she showed where they were underrepresented or overrepresented in those bar chats against the community's desires. And then she also had a word slide that said these are some of the areas that are overbalanced or underbalanced and these are some of them that are underbalanced. And in fact it meant there were no workshop proposals in the top 40 that had been ranked highly at the subthematic level in the workshops. Which is what I think everybody is kind of talking about here.
So one option is we go back to that process, those set of slides. We start with the 40. We start with the identified imbalances based on the community desire and we work from there and determine which ones we move in. I think the discussion in front of us seems to be whether or not we start at 40 or we start at 50.
I'm going to see what Raquel and Jutta say, and then I'm going to try to get a call on it so we can move forward.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much, Madam Chair. And so I have three points I think that were raised here. First of all, I completely agree with Sala and the point of diversity. Coming from Brazil, being a woman and fighting for gender, for access, connectivity, from very multi areas, and so on, I'm completely for that. And that's the same very reason that I joined the MAG. So that goes to my second point, whether we represent organizations or not, but once we are in the MAG we have this individual commitment to the overall processes, regardless of our organization. And I'm really careful and I'm really surprised to have this raised, because I'm really careful to say when I'm speaking as a MAG, when I'm speaking as Internet society.
So I just want to be clear on that point. And on the last one that I also thought it was clear but I really want to make is this came as a suggestion. We didn't know about the work that the working group were doing since Tuesday, I think, afternoon or so when we received the email, and this conversation started before. So that's the only reason. And it's a suggestion. And this commitment as the MAG that the working group can send the outputs but it's still a MAG decision and it's still something that we can do. But I work with the secretariat, Sala. I don't want to go there, Sala. It's not a personal thing. It's not a personal thing.
And I think we are in agreement. We want the best. And it's a suggestion. If it goes or not, it's fine. It's fine. Okay?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel. And I do hope we're all giving our attention to the discussion in the room.
Youth Terry Atkinson, you have the floor.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Yes. Thank you, Madam Chair. Jutta Croll speaking.
I just wanted to add or to underline what Miguel Estrada had said before that. We are in the process of the program shaping. And the grading that we did before is one element in the program shaping, but I do think we need to have the whole approach. And underlining that with an example. When I look at the list of 60 proposals and I do a cut at 40 and then look at the themes, I do see that there are themes that are completely out of the list. We would not have these themes among the 40 that go through without debate. And that is human rights, gender, and youth. It would completely be left out if we sort the list by things for the 40, for the first 40 due to grading. And I do think that wasn't the intention of the whole MAG, but we have the grading only and say these 40 are through and then some of the themes that we've also agreed, as a group, that should be in the program.
So it's program shaping based on the grading, but it's not grading alone.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. So let me make a proposal on the basis of the diversity. Could we stay with the 40, not Rasha's suggestion of 50. Because I think, frankly, we probably need the 20 room to address the various imbalances that we've heard, whether we're talking about it at a subthematic level, a regional level or a stakeholder level. For me it feels a little more comfortable to stay with the 40 and then use the 20 to re-address some of those -- oh. Sorry.
>> One phrase. Stay with the 40 but do not freeze them, because as Jutta said it so well, we will find still things that we need to correct.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's fair. We should look at the 40, understand what that tells us in terms of all the appropriate diversity. And by that I really mean gender, stakeholder, region, topic, theme, subtheme. And figure out what profile that leaves us with and how we feel about that. And then start to roll in the workshops that would actually appropriately rebalance.
That may mean we want to roll out one or two because a particular theme or something is overrepresented in the 40. And I think we need to accommodate that. It is -- there is a difference, as Miguel said, between the grading process and the program shaping process.
So if we're okay with that, Rasha, you have your hand up. I'll give you last word, but I really would like to close on this with...
>>RASHA ABDULLAH: Thank you very much. Just on the program shaping versus grading because this has come up several times. I believe it was the chair who mandated the group to take into consideration the program structuring. So we did that in the working group based on the recommendation of the chair. Based on assignment, actually, by the chair. And I think we've communicated with the larger MAG several times, with meeting minutes and comments that indicated that we were working on that. But that -- having said that just for the record, on the 40 versus 50 thing -- and again, I'm not adamant on a number, but I just want it make sure this is as fair as possible. If you -- if the MAG members would kindly look for a moment at the -- at the spreadsheet that has all the scores for the workshops, workshop number 40 scored 4.03. Workshop number 41 scored 4.03. Workshop number 42 scored 4.03. Workshop number 43 scored 4.03, up to workshop number 40 which the rest, all remain scored 4s. The workshop number 40 actually has a larger variance. So as a matter of fact, the next three or four could be better workshops than this one.
So we really -- I mean, I'm just saying this in the interest of fairness. I don't really -- again, I'm not so adamant about it. I just want to draw the MAG's attention to it.
The other thing is if we take 40 and we allow about another 20 to 25 just based on our subjective decision-making, that's more than 50% of the workshops. I think that's quite a large amount of workshops. I think, again, for the integrity of the process that maybe 50 is a better number and we'd be left with maybe 20 to 30%. That's still a large percentage of workshops we're pushing through subjectively. And I think -- we can make sure to draw in all the diversity aspects that we are concerned about within, let's say, 15 workshops.
The other thing is if we try to play a little bit around with time slots or things like that, maybe we can allow even more workshops. But I really feel bad about the three or four workshops that scored the exact same score as workshop number 40 who are now going to be left out.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So I think having asked the same question, I think the logic between 40 to 43 that all had the same scoring was that I think there was just sort of an assumption that it would be cut off cleanly at 40 and they looked for one that they thought was more interesting. And we can make the 40 43 if we wanted to. I think that's a refinement for next year's process.
And I want to put a question to the floor in terms of 40 or 50 and ask for hands at the moment so we don't start another long round of discussions.
I only want to say, my one point is to pull ten workshops in to address all the diversities and concerns we've had from somebody here, whether it's not that, you know, a lot of the developing country proposals weren't brought in, we don't have human rights in, we have median content that some people think is important but didn't make it as a theme, ten slots is not a lot to play around with. So I think people need to then respect that we're going to work with ten slots and pull them in, and then we have a comfort level for those of you who have done a lot of the research here that we can address the kind of imbalances, the diversities we've actually seen appropriately with ten slots. If so, that's fine. Probably shortens our work. If people feel otherwise, I think they need to declare that.
So let me try to figure out where we are in the process. I think we have basically the same process in front of us but we start with a baseline of 40. We start with a baseline of 50 with a cutoff of 4.0, which every one of those baselines we start with, we need to do a comparison, then, against the community desires and all of our other diversity characteristics. And then we would start a process that would look at which proposals we might pull in to address -- specifically to address those imbalances, not everybody kind of requesting for their favorite workshop. It has to be -- Sure, Rasha.
>>RASHA ABDULLAH: Just if we take in the first 50 and then we work out the mergers, that will actually allow for more than just ten workshops to go through. It's going to be roughly about 15 workshops. 15 to 20, maybe.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So I -- I support mergers, but I think opening up a full merger discussion on the top 40 or 50 is going to be extremely difficult. And I don't think that gets to the question that seems to be the one that people are most passionate about here, is how do we get the appropriate diversity, whether it's more developing country proposals in or telling a workshop proposer ready to go "look at a merger proposal with two or three others" doesn't -- doesn't necessarily close that link. I'm happy to be proved wrong. I just know that merger discussions have been extremely difficult in the past.
I have -- Okay. Sylvia, Helani, and then Miguel. And Miguel, if you could start using the queue, that would be helpful.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Thank you, Chair. It's Sylvia Cadena, technical community. I just wanted to mention or bring to the attention of the MAG that although we are playing with the 60 number, we have in reality 66 if you look at real spaces. And also we have the slot for the open forums, that if you look at the list that was shared with us yesterday, I think that there are 30. We are supposed to choose 24, I think. Is that correct? I can't remember the number.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: 30 was the assumption by the secretariat.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Yeah, yeah, but I just wanted to say -- just wanted to say that we might actually have more spaces available because we need to be very honest about what is an open forum and what isn't and there are many workshops disguised as open forums, and I will certainly oppose to get those approved because there was a process to participate in workshops and organizations just find an easier way to get their workshop approved by submitting an open forum. So we might have to take a good look at those, and that might give us a few more spaces to play with to bring the diversity, gender diversity, geographical diversity, and all of that diversity we want to bring in, the themes, and look at the bigger picture, I guess.
So just don't -- Someone said don't freeze them. I don't know exactly what that means, but I guess is we still -- this is a big (indiscernible) that we are going to build, and there is that missing piece of the open forums that is hanging around and look at me as this is not going to work. So please take a look at those and you will see what I mean.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sylvia. I'll ask Chengetai to come back in in a moment on the open forum and maybe just talk about the open forum process and how that came about and historically the role of the secretariat versus the MAG. But in the interim, we'll go to Helani.
>>HELANI GALPAYA: Some say 40, some say 50. Can we, like, split the difference? Not go to 45, but going by the 4.03 criteria that you're seeing the 40, 41 and 43, have a vote if you want to have a vote, 43 whether 50, because 40 seems very unfair for the two at the margin.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We can do that. And of course they could always be pulled up as well.
Nacho? It was the same point?
Chengetai, can you -- I mean, I think it would be helpful, given the new members here, if we can just have a quick conversation on open forums and kind of their purpose and how they came about and the secretariat's and the MAG's role.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: And I would also like to point out the list of open forums are of open forums that have met the requirements. It doesn't mean we're going to take all of those open forums. I mean, they are -- I mean, we can look at the Council of Europe's open forums a little bit closer. There was a mention of UNESCO.
I think UNESCO's are fine because it's not them who are having three open forums. They are partnering with other organizations, and that is fine.
At the beginning, the open forums were a space for organizations and governments to showcase their Internet governance activities and to show other stakeholders what they are doing and inform the stakeholders of what they are doing. This is also just in an effort to create linkages and other governments might see what another government is doing and then they can try to replicate the same thing in their country.
It has developed over time as you can see that the governments and also international organizations -- I don't want to pick on some organizations, but, you know, the ones that come to mind is ISOC and ICANN. I mean, they have substantial Internet governance activities that they do worldwide. And that is also another criteria that it has to be basically worldwide, not just in one country.
They have developed over time. And as you can see from the list, we have these companies partnering with other organizations and other governments to make them look a little bit like workshops but they're not -- they are still not workshops.
And these open forums are also very important because we are trying to draw in the governments. And governments don't have time to organize a workshop, but they do spend substantial resources on Internet governance activities. That's why they're there.
Am I missing anything? I'm looking at somebody, but he's not looking here.
[ Laughter ]
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Okay, Markus Kummer speaking. You're right. The begin with the idea was to give relevant organization as it was formulated the opportunity to present their Internet governance-related activities such as ICANN, ISOC, OECD, Council of Europe.
And as you said, over time, it was expanded a bit. Then governments were also allowed in. And I think what happened -- while it was always clear once they fulfilled the criteria, they were automatically allowed in. But over time, I think that the borders get a little bit fuzzier. And what was a relevant organization was not that clear anymore, and I think more organizations found relevant organizations and wanted an open forum. And for the secretariat it's actually not that easy then to say, "No, you're not relevant" as such. So we ended up instead of having maybe five or six sessions with 30 or 35 sessions.
And while I think it makes sense that it is the secretariat that is the gatekeeper, I think MAG also has a role in defining the basic parameters of who qualifies for an open forum.
I know I think in the past there were some governments with more than one open forum. Does that make sense? The idea was not to focus on a particular topic but more to present overall activities of the organization so that there are many people that never go to an ICANN meeting so they have an idea a little bit of what ICANN does over the years. The same with the OECD or the Council of Europe.
But the idea was not that they would focus on a particular theme. And that's, I think, what Sylvia's point was, that it looks like a workshop. Why don't they present then a workshop proposal? The open forum originally was an informational --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. But we've also tightened up the criteria over time. And if you look at the criteria, if you go to the Web site, there's the criteria. And we've -- as I said, international organizations but it has to have worldwide activities with an international organization.
Government is different because the government is national. But they do still expend a lot of resources on these Internet governance activities which can be copied by other governments. And it's a way of bringing in the governments which is something that we are trying as much as we can to pull in those governments.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Just a point of clarification. I'm not saying don't take them or that they're not relevant. What I'm saying is when we look at them, we might actually find more spaces to accommodate from the list of the 60 or if we go with the 40 to bring in the diversity we are looking at.
I do not support the idea that because they match the criteria, they are automatically in. We have to agree on what that process is to approve or not approve, what open forums are.
I mean, these are all playing in the real world, let's say, where people find a way bring their ideas in or they're working, whatever the methodology good or bad is.
And the reality is that there are organizations that are using the open forums -- the open forum call because either they didn't have time to submit it because it was too close to whatever for the workshop proposal. I mean, I've listened to those comments on the MAG list so I know there are people doing that. And I am sure you are on the same mailing list so you seen that.
Don't kid ourselves thinking that they are all open forums. Just look at them one by one and we will see decide and we will what the overall parameters look like.
If what we are trying to bring is balance and diversity in issues, this is also a good opportunity to do that and an overall review of the program. I'm not saying that we are going to either take them or leave them or whatever. It's just some of the work that we need to do and it might open some space. So just take that into consideration.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: By the way, the criteria is up on the screen now if you want to look at it.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: This is refreshing. It's a new topic.
Let's try and close this and then close the other one before we break for lunch.
The open forum process used to be, you know, held within the secretariat. And the last couple of years, the secretariat has worked to engage the MAG on the criteria and then bring the list of proposed open forums to the MAG.
I guess in my words I would say it was looking for strong objections, not for a forum-by-forum approval.
It's clear going forward next year we can be much clearer on the process and figure out what the appropriate process is. And we should schedule that looking that forward, that open forum discussion with the MAG soon.
My question is: Where are we with respect to this year's process and any information that's been shared with those open forums that were submitted? Do we have the ability to advance the process a little bit and look at them in some detail and bring forward? Or have they already had a communication that says you're in? We just need to know, we're in the middle of the process. We can't change the process midstream. I think we just need to be respectful of where we are in the process and understand what people think.
Chengetai and then we'll come to Christina.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: No, we have not communicated that they are "in." We thought we would just give the MAG a chance to air their views and see if there's any strong objections to any particular ones.
We've noted the one objection with the three, which is a very clear -- I think it's clear-cut. Nobody can really argue about that one.
Yeah, so we're not seeing all are going to get through. There are going to be some spaces left open.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. Christine, you have the floor.
>>CHRISTINA ARIDA: Thank you, Chair, this is Christine from Egypt for the record.
I see the MAG behind open forums. Obviously we all see it attracting governments, very important thing. But also having organizations that have activities in Internet governance be there and present to the community is aware of what is happening.
Maybe, referring back to what Markus was saying, how the MAG could be involved -- I don't know if this was discussed before, but maybe I can pose the question. Is it a matter that the MAG thinks about the percentage of how much we want to allocate time for open forum versus how much we want to allocate for workshops? And I know there's a lot of that that's going in various working groups.
But maybe for the sake of this year, since we're having only three days, maybe we should really look at that because we have very precious time. So just macro percentages we want out of the slots, that much for open forums and that much for workshops and that much for main sessions. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Christine.
And I'm very sympathetic to kind of the allocation of workshops and the open forums. I'm also really trying to understand exactly where we are in the process and what the expectations were of those folks that submitted things such as the open forums to make sure we're not, as Chengetai just said, we're not changing the rules in the middle of the game for them because that's obviously something we want to be very sensitive to.
It sounds like -- so there's a couple that would fall out of the 30, just on the basis of kind of informal discussion we've had here.
You know, the other thing we could do, I suppose, is look at those 27 or whatever that are there or 28 and understand the topics and themes they're covering and the other diversity and region and think of them in the concept of the overall shaping of the program for regional diversity so we use that to shape the overall program at a higher level might be a way to blend the two processes this year and I think will work to establish a different process, different process for next year.
I don't mean to keep putting Chengetai on the spot, but I'm really not kind of deeply vetted in the open forum process. I want to make sure we're not doing anything that is inappropriate on the basis of where their expectations have been set.
Would you have any other suggestions or recommendations?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, we can look at them. And it also depends on the objectives. Are we looking at them because we want to carve out more space? Or are we looking at them based on merit or whether or not it is functionally appropriate to have them there, which is better than just because we want to have some space.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I heard both, I think, in some of the comments. And I see heads shaking around the room, so it's both that we're trying to address.
Sorry. I'm not putting Wai-Min on the spot. I looked at Wai-Min, and he looks like he's thinking of something in the back of his mind. I'm not putting you on the spot if there's nothing to add.
>>WAI-MIN KWOK: It's just a general comment. I think all know that the MAG has the responsibility of the programming. I think it is only fair for MAG to look at the open forum but also at the same time to also understand the institutional history as well as the need for open forum. I understand it was initiated when Nitin Desai was involved in the inception of the first few sessions of the IGF. I think that's evolved, but I think that space for that.
And also to respect the work of the IGF secretariat, that's a very clear terms of reference of open forum. If any view, that should be the basis because it has evolved over time. I would just like to mention that. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think it seems that we need to take a look at the open forums. I think we can look at them certainly for the redundancy, maybe even look at them in terms of we think they are repetitive from years past and see if there's an additional source, an additional recommendation that the secretariat would like to put forward for the MAG's consideration blending both those, the need to take a hard look at the substantive workshops and also ensure appropriate adherence to the criteria.
Liesyl, you have the floor.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Thank you, Chair. And apologies for not using the speaking queue. I just didn't know about my timing.
I think that it is important to not change the process -- change the game for the open forum proposers in the middle -- change the field in the middle of the game. However, I'm sympathetic to Sylvia's comments about workshops disguised as open forums.
I think the most objective way to have some MAG review of the open forums is to see -- reflect where -- I mean, the one I did was the easiest one, was to see if there are organizations that had more than one spot on the accredited list. That's not really a substantive -- a qualitative analysis of the proposals.
And while I think that might be something that we'd be interested in doing, I don't know if that meets the criteria for which -- to which they propose their open forums. I would say at the very least, we could make a MAG recommendation or general sense of the room about whether or not three or two of any one organization is too many and that will help the secretariat make their cut.
And presumably, it might give us some extra space. And I think we can consider whether -- the MAG going forward can consider how that helps.
However, I'm wondering also if the open forum content in geography and gender can be incorporated into the overall assessment of geography and gender diversity so that we can reflect the numbers of those an overall part of the program, does it give us a little bit more diversity than we had before.
I'm thinking precisely of Zeina's open forum last year, from Lebanon. I think the workshop didn't pass -- or somehow didn't get reflected, but it became an open forum. And I applauded that because it was very focused very specifically on the region, it was a government, and it gave us lots of diversity not just in and of itself. But it's one example of the kinds of diversity we could get if we look at the full program in not just the 60 that we get to pick but overall.
If we can get any numbers about that, that might be helpful. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Let me try and make a recommendation. Maybe we could ask the secretariat who, of course, understands the desires of the community and the desires of the MAG quite well and also understands the expectations of the community that they solicit for open forums to come back and look at what's there and see if there's a proposal you can make to the room. Again, when you look at things harder, sometimes other things occur to you that maybe weren't there the first instance and bring that back to the MAG.
I do think we should look at them to ensure -- to see how they actually help with the overall kind of diversity of the program and that we as a MAG take a commitment in one of our next few MAG meetings to really put a recommendation in place for how the open forum process should be managed going forward but that we try and find an accommodation here that takes into account expectations, reduced number of slots, diversity, all the things we have been talking about here to find something that we can live with.
And I am fully confident the secretariat can do that and come back to us with a proposal. Chengetai says yes.
You may be saying some other things as well.
[ Laughter ]
But he did say "yes."
All right, we have two minutes. We need to close on how we move forward on the selection process. I guess, we could -- I heard sort of three different proposals. 40, 43 or 44 if we bring in everyone who had 4.03 or 50 if we draw the cut-off at 4. If we actually think that we have a couple of additional slots because there will be a couple of open forums that drop out because of the duplication we've seen, you know, I think that maybe makes the 50 more palatable to the room because now we have 12, 13, 14 slots maybe to fill.
But I'm -- I want to put a number. We don't like voting in the room here, right? But the consensus process -- that's going to take too long I think to go through the discussions and the debates.
I'm just going to ask, ask for any MAG members that participating online as well, if they could perhaps, just in the chat room, once they ask the question, state what their preference is so we make sure they're engaged as well in this discussion.
But I think we basically have -- and I'm going to say just the 43 so we get everybody that had that 4.03.
Or 45? It's 45 if we go for 4.03?
>> You should be aware that 40 scored higher than 41, 42, 43, 44, and 45. Marginally. But 40 is a justifiable number. It is higher than 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, which all got exactly the same. They all got 4.03, but then if you go back down a decimal point.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Rasha, please. Rasha.
>>RASHA ABDULLAH: Thank you, Ben. It scored higher by one over 100 or something, but the variance was higher on that as well.
But anyway, my suggestion is maybe we don't need to arrive at a solid number right now. Maybe we should first see which workshops we need to push through and see how many, because maybe we only find ten worth pushing through.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think we need to look at what the diversity profile is of those that are -- assumed that are in. Again, nothing is assumed until we're done, so that's the purpose of having a baseline.
So let's -- The problem with going to the 4.03 (indiscernible) all the slides that the secretariat has prepared is done on 40. So if we stay with 40 we've got that diversity profile done with all the statistics that we all that we can all look at. If we go with 50, we can easily run those quite quickly and, you know -- I'm not really supporting the 43, 44, or 45 or whatever it is because that's neither here nor there.
So let me just, show of hands. And again, if you're participating online, please indicate which, whether you want to stay with the 40, the analysis of the secretariat and all the other supporting diversity analysis and identified areas of underrepresentation or overrepresentation, or we go with 50. And if somebody can just clarify is there actually that diversity profile for the 50? Does that exist today that people over lunchtime could look at? Or is it something we're going to have to going and create?
>> (Off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And the MAG has it?
So it's 40, working the information from the secretariat and the package that was put out a couple of days ago, or it's 50, with a diversity profile that will be shared any moment now, I guess. Those are the two.
So who wants to go with the 40 and the existing package of the secretariat? Hands or flags up in the room, quickly.
Are you helping me with the count here? I think it's about 30. Keep your hands up just for a moment.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: (Off mic.)
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yeah, but that's not going to work here. Okay; wait a minute. We get two different counts. 24 and 30 were the two that came up quickly. Hands up again quickly. Sincere apologies for this.
40. We're voting on 40.
Yeah, I'm getting like 30. Okay. And anybody -- Thank you. We had one count of 28 and one count of 30.
And I'm (indiscernible) 55 members, but for purposes, just so we can understand the record, 50?
Okay. So I mean I think it's pretty clear that I think -- to me, the advantage is we've got the materials in front of us. People have looked at them. We've got the diversity. And hopefully the familiarity of those materials will help us move forward through the rest of the discussion quickly.
On the positive side, it does give us more room to roll in those workshops that we think are needed to give us a properly balanced, properly shaped program.
So we're five minutes over. Appreciate everybody staying on and for the transcribers as well. Let's come back at 3:00.
And I would propose, as I stated earlier this morning, that we start with sort of a quick reading of main themes and get the French perspective on any main themes and see if we can get some small number of concrete ideas out there, and then we can close on it either today or at the latest, tomorrow. It usually takes us a little bit of thinking time. But you can use this time over lunch to get creative about some impressive, short, exciting titles.
Thank you very much, everybody, for staying with this discussion. The process discussions are always the ones that are second hardest, actually, I think. The workshop selection is still ahead of us. But thank you.
[ Lunch break ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. Maybe we can just get started and see if we can get everybody at least on the same page with respect to some of the materials. When the ambassador comes back, we will find a time to slot in the main title discussion.
As I said, typically the host country has quite a significant role in actually helping determine that theme. And in this case, of course, it needs to be translatable into French as well given some of the outreach that they want to do. So we'll pick that up when he comes back in.
If you go to the back end of the day, if people are interested, at 6:00 today is the announcement of the high-level panel that we spoke about yesterday and that Ambassador Gill will be addressing us on tomorrow. It will be streamed on UNTV or something. So we can stream it here if people are interested, which means we should work towards a hard stop just short of 6:00. That will be sort of a nice coast in that announcement.
I do hope everybody is going to the Ariana to congratulate Chengetai on his new challenges and new opportunities. It's literally across the street. If you go out the flag gate, you walk across the street, it's the second street which goes on a little angle near the whole ITU. It's fairly informal. There wasn't time to organize anything either, but it's a great place and they are always extremely hospitable and were very willing to accommodate us. So we will kind of go there directly from the announcement here.
That was fortuitous timing then. We were covering some of the timing for the logistics of the day. We had said we wanted to come back after lunch and start with a discussion on the title for the IGF. And maybe somebody could just show for a moment quickly the slide -- Luis -- of the past 12 or 13 years. It's in the materials we've all had. But just to let everybody understand, they're usually meant sort of to be short and engaging and creating some excitement which coming from the technical community our titles used to just be, like, descriptive. And this really was meant to create some enthusiasm and energy.
There we are right there.
So obviously in the early years they focused very significantly on "Internet governance for Development," "Internet for All," "Internet governance Creating Opportunities for All." Started to get a little descriptive there in the middle.
And the last year was "Shaping our Digital Future." And then the year before that in Jalisco was "Enabling Inclusive and Sustainable Growth." We put that up just in case it's helpful for getting creative juices flowing. I'm pretty confident that the French can get our creative juices throwing here with respect to a proposal.
Do you just want to jump in and share some of the thoughts? I don't think anybody here has any particular strong candidates.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: Thank you, Lynn.
So we were revolving around two main ideas. First, the idea of the fact that the digital revolution isn't over yet. We are just at the beginning of it. And I mean "revolution" because we, French, are not afraid of the word. We even like it. I don't know why. So that would be the first idea.
The second would be considering all the last events in the recent month and years, the idea that if we want to embrace the digital revolution and all of its benefits -- sorry, and try and make the best of it for the people, we need trust. It requires trust. It goes with trust. So it would be something around "Digital Revolution Requires Trust" as a working title.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I will open the floor up for any sort of immediate reactions to that, responses to that, and, of course, if there are alternative ideas and suggestions. And, please, we'll allow a little bit of time for this discussion. And oftentimes it's better if it kind of percolates a little bit. But as Eleonora keeps reminding us, it really is critical that we actually have this decided no later than the end of the day tomorrow in terms of going out and really getting some of the outreach activities started properly.
So is there anyone who would like the floor? Everybody is still full after lunch, too much sun? Sala.
Sala, you have the floor.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: , Thank you, Chair. I quite like the theme and the suggestion of the digital revolution, particularly also in the context of the revolutions in France historically and the fact that it's being convened in France. Particularly the aspects in relation to human rights and a whole bunch of connotations, even within the notion of a digital revolution. But also the need for trust, trust to do business, trust in terms of the cybersecurity aspects, the human rights aspects. I think it's very neatly -- it's quite a neat umbrella. Those are my thoughts, Chair. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sala.
Wisdom, Wisdom Donkor, you have the floor.
>>WISDOM DONKOR: Thank you, Chair. I'm of the view that we are -- we are looking at how we can break digital barriers and all that. I think we've had a lot of the digital revolution and all that. We have to be looking at the action part of it.
So I'm thinking this year we should have something like "Breaking the Digital Barriers for a Better World for All." So that is what I'm looking at.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wisdom.
Can I ask Eleonora to just capture those in a document so that if we come up with several suggestions we can display it quickly rather than trying to go back to the transcript.
So something like "Breaking the Digital Barriers for a Better World for All."
Thank you, Wisdom.
Sumon, you have the floor.
>>SUMON AHMED SABIR: Thank you, Chair. Actually the title proposed by the honorable French representative talking about trust, the Internet actually developed built on trust. So far it's working. Nobody is controlling it, maintaining it. But eventually all the engineers, all the people on the Internet, they have a responsibility so they are (indiscernible) still live. It is working.
So trust is a very key component. And probably some people are not trusting the Internet. That's why we are talking about cybersecurity. That's why we are going in different kind of discussions. If we can make it "Trust for Internet," probably we could really get the benefit of the technology. I don't know the language, but I really like the idea of "Trust of the Future of the Internet" or something, whatever. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sumon.
We have Michael Ilishebo next. Nebojsa, I will come to you at the end.
>>MICHAEL ILISHEBO: For the record, Michael Ilishebo, Zambia government. I'm looking at the trending issue at the moment is about data protection. Data protection covers areas of privacy, covers (indiscernible). Looking at the venue is Europe, and the European Union just in the last two months enacted the data protection regulation. It's a better time to talk about data protection as a main theme for the IGF. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Michael.
Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Renata. Yes. I was also thinking that for civil society "revolution" is quite an interesting theme in France, the relationship of digital rights. But I was wondering why "Digital Revolution"? Why not "Internet revolution"?
Another word that I'm not sure how it's going to be translated would be "trust" because I am just thinking about the Latin languages. You have several words for "trust." So we had this issue with the "shape the digital future" last year which was "shape" or "mold." So I don't know. I was thinking about something around safety or security, "Internet Revolution and Safety." But it's totally different points of view. So I would stay with Internet revolution and stability, something like that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Renata.
>> NEBOJSA REGOJE: Nebojsa Regoje, Bosnia and Herzegovina government. So I have a problem with "revolution" and "trust" mentioning in the same sentence as it looks like contradictory. I don't think that those two goes together. But I like definitely "Digital Revolution". And carrying online that we're going to be in France, maybe to go something in line with -- brings liberty, fraternity, or something in that context. "Digital Revolution Brings Liberty" or "Digital Revolution liberates over" -- something in that context.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Nebojsa. Very interesting suggestion.
Valentina, you have the floor.
>> VALENTINA SCIALPI: Yeah, I'm here. I agree with the French colleague. And actually I proposed already I believe (indiscernible). I had this idea that title of the overarching theme could be something along the lines of "Digital Trust in the Digital" (indiscernible) -- because I think what we are lacking and missing now, trust is the underlying issue. And with trust, we can unleash all the opportunity of the digital economy, we can ensure cybersecurity and diversity. Yes, why not, in enabling the digital revolution.
And to conclude, yes, I mean, we wouldn't need probably GDPR if we had more trust in Internet. Just to concur with my colleague here.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Valentina.
Luis, there's another channel on this channel or some background noise. Okay. Thank you.
I really appreciate everybody just kind of quickly throwing out the comments and the suggestions to really keep it -- keep it rolling, keep some energy to it. That's great. Thank you.
June, you have the floor.
>> JUNE PARRIS: I will have to say I agree with "Digital Revolution" but add to it "breaking Barriers," So "Digital Revolution, Breaking Barriers."
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, June. Danko, you have the floor.
>> DANKO JEVTOVIC: I'm more in favor of "Trust and Revolution" because I believe that trust is a key concept, especially bearing in mind this privacy and content issues now.
And I think that digital Internet revolution isn't a new thing anymore. So I would propose "Stakeholder Trust for Digital World" or some idea like that. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Danko.
>>NATASA GLAVOR: I would suggest maybe adding to "trust" or instead of "trust" the word "responsibility" or "accountability" like, "Responsible, Breaking the Barriers" or something like that.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: Accountability, right?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Natasa. Ben. Ben Wallis.
>> BEN WALLIS: Thank you. So I guess Microsoft would talk more often about digital transformation, less scary than "revolution." I think "revolution" fits well with France hosting. I'm totally happy with that.
I just wanted to add support for "trust." I think it captures so many issues. We think it's important to be a trustworthy company. Cybersecurity is about trust. Protecting data is about trust. Ethics and AI, there's so many that captures.
So the title you came up with or "Digital Revolution Built on Trust," put the word "build" somewhere, just generally to express my support for the ambassador's proposal. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, been.
Rasha, you have the floor.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you, Lynn.
I like the idea of thinking on the values of the French Revolution actually. So I'm wondering if something like, "Digital Revolution, Equality for all" would do. I would love to have "Freedom and Equality for All." But I don't know if that's too revolutionary.
With "trust," I am not sure what we're asking -- who are we asking to trust whom? Should we trust corporations? I don't think so. Should we trust governments? With all due respect, I don't think so either. I have a bit of a problem with "trust." Maybe the idea isn't very clear to me. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Thank you, Rasha.
>>ALEJANDRA ERRAMUSPE: Thank you, Madam Chair. I'm not afraid of the word "revolution." I like it. I think "trust for" or "in digital revolution" sound good.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Sorry, make sure we capture is properly.
>>ALEJANDRA ERRAMUSPE: "Trust for" or "trust in digital revolution."
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you.
Zeina, I will slot you in after whoever is the last one currently on the list, after Nacho.
So next on the list we have Raquel.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you, Madam Chair. So I also want to support the word trust. I think it's very overarching in terms of including privacy, security issues. So it's a wording that might be valued to include in the title and the theme, the main theme. And also what I'm missing here is the word "society." I mean, perhaps "trust for the digital society" instead of revolution. Society brings all the people, everyone in this transformation or in this revolution; right? So it's focused on the actors acting to it.
And it also builds on the last theme. I remember one of the discussions were it to include "your," to give the sense of appropriation. Your digital future. So to give this approach.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel. And we have Nacho next.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: I have my ideas but they changed.
[ Laughter ]
My colleagues from LAC, LAC region. I would say digital trust formation. Like Ben just said, like transformation, but mixing that with trust. Like trust formation, something like that. And I think transformation implies revolution, but I'm not sure it's a good word or a catchy word.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you.
Zeina, I think you came in just after Nacho, so you have the floor.
>>ZEINA BOU HARB: My concern is to add something related to inclusiveness, but I was keeping both "trust" and "digital revolution." So I propose something like partnering for a -- to build trust for digital revolution or together to build trust for digital revolution, or even simply good governance for digital revolution.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Zeina.
What I will do is take the few more MAG members that are in the queue, see if there's anything else that you would like to come back on. And we can ask Eleonora to capture the suggestions today and maybe get it out to everybody and we'll just sort of let it percolate for a little bit and think about it in the background and move back to the workshop selection process.
So with that, we have Sylvia in the queue.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Thanks, chair. Sylvia Cadena, technical community.
I want to build on the idea of emphasizing trust. I think that's what is causing a lot of the problems that we are seeing and behaviors that we are seeing and ethics and how corporations operate. You can't do business without trust, real business, let's say, that bring about change. So I think it's an overarching word that can work really well. I actually really like the idea of working on top of the values of the French revolution. I think that is -- those three words have so much meaning to how constitutions structure how the basis of democracy were built around the world in different ways. We all have different interpretations and translations, will be complicated, but I think this -- this idea of trying to put the gloves down and understand how the Internet works and understand how it's affecting our lives and our future is really important, and it will go really well with the previous year's title of shaping our digital future.
So you shape it, then you build the trust you need, and then probably next year it will be something like get it done (laughing) or something like that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So was there -- did you have a concrete?
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Well, I mean the creative juices, as you said, of the marketing group or communications departments at the French government will have to work on what works in their language also, and from there we can figure out. So the exact wording will be for them to decide. But I really like both concepts.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. I just wanted to make sure I hadn't missed something.
Thank you. Where are we in the -- wisdom, you have the floor.
>>WISDOM DONKOR: Thank you, Madam Chair.
We shouldn't forget the fact that when it comes to Internet governance, we have huge issues that we need to look at it seriously and try to address.
Now, I propose "breaking (indiscernible) barriers for a better world for all" because when you look at this theme, especially barriers, for example, if you take barriers and you take trust, for example trust is a barrier when it comes to Internet governance. When you take the top rotation, for example, it is also a barrier. And accessibility, and all that comes with it.
So when we -- when we are talking about trust, revolution and all that, I am thinking Internet has revolved already. So there are barriers that we need to address. So we have to look at it critically and then try to get a theme that will -- I mean, inure to the benefit of vents.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wisdom.
I said a few moments ago that I was going to close the queue, and there are some more names that have popped up. I do want Luis to close the queue now. Again, I think this has been a good brainstorming session. We will go through the rest of the speakers, here from the ambassador, and then determine how we pick it up later.
Which means that brings us to Mamadou. Mamadou, you have the floor.
>>MAMADOU LO: Thank you, Madam Chair for giving me the chair. Mamadou Lo from Senegal for the record.
I think if you have the possibility to align the main thing to peace -- regarding the Peace Forum to be held in Paris at the same time, I would go for something like the digital revolution for peace and development.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mamadou.
Samuel. Samuel Bambo, you have the floor.
>>SAMUEL BAMBO: Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. And I'm so impressed with the idea of trust that I would like to formally take it this way: A digital revolution driven by trust, or trust driving the digital revolution.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Samuel.
Helani, you have the floor.
>>HELANI GALPAYA: I just need a clarification whether this has sort of purely marketing purposes, this tag line, or this has to reflect the reality that, like, 30% of the proposals are related to a particular topic. It's a genuine question, because it's quite varied the proposals we are getting.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And we actually have kind of had both purposes in the past. I think over the last couple of years, we migrated to one that's meant to create kind of some excitement, but also should reflect a fairly significant piece of the agenda.
When you have, you know, eight, ten themes, of course it's hard to actually get a -- sort of a title or a theme that reflects broadly the coverage. So I think in years -- last year, for instance, it was kind of a marketing, create some excitement kind of a title than otherwise.
Liesyl, you have the floor.
>>LIESYL FRANZ: Thank you, Chair. And I think Helani's question was a good one about whether or not it's a marketing, dare I say branding or promoting purpose for the main theme. And I think we've always grappled with making sure that it's broad enough to capture the breadth of issues that are being covered at the IGF without having a specific slant or a specific focus. And also exalting the Internet as a good thing.
And for my French colleagues, how about "viva la digital revolution" ou -- ou "viva la digital evolution"?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Please, you're on already.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: I love both of them, but I wouldn't expect the American delegate to make a proposal in French, and you made my day, you made my week, you made my summer! I love it!
Please help us convince everybody.
>> (Off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: There are no shortage of surprises coming out of the American government these days.
[ Laughter ]
Okay. We have Jutta in the cue and then we'll come back to the ambassador. Jutta, you have the floor.
>>JUTTA CROLL: What can I say after these words? This is Jutta again.
I really do like more the digital evolution, viva la digital evolution," because I think after 13 years of IGF, it's not a revolution. It's transformation or evolution that we are facing.
And then with regard to the term of "trust," I think that trust only builds on accountability, responsibility, and liability. So we need to have that in mind. When we ask for trust that, we also need to have accountability somewhere around. I don't know whether both fit into the title, but I like the digital evolution.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jutta.
So I will turn to Ambassador Martinon just to see if he has any reflections, and then ask Eleonora, unless we think we can come to something quite quickly here, to pass around the list of suggestions.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: Well, thank you, everybody, for these reflections, these thoughts. Stop me if you think I'm wrong, but I see some traction on the word "trust" with other options like accountability or reliability, et cetera.
So reliability is -- I love the idea of accountability. It's not very sexy as a word, if I may. It doesn't translate super well in every language. It's worth fighting for it, but we need something sharp, and I guess trust is, in a way, more of a global -- more -- it's a more global concept than just accountability. But again, I'm open. We have to discuss that.
And then I see some traction with the idea of digital revolution, but again, with other options like transformation or evolution.
I would say, again, the same -- same thing. Revolution is a more striking word than evolution or even transformation. And by the way, I don't think "transformation" captures everything we have in mind when we talk about revolution.
There might be a misunderstanding between French speaking and non-French speaking on the implications of the word revolution. Despite French history and some terrible episodes, revolution has no negative meaning in French. So if it has a negative meaning in English or in any other language, then it has to be addressed. But then again, transformation seems to be less neutral -- more neutral and less striking than revolution. And yes, in this we have to talk about the impact -- we have to have in mind the impact, the marketing impact of the title. I've taken good note of other ideas like liberty, equality. All that is music to my ears, of course, but I'm not sure it can have a global -- can reach a global consensus.
I noted digital revolution built on trust, or I -- I think we have to put the emphasis on trust. So I like the idea from
Lana (phonetic) of something like trust in the digital revolution or -- I like the idea of good governance for digital revolution, by the way. It's more -- it's not as sexy but still, I like the idea.
And I've heard other ideas that to me took us back to, in a way, former titles. And I don't think it would be a good thing to repeat what has already been done, like -- like digital revolution and development, et cetera. We have been there already. I'm not sure it would be necessarily a good choice to sort of do it again. We have to do something new; otherwise, it's not worth trying.
Yeah, I may pause here.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. I want to thank the Ambassador for kicking off the discussion and for a lot of great ideas and thoughts. And we'll get Eleonora to send the list around, and then maybe come back.
I think -- I'm hopeful that this is a more straightforward decision at the end of the day because we're not having to at the beginning of the process having to establish themes that we think will drive the rest of the program. It is something that more clearly has to reflect the IGF in terms of character and nature and a significant amount of the interest, but it really is working more towards a set of promotional kind of excitement feel. So I hope we can close on something quite quickly.
But if we can leave that for now, because nothing ever closes quickly. Open the queue back up, Luis.
And what we would like to do now is to come to the workshop selection process. And if I could ask Eleonora -- again, before the break we established we would start with the 40 -- to kick off the profile discussion in terms of what's in the 40 and where there are clearly some gaps, looking at high-level themes, thematic themes and things. And then we'll open it up to the room in terms of where else we see some gaps that we would want to assure we addressed in the other 20 or so workshops. Sala had put out some heat maps which I saw pretty late last night that I think are pretty telling. There may be some other sort of statistics or views people have, and we should just get them up so that we make sure we understand kind of what diversity or what imbalances we're addressing. And then we'll start to understand how we actually move through suggested workshops to address that.
Does that seem like an appropriate process?
I see heads nodding. So if I can ask Luis to put up the slides, and maybe Eleonora to just walk us through the -- I think just a couple of, you know, slides that speak specifically to this.
>>ELEONORA MAZZUCCHI: Hi, everyone. Hi, Lynn. Thank you. So as I mentioned yesterday, I think the most striking imbalance that we saw for starters was that in the overall pool of workshop proposals and in the call for issues, the most popular theme was cybersecurity. And that was clearly not the case in the top 40 ranked proposals.
>> (Off microphone.)
>>ELEONORA MAZZUCCHI: Sure. So if you would like to look at this and follow on your computers, it's in the input documents section where all the MAG meeting information is, the agenda and everything else. Luis has it up on the screen.
There it is.
And if we go to the second slide, there we see all the kind of gaps across all the themes, between the workshop proposal pool and the top 40 ranked proposals. Again, a significant gap in the cybersecurity theme, but also in some other themes, like human rights and even development, innovation and economic issues. And in fact within that theme, one important subtheme missing that submitters in the workshop proposal process and in the call for issues process said was important to them was Internet for development in SCGs. So I would say that's also a significant omission. But then you also see that there is also some kind of rapprochement or less gap between other themes like digital inclusion. So maybe that would require a little less attention.
And then maybe it would also be worth focusing on just the subthemes going all the way to -- if you could go down, sorry -- the next one. The subthemes that show just right -- it's the one after that. The subthemes that outright didn't make it into the top 40 which were important in the workshop proposal pool, like freedom of expression online, gender issues, broadening stakeholder participation in IG, and fake news. And I would just flag fake news because in the top 40-ranked proposals there were no submissions under media and content, and fake news was a media and content subtheme. And I think the community has said it's an issue that's interesting for them and it would be worth looking at having that included.
I think at a high level, those are some of the spots to watch out for. That's what we see based on the gaps with community interest.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Any follow-up questions for Eleonora and some of the preparatory slides from the secretariat?
Samuel, you had your hand up before. Did you want the floor?
Are there other conclusions or other slides that people want to talk to that highlight areas that they think are underbalanced, overbalanced, underrepresented, overrepresented? We can either do that generally as in we need more proposals that speak to content that's important for the African region or if people have looked at various heat maps and there's some things they think are missing.
There was a lot of impassioned discussion earlier around the table in terms of where we thought things were missing. I think we just want to get that discussion on the table so we can figure out how to address that.
Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: I just remembered something -- Renata -- very important. Gender was a main session last year. Digital economy. I find it interesting how some of the themes that were -- and we had Geneva Key Messages which was an innovation as well, consolidated messages that could somehow align with these themes.
It's astonishing that gender is not there when gender had its first main session on the IGF. So this is an important correction to make, I think. If it's good enough for main session-wise, it's good enough for workshops.
And the same thing for the other themes that we had main sessions on. Shut-downs I think was one, the digital economy.
But mainly what I see that also can be misinterpreted is the media and content. But when this theme was suggested, perhaps it was suggested as creation of media and content or possibilities of media and content. Actually sometimes you have the interpretation of content regulation, the censorship, and freedom of expression being challenged.
So I think it's not easy to identify why this theme has disappeared. I think it has transformed actually into freedom of expression and content regulation and other issues.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Renata.
I think there were two large categories of workshop submissions, right, that came in. We could perhaps -- if we assume that that is an expression of interest across a significant part of the community, maybe see if we think that's reflected well enough in the workshops -- I'm just trying to find what is the right entry to get people to start to say, Here's something that I think we need to address or correct. Maybe Eleonora can talk us through what those two are or remind us again.
>> ELEONORA MAZZUCCHI: Sure. They were cybersecurity and human rights. Those were the two big themes that come through the proposal process, and they were two of the top three themes in the call for issues process, too.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Relatively --
>>ELEONORA MAZZUCHI: And with relatively few submissions in the top 40.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Eleonora.
>> HELANI GALPAYA: I suspect some of these things are possibly hidden under other tags. Like, there is a little bit of human rights in the AI for human rights and SDGs, for example. So it's not as straightforward as looking at the theme or the top subtheme.
>>SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you, Chair. This is in relation to a question you posed to us earlier but pretty much along the lines of what we're discussing now. I was just having a look at list from Europe that didn't make the cut in terms of cybersecurity, some of the less obvious.
Okay, so, for instance, here you have Lithuania in terms of workshop 75 submitted by Lithuania on global coordination of regional cybersecurity initiatives.
And there's also 298 from Hungary: Access to criminal evidence online. And that's just on cybersecurity. So I'll just stop there for now. But there are others but particularly Lithuania.
So Lithuania doesn't get featured in our basket at all. But there are other countries and other workshops, too, across the various themes. But when we reach those themes, I'll raise it.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. Thank you, Sala.
Renata, you're in the queue.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Yeah. My first suggestion -- I think our first step would be really looking into the column of merged suggestions and finding out the merged suggestions that have the themes that were dropped.
So, for instance, 173, does it have anything of those elements? And then we can suggest putting that element into this workshop.
And for all the top 40 that we already decided, because as we pointed out, it doesn't mean that they are -- I don't know -- finished or that we can touch them. We can make suggestions because there are merged suggestions right here. And including one person that would bring one part of these themes that were dropped would already make a big difference.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And that's a helpful suggestion, Renata. Let me see if I can maybe carry it one step further.
In the analysis from the secretariat, there's a page that says, "Gaps in the top 40". And Eleonora looked at all the subthemes that came through both the call for workshops and the call for issues and identified about, I don't know, roughly 12 areas where there were no proposals accepted in the top 40. So, for instance, 11% -- there were -- Internet for development and SDGs, in the workshop proposal pool, 11% of the workshop submissions that came in, 11% -- too much coffee or not quite enough coffee.
In the workshop proposal pool, 11% of the submissions we received were focused on Internet for development and SDGs. But there is not a workshop identified by that subtheme in the 40 that are accepted.
So maybe the question is: Do we think that is a reasonable subtheme that should be reflected in the workshop proposal? And then if so, were there some candidates that we'd actually suggest that would fill that? We could look at that chart. There's a set of about 12 areas. You start getting into somewhere there's sort of 3 and 4%, and I think there is whether or not the MAG feels that's a strong enough topic that we would pull something in because I would say the 3% is not necessarily strongly reflective of the community's interest. But that's not a reason for disqualifying it. It simply means we need to look at it a little more carefully.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Yes, directly to that point, I do think that we need to look at the themes and the subthemes because the subthemes might give a false impression.
For example, if you could put back up the subthemes for the 40. No, the other graph. The chart with the table where you can see the columns. This one.
You would see that we don't have any proposal among the top 40 that is tacked with gender equality. Although, we have among the 40 some that are dealing with gender issues. So it might be that these are grouped to the overall theme of human rights, gender and youth but people just did not tag it again with gender equality because it's in the basket of human rights, gender, and youth. So I do think this gives a false impression when we only look at the subthemes. We need to look at both. But the theme is represented either on the themes or under the subthemes.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's a good point. We're just trying to find a framework here to get some concrete suggestions, areas, that we think are not represented appropriately, either over or underbalanced. Certainly sound like people had a lot of fairly specific ideas in the conversation before lunch. I'm just trying to figure out what's the best way to get to that discussion and interested in any thoughts.
Do we want to -- I actually don't think this is going to be a helpful suggestion. But in the absence of no other suggestions, do we want to look at some of the merger candidates that weren't part of the top 40 and see whether or not since people were saying, this is kind of nearly interesting enough but maybe it's not enough on its own but if we were to merge it with some other workshops, it's a substantive enough topic and see? But in an hour, we're kind of pulling them forward on the basis of some people thought they were interesting for mergers, not because it was trying to address a specific balance.
Do we not have the right data in front of us, I mean, the right sorts?
Maybe I will turn -- oh, Renata. You are in the queue.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Yeah. Renata. I was checking the merger suggestions and where the mergers are. So, for example, workshop 173 is the first merger suggestion. It has been actually suggested to merger with several other workshops. So there were four or five mergers suggested for the workshop. So at least with one of them, they would collaborate.
And then also I think that thing of looking at the theme -- so in the gender balance, I think it would be important for the MAG members who are here to remember who they made outreach to and who could possibly collaborate that disappeared. I think Sala had a list of the countries that disappeared. That would be interesting. Because if you are creating regional balance, for example, you would have to think, are there enough francophone workshops, for example, here?
And if not, then the MAG members who are francophone have any proposals that they remember having seen or having evaluated that they could bring to suggestion to merge.
So looking at the column, going through the column but also considering proposals that were evaluated and that were highly rated. Or even proposals that were -- they were advisors.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So that's -- that could be a good place to start. It's certainly one of the larger categories of diversity we've wanted to include, and that was making sure that we had content in the program that was interesting to regions globally and certainly as well to all of the stakeholder communities, too.
So I'll go to Raquel in just a moment. But there's one other thing that the secretariat brought to my attention as well, going to your specific point, Renata, on kind of looking at the francophonie countries. There was a very, very large number of workshops from French civil society this time, which is great news, great. There were 70 of them, 7-0. But in the top 40, there are two accepted.
So at some point, if we're actually thinking about where the community's interest is -- and granted its one country -- but where the country's interest is, I think coupling that with Renata's suggestion, which was to start to look regionally, maybe there's a way to look and see if there are some topics that are sort of interest that we might want to pull forward.
I didn't mean to surprise anybody here. So let me go to Raquel and then can see if David or if anybody else wants to jump in.
Raquel, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you, Madam Chair.
So building on Jutta's comment, I went looking into the proposal made with human rights, gender and youth just speaking on the data we have there, it was missing gender equality. And the two that made it to the top 40 are not related to gender equality.
But as a matter of fact, the number 48 and 51 both have comments to merge and both are about gender equality. So perhaps if we look into those that are missing and make this exercise can be useful. This is one that can be the rebalance idea.
And I don't want to interrupt the process, but there is also the opportunities that Renata were mentioning. For example, last year we had the main session on gender. We haven't gone there yet, on the main session. There was a proposal also on the list about main session on SDGs. We have intersessional work that are related to those.
Also, to give the broader picture that we might want to look on this rebalancing exercise. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Let me try and build on that a little bit just to capture it so we don't lose it. There was a specific suggestion which said if -- based on Helani's earlier observation, if you look at 48 and 51, those two proposals do address gender equality which was something that wasn't addressed either through a thematic look or a subthematic look. Is that right?
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Yes. Just to make a correction, 48 and 51 is the number by the ranking. The proposals are 411 and 156.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: 411 and 156?
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Yes. They were ranked 48 and 51. So they were well-rated, and there is a suggestion for merge and both are around gender equality. So that's a beginning of the process of bringing the rebalance of the subthemes that were not included.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's very helpful. Just so we're clear, so the workshop numbers 411 and 156 were identified as not being addressed in either the themes or the subthemes and were candidates for merger. And I guess since they were also rated 48 and 51, that's still relatively high as well. It's probably worthwhile taking a look at. So we'll note that as one possibility.
If there are opportunities for people to do that same kind of in-depth analysis by looking through the various types of diversity and putting some concrete suggestions up, if we can do something like that quite quickly in the next two hours, we could then roll those in, rerun some of the statistics in the profile and see how that shakes out tomorrow, which would help us to refine them as well.
Let's just try and keep maybe moving forward as quickly as we can. If people are okay with identifying them just at this top level so we get something to work with, then we can dive a little deeper into the content. Does that work?
I want to make sure we're not losing anybody here because some people have gone through this process three times. And, frankly, there's nothing elegant about it. There's nothing smooth about it. It's really getting into detail and just grinding through it.
But I want to also make sure that we're not losing people who really don't kind of understand the process or can't identify with it because that's not helpful. If we need to do something different, just sort of identify what we're doing here, please, please say so. Xiaofeng was in the corner, Renata, and then we'll come to you.
>> XIAOFENG TAO: I'm Xiaofeng Tao. I'm a technical professor. From my own understanding, big data, IoT, and AI are very important emerging technologies. However, there are so many AI proposals but low proposal for big data or IoT are qualified for top 40.
I have a suggestion, can we merge a workshop for big data and another workshop for IoT subtheme? That's my suggestion. Thank you.
Actually, it is also very important so we can merge a subtheme for big data. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Do you have specific workshop numbers or is it just in general?
>>XIAOFENG TAO: General.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Those.
>>XIAOFENG TAO: Yeah.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay.
To the mailing list or can we try and get somebody to pull them together here and put them out in the room here so we can go away and look at them tonight maybe? Yeah, if we can do that, that would be most helpful, yeah. Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: I'm going to come back to the open consultations. They asked specifically for us not only to look at the workshops and the imbalance between them but inside the workshops, the ratio of female and male speakers.
So I was looking again at workshop 173 and the most highly rated workshop on our list, and they are two tokens. They both are men with only one woman speaking. So it's like, no, let's put one woman speaker so we have gender balance.
So to me, this is highly problematic, our most highly rated workshop.
So we should definitely -- and then coming back also to the idea of merger guidelines when suggesting to merger these workshops to make sure that the merger takes that into account, the gender balance.
So I would suggest definitely taking the highly rated and noting that it could have better gender balance in merging it.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So if there's support for that in the room, would we just note that also 173, I think you said, the MAG would like to see the current gender imbalance addressed or something. And we can figure out how we take that message back to them.
So Timea is looking for confused.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: The message is -- Renata -- both workshops which were suggested for merger, the number 231 -- the highly rated, most highly rated. No, sorry. Number 11 and the 173 have one woman speaker only.
So the merger should have gender balance. Two workshops that have one woman speaker only. When merger, you will have at least some gender balance. You will have -- you will have two women speakers so far speaking, but still would be better situation.
>> (Off microphone).
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Sorry. I lost the numbers now. Just a second.
>> (Off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. I think we can't -- Could we just manage the queue on the microphone because nobody else can hear.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: I am not on the queue, chair, but I just have a question about that one. Can I ask?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Sure. go ahead, Sylvia.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Sorry if I jumped the queue but I have a question about the workshop that is most highly rated. The idea was to have diversity not only on gender balance. If you look at that proposal, it has all the regions' points of view. So that is the reason why it is highly rated. So maybe, yes, it only have one woman but there are other criteria of diversity very well applied in that proposal.
So I think we need to look one by one and according to what is there.
I don't know if that is supposed to happen at some point, that we actually look at the proposal instead of talking in -- in the ether. I don't know. I'm kind of lost.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: It's a tough problem because we also want to keep the panels really small -- or the workshop sessions really small because we also had a criteria which said 50% of the session should be for engagement with the participants.
So if you try and meet all the diversity criteria and keep the panel to a very small number, it's just extremely difficult to optimize across all of those. That's why in the past years we've had panels of 10 or 12 people.
I think we need to get to the point where we can look at them as a whole or some kind of aggregation by theme or subtheme and saying overall, this is a good representation taking into account all of our diversity requirements.
One of the things some people were sort of kicking around as an idea was when we come to the discussion on the -- on what we call main sessions, call thematic sessions, we hope, this year. If the thematic sessions are meant to be built on the themes we have, whether or not there was the opportunity for us to get close enough in this process in terms of addressing the big imbalances, topical imbalances, if there really are regions that are really underaddressed or if there was a gender discrimination problem, that we were addressing those as well. And then maybe if we were to set up a subgroup of the MAG to go away and develop the main sessions, which was a process we used to have some years ago, that they could also take responsibility for looking at those workshops that fall under that theme to make sure that there was a good, you know, thematic flow, a good diversity profile in total, and that the main -- that the thematic session would actually, you know, build on or complement the workshops that were actually going to be part of the program. So that maybe there was an opportunity to have a smaller subgroup, more thoughtful look at the individual workshops by theme as part of the smaller groups that would go away and develop the main session proposals.
I throw that out there. I don't think we have to call that right now, but that might be a way to have us, you know, understand that we're kind of getting close enough and there was a point made in these particular workshops that we ought to look at them but let's go forward and understand some of the workshops that are within that theme and where they fall.
Renata, mic, please.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Sorry, I made a mistake. Renata.
The workshop that I was proposing, that I identified that had only one woman speaker was the workshop 231 and the workshop 173.
231 is the most highly rated and only has one woman speaker. And 173 only has one woman speaker as well, but it's suggested to merge with the other workshop, with the second highly rated, accessibility improved. So that merger wouldn't work.
But still, I think it's problematic that the most highly rated workshop has only one woman speaker.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. I think we can note that and bring that back.
Going back to the queue, Helani had actually asked for the queue, and then Ben will come.
>>HELANI GALPAYA: You actually said what I was going to suggest which was -- I mean, I'm not sure whether it's a really useful time, everyone sitting and going through everything when we already have concrete merger proposals in front of us on this table that we're looking at, on the document.
Could we just not do this as subgroups and perhaps thematic groups, pick on the top theme, aligning according to what you're interested in. That will really give a holistic view of start with the top 40, that's fine, and then sort of keep going down along that theme. So let's say take gender. You don't have any gender; right? You go to 48 and 51, take into account what Renata is saying, what other people are saying, and a much more holistic view about who we -- what are the proposals we now sort of can then propose to the larger group as really being required.
Because I'm not sure whether we can do it in such a large group when some of these proposals have ten merger suggestions, which just does not seem feasible.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yes, I think that's a good suggestion, Helani. If I understand correctly, you are saying we would actually start with one of the themes, look at the workshops that were accepted within that theme, maybe have a discussion with respect to how representative that is of all the different criteria, and certainly on a content level as well --
>>HELANI GALPAYA: Yes. And I'm even going further by saying we can pick one theme, do it as a group, or pick a few themes, separate into groups do it and do it, like, really workshop style.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: There had been a suggestion at some point that we break out into some breakout groups, smaller groups to do that. Historically I think the MAG has preferred to work as one. But the secretariat and I will support any process at that actually moves us along to a selection.
Let me get to there's a couple more people in the queue and then see where we are on that. Ben, you have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you, Lynn. I joined the queue when you very kindly remembered that there are new MAG members who might be a little lost, and I wanted to take you up on that. I wasn't clear whether at some point we were going to try to work out where the gaps were that needed addressing. I mean, looking at top 40 that the secretariat had given us, happily gender seems fairly well balanced but there seem to be quite striking imbalances. People talked about geographic regions also in the stakeholder groupings.
I didn't know whether we would try and do that and then look at mergers? Or it suddenly started to seem like we were starting to make merger proposals. So I was a little lost in where we were and what the process. And I understand you're trying to find consensus in what the process would be, I was going to tell you that tell me where we are and what's going to happen next.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: My first suggestion that we do just what you said at the beginning of that, which is try and identify where there were gaps or imbalances that needed to be addressed given we had a strong indication that we were going to choose that top 40. Again, nothing is done until we're done, but the top 40 had high marks and a reasonably good distribution.
But that wasn't actually getting a lot of suggestions in the room. So I've just been trying to pull different levers to see what one kind of hooked.
And I think Helani's suggestion is interest and probably ties nicely to if we look at a theme, workshops within that 40 that were accepted, and then assess whether or not there are imbalances there, topically or regionally or any of the imbalances. In one of them I can see there are some areas that are overaddressed. Neutrality, for example. Look at the bar chart. But that would be just look at the bar chart without having a discussion on them.
Let me go to the rest of the queue. I'm not sure. Was Jennifer the next one? Looks like it. It said "wait" a moment ago, but, Jennifer, you have the floor and then we'll come back.
>>JENNIFER CHUNG: Thank you, floor. My name is Jennifer Chung for the record. I'm taking the floor for the first time today. I represent the private sector on the MAG but my organization also straddles the technical community.
I'd like to echo what Ben very succinctly asked. I am also a first-time MAG member. It's my first year as a MAG member, and I'd loke some clarity on where we are in the process. It seems that people are already trying to, you know, talk about specific workshop proposals when we don't really have a very cohesive idea of where the gaps are. I mean, we do have a general idea of where they are, but for example, when I heard MAG colleagues talk about there is regional imbalance, specifically talking about certain countries falling off the map, as I understand, or maybe I have misunderstood, we're looking at the nationalities of speakers. So if we're trying to pull in workshops that represent a certain country or a region, it would be very difficult to do that because we're looking at it holistically.
For example, I know there's also talk about, you know, merging for the gender balance, but if we're talking about nationalities of speakers, are we then going to pull in speakers and put them into high-rated proposals just to make the country balance? I'm very confused there, so it would be very good to have something explained a little more.
Thank you, Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Good questions, Jennifer and Ben.
I think what we tried to do this year was to say we wanted to focus on content, and we're going to do that thematically. We did a call for issues to understand what those big buckets of themes might be, and then the workshop supplemented that.
Because we said we -- we -- one of the criteria for having a good workshop is diversity. Gender diversity, stakeholder diversity, region diversity, et cetera.
One would assume that if you didn't have good diversity or you didn't have diversity that was appropriate for your topic that you would be rated very low and, therefore, wouldn't certainly get to the top 40 out of 344. So that we could assume that diversity at that first level was okay.
That's only looking at it workshop by workshop. You know, they could have -- every one of those workshops could have four regions and none of them could have the fifth region and we would have a terrible hole with no representative from that fifth region but great diversity in every one of the other panels because they have four. So we need to do -- we need to do sort of multiple checks.
But we were going to focus on the content. So we were going to look at a theme, and we were calling them basket of issues for a while. This basket of issues we tied with a theme, and make sure that whatever fell into that theme, subsequently called subthemes, reflected an engaging program around that set of issues or that theme.
And then I think it's -- you know, we need to -- that's almost like a vertical, kind of walk through the theme, the subthemes. Is it appropriate? Is every one of the workshops individually appropriately diverse? Yes. But then we need to say, now, when we look at it as a whole, is it appropriately diverse on all those metrics? And I think we're moving in and out of the very individual workshop where there's too few women or, you know, a region missing but in danger of missing the large picture. And I think we've also said we recognize that we can't hit every diversity characteristic on every workshop and have manageable size panels and leave 50% of the time for engagement. So there are competing -- competing priorities.
Would it help -- and I will go back to the queue in a moment, but would it help if we started literally with this theme, looked through the theme in terms of the proposals that have been accepted in the first 40, look as to whether or not we think those workshops cover the theme well enough. And then we could do that for each of the themes first. That we identify whether or not we've got the right large topics in front of us.
And then we could -- if there's some we want to roll up because we find them because of mergers or we find them because we think it's an interesting proposal we came across or something, we can suggest -- we have 20 or slots or so we want to pull up. That means we need to start having some suggestions on which ones we think need to come up to flesh out those full themes.
We could pull those up. If we actually got through that today at a high level, we could run some statistics overnight which would then show us what the global diversity looked like. And then perhaps come back and try and adjust that tomorrow or adjust that through the teams that I believe will have to go away and work on the thematic sessions can take responsibility for kind of fine tuning that.
I think -- it's a shame Rasha is not here because I think that was kind of the process we were working towards with respect to some of the work the secretariat's put together. But...
So let me see first since it was Ben and Jennifer who were saying the process wasn't particularly clear, is that helpful?
And then I will ask everybody if that's a reasonable way to work through this process. And, you know, actually hope I have your support for that. And then we begin again moving forward and piloting it on one theme. So Jennifer and Ben if you want to come back on is that less confusing? More confusing?
>>BEN WALLIS: I would be happy for you to just pick an approach and say, right, this is where we're going. I know we could spend -- like you said this morning, if we were to talk about process, it will take more than 20 minutes, and it took the whole morning. So I would be happy to follow the chair's lead and say tell me what we're doing and let's do that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. And that was actually Helani's suggestion that it come to that as well, earlier.
Is there anybody who disagrees with that as an approach?
Are we willing to try to pilot it for one theme?
Then let me see. There's a number of people in the queue. Is there anybody who wants to put their hand down now that we've actually established that as the direction? Or should we continue to work through the queue?
Giving people a moment to take their hands down if they want to, and if not, we'll start going through the queue, then.
WISDOM, you have the floor.
>>WISDOM DONKOR: Thank you, Madam Chair. My name is Wisdom from Ghana.
I'm looking at the top 60 proposals, and it looks like proposals on artificial intelligence, we have about eight of them that made it to the top 60. The first one is workshop ID 231, and we have a 172, and workshop ID 427, 182. We have 339, 423. And then 11, we have 217. So all of these proposals are on artificial intelligence. And I went through them. It looks like most of them are similar. So if we can look at it carefully and do something about it. If possible, we can merge some of this to give room for others to come in.
And then also, looking at one of the proposal on big data, ID 232. I think it's about big -- big data governance for (indiscernible) agreement and (indiscernible). So we can look at this as well and see if we can consider this.
I think it is a good proposal that should be considered.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. Thank you, Wisdom. I think that's a useful aggregation of workshops dealing with artificial intelligence when we actually come to that -- to that theme.
The ambassador would actually like -- has asked when it would be appropriate for him to come in as well. I'm trying to figure out when it would be appropriate for several parts of this discussion.
I would like to, if we can, though, just close now. And are we agreed that we will start looking at a theme, evaluate it for the subtheme, look at whether or not we think the content is appropriately covered within that or whether or not there are areas that are redundant or overexposed, others that are under, have a substantive discussion on that, and then work through the other -- the other themes?
If we can get closure on that as a process for going forward, then we can underline that and move to the ambassador for his comments, and we can come back and pick up that first theme. So that's the only question, actually, that I'd really like to hear from the room at this point in time, is are we okay going forward with the thematic approach?
Renata, you want to speak directly to that?
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Just a very practical question related to that. We had agreed that it would be the first 40 that we would already see as something we would move forward. If we group by theme, then we lose that order; right?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: There's a presumed acceptance of the 40, but it is not a given until we're done. But 40 proposals ranked very highly out of 344. To be a high rank, you had to be ranked high across all of the graders, if you will. So there's some sort of assumption that test a quality proposal.
So we should probably assume that it's in, but nothing is in until it's done. And we may find out that, you know, frankly, there really are enough topics in that particular one that we want to go through.
What I'm proposing is that we start with the theme and look at just the workshops in the 40 at that are in that theme. Not every workshop in the theme. And just say --
>> (Off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I can't -- mic, please.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: So an answer, I would be fine with that. But another practical question. Can we get back our internal notes? Because if we get to the evaluation system, now it's blocked. And remember we had a few of our internal notes. So it would be really helpful to consult them.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I will give Luis a moment to think about that. And, Luis?
>>LUIS BOBO: Hi. This is Luis. I mean, that's not immediately possible. I can send some if you need to read them. They were expected for your internal evaluations. But I can try to get something, if possible, in the meantime.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I'm still trying to push for a close on the theme. I saw a number of people step out and there are two folks left in the queue. So we will come to those. That's Raquel and Timea.
Raquel, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much, Madam Chair. I fully support the thematic approach. We can easily project the themes and then try to figure out the process.
Just to have clarity, I think also what we want to take out of this is perhaps working with the two lists, what is approved and what is approved under conditions, wherever they are. So have more diversity, to have more -- so that would also bring clarity for the processes. We can identify those that are fine and move on and those that need further work and identify a MAG member or a group of MAG members who wants to work towards improving them.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel.
Timea, you have the floor.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Chair. Appreciate getting into the queue.
I have actually a question in order to join my colleagues earlier as a first-year MAG member to get clarity on the process. I consider for the time being at least the top 40 that we agreed this morning as 40 proposals that we agreed to go forward with, I would be very curious how we assess the gaps left after we accept these 40. And I understand that there's different varieties of judging the gap. But I would be interested to see how we are looking at gaps in region, gaps in stakeholders, and then gaps in themes.
We had 50 plus subthemes for people to choose from. I don't think it's reasonable to assume that every subtheme is going to be represented in the final program. If we do that, we pick one workshop per subtheme and we filled our program. That's not the process we have all agreed to take. So there is going to be some themes that don't make it. That's just the reality of what we do.
But I wanted to see if there's anything we can do to see -- these are the top 40 we accepted. These are the gaps that were left, that are maybe more easily bridged by region, by stakeholders because there's some pretty blatant gaps there, and then see what we can do with the topics.
Perhaps if we look at the statistics per the baskets, might help us with that. I don't know. I would be very curious to see how those look as well. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. Let's just -- I'll come to you, Ambassador Martinon.
If we were to say the first theme of the eight, the cybersecurity, trust and privacy, roughly there were sort of 75 proposals that came in and it looks like four or five accepted. We could right now look at those four -- four or five in the top 40. We could look at those four or five right now, see whether or not we think they're leaving any significant barriers that would one expect to see under a cybersecurity, trust and privacy basket not addressed. We could then quickly ask -- and, again, a subset of the MAG members reviewed all of the cybersecurity, trust, and privacy proposals. Are there some that they believe are worthwhile to recommend being brought up, to move us from the 40 to the 60?
If we did that for each one of the themes, this is obviously a discussion based on content and we should all look at it and say, "From my own stakeholder group," which is both a stakeholder group and a region, "is this something that I think is of interest and could be of interest to my region or my stakeholder group" so we have this kind of check as well.
If we came away with a short list of proposals that we thought were going to fill -- move us from 40 to 60 -- and, again, there may be some that we want to move out as well, I'm not trying to discount that -- then we could run the statistics, I think, others are talking about to see whether or not there are some things we still need to address, where we just don't have any issues that are, you know, of interest to region X or a particular stakeholder group if the private sector should feel really the issues that were most important to the private sector which, of course, would span a couple of these. Just weren't represented. We can all do those checks as well.
I actually don't think this needs to be a terribly, terribly onerous exercise if we can sort of agree on one and start. And I'm sure there are probably refinements we can do as we move forward.
I see lots of heads nodding yes. I see Jutta. I will go to you and then I really do want to hear from Ambassador Martinon.
>>JUTTA CROLL: I think the process is moving forward.
Just a quick question, how do we take into account the length of the sessions? The first thing I see is about 60 minutes. If we merge it with two or three others, do we then talk about 90 minutes? How do we deal with that? I do think we need to decide that in advance.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: My personal feeling would be that if somebody put in a workshop and it was rated highly at either a 90-minute, to go back to them and say we would like your workshop a lot, it was rated highly but we would like you to shorten it by a third, I don't know if we're actually -- if I feel that's appropriate.
If we think we would like them to shorten because we think they are dragging out some component or some piece of it, that's different. But if we're just trying to find reasons to get people to shorten workshops so we can slot a few more in, then I think we're potentially kind of short-circuiting the quality of the proposals for just a slot.
>>JUTTA CROLL: The first example, it was just the other way around. It's asking for 60 minutes. And if we merge it with two or three others, it might need 90 minutes just to accommodate all the speakers and all the things that then come into it by merging. Just a practical question.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And I think my -- I think if there's something that jumps out at us when we are having a discussion on merging these two proposals, we know these were both requested for 60 minutes each but really on the topic it's the 90 minutes, we can go back to them and suggest. I think we can note that.
In my experience, I think the number of merged proposals that actually come forward based on those that are suggested is very, very, very small. It's really hard to merge proposals. It requires a lot of hand holding and a lot of goodwill on the part of all the workshop organizers to do such a thing.
>>ZEINA BOU HARB: Can we propose to include one speaker that -- which proposal was refused just to also cover the regional or imbalances in the diversity?
I mean, if I'm speaking about the Arab region, there was about 65 persons nominated as speakers. But in total after the evaluation, maybe two proposals from the Arab region was accepted. But the number of speakers, there are maybe eight or nine persons. So we have countries, mainly -- I can name UAE, I can name Bahrain, Oman, Sudan, they were totally rejected. None of the speakers was accepted. So maybe we can fill the gap by targeting speakers from this underrepresented countries. It would be a win-win situation both for the theme and for diversity.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's a very good suggestion, and lots of heads nodding in the room.
Renata, you have the floor and then I'm going to go to Ambassador Martinon and then we're going to come back and start cybersecurity, trust, and privacy.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: -- I want to -- Renata -- reinforce Jutta's point. I think we should propose 60-minute sessions, all 60-minute sessions.
And another thing I would point out again reinforcing Zeina's point and a problem that we had last year is the workshop Number 117, which is way down on ranking on the group -- on the cybersecurity group because its title is in French, even though it's -- the description is in English.
We don't have guidance for workshop proposers to limit themselves like this. So I think it's unfair that this workshop is very low rated.
And it's also from LAC and Africa and highly rated workshop, 351 -- sorry, 131, which was proposed a merger with it, has four WEOG. So definitely to me that's a clear sign that we can remove the speakers from WEOG, suggest to remove to balance these speakers from LAC and Africa. The workshop 131 and 117.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you for jumping right into the process as well. And we'll come back to that in just a moment.
If people can -- I know everybody has a different way of working. Some are using the Excel spreadsheet. Some are relying on notes. Some are relying on reports that came from the secretariat. If you could begin looking at the cybersecurity, trust, and privacy submissions, the workshops that were actually approved within that, and then if you have any reflections on something being overrepresented or underrepresented, or something you think needs to be addressed there, then please bring it up, bring it up concisely, and briefly and we'll try and go through the other themes in the same manner and then see where we are when we come back and look at it again horizontally.
I want to thank the ambassador for being so patient. I should probably thank him for not running out of the room actually at this point. It's always a complex process. But, please, you have the floor for as long as you'd like and to make any points you'd like.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: I have been listening to the debate, and I see the care that you've all put into the process. And I see how much you try to make it rigorous, scientific.
I just would like to invite you to take a step back and see the final outcome of it. And I will tell you a story about that.
When we were in the process of getting closer to a political decision on France hosting the 2018 IGF, we were getting close to the end of the time window for submissions.
So even if it was still unofficial, I called a lot of people from the French civil society and I told them, Hey, you know what is the IGF? Basically the answer was no. And I said, so most probably it will be in Paris in November and it's a multistakeholder process and you should be part of it. So, please, bring your ideas, make submissions. And it actually worked because there was something around 60 French -- well, submissions coming from the French civil society, which is absolutely unseen in France.
Lynn told you earlier what is the result from our standpoint. 60 submissions, 40 in the actual list -- two in the 40s, which makes two French panelists. Two French panelists for an IGF in Paris.
I tell you, I can't come back to Paris and present that result because it makes no sense. Just try and put yourself in the shoes of the French civil society, the French government, even the French taxpayers, by the way. We can't have an IGF, we can't invite -- we can't have 2,300 persons in Paris at UNESCO and only have two French panelists. This is something -- I wouldn't be able to explain it to the president or the minister of foreign affairs. I don't think that Germany would like -- particularly appreciate next year to have two German panelists at the Berlin IGF.
So, again, I'm not here to mingle into the process. That's not my job. I'm just a host country co-chair, in French you would say sort of a pastiche, (non-English word or phrase).
But I'm here to tell you that it won't work like that because if it goes like that, believe me, not only the French civil society will harshly criticize the event, French authorities, the press. Honestly, I don't see why the French citizens would attend the IGF in Paris if there is no French panelists. And that is exactly how it will be described.
So I don't know how it could be changed. I like the idea that Zeina presented that we -- you should try and pick some speakers from nationalities that are underrepresented and among them I obviously put the French. But you have to make space for the French civil society. Otherwise, honestly, it won't work. I leave that to you. I'm happy to talk to the French IGF and ask them to sort of establish a list of proposed speakers that other panelists or other organizers would welcome, would invite in their workshops. I think that can work like that.
I wouldn't mind if the MAG would pick some French proposals, more than two, notably from the French think tanks which are always associated with other think tanks around the world. That could work.
But, please, you have to understand that if the French civil society has no stake in it, has no space, I don't see how it could work.
I mean, I remember Bali. I remember Istanbul. I remember Joao Pessoa. Local attendance was very substantial, and I'm not only talking only about the volunteers. We will provide the volunteers. I'm talking about people from Paris interested in Internet governance topics, eager to engage into the discussion, into the debate and bring some ideas. We are always looking about including new members, attracting new people. Well, now is the time. And I may pause there.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ambassador.
There are a few people that are requesting the queue.
Rudolf, you have the floor.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Thank you very much, Chair. And as we have been mentioned by the co-chair, I just want to say, of course, we have the honor of hosting the IGF next year. And I can feel and have a little compassion about what the ambassador has been saying.
I think it's very important if you are a host country to have a broad, positive, and supportive environment within the country where the IGF is going to take place.
And, of course, now we cannot -- we will not retain all 60 proposals. But the idea to have in the country where it takes place stakeholders, representatives, speakers in the workshops from all the stakeholder groups, I think that makes sense.
It is a little bit like, as we have had these comparisons a lot these days, the world championship in soccer. If you are the host country, normally you don't have to qualify. You are normally the one that goes directly into groups.
So I think that -- I have a certain sympathy with that point, and we should -- we should think about how to accommodate it.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rudolf.
Raquel, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you, Madam Chair. So I'm very sympathetic also with ambassador's problematic that he raised.
So I wanted to share that as part of the program of the LAC IGF, the regional IGF, we have also faced the same issue two or three years, which I remember, that, well, usually you have a host country, a host organization, et cetera. And they wanted the space in the program to share the local outset or whatever. And so we created and now it's a standard session which is the local host session. So that's one of the ways to tackle. I'm not saying it should be; just to share the experience.
And then the other one regarding the resource list, the person's resource list, we already have a global resource list and what could be done, perhaps it's not that difficult technically, is to have another column for the locals that would facilitate those workshop organizers looking for speakers to look into the local community.
And it actually makes sense because now -- it's not a criticism, but Paris is expensive. So many won't be able to travel perhaps. And so looking into the local might even be helpful for the workshop organizers. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel.
Again, just for the purposes half the MAG are new this year and another 25% have been here -- or a third have been here for a year, so this process is really new for everybody. Just want to remind everybody where we are in the process. We have not -- maybe this is even for you, Ambassador. We have not come through the process yet. We had a process that had 344 workshops split up across subgroups of MAG members reviewing them, and they were reviewed by theme. So as they reviewed the theme, they chose the workshop proposals for what they saw and ranked them. They didn't choose the top four and five. They just went through and reviewed 75 proposals and graded each one individually.
The stage we're at right now in the process is where we start to uncover, you know, some of the anomalies that I think is just a natural part of the process that we're all working hard to address.
So I think it's really good that you brought it up, that people brought up, you know, a dearth of speakers from the Middle East. These are all the things we're trying to pull out now so we can address and to make sure we actually have a program that reflects the communities' desire, topical and diversity. I say that for the new members here that we're just at the natural state in the process. This is not the MAG intending to go forward with a selection that had very few Middle Eastern speakers or very few French workshops or French speakers. I think it's really important, because things get taken out of context and we go home and all of a sudden, you know, we're sort of labeled as having been insensitive to some of these diversities and things, and that's not -- if people want to say that at the end of the day Friday, they can say that but not at this point in the process because this is what we're trying to uncover, where there are some things that need to be addressed and rebalanced. And again, I just say that because of the people that are new to the process.
Going back to the queue, Michael Ilishebo, you have the floor.
>>MICHAEL ILISHEBO: Good afternoon once more. Michael Ilishebo, from Zambia, stakeholder group. I am speaking in my personal capacity.
I think what the ambassador has said is an unwritten rule. Unwritten in the sense that if you are hosting a conference such as IGF and yet you only have three speakers from your country, basically it defeats the efforts of hosting one.
I think during the session evaluation I list one important issue on a session that I believed was written in French. But of course then it was translated into English. Personally, I think that should have been Google translation. So that session to me, it lost its actual meaning to a non-French speaking person because if the person who looked at the other proposal and evaluated it as somebody from the French community, I can assure you they would have made a lot of sense out of it.
Of course, France is hosting the 2018 IGF. Most of the civil society people and other (indiscernible) members, we are constrained from submitting, probably because of language barrier, probably because of other factors. But of course if you look at the list, there are many from France. There are many from Belgium. When we say the French-speaking people, we mean -- it goes beyond France, actually. Switzerland is one of them. There are many.
So just kind of looking at it in this way, when we say French speaking people, let's also include other surrounding nation that speak French. In Africa we've got the francophone countries. Most of them, you won't actually see them in meetings where English is the main language because they are constrained. Probably there is no translation that is going to take place during that conference so they would just be attending for the sake of attending and they cannot participate.
So in the same line, I think as the ambassador has raised this important issue, I think we need to revise the laws in terms of workshop evaluations and what (indiscernible) should actually give to the hosting nation. If we evaluate a workshop session from a host country in the same manner we are evaluating another workshop session from the rest of the world, and yet the one from the rest of the world has an upper hand to that of the local one, I think we're doing much -- a disservice to the people in the host country.
Look at the World Cup. Russia would not have gotten to where they had had it not been for their 11th player, which the supporters. They fought hard with the support of their constituents, (indiscernible) that much. So they still have the age to watch the World Cup because (indiscernible) something. The same as the way we talk about the IGF influence. If we exclude workshop proposals from the citizens of France, it means we just -- we're agreeing in theory. It's like the taxpayer is paying for a service that probably would be enjoyed by the rest of the world and not citizens themselves.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Michael.
Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Hi. Yes, I am -- I have done the following. I scanned through the word France in the workshop ranking and there are a lot of merger proposals.
I remember we had a similar problem with Cuba last year. There were several workshops from Cuba at that were not accepted, and there were suggestions of merger proposals. But I think these mergers need to be well thought. And of course you can't join all French workshops in one. They should be merged with other workshops that are rated higher, that do not have representation.
So while it could work to merge the workshops, it would also work to rescue them, bring in the themes that fell. Another scenario is a lot of the WEOG speakers are not French. So changing the balance inside of WEOG would also be interesting to do. And our top rated workshop for instance has four WEOG men and one woman, and only one French. So that is already a suggestion there.
And I reinforce Raquel's point to use the list of resource persons and remember to use -- to include local speakers in the main sessions. That would be not to advance the process but I remember that's also a possibility.
And it would be good if we could search the list of resource persons for gender and nationality, so we could indicate similar speakers from French as well. And concrete mergers, suggestions of two French workshops, 380 and 336, but I'm going away from the cybersecurity theme. And I would -- I would merger them with workshop ranked number 62. They are both about data, and it's a workshop on data and Internet shutdowns.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Renata, thank you. There were a lot of good suggestions there. And of course we do still have the thematic sessions, the main sessions, which are actually fully under the MAG's, you know, guidance and development. So that would be a logical place to address some of the imbalances. And appreciate you really staying with the process as well, Renata.
So unless there are any further comments or the ambassador wants to come back in, I would propose we go with the proposal that was to start looking at the cybersecurity, trust and privacy, the workshops that were ranked within the top 40, see what kind of profile that gives us in terms of this -- covering this theme and whether or not there were any suggestions either because of merger suggestions or suggestions to pull some additional workshops in that were ranked higher that had to do with that theme.
And again, if we could try to go through them all quite quickly and get sort of a slightly larger was basket for all of them, I think that would be a good pass, and then we can look to refine them tomorrow.
Let me just see if you have any further comments, Ambassador, before we go back to the queue.
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: No, I welcome the comments, and thank you again for that.
I welcome the ideas and the suggestions.
I -- We didn't really have time to do the job that you have been doing, so I -- I would like to come back to the -- for example, to the French chapter of the IGF and see how we can sort of make these ideas -- I particularly like the ideas of merging ones, the ideas of sort of having a list of resource speakers. And I -- I would really like to see at least three to four workshops promoted by French organizers, which all of them includes the -- cover the criteria, the diversity criteria, so that, you know, they feel that they are not only on the passenger seat but in the driving seat.
And I would like to -- I will come back to the MAG. Maybe not personally but through Frederic Paruta, with proposals so that you can -- you can see what you can do with them.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. I think that would be helpful. And we may even find some natural progress towards that just as we continue filling in the next -- the next 20 workshops and addressing the imbalances in total.
Okay. So we're on cybersecurity, trust and privacy theme. It used to be called basket of issues. There were 75 submissions. It looks like there were five -- I'm just looking at the bar chart. There were five that made it into the top 40. We could take a quick look at those, if there were merger suggestions, and see if there's anything there that we feel particularly strongly we should move forward. Again, not to have a detailed discussion, because I think we need to try to make progress on a couple of -- if not all of the themes, before 6:00.
And are there any subthemes or content that people feel are missing that would further round out that category or any workshops they would like to put forward or merger suggestions? So if you're in the queue, I hope it's to speak to that point directly. Otherwise, we would ask you to set your comment aside and we will come to it later. I will go through what's up there assuming that is a true, statement.
Wisdom, you have the floor.
>>WISDOM DONKOR: Thank you, Chair. Yes, going through the proposals again, it is good we also consider cybersecurity. But then there is another emerging technology which is coming which is the blockchain. And there is a whole issues about cybersecurity around this blockchain.
So I'm thinking -- going through the workshops, in the top 60, in the top 40, I'm not seeing any blockchain in the proposal. So I've gone through the whole proposal and I've sent this proposal, number 256, is blockchain the right technology for you? I think this is a good proposal. And we also need to take a good look at this and see if we can consider it. There are a whole lot of issues when it comes to blockchain. In my country, I think we have this technology coming in, and there are cybersecurity issues surrounding this. And then we need to also address this.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Wisdom, thank you. That was directly to the question and the point.
And I'm assuming 256 is the workshop number, not the ranking?
>>WISDOM DONKOR: (Off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. And do you happen to know what the ranking is, just quickly?
>> (Off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: 324? 244.
I think if we established a protocol where we actually reference it by workshop number, that's the easiest way to sort it, but it's just a reasonable quick indication as well if we understand where it was ranked, too. So if we can establish that protocol as we go through here, that would be helpful.
I said Julian was in the floor. I mean in the queue.
>>JULIAN CASASBUENAS: No, Madam Chair. I was asking for a comment on the previous theme we were discussing, so I will try to share it later.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. Thank you, Julian. And if you want to do that when the ambassador comes back in, just kind of signal us offline or something.
Renata, you have the floor.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Thank you, Chair.
I have two concrete merger suggestions. From workshop 379, and -- where was it? Too many windows open. On the cybersecurity theme, the regulatory -- the second rated. The second on the cybersecurity, trust and privacy, number 269. So 279 and 269. No, sorry. 379 and 269. Now I've got it. 379 and 269.
So they are -- the 269 has a good diversity, but the 379 has women discussing cybersecurity and regulation, and it would be interesting to balance the gender representation on 269, which is, yeah, missing.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. I think we've noted that. And when 379 was up there, there was also another suggestion that it might be merged with -- I think it's 353 as well. So maybe we can go back and capture these all in one in a workshop. I don't know how we might do that, Eleonora. I'm trying to think if there's some way to capture -- that was workshop 379, which is ranked 28 or something, and yet there are multiple other workshops suggested for merging, one which is captured on the table and one which is coming up now. I'm trying to ask Eleonora if there is a way to actually put that in the table somehow. So we would then look at the top 40 and say in the top 40 these are the workshop proposals that have come up that are aligned with this top 40 proposal. Do you follow what I mean?
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Yeah, 353, which was the one that originally 379 was suggested to merge, has 10 or 11 suggestions of merger. So that make it really hard to work like this as well.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: that's why at some point we had thought may be breakout groups. Because in a smaller group, let's say there are five workshops -- well, there are five workshops that we're accepting on cybersecurity, you could look to the merger suggestions that were there against those. The five workshops. You could then look at others that are topical or content based and come up with a proposal that said here's another -- you know, against a small group of people, here's another three or four proposals we would suggest pulling up. I don't know if that's actually possible to do now, but I think we just continue getting more aggregations of data and still not kind of the overall diverse -- diversity picture we want to ensure that we've got a properly shaped program. And maybe there's some things we can do with next year's process which, you know, frankly, maybe even allows more time in between for the secretariat to do some analysis, get it out, get the working group to meet, feed it back in and do a couple of iterations. But we're working with what we're working with today.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Sorry, I really apologize because I also am very new to this whole process. But, I mean, does the ranking now play any role at all or not? I mean, can we wholeheartedly take a proposal on cybersecurity, for instance, that's ranked 264 or 306? There must be a reason for that somehow. My -- my, how you say, spontaneous suggestion is we are looking into the top 100 or so and not go further down. I mean, just a question.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I know. So I see some heads nodding yes, and I see others saying not sure because, you know, it may be one that came from, you know, a particularly region which is a particularly issue but it wasn't a particularly well written or thought out proposal but the topic is still.
If people want to say that and draw a line under something other than 40 and say we will consider for merger proposals those that are above that, we can do that. Kind of the will of the group. But typically we haven't made that kind of cutoff.
>> Thanks, Lynn, for giving the chair, but I want to just say a comment because I think that in choosing the proposal to match, we should at least fix a minimum score. Because we cannot take a proposal that I think is less than three. I mean, there should be a criteria, I think. So thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Let me put the question to the floor then. Are people willing to kind of set a floor which says if a workshop is rated below some number that as a first cut we don't consider it? I see some...
I see a significant number of heads nodding no from both corners of the room. Jutta had asked for the floor and then Sylvia. A show of hands for -- would people here in the room support drawing a line which says below some number, the MAG will not consider those proposals because it's deemed that just for the sheer number of proposals and the sheer number of high-quality proposals we had that some number below that ranking should not be considered?
Who believes that we should draw a line below -- I don't know, choose a number for purposes -- 100 or 150, below that number we do not consider those proposals. Who would support that? You have to keep your hands up for a moment. Only one hand.
[ Laughter ]
>> (off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So I counted 20. I saw them all.
Who would not support that? Yes, please, Paul.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: I think there's a fundamental flaw in the whole process. And whilst I support the theory behind this, if you look at the one in question that Wisdom was talking about, 256, it's actually a good proposal. And it seems it has been ranked -- there's other proposals above it that are in the hundreds that are not as good as this. So somehow whether there was some bias in the group that ranked it or not, I don't know. But when I look at it, I see quite a good proposal that should have been above other proposals that have been ranked higher.
If we use 100 as a threshold, which is an easy way to do it, we are actually giving disservice to some proposals that are good and that have been in my opinion -- what's the right word -- ranked incorrectly through the system.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Or have shortcomings that might be overcome.
I actually have -- I really would like to go back to -- I understand people are putting their hands up because we had an existing queue and now we're now responding to this directly. What I saw was Lianna and they Nebojsa. Let me go to Lianna.
>>LIANNA GALSTYAN: Thank you. So I have -- what I want to say and I'm supportive of the second group. I really do appreciate the evaluation process that we've gone through and the merit that those workshops have gone in the top list.
On the other hand, we put so much effort to invite people to apply for workshops and those workshops that didn't get the highest rank, still there are people and there are countries from the speakers from those countries that were dropped off. And this is very PT, a very bad situation.
Same like the Ambassador has talked about France, it's not only the French situation but there are a list of countries that have been absolutely dropped.
So those speakers -- the list of speakers that have some experience and knowledge, et cetera, we can use that experience to bring them in these workshops.
So we also can have a reserved list or something like that. And when we cut off the workshops, for instance, from those ones that were 90 minutes to 60 minutes, we will have some time for additional workshops. And we can at least put those workshops which are in the reserved list in this basket. So we can later on discuss on that numbers and come back on this and give chance for those workshops to be included in the program. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Lianna.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: Nebojsa Regoje, Bosnia and Herzegovina government.
I fundamentally disagree with the concept that now I'm going to say that proposal ranked 300 is better than proposal ranked 25 because that undermines us as a collective body here who ranked, evaluated all those proposals.
So my personal opinion can be that something is good. I evaluated. I gave marks. But my opinion has been overruled by the opinion of majority. So I think that we -- to preserve our integrity as collective body here should stick with the ranking as it is. I see really no reason why we should now pull out Proposal Number 200 -- ranked 220 and compare it with proposal ranked 25.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Nebojsa.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Let me make a proposal here.
One of the things we said was for the top 40 -- when we were going through and evaluating them, the MAG had agreed that they would note if they thought there were merger candidates as they were going through the review. And that's why you see in the comment, the list of possible merger candidates are X and Y. And that was a specific field. In fact, we asked Luis to put in at the last moment to allow that easy.
One thing we could say, if you're in the top 40 and there are merger suggestions, assuming those top 40 make it into the top 60, we can go back to the top 40 and say, When the MAG was reviewing all the proposals, they thought there were some other interesting ideas captured in these other proposals. We would ask you to simply look at them and see whether or not there are some speakers or some ideas you can pull forward.
We're not asking them to merge. We're simply saying some MAG members actually thought there was some similarity or commonality or some good alternative viewpoints. You should consider reviewing those presentations and see if there's anything you want to put in or highlight in your proposal.
That means we are giving some attention to the merger suggestions of the MAG members but there were not -- using totally unofficial -- messing too much with proposals that we gave a really high ranking. These are the top 40 proposals out of 344. So I think we have to assume they are quite good proposals.
We still have the opportunity to pull forward -- if we believe there's proposal 344 that has some redeeming qualities because it's addressing a gap or a topic or something and it needs help to actually be an appropriate quality proposal, those are the ones we're trying to pull into the 20.
So I don't think there's a need to draw a line and pull those out. And I do think that's actually not fair to a lot of first-time submitters and people whose English isn't the first language and a whole host of things. I don't think they should be ruled out. I think somebody has to argue for them to be pulled back in because it's substantive topic or because it is addressing a specific imbalance or shortcoming we see when we look at the program overall.
So if you will, it's kind of a positive pull-up or a positive opting in as opposed to kind of a wholesale discounting.
If people agree with that -- I see heads nodding. That's pretty much what we've done in past years. I would propose we go back quickly to the cybersecurity. And Wisdom was really good in terms of looking at cybersecurity, trust, and privacy and put forward a proposal to the group he thought blockchain wasn't represented and it's a sort of interesting category. Is that something that the MAG would consider? I think we note it and we move on.
If we can do that quickly, are there any other major topics that we think aren't reflected in that basket of issues, that theme? And let's note them quickly.
And if we can go through all of them and get a few more in each one of the buckets, then we start to get close to the 60 and we try to figure out how to ensure we have the right balance and the right mix topically and addressing all of those diversities tomorrow. But we would start with a short list that would focus first on kind of topic.
When people look at the program and you see there's a basket called "cybersecurity, trust and privacy," are the sort of issues you expect to see there reflected in the workshops we accepted to date? We can refine them significantly over the coming weeks if we've got the bones there.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Chair. Two points here. One on -- regarding the speaking queue, are we not using the queue anymore? Because if not, I'm going to put my hand up here just to be on the point when you are asking the question. I feel like I'm missing the boat sometimes.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We are using the queue. We went off line. We wanted to do a show of hands and then a couple of people had some -- you're in the queue. You are now.
>>TIMEA SUTO: I must not have had enough coffee for this discussion yet.
But regarding the points that we are discussing, I would like to -- just replying to Wisdom said, we do have a basket called emerging technology and a subtheme there called blockchain and distributed ledger.
So I understand that blockchain has security applications, but everything has security applications. So can we please ask the secretariat to help us to identify the gaps we are discussing here?
We are talking about a theme. Can we see all the subthemes pertaining to them reflected and not reflected in the top 40? Can we please see the regions and the gender distribution and the stakeholder distribution by the theme and by the top 40 in that theme? And try to see where the gaps lie because maybe -- I'm new to this process, but I cannot follow the idea we have this five -- I'm jumping around. I'm really trying my best.
But I think I see a lot of confused faces around the room, and I would like to ask some help from the secretariat. If we take five minutes, ten minutes, everybody gets a coffee, we do that quick analysis and come back and discuss this because I don't see any way forward.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I would actually like to say --
>> (off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. I would like to say no to that, frankly. If we stop now and take a coffee, we're done for the day. Let me just try to see how we can push on.
I do think -- let's take a look at, I don't know, human rights, gender, and youth. There are 70 proposals and two accepted. Now, we can have a discussion quickly as to whether we think that's kind of the right overall shape you would look at for the program, yes or no.
At this point, whether or not we have the right gender diversity, region diversity is kind of the second order if there are two out of 70 proposals for a topic that's always been extremely important at the IGF.
Do we think that's -- so that's the kind of overall theme. I think we can do the regional and the gender as a second order unless somebody has a specific proposal.
But just to start looking at more statistics categorized differently, I think it's just going to frankly drive us down a series of different rat holes.
Do we think this is a fair representation, what the community said they want to see and what is in our 40? There's a lot of difference between the blue bars and the orange bars.
>> (off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So are there specific -- let's move from human rights, gender, and youth. We had one specific suggestion, I think it was from Renata earlier -- maybe it was Jutta and Raquel, I think.
>> (off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, if people want to stay with this theme and this program, I'm happy to take some more suggestions for large topics or workshops they think should be pulled in.
>>RASHA ABDULLA: I was going to basically say a lot of what you said and what Timea said. Maybe I'm missing something so I need to ask. Do we have a blue-orange chart per theme, or do we just have the one with the themes? I think that's what we're missing. We need one like this.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: (off microphone).
>> RASHA ABDULLA: I think what we need is we need one for each theme with its subthemes. That's what we need to look at. That's what will enable us to figure out where the gaps are quite quickly. We need one just like this per theme.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I know what you are saying. We have the top eight here: Cybersecurity, trust and privacy. If we know that quickly which subthemes are under that, does that help?
>>RAQUEL GATTO: We need to know which subthemes made it to the top 40 and which didn't.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: If we can do the correlation between that and the subtheme graph, we have got that.
On the other hand, I do think we are trying to put too fine a point on this. We have five workshops out of 70 accepted. To those five, if you scan the titles quickly, do they kind of cover the field of cybersecurity, trust, and privacy?
Do people want to take Rasha's suggestion? Then we have cybersecurity, trust, and privacy on this bar graph. We can quickly tell you which subthemes rolled up under cybersecurity, trust, and privacy. And everybody can go to the eye-strain chart, you know, the other bar chart here, and see which subthemes under the theme are underrepresented, if you think that that gives you more helpful information.
Eleonora, can you tell us which subthemes roll up under the cybersecurity theme? Let's just try that and see if it helps.
>>ELEONORA MAZZUCCHI: So under cybersecurity, we had algorithms, cyber attacks, cyber diplomacy, cybersecurity best practices, data privacy and protection, encryption, hate speech, Internet of Things, legal and regulatory issues, and trust.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So let me ask people if they think that gives another -- it's obviously a more granular view, but are we so granular that we are really losing track of what it is we're doing? There was the earlier comment that said with 50 subthemes to choose from, one subtheme someone is assigned to is probably a matter of how you are thinking about it on that particular day.
To me the particular question is if we are coming back and we have got 100 sessions we are going to actually put together over the three-day IGF and we have a major category called "cybersecurity, trust, and privacy," do we think the five workshops we've identified today cover that waterfront enough? Or do we need to pull in some different topics? And then what is the workshop that would be suggested with that? I thought that's the process we were trying to do.
I was trying to pull us away from the statistics a little bit. We can always go back to the statistics and adjust if we need to later.
I think actually with 40 workshops and eight themes, most of them are probably underrepresented in terms of the sort of topics you'd expect to see in that area. So what are the ones we'd pull forward?
I don't want to lose the queue. Let me go back. Veni, you are in the queue.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: I'm not sure I remember now what I raised my hand for.
[ Laughter ]
This was quite a while ago.
No, I don't agree with the results yesterday from the match. Just kidding. I was for U.K -- sorry, England, not U.K.
If I have to be a little bit more serious while the ambassador is away, so I can be also slightly politically correct on the contrary, correct? I was just going through the Excel file and reading the explanation for some of the workshops and I remember what he said about the number of proposals that they've put in the 60 civil society section, engagement, et cetera.
And then I looked into some of the proposals that ICANN put, and I was reading the explanation why people rated them in that way. And the explanation is: Oh, yet again GDPR and WHOIS, you know? This is an issue for ICANN.
I think there is also -- there could be a misunderstanding when people were evaluating and maybe the big number of first-year participants in the MAG, I'm also -- I mean, I don't count my 15 years ago participation because it was completely different -- could have contributed to this misunderstanding how we evaluate some of the proposals. Because if somebody puts a note like that in, oh, yet, again, a workshop that is rather for ICANN. Well, guess what? I can go to any of those proposals and says, That's not for the IGF, that's for another conference because there are another organizations that are discussing these issues.
And on cybersecurity, I can go and say, that's for the Global Commission on Stability and Cyberspace. That's for the EastWest Institute. Or that's for, you name it, the GG next year or this year.
So I think we probably should try to be a little bit more flexible at this point and take into account one thing which the ambassador mentioned which is, look, we cannot ignore the fact -- I mean, yes, it's a global IGF so one can argue equally it's global, it's not really national.
But we cannot ignore the fact that when you have the enthusiasm of the local host, it's something that we have to use because, otherwise, next year Germany is not going to be to be so enthusiastic. And then in two years we'll be wondering again who's going to host if people say, well, why should we have it here if we're not going to be part of this conference. This is one.
And, two, an organization like ICANN and others who are supporting the IGF Trust Foundation, sometimes it's taking a great time of explaining to the community because ICANN is not just the organization, you know? It's the whole community and, we need to explain to the community which is the IGF important. It's a bit of (indiscernible). We need to explain to the U.N. what is the outside Internet world doing, and we need to explain to this Internet world what is the intergovernmental organizations and why is the IGF at all existing and the value of it.
So maybe we have to take a step back and just think about this tonight over the -- when we cheer for Chengetai and just consider about the fact that maybe there is a way to -- when we merge different workshops and I hear -- I can completely agree with our colleagues who are saying, well, we shouldn't take 300 and something.
But what if whoever was graduating the 350th workshop, didn't really understand the value about the IGF or the particular topic. It's possible.
I mean, again, as somebody who is reading this for the first time without the experience from previous years, if I have a second chance now after the discussions, I may change my opinion on some of the workshops. And maybe it's true for some others. I see people here nodding.
I believe this is something very natural. We should not say, oh, no, this is something we decided two weeks ago; we should never move away from this.
Again, I am trying to constructively bring some of the good proposals and speakers and make the gender and geographic balance to be used in a positive way for the IGF because we -- at the end of the day, this is not about us. This is not about the MAG. This is about the IGF. You know, we are here just convened by the Secretary-General to make sure that the MAG is a successful event. And if we -- if it's not, for the reasons that either the host is not happy or the supporters are not happy or nobody is happy, then we have failed. Not us as a group, but we have failed the trust that we are given to make sure that this is a good event.
So this is my appeal to everyone.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Veni.
I mean, I think I would just add to that as well as we all want very much to respect what the community has told us in the call for issues, the (indiscernible) and process. And that represents, I don't know, 340 people, 400 people, however many people you think participated deeply in the -- but we're actually trying to reach policymakers and decision-makers that hopefully about affect the six and a half, seven billion people here as well. So I think we need to take a look at this and say if I'm coming something to something like the IGF and I see one of their themes is cybersecurity, trust and privacy or I see one of their themes is human rights or whatever, are those themes, in terms of the workshops we're actually looking at, represented in the program?
And I think that's what would he need to try to work towards, staying as absolutely close as we can to the actual submissions we had. But I think we also do have a responsibility to pick and choose and shape a little bit and make sure they're everything they can.
And, you know, if this is just a statistical, numerical thing, we'd shove it into a computer and let it go and we'd look at it and tinker with it a little overnight and at midnight we'd move on.
So I think we can actually do some substantive work here to figure out whether or not everything we've heard from the community and everything that this group evaluated is -- is putting a proposal together that is actually going to help the world with all of its myriad of issues around Internet, Internet development, Internet governance.
And we can look around us and see the world moving on at some level. You know, we're sitting here waiting for an announcement on a high-level panel that the Secretary-General is convening, and he's convening it because he thinks he needs additional support or additional input on frontier issues and what the U.N. should do. That's only a piece of a fuller strategy he had which is his digital strategy.
So if we really want to play an active role in that, then I think we need to work absolutely with everything we have. But, really, it also needs to pass kind of a high-level credibility test or something. Do we think the five workshops we have here on cybersecurity and trust is representative of cybersecurity, trust and privacy, two huge areas for a three-day conference? Or are there some areas missing that we should address and pull in?
And I think that's all we were trying to get, is the first blush just so we could move from 40 to 60. And then we can figure out mergers and diversity and all sorts of other things. But it really was to try to get a high-level shaping profile.
I will go through the queue and I'm really sorry for talking as much as I have been today. I am literally just trying to find a way to bring the, you know, clearing competing views here together and trying to drive a process that is not easy with 55 individual members and 344 proposals.
So with that, I think if this is the top of the queue, Rasha is next in the queue, unless a piece of it is hidden.
>>RASHA ABDULLAH: Thank you, Lynn. I think we have to admit there is not going to be a perfect way of doing this and we have to arrive at something that is satisfactory to all of us just to get the process going because we have little time left.
I do see what you're saying, Veni, and you raise some very good points, but the only problem with what you're saying is it's probably true for every single workshop. So we cannot just pick workshop number 300-something and say "but this person ranked it this way," because you know what? If you look at workshop number one, it's probably true for that one way as well. With 12 people ranking every single workshop, this happened across the board. It's unfortunate. And as you said, it's probably you know, because there are lots of new members, and maybe we need to do -- like, for next year, maybe we need to do a better demo or have an example workshop run-through and agree on a way to rank it. I mean, there are other things we can do to make the process better. But for now, I think we have to work with what we have.
Having said that, I think the best way to arrive at something within the limited time left to us is maybe to go back to the slide that has the subthemes and all proposals versus the top 40, and again look at the ones that were quite popular in the proposals. And maybe for each one of these -- this is like a step one -- maybe try to push one workshop or try to merge two in one for each subtheme that was ranking high across the proposals.
And then overnight, maybe the secretariat can produce for us some statistics per theme so that we can look at the subthemes. And when we convene tomorrow morning, we can go from there at the faster rate and just pick up the main subthemes that need pushing through. Try to identify one or two workshops that have scored well enough on the ranking, and push these through. I don't think we're going to be able to do this with 100% accuracy, but I think this may be a good way of doing it given the time available to us.
And taking into consideration all the diversity, of course, aspects that we need.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So I think that's a process we were trying to do. We were doing it at the theme level instead. And we can certainly move to the subtheme level. I'll point out that halfway through the graph it turns out to be there were five submissions on them. I mean, do we want to spend our time on the right-hand side of the graph? So is it appropriate to come back up to the theme level? Or I'm okay starting with the subtheme model as well. But we need to just choose a model and move it forward, please. Do we need concrete suggestions of workshops we think should be pulled up? Because diversity in a region is not there, because the private sector is not represented, because blockchain is not there? We need concrete proposals on things we think should be pulled up. There was so much passion this morning in the room for all the things we were missing. All we want to know is what are the ones we're missing? How do we get them in? What are the workshops? How do we get them in?
The difficulty with putting it on the mailing list is everybody has meetings at night, meetings in the evenings, and you just lose a lot of time.
All right. Going back to the queue, Renata.
>>RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Thanks, Chair. Renata.
So a few points. I agree with you. You need to have more concreteness. And I also think that having a low-grade cut is not a good idea now over on the arguments. And about the French workshops, I was a local one and I was not a part of the IGF in my region. The IGF in my region was organized by an organization that is mainly based in the south of Brazil, which is very different from the Amazonic and the northeast region. So basically some of us felt like hacking the IGF, but now I am here at the MAG. I started interacting with the process, and I think that, again, what we have to do is look within WEOG for balance, for French speakers.
And the comments on the chat also address that. One community member asked for them to be archived. MAG member Miguel Candia, for instance, brought the idea of a gender track or something similar to try to address this imbalance. This could also help address regional and stakeholder imbalance.
And finally, some of the countries somewhat that are also out of the rater. Dominican Republic, Guatamala, Salvadore, Bolivia, Venezuela, Uruguay. And the things that are identified on human, gender, and youth, they are lacking. There's the citizenship, gender equality, Internet of changes, open access, and refugee. And zero presence of the word indigenous. None of the workshops at all.
So bringing back to a concrete proposal, the workshops three -- 340 and 357 talk about participation of gender in the Internet industry and the cybersecurity industry. So this could possibly be addressed in the cybersecurity section as well.
But we do have a lot of imbalances to address. Not a lot of time. But I agree that for concreteness, let's just start from what isn't there and then put it in.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So I have a new suggestion, because I don't -- I think we need to admit that this one is not working, and all the myriad alternatives that have been suggested are not working. We've had, in two and a half hours now, two concrete proposals of workshops we might move forward to address the imbalances we were all so passionate about this morning.
As a suggestion, we have the eight themes. If we ask the secretariat on the basis of the rankings of the workshop here to go forward and identify the workshops that we would pull up under each one of these themselves to get to something that for now may be looks like the appropriate weighted average across the themes, we highlight what those are to get to the 60, and then we come back in tomorrow morning and we understand what are the subthemes that we now have in by doing that. We can look at the statistics by region at a speaker level; right? In terms of kind of the region and the diversity and the gender, and we work against that list of 60 and work to refine. Because I just don't see any way that this process can close, frankly, even if we had significantly more time.
So let me take just -- I know there's a lot of people in the queue. I mean, what I want is people that want to react to that specifically. Your hand was up earlier, I assume because it was to the earlier process we were trying to work through. But -- so it was Nacho and Jutta. Was this -- Directly; right? And we are now going to hands up because we have the queue up there that I can't --
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: I just want to stress the idea on considering the flash sessions or lightning sessions or however you want to call to bring more balance in the aspect that it's not or we have not. And not -- not the usual format during lunch break. Maybe we could add a room during the three days and bring lots of new workshops that cannot get into the grading, asking them for convert their formats into this kind of session. And I don't know if it finally resolve the issue but I think it will help a lot.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that does help. We do still have the thematic sessions which will help as well. And of course we have, you know, NRIs and open forums which we should also use. They obviously are contributing to the overall program and various diversity. So we can look at that view as well.
>>MIGUEL IGNACIO ESTRADA: Also will help with the local.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Will help with the local? No, I think there are a lot of good ideas in that, Miguel.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Yes, thank you for giving me the floor. We did it exactly that way. We had flash sessions through in EuroDIG and it was very successful, and a lot of people attended all these flash sessions at EuroDIG.
But I wanted to point that I do see that obviously we have a huge discrepancy between what the community wanted as themes, what they send in as proposals on the one hand and what the result of the grading is that we did.
There is a discrepancy, and we can see this among the themes and the subthemes with the blue, and I do think orange or brown bars.
So I do think the only way to get out of that situation is like Lynn has described before, that we try to have a look how we can have a better balance, because Veni was absolutely right. We are not doing this for the MAG. We are doing this for the IGF, and the IGF needs to mirror what the community wants because otherwise people won't show up at the IGF.
And with regard to the point that I raised my hand before, I do think we -- when we did the grading of the proposals, there was mention that if a proposal ranked below three scores, then we needed to give an explanation why it was below that threshold.
So if we consider to take up any of the other proposals that not yet listed or not yet among the 60 that we will have tomorrow morning, why don't we use that threshold that we all had in our mind when we did the grading? I do think it's obvious that -- I don't know what will happen to those proposals that have a higher grading than three but did not get an explanation, because we were only supposed to write in an explanation why lower scores below three. But still, that can be solved afterwards, how we communicate that to the proposers.
But we have had that threshold, and I don't think it's useful to look for another one and set it by random.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And then, sorry, Wisdom and Mary, and then we'll close the queue and see if we can agree.
>>DANKO JEVTOVIC: Chair, thank you for giving me the mic. My comment is on a general nature and I would like to support your proposal, but we were switching between concrete theme and general theme.
But I was rethinking a situation about the mergers because it's mentioned all the time. And I believe that someplace we made mention mergers have some magic ability to solve the selection problem. And I don't believe that we can do that and we can successfully decide on mergers because then we have to decide who will be in charge, who will speak, how much time they will need. So that will require some sort of negotiation with whoever submitted the proposal.
The only thing I believe we can do is that if there is more than one similar proposal, it's to approve the best one. And of course if it fits the other criteria and it's well enough ranked, and then connect all the other proposals with the approved one.
This also means that workshop proposals have to be evaluated as they're suggested, not as we would like them to be. And I have to speak of that now because I support your idea to somehow go through the teams and put list of 60. But in doing that, you should allow us to propose this as they are, and we cannot now deliberate about all these mergers and the things because they will effectively destroy the process.
So thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you Danko.
I think we can still suggest as we said earlier that if a high ranked proposal there was, that they actually go away and evaluate those because maybe there's an idea that hadn't occurred to them that they could pull in and it would enrich their proposal, but that's their option as opposed to a merger requirement.
We have Wisdom and Mary.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you for giving me the privilege to speak. I've been quiet since we started and it's almost two hours. We have not -- not been able to get to a concrete thing.
And I support your proposal, but I want to suggest a practical way.
I want the secretariat to group us into themes so that when we come tomorrow, we cannot decide on plenary like this. It is very, very difficult.
When we decide into smaller groups, we take -- each group would take a theme and look at both the ones that made it and the ones that didn't make it and be able to see whether there are some that bring back when we come back together. At the rate we are going, by the end of tomorrow, we wouldn't have finished.
So please, I think we should -- I'm a new MAG member, but I think that's the way it could work. When we meet at smaller group, take a theme. We have eight themes. So divide us into eight. Whether we evaluated that theme or not, we are part of the group that would look at both the ones that made it and the ones that did not make it. Then with all these things we'll be saying we'll be able to come back to the plenary and say, look, this is what we found out in our theme or in our subtheme so that we can finish. I don't see us finishing at this rate. I'm sorry. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you.
I have to say it's at this point in the process that it always looks the bleakest. We always do manage to pull it together but I'm in agreement with you that this is a bleak point at the moment.
Wisdom, you have the floor.
>>WISDOM DONKOR: Thank you, Madam Chair.
I do agree with Mary. I will still also make my submission. I have gone through the proposals again. I have come up with one very important workshop, workshop ID 215. It's about the 4 Cs that expand and sustain Internet access. I think the 4 Cs goes into detail and talks about access, talks about electricity. And it also talks about currency and then content, local and relevant content.
The currency -- they are talking about networks for unbanked and citizens without access to credit cards. This workshop continues to look beyond the silos of how to reinforce synergies to develop when networks and issues are combined.
So I think we have to look at this workshop because in developing countries we have issues with electricity. My agency, for instance, we kind of providing Internet for the whole country. And one of the challenge is through the base stations. We are using generators to power them. And then often you see these generators going off. And if it goes off, that means Internet will be cut off.
So I think this is a very good proposal that we can look at and see if we can consider it. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wisdom.
>>WISDOM DONKOR: The number is 213.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: 215?
>>WISDOM DONKOR: 213.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Everybody who's in the queue there I think was in the queue before I made the comment which said I think we're probably -- we have tried several different attempts at this process. We started with -- we had the call for issues which gave us the will or the interest of the community. We had the workshop submissions which gave us the interest in the community. We had comparisons by theme and subthemes and how the 40 proposals that were chosen compared with that, and we looked for gaps against that and that actually didn't deliver -- I think it delivered two suggestions.
You know, we had lots of other earlier suggestions from this morning about different diversities we thought weren't well represented but also didn't deliver a lot of concrete suggestions. I think we've had in total sort of four suggestions between the comments here.
So what I proposed -- and I just want a show of hands again in a moment. What I propose is we start with the eight themes. If we assume we have, you know, the number of slots we have and if these themes are an expression of the community's interest, that we go through and get the appropriate weighted percentage of the next highest graded proposals. So not 60 absolute. This is basically going to 60 but looking with trying to get an equitable distribution as a start against these themes, looking at the highest graded within those themes.
If we do that, that gives us a good number. It should give us a distribution that looks obviously better here. That's what the exercise starting out is. And we can see where that leads us against the subthemes. Maybe we can even group them by theme and subtheme so we can see that later.
But that would be the proposal, that we can then -- and tomorrow we can all sleep on it and decide whether or not we go into breakout groups or we try to work that through here as a group in terms of what the will of the group is. But that we just get to 60 that starts to match the profile we have seen here, which is an expression of the community's interest on the basis of highly graded workshops.
And when we talk about the workshop ID, we will make sure we include the ranking as well so we know if we're getting down to the third workshop in the batch and it's at 250, we probably need to look more closely at that.
Is that a process that everybody can support as we walk in tomorrow picking up? I don't know what Chengetai is laughing at, but I see everybody's head nodding yes.
Is there anyone that has a strong agreement? Rudolf, you wanted to come in.
You have the floor, Rudolf.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Thank you, Chair. Yes, I support very much your proposal, but I would add two elements.
One, if the secretariat -- if and when the secretariat has managed to do this new rating or clustering, we should run this through the diversity filter and all the statistical filters we had now for top 40 so we have a picture because I think it will already look much better by then. That's the first.
And the second, I think it is worth the effort also, unfortunately not for the secretariat, to in parallel draw a list of, I would say, three or not -- not yet represented speakers of the host country and of underrepresented regions and perhaps gender. So that we at the end of this exercise, we have statistics, we have the -- I don't know how you call it -- this new clustering, we have the statistics on the diversity, and we have a list of persons that we can then add in order to achieve a representative picture.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's a good process, and David had said he would also come back. And I think it's certainly important that we actually understand the critical topics from a French perspective as well and see if they're actually accommodated in the 60 we have.
And I will also point out that we still have the thematic sessions. We have open forums. We have flash. We have a whole host of other entities still to help the broader diversity characteristics.
Chengetai is telling me that the announcement of the Secretary-General has started. If you want, we can screen it up here.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: They are sitting in the room waiting for him to walk in.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. You can queue it up there. Let me just quickly -- we'll watch the announcement for those that care to. We will shortly thereafter walk across, those that are able to and care to, to thank Chengetai for everything he's done and wish him the very best and listen to a very important set of activities and role.
And tomorrow morning we'll come back at 9:30 where we're going to be addressed by the co-executive director of this high-level panel here in the room. And then we will move on to the process.
Thank you, everybody, for hanging in with the conversation. I continue to believe we should not let future hosts into this meeting ever.
Anyway, thank you all very much. David, before we -- is there anything you want to comment or reflect upon?
>>AMBASSADOR DAVID MARTINON: Thank you for the hard work. I was just on the phone with the people at the Board of the French Chapter. I have to tell you they just don't understand. They fell off their chair just by learning that the space that would be devoted to the French civil society and the French chapter of the IGF is that limited.
So I've talked them into the kind of process that will not just (indiscernible) and others before so that we can make space for them.
But so far we have a problem. I just want you to realize that we have a problem. It's a matter of common sense in my mind. And we have to find a way to imply -- to involve the French civil society.
I've -- by the way, coming back to somebody who talked about the Joao Pessoa IGF, I was there, too. And I remember that sort of local forum. I didn't like that local forum because it gives the impression that there are the high-level world-class speakers and players and the local one.
That is not the IGF I understand. This is something else. We don't need the IGF to do the French IGF. I mean, we are currently organizing meetings on behalf of the French chapter. We are not talking about that. That's not the project of the IGF. The project is really to mix people from everywhere.
By the way, another point that they just told me, probably their submissions arrived at the end of the process because, of course, of course, nobody had an idea about the place and location. But I can tell you it's not that easy for anyone to travel the whole world and be present at the IGF on the other side of the world.
So it is logical for French stakeholders to be part of the IGF that is convened where they live. Again, it's common sense.
So I really rely on the MAG to try and find solutions so that the forum will be including the French civil society. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, ambassador.
And I'm going to echo my earlier comment, which is I think we need to be careful about how we actually represent where we are at this particular point in the process because this is not at the end of the deliberation. It really is what came in through an individual set of individual gradings.
Let's -- Luis, I guess it has started. If you could put it up on the screen there.
Let's let the transcribers go. Thank you very much for putting up with very robust discussion here over the last day. But we will see you tomorrow morning at 9:30.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: 9:30 tomorrow morning.