The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, Germany, from 25 to 29 November 2019. 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.
>> MODERATOR: Check ‑‑ check. Good morning, everybody. We will take about 5 minutes and then we will begin, so please, take another 5 minutes if you want to grab some coffee. We'll start soon. Thanks.
All right. Good morning, everybody. Welcome. If you could find some seats. My name is Susan Chalmers and I work for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce, but this morning I welcome you to this Digital Inclusion Introductory Session in my capacity as a member of the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group or MAG. So, together with my co‑organizer, Paul Rowney, and we have several MAG volunteers here, we'd like to welcome you to this session.
The purpose of this session is to set the scene for digital inclusion discussions during this week and to connect IGF participants who are engaged in digital inclusion issues.
So, what we're going to do over the next hour and forty minutes or so is to break out in different groups to discuss different aspects or subthemes of digital inclusion. There will be five different breakout groups, so please join the discussion of your choice. Pick the subtheme that really speaks to you, and as I read out breakout group titles, I could ask the group leaders to stand, please.
So, our first breakout group is Access, Affordability, and Infrastructure. Our second breakout group is Local Content and Multilingualism. This Is Lianna. The third break out is Skills, Competition, and Jobs. You see Rose? Thank you, Rose. The fourth breakout group is Social Inclusion. You see Juliana. Thank you. And, finally, for those that want to discuss Governance Aspects of Digital Inclusion, we have June. June will be your discussion. They have volunteered as MAG members so thank you for doing that. The purpose is to discuss three policy questions or topics that you would like to focus on during the week ahead, and after the discussions, we'll come back in Plenary and share these questions with everybody. So, it's really meant to kind of get in the mindset of the digital inclusion track this year.
Does anybody have any questions? Nope? Okay. Before we launch into our group discussions, we have something wonderful in store to kick things off. I have the distinct pleasure of introducing our keynote speaker, Doreen Bogdan‑Martin.
Ms. Bogdan‑Martin was elected Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau on the 1st of November, 2018. She took office on the 1st of January, 2019. She is a strategic leader with more than 25 years of high‑level experience in international and inter‑governmental relations and has a long history of success in policy and strategy development, analysis, and execution. Ms. Bogdan‑Martin has advised governments from around the world on policy and regulatory reform measures. She has organized impact‑driven global conferences with thousands of participants from over 150 countries, brokered international consensus on many critical issues, and is a regular presenter at high‑level international forums and summits.
As part of this important work, she was one of the principal architects of the Annual Global Symposium for Regulators, directed ITUs first Global Use Summit, and is currently driving ITU's latest high‑profile initiative Equals, the Global Partnership for Gender Equality in the Digital Age. I think we're very fortunate to have Ms. Bogdan‑Martin open the session. Thank you so much. Please.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Thank you. Thank you so much, Susan. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It's really a great pleasure to see you all here early in the morning for this Introductory Session on Digital Inclusion. As Susan mentioned, I'm the Director of Development at the International Telecommunications Union, so of course anything about digital divide and digital inclusion is really close to my heart and it's really core of the mission that we have in the development sector of the ITU.
This morning I want to set the stage a little bit before you get into your breakouts to talk a bit about digital inclusion. But before we do that, I would like to invite you all to stand up for a moment, please.
Okay, so look around. If you're in the back, you might actually want to come forward and sit at the table. Thank you.
Okay, so for those of you that are in front of me, I'm going to ask you to sit down. For those of you over here to my right and to my immediate right, you can also sit down. And just to my left here, you can sit down. Okay, so again, look around.
So, in today's world, those of you that are standing are connected to the Internet. You are digitally included. Those of you that are seated are not. That's the reality, half the world is connected and half the world is not connected. We will never really have a fully digitally include society until you're all standing and you're all connected, so thank you for standing and now you can take a seat.
You know, I think it's important to remember because those of us that are connected, we forget about all the people that are not connected. We've been on our cell phones or our laptops many times already this morning, and it is really easy to forget about those that are not connected, about those that don't have any opportunity to access the wealth of resources and opportunities that the Internet brings.
A couple of weeks ago, the ITU launched its latest Facts and Figures Report. You may have followed. Last year, as you know, at the end of the year we celebrated the fact that 50% of the world was online, and then we also took note, disappointingly, that 50% of the world was not.
Well, this year the good news was that we went from 50% to 53%, but the bad news is that growth rates are slowing; in particular, in sort of the countries at the bottom of the pyramid. So those that need it most, the poor countries, the vulnerable group growth rates are slowing. And what causes also great concern, and I just came from a breakfast roundtable on the digital gender gap, is that the digital gender gap is growing.
And so, our statistics show us that this year the percentage of women connected to the Internet stands at 48%, while the percentage of men connected is at 58%, and we're seeing this divide grow each year instead of shrink, which causes great concern as well.
When we look into that particular divide, basically, in every region of the world, men have more access than women, except for the Americas region. So in Africa, in Asia Pacific, in the Middle East, that digital gender gap is growing, and it is really something of great concern. Well, the whole fact that there is a digital gap in general is also something of great concern.
And yesterday, for those of you that participated in the Day Zero events. How many of you were in the sessions yesterday in the main room? Can you raise your hand? A number of you were there and you would have heard from, of course, the Minister from Germany who mentioned several times that the Internet belongs to humanity. I thought that was a great quote.
We also heard from Fatoumata Bah from Senegal, and she talked about a lot of her work and she was saying in her keynote presentation. She gave some great numbers that really brings it home as to why connectivity is so important. The number of doctors in Africa, 1 per 1,000 people, 3 nurses per 1,000 people. I think she gave the example, and I don't know if it was Cameroon that if you were to build a school every day, you still wouldn't have enough schools for the young people that need to be in schools in that country.
When we look at things like education, I think the latest statistics are that there is 262 million children out of school, and we know that in 7 out of 10 countries in the world, there is not enough teachers. So, we don't have enough teachers, we don't have enough doctors. When it comes to things about agriculture, we see that there are incredible opportunities that connectivity can bring. When we think about education, when we think about health care, we see that connectivity in many cases is the only answer. It's the only answer to really tackle some of the world's greatest development challenges, and that's why it's so important for all of us to focus on digital inclusion and figure out ways that we can close the gap, and I hope we can actually come up with some constructive ways forward in the breakouts.
So, in terms of addressing what's keeping people offline, I think the conversation has moved a bit from just looking at the supply side. For many, many years we've been focused on infrastructure, infrastructure. Yes, infrastructure is still a challenge, but when we look at, for example, 2G connectivity pretty much covers the planet. 3G connectivity, we're over 75% and some numbers say we're even getting close to 90%, so the signal is there. Okay, but people are not connecting. Why are they not connecting?
Again, we heard from a number of speakers yesterday. Affordability is a huge challenge. Within the UN Broadband Commission on Sustainable Development, we set a target for affordability. Initially we set that target at 5% of monthly G&I. We then lowered the target to 2% of monthly G&I, and so many countries have not reached that because connectivity is prohibitively high, the cost.
When we look, for example, in Africa, we can see that the percentage is somewhere in terms of monthly G&I from 9 to 20%, and in one country it's up to 40%. That's huge! So, it's no wonder that people are challenge to be able to actually pay for the cost of getting online. So, that's in terms of the service, but devices are also prohibitively high and expensive, and a lot of that has to do with taxation and when we get to the discussion part, I would like to hear from some of you if you have ideas as to how we can address some of those challenges around affordability.
The other thing that we heard from many colleagues yesterday was about digital skills. So, the problem is that so many people don't have the skills that they need to actually be able to benefit from connectivity, and we really need to re‑double effort when is it comes to educational systems and structures in making sure that we do roll out the basic digital skills. We also heard a lot about life‑long learning because once we get those skills, we need to make sure that we continue to get refreshers in that space.
We were pleased a few months ago to announce with UNICEF that we were teaming up on a school connectivity project called GIGA and we're working with UNICEF to find ways to actually do ‑‑ and Mike, you remember this when world leaders came together around WSIS in 2003 and 2005 and committed by 2015 we would connect every school in the world. Guess what? We failed. We failed miserably. We didn't connect every school in the world. What my friend from Namibia has just told me is that ‑‑ was it five years you said? Perfect example. 10 years ago, 30% of the schools were connected and today 30% of the schools are connected, so there is something wrong there. Right?
So, we have, as I said, joined forces with UNICEF, and we're looking at first mapping school connectivity, let's figure out where all the schools are in the world, which are connected and which ones are not. Then, when it comes to figuring out how to finance the cost of connecting those schools, let's be creative in our financing models.
So, we've been inspired by the GAVI Alliance, and that was put together, as you may recall, to address the global vaccine problem. What they did is they pooled demand. How can we figure out how to pool demand around school connectivity and come up with something that is financially attractive for those that are interested in investing in school connectivity?
Then the third part is about the technological solutions. There are so many technological solutions out there, so what are they? So, we're doing a toolkit of last‑mile connectivity solutions on the technical side, and then with that, what are the necessary enabling framework‑enabling policies that need to be put in place so that those last‑mile connectivity solutions can actually be sustainable and thrive.
Then, of course, the final part is what do you get once you're connected? That's where the digital public goods come in, and you've probably heard in the discussions yesterday and since the UN Secretary General launched his High-Level Panel Report on Digital Cooperation, the notion of digital public goods, that means goods available, publicly open, are reusable, can be adapted. And the most important thing when we talk about school connectivity is thinking local, local language, local needs, and being able to adapt that. It's an exciting endeavor and ambitious indeed, but we think that we can get there.
So, the other thing, again, coming back to yesterday's discussion. So, we have the affordability barrier, we have the skills barrier, and we also have this barrier which is lack of relevant meaningful content, and how can we address that? I think it's time to sort of stop telling developing countries, remote villages that we know what they need. It's time to actually sit down and let those that need this connectivity decide what they need.
We've seen lots of exciting innovations. One that was present the recently at the AI For Good Summit of ITU linked to agriculture and it was Penn State University working with FAO and they came up with this app they're called Nuru. And this app actually enabled them to detect ‑‑ what's it called? It's a sort of pest ‑‑ it's a pest that attacks the cassava plants, and using this app, you can actually detect this insect that's eating away at the plants. What's great about it is that it's all available in local languages because it's voice activated. Thank you for clarifying that.
But I think it's really ‑‑ that's a great example of meaningful connectivity. It's addressing a problem and it's not imposing a barrier that we often see around local languages.
Another exciting innovation that we've seen, again, thinking local, is linked to e‑health. We have a partnership with WHO called Be Healthy Be Mobile, and we have seen some exciting resulting in Zambia where we're using mobile phones. And in this particular situation, we're trying to address cervical cancer which is a big thing in Zambia and trying to roll out using SMS campaigns and other means the importance of regular screenings and the follow‑up actions linked to that. The results are quite encouraging in that space as well.
And there is just so many other examples. I think that it excites us about the link between bringing the skills to the local communities and then letting the local communities then use those skills and try to develop applications themselves that address their concerns in villages.
A couple of months ago, we went to Niger. They were hosting the African Unit Summit in July and went to Niger with a number of UN colleagues. When I tell this story, I like to say that normally UN colleagues, you go into a country and you bump into your colleague interest WHO and your colleague from WFP and your colleague from UNICEF and everybody says, well what are you doing here, what are you doing here? There is like this lack of coordination amongst us, and this initiative we've been running in Niger is a great one where we've all come together. We didn't just bump into each other, we came together before and literally all got on the same bus and went to the village in Niger to launch the Smart Village Initiative, something we're calling a prototype and we hope to roll out more in Niger and looking at also starting in Indonesia and hoping to scale this and spread this to rural villages around the world.
What's great about this effort is, yes, it was connectivity focused but we didn't want to just bring connectivity for connectivity sake. We wanted to bring connectivity with the agriculture solutions, with the education solutions, with the healthcare solutions so that really the community could then benefit and thrive.
So, again, so many exciting things out there that I think it's time to really tackle the barriers and begin to move the needle.
We heard when Tim spoke at lunchtime, he stressed the notion of meaningful connectivity and that is something that we featured in this year's broad broadband connectivity annual report and it doesn't just focus on those that aren't connected. We have to remember that there are lots of people that are connected today but they may not be meaningfully connected. So, how can we also make sure that we're not just focused on those that are not connected. Let's also focus on those that are connected to make sure that we can help them use connectivity to actually make changes and improve their lives.
Again, coming to this meaningful connectivity notion, we think about the importance of availability, of accessibility, of affordability, and then of course we need to keep in mind, as I mentioned before, the content, local languages, and of course the issue of trust and security, which is an area of big concern.
What I want to maybe stop with and then we can open up for questions. I was at the Ministerial Roundtable yesterday and there was a quote that someone gave, and it was an Einstein quote where he defined ‑‑ I don't mean to say that this is insanity, but he talked about insanity, and it was about insanity being doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get different results.
When he said it, I thought well, that says it all when we talk about digital inclusion and the digital divide because connecting the other half of the world is not going to happen in the same way that connecting the first half of the world did, so we can't keep doing over and over again the same thing. It's really time, it's time to change. It's time to change the way we do business. It's time to change the way we think about our regulatory frameworks. It's time to change the way we're thinking about our universal service funds or using them or not using them. This is the moment. We really need to think differently to bring the rest of the world into the digital space. We live in a digital world. It's everywhere, and we can't let half the world be left behind.
With that, I will turn back to Susan and we can ‑‑ yeah? Okay. So, with that I will pause and open up to some questions if there are any or comments before we move to the breakouts?
>> MODERATOR: We have a few minutes for questions, so if you would like to pose a question to Doreen, just please raise your hand and push the button on the mic. Yes, please, in the back if you could come to a mic on the table.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: If you could say who you are as well when you take the floor.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hello. Good morning. I'm Debra, a human rights education trainer. I'm here with the Delegation from the Department of the Council of Europe and also here to advocate for youth participation and we had our meeting called the Youth I‑G F during which we draft some youth messages.
One of the messages that we draft was about net neutrality and was talking about that in working groups addressing this issue. When talking about connectivity, there was a sentence before saying like in order to increase the connectivity and to like close the gap, we should find a what I to have investors put money in these things. But it can be worrying because we have the case in some countries in which connectivity and Internet services are not affordable and we have big companies stepping up. So recently, there is a case and I don't want to be wrong but I think it's Nepal where Facebook was providing Internet access but only if you subscribe to Facebook, and this is really worrying because it means that we are like telling companies that they can provide Internet, which should be I really agree with that like human rights, so people can have Internet, accessible Internet, only if they subscribe to a company giving out their data and accepting some terms.
So, when you say investors, I got a little bit worried because having all of this discussion about these, and you know of course it breaks net neutrality. I wanted to have a little bit of a clarification about that. What do you mean when you talk about investors because sometimes it's problematic. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Okay. Could we take maybe one more question? The gentlemen here?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah. Thank you very much. My name is Jim Senolu from Nigeria from Africa The Alliance and around contemporary consulting. I was there at your election at ITU and I'm so happy that you're doing very great.
Well, the presentation was great, but what I see that is very fundamental when it comes to digital inclusion is the role of policymakers. They need to ‑‑ I think they need to be people oriented. When policymakers are people oriented, then they can easily drive frameworks that will ensure inclusion.
So, what do you think about this with regard to inclusion generally? Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Okay. We'll take one more question and then I'll come back to you. Yes?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you. My name is Vasilis. I'm a member of a community network in Greece. We're developing an infrastructure to provide Internet connectivity to some remote isolated villages in central Greece. So, we work in three pillars like deploying the infrastructure, building skills for locals, but also empowering and building the local community. I believe that this aspect of connectivity is really important when we are talking about connecting the unconnected because the local community is actually the driving force that can support and sustain such an infrastructure, and I think that this should also come into our discussion. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Great. Thank you. Thank you for those comments, so a few thoughts and reflections. I mean, first, I would like to thank the youth representative, and I didn't actually allude to youth when I was speaking and, of course, when we think about digital inclusion and we think about the context of Africa, for example, where I believe 40% are under the age of 15. And what is it, 50% in the next couple of years? So, again, when we think about youth issues in general, let's remember, in particular, the population and age numbers in Africa because that's an audience that we need to pay attention to, and when we think about connectivity and digital skills and the future of Africa, we need to be focusing there and we need to be focusing there now.
Of course, statistics show us that for 60% of all children in primary age, that they will end up in jobs that actually don't even exist today, and so again this whole notion of digital, we need to make sure that we're equipping them now with the skills for their future.
So, coming back to the point about investors. I think we need to keep in mind that all stakeholders have a role. Yes, policymakers have a key role in this space. The private sector has a key role to play. Mobile operators, social media companies, Civil Society, development agencies, and the development banks, I think everyone has a role to play in closing the digital divide.
So, please do keep in mind that multi‑stakeholder participation and need in closing the divide. And, again, coming to my friend from Nigeria. Absolutely the role of policymakers is key, and what I see in the ITU and often in the context of UN discussions is that there is still an absence of understanding of the power and potential of connectivity in terms of the whole UN Agenda and Program, and I would say in terms of global development. We often see around the margins of the General Assembly there is lots of, I would say, scattered things happening in the space of connectivity, lots of silos, but we need to bring it all together because it is digital that will help us, as I said before, develop some of our greatest developmental challenges. Unless we get world leaders to put this at the top of their agenda, it's not going to happen. We need to have political will there to make it happen, so policymakers are absolutely fundamental in this space as are ICT Regulators because they can help set the enabling framework as well.
Certainly, your point about communities, I absolutely agree. We really need to be empowering and enabling communities. In one of the discussions I was in this morning, we talked about the urban/rural divide and if we can figure out ways to connect communities better, then you don't have everybody moving into your cities, and so really that community focus I think is key to sustainability and to growth. Yep. Any other questions? Mike, can I put you on the spot?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thanks, Doreen. Actually, I was hoping you might come back for a few questions. One of the areas that I thought was particularly worth focusing on is access to spectrum. I was fortunate enough to do a 15‑country study last year looking specifically at connectivity issues in remote/rural communities in the developing countries, and one of our conclusions was that the biggest barrier was access to spectrum for small‑scale areas where although there have been national allocations, those frequencies were not in use in those remote areas and that was really the only barrier to actually establishing a local mobile network, for example.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Yeah. Thank you for raising that, and of course, as many of you may know, ITU just concluded its World Radiocommunications Conference last Friday, a four‑week conference in Egypt and of course, it was all about spectrum. And spectrum, as you may know, it's a finite resource. Spectrum is limited, but Mike as you rightly said, in many cases there is lots of unused spectrum.
So, you know, we do need to look at working with governments and working with other stakeholders to figure out ways to make sure that spectrum is used in the most sufficient way. We have had lots of discussions on community networks. We are working with ISOC and others to do some specific country case studies ‑‑ community studies I should say, in Latin America, and I hope that we can figure out ways to share that in context of the African Region and elsewhere. I think there was a question just back here? Please, if you can introduce yourself.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hello. Thank you for giving me this chance. My name is Peace and I work for Women of Uganda Network. Talking about access, I think we all know that women are so much left behind, but what I think we should also be looking at as we speak about access and closing the digital divide, the gap that we have or the digital gender divide, as they put it, I think we should also look at things like community networks because even if we have, let's say that the policies we have, the issues of affordability, we have issues of literacy at play, so I think the issue of digital ‑‑ the issue of community networks could really help a lot because this is something that the communities feel that they own. Because we see a lot of telecoms not going to some rural areas because it would not make a lot of economic sense to them, but I think if we put our community networks in these very rural areas, then it could give them a chance to be connected. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Yes. Thank you. Thank you for that. As I was mentioning, we are starting to do some work on community networks in Latin America and also looking elsewhere.
In the ITU context for those of you that are not familiar with the ITU, one of the things, I think, in the Development Bureau that we do well is to provide a forum to share best practices, to share experiences. And so, when it comes to connecting communities, in is something that we look to our member governments and also the private sector and other members to share what they're doing, and so I would invite those of you that have an interest, you know, share what you're doing. You can share it in the context of the Development Bureau, and you can also share it in the context of the World Summit of Information Society Forum that meets annually in Geneva. The IGF was an outcome of the WSIS as was the WSIS Forum and so those are good opportunities to share what you're doing, share local solutions and then hopefully we can see how to replicate them and to scale.
Of course, you also mentioned the importance of women and girls, and we're doing a lot of work in that space and our breakfast this morning was on the Equals Global Partnership where we're very excited to have over 100 members, and it's very much focused on closing the access divide, closing its skills divide, and then closing the leadership divide, meaning bringing more women into the technology sector and trying to facilitate the pipeline for future women leaders, in particular, of SMEs.
One more question and then I'll turn back to Susan. Please, go ahead.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you. Good morning and thank you for your presentation. Valentia from International Association of Library Associations, and while we're on the subject of good practices and other connectivity solutions and models, we have mentioned this year's broadband commission State of Broadband Report and one of the recommendations that we have seen the Report make this year is public access facilities, so I was just wondering if you could perhaps share what has been the thought process behind this recommendation, what role you're hoping that public access facilities would play. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Thank you. Thank you for that and I'm pleased that you've paid attention to the State of Broadband Report. That's great. Indeed, public access is something that the Report promotes, and I would say in the context of libraries, that's also something that was one of the intended outcomes in the actions decided by the World Summit on Information Society, it was about connecting schools, connecting libraries, connecting hospitals, and libraries, of course, are a great place to bring communities in and we've seen some interesting examples of community ‑‑ well, connected libraries then bringing in communities and being able to roll out other sort of e‑government services in the context of those libraries.
So, in the Broadband Commission, we have been, I would say, gathering experiences and stories from our commissioners and trying to share them in the context of our Annual Report. We also have a number of specific working groups that are in progress that will come up with specific recommendations as well. Thank you.
I think I'll stop there. There is one question in the back. Do we have time? Yeah? Okay. One last question and then I hand it back to Susan. Do you want to come forward to the microphone, please?
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you. My name is Judy from Nairobi Association for Gender and Equality, I would like to hear about what you're doing with regarding persons with disabilities. Over time when we talk about accessibility, we talk about infrastructure, but how about the situation whereby a person is not able to access the information to access content? Is there anything that is going on? Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Absolutely. There is a lot going on within the context of the ITU and Development Bureau and also linked to the WSIS Forum as I mentioned before. We believe that when technology is actually created, we should be thinking Accessible by Design. Of course, it's next week we have the UN Day on Persons with Disabilities. We have a big event in Europe, Accessible Europe. We just concluded our Accessible Americas event and we take those issues very seriously, and I would invite you afterwards if you're interested, I'm happy to give you more specifics because I've been told we have to top to take some time for the breakouts. So, thank you very much for that and I look forward to further discussions. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Doreen. Very compelling remarks and perfect to send us into discussions that will break new ground in the digital inclusion area.
So, whether a we're going to do now is to move into different corners of the room. Not all corners because this room only has four and we have five discussion groups, so all right. So, let's start with Access, Affordability, and Infrastructure. Your leader will be Dalsie, so please if you're interested, join this corner and you can move the chairs. We will have to move them back, of course, but circles work best for a discussion.
Next, we have Local Content and Multilingualism. Lianna will go over here in this corner for the discussion. Those interested in Local Content and Multilingualism.
Skills, Education, and Jobs, Rose will be leading. That corner do you reckon? Yeah, so skills, education and jobs will be over here.
Social inclusion, Juliana will be the group leader. Juliana, do you want to go over there? Yeah.
And then last but certainly not least, we'll do Governance Discussions with June, so governance is over here. And I notice that had gender and youth are not part of these sub‑themes per se, but please feel free to weave into these questions.
So, we'll talk about 30 minutes and I'll give you a 10‑minute heads a up. Okay. Thanks!
>> Can the group moderators make themselves visible? And then those that are undecided, try to select one of the groups that's less represented.
>> MODERATOR: Also, for those that are participating remotely, we will check in with you after the breakout discussions. Thank you for your patience.
>> Do we have more volunteers for Governance? We're a little low on numbers for Governance. It's over on the right.
>> MODERATOR: Sorry, colleagues. We have about 5 minutes so we need to start wrapping up, getting our thoughts together, and then regrouping around the table.
All right, folks. I really hate to stop these. It seems like there are very engaged discussions, but we're going to have to come back in plenary now. We'll just need to have our Mag Moderators. We have Rose, Juliana, June, Lianna. Everybody, please come back to your seats. I'm so sorry that you have to wrap up, but we need to come back and share the discussions that you had with the group. Please take your seats.
So, Social Inclusion Group? Hi, Juliana, I'm sorry, we need to come back to the seats now. So, is it okay once people are settled if we start with your group first? Let's recall that earlier Doreen had given us Einstein's definition of insanity, doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result, but surmount insanity in these discussions and can you share with us all of your brilliant new ideas.
So, thank you so much. Okay. We're going to going to begin with the readout from the Access, Affordability, and Infrastructure group. Would anybody like to come forward?
We can start with ‑‑ okay, while we figure that out, we can start with skills, jobs and innovation group. Margarita, please, the floor is yours.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hello everybody. My name is Margarita and our group had a very interesting discussion on the topic. We had three questions, should I ask them all together? Okay. Question number one, are there any practices or policies in place that prepare educators, teachers, or anyone in education, parents and adults in general, for the future skills, for transferring them to students?
If there are any, are they transferred somehow to communities and regions that could adapt these practices as well.
Question number two, how do we ensure that when we provide access to the Internet, we also develop critical thinking as it goes, as the process of having access to Internet is developing. And it's important for everyone who is getting access to Internet to have access to developing critical skills, too. We do not see it happening and are there any practices like that in place?
Question number three, with all the changes in jobs, in education, in technology, there will be a high speed of changing professions and having to think even more critically than just critical thinking, so mental health is very important, it's a big issue here. Right now, the majority of people do not have any education mental health resilience, being able to be flexible to change jobs to change professions to use critical thinking on a daily basis and be okay with that. Are there any practices for that in place or being planned to bring into education as well as into social communities? Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Are there any questions? We'll open the floor for two or three questions and then we'll go on to the next session. Or are we all happy that we've included everything?
Okay. Then we can go to the next group. Do we have a volunteer from the next group to do a readout? Could be anyone. Any group. We can be informal.
>> MODERATOR: Can I ask John, please, to volunteer to speak on Governance.
>> MODERATOR: Okay. John, volunteer.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah. Okay. We were the governance group. We were small and strong. No. We mainly talked about inclusion in governance affecting and reflecting inclusion and exclusion in wider Internet, so who makes ‑‑ who makes the rules for Internet can make a big difference on who actually gets what in the Internet in reality in the larger reality.
And we noted, so we said that governance is important. Another thing that we talked about is that governance is not necessarily government, and that a lot of making rules for the Internet happens outside of government sphere. We had one participant from Libya where more or less they don't have a functioning national government or a single national government at the moment, so he was talking about how the Internet gets managed in Libya without a working government.
And then we talked about different inequalities in the Internet Governance, so inequalities by country, inequalities by gender, inequalities by race, age, language, and much more.
I think that's fair enough. We can answer any questions if people want to pursue it with us.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hello. I want to add that we should attend his workshop, Workshop Number 72 on Thursday morning. It should be of interest.
>> MODERATOR: Okay. Any questions to John? Okay. Then we can move to the next group.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Can I go for the Content Group. My name is Jan. I work at the Wikipedia Foundation that hosts and supports Wikipedia. I can add a few of the guiding questions that we discussed. One is, why is the creation of local content important and how is this linked to digital inclusion, connectivity, and adoption? What is business, government, and Civil Society doing to foster creation of local content, what role can academia play in this, in educating current and future technology developers to effectively support the expanding domain name space to provide better access, choice, and multilingual support to the global online community? What type of policy environment is needed to support locally relevant content, and then we had about seven more and obviously we ran out of time.
However, here is what we sort of discussed. The bottom line is infrastructure isn't enough when it comes to content. You need to volume local community to find out what's really needed on the ground, feedback loops are important, research, and academia can help there, of course.
One important piece is online identity, actually, how people are confident to speak their languages online, to really discuss their culture online and live their culture online. Don't force people to abandon their local language. That also has links to economic empowerment, and it's also linked to a healthy domain name space where people really find themselves in the domain space as well, scripts matter.
From a Wikipedia perspective, this is where I sort of contributed. I think a local healthy news environment, media environment is super important. You can't talk about things that aren't reported about because you don't know about them, so locally relevant content also relies on the healthy local news and media environment.
That, however, needs to be able ‑‑ needs to be freely shared as well, so Open Source licenses, open access actually matters and enables people to share and participate in culture. That shared culture then, locally relevant content, local content drives connectivity and adoption. That, however, of course, also really relies on affordability, which again as we all know, is also a policy question. And then we have sort of gone full circle and come back to what kind of policy environment do you actually need to create for local content? So, it depends on identity online, on domain name space, questions around scripts, affordability, and really people empowering people to share freely and confidently online. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Okay. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'm sorry. I would just add for those of you who would be interested into these workshops, we do have three workshops for local content and multilingualism, Workshop 111, it will be on Thursday in this room, Room 3 from 9:30 to 11. The next is workshop 216, identity and multilingual domain name space, right after that session, starting in 5, Same room here. The next is 234, Inclusion in presentation, enabling local content growth, and again on Thursday but starting at 3:00 to 4:30 as 12SB.
>> MODERATOR: Okay. Thank you. Two groups left. Local Content? Do we have a volunteer from Local Content? Okay. I'm confused. Social Inclusion.
>> Social Inclusion, please.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hello, and of course if people from the group want to expand, please do it. We started with questions that are regarding some regulations concerning cybersecurity and the cleanup of some contents made by platforms and how these decisions can usually affect and do more harm than kind of actually improve the participation and inclusion of marginalized groups, and of certain categories such as transgender people or ex‑drug addicts or also abuse survivors, and now sometimes these groups are highly affected by decisions taken when it comes to cybersecurity, and so we kind of also talked about the right to be forgotten and how some contents that ‑‑ the way in which some contents are regulated are these groups, and how you know, it's a complicated matter because it's really often these people are not included in the conversation.
And now many of these conversations are double‑edge swords, you know so sometimes can benefit but sometimes can produce harm, and actually there was also this, this came from me because we talked a little bit our context and so also wanted to include in the marginalized group people that are ex‑convicts that come from areas at high risk of criminalization and often they're really excluded and there is a lot of stigma when it comes to participation in public spaces, including the Internet ones.
Then we had a discussion about the inclusion of use and there were many inputs because, of course, according to the context there are different realities, so we have talking for instance, in Nicaragua, people are producing apps that are proving to be beneficial for the community or instead maybe in contexts like in Asia, you can see more expansive, and it's just following the decision taken by adults.
And then there was the young people saying, oh, we're steeling the stage in which youth need to prove to save a place at the table when it comes to decision‑making, while when it comes to Internet Governance, really often young people can be experts and can bring creative solutions to problems. And we shouldn't have ‑‑ we should be a stakeholder in the multi‑stakeholder process just because we're highly effected by the decision take when it comes to Internet Governance, but also because we may have ‑‑ we may bring resources.
But there was also the issue like what we consider youth because it's not the homogeneous group, and it's people under 35, people under 30, or this problem that also in certain contexts, young people don't really have access to Internet, so it's kind of ‑‑ it's a big problem because in some countries in Africa, you know, people under 18 really don't even have access to Internet, so of course, they're not aware and so we also raise the issues of create awareness, improve the awareness of young people in what they can do. And including them then in the decision‑making processes.
Then we didn't really have time because really many things to talk about. There was also the question about the IGF community, what they can do for action to improve the experience of people with disabilities, but maybe I would like ‑‑ do you feel like talking? I think it would be better if you do it. So, sorry. That's it.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Okay. Thank you. My name is Judy from Kenya. Regarding the passage with disability, we discussed about inclusion into the IGF, beginning from the Local I‑G F all the way to the Global IGF because we haven't seen that happening. Secondly, we talked about inclusion of persons with disabilities, even into the technical community because mostly when technical community talks about access, they talk about infrastructure. But we'd like to hear more discussions regarding accessibility to content and information.
Thirdly ‑‑ okay. Another important theme that we discussed is that we cannot talk about the digital inclusion if we don't put or we don't enjoy to the discussion to the people that have disabilities because these people is that the person that knows what is the problem, what is the issues, so we have to involve to create the solutions. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. So, we have our last group, Access.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Good afternoon. My name is Gorbi. Our discussion was on ‑‑ it was around establishing of national ICT frameworks, such that we have a framework which can promote digital inclusion. We identify that in most third‑world countries we have a lack of infrastructure, which makes it difficult for affordability to be ‑‑ I'm sorry. We identify that most of our third‑world countries we have a problem of affordability because of a lack of infrastructure.
We had an example of Jamaica, we have infrastructure but there is a lack of another facility, which is electricity, so in that case we have situations where there is infrastructure but there is another facet which is very limiting to the operation of the actual infrastructure, which means that the rural and urban divide in that area.
We also had a look into the first-generation world. We had a talk on the framework, the national frameworks in the first world countries which actually lead and guide the first world countries into establishing methods and strategies in how they can actually expand the lack of facility in rural and urban areas.
Another issue that we talked about was that of we don't have regulators, ISPs, the social and the civil, actually engaging in development of policies within the national framework of the ‑‑ of the nation as a whole.
Then we had ‑‑ we didn't touch much on the affordability because of a lack of time, but I think my colleague will actually take on from here. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Good morning, everyone. I would just like to add on to what has been said. Basically, what we came to conclude was that for affordability, there is a need for multistakeholders to contribute to the infrastructure. We cannot have only Internet when there is no electricity. We need electricity, Internet, road infrastructure, the multi‑stakeholder ‑‑ we need a multi‑stakeholder to partake in this and also to save the cost, that is what we came up with, that is the need because having one infrastructure without the other, it's ‑‑ it's a waste of money, basically, so we need to collaborate in a way that will be more effective because when we're talking about one discipline wanting to penetrate instead of women economic empowerment, there is a need for access in all of these so we need these to be collaborated so we can all save the cost for the benefit of our people.
And the people say the literacy, without penetration, without infrastructure, without the information, how can we expect these people to be expending and to be advancing? So, their infrastructure, we still have to come back to that. There is a need for infrastructure, there is a need to reach to these people. Because they don't have that, we are all forced to go to benign stations because that's where the resources are, and so with that, and we also came up with the need for revising of the framework. Yeah, and basically those are the two main things, sorry, is the need for multistakeholders to work together for different infrastructures to be ‑‑ for the rollout, and secondary is the revision of the framework on the policy levels, and for all the different stakeholders from the grassroots up and also horizontals for different NGOs and everyone to be coming together and collaborate on this to help out in affordability and accessibility and access. Not just access but accessibility. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Okay. Round of applause. We're doing very well. We're exactly on time. We're now going to open the floor for 5 minutes of questions. We also want to open up to the remote participants. I don't know if there are any questions from the remote participants?
If not, we can open to the floor. Anyone have any questions that they would like to ask? Thank you. We have a question from the floor.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: I just have a small comment if someone wants to respond, that would be appreciated. For the record, this is Mamahabil and represent the Internet Society Special Interest Group and we have talked about affordability here and that is a major point and that point I have been talking about in previous IGF as well.
So, when it comes to affordability for persons with disabilities, this comes ‑‑ the cost becomes doubled. Why? Because one is the cost of the technology that they're paying to obtain or to get access to the technology, and then when it comes to making their technology accessible, sometimes that cost is doubled than the cost of actual technology.
For instance, if I give you the example of the very famous screen reader JAWS. It costs, a professional version, if someone wants to use it professionally, it costs like $1200, so that means if you buy a very high‑level machine, a laptop for like $600, so the cost of making that machine accessible would be double the cost of actual technology.
So when we think about affordability, we need to keep this aspect in mind feature. And also, coming from Pakistan which is not part of the developed community, it's part of the developing community and so for persons with disabilities living in those parts of the world in Asia, in Asia Pacific, in Africa, that cost would be hard tore bear. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. The floor is still open for questions. Or are we all eager to get on to the more exciting stuff? Is.
Okay. Then let me just wrap up then. First of all, I hope you enjoyed the session. This session was really just designed to be an introduction. It's an interactive session. For us, you know, we wanted to get a sense of what your thoughts are. You know, you're going go to go on the journey, there are different journeys, one is the inclusion track, and this is a slightly different approach to how we structured the IGF, so towards the end we'll also have a closing session, and at the closing session, we hope that you all come.
The purpose of the closing session is really to get a sense from you, is it working, are we addressing the questions, what questions and issues are we tackling and are there any gaps? So we really want this to be interactive, two‑way feedback. This is a session coordinated by the Mag and, you know, the MAG, there are 50 members of the Mag and they are the ones who worked to pull together the IGF with the Secretariat in the UN. We're fortunate to have six Mag Members with us today, so that is more than 10% of the Mag which is sitting here.
So, it's also important, you know, for us as Mag Members, to get a sense from you as well. You know, we have meetings almost every two weeks and we have face‑to‑face and we get a bit isolated sometimes. Sometimes we need to be brought back to reality.
So on that note, I would like to thank our keynotes, Ms. Bogdan‑Martin, I think her wisdom and guidance is important to us. Also, thanks to my colleague Mag Members, Susan, Dalsie, Rose, Juliana, Lianna, June. The digital inclusion, the reason it matters it's covering to much, access, local content, multilingualism, skills, local job, social inclusion, of course, governance, and without true digital inclusion, you know, many of us are exclude from the other benefits of the Internet and it makes it difficult for us to participate in the AI conversations, the big data conversations, and it can often lead to a global north push to the global south because we don't have the skills, we're not digitally included, et cetera.
So, it's ‑‑ for us, I believe it's an important precursor, really, that we need equitable digital inclusion for all so that we have an equal society and all equal rights and participation into the new digital economy which is going to shape everything that we do. It was said that 40% of kids leaving school will have jobs not even created yet, and that is scary. And when you come from a continent where the bulk of our schools are disconnected from the Internet, you know, we're not preparing our youth for those jobs of the future, so we need to address those issues earlier.
You know, there are questions about spectrum, and spectrum is key. You know, the ways that we've managed spectrum in the past is not conducive for us achieving full digital inclusion, getting everybody connected. You know, we do need to start doing things differently and we need to look at how we allocate spectrum differently, how we enable community networks, there are a few workshops on community networks and those are often the warriors that are in the last mile that are known by the communities that are trying to connect the communities so we have connected societies, but they don't have access to spectrum and they have come flex processes to go through. We need to make it easier for people to be connected, we need to make it more affordable.
These are topics that will be discussed over the next two to three days and we're hoping that you will follow out this track, the digital inclusion track, and I know there is so much else going on also but we need everyone's participation in the workshops. We need everyone's voices heard, and hopefully, you know, those voices can shape some of the decisions and policies that may come out of the IGF and the feeders. Because what comes out of here actually feeds into a lot of other decision‑making bodies, and so everything that we see and all the participation and contribution that we make is valued.
So, on behalf of the Mag, we hope you enjoy the session, or have enjoyed the session, and hope you enjoy the three days you have ahead of you, and we hope to see you around and we want to interact and talk to you and get a sense of are we doing a good job or are we not? So, on that note, thank you very much.