The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2019 First Open Consultations and MAG Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from 28 to 30 January 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.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the last day of the MAG meeting.
Last night you should have all got an analysis of the call for issues. If you have not got it, it's also available on our front page of the IGF website. If you just go to the First Open Consultations and MAG meeting section and go under Documents, it's the last link under Documents.
Thank you. I'd like to thank Eleonora for all her hard work on this. Thank you.
And, okay. So with that, I'll hand it over to the chair to start the meeting.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, I guess, for those that are participating online.
The first item of business as usual is to approve the agenda. There are one or two minor changes to the agenda and that we've been asked if we can move the Best Practice Forum, dynamic coalitions, probably the NRI discussions further up in the program. So we will be moving that up to the morning session, probably towards the end of the morning session. And it simply means that some of the other discussion, such as perhaps workshops, open forums or main session, would move to the afternoon. Relatively minor change. I think that was the only change.
We'll start the day off with kind of a recap of where I think we got to yesterday just in terms of where we were in the process, and then we'll have a presentation on the results of public call for issues. I think it will be useful to see how that -- you know, what that looks like.
Are there any suggestions or questions for AOB, comments on the agenda?
Seeing none and seeing no requests for the floor, we will call the agenda approved.
And so I want to just try and -- just a couple comments in terms of where I think we got to yesterday and what we were trying to do. After a good night's sleep. It certainly helped me. I hope it helped all of you as well.
Let's start with sort of the past years. Over the years, we've all been trying to make improvements to various aspects of our process. It started with the CSTD Working Group on Improvements, which is back from 2012 and earlier and still continues to be a very vital piece of work that we still actually track our improvements against. We, of course, have all the stock taking activities from every year. Late last year we had some input from the European Commission's High-Level Panel on Internet Governance. If you recall, they came in. Of course we had all the various speeches and comments at the IGFs. Again, not only Secretary-General Guterres' or President Macron's but all the comments and suggestions, whether it's from bilateral meetings or the workshop sessions themselves.
Pretty much through most of those processes, and in fact, we had agreed last year at the MAG in the first meeting that we should work towards less parallel tracks during the IGF, more focus, which meant fewer themes, more cohesive program, and try to improve the outputs we have and focus on more tangible outputs.
So that's where we were last year. And then as I said yesterday, we lost day zero. We lost one day of the four-day MAG meeting, so we're down to three days of meetings. So the MAG opted not to go for the fewer tracks and some of the other changes because we felt that that was just too big a change from -- from previous years. It didn't take away what I would call kind of the express desire of the community and various stakeholders for those improvements. We just thought it was too much to do at that particular point in time given the relatively unique situation of last year.
The workshop process we used last year -- again, just so people have this both, I think, for history and as we look forward -- was that the workshops were chosen on individual merit according to grades given by a subset of MAG members based on criteria that had been agreed by MAG members. A check was then done to ensure that we had some proportionality across those selected workshops and what we heard from the community and the MAG, whether it was through calls for issues, the workshop submissions, what their interests were.
Some of the criteria, just off the top of my head, I didn't bother to look it up this morning, was we had to identify a policy question, we had to be clear on diversity, we were looking for interesting formats, not just large panels, and I believe there was a specific requirement as well that 50% of the time be left for engagement with participants so it wasn't just, you know, a one-way speaking slot. Those are some of the high-level criteria I remember.
I think that gave us individual workshops on a variety of topics.
We did take a step towards trying to get more cohesive program in that the way we reviewed the workshops last year were that the submissions were grouped by their tags, by their themes. So if you identified yourself when you submitted your workshop submission as a cybersecurity proposal or a human rights proposal or a gender proposal, they were all grouped with like proposals, and a subset of MAG members were asked to grade those. That meant that the same group of MAG members were reviewing those proposals, which was actually intended to help weed out some of the redundancy. That was another kind of comment we had in previous year, that there are too many workshops that are almost the same. And the way the previous process was done, that was -- that was quite likely. There was nothing to ensure that you were actually looking at the sort of stream as a whole. So we took some significant steps to try to address the focus and cohesion and tracks and that sort of thing.
I think where we are today, I think what's happened between last year's start of the MAG process and this year is I think we still have the same input. Obviously some of those inputs are quite old, CSTD, DESA retreat. We had the same input this year as we did for them last year because they are several years old. The stocktaking I think continues to say much the same things we've heard for some years now.
I think a new thing perhaps was some of the statements of the IGF 2018, in particular the Secretary-General. And I think what was driving a lot of his comments, of course, is what is happening in the world at-large with frontier technology, with increasing concerns about cybersecurity and artificial intelligence and virtual reality and bringing in those voices that aren't participating in these processes. All those sorts of things, I think, just were accentuated over the last year.
So what we tried to do the last two days both in the community process on Monday and then in the MAG session yesterday was ask the MAG members to reflect on all those sort of requests for improvements including some of the activities at IGF 2018 and see where we can make some further improvements.
The three that stuck out for me that I think we were all trying to address, of course, come again from the Secretary-General. And, again, his input is obviously important. We're convened by the Secretary-General. But this is a multistakeholder process so everybody's input is extremely relevant as well. But he was nice and succinct.
First, he said we must be more than multistakeholder. We must be multidisciplinary. I think there's broad support for that here and also broad support for the fact that we need to reach out to other communities, whether that's kind of geographic community or whether it's philosophers or whether it's the Global South. But there are -- or governments or private sector, that there are still other communities that we need to reach out and engage more broadly and more deeply in the work of the IGF.
Second, we need to create shared language and references. And he went on to say that he asked the IGF as he asked the HLPDC to inspire new thinking and language on digital cooperation, create shared references which, you know, I think we started calling in this room kind of narratives, what is it we're trying to accomplish with a particular set of activities.
He also asked us to propose new approaches and look for possible ways to reframe existing problems, be them in trade, security, or human rights.
He said we need to make sure that the most competent forums are dealing with the most consequential questions and that they can benefit from cross-cutting resources.
And, third -- and I'm getting to the end of this repeat showing if you will. Third, you will need a dedicated effort to include and amplify the weak and the missing voices. And, again, "missing voices" I myself interpret very broadly.
He also continued that the WSIS provisions that establish the IGF provide us with enough space to improve current mechanisms, that we should make the most of this unique opportunity. And when it comes to governance, we must be as creative and bold as those who first built the Internet.
His speech is actually on the IGF website along with, you know, a number of others. So it's there.
But -- so I think -- as I said, where are we this year? Again, we all had all this context on the IGF speeches, the stocktaking, all the discussions around the launch of the HLPDC last year, et cetera. And what we've been trying to do is to see if there are new approaches, any new ideas we could pull out that would actually help us on our continual improvement path for the IGF and respond specifically to some of the things we've heard, again, in the CSTD, in the DESA retreat, in the HLAG, in the Secretary-General's comments.
My interests or focus were looking on for more cohesion and more focus in the program. Wasn't wanting any particular process. Was really trying to see what comes up in the room here. Was extremely hopeful, as we always are, that with 55 really bright, creative minds with very different backgrounds that we would come up with some interesting ideas and maybe some fresh approaches. And, you know, I think we've actually started.
Where I think we finished the day yesterday -- and I don't say that this is in agreement, but where we finished the day yesterday is kind of underlying where we were and what we are trying to build forward from today, is working to find a way to give the IGF a more kind of cohesive focus to its program, a set of narratives.
We identified in the room here through suggestions from MAG members three main areas that we thought we could put an interesting narrative around and that we could use that then to drive the overall kind of structure, if you will, and content of the -- of the program itself.
We absolutely need to use the call for issues as a check against the community's interest. I think we also need to think, as we build the program, are we doing everything we need to, to reach out to those other stakeholders that we all said we want to engage more deeply? Again, whether it's the South or private sector or its governments, it's philosophers, social scientists. I mean, what do we do physically? Those may be a couple of separate activities that the MAG needs to take on and really build a specific set of concrete activities around.
I think just expecting everybody to work a little bit harder to pull them in the workshop submissions is not moving us forward fast enough. It has made a difference, but I don't think it's moving us forward as fast as people are looking for.
So I think we could -- we could maintain the same workshop call for process we have and provide a bit more context that says, you know, this year the MAG has decided it's going to focus on whatever it is, three, four main themes, and we would like to shape that -- each one of these themes around this particular sort of narrative. We would ask that your proposals take that into account when you make your proposals. Figure what else we might want to add in for the criteria, and we go through the process pretty much as we did last year.
So I don't think -- I mean, I think a lot of people were feeling it was rather a seismic change or something in the process, and I just can't see the seismic change. You know, if you go back a few years ago, we've had processes which started with a small number of themes or a main theme and went out to the community.
I think what we're trying to do here is to find a way to make the sessions that happen at the IGF the most cohesive, the most focused, and the most able to help advance these -- these complex issues as possible.
I'm going to stop and see if Daniela wants to add anything as well from the government. And then maybe we can open it up for questions to see if that kind of resonates, if people recognize that as kind of the current state of play, where we are at the moment.
And then, if so, one of the next things to do might be just quickly to ask the three volunteer teams that so kindly went off and tried to figure out what were the -- all the themes that were captured in those three major themes we identified yesterday so we just have that in front of us and then move to the call for issues.
So that's my kind of proposal for moving this portion of the agenda forward. I'll give you a few moments to think about it and figure out whether or not you want to come in on that after we hear from Daniela.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you, Lynn. And good morning to everybody. Maybe two reflections I had after the two days we had and also the voices coming out after our session yesterday evening.
So having in mind the speech given by the Secretary-General and being at the MAG for the first time and appreciating this -- yeah, this group, this team as a multistakeholder team, I mentioned already on the first day, in my view, this is the strength of the MAG that it is a multistakeholder group.
I was trying to think -- or to struggle -- I was struggling last night a little bit with the ambition we have as a MAG because I think there's a very clear expectation from the Secretary-General, and for me there are two aspects of it. First, as Lynn just pointed out again, a new language, for me this means what we talked about, communication and marketing and how to send better into the wider public what we are doing and, secondly, taking on board missing voices and reaching out to those stakeholders that are not yet part of the process.
And for me, therefore, we have a very clear task to fulfill. And I wondered a little bit yesterday, okay, what is then the ambition of this group. And I think one ambition should be to be brave and courageous maybe, to move the process forward, and to also dare to judge and to feed into the program what we all have as experiences and that in my view is also a little bit giving guidance when setting up the program.
And then when I saw then this morning the input we have from the broader community by the call for issues, I had the feeling of interesting we were not that bad in our judgment yesterday because, for example, cybersecurity is very high on the agenda, and if you scroll through the topics at all -- I mean, all of them, not grouped by the issues we had last year but one by one, then you will find that you can group them in several ways, of course. For example, there's one on blockchain and what it can serve in gaining back more privacy and then you can group that under new technologies but you can group it as well under safety issues or privacy and data issues. So maybe that is one of the tasks we should fulfill as a group to give this guidance to the Secretary-General in designing the program.
And my second point is the missing voices. I mean, we were talking about especially two groups that are governments and the business sector who are still underrepresented. And then I asked myself again, okay, what can we do as a group to bring them to the process? What would help them to come on board. And that is not only motivating them and sending better messages or clearer messages and maybe designing the program in another way. I think it's also maybe designing the program in a way that for governments it's easier to come out with political messages or political ideas. And for the business sector maybe one idea could be also to group the program in a way that it's easier for participants from the private sector of all levels to come to the IGF. If you group the issues we have and we want to tackle, maybe in a way to say day by day. If we would have, for example, one day on cybersecurity and one -- and safety and the group we had yesterday and another day on data and all the issues around data and a third day around inclusion, doesn't matter in which -- which -- what the series of events is but just to make it more clear, then maybe it's easier for a lot of people to explain to their bosses, for example, that they -- that there is an added value to go to the IGF and to follow the discussions at the IGF on the specific topic they're interested in and they are working on. And that were two reflections I had yesterday evening, and maybe that explains also a little bit why I came up a little bit summing up yesterday the discussion as I understood it. And when I saw this morning the call for issue list, I had the impression, well, maybe you should really follow on that path again. And I'm very interested in seeing what the three groups have worked out. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela. So what I'd like to do here is just kind of a quick -- I see Carlos in the call but again, just so everybody understands where we are in the process at the moment, kind of a quick open session on what we just covered. Does that kind of clarify where we were at the end of the day yesterday and what we're trying to do? And then we can start to move forward through the doing it, I hope, in which case we'll have an open session now on the comments that have just been made, and then again, the proposal is that we would go through some short presentations from the three groups that met to just say, here are the things we think are captured under those three themes from yesterday and then we'll move into the public call for issues and then I think come back to see where we are at the end of that. So that's how I'm proposing we process our way through this agenda item. Didn't entice anybody else to the floor, but Carlos, you have the floor.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Thank you, Lynn. Carlos, civil society. I am looking at the chair summary for the IGF 2018. There were eight themes and there was another one which I would call miscellaneous which had 17 sessions which could not be classified into any of the eight themes. And these 17 sessions were more than three of the main themes. More than emerging technologies, media and content, and technical and operational topics. I wonder how this happened because, you know, one of the things that I think we ought to do is to make sure that once we have the list of themes, every session we will have to fit into any of them but not beyond that because this would, of course, help us to reduce the number of sessions.
Second, I would like to commend the secretariat for the excellent summary of the call for issues. And I see that you tried to consolidate all the calls for issues. A lot of call for issues. A lot of issues, I mean. On six themes. We were talking about three yesterday, but six themes, cybersecurity, trust and privacy; digital cooperation and the future of the Internet; emerging technologies; digital inclusion with accessibility; human rights; sustainable development, innovation and economic issues. If we were to trust this synthesis -- which I think is excellent, I would trust it -- why don't we start with considering that these will be the six main themes of IGF 2019 and try to build from there?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Carlos. Trying to see if there's anybody else who wants to comment so it's not just a ping-pong. Sorry? I think the -- we're calling them three themes. I think they're more like, you know, bucket of themes in the basis of what we did yesterday. If we talk about inclusion, for instance, there are so many aspects of it. Maybe there's a couple of sub-themes between the major themes, but, you know, whether it's that or there are five themes, I'm not sure that's the -- well, let me just say then, are people ready to move forward with a processes outline? I see some thumbs up to go forward. That would mean we right now go to the report out from the three volunteer working groups and then we would go through a review of the call for issues. If people aren't supportive of that, we need a concrete counter-proposal. Natasa.
>>NATASA GLAVOR: Okay. I just have one proposal that maybe could address this issue that Carlos wrote out. Maybe as a suggestion for next year's IGF we could think of those limited number. For example, three main baskets inside the MAG and then use them in a call for issues and ask community to fill in those -- those three baskets. Maybe that would be, I don't know, more comprehensive or in line with the procedure or something like that. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Natasa. I actually think that's a great idea, and I think that would set another one of those suggested areas for improvements is to link one to the next. Sometimes it's called kind of a multi-year program. But we did everything we could this year to launch this as quickly as possible. We launched the call for issues immediately after the MAG was announced and, you know, with the MAG being announced early, but it's always going to be late in the year because that's when the IGF is held, you know, we run into year-end and that extension. So I think if we want to get an earlier start in some parts of this process, we do need to find a way to either bridge between MAGs or use the IGF meeting itself as a read-off in the community to strike that process going forward, but something needs to start earlier than, you know, with a discussion on the new MAG and the call for issues.
So I think that's something we can, you know, pick up in the MAG this year, because I think that's an excellent point.
Ben Wallis, you have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: There we go. Thank you. I'm Ben Wallis, Microsoft.
So I think as we start to look at the proposals coming in from those who kindly volunteered overnight, we'll see as you said that it's not an enormous shift; that a lot of the issues that are contained in the response to call for issues can still be accommodated. So -- but I also think organizing them around three or four areas will respond to calls you've mentioned in previous years, in the stock taking for more focus and fewer tracks. And I think it can be helpful in explaining what this year's IGF is about, much more helpful than a tag line which is added on afterwards which really doesn't tell you anything. It's...
So I can see some value in organizing them in three or four areas. I think much more than that and you're going to lose the value of trying to narrow it down.
For those -- This is a shift. This is something we'd be trying differently this year. And I think maybe it could give some reassurance to MAG members or to the community to see it as a pilot. We're trying out something different this year. Let's see how it works. Let's evaluate that in the stock taking, let's evaluate that amongst the MAG at the end of the year. So I'm interested in moving forward with this idea, and I'm grateful for you coming with a concrete idea for us to explore.
And my last point would be to reiterate a comment I made last night that I think as a shift in the way we're doing things, it would be helpful to have a little bit of time for reflection, and I'm not sure we could have a final, concrete set of pillars and sub-issues coming out of the meeting today but we could aim to do that at the next meeting, possibly, just to give us all a bit of time to reflect when we leave Geneva.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ben.
Kind of as you were talking, one of the things that occurred to me is the more and more I think about the shared references in the narrative the more interesting it is. And I have to admit when I first saw shared language and shared references I thought what is that? But if we think about it in the sense of -- and Paul put some good words to it yesterday to say this is what the IGF is thinking about when it says inclusion and the things we're trying to improve or advance. If we had that narrative, that certainly should inform the call for workshops.
I think it actually -- to one of the comments we heard on the open consultation on Monday, to the extent we identify that early, that allows all the other activities across the IGF ecosystem, intersessional and NRIs, to look at that, reflect, and where there's an intersection, you know, work together.
So I think it amplifies our voices if we've actually got that kind of broader integration, but it's a relatively lightweight integration. It's not formal cooperation. It's not liaison. It's saying, you know, that we think the IGF community could significantly advance this particular issue in inclusion and, you know, kind of encourage everybody to kind of come on board.
It might be an easier way to drive cooperation, if you will, but let people -- we all believe in subsidiary. Let people do what is important to them, what they have interest in, what they have resources to. Many of these efforts are volunteer, so you need to go where the interest and the energy is.
So it's -- I think that's kind of an interesting way as well. Maybe that's what we put out in the call for issues, is not so much subthemes but maybe something more a narrative or maybe it's a hybrid of the two. Again, just trying to open the discussion up a little bit -- a little bit here.
If there aren't any other requests for comments or anything else, I saw, I think, the inclusion group was willing to present the results of their effort last night. So we'll start there, and then we'll look for the other two groups to walk through. Paul, thank you, and thank you to all the team members, too, for stepping up and being the first ones last night to volunteer.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Okay. Thank you, Lynn, and thank you to my team, June Parris and Adama Jallow. We looked at inclusion as a focus area. We've actually circulated our document this morning, so those who have Internet access should have a copy of it on their desks. It is a discussion document. No, we're not putting a proposal forward. It's for discussion purposes only. So there is a disclaimer there. And it is inclusion, but it's not inclusive of everything. So let's discuss around that. So if we look at the narrative, the narrative we came up with, inclusion in the sense of digital inclusion is a term that encompasses a broad sector of key Internet governance issues. It affords a practical policy-driven approach that addresses the needs of a community. Inclusion is a framework for addressing and considering the readiness of a specific community to provide access to (indiscernible) or opportunities in the digital age. It encompasses the activities related to the achievement of an inclusive Information Society. Further, it affords a stronger economic and enhanced -- a stronger economy and enhanced economic development through shared wealth, shared employment, and equal opportunity for all. So that's a synopsis of our narrative.
If we drill down to the themes, we identify three key themes with some subthemes. Themes being access, adoption, and application. And under access, we have availability, which is basically access for all. Affordability, meaning everybody should be able to afford access regardless of their income. Design for inclusion, which means it should be designed to accommodate everybody regardless of age, language, gender or disability. Public access. This is your open access, schools, libraries, and public hot spots and stuff. Diversity. It needs to bridge the language, race, gender, capacity and disability barriers.
Under adoption, under relevance, we have better outcomes, improved economic outlook, enhanced trade, digital literacy as a subtheme. Around training and capacity building, around the new digital skills. Consumer safety as the subtheme around user rights and data privacy. And development as another subtheme of adoption which is enhancing standards through progressive strategies. And application, we have some subthemes which are economic workforce development, which is around developing the relevant digital skills towards increased economic employment opportunities. Education around ICTs and education and digital skills for the future. Healthcare. Enhancing healthcare services and access to all. Public safety through digital policing and enhanced security through technology. Civil engagement around e-government, open and transparent governments. Social connections around social media and linkages, digital linkages to the world. And communications around improved and reliable communication platforms.
So this is the outcome of our homework from last night that we submit.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Paul and June and Adama. I think that's a really interesting -- interesting framing and thoughtfully done.
Are there any comments or reflections or questions?
People sort of at least feel that that fairly captures the discussion in the room yesterday around what we kind of just nicknamed inclusion? Anything people see missing?
I'm just trying to put a few markers so we can just build forward, not -- these are not final decisions by any stretch of the imagination.
So, Ben, you have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: Good morning again. Thank you.
It would be good to remind us at what point we'll look at the results from the call for issues, because we're kind of considering them in the round and as an input to this.
And other than that, to thank Paul and the team for their work overnight. It captures a lot of the issues that I and Microsoft were thinking of for this year.
There's one thing, I don't know whether it's missing and I think it's a term Paul himself used was "infrastructure," and I'm wondering whether that comes into the affordability. But then we're drilling down into details of the document. I don't know whether that's the direction you want to go in. That was kind of the first initial comment that I had, but I saw lots of space for covering the issues that Microsoft cares about in there.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, I think that's exactly the sort of, you know, quick feedback we were looking for, Ben, so thank you. And I'm sure Paul will look to see if infrastructure is there or not adequately. And we're going to come to the public call for issues just as soon as we cover the next two report-outs; again, trying to capture all the good thinking and all the good efforts and all the brain power that went into the discussion over the last couple of days from the MAG in those buckets, try to understand what those buckets are, and then move forward and look at that against the call or issues.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you for giving me the floor, Madam Chair.
First of all, I would like to thank the group for the tremendous work they have been doing. It's fantastic to see how they've grouped the subthemes. The only one thing that I think would also be good to have there is the question of content because inclusion also means that there is relevant content for those groups that probably have not yet had access or have not seen the need to have access because they don't see that there is content that matters to them or content in their local language available. So it might be subgrouped under relevance but maybe it's also a subtheme for itself.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And that's a good comment because that was made I think a couple of times yesterday. The content comment.
Okay. Well, let's move to the brief report-out from the second group, again thanking Paul and June and Adama for the work. Very, very helpful.
Which group wants to go next?
Okay. Maybe you can just remind us of the members of your group as well at the same time.
>>MARIA PAZ CANALES: Maria Paz Canales for the civil society stakeholder group, and I work with Natasa Glavor and with Chenai Chair, and also Heleni joined us remotely. So we had this conversation together this morning. What we tried to do as methodology for building our proposal, it was to try to take as much as possible the content of the conversation yesterday to try to include everything that was mentioned for the different MAG members when we talk about this data track in a way of making the most inclusive possible. And also we cross-reference what we find regarding to data in the finding that was shared with us from the open call.
So in this exercise we find different buckets of issues. Based on those issues we tried to write a narrative that I'm going to read. Of course the same in the previous group, this is very open to any kind of input and comment, and it's still very raw, but it tried to accommodate all the different bucket that we find were connected to the data issue.
The first things that we decide to propose as the tag of the conversation for this track, the title of data governance and accountability. We picked this reference because data governance seems to be very broad and inclusive of many of the issues that were mentioned, but at the same time we want to highlight the issue of accountability. That is not always obvious if we refer only to data governance because it's more related to good data governance. So in order to give the accountability issue a right place in the conversation, we thought it would be an overarching theme that should be in the title.
So with those precision, I'm going to read what we tried to build as a narrative. Data governance and accountability track is intended to highlight different aspect of the massive collection and use of data in online services provided by public and private sectors by stressing the need to discuss the best approaches to secure the accountability of the agents in charge of those services, set clear ethical guidelines and legal framework that support the exercise of human rights and the agency of subjects in the digital identity in current uses, and development of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other technologies. But at the same time, create the condition to foster innovation and competition in the development of services and new technologies based in the use of inclusive data.
So that tried to summarize the different aspect that were mentioned, and only to give you a little bit of sense of what the categorization we tried to make and how we crossed what we heard here in the conversation among MAG members and what was coming from the open caucus -- consultation in the open call was highlighted by the secretariat. That the digital sovereignty was a new concept, that it was included in the input provided in the consultation. That tag different elements; for example, the right of the state to determine its own digital policy. Also the -- the sovereignty of the state from the big tech companies. But in a different aspect also, the sovereignty of the individual has the right to determine its own digital policy.
So we think that this concept was innovative and it need to be considered, but we break it down into those different element that pointed out to different aspect.
The same thing with the digital identity concept that also was included in the consultation, and we thought it was relevant to take it for the narrative, for the proposal of the narrative, but it also can be highlighted and connected with issues that are related with data privacy and protection, exercise of human rights that were mentioned yesterday also.
And different bucket, we think it's all the issues related with development of artificial intelligence algorithm. And finally, a different bucket also that we try to highlight in the narrative that we are proposing is all things related with data competition, data and competition, open data, access to data, data innovation. That is also something that we see that it was mentioned for different MAG member, and it's also in -- in the consultation result.
Finally, another concept that also was highlighted by the secretariat as innovative that was introduced in the call was the issue of surveillance capitalism. The same in the digital sovereignty. This is a concept that include different aspect but all of them can be broken down in the different element that I already mentioned that are related with how data is used massively in different business model for the private sector but also for initial (indiscernible) development are developed by government. So we think that those elements are overarching and can be inserted in the different bucket that I already mentioned, but the surveillance capitalism will be better reflected in the concept general of the bucket by the issue of data governance and accountability. Not precisely setting the title of surveillance capitalism which is relatively new as we can see from the result of the consultation.
So that's it for now, our proposal. And of course all the members of the group are able to do any clarification, because this was very last-minute work. So of course it need a lot of perfection yet.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Maria. That was very interesting.
I don't know if you're going to be able to write something up and send it. Another option is cut and paste from the transcript and do that. But if you could -- if you could, at a minimum, review the --
>>MARIA PAZ CANALES: I have it here so I'm going to send it.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. And then maybe we can get somebody to compare that against the transcript, too, because there were a few times when they couldn't understand what you were saying and there are just gaps. And I think we should just make sure that's clear. That would be helpful. Thank you. And thank you to the team.
Any quick reflections or questions? Can pretty much feel it fairly captures what was discussed yesterday. Timea is asking for the floor. Timea, you have the floor.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Chair. And good morning, everyone. Sorry, I didn't --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: It's Timea and then we will come to you, Carlos. Timea.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Sorry. I didn't find the queue system yet on my computer, but I'm getting there. Apologies for jumping in.
Just to reiterate your point, Lynn, it would be great to see the great work done by the group in writing. I tried to follow but I'm not quite sure I caught everything.
A couple of issues that come to mind -- and I'm not sure if you mentioned these already -- but issues of cross-border data flows, innovative business models based on data. Issues like that I think would help us draw in a bit of interest from the business community under this track. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Those are critical points as well, and it was, I mean, a very rich report. A lot -- a lot to cover.
Maria is shaking her head yes.
Carlos, you have the floor.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Very quick. It would be good to hear the three groups and then we can take a better overall look at them and see any overlap, et cetera.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Carlos. Trying to get there.
I see no more comments on that group. So who's going to speak for the third group on safety, security, stability, and...
Thank you, Jutta.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Okay, thank you. So thanks to the work of the secretariat sending us the synthesis of the call for issues. Tonight we were able to work trying to relate the results from the call for issues to the subthemes or themes that we were dealing with, security, safety, stability and resilience.
The group was Mary, Rajesh, Roman, Veni, and then also Heiki joined the group. I hope I didn't forget any other person that has been working on this.
And what we tried to do is looking at the call for issues which of the issues that were mentioned were related to the topics that we were dealing with.
And what you can see on the slide is that, first, Internet ethics has been seen as one of the topics that is related to security, safety, stability, and resilience. And when we went down through the list of issues, we also saw that 37 fake news, 38 freedom of expression online, 48 deep fake videos, and 49 hate speech are somehow when it comes to security and safety related to Internet ethics. So we saw these as somehow subthemes to Internet ethics.
And then, of course, Number 7, cybersecurity best practices is part of the debate, child online safety, also the cyber attacks, the Domain Name System, and Internet protocols.
And then there are, you see, four other issues that we were quite not sure whether we should subgroup them under security, safety, stability, and resilience. And this is also due to the fact that a question of language, some people would understand, for example, encryption that we listed there as a subtheme to security and safety. It could be a threat to security, but it could also be beneficial to security. So this was why we were not yet sure how to decide about that.
Also, we had a debate. We were sure that cyber attacks are to be subgrouped under our subtheme, but we were quite not sure whether also cybercrime was properly related to the scene.
Same counts for Internet resources where you can say, okay, it's critical. It's critical if you don't have the Internet resources. So it might affect stability and resilience but, also, we thought that Internet resources are not related to safety. So that's why we also were unsure about that.
Trust and accountability, same issue. It's somehow related but it's not directly related like the other six issues that we grouped below that.
And then -- of course, legal and regulatory issues are a cross-cutting theme that we saw related to our themes but also as well as to data because we need data regulation. We need legal solutions. And we also need regulatory regulation in regard of inclusion maybe. So that's why we put that as a cross-cutting theme.
Last comment that I would like to make with regard to the synthesis of the call for issues is when you look at the first page, you will see that -- I do think we have a shift in the groups that have contributed to the call for issues. So the private sector is 104 contributions, very high ranking. I do think that's different to previous years, so it's a very good signal that the private sector is already engaging. Still, we have governments with a low participation, but that might be also due to the fact that government has also some other channels to bring their topics into the whole system. So that might be a reason for the ranking that we see there. But it gives more -- more value to the whole picture that we see from the call for issues that we find very useful.
Maybe one of you would like to add something? Veni.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: Hi. Veni here. Just a slight correction in what -- I mean, with what you were saying. You said we need cybercrime. We need this -- it's not that we need it. We have it. Because I don't want somebody to think we are kind of imposing what we need. (laughing)
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jutta, Veni, Mary, other team members.
Can one of you just say, was there -- you know, a narrative or a sentence you put to it which the IGF believes in the area of security, safety, stability, and resilience that we can make a substantive or significant contribution in X? I mean, a little bit like what we were doing in the inclusion.
>>JUTTA CROLL: I need to say we just have not considered the narrative so far. So it would be not correct to tell you anything about a narrative, that we have not been talking about. Maybe another -- you have to add something? Okay.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ananda. You have the floor.
>>ANANDA RAJ KHANAL: Thank you, Madam Chair. I am Ananda Raj Khanal. I'm with Nepal Telecom Authority, a government stakeholder.
It's a very fantastic job you have done outlining very clearly the two presentations we had very, very difficult time to map the issues correctly and go back to the transcripts. This is a fantastic job.
I think some of the few missing points under this issue like institutional arrangements, like the short -- national, regional or global short kind of things.
Second thing that is missing is the international cooperation on making cyberspace secure, safe, trust, building the trust.
And also missing is protection of critical infrastructure, other than the Internet itself, the infrastructure, the power systems and financing systems which depend on the Internet.
And the fourth thing that I would like -- missing is the awareness framework which is very important if we're talking about safety and security of the cyberspace. So with these four additional items, I think this issue could be more complete. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ananda. Are there any other comments or reflections or questions from the floor on the third grouping? I would like to see us keep pushing forward, particularly as we go towards the call for workshop submissions to kind of express where we think the IGF could have a significant contribution or significant -- we heard that would be really helpful to a lot of the NRI efforts, if they actually understood generally what a couple of the main themes were or the main areas of focus were for the IGF and that they could obviously reflect those or integrate those as they continue in their own pieces of work.
So I just think it's more helpful in terms of, again, creating the shared reference, particularly on a global level than it is to give a list of 30 themes and subthemes. I think we end up with a kind of smorgasbord of a whole bunch of interesting topics; but I don't think we have tried to help provide, you know, a framework that would allow the community to come together and actually kind of amplify or maximize our individual efforts. I think that's one of the big benefits of this kind of shared reference or narrative model.
Seeing no other comments from the floor and trying to kill a minute or two to see if there were any, I think we'll ask the secretariat now to share with us the results of the call for issues. And then we'll come back and look at pulling these two pieces together.
There's a word list debate -- or negotiation going on here between the secretariat in terms of who's going to do the presentation.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Eleonora, please.
>>ELEONORA MAZZUCHI: Thank you, Chengetai. I would be happy to walk through it quickly.
Luis, would you mind pulling it up? Thank you.
Thank you for that.
Okay. Well, since we assume everyone has had the chance to read through these slides and get a basic sense of the results, I will go through this pretty quickly. And actually I've heard some of the MAG members who were leading these thematic groups talk about the call. And so I can tell they've read through it pretty thoroughly. Can probably give a better presentation on this than I can.
But on the first slide we have some basic figures on the submissions, just the level of subscription to each theme among the eight we gave -- I'm sorry, among the ten we gave as choices, followed by the stakeholder and regional groups of the submitters in descending order.
What's notable here is how the top three themes are nearly neck in neck. We have cybersecurity, trust and privacy, evolution of Internet governance, and emerging technologies with the fourth one, digital inclusion, actually not far behind. So they're all pretty close to one another, which is good. You know, we don't have one theme which is, you know, very predominant and surpassing all the others.
In the identity of the submitters, as Jutta noted, it's encouraging to see that there was strong private sector participation in the call. I will say that there actually was pretty good private sector participation last year already, but this year it is even -- it is even higher. Among the regional groups for the first time ever, I think in -- well, I don't know in any IGF process, but in a lot of the ones that I've seen, we have another regional group aside from the Western European and Others Group as the top group. So we got the most submissions from Asia-Pacific region, followed by WEOG, or Western European and Others, and further -- et cetera down the line.
And then on the second slide, we tried to explain the process that we used for the analysis as clearly as possible, which is the same process we used last year. So basically we did an initial scan of all the inputs and screened out any that were invalid, that were blank or duplicates. And so what we had was actually a batch of 324 inputs that we used for the analysis following that.
And then we did another scan and looked for common concepts and terms to establish a consolidated list of 55 issues. And we did this because we asked submitters not to just give keywords but to actually describe in sentences what particular -- what particular issues they were interested in. And then we used these 55 issues to code the inputs.
And then what we did was looking at the ten broad baskets or categories is we tried to consolidate them into six themes and, of course, not eliminating any inputs in the process but reassigning -- reassigning inputs that were marked "others" or the lowest subscribed ones to one of the six themes.
And then on the third slide -- I think we lost it on the screen. There we go -- we actually can take a closer look at the issues here and get a sense of what the most popular ones were with artificial intelligence topping the list, followed by data privacy and protection, Internet ethics and digital capacity-building. And, again, what's notable here is seeing that these are not so far from one another in terms of popularity.
And following that, we have a closer look at the themes in isolation on the fourth slide as we received them and then our attempt at consolidating them.
Just a note on the consolidation, it got ahead quite honestly a little bit of the discussion we had here in the room yesterday about thinking about three or four topical areas. In any case, it's just a suggested consolidation in an effort to reduce the number of themes or eventual tracks in a program.
And it does in any case show how the broad themes can be played around with and how structurally we can really be more flexible or more flexible than we have been to meet our objective of a more focused approach.
And then on the next slide, we have finally the large grid with all the themes and constituent issues color coded according to the number of issues and how high their concentration is under any particular theme.
So with this kind of visualization, you see immediately where there was a lot of interest, again here with AI and data privacy and protection, too.
And maybe more importantly this kind of grid allows you to see how issues cut across the themes and how when community members think of a broader theme, what issues are included in their thinking of that theme.
And then, finally, we just wanted to share a few observations on the process, especially as compared to last year.
If you can go to the last slide, Luis. Thank you.
Concerning the broader themes, we saw that cybersecurity remained the top priority for the community. And what is notable between 2018 and 2019 is the jump in popularity of emerging technologies which really is almost on par with cybersecurity and driven in part by the very strong interest in artificial intelligence.
Human rights acquired more prominence this year. It seems it was a little bit more popular moving from eighth most popular theme to sixth.
And as with last year, technical and operational topics as a -- and media content as broad baskets were the least subscribed.
Some particular issues were new. 5g, aging populations which refers to elderly or older people and their ability to use the Internet and including them as Internet users. Deep fake videos, digital identity, digital sovereignty, and surveillance capitalism, which we saw was a way of referring to surveillance and personal data collection for marketing or business purposes. And I'm a bit of a language nerd so personally I really, you know, get excited when I see these new buzzwords emerge and how they didn't really seem to exist in our language before, not in our process last year.
One of these, digital sovereignty, was pretty interesting because although it was used in the exact same way, that exact same term, "digital sovereignty," people used it to refer to different things. It could be -- they could mean a state's right to determine its own digital policy in kind of a intrastate or international context or a state's sovereignty to determine policy, vis-a-vis the private sector, or an individual, a person or user's digital sovereignty. So a very kind of wide meaning for that very specific term.
There was compared to last year a marked drop in the popularity of some issues which we know in the past have been very kind of hot, net neutrality, cryptocurrency, and virtual reality among them. And we also saw that a few issues disappeared altogether compared to our process last year, notably citizen journalism, libraries, and over the top services. So that's it.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: A big thank you to Eleonora for doing that. As you recall, we actually extended the stocktaking to make sure that there was adequate time for some of the various communities to participate which meant, I think that actually closed like two days ago or something. So it was a real workload, a real lift she picked up.
Any initial comments, reflections? Carlos, you have the floor.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Let me reflect. As we have seen there is some other important contributions coming from the responses to the call for issues, and we are now working on another approach which is trying to work on the basis of three main aggregated issues, I would call, or you can call general themes. We cannot say -- I will not say discard, but not take into good account those contributions from the call for issues. How to map one thing in the other without losing -- losing or creating problems or showing that we are not considering what we should be considering.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So, I mean, I think that's a good question. And again, I think the call for issues is an indication of what our community is interested in. I think the MAG is also charged with broadening outreach and bringing in voices and participants that aren't engaged yet, so we need to find a way to do that which means we need to look beyond the call for issues as well. That is certainly very, very interesting, but I would argue not going to get us the broader participation and participation from the other entities without some very specific activities to do so. There's a host of activities we could imagine, but we're going to have to do some specific activities to get the philosopher, social sciences, governments, policymakers, et cetera, in.
And then one other quick comment and I'll go to the floor is I think a lot of these activities could be captured in the best practice work, for instance, if we approve four best practices. Dynamic coalitions, certainly. And even some of them, if they're kind of national or regional specific within some of the NRI activities. So I think we always need to think, we always talk about wanting to integrate all those activities of the program and vice versa. I think we need to think about how we kind of encourage that at every -- at every step of the process. And we have a lot more vehicles to us above and beyond just the annual meeting program. So kind of a partial response to some of the things we might do. Paul, you have the -- oh. Daniela. Do you --
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Just very briefly. Thank you, Lynn. First of all, I would like to thank the volunteers. I think that was a tremendous job the three groups did overnight. Grouping not only what we have discussed but also already from the input we got from -- from the community. And I think that's very good input, and many thanks to the secretariat for grouping that already. I've flipped through the whole list just and I recognized that -- and this is not a surprise -- the sort of input is very different. And my question would be just, is this really the whole input because some are interpreting the issues they are submitting, others are not doing so. Sometimes they just have a word. I mean, just submitting a subject and not explaining what they want to talk about or not having a real question going along with, and maybe that would be good to when we now come together, put together the input from the community and the work of the two -- three groups to revise a little bit also to having in mind the different structures of input we saw here. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela. I mean, that is a good input. Of course, a call for issues that just says AI and nothing else isn't, you know, nearly as helpful as something which says AI in particular, would like to examine this particular issue. So maybe it's even worthy of a different sort as well and perhaps a different profile at some point. But Paul, you have the floor.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you, Lynn. Paul Rowney. My concern here is the -- we have 350 call for issues, which is not significant. I think I raised the same last year. I would expect the community -- you know, that we'd have thousands of calls for issue. You know, it's a simple process. It's probably the easiest way that our constituents can actually engage with us to put their points through. I think we need to try to analyze why we're not getting more responses from the community.
And just to put that in context, last year we had 462 workshop proposals, which is a much more complex process. So we have more workshop proposals than calls for issues. So I don't think right now we can have that leading the discussion. I think it's interesting as an input because it gives us an indication of what the thoughts are out there, but we do need to try to solicit more input, I think, to get a more substantive view of what the issues are out there.
And on a second issue, a point of interest to me would be to see the variance of issues by geographic area. So if you take one area, you know, what are their top maybe one or two or three issues compared to other geographical areas? Are they the same? Are they different? Because that also, I think, gives us a bit of sense of where we're going. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Paul. Those are both really good points. And the same thing, of course, by stakeholder, too, would be interesting. But good points. I'll let the secretariat think about whether or not they can easily create some of those other sorts and come back on that in a moment. Sylvia, you have the floor.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Thank you, Lynn. Sylvia Cadena, technical community. I just wanted to highlight that if we are going, let's say -- if we are looking at the -- the submissions from the community input later and how they will fit into the three categories or the three main buckets and we don't limit the number of sub-themes that are listed, we can end up with more or less the same eight top buckets that we have from last year with six sub-themes, just a different multiplication, right?
So if what we are looking at is focus, the sub-themes also need to be narrowed down so that that is focused. And it's a very similar approach, in my opinion, to the best practices forums and the dynamic coalitions, to see how they actually fit into those three and the sub-themes listed there. Otherwise, it's just like a tagging system where instead of showing 8 vertical you're showing 3 vertical and 20 horizontal, but if we don't narrow it down in terms of the sub-themes, that will not actually generate the focus or the cohesion of the program that you, Lynn, and Daniela have been trying to make us think how we get there, right?
So that's one. And then the other one is that to be able to bring those topics back or how we make sure that those sessions that are organized around those topics actually touch on governance. Because if not, it's going to be a data conference on one track, an access conference in the other track, and a cybersecurity conference in the other one. So -- which might touch on hundreds of different sub-themes or tags or topics, whatever you want to call them. So if there is something on the narrative that tries to bring those buckets or big topics to -- and the connection to governance, then we might crack this nut. But I don't think that if we keep adding just -- if we limit the three at the top, if we keep adding the bottom, there is no really an effort to have a focus. So thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sylvia. I think those are good points, and I'll keep going through the queue and then we can come back at the end. Michael, you have the floor.
>>MICHAEL ILISHEBO: Good morning. For the record, Michael Ilishebo, government stakeholder Zambia. Just to put on what Paul has just said on -- in terms of grouping themes, like we -- when Wout, that is divided in terms of technology. What can be an issue in the Global South might not be an issue on the other side of the world. In Africa we are still grappling with issues of inclusion, affordability, and access, and yet the rest of the world, like, where we are here, sort of, you've moved away from those issues. Further, out we tend to sideline those issues. We feel like we've already surpassed them. Look at the themes that came to the basket. Cybersecurity has been a major issue, but in Africa at the moment, people aren't talking about cybersecurity. People are talking about access. People are talking about inclusion. People are talking about affordability. Yes, cybersecurity is an issue somehow, but it's not an immediate issue at the moment because a lot of people are still not yet connected. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Michael, that's an excellent point. And why -- I mean, I think over the last couple of days, trying to say to the MAG that's here, on the basis of everything that we all experience, you know, what do we think are the things that the IGF ecosystem -- not just the annual meeting program, the IGF ecosystem -- should be paying attention to and can help advance for the benefit of the world. And we need to make sure that we're kind of always checking that and not, you know, as Paul said, why we only add 350 issues and it's a low enough barrier and some of them didn't even put any word in, just a title or a subject. So I think that's all really a relevant point.
And if I go back to Sylvia's for a moment in terms of, you know, one of the things -- you know, a number of people here have been trying to think through is, how do we have the right level of discussion in this room where we're not kind of looking at 70 constituent pieces and I don't know what it is, 40 sub-themes and 8 themes. It's hard for me to even make any sense of that, never mind keep any kind of state or set of priorities. And yet, in something which really talks about, you know, the IGF looking across this broad set of activities should be able to have an impact on inclusion in these specific areas is something I think we can have a discussion around and say, is that -- is that a reasonable set of activities for the ecosystem to take on board. And if so, what role can the annual, you know, program, annual meeting program take in that. And I think we can -- I actually think the community's looking for us to do that. They're not expecting us to just take last year's workshop submissions or this year's call for issues and build a program around that. They're actually looking for us to add value on the basis of us coming together as a global multistakeholder group to figure out where we can actually have the most impact.
And so I'm -- you know, I don't think we're -- I hope that we're not in danger of leaving the broad community disappointed by having this level of discussion and trying to move to kind of a narrative or a set of themes, small number of themes with a descriptive set of texts and say, these are the things we'd like to try and work on this year and try and make an impact and make a significant contribution to kind of improving over the course of the year. I think that's what they would see the value of in a global multistakeholder process. And at the same time, any issues that are really local, whether it's local at a national level or regional or local to a stakeholder group, I really think there are lots of other vehicles for them to advance those issues, whether that's through things like the dynamic coalitions or the NRIs, and, you know, to track how successful that worked and what we need to do to increase linkages or, you know, make that a more successful, you know, collaboration is something I think we should track and learn from over the course of the year. But it's not as though if an individual expressed an interest in X that the only opportunity to do that is a workshop slot. And I just really want to keep bringing that back to everybody and say there's lots of other ways to impact on these -- on these issues.
Paul, you're in the queue.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you. I'm making up for last year where I didn't talk much.
[ Laughter ]
They're just thinking aloud here. Last year we had a lot of repetition, a lot of workshops were very similar, and a lot of them actually had the same presenters saying the same thing. If we're looking at focus areas and under those areas we've got the themes and the sub-themes, we're building a story. So ideally, the workshops would fit in with the sub-themes and the themes and we shouldn't have like five workshops on the same sub-theme and the theme. So somehow we want to start directing the workshops to -- and picking the best workshops for the sub-themes that address that particular issue that feeds up into the theme and into the feature area. So just some thoughts. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's a good suggestion. And I think it's, you know, a refinement. I don't think it's a very big refinement of last year's process where we actually kind of grouped them by major theme, and now I think you're saying when we actually do the workshop grading actually do that at a kind sub-theme level within the theme. So I think that's a good suggestion. Looking for any other thoughts and reflections.
Wout, I will, by exception, give you the floor.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: Thank you, Chair. Wout de Natris, private sector, I guess. Not MAG member.
I'm coming back to the strength in cooperation report. It's just -- some of you may not even know it, but it's something that everything that's in there comes from the IGF community. It was brought forward in a very open way. If we wanted to do -- make the IGF do something different than we ever did before, then we should go in this direction. And it comes from participants at the IGF that were there for years and from all constituency stakeholder group, et cetera.
What I'm hearing is that you're very close to reaching some of the goals that are in that report. So the narrative that I'm hearing is giving a direction. It makes it possible to ask for a specific sort of content to be delivered at the IGF. And perhaps the thing that would add it and would really add value of the topic of that and having a specific theme is what I -- and I reiterate what I said yesterday, is by asking some questions up front. We can talk about cybersecurity for the 14th or 13th year, what is it, in a row, about human rights or child protection online, et cetera. It has been discussed since 2000 and what are we '6 in Athens? It has been discussed. So if the question would be, you have got the opportunity to come up with the best practices of the world and give them as recommendations to the rest of the world, you can ask very specific questions. You'll get probably different people into the room because then it's going to make a difference because the outcome is going to be pivotal to some because it will mean that you have to implement something or have to change the law maybe or maybe -- et cetera. But by thinking of a few questions, if you want to ask the people that are going to participate in these themes, you're going to give direction and then you show MAG leadership and you can maybe even change the way the world is going in the next five years. So that -- that is something which is coming from the midst of the IGF community and not something I made up. I just wrote it down for you. So that's -- thank you for giving a few moments. But I think you're very close to making the sort of decisions that could make the IGF so much more important.
So that is something that is coming from the midst of the IGF community and not something I made up. I just wrote it down for you. So that's -- Thank you for giving me a few moments, but I think you're very close to making the sort of decisions that could make the IGF so much more important.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wout.
And I recognize Wout because Wout was a very active member of a working group the last few years ago and did a lot of work on a paper which is published on the website and has held a couple of sessions over the last few years specifically on this particular topic. So just to explain, of course, there's a chair discretion fax.
Timea, you have the floor.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Chair. Picking up on a couple of points that were said before about Paul, and Wout must have telepathic capabilities because I was going to propose the same thing he did. I think it's a very interesting exercise that we're embarking on right now, and just building this idea of narratives, I think if we are looking at having three baskets, we need to be mindful of how we frame the story that is a, you know, 360 view, encompassing a couple of different perspectives.
I want to underline one thing you said, Chair, on the workshops being a policy discussion tool. And I link that back to last year when I was grading workshops because I had a lot of workshops that -- with really great input but their aim was somehow either capacity building or show-and-tell or hackathon type of -- which is really, really great content but was not serving the aim of answering a policy question.
So going the other way around, it might also help us link into what Sylvia said. If we frame a couple of questions up front, we sort of move away from just pulling in, you know, just top issues like AI under cybersecurity or anything else that we might think it fits under cybersecurity. If you frame the questions up front, it doesn't have to be one or two, it can be five, ten, but -- or we'll find the proper number. But just thinking about going away from that.
And then if you put the question up front, we might go, directing those people who want to propose some other type of activity but for lack of a better knowledge of the process, they propose everything under workshop. And then we can also maybe think about freeing up some space in the agenda for other type of activities that are more, I don't know, trade-show like than policy-discussion like, and have people -- give people the chance to propose those kinds of things in a different place.
Oh, and one more thing. Sorry. I was just wondering if this -- thinking about these questions could be homework for the MAG a little bit. Just going back to what Ben was saying, take those considerations back home with us, reflect a little bit, and maybe come in in the next MAG call in about two weeks' time or four weeks' time, whatever, to think about that better.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Timea. Those are some very useful comments, and I'll pull all of them together, I think, when I try and maybe make a proposal for what our steps might be in the next few minutes here.
But I will go to Giacomo next. Giacomo, you have the floor.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Thank you for the floor. Yes, I want to echo what Wout said before. This was a lot of ideas that are going in the direction of what the working group on the multi-year plan suggest. And I think if we go in that direction that for me seems fine and absolutely the best one, we need to keep in mind the other things that was said in that group. For instance, the multi-year plan.
So having in mind the things that we are focusing this year will be complemented by others that will be focused next year, so that the people that will not be frustrated if his own need will not be taken on board this year, because there is another chance in the next.
And the second point that was essential in the discussion, we know that the IGF is an opportunity for the community, world community, to gather and to talk about their own issues. So I don't -- I want to stress the point, the fact that we have some preferential lines for some topics doesn't preclude if the space are available to give the people to -- that need to have their own meeting on their own specific (indiscernible) need to have their own meeting there because this will enrich the participation. If the Pacific Islands want to discuss about their problem of access to the Internet, they have the right and the need, and the IGF have to give a roof to them, even if this is out of the three main tracks that we are focusing on.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's a useful service. I think the day zero was partly in service of that as well. I mean, I understand there aren't space limitations in that sense, so maybe there is, you know, a few rooms that could be available for community or, you know, community pop-up meetings or something that can be maybe on the website but not part of the official program, per se, because they're not necessarily the same type of meeting. Some of them may be pseudo closed if they're for a region or a topic. I think some of the other concerns we've had before, of course, if we start having lots of those, we're pulling participants away from the main program to those other meetings. But I think we can advertise them, but maybe they're not part of the main program.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Just to complement what I was saying. Sorry, again. I think there is no need to make this isolation. What is important is we structure the program in a way that clearly fix a line of contribution.
If you have workshops or plenaries or whatever, the open forum that contribute to a stream line, they have to be clearly identifiable in the program, and the others could be others, simply. I don't -- Unless there are logistic problems as we had last year at UNESCO, why not to have it in day one, day two, day three, other meetings? I don't think that is a problem.
The people that is interested in the stream line will go to that stream line. The people that have their own particular interests will attend the other meetings.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Kenta and Mary, if you're okay with this, I would like to just stay with this for a moment so we can close it because that's a pretty detailed discussion.
If -- I think there could be room in the official program for other topics or cross-community or cross-issues or cross-groups, but in my mind, that's something the MAG has taken a look at and said that particular proposal is worthy of a slot in a session with everything that entails, Webex and audiovisual and everything else.
I thought your suggestion was more along the lines of if the community from Asia Pacific wants to get together to discuss X, it would be good to give them facilities to do that. And that's the piece that I said I think we can, but that's not the same as part of the official program. It's not a room that's supported by Webex. It's not something that's color coded in an online track program. It's something I think we can give visibility to, but recognize that this is kind of a community or a pop-up. Meeting, not something that came through the formal MAG structure.
I'm looking for support here, but if we -- you know, the MAG either has responsibility for the various components of the program, and then we provide a facility to those that are there for rooms to facilitate their own work, which is an extremely important thing to do, but I just think they're not the same thing and shouldn't be represented as the same to the community.
Is that what -- Are we in alignment or are we talking about different things?
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: No, I'm thinking to my members, for instance. They need in order to justify the mission to get the approval to be part of a program. The risk is that if it's clearly said this is a second-class, forgive me, extra --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: A side meeting.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Yeah, but some of them could have a problem in justifying the mission, too, with their bosses, saying, ah, this is not an important matter. So could be done, but we need to do in a way that doesn't hamper the goal that is to have the largest possible participation.
And I shut up. Sorry.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, no. Chengetai just said side meeting. So maybe there's an opportunity for the secretariat to provide rooms for side meetings, but again, it's not part of the official program where it's webcast and it is a community service sort of thing.
Daniela do you want to come in on this or otherwise we'll let it stew for a bit and then come back. We obviously need to hear from the MAG in terms of what they think about that -- that proposal.
Kenta, thank you for your patience. You have the floor.
>>KENTA MOCHIZUKI: Okay. Good morning, everyone. I'm Kenta Mochizuki, a Japanese business MAG member. Thank you very much for giving me the floor.
First of all, thank you so much for Eleonora, you know, for making a very comprehensive presentation. And I simply support what Sylvia and Timea said, and actually I still get lost where we are. And as a fundamental question, I'd like to ask everyone to discuss more about the definition or meanings of focused or cohesive program, and also the added value of the IGF who are getting into the same themed discussion. Otherwise, we won't be able to, you know, decide what kind of themes we should, you know, attach to the main programs. And also the, you know, what kind of subthemes or some topics should be allocated to each main theme.
So this is kind of a fundamental. So we should, you know, discuss, you know, what the meaning and what, you know, the definition of focus or cohesive program.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Kenta. That's a good point and I think we'll come to that when we actually try to figure out what the next step is that we're working towards. Thank you.
Mary. Mary Uduma, you have the floor.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you, Ms. -- Madam Chair, the chairperson. My name is Mary, technical community.
I want to come back to what Paul started. Paul raised the issue of analysis within the interest of the -- of the regional grouping. I want to extend it to the stakeholders, what are their highest interests when it comes to each of the stakeholders. And I think if we have that, it would also give us some basis for making a decision or when we want to call for workshops, we'll look at that.
Then I was asking myself whether the channel of communication. Since we had less than what we had last year, is it that the channel of communication was short? Since we're looking at new voices and we're looking at what the Secretary-General called us to do with (indiscernible) the philosophers and those outside the ISTARs, that they were there to make their own input or raise issues of discussion.
So maybe we think twice when we're doing the workshop, call for workshop, the communication and outreach, others apart from the usual channels. Probably we'll look at that. I know that with the World Economic Forum that there is another -- other spaces where we could get those that have not been coming to IGF to be part of the IGF to make workshop proposals and look at what -- see their own interests.
And so how was -- how did we -- new communities do -- how do we identify them? Is it from the U.N. level or we use (indiscernible) or others to be able to get wider community to give us a proposal? So that it will not be the "usual suspect" that do do that.
I see that in the government are just six issues they raised. I don't know whether they didn't get the information or they got it very late. So we'll look at that. And I want to say that probably when we are doing the workshop, when we're selecting group -- group in the workshops or teams, maybe we look at their particular interest to make sure that we -- we bring them in to tell us what -- I know they have their own, like, the open forum to discuss what is of interest to them. But the new voices, I think we need to work hard on that and bring them in to the IGF 2019.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary. Some really critical points. And I think we do need to do, in our analysis, why there are fewer. Chengetai just said it was over the end of the year, too, and that may have cut back somewhat. I'm sure there were other reasons, but we should look to understand that and figure out how we -- how we improve it. And then we can come to some of your other points with respect to some of the other outreach, I think, when we hit the process discussion in a moment.
Sylvia, you have the floor.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Just -- thank you, Lynn. Sylvia Cadena, technical community.
I just wanted to support the comments that Giacomo made about not everybody has the same problems and the same issues, and that if we want to bring in the voices that are leading the deep discussions on issues, we need to find ways that those organizations are -- and those people are represented in the program. I think that that is -- Although I understand the idea of, okay, let's have like a core program that is like the comprehensive one that the MAG has control on and then the rest will be a little bit more ad hoc in some ways, like a compromise, let's say, to try to fit everybody, I think that that will probably make very difficult in the end to put together a comprehensive chair summary, for example, of the meeting.
So -- but people want and need to be represented in the program. When you don't see your core issue there, it's hard to -- or your region represented or the issues that are important to you and to your community there, it's hard to commit to a whole year of preparation and all the process that is coming ahead.
So I think it's important to listen to those voices and look deep at the call for issues, but also at the eyes and ears that the MAG members have on the in-depth discussions around those issues that maybe were not part of the call for issues.
I hope I made my myself clear. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sylvia. I mean, it is important, of course, that we do do that, and it's also important that we figure out what are the other entities, organizations, or individuals that we want to pull in that we think will really enrich the discussion and have a plan to go out and bring them in. And then I think it's a matter of what does that look like, how do we do that.
I think we still need to at some point think about kind of the main sessions. We also need to think about the opening sessions. Every time we say we want more government, senior government members, of course, they all want speaking slots. And the last couple of years we've tried to go to a small number of panels which had the VIPs, multistakeholder VIPs but VIPs on the panel with a couple of VIPs in the floor that were kind of recognized immediately, so we gave more people the speaking slots they were all looking for, but that doesn't actually give us the kind of capacity we need for those individuals if we're going to support the individual, you know, speeches, if you will. A lot of them don't like participating in a sort of panel sort of format or session.
One of the things Daniela and I were talking about this morning, one of the things I saw the at Paris Peace Forum which had many, many, many heads of state there was they had one or two kind of minimal opening panels, and that was Angela Merkel, President Macron and Guterres I think were the three on the opening panel. What they did afterwards is they had these agoras. So in the middle of their exhibition space, which was an exhibition space, it looks a lot like our exhibition space at an IGF, they kind of blocked off these areas and had a little bit of a backboard behind them, and that's where they actually gave a lot of the other heads of state the opportunity to speak. But they were speaking in parallel to four other small forums that were speaking in the midst of a bunch of individual discussions happening at the...
So I think, you know, it's worthy of us to try and think about how we can actually get more opportunities for VIPs to participate. That's what we want. And it would be interesting for them to be exposed to this kind of multistakeholder. It would be interesting for us to have an exchange both ways. So I think we want to do what we can to encourage that. But I think we're going to need to be creative. Otherwise, I worry that we'll be kind of forced back into -- we can always say no, but forced back into, you know, a line of 40 individual five-minute speeches, which of course is something the community has said they don't want.
So I think we need to find a way to, I think, even building on Giacomo's point, how do we find roles for those people that actually want to come that we do want to participate that are senior that do have expectations of speeches. And how do we do that in a way that fits with the -- you know, the IGF culture and multistakeholder.
Just something else we can think about going forward. I'm going to go to Ben and then see if we can just kind of outline where we are and what the next steps might be quite quickly. And then we need to go and talk through some of the best practice forums because this afternoon didn't work for a couple of the individuals, and I think it's important that we get those under way, if at all possible. And then we'll come back and pick this up for the rest of the afternoon.
So, Ben, you have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you, Lynn. So looking at next steps and building on Timea's suggestion of developing the tags into actual policy questions but also thinking about Sylvia and Giacomo's concerns that different issues are relevant to different people.
There will be some issues which are not global, they're not relevant to all stakeholders and all regions. But to the extent possible, when we draw up policy questions, if that's the route you take us down, I think we need to try and make them as relevant -- relevant for as broad a group as possible, for different stakeholders, for private sector and public sector and civil society, for the south and the north, to try and make things global when we think about the policy questions.
That might be an additional step because, you know, we're all coming from different perspectives. And as we put out policy questions, they might come with more of an individual perspective. But before we put things out for the call for issues, I think that's something to look for and maybe guidance to give if that's part of our homework and if we are providing comments, to kind of remember in policy questions to think about how to make this relevant to people in other parts of the world or people in other stakeholder groups and not just your own. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ben.
I think that was a good way to pull in Timea's comment, also Sylvia's earlier as well, which is we want to make sure what we are actually doing with these subjects here is actually speaking to governance issues as well.
So let me go to Jutta, and then we'll have a quick review of a possible process.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Yes. Just a quick remark referring to the suggestion made by Marilyn Cade, I think, on the first day of our deliberations when she suggested to differentiate between different types of sessions. And I think it was information sessions that are somehow supposed to educate people and inform people. This somehow relates to the issue that some issues are interesting for a certain community but not for all of them. So these could be information sessions that you really understand the problems from one area, from one stakeholder group, from one region or another.
Then the discussion or debate sessions where we -- I would think that emerging issues would fit in there very well. And then the mature topics I think she phrased it, it might be -- could be phrased differently, but these are the ones that really can produce an outcome maybe.
And also we have -- I've heard Wout speaking about that at different times. There are topics that we've been discussing since 2006 in Athens but they have also emerged through time so they might need different answers than the topics got a few years ago.
I do think this would help us also to help shape the program. And maybe people who send in a submission, a proposal, can mark just and say, "Okay, it's more an information session" or "I think this is already a mature topic" and maybe we can discuss that afterwards. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jutta.
There have also been suggestions in the past that have said it might be helpful if there's some way to indicate whether or not the topic was kind of at a high level an introduction, sort of for beginners. And if another one is really pretty dense on policy or pretty dense on technology, that we identify that as well. That was one of the more significant comments in stocktaking some years ago. So I think there's some things we can do to figure out how we kind of code or provide more guidance on the program.
So let me just quickly say that I want to just kind of outline what I think might be the next steps on the basis of the discussion here in the room and building very much off of our current process.
So our process last year meant we would be leaving this meeting -- I'm not even sure we had a theme because we didn't have a host at this time last year.
[ Laughter ]
I would normally have us having a theme or a couple of themes and we prepare a call for workshop issues that have some criteria, some overall guidance, some information on how they're going to be graded and ranked. And there's a very -- you know, very robust process which is documented which has served us really well over the last couple of years.
And, also, last year we piloted with a slightly different way to drive the review across the MAG, which I think we need to look at that again this year on the basis of the working group prep and evaluation activities from last year to figure out how we do that. And we won't go into that kind of depth at the moment.
But one option building on some of the comments here is that we take these three themes. We clearly have some homework to go do. Maybe we do that in subsets of the MAG. The process that we actually use to support a call for workshops could include some context, a narrative, the MAG believes on the basis of the stocktaking activities, the call for issues, various speeches at IGF 2018 that we would like to focus a significant part of our program this year on this particular set of issues around inclusion for one and do the same thing for two or three. And we could put a narrative on that.
We could either put a narrative that said in particular we would like to focus on what we need to do to improve the participation -- increase the participation of the Global South in governance activities, both locally in a region and at the global level. And maybe there's another paragraph that says what we can do -- to Michael's point, what we can do to actually improve access for these and we outline what that is.
And we give that kind of textual guidance, contextual or narrative guidance, as part of the workshop proposal process. If people feel strongly, I suppose would could identify a couple of subthemes. People tend to go to the bullets and respond to the bullets. And I think what we really want people to do is to think pretty openly around what can we do, where can we make a difference, how we might approach this, who might else we might work with.
So I think maybe putting something in a context or a narrative might be a better way to open up some of the proposals. And, of course, we'd need to be clear on what the criteria were for rating those proposals when they come in.
So, I mean, I'm not talking about a substantive difference, maybe more that the MAG would be a little more descriptive in terms of the areas it was actually hoping to see proposals in because this is an area where we think we can have a significant impact or benefit this coming year.
So, Daniela -- we'll take a few comments and then quickly go to the BPF. We'll come back to this, of course, this afternoon. But, Daniela.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you, Lynn.
Yes, I think as we are meeting here now in (indiscernible), it is important that we give guidance now to the call for workshops. I understand the point of homework in the sense that we will have maybe then at home to go through the process again but also in respect of -- for those who work this night, I would say that we could come a little bit further today in the sense -- I mean, for example, the work the group did on inclusion, I found that very interesting to start with a narrative and then have those subgroups and then that was, in my opinion, very advanced already.
Maybe now what we can do, or the secretariat could do as homework, to group a little bit also what have been -- come out of the call for issues and see what the regional issues are and interests. But basically this is very, very good guidance in my view. And if we do the work on the other issues a little bit like this and if we debate now today, as we are here together, what -- I mean, you do not have to define questions because you are right, then people just try to regroup there. But to discuss a little bit what we think is interesting that would be a lot of guidance then for the call for issues. And then we can have homework in specifying or doing the detailed work but basically this would be a very good outcome of the day, I think. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Sorry. With apologies to everybody in the queue, there was one really important piece I forgot to mention and that was to pick up on Timea and Sylvia's comments earlier.
Typically what we've done is asked the workshop submitters to suggest the policy question. And I would say that's had kind of varying degrees of success; and, honestly, you know, I think we can -- could do more. And I think Timea was indicating the same thing.
If, in fact, the suggestion was that in these narratives or in these kind of contextual pieces we'd say, "These are some of the policy questions the IGF would be interested in -- we believe the IGF community would be interested in examining or something," I think that would be excellent. I think that really would be excellent. I don't know if that's what you meant or not. But I think that would be an interesting, you know, narrative overall for the themes, some subthemes with some context, and then maybe here's some policy questions because that might crystallize what we're doing. And, of course, that would be what the workshops should submit on and then report on.
Again, apologies to those in the queue. If I can just ask Timea if that's what she meant or if it was something completely different, and then we will go to the queue.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Quick answer. Yes, that was basically what I meant with the purpose that these policy questions that we might propose come from varied angles and ensure that we are able to talk through a topic in a 360 way and we don't skew it in any direction.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Which would make it really important to have a good diversity of MAG members preparing these guidance for the submission. Yes, thank you, Timea.
And thank you, again, Lianna, for your patience and Susan and Paul as well.
Lianna, you have the floor.
>>LIANNA GALSTYAN: Thank you, Lynn.
Lianna Galstyan from Armenia, civil society. I would like to raise a question not on a topic thing but rather about the process and the submission of workshops. And this is the language issue and reflecting some discussions that happened yesterday in a chat and also some reflections that I faced last year by evaluating the workshops.
There were some workshops last year which was not in English or partially in French, and that was among the workshops that I was evaluating. And I don't know French, and I had to use the Google translator in order to understand what was being submitted. And I'm not sure that those workshops had got high ranks but -- because of the process that we don't have the submissions in other languages.
And now we want to raise the submissions and bring more people -- new people who do not really know the English that well. And I understand it's really very hard to make them a multilingual platform.
But I'm thinking that we have so many MAG members who are from different geographic regions and definitely we can cover all those U.N. languages who we can't understand, and probably we can think of submitting -- allowing to submit workshops in different languages, at least the U.N. languages. And those of MAG members who know those other languages can be the evaluators of that submission, of those workshops. And that could probably help to bring more people and new people. That's all I wanted. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Lianna. I think we should take that up when we actually look at the process. I think we should take that up in the workshop review process.
Susan, you have the floor.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Chair.
So I think that -- I don't think these are seismic changes to the process, but I would recognize them as significant. And so as we are suggesting some of these new approaches, I'm just, of course, thinking about how this will be implemented in the workshop review and evaluation process.
So I would just like to make a few suggestions, that if we -- since we are taking this new approach with three themes, the narratives, I would suggest that we take some time offline to look at those descriptions of their narratives and have the opportunity to review and discuss in kind of an open manner because -- and the reason because is these narratives will necessarily shape, I wouldn't use the word "confine," but I would say shape, the responses that are -- that will be issued from the bottom-up community.
There's a question that we must think about in reviewing the criteria for evaluation which workshops are accepted, which are not accepted, I can see in the future discussion about the proximity of the workshop proposal to the narrative, for example. If it's too far removed from the narrative, I can see that criteria rejecting the proposal. For that reason, I suggest we all take some time to look at the narrative.
I just want to make a second point on the policy questions. Previously and historically we have had discussions about the workshop proposal being submitted and evaluated based on access to Internet governance. I mean, that used to be really the only criteria, that if you were going to submit a workshop proposal on something that had nothing to do with -- I mean, dental health, for example, we weren't going to have that at the Internet Governance Forum. And so I think that -- as we think about the criteria against which we will evaluate these proposals, I would caution against developing specific policy questions to which the community is expected to respond to.
I think as we go forward, it might be good to identify these policy questions in the form of guidance. But for the evaluation, I think it's a little bit too prescriptive to have these policy questions be required to be answered. It feels a little top-down to me. So I think they are excellent as examples, but I would not require people to respond to prefabricated policy questions.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Susan. Maybe it's a policy area or something. I mean, we can't just say we want to talk about AI. That's not helpful enough. So to try and find a way that, you know, brings some focus but not as you say is too prescriptive. I think we can do that.
My suggestion, if we continue along this path, would be that we establish three teams of MAG members that actually participate in these themes and work on everything from the narratives to the context to whatever policy framing, you know, we might do for them as well. And, of course, we would need to make sure we have the right diversity in all of them as well. But that would be a way to advance it over the next week or so.
Sure, Susan, quick follow-up.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Chair. Just really quick follow-up. On the -- and we can address this later, but I think it is worth reviewing the process last year where people expressed interest in certain policy areas and were assigned proposals according to their interest. That's problematic for a number of reasons. But we'll get down -- down the road we'll address that. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yeah. I don't know if that has -- I think for the evaluation, yes, we should -- I think we want people to know something about the topic and the large groupings, I think. So we want people that maybe don't as well. But I think we just need to make sure we've got a broad cross-section of MAG members participating in the three themes. I don't know how else we develop those narratives in context if it's not from a cross-section of MAG members. And I think the MAG members should choose which ones they're interested in participating in.
I mean, Susan is shaking her head in the back of the room there.
The other option, of course, is the MAG assigns but on what basis?
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: I'm sorry. I think this is an excellent discussion, probably not for right now but MAG members weren't appointed for their expertise in cybersecurity, inclusion, and data. So logically I do not see how it follows that they should be evaluating -- I mean, we should think about why MAG members and on what criteria they're brought to the MAG before saying that they should be assigned for their expertise. Just logically it doesn't follow. I think we can have this discussion maybe in a virtual meeting.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. I want to separate out the workshop evaluation from the narrative, the contextual framing, and the policy framing that we're saying I think we'll work on to support the call for workshop submissions. My proposal was that MAG members self volunteer for which theme they want to work on. And, you know, and I -- I don't know why bottom-up doesn't work in that instance but seems to be our mantra for everything else. If I'm a MAG member, I kind of know where my interest is and where I can contribute. I don't know why that wouldn't be our modus of operandi as opposed to, I guess we are suggesting otherwise, that the secretariat assigns people by theme, which is a little different. But maybe people can reflect on that. Susan is nodding her head yes, and saying that is what she is suggesting, that the secretariat assign people by theme. So let's reflect on that and come back to that in the -- no? Okay. Quickly clarify what you are saying.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: I'm so sorry about this back and forth. I don't think we should take much more time doing this. But I agree with you, people should be free to choose whichever working group they want to participate in. I do think there is a more nuanced discussion to have when it comes to the evaluation process. So we are on the same page.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Excellent. Good. Paul Rowney, thank you for your patience, too. You have the floor.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you, Lynn. Paul Rowney, for the record. I just want to add a new thought to the process. And this is based on my experience last year. You know, I saw some of the evaluations. I was part of the evaluation process. I attended some of the workshops. And some were well structured and some were poorly structured and they lacked certain key things, they were poorly moderated or they didn't bring in remote participation or the speakers didn't turn up in some cases. But that aside, my thought is, once we've gone through the workshop evaluation, I don't think the workshop should be automatically accepted. I think there should be a provisional acceptance and there should be a process that we follow that could be some engagement with the MAG or the secretariat where they present a bit more detail about their workshop, how it's going to be structured, how it's going to impact the policy discussions, and possibly if it does go -- workshop goes for acceptance, I think we might want to tack a MAG member or someone to that workshop to also help them be properly prepared and to make sure that they are inclusive and they do bring in remote participation and other parts we feel are quite important but are often missed when the actual workshop happens. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Paul. That was a very good comment. We're going to go to Xiaofeng in a moment and then we're going to go to the BPF on AI after a short segue.
>>XIAOFENG TAO: Madam. This morning we have received more than 300 submissions for issues. This is good. And the top three are cybersecurity and evolution of Internet governance, and the third is emerging technology. As a technical professor, this is also good. But I think for IGF we should remain focused on general question or general -- give general solutions instead of focusing on a specific country. I think this could be selection criterias for workshop for BPF. This is my suggestion. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Xiaofeng. Now, if people are okay just leaving that kind of emerging next step process explanation as it -- as it is, which I think is taking pretty good shape but should come back and I think continue to advance as much as we can and certainly clarify some pieces of it, what I'd like to do right now, and again, it was to just accommodate some various schedules, is try and move through the BPF rechartering process.
We've had four BPFs last year. Each one of the BPFs has come back and said they would like to continue their work. Most of them are, as with everyone, it's a new year, a new work. It may be a continuation of the past year's work. It may be a related topic. But they've each put in a proposal for rechartering.
I mean, I think MAG members should pay significant attention to the work of the BPFs and there should be kind of, you know, some level of participation from MAG members into each one of the BPFs. We have that to a degree, of course, because at least one of the co-leads or co-chairs or co-facilitators should be a MAG member, but I think more would be useful. And at the same time, they're not resource neutral and they do actually require and get some consultant support from the secretariat. So that's why we tend to look quite carefully at them, to make sure, given the perpetual limit on resources in the secretariat, that this is work and expenses that we think are appropriately directed, an appropriate priority, in other words.
So with that -- and I do think all the BPFs have submitted their rechartering proposal. I think I'd like to start with Titti on the artificial intelligence Internet of Things and big data, and then we'll work our way through the others, hopefully before lunch.
>>CONCETTINA CASSA: Thanks, Lynn, for giving me the floor. My name is Concettina Cassa. I'm a government stakeholder. I'm co-facilitator of BPF on Internet of things, big data, artificial intelligence. I'll try to start with about the activity we have done last year and about we are proposing for 2019.
So as you know, expectation on IoT and AI are actually very high as they can contribute to solving complex problem. Also facing global challenges related to several fields, environment, transportation and health care. And -- but at the same time there are actually a large number of unknowns and potential impact with social and economic implication that needs to be explored and ask for guidance, measures and policies for managing the impact on applying this three technologies.
So what we have done last year, we actually focused on those three technologies, on where these three technologies are used in concert together in the Internet context. And we tried to understand how we could stimulate the development and widespread use as well as to avoid the unintended and negative side effects.
So what we have done here is we have actually identified the existing platforms and those communication mechanisms to allow a better discussion of stakeholders and better cooperation, and also tried to mediate in province and so on.
Last year we had a very good discussion, and we actually identified a number of good practices that could contribute to more effective stakeholder dialogues. I can -- In an Internet content. So I can try to list them, and they are defined terms narrowly, try to strive to be technology neutral, collaborate with stakeholders, consider human rights and ethics, watch out for bias in incompleted datasets. Also try to make privacy and transparency policy goals and business practices. And also ensure that system are adequately secure before they get to the market.
So for the next year we want to actually continue to limit the scope to the -- to the area where the three technology are used together, and we would like to propose to challenge and review the identified best practice and complete the report with concrete and practical examples.
In the field of healthcare, environment protection, e-commerce, public sovereignty, cybersecurity infrastructure, we want also try to identify, assisting the U.S. to announce trust in IoT, big data, and artificial intelligence application and technology in Internet context. Identify how artificial intelligence can affect outcomes, both in terms of social justice and also in the allocation on society resources. Identify how artificial intelligence can complement or pose challenges to privacy and data protection as well as transparency, good governance. And how -- we also want to identify how high, big data and artificial intelligence can contribute achieving U.N. SDGs, and also identify the impact on policies and regulation, including a policymaking processes of the application of the three -- of the three technologies.
So considering the discussion we had the last -- last year in Paris, actually we -- we think that if we continue, we actually will benefit from more and more valued participation, and we envisage appropriate participation from different stakeholder and multi-disciplinary input. So we actually, we want to try to reach this objective by a mix of general outreach of several interested party, like groups that are already working on this subject, like ISOC, ITU, AgID, OECD, IEEE, also the high-level panel on digital cooperation and the Commission -- also try to involve the Commission on Cybersecurity and the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise, UNESCO, and so on.
So that's what we -- we propose. Okay. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. And that proposal was sent to the MAG list sometime ago as well. Are there any comments or questions? Then I guess what's -- what's in front of us just -- we have four proposals. We have been told by the secretariat that, in fact, we could support four BPFs. Having four slots doesn't mean one needs to fill four slots, but just so that everybody has all the information in front of them. There have not been suggestions that have come up through the MAG for new BPFs yet. You know, there may be something that we'd want to consider later in the year, but I'm not sure that that's prohibited even then, particularly if it was something we simply wanted to kick off and start if we start thinking of these as almost a rolling year or linking one IGF to another. But again, these are some of the conversations we've had in the past, is how many slots can we afford, do we want to fill them all, should we keep one open for the future? But is there support for continuing with this BPF along the lines of what the co-facilitators just recommended? It's clear that the topics are very specific in terms of community interest and call for issues. They were ranked up there quite high. Rudolf, you have the floor.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Thank you, Chair. Rudolf Gridl from Germany government stakeholder group. I just have a question. You sent around on Sunday this proposal by Wout de Natris and another lady. Is this a BPF proposal? Is this -- I mean, what's the legal nature of it?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I don't think it's a BPF, but let me turn to Wout, who's here in the room, and just have him give a quick comment.
>>WOUT de NATRIS: Thank you, Chair, and thank you, Rudolf, for the question. As it is proposed to the IGF it is not seen as a BPF. It is seen as something that has come up from bottom-up as a pilot to try out a new way of working within the IGF. It sees to the topic of the implementation of the Internet standards and protocols, and the technical community was a big part of that proposal, sees that they come up with all sorts of solutions to flaws that have been made into programs and goes into whatever makes the Internet work and they come up with solutions. And these solutions tend not to be automatically implemented or deployed, as they call it themselves, so that these flaws remain intact for years and sometimes decades.
There are anti-spoofing measures, for example, that the ISPs could implement and that would make DDOSing, spamming, et cetera, so much harder for perpetrators to do. Somehow they're not implemented. Another one is root hijacking on the Internet by making traffic go in a different direction. There's a solution for it except that it's not implemented.
What we're trying to do is three things. Reach out to other communities that are not aware of these technical solutions but it could have a role in implementing them or making them being implemented. We want to reach out within -- if we ask the MAG to do this within the IGF umbrella.
But again, these are some of the conversations we have had in the past, is how many slots can we afford, do we want to fill them all or should we keep one open for the future. But is there support for continuing with this BPF along the lines of what the facilitators just recommended? It's clear that the topics are very significant in terms of community interest and call for issues. They were ranked up there quite high.
Rudolf, you have the floor.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Thank you, Chair. Rudolf Gridl from Germany, government stakeholder group.
I just have a question. You sent around on Sunday this proposal by Wout de Natris and another lady. Is this a BPF proposal? What's the legal nature of it?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I don't think it's a BPF, but let me turn to Wout who is here in the room and just have him give a quick comment.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: Thank you, Chair, and thank you, Rudolf, for the question.
As it is proposed to the IGF it is not seen as a BPF. It is seen as something that has come up from bottom-up as a pilot to try out a new way of working within the IGF.
It sees to the topic of the implementation of the Internet standards and protocols, and the technical community, who was a big part of this proposal, sees that they come up with all sort of solutions to flaws that have been made into programs and this goes into whatever makes the Internet work and then come up with solutions. And these solutions tend not to be automatically implemented or deployed, as they call it themselves, so that these flaws remain intact for years and sometimes decades.
There are anti-spoofing measures, for example, that the ISPs could implement, and that would make DDOS'ing, spamming, et cetera, so much harder for perpetrators to do. Somehow, they're not implemented.
The other is root hijacking on the Internet by making traffic go in a different direction. There is a solution for it except that it's not implemented.
But what we're trying to do is three things. Reach out to other communities that are not aware of these technical solutions but could have a role in implementing them or making them be implemented. We want to reach out within. If we ask the MAG to do this within the IGF umbrella but not impairing on the budget of the secretariat. And a third is that we can present on the results and perhaps even best practices ten months from now. And what we ask is please give us the opportunity to start at the 1st of February. So we have actually ten months to do this work. And that could give the time to reach out to the right people, make them aware of what the IGF is, what the IGF does and what sort of influence they can have, and the results and best practices will be shared with everybody afterwards.
So thank you for the time to address this.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wout. Maybe I can have a quick aside with you at lunch so I understand what you're asking, because there are lots of projects that take place across the community that take place, particularly when they don't need a sort of particular authorization. So I'm not entirely sure what kind of "okay" you're looking for from...
And I think the document was distributed to the list.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Thank you. Carlos Afonso, civil society. Gentlemen, I propose content but trying to have a new approach to the question. And I think the -- the document was distributed to the list, so I want to repeat it here. It's a bit long. And it starts with description of the Internet universal indicators of UNESCO and what they relate to not only to the importance of local content but also to the preservation of that content. The digital heritage of local communities, regions, and countries. And this is theme E of category A of the ROAMX classification of UNESCO. I don't know if you pronounce it ROAMX. I don't know. Anyway, also the SDGs infrastructure (audio difficulties) also the preservation of context and in several of its targets and the BPFs could develop these aspects of UNESCO reflections and of the SDGs. And one of the worries that brought us to -- to propose this BPF is we are noticing the -- in some parts of the world there is a guarantee of flow of resources from TV, radio, film industry, publishers, et cetera, to professional creators in developed countries. These mechanisms are slowly moving to extend their action also to Internet contents in other parts of the world. Such kinds of mechanisms don't exist or are very weak. We aren't particularly worried in the proposal about the heritage and the archiving of precious information that must be preserved, and for instance, in certain political situations in which ministries disappear or a government decides to rewrite its own history. And these are concrete cases that we are witnessing in some countries right now. And it's quite important to discuss in the BPF, how to preserve this, how to archive this, how to -- if not governments, the civil society or the academics, et cetera, can devise means of protecting this information, no? Physical or digital, et cetera. So that these things do not happen and that information doesn't disappear in history. And this is -- this is quite important, and I think that if needed we can sustain the proposal with several concrete cases, which I don't want to mention right now. Okay?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Carlos. So Carlos obviously just presented the proposal for a BPF on local content. Let me keep going through the queue. So we see where we are. Nebojsa, you have the floor.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: Thank you, chair. Nebojsa Regoje, government stakeholder group. I have actually a question regarding Wout's proposal.
It's mentioned here that there is a plan to present that at the next IGF. It looks like very interesting intersessional activity, but still Wout knows that the structure of IGF and what is his idea in which segment it would be placed. I mean, if it's -- if it goes as a workshop proposal, there is no guarantee that it will be evaluated so that it gets a place, and on the other hand to have a cart blanche to have a workshop in advance approved, there is for me a little bit confusion. If you can just -- What was your idea how to present it at IGF? In which?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Please respond so we can get back to the BPF.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: Sorry.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, no.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: Wout de Natris.
That is a very good question which I do not have the answer to, really, because it's up to the MAG. But what I'm asking is to recognize it as some sort of intersessional work which takes place within the IGF. Well, there are all different sorts of options. The dynamic coalitions, the -- an alternative BPF perhaps, but then not one that is in the formal list but is something you need to decide on. But if you do start this work, which it's the intention of the technical community with support from some others already, then there has to be a moment that we can present on it.
And you're quite right that a proposal for workshop is an option, but if it's turned down, that we started all this work and there's no way to present it. The other is to recognize that intersessional work with some sort of MAG standing. And then it's the same sort of session the BPF has at the end of the road. It's recognized as intersessional work from the IGF. But it's something which I -- which I can't answer for you. It's the proposal that is brought to you for exactly that reason. So thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wout. Thank you, Nebojsa. So just to keep trying to advance that so we can move forward or not.
I think you are asking for two things. One is it be recognized as a formal piece of intersessional work, which I think has some -- some, maybe, complexities to it. I'll talk to Chengetai. The other one is a vehicle to actually till the work at the end of the day. And I would imagine there are places to do that. Whether it's through an open forum or if we have these side meetings or pop-up things or we have book launches at lunch. I mean, I think we could -- I would suspect that there are probably venues we could give you that we allow you to present the results of the work. But let me talk to Chengetai over lunch and see what we propose to the MAG, and more to come back on that as time permits.
Veni, you have the floor.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: Thank you, Lynn. I'm afraid my comment is again about this proposal, and I'm happy to take it during lunch, but I think -- I mean, it's a good proposal but I don't think we are in the position to, I don't know, allow. Because it's an intersessional work, so if somebody wants to do an intersessional work between two IGFs and there is no need to limit it to ten months because this will be after the IGF. So if you want to do it for the IGF, it should be probably eight months, I guess. But the point is if you want to do the study and you're writing here about a pilot, so if you want to bring something new to the IGF like an information kind of thing and it's a project that you are doing in The Netherlands involving, you know, politicians and others, it would be great to actually have a study of this problem, of this issue which is brought to the attention of the IGF. I think it's just an information; right? Because at the end of the day if it's not part of the IGF, per se, like workshop or BPF or something, then it's just an information for the participant at the IGF. And I think it would be good to see what -- what kind of ideas they have for swifter implementation of Internet standards and protocols and education of lawmakers and politicians that may have to be part of this. And I know -- I mean, full disclosure, I know Lousewies for many years and I think she would do -- and with you -- a great job. But I don't see how the MAG can okay something like that because this is not what we could do, as far as I understand what the MAG is doing.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's probably true, Veni. And to a couple of points, quickly, since we are so far down this. There's lots of pieces of really interesting intersessional work that goes on that is then reported on at an IGF or at NRIs or dynamic coalitions or things. And so there is certainly nothing to stop that and you already, it seems have funding and support. And I know the topic is dear to many people's heart. I mean, get policymakers and technologists together early on in the development of either solving these issues or new technologies is a great idea.
I think trying to label it as a full-on MAG piece of intersessional work is where kind of the complexity or question comes in. Again, I will just talk to Chengetai quickly afterwards. And sometimes there's a lot of things I'm not familiar with in kind of U.N. protocol, so I'll just check in quietly. But I mean I certainly would expect that there's enough different venues to present on if the work -- the work concludes.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: Thank you, Lynn. I think the question -- the reason why we put it to the MAG is that we will need to have access to persons that we do not know and the MAG members do. And perhaps we need two or three virtual meetings where the Webex system of the IGF would really assist us in bringing people together. So that is one of the reasons why we also would like to work somehow under the umbrella of the IGF.
>>BEN WALLIS: You said that proposals are being received from every BPF,and I know there was a deadline of last week. I've have only seen three proposals or proposals from three of the four BPFs. So there was one from the BPF on gender. Could it be recirculated or circulated to the MAG? I'm sure we'll hear shortly from our colleagues convening that BPF anyway, but I hadn't seen that one so I wasn't sure there were actually four proposals as of yet.
We had a proposal from the BPFs on AI and legal content, and I just wanted to provide a comment on the AI BPF, AI, Internet of Things, and big data.
So on that BPF, there's a lot of interest including from Microsoft of looking at issues around AI such as ethics, whether and exactly where regulation might be helpful. But there's not necessarily a lot of thought about what's actually needed to enable AI, for example, connectivity, cloud services, access to data.
Looking at the work of the BPF last year and the proposal for this year, I don't really see how it could be included because they're really getting the details of AI and IoT and big data. I just think it's important for the IGF to remember and recognize those foundational issues around AI as they think about AI this year, which seems to be one of those particularly popular topics in the call for issues, for example. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ben. Just to make sure I understand, you're not suggesting they sort of add to the current framing for the BPF for the year. Is that a true statement or are you?
>>BEN WALLIS: I don't think it's really going to work because it's kind of -- in a way it's foundational and it's looking at what you need underneath to enable these technologies. And the BPFs have already gone down the road of these technologies are happening. Let's look at specific if it's not going to work.
And I'm happy to support the BPF as proposed. I just want to recognize the broader aspect of that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay, thank you. That was a good point.
I will go to Giacomo and then I would like to come back and ask either you or maybe your co-chair there, whoever is going to talk to the BPF on cybersecurity, while we understand whether or not there was a formal proposal on gender or not, and then come back.
Giacomo, you have the floor.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Thank you for the floor.
Yes. I want to say two things. First is about the -- no, three things. The first is about the AI. I will tell for Titti and others, of course, but there is some work done on international organizations on that. There is a Summit of the Finnish Presidency of the Council of Europe at the end of February focused on that with a very large part on ethical aspects.
There is another event organized by UNESCO. So there is a lot of already knowledge that will be gathered and I think need to be used to feed the BPF, not the IGF.
On the contents, as Carlos explained very well, I think there already a missing part. On this we have already the commitment of UNESCO, WIPO, World Broadcasting Union, and other organization that will be part of the work.
And last thing is about the project that Wout and Lousewies presented us. I understand the concerns of Veni, but I think we are in a phase in which we are for the first time after a long time becoming creative about what the IGF can do. And I think that as we do already in EuroDIG, we have not to be afraid of experiment and test new ways of being effective and being contributing to the community work and activities.
So I don't see major obstacles apart to be a little bit more brave in innovating and testing things. And if it doesn't work, okay, it will not work. But if you don't try, you never know if the things are effective or not.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Giacomo.
I'm going to go briefly to Israel Rosas because he has an update on gender. The individual actually working on the gender BPF is not here today. But he can provide us with a brief update so we have that for context.
Israel, you have the floor.
>>ISRAEL ROSAS: Thank you, Madam Chair. Just briefly, just we -- well, Raquel is proposing the rechartering of the BPF on gender working for this year. We could also count with Maria Paz Canales as co-facilitator and with participation of some members of the community. I would be happy to circulate the proposal to the MAG mailing list.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So if the proposal is ready, that would be great. Obviously, that's not a lot of time for the MAG members to read it. We will set that for review at a later meeting.
Could I ask for a proposal for the BPF cybersecurity? And then I think we'll come back and try to see collectively where the MAG is respect to approving the three requests we have in front of us.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you, Lynn. I circulated a written proposal along with Markus to the MAG list last week and talked about it on our first call this year. So to provide some context and some background of what we're proposing to do this year, obviously in Paris we've all heard -- we saw the government -- French government launched their Paris call for trust and security in cyberspace.
As of last week there are now more than 500 signatories, that includes 64 governments, over 300 companies, more than 100 international and civil society organizations.
And the call sets out some high-level commitments and principles and it also recommends nine areas of where cooperative measures, as they call them, should be taken.
Now, I think the cybersecurity BPF is well-placed to do something on the Paris call this year and, indeed, to make it the focus of our work this year. The proposal is to frame our work around the high-level commitments and the recommended measures set out in the call, aiming to collect relevant examples of best practice and also to identify existing forums and networks that are addressing -- or well-placed to address the areas that are identified in the call.
I have worked with Markus sitting next to me, my co-convener and with the BPF's lead expert, Martin Van Hornbeck, on the written proposal. We discussed it in a meeting of the BPF, and we made a few changes to incorporate comments made during that meeting. And then I submitted it to the MAG list.
Now, I'm not suggesting that the IGF take on ownership of the call or take on responsibility for its implementation. But it does seem clear to me that this is an initiative that the IGF should be looking to contribute to. And so this would be about the IGF via the best practice forum providing a concrete contribution to be fed into whatever process is created to take forward the Paris call.
I wasn't there, but I understood the French government held an initial meeting of some signatories in the margins of a cybersecurity conference in Lyon, in France, last week where they began to discuss ways that the Paris call can be taken forward and the various fora in which that could happen. And I understood that there was a number of ideas but no decisions as of yet.
Our lead expert, Martin Van Hornbeck, did mention and explain the BPF proposal that we were bringing to the MAG is one way that -- one contribution to the Paris call.
I think another participant said that they saw value in that proposal and they also understand the French government since then has also expressed interest.
And Markus, Martin, and I have a call scheduled with French government officials next week should the MAG approve this proposal.
And I know we had, I think it was, Frederic from the French government here on Monday. And obviously if there are any French officials in the room today that might want to add to this, they could. I'm not sure I've seen Frederic. So they can raise their flag if they wish.
So that's the proposal and very interested to hear any comments from MAG members. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ben and Markus and team.
And, Sylvia, you are calling for the floor? You have the floor.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Thank you, Lynn. I was just typing on the queue to put my name up.
Well, I read the proposal on cybersecurity and I think -- BPF, and I think it's very important to continue that work. But I also would like to call for a bit of cautious, I guess, to only try to bring in -- or center the work around the Paris call. I think there are other processes, intergovernmental processes related to norms and cybersecurity, that will also be interesting to keep reference, to bring some value that is not necessarily what President Macron said is what the whole thing should be focused on.
And on that note, I think that -- Veni mentioned some of those resolutions. There are some other messages around other things that are happening in that space that have implications on policy and more practical outcomes. So that would be my -- the only comment there.
And probably how in light of this idea of the three buckets, probably send out -- my question to the people behind the BPFs will be how they will incorporate or take on a little bit of those three issues into that work to try to find some connections. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sylvia. There's quite a few people in the queue, so I'm just going to work through that and then we'll come back and ask the BPF co-conveners to comment.
So next we have Roman. Roman, you have the floor.
>>ROMAN CHUKOV: Thank you so much, Chair.
So I really would like to join Sylvia's comments, that BPF shouldn't be focused around one of the topics, proposals, or something as it is designed to find best practices and different options and ways how this or that problem should be managed.
And as I also previously mentioned, there are several new mechanisms such as open-ended working group of the General Assembly, and I believe that BPF can also focus on that.
But surely we wouldn't like to see, like, special BPF focusing on some initiative. We don't think it is appropriate way. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Roman.
Susan, you have the floor.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Chair. I would -- I'd like to agree with some of the elements from the interventions of Sylvia and also Roman. I think that while this BPF is exemplary and has been in the past of its work, there's definitely always a beautiful product that comes out of it quite useful.
I think that it would be useful to focus on, as Ben had said, the areas identified in the call, the elements more so identified in the call as opposed to kind of the call itself.
So I still think that there's a lot of useful work to be done going forward, but I agree that it shouldn't focus on one initiative to the exclusion of others. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Susan.
Veni, you have the floor.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: Thank you. Lynn, again without coordinating with the others but we seem to be on the same page that we should not focus on one particular, the Paris call or the U.N. or anything -- anything in particular because we are now our own -- in the IGF, not "we" -- I'm sorry, when we say "we," we should be talking about the MAG. But the IGF is its own institution, and it has the right to decide whatever the MAG -- I mean, whatever the IGF wants to discuss to the MAG obviously. But it's important to not be driven into one direction or another, be that Paris call, U.N., any other U.N. agency, or any other existing -- Global Commission on Stability in Cyberspace or whatever else new may come out.
So we should stay focused on the IGF as a decent platform, a multistakeholder platform, under the U.N. umbrella. Because of its uniqueness, actually maybe some of those others will come to us again. Maybe there will be a report, what happened with the Paris call, et cetera, et cetera.
I mean, it's good to have such initiatives which are broadening the scope and the outreach of the IGF. But it's also good for these people to know that they can come back to us and then tell us what happened. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Veni. Ben or Markus? Comments based on what you've heard? Markus, you have the floor.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: If I may, yes. I could hear the comments. But I co-moderated the session in Paris when the BPF convened, and that was still fresh in our memory. And the general feeling was the IGF could not ignore something that happened while the IGF was meeting. The IGF was actually mentioned in the Paris call as opposed to all the other initiatives which are there in any case.
So the feeling was then that we ought to react and also the feeling in the room was that the BPF was best placed to react. But in one way or another the feeling was that the IGF could not afford to ignore the Paris call because it was started at the IGF meeting in Paris. And the IGF is mentioned -- or was mentioned by President Macron as a partner in the IGF call so that was the initial starting point.
Now, the way it is formulated we can, of course, revise that taking into, of course, all the comments made that they should not be exclusively focused on the Paris call but take on other initiatives as well. But, again, we did not say the IGF should be the owner of the Paris call but just see how to contribute. And right in Paris the idea came up that it would be good to look at what best practices are actually related to these principles listed in the Paris call. These are my short comments on that. I don't know whether Ben would like to add.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you. Yes. I mean, obviously any BPF needs to find a way to design a work so that it doesn't become too big so as to be unwieldily. So for example, the other BPF on AI, big data, IOT chose to focus their work only on areas where the three technologies overlap as a way to kind of put some guide rails around it. And so you need to have some framing and some way of limiting the work. But I am -- I obviously hear the suggestions and the concerns of fellow MAG members, that we shouldn't focus on one proposal, one initiative, to the exclusion of others. So I think it's clear that we can't ask you to approve the proposal as submitted, that Markus and I and Martin need to go in, look at the wording, take onboard the comments, and possibly come back to the next MAG meeting. I like the idea of Susan's suggestion of focusing on areas that are identified in the call rather than limiting ourselves to the call and broadening it in that sense. But I think we need a bit of time to go away and think about how we can recognize the suggestions from MAG members today and come back.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ben. Just two quick comments. I mean, it might be interesting as well to look at the open-ended working group and the GGE and kind of contrast those two processes and the Paris call and even just perhaps -- this is off the top of my head -- seeing how the best practices are reflected in those, how do they measure up against the best practices that have been, I think, previously enumerated, and maybe there are some things to learn about how these activities are both envisioned, launched, and then managed afterwards, for lack of a better word. I mean, everybody -- we all support soft policy, I think, as a good principle. I don't know that enough has been done to say what is an appropriate soft policy, either as a -- you know, a pre-zero step or a step. Once somebody assigned it? You know, before somebody launches something that's meant to get significant signatures there, should they have a plan for how those members who sign it or attract as to whether or not they are actually adhering to what's in the plan, for instance? I mean, so maybe there's some things we can do to make a little more robust some of the various elements of soft policy or even some of the precursors to what might become a soft policy. And maybe -- I think that's partly what you were doing and maybe just combining a couple of other efforts which are perhaps different efforts, might actually get beyond some of the objections with respect to any single process. But also really reinforce kind of the best practice's notion of gaining these various components.
But what I heard you say was that you were going to take the inputs from the room here and go back and recraft it a little bit. So mine was just thoughts off the top of my head. Same vein as everybody else's here in the room, and we'll -- we'll look for that proposal to come back.
We actually need to finish quite timely because I think people want to get lunch and then we have an NRI presentation or -- well, actually is it an open NRI meeting or a meeting for the NRIs at 1:30? Open.
>> (Off microphone)
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Let's see, your mic wasn't quite lit at the time. Anja say it's an open meeting on NRIs for everyone here in the room. So that starts at 1:30. I'm assuming people want lunch and be back here at 1:30. It's meant to go until 2:40 or 2:50 or so. Let's just break here. When we come back after lunch, I think we'll open it up with, is there support for proceeding with the artificial intelligence, Internet of Things best practice and the local content BPFs as proposed. We're waiting -- I think we need obviously some additional time to review the agenda. If it's come in now and waiting for a revisit of the BPF on cybersecurity. But we'll do that and then we'll pick up the agenda. Thank you all very, very much. Good and speedy lunch. See you back here in 27 minutes. If you can actually participate in the NRI session, it's -- it's extremely, extremely interesting and it's obviously a very significant piece of all of our activities, outreach or intersessional activities, et cetera, so please do come back. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay, great, thank you, everybody, for coming back promptly and a big thank you to everyone who participated in the NRI discussion as well. In fact, if you are participating online, this is a big room with a central area and two side areas. And I think people are choosing to distance themselves from the front row a little bit because the screen above our heads is huge.
And I don't know, I was sitting three rows back and I have a neck ache just from an hour and a half of trying to watch the screen. So there really were quite a few people in the room here. I think they were just set about on the wings as well as towards the back of the room. So appreciate everybody who did give up their lunch hour to be here. And Anja and, of course, the other NRI MAG members that are here in the room are available for additional discussions or any other thoughts or reflections as well.
So thank you. Thank you, Anja. Please give our thanks to the NRIs, too.
If we pick up where we were just before lunchtime, I think we had said that we had just received a proposal for BPF for gender, so we will review that at a later point to ensure the MAG has time to review it adequately.
We had a discussion on the proposal for BPF on cybersecurity and some suggestions to revisit that. And the co-conveners agreed to take it away and revisit it. And we're about to call the question on support for the BPF on local content which Carlos Afonso presented and the BPF on AI, Internet of Things, and big data which Concettina presented. So while everybody -- there's still one or two people taking their seats, there was also an open discussion just before lunch on the strengthening cooperation activity that Wout had put forward.
I should mention that work actually came out of the multiyear strategic work plan over the last two years as well. Clearly, the strengthening cooperation set of activities was led by Wout going back some years ago through some workshop sessions he helped organize but then, I think, benefited from really kind of serious review through the multiyear work program.
In a quick discussion at lunchtime, I think our reading of the situation is there was, I think, considerable interest or support in the MAG for the topic that actually puts policymakers and technologists together earlier in the process to try and, I think, increase the collaboration at an earlier point in the process in order to find some suggestions -- or some better solutions.
And the secretariat has said -- Wout had several requests. The secretariat has said there's no problem allowing use of WebEx for the few meetings he was looking for. I think we could pretty easily say that effort, assuming -- I have lots of confidence in Wout and lots of confidence in Lousewies who is a member of the Dutch parliament, former member of the ICANN Board, very kind of strong believer in a lot of these processes and systems -- that they will deliver a good effort. So on the assumption that there is actually an effort there that's pursued over the course of the year, that we could find some sort of slot at the IGF for them, whether that was a side event slot, a lunchtime slot.
Again, we actually do allocate slots there whether it's for a book launch or for community meetings or groupings. So that didn't seem to be too far out of that realm, which means, you know, they're confident that they have a place to kind of present and showcase their work.
It's not a formal MAG or formal IGF intersessional activity but that there was sort of significant interest in the topic.
Any objections to proceeding in that way? So I see heads nodding yes to no objections. Okay. So we'll proceed -- proceed that way. And thank you to everybody for the support there, and thank you for -- to Wout as well. I personally like pushing a lot of these boundaries a little bit until we see what works and doesn't work. If we go too far, we stop and we come back. But I do think that's a really important effort.
So that we have in front of us proposals for BPF on local content and BPF for AI, Internet of Things, and big data. There was a time left open earlier for comments and reflections.
Are there any further comments or questions before we look for -- look for support or not support for pursuing those BPFs? So final call for questions on local content or AI, Internet of Things, and big data. Waiting for just a moment after lunch for people to find the speaking queue. So seems like no further questions.
Is there support -- or maybe I should put this the other way, are there any objections to continuing with the BPF on artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and big data? Again, you can signal that you'd like the floor or -- we try to make sure we don't just rely on my ability to see people in the room because that obviously excludes online folks. So if you have an objection or a comment, please ask for the -- ask for the floor, preferably using the speaking queue.
But, Sylvia, go ahead.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: My Internet connection seems not to work and I'm not able to load it. I just -- I don't know if -- knowing that we are kind of reviewing the overarching structure, I don't know if my colleagues in the MAG might agree with me, that maybe it would be better to give the BPFs a little bit of time to review their proposal, aligned with comments provided to them. I mean, with -- like give a deadline to provide comments? Or did we have a deadline to provide comments?
Because if the proposals are still coming and we haven't seen them all, it would be really good to have a chance to put a deadline -- like, last year, that we had here are the proposals and then you comment and then we chart or not all at the same time. I don't know. Maybe?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So we had done that, and that's why -- three of the BPFs submitted their BPF approvals and why we actually had a review of them a few weeks ago on one of our MAG meeting calls.
My reading would be we've discussed the BPFs from last year. We had some insight into what they were thinking with respect to this year on the call two weeks ago, the proposals were in, and that this was the period when we were actually going to approve them.
The fact is that one of them didn't submit in time, so we're not taking that forward. The other one that did submit in time, has had some feedback, and is going to go back and review it.
But if the other two do not have any substantive, open areas or feedback, I would suggest that we've actually followed the process we laid out in the timetable and we should respect that as much as we can so they have got the time needed to do their work as well.
So the question in front of us is -- let me try it in the positive now, is there support for going ahead with the BPF on AI, Internet of Things, and big data as submitted?
So for those people that are here in the room, I'm seeing heads nodding and I'm just checking to see if there's anything in the WebEx room from any MAG members who might be participating only remotely. Of which there's only one or two. Helani -- and, Jennifer, you have the floor.
>>JENNIFER CHUNG: Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. Jennifer Chung, private sector.
I just wanted to ask this question for clarification and I apologize if you already mentioned this earlier. So we don't really have a limit to the slots for BPFs being supported this year? I just ask because we -- you know, we were -- it looks like we might approve two and one will be reviewed and then we have to look at the fourth one, et cetera.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: The secretariat has indicated that they can support four this year, which as I said earlier, simply being able to support four, doesn't mean we need to fill four but we do have the room for four.
Maria, you have the floor.
>>MARIA PAZ CANALES: A question with clarification. I apologize if this is because I am a new member. I am not familiar with everything yet.
It's how to interact in this case these best practice forums that is being proposed to continue when the topic itself related with one of the tracks that we are considering? How will that interact in the consideration of the program? Because I think I see clearly an overlap with the data governance and accountability that we were considering. So it will be interesting because it will be a lot of straightforward duplication there.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Sorry. I think very much there should be collaboration between the two. It may be complementary in that there's not a lot of intersect depending on which direction the programs take versus the BPF. Clearly, the effort should be made -- clearly the effort should be made to collaborate across those activities just as we're also trying to understand how the various intersessional activities can equally support and be supported by the BPFs. So with everything we're doing, we're trying to ensure that we're looking to integrate as appropriate.
[ No audio ]
>>TIMEA SUTO: -- I think we're doing really great job. Reminds me of something I said yesterday I want to put needing support -- [ no audio ] -- at the secretariat level about communications. I think we're doing really great job paving the way to have messages and good reports. I think we need to be mindful that we need resource the effort of communicating those.
We have tried a couple of times with working groups of the MAG which are very useful and I think a really, really good vehicle but I think we need meaningful support from the secretariat. So if we can think of resources available in terms of that, I think that would be good.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Timea. That's a good point.
Concettina, I think we can call approval for the BPF to be rechartered which means the secretariat will work to put the charter up on the 2019 BPF (indiscernible). We will ensure we have appropriate mail lists set up can and provide you with whatever other additional support you need to ensure support for your outreach efforts.
We do review the status of the BPFs regularly through the MAG efforts. We will, of course, continue to do that. And this year in particular, maybe there's even more of an intersect between MAG members and the BPFs given some of the themes we've identified here. Look forward to kind of a deeper collaboration, if you will. Thank you. And thank you to the BPF, too, for the participants for all the work.
Carlos is just entering the room. We have the same process here now for support of the BPF on local content. Mary has her hand up, and I'm not sure if it was to AI or local content.
But, please, Mary, you have the floor.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you. I just wanted to know whether -- first is that I have support for the AI, I have support for the cybersecurity.
And I wanted to know is it local content or gender that did not submit or they submitted late? Okay? Because we had the same thing last year where we said that one of the BPFs didn't submit on time and we had great support for each to continue. So let us know what the issue is. Is it that they didn't submit report or that they don't have support? Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So local content submitted and submitted on time, and Carlos presented that earlier.
The gender just came through literally within a few hours or so ago. I'm assuming there's support from the conveners to carry forward that or they would not have submitted a BPF.
I think we can -- we have the luxury of more time this year, I think, in terms of launching and sourcing these. So I would suggest we just pick approval up of that review and possible approval of that BPF up at a later time. So the only other BPF we have in front of us today to approve is local content. And then cybersecurity will be back as well.
Ben, you have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thanks. I wanted to make a comment about the local content proposal, and I'm happy to support that going forward. It's great they found a very global way of looking at the issue. I wanted to observe the linkage. I think the 2018 local content report included a section on universal acceptance, internationalized domain names. That was at least partly in response to a submission I put in as a contribution to local content and noted towards the work of ICANN in that area. So I the linkage I wanted to make with universal acceptance as a relevant local content issue and universal acceptance being something which the new DC on DNS issues is taking forward. And I'm not saying there's any duplication. I think it's great to build on the work of other areas of the IGF and to be aware of linkages and to work together.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I mean, I obviously think that's important as well, and I actually think the local content has a significant new focus this year as well that isn't in the namespace. But were you just giving a thumbs up, Giacomo, or were you looking to a comment?
Carlos, is there anything you want to respond to Ben's comments on...
I think basically Ben was saying -- can you give us a one-minute synopsis to what you were saying? That would be the shortest way through.
>>BEN WALLIS: I was not suggesting any changes to the proposal. I just wanted to take the opportunity to recognize linkages between different areas of the IGF's work and the universal acceptance is an important issue for local content and is looked at in various parts of the IGF, including by this BPF.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Carlos says he's supportive. And let me just put the question directly to the floor. Are -- Is the MAG supportive of pursuing with rechartering the BPF on local content per the proposal that was submitted?
So looking at heads nodding around the room, I'm going to check on the online Webex for the one or two MAG members we have that are participating only remotely.
I'm not seeing any objections.
>> Sorry, rechartering means merging.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No. Most -- in fact, all the BPFs were an approved BPF last year as well. So re-chartering is just people coming in and saying we completed our work effort last year. This is the work that was done. We would like to continue the effort or a new effort on the same topic and this is the new charter we are proposing.
So we have approved two BPFs going forward at this point in time. Local content, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and big data. We're waiting for the cybersecurity BPF to come back after some further review, and we will review the gender and schedule that for a future MAG meeting.
Let me go back to the agenda we have here now. So go back up to the morning session. We've covered "A," results of public call for issues, I think, and there were some questions for some different people (indiscernible) alerts, ad I think people want to take a little more time to examine that in the context of the three themes, and I think that will take place offline.
Normally we might have a discussion on kind of main themes or possible tracks. I think we've covered that through the approach we've actually been discussing here the last three days, but let me see if there are any specific items there that people feel we need to bring up at this point in time.
We still need to come back and talk about how we're going to move forward through the process over the next month or two, and we'll get to that shortly.
I'm not seeing any at the moment. Let me just continue moving through, and if something comes up and we need to come back, we'll just move back.
There was an item on -- kind of a general discussion on workshops and open forums, including the overall number of sessions. I know typically we like to understand what the overall kind of both space availability is and does that impact any guidance we might want to give through the workshop process. We've been told several times there is no restriction on space for the venue, so I think it comes down to the number of slots we'd actually like to have for our program. Again, with the notion of more focus, more cohesive, less parallel. Less parallel tracks. So we should come back to that in a moment.
I don't know if Chengetai is quite ready or if you prefer --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: What is the question?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think the general question, if we were to word it more differently, is sort of what's the overall profile of the program, open forum versus slots, are we looking at -- to use a number, 120 workshop slots or 50 workshop slots? And it's that kind of range I think people are looking for some guidance or discussion on.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I mean, my personal feeling is it's not really about the numbers, as such, but it's about how we want the program to be and how we want the experience to be when people get there.
As far as space is concerned, yes, I mean we have indicated to the host country that it would be the same capacity as in previous years, except for France of course. That is the 11 streams and the bilateral rooms, et cetera.
So we can work within that or we can actually lessen it, to have it more focused as some of the suggestions have been made. And also trying to give, you know, space to governments and other stakeholders that may feel that they haven't got the opportunity or they don't have the same sort of people dedicated to making proposals for the IGF. Governments in particular, they don't have that many people dedicated to the IGF, and they may not quite understand how the IGF works.
So I still don't want to give a number, but just we have to take all that into consideration and we'll see how it goes.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai.
Let me ask a question. This is what I'm using as my guiding document (indicating); right? The MAG approved process of, I don't know, a month or so ago which lays everything out, which actually says that March 4th is when we would issue the call for workshop proposals and other session proposals. Presumably that's when we'd ask people to step up and indicate whether or not they were interested in an open forum as well?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, exactly. So this year everything ends at the same time. Last year we had the call for workshop proposals ending earlier than the open forums, et cetera. So here, everything ends at the same time. So we will be able to look at everything at the same time, and that may also help make a more informed decision.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: It may be helpful to look at some of the trends we're actually seeing for the open forums and revisit some years ago, quite some years ago, when the open forums were started, it was to give governments and international organizations a way to participate within the IGF. It was increasing participation in areas which the community thought was important, and it was to find a vehicle for governments to participate who perhaps weren't comfortable or felt it wasn't appropriate to come in through a workshop submission process like as everybody else. That started out, I think, fairly modest. Last year, roughly I think we had -- what? 60-odd proposals come in and 40 -- 40-something that met the criteria. I can ask Eleonora and Chengetai for the session in a moment.
But I think one thing we should do over the next four weeks is revisit the kind of criteria for the open forums, understanding what the sort of trend has been in terms of their take-up. I think we also need to really understand why they were put there and what -- what service they're providing to the community, if you will.
So maybe I could ask Chengetai, and I hope this isn't, you know, a surprise since you did the agenda, to just quickly talk us through what the open forum is, what the criteria are, so we've got that in our background. Anything we can about, sort of, statistics. And we could have a short discussion here so we understand whether or not this is a big discussion point which is going to require a significant amount of work or whether or not we're close and we can move forward.
Again, I'm now focused on five weeks from now. All these calls are supposed to be aligned, so I'm trying to get a sense as to whether or not we're sort of close in agreeing their purpose and position or whether or not we need to do some extra work in the next few weeks to come closer.
So I can maybe give Chengetai just a minute to do that while we go -- do you -- shall I go to the folks that are in the queue first, see what those questions are, and then maybe you can address that?
So let me go through the queue. We have Timea, Ben, Susan and Rudolf. Timea. And then we will still ask Chengetai to come back and give us an update on that at the end.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Chair. It's great news that we have unlimited space in the venue. I know the universe is expanding, but (laughing) -- but physical limits exist.
But I also think we used to have 11 -- 10, 11 parallel tracks. We have been working for the past two and a half days trying to focus what we're doing. So I think we need to apply that same rigor here when we're talking about numbers. I know it's very restrictive to say X amount of sessions, especially when we have a venue that can accommodate more and that's going to be apparent once people are on ground. But if we are working towards a digestible program, we can't have 10 tracks and 200 sessions or three tracks but still 200 sessions. It's going to be more workshops on the same topic, and then we really haven't done anything here. So I think that would be my first point; that we try and give ourselves some limits and give ourselves some rigor in thinking about that.
Going back to a point that I raised earlier that workshops are for policy discussions, there are other types of sessions for other types of discussions, and we need to think about what purpose do certain types of sessions serve. I think Chengetai's presentation might be very useful for those of us who are yearning to understand that better. But we also need to think about if we are working towards policy discussions at the IGF, then those should be the primary focus of all we do at the IGF.
So try and see -- I don't know if we're setting up at least percentages but making sure the bottom-up processes of coming up with workshops in the community is our primary focus, and try perhaps to have some relevant information with the call when it goes out to the various types of session on what kinds of purpose does it serve, and then to your point, Chair, to revisit the guidelines, revisit the requirements.
And last point, I think we should keep with our -- if we are looking at tracks, if we're looking at themes, I think those should be universal across all types of sessions. So if we're trying to limit the workshops to a structure that -- or -- maybe limit is not the rite right word but to focus or discussions on a couple of main themes we probably would ask open forums to do the same and encourage other types of sessions to adhere to the program.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Timea. Good, good comments.
Ben, you have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you. Yes, I support what Timea said. One of the things I was particularly going to say was if -- if we are going to go out with a call for workshop proposals, talking about certain themes where we're looking to focus on then I guess we would do the same for open forums.
I do appreciate the important role of open forums. They have a distinct nature, and that instead of the MAG evaluating and ranking proposals, the secretariat uses criteria to make a decision. So I appreciate your suggestion that we should review those criteria and provide any -- any views on what we might want to do with those criteria in the coming weeks before the call for open forums goes out. But also my recollection last year was that it was -- it was much appreciated that the secretariat, just before we came to our final face-to-face meeting, circulated all the open forum proposals. And it was my recollection that it was MAG members who helped to identify a few proposed open forums that didn't actually meet the criteria. I think in one or two cases, the same organization had put in multiple proposals and it was looking to get multiple slots, and in another one I think it turned out that it was actually a book launch.
And so that MAG discussion or those comments from MAG members of that meeting was helpful to kind of trim down the list. So it would be great if there was kind of an explicit moment for the MAG to review and provide comments to the secretariat as we did last year.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that is part of our agreement with the -- with the secretariat, that we will actually review the criteria ahead of time and then have visibility to the list before the final selection is done.
Susan, you have the floor.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Chair. And I just wanted to support what you had just said. I think that being able to have that opportunity to discuss criteria will be useful.
Just on the workshops, I'm -- I'm not suggesting a specific proposal but just something for consideration. So in the past, we had designed the workshop selection process to -- against that finite number of spaces that were available. And I would agree with Chengetai right now that perhaps it's a little bit premature to talk about distinct numbers.
I think that first and foremost, it should be the quality of the workshops that we should -- we should look at. I guess in theory, if you had extremely high-quality proposals for an unlimited, infinity amounts, then that would be fine, but we understand that -- we'll see what happens when those proposals come in.
But one thing I did want to drawback to was our earlier discussions on outcomes. So while I realize that while people attend the event, those days in person, during those specific days, it could be kind of overwhelming if you have too many workshops. But something that I'd like to think about the IGF is if you have these quality outputs, that issue from a certain point in time, those are going to endure over time. And so just thinking about the outputs that come out of it I think should factor in.
Last but not least, if there is extra space, I just want to signal that that could be an opportunity to really look at new session formats and flash sessions and, you know, dearly missing our colleague Nacho here, but I hope somebody carries that flag forward. That could provide ample opportunity to experiment with those smaller-duration sessions.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's an excellent example, and -- or suggestion and I think one we would be happy to carry forward. We have, of course, carried forward new session formats and sometimes the space is better than others, but it sounds like we'll have some flexibility here.
Rudolf, you have the floor.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Thank you, Chair. This is Rudolf Gridl from the government stakeholder group Germany. Just to say yes, we have space. But unlimited but a lot of space.
[ Laughter ]
And I think it's also worth, because we have so much space, thinking about -- I mean, putting in our minds a little bit of the space aside for issues that might come up a little bit later in the year, emerging issues, something like that, it had been mentioned before. So as we have the space, as we have committed ourselves to some focusing and limitation, I think we just have to keep in mind that there might be issues that come up later in the year, and that will be accommodated as well.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And another channeling of Nacho for emerging issues and leaving room. He'll be pleased to know how much we all took on board, you know, those issues.
Mary Rose, you have the floor.
>>MARY ROSE OFIANGA: Thank you, Madam Chair.
Hi, everyone. My name is Mary Rose. I'm a first-time MAG member. You can call me Rose. I'm representing the private sector as founder Women-Powered Digital. So it's my first time to speak right now. For the last couple of days I was just listening and observing all the discussions and appreciate all the great ideas that this dynamic group has been throwing around and being at the table. And now I want to share my thoughts on the selection of no overarching themes. Our focus for this year is IGF. I appreciate the top three themes because it's really highly aligned on the current issues that we are at now, and I resonate on those as part of the private sector. And these issues, as I've observed in the result for the call for issues, is not really far from it. And so I expressed already my intent to join the working group for the inclusion. However, I still go with the other suggestions that it would be better to do the further analysis side by side with the result for the call for -- call for issues, and this might help sharpen in developing the narratives for our theme.
And in terms of the program flow and the workshops, I think it will be best as well to consider our main theme. It's still -- for me, it boils down really what are our themes for this year, and it should not be in terms of quantity but, as Susan mentioned, it should be the quality and it should be based on our theme so we really have a focus on what kind of proposals, workshops and sessions that we're going to do for this year's IGF.
So are -- Also, other fellows mentioned about the criteria, and I think before we can review the criteria, it would be important for us to really have that concrete agreement on what is our theme for the year.
That's it, Madam Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary Rose. Chengetai, do you want to just fill us in on open forums, kind of the purpose and criteria?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay. So open forums are a space to give governments and also international organizations a space to highlight their -- or to showcase their Internet governance-related activities. I'll just read you the description that we used last year.
So open forums are reserved for all governments, treaty-based international organizations, and global organizations with international scope and presence with operations across regions dealing with Internet governance-related issues. Open forums should focus on a government or organization's IG pertinent activities during the past year and allow sufficient time for question and discussion. The standard duration is 60 minutes. And governance and treaty-based international organizations will be given slots on a priority basis.
So the language has evolved over the last couple of years because, you know, we don't want to give a three-person organization who, you know, do remote workshops and they say they are a, you know, international organization. So this covers, you know, organizations, sorry for naming them, but, you know, places like ICANN and ISOC who really have a solid program and are based -- have an Internet governance program that people who come to the IGF would like to hear. And it's also a space for governments.
Last year we had 27 open forums, 71 workshops, 5 best practice forum sessions, 15 dynamic coalitions sessions, and 5 national and regional collaborative sessions, 14 sessions as other, and 24 lightning sessions.
This is as opposed to in 2017 when we had more space so we had 45 open forums, we had 99 workshops, 4 individual best practice forums, 15 individual dynamic coalition sessions, and 8 individual national and regional initiative sessions, 13 sessions were classified as others, and 24 lightning sessions. So that's the breakdown.
I still think it's important to give space for governments because when they come there, they must come -- come to the IGF for something. There's -- my personal view, there's a -- I think it's difficult for governments to adapt to the IGF as such, so this is kind of like a halfway measure for them to adapt. They have their own sessions, they can say what they want, they still have to focus on Internet governance-related activities, and there's a question and answer session. And we also encourage them to collaborate with other governments or other international organizations.
I wouldn't want to say that they are -- that they are competing with workshops. I mean, in 2017, yes, there was a lack of space. This year we don't have that lack of space, so I wouldn't want to see it that one side is losing and the other side is gaining or anything like that. No. No.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Wait a minute, Carlos. Kenta was in the queue first, Carlos. Carlos
>> (Off microphone).
>>CARLOS AFONSO: How many of those 27 sessions were governments? Open session. Open forums, sorry.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I'll come back with you. Just give me a moment for these guys to count. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Kenta, you have the floor.
>>KENTA MOCHIZUKI: Thank you, chair. My name is Kenta Mochizuki, Japanese MAG member from the business community, for the record. Thank you very much.
So I support what Timea, Ben, and Susan said yesterday. And actually when I talked with Japanese stakeholders some of them say there are some duplicative sessions among our workshops, open forums, main sessions, and in our collaborative sessions. So this time, because (indiscernible) for the sessions that are the same, I would appreciate it if the MAG through its various workshop proposals could be in front of the progress of the selection of other sessions. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, I agree. And I think there's already agreement and a process in place for the MAG to be informed to review the open forums. The same thing, there's been an expectation that the BPFs have a slot. That, of course, is an expectation with the MAG. The DCs, there's a set of criteria for the DCs as well. If they meet those criteria, then they're given a slot at an IGF as well. We can revisit whether or not we -- we think that's appropriate, but that has been the operating policy. So that's known to the MAG as well. The NRI collaborative slots have always been a discussion between the MAG and, you know, the NRIs with respect to how many as a part of the full program. So I think that's there already. The 24 lightning, again that's also a MAG-sponsored program. And what we've done in the past is looked at workshops that were quite interesting but didn't make the -- the final selection, for whatever reason. Sometimes themes are oversubscribed. They were actually offered these lightning slots. So that's also a part. And the 14 other, is that the book launches and things at lunchtime or what is it?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Various sessions, book launches.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So side events and book launches. So I actually think that the MAG has a good view overall of the various activities, and the reason we're going through this at this pace is to say if there are areas that the MAG actually think they need more information on, more review, want to revisit or review the criteria, this is time to say so, because in four weeks the call goes out for those proposals.
What we could say, I guess a call must go out for open forums. And that's probably it, other than workshops, right? So if we make sure that the MAG is aware of the criteria, the support open forums, and the call, then that should cover those -- those concerns. Let me go to Timea and then Sylvia. Timea.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Chair. Just brainstorming ideas. Not at all for a proposal. Just some thoughts that I had. I fully appreciate the need for groups to meet as working meetings. That's a discussion to have when we -- when the right time comes for that. But I think there's the huge benefit for the community to understand what dynamic coalitions or NRIs or other structures, quasi independent structures or independent structures within the IGF are working on.
So given that we have space, I'm just wondering if we can have some sort of an exhibition space or a dedicated booth that is animated and put on the program as a -- in a special space or something. I don't know, for lack of a better word. We need to ask a communications expert to dress this idea up a little bit. But I think it would be very nice if we would have perhaps info sessions or (indiscernible) or just idea sharing, you know, half hours on the work of these groups just to inform the community. And then we can think about the actual substance matters sessions for what they are and for working sessions for what they are. But I think having dedicated streams for dedicated purposes might be something to consider.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think those are all good points. And I'm not sure we've actually had an IGF booth in the exhibition center. We've certainly had NRIs. I don't know if we've had one that's covered the full remit of activities over the IGF ecosystem. But if not, that would be a good idea. Again, one I think we can take up a little bit later in the process. Sylvia, you have the floor.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Thank you, Lynn. Well, I just wanted to mention that -- Sylvia Cadena technical community, for the record. I just wanted to mention or bring the conversation back to the report that the working group, one evaluation said in some of the recommendations about having the opportunity to test the evaluation system before they actually launch and have the MAG assessing like a couple of dummy proposals to see how that will work. If we incorporate these changes and the call goes in like three, four weeks or something like that, incorporating those changes I don't think is a minor, you know -- is not that minor. So I -- I would rather spend some time looking at what is the real implications of changing this three baskets and see what sub-themes might be actually come out of that, what's the wording for that, how it's related to the -- the language that is used for events or other meanings around the same things so the concepts are clear, so that there are no many -- there will be misunderstandings, as always, but there are not that many misunderstandings. I am always kind of concerned that people see no line form and kind of type -- start typing, copying and pasting of their proposals without, for example, not reading the full narrative that you are asking the groups to work on. So if they don't read that and they submit something that is in the tradition of previous IGFs, then we will end up with workshops that are very similar to what has been done before, right?
So I think it will be good if we can kind of stop a little bit and think what will the implications be and looking at Luis, feeling the pain that is coming your way, so if there is something that we can do to help make sure that those forms are easily understood by the community and that that possibly take the process, I think it's very important to go back to the recommendations from the working group on evaluation and try to see how that will fit in.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's exactly what we're trying to get to, just trying to take off some of the other things that kind of signals pieces of work that I think the MAG needs to do in the next four weeks, that will be the bulk of what we do this afternoon, Sylvia. Mary, you have the floor.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you. Mary, technical community. I know the MAG will try as much as possible to balance the geographic grouping, stakeholder, yeah, some of the things, agenda, the new voices, local hosts, proposal -- all proposal from all this when we are doing an evaluation. Like my comments from yesterday, are we going to be able to have weights, proper weights to be able to balance all of this. And the evaluation criteria and the scoring will be such that it will not be too subjective but more objective, and then since we are looking at Global South, if there are other weights we are going to use to be able to balance that. I know the evaluation committee will have to do a lot of work for us to looking at the three narratives and looking at the workshop proposal and looking at being able to balance all of this and to make sure that we have it -- we have everybody included. So I think that's one of the things we'll be thinking about, the evaluation committee would -- may need to come up with, if it is already there make, you know -- it would also look at how would include these last bits of Global South attention. Is there any lowering of marks for proposal from the Global South or not. So that's what has been -- I think we should also think about, and the evaluation committee may have to do more work this year to be able to include all this in the evaluation.
If -- it will not just be listing the criteria for each of the -- if you're going to -- each of the criteria it was said, if it's agenda, one mark or is a geographic area, one mark or is a new voice, one mark, you know. To make it more -- more -- more -- less subjective, please, because I know that after marking you may see other -- other proposals where you have scored before, you have to go back and rescore. So if we break it down to that level, it's easy to score. Thank you
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary. Very good points. And we had some really good analysis tools last year that Sala actually prepared for us to use in the room. And I believe the secretariat is prepared to pick those up this year. I think the most important thing is making sure we don't slip deadlines, because when we slip deadlines the only one that gets squeezed is the secretariat and us. So if we don't slip a deadline, the secretariat should have enough time to do the analysis and give it to us. We have enough time to analyze it, and then we have time to -- to move forward. So -- but agree, these are things we need to continue to track and make sure are well embedded in the process overall. Carlos, you have the floor.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Also very quickly, Carlos, civil society. The idea of having space for parallel meetings is important that we recall that. All of the dynamic coalitions we have today were formed in those parallel meetings. They were -- this was the breeding ground for the dynamic coalitions, for instance. So we have to have that space for these parallel interactions that may result in new coalitions or whatever.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, important point, Carlos. Thank you. Jutta, you have the floor.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you for giving me the floor. Jutta Croll for the civil society stakeholder group. I just wanted to underline what Sylvia has said before with regard to the evaluation process and what also was somehow mirrored by Mary's comments. If we are going to change the system like we score and grade the proposals, then we need to decide on that very -- on very short notice because we will have our next call, I do think, in two weeks' time on the 13th of February and then it's only less than three weeks to go until the call shall go out. And anything that we change in the system needs to be reflected in the form, so it's time critical, just to underline.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Absolutely. And Chengetai and I have a suggestion for how we can maybe kick some of that work off quickly. Paul, you have the floor.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Yes, thank you, Lynn. Paul Rowney. Just based on what Mary said, that I don't think we should lower the barrier or adjust the scoring. I think what we need to do is provide a support mechanism for those that reach out, to help them structure their proposals better.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I agree. And that's a good point. You made that earlier as well. And I also think that in the past we've actually left a certain percentage of workshop slots not allocated, if you will, through the MAG review process so that we can balance if we think that we don't have an appropriate balance in terms of topic or geography and diversity, and that was where some of the analysis that Sala did came in very, very helpful. So I think we can make sure we've got enough room to address your -- some of your other points as well -- as well, Mary.
So I don't anybody else in the queue at the moment.
Let me just try and see if I can capture those. So I think we should ask the secretariat -- ask the secretary to send to the MAG the current proposal for open forum call and the open forum criteria with the specific request for the MAG to review that maybe over the next week, week and a half or something and come back. And I think it's important that we all respect these deadlines and do as much as we can online, in email as well so that when we actually get to our calls we can just kind of tidy up and get agreement and move forward, not keep things open any additional time, because we are coming up against some hard, hard barriers. So I think that's one specific action.
I'm going to come to the workshops in a moment because that's a very, very significant piece of work. I think probably that's the only main action take-away out of that discussion so far. But Susan is requesting the floor. So I'll give Susan the floor and then Chenai Chair.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Lynn. My apologies. I couldn't log in in time to...
So I just want to support wholeheartedly what Paul had just said and -- about offering outreach and guidance and assistance in developing proposals. And something that has been suggested in the past -- forgive me, I can't recall if we did this last year -- but would be to develop a mock -- a mock proposal -- and Sylvia mentioned this, too -- almost as a template. And this can be designed after we take into consideration the three themes and the subthemes.
Something that we had done a few years ago would be to translate the criteria and the tips. We had tips for proposers, and through the community effort, I mean, we translated those into various languages, and through doing that we did see an uptick in proposals from developing countries in particular.
So just building on what Paul said and volunteering to help with that effort.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Susan. And we'll come to that whole effort in just a moment and pull all these threads together, hopefully.
Chenai Chair, you have the floor.
>>CHENAI CHAIR: Thank you, Chair. My name is Chenai Chair. I'm representing civil society.
As I was listening to the whole process around getting the good-quality proposals through and the process around it, I came back to the issue I had around the rejection phase. And I was looking at the information that's available on what makes a good proposal and the process for you to get selected, and I think may be -- now I'm thinking like a year in advance, is also perhaps to try to understand or, together with the -- with the dummy proposal that's successful, also to take into account why your proposal got rejected or just have an overall document that maps this -- and if it's already there, my apologies -- but that actually maps why certain proposals are getting rejected. And then maybe they could fall into that criteria of civil society, 30 proposals are rejected. They're rejected because they're missing one, two, three things. And I know we always adjust the framework that's taken up but I think it's good to have that reflective process of if we can't respond to all the 400 proposals that come out, we can at least have a mapping of, from the 400 -- from the 280 that we rejected, they were rejected on these grounds, without necessarily having to reach out to that individual, but for future newcomers to actually read a document that says this is what a rejection looks like and it's rejected on these grounds.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chenai.
Timea, you have the floor.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you. Just to support the colleagues that intervened before. I think it would be really good to have some sort of communication on what is okay and what is preferred, how -- what are the criteria the MAG is looking at when grading a proposal.
And, I mean, I don't think we need to invest a lot of work to drawing up something completely out of the blue. I mean, if people would be willing, we can just share some of the ones that scored really well, some of those that scored really not well. Maybe one -- one proposal, you know, category 3, one proposal category 5, one proposal category 1, and just compare.
And I think we need to be a bit dynamic on how we catch the attention of workshop proposers. I don't know if one manual or one document that really details what means what but perhaps an info graphic. Do's and don'ts. Something catchy might resonate better with the community.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Timea.
There are a couple of other items we were going to cover. I think it's early enough in the process that we can wait. Main sessions and main session guidelines, I would suggest we give that probably a few weeks, if not even two months or so and see what happens with the themes and where we get to.
The main sessions are totally under the MAG responsibility to organize. So, you know, when we're ready, we can pick up on the basis of the themes and I think move quite quickly.
We had a number of other kind of ongoing reviews around the dynamic coalitions, the NRI, Major Policy Programme and possibly ways to integrate those. If we have time a little bit later in the day, and we may well have, I think we can come in and pick those up. But again, I don't think there's anything pressing there that impacts on the work we need to do in the next five weeks or so. That work is pretty much tied to the call for workshop proposals. And in order to do that well, we've always been very clear that we want to understand the evaluation process so that we make sure that we signal anything that would impact on the -- on the submissions up front. So that we're very clear with the people that are submitting the proposals what the criteria and process is going to be to evaluate them.
So those are the two pieces I think we -- most substantive pieces of work in front of us.
And there's been a request for one more discussion on day zero. In particular, there was a request to I think understand a little bit more about an activity that Germany might have going with Missions Publiques and the citizens' debate. So maybe we can hit that before the end of the day.
I'm trying to see, is there anything else that anybody is -- you know, thinks we have to get through today just so we make sure we marshal our time? Any burning issues?
Giacomo, you had the floor.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: It is not a burning issue, but I think that if we want to be coherent with what we discussed in the previous days, I think that we need to be careful when we make this call because especially for the areas of topics on which we want to focus our attention, instead of looking for workshop closed deal, we are looking for ideas that then eventually we can structure in a process.
So at least for these topics that we identify as event (indiscernible) this year, I think that we need to encourage people to say tell us which angle you want to focus on, and then we will discuss together how better this will be shaped together. Because if we want to avoid to have 45 different workshop on AI that in part is repeating the same thing from different angle, what we want to look at is put the multistakeholder view on this topic. So as we do at EuroDIG, if we identify the angles about AI that we want to focus on, then for each of them we would like to have a multistakeholder view.
So if we give the impression to people that they are selling us a ready-made workshop, then you will never dismantle this and people will be upset saying why you change what I have in mind? While if you say please propose us what you want to discuss and be ready to be merged with others, challenge -- your view can be challenged by others, it's a different approach. At least for the core topics on which we want to build. The others, of course I think that can be free to provide us a structured workshop closed deal.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So I'm trying to figure out how to process that because that was one thread we had yesterday in the discussion, and that does mirror the EuroDIG. In fact, I think it mirrors the process in Latin America and a couple of other national ones as well. And basically what the process says, they're all slightly different, but they go out with a call for issues that looks a lot like ours. High level, 250 words to describe the issue they'd actually like to see addressed during the event. And then through different processes, they assign small teams to take those issues and build the program or build the workshop sessions around those themes. So they do that, again, through this small team. They identify the sort of format, the topic of themes, the workshop description, and source the speakers.
That's quite in contrast to our process which does actually look, as Giacomo said, for a whole, concrete proposal, including having confirmed -- at least like three confirmed speakers or something, so that if the speakers are parted of the workshop being rated highly and approved, we know, in fact, those speakers are, in fact, going to participate.
That's a very different process. And I -- I could support either one. I think that the process Giacomo is outlining has a lot of benefit. I think it also requires more time and attention from the MAG, so we need to make sure we're there.
It's not just, I don't know, 20 workshops. It's 80 workshops or something, so it's a substantially larger number than most of the regional or national IGFs have to support.
Maybe there's a hybrid model where we do that for a main session and one or two feeder sessions or something, and we -- you know, the rest is built in around the workshops. I think that's part of what we're -- we're starting to come to just now, to determine what that process looks like.
Shall we stay with that or shall we do the day zero one quickly?
Giacomo, you have a follow-up?
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: We're staying with the closed seems to be fine. Let's at least identify one topic on which we want to test a different model of working and let's see if it works. Artificial intelligence. I'm sure that there will be 50 proposals. And the risk is that next year we will discuss again saying, ah, they were saying all the same thing from different angle and nobody talk with the other.
Let's -- If there is one topic that is crucial, let's test in this way, and we then merge. At the EuroDIG, there is assigned proposal on a same topic, then automatically, from A to B, the organizing committee of the structure. That could be a plenary to workshops, et cetera, et cetera.
Why not? We can test, if we identify one topic.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you, Lynn. I'm just wondering a little bit because I think we had already discussed the topics and the way forward we would like to choose. And maybe let's wait and see until the secretariat will send around, with the help the others, the structure and the help -- I mean, the document I think that have been very good interventions that say we need some sort of guidance and do's and don'ts when submitting workshop proposals. Let's see that and then discuss on the basis of that, I would suggest.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So maybe we can just park that for a moment, as Daniela says, and let's talk about what the process would look like over the next five weeks to get to the call for workshops and then the evaluation, and then we can come back and revisit that, Giacomo, and see if, in fact, there's a real benefit or value to trying to insert or pilot something different.
Jutta, you had the floor, and then I want to walk through a couple of quick steps, I think. Chengetai said we should probably start to kick off the workshop evaluation -- the workshop call and evaluation process.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Yes, just a quick comment. Two things. I really think we need to innovate the whole process, but I'm afraid if we have, like Giacomo suggested, try it out on one topic and not have a consolidated approach to all the topics that would just confuse people and would be very difficult. So I don't know how to innovate right now, but I do think that might be tricky. And also, I'm very familiar with the EuroDIG approach as well, and I do think it would change, also, the work of the MAG, and we need to take that into consideration as well. If we follow such an approach, the timetable that we already have for this year, that might not work out because it might need more involvement in another way than we did before, like the evaluation process is something different and it might need an adjusted schedule for the whole process. And we need to have that in mind before we decide to change anything. Just to caution.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: One thing we might do, we've got a theme. Three themes. We're going to have a narrative and some context. There may even be a couple of major -- two major areas underneath that. We're using inclusion, obviously. Maybe one is on access and the other one was on actual engagement in governance activities or something, a second category.
If -- if what we want is to support that narrative, maybe we expect that somehow there's a main session, maybe there's a couple main sessions if we really only have three main themes, and maybe there's a feeder session either at the beginning or a feeder session at the end that tries to tie together everything we heard that came through the main sessions, that came through the workshops that were in there that really work to ensure we pulled in any dynamic coalitions in any sorts things, but those could be workshops that the MAG actually took responsibility for driving, and it was to tie together the entire kind of narrative or theme.
So maybe there's a way to kind of experiment with a piece of what Giacomo is saying, but do it so that we actually have a kind of coherent flow through the theme. So maybe, you know -- I'm sure we'll be a lot smarter a month or so down the road to this process. We can figure out where we might be able to add, you know, positively to it.
So in the past we've done this through MAG working groups, which of course are open to non-MAG members as well. I don't know if we really have the kind of -- And then, you know, at times it's revisited with the secretariat in terms of what they can do or the secretariat participates in those process.
I'm actually wondering if rather than a working group per se, maybe there's really no difference, but that we have kind of a joint effort with the secretariat and with a subsection of MAG members that are going to be focused on -- there may even be a couple of efforts. One that actually says what would the workshop call process look like. So we ask these three subteams to focus on the narrative and the context. We have to get a little more clear on what we mean by narrative and context, but to create a narrative and context.
There was a suggestion that we have policy questions. Some -- there was also, I think, a little discomfort by some with the specific policy questions. I don't know if it's a -- a policy view or a framing or an issue or some other word, but something that this is the policy area that we're actually trying to explore or policy areas we're trying to explore by nature of this. Again, figure out exactly what that looks like.
Clearly one piece of the deliverable is that framing for those three themes such that it can go out and fill the -- That's one piece of work. So far, I don't think that work has had any impact on the secretariat because it's part of, you know, the document or the memo we would send out announcing the call.
Then I think we need to do some work to say what are we expecting in terms of the submissions to look like? What information do we want to capture or track through the submissions?
Obviously to me there's two views to that. One is what do we need to do to ensure that we actually get a good, thoughtful submission. The second one is what do we need to do to ensure that the MAG has everything they think they need to evaluate it properly. Those potentially have implications for the secretariat in terms of some different forms and maybe some analysis abilities on the back end.
And then there's the how does the MAG want to run the evaluation process once all the workshops are in, which is, I guess, kind of a fourth effort. That's a lot of work, I think, to do in, you know, a room of 55 MAG members, and by the time you add in the intergovernmental organizations and everybody else we always figure we're up to sort of 70 people who are weighing in on these issues.
I would maybe suggest that we can talk a little bit more about exactly what that process would look like, and there are people that are better than I am at define processes and thinking them through and writing them, thank God. I'm sure you're all very thankful as well. Maybe we can spend a few minutes identifying what those, you know, whatever three, four, or five major tasks are that need to happen, happen and be approved and be implemented in the next five weeks, and then look for volunteers to the MAG to support and resource those efforts. And I know Germany has offered to help in any way they can as well, so we can determine what that looks like. But I mean that's the task that I think is ahead of us.
We have a lot of really good work that's been done on all the process documents in the past and some of the folks that really critical in writing them are here. We've had the workshop on preparation of the evaluation process, and a couple of members here are still in the MAG as well so we have that as a background. We actually have a lot. We're not starting from zero. I think it's more a matter of tailoring and thinking it through. But let me see if there are any -- excuse me, additional views. I want to see in Daniela wants to add anything to that before -- and then I'll recognize Sandra as well with the hope that maybe she can even help us with some of these processes. I imagine that's why you were in the queue. And then we'll see what the MAG actually suggests for how we process through some of this work. So Daniela, I'm not putting you on the spot, but if there's anything you want to add.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: No. And I think you just -- just to say that I think that exactly are the tasks I think we will have to do that you just listed up, that Germany is standing ready to help in any way.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. Sandra, you have the floor.
>>SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Thank you, Lynn, for giving me the floor. Actually, I raised my hand when the discussion was with the topic that was raised by Giacomo and by Jutta Croll, and I was going to express also support because I share the concerns that Giacomo expressed, that we end up -- and artificial intelligence is the perfect example. It is the trigger word, the password for this and probably the next year, and in three years' time it could disappear from the agenda totally because it's -- the whole topic cools a little bit down. I mean, this happens to blockchain and also to cryptocurrency recently. And at EuroDIG we are at the moment, we are trying to define how far artificial intelligence relates to Internet governance. And if we want to expand the discussion beyond this or if we really stay to pure Internet governance topic. But that's a question we can discuss elsewhere. That's a broader thing. I would encourage the MAG -- and I said quite provocatively already on open consultation -- I would encourage the MAG to be brave and to try out new ways. And I think one trick trying out a new way of calling for workshops, setting up org teams, and organizing the session might be appropriate.
I do agree with what Jutta said, that if the MAG changes the whole process for everyone, probably the people will be confused because the communication to get it through that this year will be different. That's just so difficult and it takes a lot of time. But if you start with maybe one trick, just as an experiment, learn from it and here we are more than happy to help and collaborate with our experiences in terms of providing mailing lists and what the secretariat has to do in terms of facilitating such an open and different way of going at it.
And I think here I totally agree with what Giacomo had said, artificial intelligence will be probably the topic where like 30, 50, or more proposals coming in and merging those to one or two sessions, maybe a plenary and some feeder sessions, that might be really something that has -- that is worthwhile, but this has to be conducted by the MAG and by the secretariat to identify which sessions can go together and really provide a multistakeholder view.
With regard to the workshop submissions -- and I understand that the MAG is not changing this procedure -- I would strongly suggest to simplify the -- the form a little bit. For instance, it's difficult to ask for -- for the speaker early in the year, some people put in speaker names that don't have even ask the speaker if they are available and then it appears that some speakers are booked for multiple sessions and they are not really aware of this. I mean, this was from the past. And in the session I was involved, I was asked to be a speaker in 2018, so last year. To be honest, the real work starts a month before or even less, and it is difficult for the organizer, for the submitter, to be -- to promise -- to keep what I promise early in the year and to go on with it. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sandra. A lot of good, useful, on the ground input. Timea, you have the floor.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Chair. As we're discussing the process and the background documents that are available to us, just wanted to reiterate my offer from yesterday on having a call on the program framework document and also possibly working with the secretariat. I don't know if it needs to be done in the working group manner or if we can just do it with the help of the secretariat, to bridge that framework document with the timeline that we have, possibly populate it with some links and guidelines and really transform it into a tool, both for the MAG and also the people who are jumping in on this process as contributors from the community. We can also plug in their -- the various needs for communication, ideas on, you know, the working group on --
>> ( Speaker off microphone. )
>>TIMEA SUTO: Sorry, I lost the mic for some reason. Plug in some ideas on workshop evaluation or work intended with the working group on workshop evaluation. So I think we can try and use that framework and populate with all this information and have that readily available on the website and update it as we go so people can find information in a visual way. Hopefully we can work on that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that would be a useful document. I think we need to make sure we have one that is accessible enough for people in developing countries because it's a really heavy, heavy, you know, link and set of presentations. Not even just electronically but even just in terms of substance and content. So maybe a couple of different inroads into the process. Jutta.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Yeah. Once again, with regard to the process, I'm not sure whether all of the MAG members, especially the new ones, have got the report that the working group on evaluation had produced which is only two pages in words, so it's very short. And I do think we can build on that, just go through it and decide whether all the recommendations are justified for this year's process, which one we can build on, which one might not work out when we change -- do some changes to the process. But it's -- it's a good foundation to start from, I would think.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Susan, you have the floor. Thank you, Jutta. It is, yes.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: So thank you, Lynn. I'm very happy to volunteer to help with the workshop evaluation and review process. So I'd just like to put my name up there and would also be happy to work with a new MAG member to do that, if anybody is so interested. So I just wanted to volunteer for that. Thank you.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you, Lynn. I just come in to say maybe we should look again to the list of submissions that have been -- come out of the call for issues and I want to say seeing this, I would suggest we be cautious about the issue of artificial intelligence as a fourth basket. Because first of all, artificial intelligence is a cross-cutting technology that will cover a lot of subjects. And if you have a closer look to what the community has turned in then you will realize that you can see that. I mean, first of all, artificial intelligence is not at the top ranking of the lists. Second, sometimes it's all -- only mentioned AI and nothing explained. All you have the suggestion of looking onto AI as a tool for handling on data. Yes, that's then under data. And so on and so forth. That's why I would say we be cautious of just taking that eye-catching word as a fourth basket.
And I understood Jutta in the way that we should be courteous. I mean, if you're now, let's say, evolve the process, then that evolving it in two different directions because I think as well that would confuse people. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela. I was trying to just quickly do the list of the four areas that I said I thought we needed to resource for work tomorrow. Let's try and go through them one by one, see if we can put a couple of words to what we think that work is, and then we're going to look for volunteers who want to be part of a kind of ad hoc working group. And I think the expectation would be that the work was advanced pretty significantly in the next two weeks. Like I said, if when we had the MAG call on, I think it's the 13th of February, we had a -- frankly it would be great if we had what we thought was the final kind of recommendation to review which would then give the secretariat two to three weeks to do any kind of final wordsmithing or forms or anything they might need to change and leaves us a little bit of time if we want another review. Thought I'd throw that out there because I know it's a very tight timetable.
So one of the pieces of work was a small group of people to define what this narrative, context, policy, guidance, or framing would look like. And we would create that and then we would give it to the three groups that are responsible for fleshing out the themes. Is that a sensible -- I'm really looking for help, guys, here, in terms of the process and defining the work. If there's a better way to define the work, I said there are a lot of people in this room that are stronger at, you know, a lot of the process and really understanding what's required than I am. Ananda, you will help? So let's see, you're going to help define what a narrative and what a context and what the policy framing might look like, is that right? Yeah, I think what Daniela is saying is that we did have three groups this morning that were focused on the themes. We could perhaps build on those people -- with sincere apologies. Sorry. We could perhaps build on those groups of people that have already done that work and add other people to -- to that work to help flesh it out, making sure we've got appropriate diversity. I think what we're trying to do, though, is to make sure that all three of them at the end of the day look alike in terms of kind of template and overall support. And if I look at what the three groups did this morning, they were all slightly different. So, you know, we either start with a small group of people trying to define kind of a narrative and a context and a policy question and that's given out as a template to the three groups to populate with the substance. I suppose the other way is to let the three groups go and then work to take the best ideas from all of them and bring that back together, but that's a -- maybe a lengthier process. Paul, you have the floor.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Yeah, sorry, jumping the queue, but I think if we have the three streams that we already have and those three streams can cross collaborate on getting a joint structure on how this should happen, I think that might be an easier process. And we have an existing three streams anyway, so we can just let people join those streams. And then we just collaborate on the first meeting and then --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: There is a third way. That makes a lot of sense to me. Let's just keep going through the queue and then see where we are. And Timea, Ananda, sorry, I hadn't seen it. My screen was blocking. So Timea, you have the floor.
>>TIMEA SUTO: No need to apologize. I think Paul put his hand up at the moment I pressed the button so it's all fine. I like this idea of working voluntarily and working groups and looking at these teams we already have. I'm just mindful that we have a lot of colleagues who are not in the room, so we should allow them some time to jump on board if they wish to do so. And also, I think we need to be thinking of a creative solution of at least showing our work as transparent while we're working on it. So I can imagine some sort of document online that has editing rights to the working group but viewing rights to everybody else and the community as well, somehow to just -- I think to be as transparent in this process as possible, just to be sure that people know what we are doing. And yes, I would like to volunteer to help in whatever shape or form I can.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Well, that's an excellent suggestion, Timea. And in addition, I think we should make it clear who the volunteers are by each one of the themes as well and make sure that that's -- that's transparent and visible as well. Ananda, you have the floor.
>>ANANDA KHANAL: Thank you, madam. Ananda Khanal, government stakeholder. To start with, let us agree we have three broad teams and develop the narratives around these three, that is the digital inclusion, the data, and security issues, right?
>> (Off microphone).
>>ANANDA KHANAL: Three tracks. So if we agree on that, second step is to map the 300-plus, you know, inputs that we have received into these three broad areas. So put wherever it fits. And then divide into subgroups along these three tracks. So that will be, I think, a more decisive process so that we can come up with a rough consensus on the tracks, three tracks, and then the subgroups. And then we develop the narratives through our volunteer working groups and then finalize it in the due process. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ananda. Daniela.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Yes. I think that's a very good idea. I have in mind a little bit that's a -- a merger of what the working groups have done, so let's say if I have a mind what the working group on inclusion has done, so having a narrative and then a list with the subtitles and further issues under each subtitle and then we grouped as the other working groups did what has been submitted by the community so that in the end we will have a full picture, I think.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Ben, you have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you. To Lynn, I think it was a good point to provide some kind of template so the group's are doing the same thing, and Daniela, you've just provided an example of that. So I think rather than choose that process, I think you can in writing after the meeting say this is what we're asking the three groups to do. And you can invite people, I guess by the end of the week, to volunteer in writing for one or more of the working groups. I'll put my hand up for the data group, but I think you -- you don't need to take -- you need to do a written exercise anyway that captures people outside the room, so I'll happily respond to that email as well. But I think it's important for you as chair, co-chair, and in consultation with the secretariat to provide some steering and set up a kind of template for the working groups and take into account the comments you received today that Timea and I both I think talked about, it can be valuable to think of policy questions rather than simply tags. That was one -- one idea you got that you might want to feed into a template. But yes, I think there's a role for you as chairs and guardians too, and that's appropriate as well. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think we can draft a note to go out so that -- you know, and actually there's probably two notes. One is to kick the work off within the MAG. I think the other one is heads up, for lack of a better word, to the community that we're really focusing on kind of three themes and a narrative and that's to pull in, you know, whatever. But I think we can give them a heads up now, or sometime in the next week or so as well. And we're expecting that the three groups will then collaborate. Because they all approached the exercise, the overnight exercise, a little bit differently. I think we're expecting them all to kind of collaborate, build within your own process, and ultimately reach agreement on one kind of template, one process that would actually support the call for workshops.
Is that a fair reflection of where we are?
I see -- I see thumbs up.
The next piece of work we need to do is to -- and maybe here I'm looking to some combination of Susan and Jutta. There's a piece which is once we have this context, this background, this informational note, this here's what we're doing on themes, here's the narrative behind it that we want to support our call for workshops, is there anything else we need to change in that workshop submission, the call for workshop submissions process?
And I think we need -- I don't think we can answer that on the fly, obviously, but I think we need a small group of people to take a thoughtful, careful look at it and come back quite quickly.
Are there a few people that would volunteer to do that? I think Susan did earlier, and she's raising her hand again. And Jutta, too. And Jennifer. I just want to make a note.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Lynn, if I may, also Mary Rose Ofianga. Where is she? She also volunteered as well.
>> (Off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I can't hear that at all, Sylvia.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: ...they make to the list to open a thread on the mailing list to see who is volunteering and add my name to one of the groups. I'm not sure exactly how you plan to divide them, but I don't think it's necessary to express that on the microphone, you know, knowing that a lot of people are not here.
But it would be good to have just -- just those threads updated, as Ben said, so we can now.
And then it's a bit -- it's a lot of work to volunteer for work on the MAG because you never know how big it's going to be. So not knowing what other pieces of work are coming, I guess some people will hesitate to volunteer at this time because we don't know exactly how much else we will be doing.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's a good point. So I don't think we need to populate every one of the groups fully here but I think we do need to walk away with two or three co-leaders so we have somebody that's actually tagged with bringing the work forward. And the people that I think just agreed to be tagged were Susan and Jutta. And maybe Susan and Jutta can put a note out on the MAG working group.
I think we should be really kind of clear on the titles as well, ask just if you provide the source documents as well and some assessment of what you think we might need to do or look at, that would actually help people assess what the work is. And then we can research it from there. And thank you very much for -- for stepping up to that.
Mary, you have the floor.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you very much. Just a question. I had raised it I think earlier when we were doing briefing to see how we could work more efficiently by not having too many people in -- one person being in several work group or working group -- MAG member; sorry. One MAG member being in several working group, it would not be efficient. So we could take a decision to don't be in more than two, and then you will be effective and efficient. That's what I think we should also look at, because the work is normally enormous, and let's see how we could work collaboratively and work efficiently.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's very good advice, Mary. I mist might also say this is a good opportunity for incoming MAG members to sit in on some of the working groups even if it's so you can just sit in and get the background and learn. It's the best way, just to follow and -- follow some of the discussions.
The next piece of work I think we need to do is to then look at the evaluation process. What does the MAG do once all the workshop proposals are in, and what is the right evaluation process? And again to think through whether or not that evaluation process needs to change on the basis of what we're doing with this narrative and policy question. I think the grading for some of these is going to change. You know, maybe in terms of some of the weighting, maybe some things are de-emphasized and others are re-emphasized but I think we need to look at that. And then -- and then there's a series of questions as well with respect to how does the MAG actually process themselves through.
A few years ago, every MAG member reviewed every proposal, and I think we maxed out at like 270 proposals or something. Last year, there were 370, but two years ago we went to a process which had a sub -- two years ago we had a process that had a subset of the MAG randomly selected against a subset -- against a bunch of randomly-selected workshops. So random, random. And then we looked at a cutoff of some that were soon to be accepted. We reviewed those, and then we pulled up others that were kind of worthy (indiscernible) but maybe hadn't made the call or were underrepresented.
Last year we had a process where we asked MAG members to self-identify by experience or expertise or interest. And then we had -- so we had somebody that might have said they were security. Somebody else said access. Somebody else said gender. And we had the proposals grouped by tags. So all those proposals that were gender tagged, all that were security tagged were reviewed by a diverse group of people who had declared that was their interest in that particular field.
As I understand, there's some support for that and some concerns for it. The -- The big piece for me was in grouping all of the security proposals, all the gender proposals, all the -- that was one way to make sure we had a complementary set of workshops as opposed to a lot of workshops that were covering the same things because they had been reviewed by different subsets of MAG members. I think that's still a valuable piece to keep because I think it's one of the easiest ways to make sure that the workshops that are approved in a theme are complementary and are supporting the narrative. And I see nods in the room, nodding their head. But those are some of the things we need to review in that workshop prep and evaluation process.
And as Jutta said, there was a lot of work that was done before. There was a recommendation that's come out. I don't think that's a huge lift either, but I think it's something we need to spend a little time, be thoughtful about and put in front of the MAG. That last little three-minute exposé was just everybody had a sense of where we came from. It's a lot easier than trying to find all the documents on the website.
So we need somebody to step up and lead it. The person that led that effort last year is no longer on the MAG, so we need somebody to step up and --
>>SYLVIA CADENA: I think we are here -- a few of us, we are kind of confused on chopping off the evaluation process into too many pieces, that in the end if different groups come from different angles, it would be impossible to put the puzzle together.
Susan volunteered, and I also sent an email to the list on the workshop evaluation that kind of touches on the actual form, the application, and then the process of what the MAG will do with that. But I just don't see how or I'm not understanding how you are chopping the pieces off, and I don't -- I don't get how we will put them all together into one platform that will make sense, like and the process.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think it's great if we can pull the pieces together. What I was trying to recognize a little bit is that we had an established process for the front-end of the proposal, and we have a two-page piece for the back-end eval. If it makes sense to put those two pieces together, that's perfect. I was just trying to give the opportunity to split them apart if, in fact, there was a natural -- and I'm hearing it makes more sense to have them together, so...
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thanks, Lynn. And I concur that I think that they kind of go hand in hand. They each need to be informed. So I guess I would suggest that that is one process. That that work collaboratively with the groups who are developing the narratives, as I think Paul had a very good suggestion that these groups who are developing the narrative can work together and find those common elements.
So I guess I kind of see it as almost one and a half or -- well, those two groups are separate, but they should be working hand in hand, if that makes any sense. I hope it does.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think it makes sense. What we're saying, I think, is that we would take the work that's captured in the workshop call submission process. I'm losing my words as well. We will look at the work that was done in the workshop prep and eval. as well. Those pieces are one effort, and that would determine the call for workshop submissions, and that call will actually take into account what the MAG needs for its evaluation in line with three themes and a narrative review. I'm sure they can be packaged a lot, a lot, a lot tighter. But okay. So that's one effort.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: I think that's excellent, and now I'm coming up maybe with a very stupid question, but I'm sorry for that, because I am just wondering, you're referring to the timetable that was approved. But looking at the timetable, now suddenly I wonder a little bit. We have the submission for the workshops until the 12th of April, but we will meet in person from the 8th through the 12th in April. So now I wonder a little bit if it wouldn't be a little bit better to have the deadline for the submission of workshops just before our meeting so we can discuss, then, the submissions. Or is that a very -- too stupid question?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: There are, of course, no stupid questions. And this is something we had actually looked at before, and I'm trying to find right now -- Chengetai, please jump in if your memory is sharper.
What we had said we would do at the second consultation would be -- we'll of course be able to review those submissions that have come in early. We just won't have graded them yet, but we would have a sense of what's come in because they're public, they're visible. That would be the time where I think we would continue to flesh out the themes and maybe the overall -- that's what it was. We could actually then review the narratives, make sure we're still kind of tight on the narrative. See what's come in. Further refine on kind of the policy objectives and questions if we needed to. And that those discussions would then actually facilitate the MAG doing their grading and selection of the workshop. So it would actually be a -- kind of a more thoughtful review as opposed to everybody goes away, you know, three weeks -- three months after this meeting and reviews them in a -- in a vacuum.
That would also be -- by that time we would have had, of course, the three themes out, the narrative, the BPFs, the DCs, the number of our intersessional workstreams would have begun their work. This would be a really good opportunity to really advance them and work to integrate them into the -- into the work as well and perhaps use that time to advance some of the other MAG -- significant MAG working efforts we have wanted.
We have certainly a multi-year work plan which people have talked about. We also have all these outreach and communication, which keep dragging along. I feel almost like an anchor because we just keep pulling them along to the next discussion. And, you know, if we're serious about getting more participants in from the Global South, if we're serious about more governments, more private sector, we need to figure out a plan and some actions to go cause that to happen. It's not going to happen through just being a little more vigilant in our workshop process.
So I think those are some of the things we thought we could actually address there as well, particularly as we start to get a sense of the themes and what the MAG is actually -- actually prioritizing.
So I think there's a lot of kind of strategic, maybe more task oriented, if you can even see strategic and task oriented work at that meeting. But it would be somewhat informed by the workshop submissions we had seen.
Are there any -- any other reflections on Daniela's comment or any other things you think we should be doing differently through that process? Because she's right, we would launch -- on the 4th of March, we would launch the call for proposals. It is scheduled to close on the 12th of April, and we would be meeting that week, during the WSIS week. We would not yet have done our grading or review of the workshops. I actually think that's a good thing because I think we could actually talk a little bit more about the themes and the narrative and the priorities and have that as background when we all go into the -- into the review. So it wouldn't be quite just a cold grading against criteria and numerical rating.
So coming back to make sure we have everything lined up for a successful call for workshop proposals in March, does it feel as though we've -- we've captured the big pieces of work?
>>MAMADOU LO: Mamadou Lo, private sector, for the record. Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. I think as well as for workshop proposal, MAG has a tough job in the workshop evaluation process, but I think also we have to see a way to evaluate those workshop effectively done on (indiscernible) during IGF for a sort of better MAG for this workshop.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Chengetai is saying that we should wait until all the workshops are in and we do the review at one point in time not a periodic review or a phase review, because that's not -- it's actually hard to keep state, actually, from one sent to the other. But I think getting a sense of what's in and what the quality is and how close they are. And to Paul's point which says that if we find that some of them could be improved in a way which would be really useful, then we might want to put some MAG efforts to supporting or nurturing or mentoring some of these proposals. And those kind of readings would be really good to get at that second meeting.
Chenai Chair. Chenai, you have the floor.
>>CHENAI CHAIR: Thank you very much. Chenai Chair, civil society, for the record.
As you talking about drawing in the groups that are marginalized -- Global South, private sector, business -- I've really been wondering if there's ever been like an outreach survey or a communication survey done to not just the IGF community but everyone who has been working on Internet policy or Internet governance, just to figure out what has been -- I know there's a working group on communications, but just to figure out what has worked in terms of reaching out to different communities, what would work in terms of reaching out, specifically when using the Global South, for example, face to face might work better than a mailing list. But I'm wondering if there is that survey that's been done before. And I would like to volunteer to assist request that because to me, that's like a crucial starting point. And if we are trying to get a community in here but we don't know how to communicate with it, we could have all the call for issues but we will have the, quote, "usual suspects" responding. So I'm putting my hand up if there's an opportunity to contribute to that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chenai. I don't know, has there ever been like a formal communication survey or informal?
Chengetai is saying there hasn't been. There may have been informal efforts through former MAGs or something, but it's definitely a huge area. I mean, the communications and outreach did a lot of great work this year, particularly with translating and that sort of thing, but there's always more -- always more to be done.
One of the other discussions I think we need to have at our next face-to-face meeting is governments. If we really -- I mean, a lot of private sector people say if you get the governments, private sector will come. You know, I think the -- the trickier part, maybe -- I'm not sure it really is, but it's certainly tricky -- is going to be to get government, senior government participation. And I think that's worthy of a really good brainstorming session in terms of what we might do to do that. I think that means we're going to have to engage with governments that don't participate and understand why they don't, what would be useful, how we might kind of accommodate them. Clearly they need to understand what the IGF is, and we're going to have to find some sort of compromise or something. But if we're serious, and I think we are serious about getting more senior government participation, then I think we're going to need to find a way to sit down with those who aren't here and really understand, engage, listen as to why they aren't here and what would bring them here. And then, you know, hopefully we can work to find an accommodation that is beneficial to all. But I think those are some of the efforts we need to -- to kick off. And I think that's probably a reasonable time to do that. Only one of many efforts we need to kick off at that meeting, I think.
I'm looking now to the floor, to the secretariat, to Daniela, if there's anything else we need to do just now in order to support the call for submissions in five weeks. There are some other things we can hit on the agenda, but anything else we need to do just now to be prepared to launch a fantastic call for workshops in five weeks?
I don't see anybody else asking for the floor. I know there's a lot of expertise in these processes in the past, and I'm glad they're back in the MAG as well, so we'll be able to advance them.
Yes. Yes, you have the floor.
>>SAMUEL BAMBO: Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. It's Samuel from Cameroon, MAG member.
I wanted to find out from you if MAG usually sends out letters to all the permanent representatives here in Geneva whenever the IGF forum is coming up. And if they do this, I would like to propose that when the call for proposals go out, this letter should also be sent to these permanent representatives so that they can channel it to their government. Because there are certain ministries in government that are willing to participate, but the information goes online but that doesn't get to the right department. So if the permanent representatives can send this letter to the government, the governments at their own level will be able to channel it to the departments that are really concerned.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: In other words, get it out of the missions and back to capital?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: We've done that for the past couple of years, informed the missions.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think Samuel's point went a little bit further than that as well and said how do we actually ensure it's getting out of the missions and back to capital. And I don't know if there's another route or anything else, but I think that's -- that was one of his points.
>>WAI-MIN KWOK: Just to add on to that since I'm based in New York. So what I think has been done but could be done more is that in addition to -- to sending to missions, I think it would be good for both in Geneva as well as in New York. And depending on the member states, sometimes the communication flows very well, sometimes not so. So for that what we have done with UNDESA is we will reach out to the ministries directly as well so that we will ensure for some. Because sometimes the -- Even though communication flows through the mission, UNDESA official channel, but there is nothing to stop us from going directly to the missions as long as the missions are informed as well, and they are because we are routing to them.
So setting up a database, and I think we discussed this, how to reach beyond the ICT or Internet-related ministries, how to reach to the other sectoral ministries that are relevant, of interest, I think that would be worthwhile to see how to build a database, which I think the secretariat has already a good base.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wai-Min.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, thanks, Wai-Min.
And also, in addition to that, we also in Geneva do briefings to the missions. And, secondly, the German hosts are going to send letters to the ministers; right? To some ministers. So we are trying to tackle it on a number of levels.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Yes. Just to reiterate, to repeat. We will send out invitations to ministers. I mean, our minister Peter Altmaier, who is the Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy and also responsible for the IGF, so the host minister, he will send out invitations to all ministers via our permanent representation in New York. So the U.N. representation. And by that -- And of course then he will follow-up on the invitation that we hope we will have high-level representation on the day zero. And of course we will, as I said already the other day, invite high-ranking people from the other stakeholder groups. So not only the governmental side.
And maybe because you asked the question earlier on -- on the different events or groups we are supporting running up to the IGF, that is on the one-hand side, the Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network that we will host this year at the beginning of June in Berlin, as the year before Canada did, and we are also supporting the Freedom Online Coalition. They had a conference in Berlin in December. And we are also supporting Missions Publiques. I think there is somebody here. You can follow-up on that issue.
So there are some, let's say, events or support we are giving to the community this year. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. And the good news for all of this is the invitations are going out quite early, if not very early so in contrast to the last few years when everything has been a little later, a little squeezed.
I'm going to go to Mary Rose and Timea because we did have a specific request from one or maybe two MAG members to understand a little bit about what a citizens debate or the missions pubLIQUES was doing. So I'd like to just get that in here quickly as well, and then we'll move on to see whether or not there are any other major issues around day zero type activities or something like that.
Mary Rose, you have the floor.
>>MARY ROSE OFIANGA: Thank you, Madam Chair. This is Rose again from private sector. I just want to share my thoughts just on like how we can get quality proposals, but it's like this is a summary of my thoughts for the last three days listening to all the ideas.
So first, it's like been talking about how we can make IGF more impactful moving forward, and I've heard that -- I understand that IGF is not like other U.N. conference, that they are -- we have clear goals as attached to sustainable development goals, for example. But then I feel still we need some sort of overarching objective that we can break down into smaller goals. And if we can have a -- like a system to drop one under performance. Like I'm sure there are performance indicators that we can check every now and then across the year as we plan for the IGF and then -- so I'm looking at it like in a management perspective. If we don't have that kind of system or framework that maybe we can do that at least at the working group level and so we -- it's easy for us to say if we have achieved our goals or not for the year. So basically I'm saying like more on the numerical or -- and support that with qualitative, you know, support for our performance.
And which brings me to my next point on data. So we've been talking about data governance, and I was wondering if we are really looking at all the data that we gathered for the last 13 years of IGF and if there was like data analytics that have been done, like the number of attendees, speakers, countries that -- you know, and put them just in one page, for example, that is easy for us to convey to our potential target participants in the coming IGF. And that also another way of looking at our historical data and it can help us, you know, come up with a projected goals for the year and upcoming IGF. And so using this data we have also talked about marketing, and right now in the digital world we sort of agree that content is the king. And I think a lot of folks here mentioned about creating new content, and I certainly agree with that. If we can come up with like more interactive content, like infographics that are easy to -- easy to share and videos or interviews or even testimonials, if you can put that in our, you know, website. And if you can use like all data we gathered online, like how many clicks we have on our website, which part of the world are looking at our website. Like all this in the digital marketing tools, why don't we have -- why can't we use that. And we are in the Internet world, so there's a lot of Internet tools that we can leverage in, you know, making -- creating awareness of IGF and its purpose.
So maybe -- I know that creating content can be -- might take a lot of work because it's not just about creating content. It's more of also finding target market or like the right attendee. So the content varies on how, like, who are we targeting to. Like if we are talking about inviting parliamentaries and government, public ministries, it has different message than inviting civil society or other private sector. So it might be a lot of work, and if it can come up with like a working group that can focus just on developing content, just one of my suggestions. I'm also happy to help. So that's all, Madam Chair.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary Rose. I don't know if Chengetai has any kind of immediate response to it. There is one excellent database, Friends of the IGF, which was in fact some years ago started by Susan Chalmers in the back there. And Susan left the private sector to go to the U.S. government and CGI.BR actually took over hosting and kind of advancing that effort. But it's all open and includes all the speakers and the topics and the themes and everything as well. So there's a lot of information there, which doesn't get to your real point of some of the marketing and the communication and the other activities.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: So yes, I was just trying to think, we do have a lot of statistics. A lot more can be done, but it's not simply just a -- it's also not simply just a matter of putting the information there. I -- I think we need somebody to go through it and really reconceptualize the whole communications package, but that's for another discussion. Because it's not just a matter of information. It's a matter of how you deliver that information and et cetera.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. I'm going to turn to Timea, and then I just want to give Rudolf a heads up as well, that I think with respect to the citizens debate and Missions Publiques, I don't know if you want to say a few words of some introduction or whether it's Antoine, but I just wanted to make sure that you at least had a chance to position it properly. I'm going to go to Timea and then I'll come back. Timea.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Many thanks. I just wanted to jump back quickly to the question that Sam was asking. I don't know if I missed the point of what he was asking or the responses just got me lost, but I had the impression that he was referring to actively reaching out to government agencies and ministries with the target of getting them to participate in a call for workshops, not in the call -- not to participate in the event. I don't know if I understood that correctly. But I think that would be also a different type of targeting, a different type of message. But I think that can be done in parallel with all the other great initiatives that you have been mentioning and trying to get in at the participation level and annual event. And if I can suggest, because we have these creative ideas, perhaps it would be a way to just explore on the IGF website a little sort of questionnaire with a pre-done answer of what is the best way for you -- if you happen to come to the IGF website -- for you to participate. And that can be, I think, pre-programmed. Like, are you a stakeholder interested in bringing an issue to discuss, are you interested in speaking, are you interested in attending, are you interested in exhibiting, and then those things just jump out at you and, you know, government has these ways of participating, business has that way of participating, students have some other ways of participating. Just a creative way of drawing different types of participation. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's a good point, Timea. Good point, Timea and Samuel as well. And if the invitations are actually going out before the end of February, that is, of course, still ahead the launch for the call. So maybe that's an opportunity to make it clear that -- you know, and we need to be thoughtful about the level the letter is going to and that's another thing, but there is a call coming up and perhaps they'd participate.
And Timea, for something like your last suggestion, just to make sure it doesn't get lost in everything we're trying to do here, maybe at some point sort of writing it up and as we think about it, I'm not sure something the MAG kind of needs to provide. I think not. Maybe it's a suggestion for the secretariat, or maybe it's even actually communications and outreach, if there's one or something. But just to make sure we don't lose it but, you know, if you wouldn't mind putting it in front of the right people at the right points in time when you have a moment, that would be really helpful. Thank you.
So Rudolf, is there anything you want to say around citizen debate and what Germany is sponsoring?
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: As we have Antoine in the room, he's the best position to explain a little bit what they are doing. We are supporting it. We think it is a very good initiative to involve citizens, people, around the world into the debate of how do they see the Internet, what do they -- what are the aspirations, what are the expectations, perhaps also the fears, and to bring this into some kind of a structured format that can then feed into the IGF 2019. On the concrete details and how it is going to happen, I think Antoine is the best to feed us in.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think we can come to Antoine in a moment. While the concrete details are no doubt interesting, I think more why Germany finds it of interest and what you intend to do with it, of course, is also of interest to everybody here. So I think that was helpful.
So you would -- okay, let's have Antoine go through, and then if there's some more questions, we'll just come back. Thank you. Antoine.
>>ANTOINE VERGNE: Hello. So again, no, thank you very much. I mean, I'm not sure we have the time to go through the detail of the method. So maybe you can come to me if you want to have more detail on how it works exactly. The principle is, we go and search for citizens that are not engaged. So it's based on a random selection or selection based on diversity criteria. We -- these are groups of 100 citizens in each participating country. It's one day, so it would be September 28. And in all the participating countries, we'll have those groups of citizens gathering face-to-face and discussing about the future of Internet on the basis of balanced information briefing and then answering some question, developing some -- as you said, some recommendations. And the results of this would be fed into the discussion at IGF but also in other arena. We have some partner at international level that already agreed to take that into account and into their discussion. But we aim at having the main presentation of results at IGF '19 in Germany. So if you want -- if you have more questions -- I don't want to monopolize the floor too long, but --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I mean, I think you're okay, Antoine, if you think there was something more that would be more helpful or more --
>>ANTOINE VERGNE: No, of course. So next steps maybe towards on that, we've been running 12 pilots on 4 continents. Oceania was missing, but we had Japan, Bangladesh, India, Uganda, Ghana, Russia, Germany, Italy, France, (saying country name) Brazil, and U.S. where we had little groups working already on the topic. And we tested the methodology, we tested the topics, and we are now gathering the results and we will be able to present them in two weeks' time from now. And then we will scale that to 100, 120 countries. So this is where we are now, and we are still waiting and happy to go on new collaborations with people that want to engage with us and want to work on that project. And our goal is to offer the results to the discussion at global and national level.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Antoine. Is there any questions? I said there was a specific request for that review. Any questions? Jutta?
>>JUTTA CROLL: I just have sort of an additional comment because, Antoine, you might find it useful to explain that you have already done this exercise on another topic and that it was very successful, so it's a little bit more tangible, what you are doing.
>>ANTOINE VERGNE: Thank you. Yes, indeed, in 2015 we did such a project in 80 countries of the world on the question of climate change, and in preparation of the Paris COP21. And it was a huge success. We had very good results coming from all around the world. And the interesting part is that citizens have a common -- for example, on climate, they had a very strong common vision on actions to be taken on climate which were beyond national positions and beyond classic blockades in the negotiations. It was interesting to have this interaction, to have this view and this voice of citizens brought into the negotiation. And we worked with UNFCCC, so the U.N. agency in charge of climate negotiation, and it was a very good experience and it motivated us to go on, thinking that this could be a tool for other governance arena, and Internet is the next one we wanted to tackle. And we're also working, for example, on autonomous driving, on migration, and on a new process on climates, so yes, it's more a tool, a new platform, to address global governance discussions with the head of citizens.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Antoine. Thank you, Jutta. That was very interesting, particularly if their positions went beyond those that the negotiators had brought into the room.
I don't see any other requests for the floor. Sort of slowly coming up on the end of the day. Let me just see if there are any kind of burning questions on day zero or anything the secretariat wants to add? As we all know, last year we did not have a day zero. Frankly because it was Sunday, it was Armistice Day, Paris Peace Forum, a big holiday in France, a whole host of reasons. But that really was an anomaly. And day zero will be back fully next year in Berlin. But let me see if there's anything the secretariat or Germany or any questions from the -- from the MAG?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I mean, I can just repeat that this year for day zero and with all the other sessions we're going to be starting on 4th of March, and it's going to end when the workshop process ends as well. So that will be the time period when people can apply for day zero slots. And just for those people who -- for the new MAG members and you may not be aware, so day zero will -- it's not just -- because there's been some confusion in the past years. There's the day zero high-level leaders meeting or the ministerial that goes on on day zero, but then there's also sessions like the GigaNet, et cetera. So these are sessions that do not quite fit into the main program of the IGF and people can apply so they can be day-long sessions, they can be one-hour long sessions and they apply to the secretariat and we review them, and as long as they fit somewhat within the IGF, we can give them a slot on day zero. And day zero, except for the high-level stuff, nothing is guaranteed. I mean, this is when we test all our networking equipment. We also test the webcasting and the remote participation to get everything correct for the first day of the IGF. So -- and that's why we are a little bit looser in giving those rooms, because they know that they're basically the guinea pigs, making sure everything is flowing smoothly for the main IGF. Yeah. If any questions, please, yeah.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Rudolf, you have the floor.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Yeah. Thank you, Chair. I just wanted to add on what Chengetai said, that the day zero is, in our understanding, of course, it's not yet the IGF. It's the day before the IGF. So there are a little bit different procedures and rules applying to this day than to the actual IGF. Notably, the organization does not so much go through the MAG but rather in close cooperation between the secretariat and the host country. That is very important for us. And, of course, we will have this high-level meeting as we -- as we -- as Daniela said yesterday. And we have enough space to accommodate also different actors, but there is a clear priority on this high-level event and the side events that go with it organized by the host country. I think I have to make it very clear at this point in time that this is the absolute priority for the day zero for the host country.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rudolf.
I have one quick question. Last year there was a brief comment that sort of questioned whether or not we should go till 6:00 on Friday or should we actually plan on having the IGF end at, you know, midday or something since participation drops off pretty significantly so that people can get home for the weekend. I don't know if that's something we need to consider just now, but it was a point that did come up in a couple of different discussions last year.
I mean any -- any views whether that's good or not, positive or not, jump in. Chengetai.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: This is just my personal view. It's really up to you guys, but I think that if we cut half a day off, then we also cut into the program, and people are there for the meeting. And Berlin is not a bad place. You know, you can spend the night, Saturday, do some touring or something. Tourism. Yes, I think we should take full advantage of the full program of those full days.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Maybe make it more fun on the last session so that people actually stay. I don't know; you get a sticker. You get a golden sticker at the end.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Maybe just two, few comments, because last year in Paris, I mean, I don't know if this was fun but I think it was a very interesting last session. I mean, the whole hall was full of people, so that motivated us to think that people stay until the end. And yes, plus, indeed, Berlin is a very attractive city, and I suggest to stay over the weekend. And I have already apologized to our U.S. colleagues for having chosen that time slot due to Thanksgiving, but the good idea I heard was you can stay over Thanksgiving and take your family to Germany. They, of course, will love Berlin as well.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's true. I've done my duty by mooting that. I will simply say that of course the last day last week was on a Wednesday. I wasn't invited, but I mean I feel like I have done my duty by bringing that forward.
So overall program structure, maybe we could talk a little bit about dynamic coalitions. And I don't want to put anybody on the spot, but I don't know if Jutta or even Markus would want to do just do another introduction of dynamic coalitions, the role they play here. And then of course with all of these things, whether it's dynamic coalitions, it's NRIs or it's BPF, the issue there, of course, is how do we continue to increase the integration and the collaboration between these various efforts.
So I'm -- Jutta, thank you.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Yes, okay. Markus and I had a short talk during the break and we agree there is nothing new we can bring forward to the table. But still, I can explain a little bit more in detail about the dynamic coalitions because I -- as I said on the first day, I think they show the breadth of the multistakeholderism and the issues and the topics we are dealing with, because the dynamic coalitions are open to everybody, and people engage a little bit more with the issues of Internet governance via the dynamic coalitions than those who only participate in the annual meetings. Because you have said before that there are some rules for dynamic coalitions, so they need to have at least three participants or members from three different stakeholder groups across the multistakeholder table, and they need to produce reports and also they need to send in some kind of -- it's not like they get their slot for in the program without doing anything compared to submitting a workshop proposal. Also the dynamic coalitions need to lay out what they have been doing during the year and what they attempt to achieve within the program of the meeting. So there are some requirements for the dynamic coalitions as well.
But to my opinion, and that's my personal view, is the real benefit of the dynamic coalitions is that they are open for any stakeholder, for any organization, and they bring in much more perspective than we usually get. And some of them are more active, some of them are less active over the year, but they all set a theme for their own work over the year, and they try to -- to focus on that and to have a -- have produced a report ready for the IGF, and then have their session.
And also, I repeat what I said before. We do think that the exercise we had last year with relating the work of the dynamic coalitions to the SDGs was very successful, and it was also a process for the dynamic coalitions to consider how much the work they are doing is related to the issues of the SDGs and also of Internet governance. So it was beneficial to both sides, I think. And the session that we had turned out very successful. We had a good participation from the private sector, better than was the year before. Still there were I think not only complaints, there were comments that need to be taken into consideration that dynamic coalitions, if it comes to a new addition of this thematic main session that was done together with the dynamic coalitions, the dynamic coalitions would need more space and more time to present their work so that people really understand what dynamic coalitions are doing, and then somehow can also maybe take part, become a member and continue to work with the dynamic coalitions.
That's from my side. Maybe, Markus, you want to add something?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Markus is saying no.
Just to be clear to everybody, I am not pulling these out just to fill up the rest of the hour. These were actual items from our agenda. And what we are doing is exactly what Jutta just did, which is sort of inform everybody on the work of the dynamic coalitions, where they kind of link to or interface with this room, and what the activities are. And I would encourage everybody to take some time, whether it's this or it's NRIs or BPFs, I mean, this is a part of the overall IGF ecosystem, and the activities are really important and they are important to the community, and it's a way of really extending the community's engagement in our activity. So that's why we support them, why we pay the attention to them, and why we work to always make sure we're trying to do everything we can to support their activities and also improve the -- you know, the integration and the collaboration between the two.
So with that said and nobody else looking to the floor, Anja is prepared to say a few words on the National Regional Youth IGF Initiative, also in that same category.
>>ANJA GENGO: Thank you for giving me the floor, but just very quickly because I think we gave an extensive overview about the nature of the NRIs during the open consultation, so probably for the MAG the most relevant is the integration of the NRIs into the program.
Since 2016, since the IGF in Mexico, upon the request of the NRIs, they were -- and approval of the MAG, they were hosting a main session. The topic for the main session is always developed in a bottom-up manner across the NRIs and it's a process that goes throughout the year. Very complex given the fact that usually the substantive issue that the NRIs are discussing on their meetings are different across regions, sometimes even across countries.
Last year, there was a main session, as you know, organized on the topic of the evolution of Internet governance with a focus on the multistakeholder approach. Compared to the previous two IGFs in Geneva and Guadalajara, this IGF was a bit different only because the MAG and the NRIs collaborated together to organize this main session.
What was very practical and showed to be very effective is that many of the NRIs are represented on the MAG. So in general, we ended up with having the MAG members that were very much familiar with the working modalities of the NRIs, and the whole session was developed in line with those.
Aside of the main session, last year the MAG -- or the IGF secretariat, actually, also had a say there, and decided that the NRIs should org five collaborative sessions. These collaborative sessions were piloted in the IGF 2017 at the request of a network to come to the meeting and network among themself on a topic of mutual interest and have those issues brought to the global IGF.
I think those sessions were quite successful. Probably the most important indicator is the presence of the community at those sessions, but also the reflections that the IGF secretariat received during the taking stock process of the IGF 2017.
Last year, in Paris, there were Sol challenges, and the community is aware of that, with two out of five of those sessions given the fact that some of the speakers didn't manage to, for example, arrive in Paris in time. There were some time changes in the schedule so unfortunately that also had a negative effect. But that happened with two collaborative sessions. The other three sessions were quite successful.
And aside of those sessions, the NRIs do hold these so-called NRI coordination session. That is a traditional open work meeting between the community, between the colleagues from UNDESA, IGF secretariat, and the MAG chair and the MAG members, and of course the present on-site and online NRIs. And also, aside from that integration in the program, we do work on -- we try to actually support the processes on local levels respecting, of course, the autonomy of the NRIs by participating at their meetings, mostly online; bringing experience, knowledge, expertise where the secretariat can, even linking to the MAG members that are expert on particular issues that are needed for certain communities. And the plan is to continue working on developing publications such as, for example, the NRI toolkit that was developed in 2016 and it hopefully will be of use for the wider IGF ecosystem.
So that would be all from me. Thank you. If you have any questions, I'm here.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Anja. Another excellent report out from the NRIs.
Any comments or questions for Anja?
Anything else any of the NRIs would like to add?
Not seeing any, I understand there may have been a request from the floor to add something in dynamic coalitions. So I'm going to half-step back. Eleonora.
>>ELEONORA MAZZUCCHI: No, I just wanted to add very quickly to what Jutta said, because this is something that you -- you don't really get unless you have the secretariat vantage point, which is that, you know, we have really been seeing DCs work a lot more cross-sectorally, too, and that there has been a lot more collaboration between DCs and BPFs. The DC on IoT was -- really I think took an active role in the new BPF this year. We see the BPF on gender work a lot with the DC on gender, and also one of the DCs is very active in the CENB initiative. So just to say that DCs don't just work in silos. They do really work across the IGF.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. That's a critical point, Eleonora. It's a good segue, in fact, to another point which is throughout all of this, we have been trying to keep in front of us ways that we can actually integrate the intersessional work and those programs with the workshop activities, too. So I think that's something we need to continue tracking and continue sort of exploring as we go forward. I don't know that there's anything more useful we can do with that here just now.
The only other major activity we've had that we haven't covered is we had the Major Policy Initiative Programme, which is called Connecting and Enabling the Next Billions in which we had four phases, four years' worth of that program. It was initially started in response to calls for kind of some more tangible outputs, more concrete outputs. So as was covered earlier -- Monday, I guess, in the open community consultation by Raquel, they have completed the work. I think they did a lot of really excellent work over the course of the four years. They are not recommending a fifth phase.
There's certainly no obligation, per se, for us to fill that slot. I think one of the things that's interesting about a major intersessional policy initiative is that that is work that is driven by the MAG. So if the MAG thought there was a substantive policy issue that could be addressed, it's just up to us to define it, define some work associated with it, and then -- and then work it, basically.
So I haven't heard any requests coming forward yet. A more appropriate time to revisit maybe whether or not there's some useful work to be done there is after we actually look at these themes and the narratives, we see what's coming in from the work. Maybe there's some things we could build on or we could add to or that would be particularly useful. So I just -- I'll just park that there as a -- you know, as a slot.
I think we do have more outputs now coming out of other areas, so maybe that's not quite so critical to have that as a show piece project. But for years it was a show piece project that actually said the IGF is capable of driving processes on a global level that are important, that do deliver concrete, tangible, useful reports. As I said, we have a few more examples of that now.
But, Ben, you have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you, Lynn. On that question of whether resources are put towards another intersessional workstream, I'd like to link back to ideas that Timea and I have put forward, but I think others, about the need to kind of think about communications work. And rather than hiring a consultant to support a fifth intersessional workstream, we could hire a consultant to support the secretariat and work with them on taking on board lots of comments that have been received through MAG working groups and MAG discussions over the last year or two on how to do marketing and outreach and dissemination and maybe support for looking at the website, whatever that is. So that might be a different way of using those resources, especially as no one is calling -- has come forward with a proposal for a replacement for the CENB as a kind of policy supported workstream.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, I mean that's a good -- a good suggestion. And at the same time, it kind of leads me to say -- which is something Chengetai was just whispering as well, it's not as though we have money to burn, so we need to be thoughtful about everything we're doing here. And one of the things we heard earlier this week, of course, without putting too fine a cut on it, is if we look at the money the trust fund -- again, the trust fund supports the secretariat, the intersessional activities and things like consultants for the BPF. If we look at the resources, the funds, the money that are in the IGF trust fund at the moment and we look at what's committed at the moment for the course of the year, the sum is pretty substantial in terms of the good contributions from the Dutch government and some increases from some others. Unless we build up from that, at the end of the year the trust fund is at zero. Every year for the last few years now we've been eating into the reserves, you know, kind of minimally, but that's the process at the moment. Cash on hand, cash committed, looking at those people that are expenses that are actually foreseen. December 31st, 2019, close to zero.
So we need to as a priority -- and I have list of other things we need to pick up here as the MAG. As a priority, we need to find a way to increase the donations to the IGF trust fund. And one of the proposals, and we had said we would take up the working group activities at one of our very next MAG meetings only because we had such a full agenda here today. One of the proposals of the working group on fund-raising is the primary task is fund-raising. We did a lot of work over the last year to streamline some processes, clean some things, get some facts, clean up the website, promote things a little bit differently. Now it's time to really kind of identify probably somewhere in the neighborhood of, you know, 20 organizations or something that we think should be partners, obviously have the means to partner and make a contribution, and we go work to bring them in. Nothing more, nothing less.
So that will be some activity that certainly -- and this is part of the problem, in terms of where this responsibility has fallen in the past. I think it was kind of assumed it was a little bit of responsibility of the secretariat, a little bit of the MAG, a little bit of the MAG chair, which meant kind of a little bit of everybody usually translates to nobody. So we're trying to pick that up and clean those processes up. We will be asking the MAG to look around your contacts. Think about who you come across in an organization that would have a really valuable experience in participating in the IGF and engaging in the IGF. And then let's figure out what that value proposition and what that intersect might be. And send in notes. Maybe we set up a generic email address or something so that it goes to the secretariat. Maybe DESA and myself, and we'll pick it up and follow-up. So we can help you. We're not asking everybody to be salespeople and sales closers and things, but use your contacts. And if you can speak passionately to the IGF and the value and the importance, that's the first thing is actually getting the first phone call and the door opens. So that's one of the critical areas for us.
We have to come back on outputs as well. And I think when we actually look through the workshop review and evaluation process, we should also keep into mind -- keep in mind what's the advice we want to give the workshop proposers as they think about their workshops with respect to this output production. This isn't just about having a workshop and sending in a couple of paragraph report afterwards. So I think we should keep that in mind as we roll through those processes as well.
And then there's a lot of other work that we had started last year on outputs and pretty, you know, significant improvements. Clearly more to do. I think that's another major piece of work for us. We obviously had main sessions and ultimately main session guidelines, but I think that discussion is much better served after the narratives and probably at the April meeting. And the only other major item I have in front of us that we didn't capture here that had come into the meeting was the proposal from the World Economic Forum which was looking for several suggestions of where we might actually increase the collaboration, the cooperation between their efforts and ours. And we can pick that up at -- on another call. It was everything from kind of very lightweight, just sharing more frequently the sort of activities in their networks, the activities in our networks, and making sure respective networks were available and those people that wanted to participate could. And then, of course, you know, it goes all the way through, you know, possibly even some more collaborative projects. Again, the notion being that our networks are largely complementary in terms of who the bulk of their, you know, participants and network members are and who our network members are.
Those are the -- the things that I've seen that's still open. We'll be working with the secretariat to -- we'll be trying to -- we obviously have the MAG meetings actually scheduled out and time blocked that's up on the website. We try and actually identify the two or three major items we want to address at each one of those MAG meetings on the site as well. So the people know what's coming up ahead of time and there's some preparation. We will take a look at those meetings, these activities, and work to schedule those big reviews and pieces of work out between now and April.
I'm -- I think I'm close to being done here. At which point I would turn and first ask the secretariat if there's anything else they'd want to comment on and then obviously DESA and Germany as well, if there's any kind of final remarks or final thoughts. But let me turn to Chengetai first and see if there's anything.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Nothing from me. I will just turn over to the line starting from Wai-Min and ending at Anja, if they have anything to add. No. Wai-Min, please.
>>WAI-MIN KWOK: I have just a couple of points, but I didn't need to really mention. One is about donors and also another part is on communication, but I think this has been discussed quite a bit in the last hour or so. I'd just like to take this opportunity to really to congratulation this 2019 MAG convening for the first time. Welcoming all the first-time MAG members for contribution, returning members, and I think this has been a very productive discussion led by Lynn. It was outstanding. So I guess all of you deserve a round of applause to yourself.
[ Applause ]
And also, as the -- as a staff member, allow me, I'd just like to say that continue to think about how we can respond to the SG recommendations, what is meant by multi-disciplinary, shared language, shared reference, reaching beyond the usual suspect. I think all this has been reiterated these past few days, but I really invite the MAG to think about bold and be just innovative, visible improvement. Not -- notwithstanding there are a lot of improvement in the past year, but how to make it leaps and bounds. So I just had to compliment at this point. Thank you, Lynn.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Wai-Min. Was there anything else from anyone else in the secretariat? No? Luis, we have to include you as well.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I was looking this way, not that way. Anything? No.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Daniela.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you, Lynn. Just very briefly, I wanted to say thank you to all of you. That was a lot of very rich and very good input for us. Thank you also for the support we got as host country, and thank you to the secretariat and especially to Lynn who guided us in such efficient and very well way through the three-day meeting, even though she was recovering from the flu. Thank you very much, Lynn.
[ Applause ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I don't know about guiding us. More one trying to interpret. I want to thank everybody very much for the participation. Obviously it's much easier when people come in and contribute their ideas.
Normally we would have -- and I want to apologize. Normally we would try and organize kind of an informal get-together one night for drinks or pizza or something and Ariano (phonetic) or -- and I just didn't have it in me the last few days to organize anything like that at all. I think, you know, maybe if we can look forward to try and do something like that when we're all together, I think it's a good opportunity for everybody to meet each other in a less formal situation and build some relationships and partnerships. But I just want to -- I just notice it feels a little -- I wouldn't say sterile necessarily but it kind of feels like I came to the meeting and I went, and that's not really my normal style so much. So just really appreciate everybody hanging in and hanging in with the process. I'm sure sometimes it's not at all clear where the hell we're going or how it's going to close. This may be the first time we've actually finished a meeting where we've actually covered the bulk of the agenda, though. So either we're getting more efficient or we're getting better at scheduling the agendas.
Again, just thank you all very, very much. Thank you, Daniela. Thank you, Rudolf, as well. I was there in November -- December for the Freedom Online Conference and met with Rudolf and Daniela, and they have full support of all the ministries there as well. We had several meetings, and there were full attendance. We also had a meeting with the steering committee, that's probably not the right name, those people that are responsible for the German NRI as well, German IGF. So there's fantastic support across the community, whether that's through government or through -- and I'm sure it's going to be really a tremendous, tremendous IGF. This would be one where Nitin would be able to say it was very successful, not just successful. So thank you very much. I want to thank the scribes who aren't there. I keep looking up. Again, you know, your service is just essential to all of us really tracking this process and certainly to facilitating participation from those that are online or those that want to simply follow it over the coming days or weeks. And to the auto technician as well. Chengetai said I may have gotten everybody into trouble last night by staying 20 minutes late, so if so, apologies, but thank you all for staying. And I guess we now have the luxury of returning five minutes to you. So thank you very much. Safe travels home, everybody.
[ Applause ]