The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the virtual Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), from 2 to 17 November 2020. 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 afternoon, good morning, good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for joining us. This is the open mic session for the IGF 2020. I hope you all had a good rest after the many interesting discussions that we had over the past 12 days last week. Just a quick reminder that this meeting is being recorded. There is interpretation. I hope you all can see the interpretation button down below. Also that there is a transcript that you can follow.
And, of course, we are also broadcasting it. Thank you. The order of events are as follows is that the Chair, Anriette, and I will just make our introductions and then I will just give a, just a quick summary from the Secretariat just about the statistics.
And then we will go over to the open mic where you can all make comments, and we will explain to you what we are looking for, which is basically what worked well, what didn't work so well, and what do you think we should keep for next year. And something you think we should do differently or something completely new you think we should do for next year, because what we are doing now is that we are always in a continual improvement process.
So please tell us, and we are very, very interested more in what do you think that we can do better and improve better taking into consideration, of course, the resource constraints that everybody has. So with that, let me just give the floor over to the Chair of the MAG Anriette just to say a true words.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Chengetai. I hope my virtual background is working today. Just thank you very much to everyone for joining us today, but really what I want to do is to thank you for your participation in the IGF.
It was very challenging to organize a virtual IGF, and it was in fact quite an intimidating task, the MAG certainly worked extremely hard and struggled with it, but I think for the MAG, the priority was that this was not just an online event, but that it was an event that maximized the potential of the online medium for more inclusion.
It's now up to you to tell us whether we succeeded or not. And but I really do want to thank the MAG enormously, the Secretariat for doing a phenomenal piece of work, and the UN system for supporting it, but most of all yourselves, the people that organized sessions, that participated in sessions because if you were not willing to meet the challenge with us, we would not have had an access fell Forum.
So looking forward to your critical and constructive, but please don't hold back feedback. Back to you, Chengetai.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Anriette and I second everything that Anriette has said. Thank you very much for the participants, for the MAG, and for everybody in the UN system and for our volunteers and for the interpreters and the transcribers as well.
Thank you. I think everything worked together very well, much, much better than expected, and we are quite happy with the results and we are looking for as Anriette says ways of improving so please don't hold back, we are interested in how we can push this forward. Now, just before we start the open segment, I will just give to you just some very quick statistics. As you know, for the IGF participation we had as far as the stakeholder groups is concerned, 19%, I mean, Government took up 17%, intergovernmental organisations took up 9%, civil society 40%, technical community 15%, and the private sector was 19%.
I'm quite happy with these statistics. There was, I think we had a really big increase in the Government, the intergovernmental organisations as well as the private sector. This is just comparing with the other, the proportion of stakeholders that took part in the previous IGFs. I don't know whether it was because of the online aspect of it and there was no need to travel, but I think that was very good.
And we did hear those voices as far as I was concerned that we did have those voices, and if I shift over, so the total registered participants was 6,048. These are not the final figures, but these are the figures that we took over the weekend.
And as you can see, you do have those figures, Government 1,069, intergovernmental 570, civil society 2,444, technical community 933, and the private sector 1,132 people who registered, and they said that they were from the private sector.
And these are registered participants, but please do recall that you could also take part or listen in through our YouTube UNTV and Facebook channels as well without actually having to register. As far as the distribution of participants went, as usual, I think most of the participants did come from WEOG, but we did have as you can see Brazil has a very strong presence as far as South America is concerned. In Africa, the highest percentage did come from Nigeria, and then Europe it was the U.K., Germany and Poland.
And I think that this is actually for obvious reasons because next year is going to be in Poland. And the darker area of the map is where more participants came from. We still do have to do a lot of work, it seems because, for instance, we did not have people coming from Tanzania for some reason, so that requires some research, Angola, and I think as well North Korea was one place, but I think that speaks for itself.
And let me just see if there is any other country I want to mention as such. Djibouti beauty, we don't have people from there. So what we are going to do as a Secretariat is we are going to look at those numbers, where there is very small numbers and where we think that the numbers can improve, and where there is no numbers as well over the next year we are going to try and just take a look at that, and see how we can improve that level of participation coming from those areas so to speak.
I'm sorry, I just found where the countries were. So, yes, Djibouti, Guyana, Laos, Tanzania for some reason, and the small island developing states. We don't have all of them ‑‑ we had quite a lot of them, but I think more work can be done do see how we can get those people on, because they are all on the Internet.
Another quick statistic if we want to look at them, we add I total of 295 events, 235 were webinars, and 60 sessions were the regular meetings. We had 20,929 connections to sessions. So we just throw that, so that's individuals going into sessions. So if one individual went into three sessions, that would be counted three times. We just put that there because this is also a figure that people use to benchmark the participation in their meetings.
We had over 1 million minutes broadcast and using our schedule where you had the ability to reach out to people who were in the same session, we had 250 networking emails launched from the schedule so that that is people trying to get into contact with other people. So that's an indication that even though we were online, people still used the IGF to get in touch with new people, and which is part of the reason why we do have the IGF trying to break down those barriers and getting people connected and talking to each other.
Top events according to participation, so the top event ‑‑ now, these numbers are just using the Zoom statistics. We have not added on YouTube and the UNTV statistics, and Facebook statistics. So the top event was the Opening Session, and this was together with the main session on environment.
Unfortunately we had them in one session so we couldn't really separate them, but that was the top event. This was tied with the high level leader for environment and also the closing session. So we had the two tied as well. And the third one which was tied third, there were three tied for first place was the IGF 2020 main session on national and regional initiatives.
And then, of course, we had the parliamentary round table, main session on trust was the next most popular, and then the networking breakout room, let's tour the IGF Village, so that's an indication that the IGF Village is a popular venue and people are actually interested in that.
And then we had the youth Summit and main session on data and then the session that we had on Ms. Marilyn Cade's passing. Looking at the UNTV statistics, you can see here that we had quite a high number of views coming from the first thing is the high level leader strike on security which had 1,193 views and the second is the main session on trust, 1,155 followed by the parliamentary session.
So, of course, this is also quite interesting data that we are looking at. And the fourth is the Dynamic Coalition session, the main session that we had. And I think those are very interesting figures just to show that the Dynamic Coalitions as well, very interesting session types that people are interested in.
Going from there, I would just like to just point people to the outputs. Now, we have the outputs on our IGF website, and if you go to the IGF website, I just wanted to sort of, because for some reason some people can't find them, but if you go to the bottom of the news and we will also put a link there in the main thing, and this link will be active until we switch the website over which we are going to be switching it to focus on 2021. We are going to switch that over at the beginning of January.
So, yes, IGF 2020 outputs right there. And I don't know if you can see it properly, but you can go to the website, and somebody from the Secretariat, please put the link into the chat for everybody to see. So we have the outputs that are official outputs that are produced by the UN Secretariat, and so these are draft, so the draft summary, the Chair's draft summary, and we have the draft messages on data, environment, inclusion and trust.
We have the phase one summary report, and also the parliamentary round table output document, and the youth Summit draft messages. We also do have the UN press releases for those people who are interested in those, and also the remarks by the President of the General Assembly, and the UN Secretary‑General and, of course, the closing by the UNDESA's Undersecretary General.
There is the social media links and the Articles from our intersessional work. Another thing I just want to stress and we are going to continue stressing this throughout the year as well is that we do do a lot of intersessional work. There was some comments during the meeting that the IGF shouldn't only be one yearly event.
Yes, it definitely should not be a one yearly event, and we do have quite a lot of intersessional work. This includes Best Practice Forums, the dynamic coalitions, which you can find the reports on this output page.
I also want to just mention there is quite a few MAG Working Groups which are also very important, and these aren't just confined to MAG members. People who think that they have something to contribute can also join these MAG Working Groups. As you know, the one of the underlying philosophies of the IGF is openness and inclusiveness.
And then we also have participant outputs so that key takeaways from the session reports and the voluntary commitments that we had as well, we also collected those that we have identified, and transcripts from the 2020 transcripts. So everything is there.
YouTube videos, we had quite a lot of inquiries of where can you find the videos. There is the YouTube IGF channel where you can find all of the videos and on Facebook you can find the main session videos and also the high level session videos, and that is also the same goes for the UNTV if you go to the UNTV website, you can also find those.
And then there are also other outputs like, for instance, for the Geneva Internet Platform, which is produced by the DiploFoundation. So they have also done their version of daily reports, analyses and session summaries as well. So you can go to their website and see those. So those are quite interesting as well.
But everything is here from the official to let me call them allied outputs that's well are there. The final thing I would just like to mention is that there is the deadline of the first of December, which is the deadline for all of the session reports, and this year, which is new, we have given a chance for the community to comment on session reports and also comment on any of the outputs that I just showed you on this page.
So, please, you are welcome to go to that page and if you want to send us an email to the IGF Secretariat, and we will review your input, and because we do want the reports to also be a reflection of the community and if you feel that we, I don't know, misrepresented something or we missed something, please let us know.
As far as the session reports for the session organizers are concerned, if you have a comment on those, please send it to the IGF Secretariat as well, and we will look at it, and we will share it with the session organizers as well. So we will also give them a chance to update their records or change it depending on what that comment is.
We do hope to have the final outputs by the end, well, I will just say we will have it by the end of December, and then that's when we will start distributing it to our, to the community, to our colleagues in, for instance, the Council of Europe, OECD and through various UN also organisations such as UNESCO who are our partners as well.
So I think that's all I have to say. Let me just ask Anriette quickly if she has any comments on this section.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: There was a question in the chat, how do these participation statistics compare with previous face to face IGFs? So that was one question.
There was also a further question on the links between national, regional and youth IGF initiatives and the global IGF, whether those are strong and visible?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: How do the statistics compare? From my reading, these statistics and the participation that we have had are very good compared to face‑to‑face statistics. We are not just, as I said, you look at the, we have got the Zoom statistics and then you have to add onto the UNTV statistics and Facebook and YouTube statistics. There are in some instances some people who do join the Zoom and also look at Facebook or also look at UNTV or YouTube.
We are aware of that, and we do take that into consideration, and we do note that exactly like right now I am noting that, but, of course, I think far more just listen to one particular channel to see what's going on and to take part. So I do think that participation wise, we had a greater number of participants from more countries this year than we had when we just had the regular face‑to‑face meeting.
So this underlines the value that even if we do have a face‑to‑face meeting, we should not neglect what we are doing with the online participants. We should put as much resources as we can to involve and integrate the online participants into the face‑to‑face as well. So that's the answer to the first question. As far as the national and regional initiatives are concerned, I would, I think our communication with the national and regional initiatives is very good.
We do have national and regional focal point whom you all know, Anja, and she is also doing very great work communicating with the national and regional initiatives. We do understand that the national and regional initiatives are independent initiatives and we do work together with them. They do not work for us, but we do work together with them.
And but as far as I have observed and as far as I have seen, the collaboration that we have with them is very good, and we hope to strengthen it as we go along.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks Chengetai, I will add to that that I think in terms of the content of this year's IGF, the NRIs were more visible than ever before because they organize the various sessions on particular topics as well as the main session.
So for me and from my perspective, I think we have really reached a benchmark in terms of NRI participation, and that we just need to build on that. We never need to go back. So Chengetai, we have hands. I'm going to stop reading everything in the chat because we want to hear people. We have a hand from Jutta Croll, and then Vint Cerf and Amirhossein, but others please start adding your hands.
>> JUTTA CROLL: Thank you very much, Anriette, for giving me the floor and thank you to Chengetai for presenting these statistics for the virtual statics.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Introduce yourself,.
>> JUTTA CROLL: I'm a MAG member in my third year to outgoing representing civil society and I'm from Germany.
Here I'm speaking also in my capacity as the co‑facilitator for the Dynamic Coalitions together with Markus Kummer, and I was very glad to see the fantastic statistics for the, not only the participation, but for the audience on the YouTube channel for the main session.
We have 22 Dynamic Coalitions, most of them have taken part in the carrying out of the Dynamic Coalition main session, only those who have been just settled, just started their work have not been engaged, and what I would like to underline is a message from the debrief session of the Dynamic Coalition that we had on Monday this week.
I would like to underline how important the intersessional work of Dynamic Coalitions is. What we can see also in the messages that were produced in the main session that was collaboratively prepared by the Dynamic Coalitions, they have not only a good output of their work, but also a very good outreach into the various communities because Dynamic Coalitions are addressing such a broad range of issues related to Internet Governance.
We have suggested to produce a study on the work of the Dynamic Coalitions that has been done so far during the last 15 years, but also with a future‑oriented perspective in regard of the IGF plus model where Dynamic Coalitions and those who are working within Dynamic Coalitions see the important role that Dynamic Coalitions can play.
Also with that dynamic growth of the number of Dynamic Coalitions, we see how huge the potential is to pick up on new developments in regard of Internet Governance. We see that also in the, I think it's the news of the youngest Dynamic Coalition that came up that is dealing with environmental issues and data in regard of environmental issues.
So that is somehow an off string of the environment track that we had for the first year at this year's IGF. And the work of the Dynamic Coalitions is as supported as the work of the national and regional initiatives.
Thank you so much for listening.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, Jutta. Chengetai. I have noted the speaker queue. I will carry on sharing for a bit now, and then you can take over.
>> VINT CERF: Thank you very much, I was clicking the unmute button and I got this nasty message saying you are not allowed to unmute yourself, so thank you for opening up. I'm Vint Cerf. I'm Google's Chief Internet Evangelist and a long‑time participant in the IGF. Chengetai and others and the Secretariat, I am so super impressed by the way in which you used IT especially the Zoom mechanism, particularly surprise for me was the ability to deal with interpretation.
I was really immensely pleased to see that. But the other thing that impressed me was the way in which the online system was organized so that we could find each other, we could message each other, we could sign up for sessions. This is a tour de force piece of good work, and I wondered whether that was all generated internally or whether you had found somebody, you know, in the world to go and build the system that we use, but it was tremendously useful.
I just wonder if it's available for others who want to organize events that would benefit from similar kinds of mechanisms. So that's one thing, hats off, beautiful piece of work.
The second, Chengetai in particular, I would urge you to make it known what the support for the Secretariat, what support is needed for the Secretariat financially especially so that we can have a target to shoot for.
I'm sure that it's always understaffed, but whatever it was that you were able to do, you carried off just an enormously successful event in an online mode.
Last point is that I'm, I am skeptical of our ability to do as well with a mixed in person and online activity because the people who are online are less visible somehow and they often get neglected no matter how hard we try to even things out. So I'm almost tempted to say that we might do better sticking with this online environment where participation is so much easier in not only avoiding travel, but also simply being able to engage.
I hate to say that, because I love to see everybody face to face. I think the cultural experience of being in different parts of the world is extremely important, but in terms of getting work done, this was a bang up job. That's all I have to say. Thanks so much for letting me take the floor.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks a lot, Vint Cerf. I can share with you that the MAG at the moment is thinking of hybrid model of some kind. I think you really have a very legitimate point. So, yes, that will be taken into account. Chengetai, did you want to respond to Vint as well?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. Thank you very much, Vint, you have been very supportive of the IGF and the IGF Secretariat since inception, since 2006, so we really do appreciate that. And, yes, as far as the setup was concerned and is concerned, the technical aspect, most of it is basically in‑house and I would like to thank our technical person, Luis Bobo for that, for the schedule and stuff like that, and I would also like to shank Serena as well who did the landing page and those aspects.
So the two of them really did great work on those two aspects of the page. And not just so that I will not forget other people, but I would also like to thank other people in the Secretariat who, you know, for the text, for the writing, the consultants, and Wim as well because it is a team that actually works on all of those aspects of the website. And we are very happy to talk to anybody who is interested to see what we have done and how we have done it.
We can always have a Zoom call and just chat. This as well was very useful for us because we did have a talk with ICANN technical group. We had a talk with ISOC. We had a call with APNIC. We had a call with APrIGF as well. And they told us how it worked and what didn't work so well and what we should avoid and what we should put more resources to and what we can put less resources to. So I would like to also thank all of those people.
And we offer the same from other people since we learn from each other.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Next we have Amirhossein and then Wout.
>> AMIRHOSSEIN: Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Hello, everyone. Excellencies and dear colleagues. I would like to thank IGF, the MAG ‑‑
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Amir, remember to introduce yourself.
>> AMIRHOSSEIN: I'm Amirhossein. I thank the IGF and the MAG for organising a successful virtual IGF. I would like to discuss an issue. First is the digital sanctions against some nations and second is the issue of keeping Internet as a peaceful and civil environment.
As an IGF participant, we are not ‑‑ one front is fighting with COVID‑19, the other is fighting with digital sanctions. As you all know, the effect of unilateral digital sanctions on some nations have become more intensive and more destructive, especially during COVID‑19 pandemic and other emergencies. These sanctions on investments in IT infrastructure, digital sanctions on technology, digital resources like sanctions on access are key barriers to achieving national development goals using ICT. Islamic Republic of Iran sector are suffering from primary and secondary sanctions. The question here is what the UN family and UN IGF community can and should do with this wider issue.
The second issue is that the physical nature of the Internet is very wide open. We shouldn't allow someone to come to the Internet as a global citizen. Discord and development oriented nature ever Internet, we all have. How we put global digital economy on a stable platform that has become a global battlefield.
My suggestions are when you establish the Committee in the United Nations to develop international trade on data, governance, cybercrime, and so on. Based on that, we can establish organisations ‑‑ hello, can you hear me?
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: We are actually struggling to hear you. We are struggling to hear you. So I think you should type your comments in the chat. I think we caught a little bit, but please ‑‑
>> My suggestions are we need to establish the Committee of peaceful cyberspace in the United Nations and develop international treaty on data governance, security and cybercrime, so on. Based on that we can establish equal alike, we need an organisation that cover all layers of Internet just like we had the United Nations Convention on the law of the sea and outer space.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: That sounds like a topic for a session at the IGF, so I think that's ‑‑ and just to give everyone, to remind everyone, today we are talking about the IGF. We are getting feedback on the 2020 IGF. But this suggestion that we have just heard coming from our colleague from Islamic Republic of Iran, suggestions for the content of the IGF, we will put out a call for the 2021 IGF. And then you will have an opportunity to make, again, this kind of recommendation for topics that you think should be discussed at the IGF.
So I'm afraid ‑‑
>> Could you please let me tell my last word.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Go ahead.
>> Thank you. We need international civilian cyberspace organisation under UN auspices, ICCO. To solve the accumulated problems of Internet Governance, we need to hold United Nations charter without veto, especially for cyberspace, we need United Nations digital charter for promoting peace, and the just development and protection of digital constitutional rights and responsibility rhythms in balance with public interest including public safety, security.
We need rules, norms and responsible behavior on global digital platforms as well as Government. We hope next IGF will pay attention to this important issues and suggestions. Many thanks for giving me this opportunity to rise this vital issue. Thank you very much, Anriette.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks a lot for your participation. And you were a very active participant. I just put in the chat, I know it's not part of today's topic, but those recommendations and comments you made can also go into the open‑ended working process at the UN where there is a Working Group that's looking at this.
Next we have Wout.
>> WOUT DE NATRIS: Yes, my name is Wout, I'm on the Internet Governance Council from the Netherlands and current coordinator for Dynamic Coalition for Standards, Security and Safety.
I think the first word has to be that it was really a wonderful job that I have been participating in the past two weeks in the IGF. So all of the congratulations to everybody involved in making that happen.
Concerning the comments made on the hybrid sort of Conference, I think that there are options to actually work on that, and it's something, perhaps, that could be looked into, because now we have very active debates in the chat and then feeding into the session if the leadership of the session paid attention. That is where things sometimes went wrong.
There was a loaded panel and before anybody could comment, then the session was already over. So that would be something to really look into because if there are six or ten or even twelve people in the panel in 90 minutes, sometimes even an hour, how can you ever have a debate or an online participation?
And that is not different from what happens in a room at the IGF. So if we want to keep the hybrid thing in the foot tur if we are lucky enough to get together next year, then we will have to do with really strong remote moderator and on site moderator that is willing to listen.
So perhaps faces have to be on the screen just like they are now in front of you so that people are viewed and that makes them more equal as well. So, in other words, there is where we have to think of.
And next to that is on the sessions themselves. Perhaps the way that they are organized have to be looked at more seriously as well because that invites the online participation if at the outset it's clear it's going to be hybrid and not just the room.
So the next suggestion would be to improvement already mentioned, and I won't keep repeating it, but we have had so many sessions on the topic of COVID and something with the Internet. And basically they sort of discussed the same topic. So if we are looking for some sort of a tangible outcome, then that tangible outcome will have to become more focused on, because next year, whatever the main topic will be, if we have ten sessions on that, why not ask them what is your ideal outcome.
And if that aligns, it means that we will work towards answers to that ideal outcome, and then you accelerate the process, perhaps, in the way of thinking or suggestions, and then the IGF will become a catalyst of that idea and not just the same person speaking the same matches in other session.
Finally, one sentence, you have made the columnist last week as IGF and I think that's the second time I read it anywhere, and that was on the Biden administration need to come up with new forms of cooperation. And Internet Governance Forum was mentioned in one of the organisations where that could actually happen. So perhaps that is something to keep a strong eye on, perhaps have that as a main session next year, international cooperation of some sort, and make sure that all administrations and associations are invited to participate in it. And that will make sure that visibility of the IGF definitely rise in a very strong way.
The fact that it was mentioned in The Economist is something to celebrate a little bit, I think. So thank you.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Wout, indeed, that is something to celebrate. Thanks for all of your contributions. I'm going to move quickly now, because we have lots of people who want to contribute. Please keep your intervention to under a minute, everyone. Next we have Siva.
>> SIVASUBRAMANIAN MUTHUSAMY: I take part in the Dynamic Coalition encore Internet values, and the Dynamic Coalition encore Internet values as a participant of the DC coordination group, I would like to add to the remarks by Jutta that Dynamic Coalitions are a very, very important constituent of the IGF and that we contribute to the work of IGF plus and it would be nice if we can have a formal role at all works concerning IGF plus, including the High Level Forum that is convened by the Secretary‑General from time to time.
And this I'm stating more as a personal opinion. Thank you.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks a lot, Siva.
Next we have Sylvia.
>> SYLVIA CADENA: Thank you Anriette, I hope you can hear me. I'm Sylvia Cadena. I work for the APNIC Foundation, I'm an outgoing MAG member from the technical community and I'm joining from Brisbane, Australia, as an outgoing member of the MAG, I would like to comment the IGF Secretariat, UNDESA and all of the people that made the virtual IGF possible and congratulate you for your entire leadership, and without your commitment to the multi‑stakeholder approach, diversity and an action‑oriented dialogue, I don't think we haven't received so many positive comments from people.
So thank you, thank you very much. And I'm truly honoured to have served on the MAG under your leadership, and I want to thank my colleagues on the MAG for their commitment and hard work and really, truly going to miss it.
There are many things to highlight for this year. I would like to mention the crafting of the program across the themes of the data, environment, inclusion trust, and the clear links between the thematic tracks in the main session the MAG members so carefully crafted and organized and how useful the guide structure this year was to navigate the themes and the sessions and the intersessional work.
Those connections, and then the link to the outcomes that were also so carefully crafted and organized. In terms, I know that there is always room for improvement, and I know that it's very possible that virtual meetings or some sort of hybrid as has been discussed may be on the cards. So I would like to make three recommendations.
To encourage the MAG to consider mechanisms to strengthen the environmental track in all of the intersessional work linked to it, it was a new track with very reduced number of sessions, but it is incredible that it was one of the most well attended as per the statistics Chengetai mentioned, and that shows the interest from the community and I think the IGF should continue to listen to the community through the consultation process and evaluation of issues to select the themes of the thematic tracks.
The second point would be that if the need for a virtual IGF arises again, it will be really important to expand the hours to get participation from the Asia‑Pacific region and expand transcription and interpretation services including sign language as the session organized by accessibility does as much as possible to facilitate access to information, as well to explore alternatives to have more speakers participating remotely. And.
My final recommendation is that we really should as a community led by the Secretariat put together some sort of open letter or review document to the Conference, the teleconferencing platforms that are servicing the community in these trying times to let them know what we have learned and what our needs are in terms of technology.
A lot of the things that people have described, the challenges for the IGF participation on Zoom and things like that are not actually something that was unique to the IGF. It's how that technology is set up and designed and it's not that easy to circumvent. So I really think that Zoom and Webex and all of the others that, working in the space will benefit in the same as us, the same way we approach Governments to show policies, discussions, recommendations for product improvements will be very welcome, and I really encourage the Secretariat to move the IGF further. Thank you very much, Anriette and thanks, everyone.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Sylvia, and thank you for your contribution to the MAG. It was immense. You will be missed.
Other MAG members too, but I'm talking to you right now.
Next we have Valeria Betancourt.
>> VALERIA BETANCOURT: Thank you, everyone, I hope you can hear me and thank you everyone, let me start by congratulating everyone who has possible this year to have a successful event. Obviously the IGF Secretariat and you, Anriette for your assertive leadership. It is not easy to organize and host an event in these challenging times, so congratulations for that.
I think particularly this year, I think the IGF has demonstrated how relevant and crucial a space it is to addressing critical Internet Governance issues. So in that sense, we are very happy to see how this IGF was used to expand debate and also actions aiming at strengthening the IGF. We were very pleased for that and we are more committed than ever though keep engaging in these conversations and also to support actions in the future oriented to strengthen the IGF as a very key piece of the UN system, the Internet Governance and the digital cooperation ecosystem.
And obviously as a platform for identifying viable ways to shape, sustain and strengthen digital cooperation, particularly in these challenging times. I would like to support and endorse the recommendations by Sylvia Cadena particularly in relation to strengthening the environmental track. We are happy to see the development of the discussions under the environmental track, and we also would like to join Sylvia and others calling on to the MAG to maintain this track for the following editions of the IGF.
If is very encouraging to see the launching of the pilot policy network. We see it as a very promising initiative, and we also strongly support the creation of our Best Practice Forum on governance and environmental data. Obviously I cannot, I cannot refrain myself from commenting about how important it is to see possibilities ahead to implement the UN Secretary‑General's role on digital cooperation ‑‑ Roadmap on Digital Cooperation, at the see it as a step to increase coordination in relation to tackling digital issues at a governmental level and Internet Governance. As I mentioned, the IGF has a key piece in that ecosystem.
Also, something that perhaps was a kind of gap I would say in the conversations and maybe I missed them, some detailed conversation and discussion about the challenges that executed the experts and human rights defenders are facing currently, and how those conditions are exacerbated into the middle of the pandemic.
This wave the communal digitalization to investigate and develop tools that allow to exercise human rights in the digital sphere is quite concerning and we would have liked to see more voices speaking up about that situation. So maybe that's a gap that we identify and like to see how the IGF is used to call attention and to offer the space to alter the situation of those experts.
And just let me finish by saying that obviously we will prepare as usual detailed feedback in relation to the aspects we believe were well and what should we improve in the future, some statistic recommendations but for now, let me finish emphasizing that we are pleased to see how the IGF 2020 encouraged greater inclusion of different stakeholders and how we use the technology to come together and mobilize selective intelligence, to respond to the challenges, not only the ones related to the pandemic, but also to the challenges that we have been facing and we will keep facing in relation to the digital age.
So thank you, Anriette and everyone.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Valeria. Next we have Michael Nelson. Please, do try to be brief.
>> MICHAEL NELSON: I'm Mike Nelson. I was involved in the World Summit on Information Society and have been involved in the IGF since then and also very involved in the IGF‑USA. Those who know me know I was on the MAG about six years ago when I was at Microsoft and CloudFlare and you also know that I can be very disruptive and blunt and also like to Tweet. So I will give you about ten suggestions five seconds at a time.
First off, best IGF ever! Because it was remote. You had better people involved, and you had a more balanced representation. The only thing that didn't happen is you didn't always get the best people that you could have recruited. You didn't use the virtual ability on some panels, and that's the panel proposer's fault, not yours.
Second point, clone Chengetai, Anja, everyone else on the Secretariat team.
Third, experiment more with new formats like debates. We had an amazing brainstorming session that Wout helped us and others worked with.
Technical problems in your Opening Session, luckily you had redundant backup, so you could work around it. This is the most important issue. You have got to have more panels on emerging technologies and emerging issues. When I was on the MAG this was a big problem because a lot of people weren't Internet experts so when a new idea came forward, they didn't know about it, so it didn't get strong support, but somehow you have to get back to being the place that you go to learn about what's coming next.
One other frustration was for those of us who like to talk to people on the side, most of the sessions were using the webinar format for Zoom, no the regular small meeting format. So I couldn't chat with individuals like I can here, the way this is set up. I know that's a problem. You have problems with cyber bullying, but there needs to be a way for real time communication.
Next thing, it would be great if somebody provided Yelp ratings for the panels, preferably in real time. If there was a way for us to see, okay, there is three things going on, which one do I want to go see, and after the fact, I really want to know, what are the five sessions that everybody should watch? Maybe DIPLO or somebody can do this. Obviously you can't do it, you can't say that this one is good and that one is bad.
Do some work on the schedule, the online schedule. It was very clunky. Often it took three extra steps to get into a session, and I know it's a lot of work, but on the agenda, you should now have the YouTube links so that if I go to the schedule, I see who is on it, I can click and watch it.
Okay. Time zones. I think we need to abolish time zones and I think IGF can do that. Seriously, it would be great if we can consider doing duplicate sessions. So maybe 12 hours apart particularly for some of the sessions that were kind of unique and one of a kind sessions.
Another big global problem is that we are getting more and more sessions that are neither Internet nor governance. And I think we have to watch it because if we have mission creep, we end up doing a bunch of panels poorly that other people are doing better.
And the last point is a couple of points to agree with Wout on, more time for Q and A. There should just be a rule that 15 minutes before the end of the session, it's over, we go to Q and A, and more press coverage and reporters will like Q and A.
The last point is let's not talk about a hybrid. Let's talk about a two‑part virtual IGF. Ten days virtual, followed by two days in person. We don't have to just meet the needs of the dig haptic, the hotel industry, the hotel airline pick pocket taxi industrial complex. So much of this need to meet in person is driven by the need to sell hotel rooms in the off season. Let's just make it short, have all of the people come together for two days after they have already heard some of the most interesting innovative ideas from the virtual format. So don't say hybrid. That means everybody together at the same time. Say two part, and think about doing it that way.
I hope I kept it to one minute. Thank you very much. All of my comments are in the chat.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, thanks Michael.
Before I hand it to the next person, I just wanted to comment, I see that someone has written in the chat they feel some of the input they gave during sessions were not reflected in the messages, and I think where you need to look is at the session report. So remember, what happens is that the session organizer compiles a session report, and then based on the session report, the Secretariat compiles the output documents. And that is precisely why we have introduced a new innovation this year which is to allow people to comment on the session reports.
So if you feel your contribution has not been reflected in the session report, that is why we are giving people that chance though comment until 4 December on the session report. I wanted to flag that because it came up in the chat.
Next, we have, I have lost control of my speaker queue, Elisabeth. This is with German Informatic Society. Last year we organized Youth IGF Summit, and this year we had a project called Youth for Digital Sustainability that brought young people in mostly on the topic of sustainability. I saw a comment in the feedback regarding youth so I thought I would step up. I want to briefly comment on things that I saw that are mostly positive, so this year we really saw youth representatives in the high level discussions and in many workshops.
This is an effect of what has been done years before and is now coming to fruition. And also the Youth IGF Summit was a format that was picked up this year by the IGF Secretariat and will be picked up by the Polish hosts next year. So this is a really good momentum that we need to keep up and really put forward again and again even after the 2021 IGF is over and we carry it forward to the next host and potential virtual meetings in the future.
Feedback that I got from some of the young people in my network and in the newcomers that we wanted to engage is that they found relatively challenging in terms of the format to participate, and as we all know, it is in a virtual setting it is harder to get young and new people in whether they don't know anyone and they are not used to the structure, but logistically, of course, it was easier to involve new people, and also people from marginalized groups and people from places that couldn't easily travel. So this was a good thing.
Just one more point on the format, I think when we go more virtual, we need to rethink formats because interaction is different. I think that has been touched upon also by people that came before me and spoke before me and I really hope that we can build on the learnings of this year to kind of progress from advice as well. Thank you.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks a lot, Elizabeth. I have a question, I hope you didn't answer it because I was looking at the chat. Chats are very powerful, but they can be very distracting. How did you feel about having the youth session in parallel to other IGF sessions? When we had an informal open mic last week, some people from the youth track said they felt that they would have preferred not to have to choose between the youth track and the main IGF. So what are your reflections on that?
>> ELISABETH SCHAUERMANNN: From my experience always it makes sense to not single out youth tracks that are in parallel to what is going on to really ensure full participation. It always makes sense to kind of do this kind of capacity building beforehand or maybe in the off hours, but this is kind of hard when everyone is in different time zones.
But so I would say in an ideal setting, we could get the youth involvement before the start of the main sessions and workshops and the program of the IGF.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks a lot, Elizabeth. I know that Anja will be working with that input, and with everyone else.
Next we have Michael Oghia.
>> MICHAEL OGHIA: I work with an organisation called the Global Forum for Media Development and I'm part of, which is the Secretariat of the Dynamic Coalition on the Sustainability of Journalism and News Media. The other hat is I'm a Steering Committee member for the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition, another DC.
So some of the really good things to highlight, first of all, absolutely thank you to all of the incredible work and planning that went into this to make it a success.
Of course, for me personally, I have been advocating for years to add sustainability in terms of the environment and environmental track to our work so to have this finally realized has been an incredibly validating and just really wonderful experience for me, and so thank you to everybody on this call, to all of the people in the community and to everybody who supported that. It really meant a lot. And it was such a successful track as well.
So I really encourage us to keep incorporating this going forward. One of the best things about this was being able to engage with people that would have otherwise not have been able to attend. That was the case with one of the speakers at the, at the workshop that I co‑organized, that I moderated. She is Chilean and she is wonderful but wouldn't have been able to make it otherwise. So this presents a lot of good opportunities.
Having said that, this was very much not only the, an experiment, but it was also happening at a time when we are all experimenting with something new in this, the whole of 2020 is different. So if we were to do something virtual in the future, whether it's hybrid or something else or whatever, I would like to think that it would be situated within a very different social and political experience that we have had this year, but having said that, I was exhausted this year. I mean, it was exhausting.
And on top of the fact that there is time zone issues which, of course, I'm in Southeastern Europe so it's quite easy for me, but we have our daily work scheduled on top of everything, and while that's typically true at the IGF normally, it also means that we have time to take off.
I wasn't going to take off for 2.5 weeks to try to be engaged in everything. Having said that, I agree with what's been said about the webinar format. This kind of didn't feel like an IGF at times it felt like a series of webinars where I was going in and I would listen to people, but maybe one or two people would ask a question and then it would end.
It wasn't really a discussion. It was very top down. There was a lot of overlap between many of the sessions. I think Jutta and I and everyone at the DC coordination group, we talked about this on Monday. I understand why it may be problematic or lack of diversity, but to me, it may have been useful to have, well, potentially to have combined sessions where we have one topic and we focus on that, but then I also recognize that then that also makes time zones, you know, respecting time zones harder as well.
So, yes, there is never, maybe there may not be a perfect solution, but if there is one, I think it's one that should be data driven and best practice different. And I just think in general, I want to really encourage us all to remember that we not treat offline and online like they are the same thing. I mean, there is just a limited amount of energy and space, especially after everything we are all Zoomed out and bear in mind I'm not criticizing the MAG in this. They made this decision as well when they did, at a time when they did, and I think it was the right thing. It was I think it was the right thing going forward.
At the same time, I really, really encourage us to not just simply replicate this, and if we do something online like this again, which I do think is a very good idea, we have to remember that just attending a session as a metric of engagement is not really enough. I recognize the quantitatively speaking it looks great. Qualitatively speaking to me it's quite lacking, because, and I often felt that as well, not just with the IGF, but many of the events that have happened this year.
It's felt like all of this work has gone into it, but then you get none of the release, none of the fun, none of the networking or very limited experience of that. And frankly, it's draining. It's so just demoralizing in certain ways. It's not just about showing up and being there which I recognize, again, to agree with what MICHAEL NELSON said, I agree, we don't need to be funding the taxi, airplane, hotel industries, fair enough. At the same time, let's not forget that it is part of that human social element also kind of makes a lot of what this is worthwhile and part of why it's so fulfilling and rewarding so I really just encourage us to consider that going forward. Thank you so much for listening.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: No. That's all very valuable input. I would say that we did not spend enough time on planning the networking sessions.
We had networking sessions, but I think that human component. I also feel that's why so many people were, and I think MICHAEL NELSON said that, that's why the webinar format was so difficult, because it was so inhuman. You make this effort to participate in a session, and then no one can even see that you are there.
I do think that we need to find ways of retaining that sense of just affirming the effort that people are making to be at this event. But I think your point about data, I just want to flag that as well, the MAG has discussed that as well. Looking at evaluating sessions, and after session evaluations, just getting more data, more quickly that we can use in planning and give to organizers. Anyway, I'm speaking too much.
Next we have ‑‑ there is so much going on in the chat, I can't see my notes. Who is next? I think it is Timea.
>> TIMEA SUTO: Thank you very much, Anriette. I was finding my mute button way too slowly. My name is Timea, I'm an outgoing MAG member from the business community and international Chamber of Commerce base initiative as my day job. I want to echo Sylvia's thanks to you Anriette for your leadership and Mike Nelson's call to clone the staff and the Secretariat, and also to add a huge thanks to my fellow MAG members for all of your dedication.
Some persevered through connectivity challenges and political upheaval and personal and family issues. It was truly amazing work throughout this year by all of you. I have four points to make, and I try to keep it brief because I am cautious of running out of time. First, on participation, and we can see this in the numbers Chengetai presented. There was an unprecedented level of registrations this year. Most of those were newcomers and that's important to note. And very diverse roster of participants.
I say this not just in regions, but I think it's also important to add the diversity in the sectors of the economy and the fields of activity of international organisations that were present with us throughout the past few weeks. This is a great testament, I think, to the convening power of the IGF, and there is great opportunity in front of us to continue building on this.
Keep the newcomers engaged and have them contributing to our work throughout the year. Second point regarding the outputs and the communication, what I was also very impressed with is to see, again, for a second year in a row the level of near real time reporting coming out of the Secretariat, and the capturing and sharing of the different types of outputs.
I am very encouraged to hear Chengetai talking about the promotion of these outputs and the targeted outreach to organisations working on the topics that IGF was focusing on this year. I hope that this very valuable content that was produced can also be used to feed communication efforts about the IGF throughout the coming year to keep the community engaged and aware, and to create momentum for the next annual meeting.
I think this is especially relevant for social media. Third, on the technical setup, and technical issues, I want to echo all of the praise that others have noted. What I would particularly like to highlight here is what I think worked really well was the ability to follow sessions live on YouTube, and then to have those recordings ready the minute the session was finished so people could look back, rewind, fast forward to see again intervention they were particularly interested in.
And I do hope this can be retained for whatever hybrid or dual or other format the IGF will consider for next year. And to Michael's point just speaking before me, I do agree, we need to make sure that the organisation is on from the user experience point of view going forward regarding registration systems, interpretation, opportunities for networking, all of that.
And the last point I would like to make is more on the substance front. On one hand, I want to repeat what we said last year, streamlining the IGF agenda into a few tracks and following that structure with community sessions, main sessions, high levels, works really well. And I think we should continue in this way.
And on the other hand, the sessions throughout really highlighted and this is apparent from all of the messages that the Secretariat produced, that the way forward from COVID and the rebuild is digital, it is multi‑stakeholder, it is collaborative, open, and inclusive, and what is most encouraging that these messages are resonating profoundly outside of the IGF bubble. From UN and other intergovernmental organisations to national Governments to businesses and civil society organisations we hear these messages coming over and over again.
And I think that is the biggest compliment to the IGF mission and activity over the past 15 years and the greatest proof of why we need this space for an open and candid and inclusive conversation. I would like to end on that point and thank you, everyone, for really a tremendous few weeks.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: I was muted, sorry. Thanks a lot Timea. Next we have Joe hand and then Bruno. Timea, thank you for your hard work on the MAG.
>> JOCHEN MICHELS: My name is Jochen Michels, I'm with Kaspersky, and international cybersecurity company and it was the first time we attended in the figure both in the intersessional work and in the event. It was a great experience for us, first of all, could congratulations to that work. I'm based in Germany. I forgot to inform you about that.
What we saw was that there was very good representation of attendees and also speakers with regards to region, gender and the different stakeholder groups and that was very important.
And one reason from our point of view for that was that this year's figure was a virtual IGF, and a lot of different perps have the possibility to attend. Also there were technical issues. We sent an email already to the IGF Secretariat and made some suggestions for improvement in that regard. But we think it was very good for thematic tracks. It fits very well. There was good interconnection between that thematic tracks, and what we think what could be a good approach, MICHAEL NELSON mentioned that and also Timea in her brief speech.
We think it's important to, and IGF does that, but it's more important in the future when we have, for example, a hybrid event or an event with two different phases. It is very important to put people in the centre of the IGF.
And people have different interests, they are different in the way they work so perhaps more people have interest to attend online, others are interested to attend in an onsite meeting, and, therefore, the suggestion by Michael doing the two‑phase IGF would be very appropriate way to do so.
The second point is from our point of view, it's good to make it as easy and as simple to access all of the sessions may it be online or offline and when it comes to online, there will be some, or we are saying it is necessary to make some improvements with the registration process and also the usability of the IGF website, but we have heard that a new website will be established in January of next year, and what we like very much was that both the Secretariat and the MAG was very open to new ideas, very supportive, and, yes, very good communication, and that shows that that is a real multi‑stakeholder approach and session. Thank you very much.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much, Jochen. Laura' Brian, I'm giving you the floor next because you have to leave.
>> LAURA O'BRIEN: I'm the UN Advocacy Officer at Access Now. I'm delivering the statement on behalf of Access Now, APC global partners digital and the Internet Governance caucus. First, we want to commend the IGF Secretariat, the MAG, for a very successful virtual IGF.
As has been noted routinely today, we are at a very critical moment. There are more people dependent on digital technology, but also more pervasive surveillance, more fragmentation, lots of challenges, but clearly there are lots of opportunities as we saw what can be achieved and what is being done through these digital platforms.
And the IGF remains an essential place to continue work on multi‑stakeholder discussions and cooperation. To this end, we want to briefly highlight what we have already communicated in several outputs during this session, which were really beneficial. The first was a letter of intent from 10 NGOs to engage in the implementation of the SGs roadmap and to share a position paper. The position paper was on the tech envoy and it was endorsed by almost 100 NGOs which included a variety of recommendations, and then third, the Internet Governance Caucus, which is a network and space for civil society within the Internet Governance ecosystem, in particular sent a letter to support the MAG Working Group on strengthening and strategy response to the options paper.
We also developed an input for the session on the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, which really focused well on the role of IGF. Unfortunately we did not have time to deliver at this high level session, but we will publish our statement in written form soon. In the meantime, we just wanted to provide and emphasize five quick points. First, is to collectively accelerate digital cooperation and establish a more robust multi‑stakeholder consultation on specific reforms to IGF, we want to ensure that any new structures build on success stories and outcomes that have achieved over the years and that IGF's bottom up and open nature is still maintained.
We also request that the IGF Secretariat and the MAG make best efforts to ensure that future IGF modalities don't overlap with other key multi‑stakeholder UN Forums such as the UN Forum on business and human rights. We want this to ensure that all stakeholders can engage in advanced digital cooperation across relevant UN fora.
The second point is to ensure that all stakeholders working together to improve regional participation, particularly in the Global South. On this point, we recommend specifically conducting impact assessments on civil society participation and in particular before finalizing the IGF program to ensure that civil society space is not limited by different modalities, and that participation in host countries respected freedom of expression, association, and assembly.
Third, we want to commend and welcome the IGF 2020 call for voluntary commitments, and encourage participation from all stakeholder groups to use this existing initiative to make a commitment to advanced digital cooperation.
Fourth, we recommend installing dedicated communications and financing structures with a clear role in dedication to fund raise for the new IGF model. The communication structure would be vital to better identify and publicize IGF success stories and outcomes. And then last but certainly not least, gender balance needs to be ensured across all sessions and gender equality needs to be a guiding principle in the planning of the IGF meeting. There is still a need to strengthen the participation of women and gender diverse community in the Forum and to have gender discussions in a more prominent and intersessional manner. Those are all of our points.
Thank you very much for your time.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks a lot, Laura. In fact the gender report card is something that MAG brought up at its own debrief yesterday. I'm now going to give the floor to Jorge and hand Chairing over to Chengetai. Jorge, you have the floor.
>> JORGE CANCIO: Hello, everyone, I hope you hear me okay. I was surprised because I saw that Bruno was coming before me.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: She put her hand down and you can trust us, I promise we won't overlook anyone.
>> JORGE CANCIO: I work for the Swiss Government, being around for too many years, I guess. First, I would like to join all of the congratulations to the IGF Secretariat, to all of the teams from UNDESA, from the MAG, from you yourself, Anriette, who did a great job. We know what this means because we had the chance to host an IGF three years ago, which now looks, feels like an eternity.
I would join many of the comments regarding the low degree of interactivity of the webinar format which is as some said a problem especially for new voices and newcomers who see it more difficult to participate and to be seen and be visible in such a format, but I think we can work on this.
On a more political level, I think that having this IGF in a virtual format and with the support, as I heard from the Polish Government even if the IGF, the face‑to‑face meeting was transferred to 2021 sends a very strong signal that the IGF is able, is resilient to react in such difficult circumstances just by doing the IGF and by being so successful in terms of participation and also in terms of the topics because we were able to, we as IGF community to put COVID‑19 very high on the agenda, of course, as many said, we are very happy that the intersection between environment and digital finally made it to the top of the agenda.
I think that another great innovation was the whole way the Internet process where we had the chance to hear about the opinions from hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens from all around the world about key issues of Internet Governance and I think we can institutionalize this and connect this kind of dialogue with ordinary citizens with the main tracks of the IGF.
I think that regarding the visibility of the process beyond our IGF bubble, there is still room for improvement. I also saw the Article from The Economist, but it's one of the very few that has mentioned the IGF recently. There we have still a lot of work to do to bridge the gap to the news rooms, to bridge the gap to the decision making levels, and finally, I would say that on the overlap of sessions, we should also continue to work on an issue‑based or an issue‑driven model of workshops and sessions instead of more initiator or ownership‑driven model which I think we have today.
And just a learning, I think, we have been seeing also in the ICANN world is I think that Michael Oghia mentioned this a bit, is that too many hours in one day in a digital setting is really exhausting. So there at least in ICANN we are more or less coming to the conclusion that four full hours a day of Zoom meetings of intensive Zoom meetings is more than enough.
So sometimes less is more, but, again, to go back to the beginning, I think this has been a very strong signal that the IGF is resilient, that the IGF is ready to grow and to evolve further to really strong IGF plus, and I hope that we can all together implement the roadmap. Thank you.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Jorge. And, again, thank you for your long standing commitment, you yourself personally and also that of the Swiss Government to the IGF. And as most of you know, we work together as well for the 2017 IGF that was in Geneva. So thank you, Jorge.
Next on the list, I do have Roberto, Roberto, please.
>> ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Thank you very much, Chengetai, Anriette, and good morning, good evening, Gavin, I'm Roberto from the Bolivian IGF and also a first‑year MAG member.
First of all, as my other colleagues, I want to thank the secretariat for this successful IGF to congratulate all of them, of course, and all of the people that was involved in this successful IGF.
I also want to thank and not say goodbye, but maybe we will see in some other stages to our fellow colleagues that are leaving the MAG. I think we all benefit with their wisdom, with their experience, and really particularly I'm really, really thankful for that.
About my comments regarding ‑‑ I also support most of the ideas proposed from other colleagues. I just want to share two other reflections. First, the virtual IGF brought very great comments because of the attendance, but particularly because of active participation through chat and in some cases when participants were invited to take the floor using the microphone.
Chat participation was very engaging because it provoked a very active parallel, but mostly complementary discussion. Actually chat participation was even more active than Q and A section. And I think this is the same reason why webinar format was so rejected.
Second, based on this, the main difference with face‑to‑face is that when we participate on site, we are mostly listening to panelists, and perhaps make some comment also with the one or two colleagues that are sitting with us or next to us, but, of course, none of the real time comments is shared with the audience to the panelists. But in virtual IGF those comments are shared with all of them, and I think that fact is the main attraction for engagement and also for being so decided to keep this kind of participation in the future.
But we need to think that it may not be a problem with the face‑to‑face or virtual discussion or approaches, but with the session formats, that we really need to reflect on and come up with other creative and more participating formats, and that will be my main suggestion actually. And also, I support idea of having two phases, but not because we need to have room for both approaches face to face and virtual, but because we need to increase the exchange and the also to strengthen both approaches. Thank you very much. Those were my comments.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, Roberto. For your comments and for the MAG members who are leaving the MAG, I hope they do, and I'm sure they do understand they are not leaving the IGF. It's just a turnover of the MAG and we do expect them to be quite active in the IGF process as MICHAEL NELSON is. Thank you.
I don't see any other hands up. So let me give it a six count just to take a phrase from Lynn to see if there is anybody else who wants to make ‑‑ oh, yes, Judith, please.
>> JUDITH HELLERSTEIN: It's Judith Hellerstein. Thanks again for the great comments and I want to second what Sylvia and others said about more captioning and especially more captioning for the day zero events. It was a very confusing session because usually day zero, just one day, but now we had day zero events in all of them, but I think everyone considered them as part of the IGF.
And so they thought that they would be the same level of services so that they would have the captioning and they would have other services there and it wasn't. I think that was confusing for people. And I do understand, I also, I think from the people I knew that they didn't understand that they could have had a choice between meeting and webinar until it was too late. So that's why they were put into the webinar and their solution was to make everyone panelists, which works but doesn't, you know.
And so maybe we could figure out some kind of happy medium or allow people to know that they in big bold writing, you need to choose, the Chair needs to choose they're meeting thing and I think they just didn't know that they could do that.
We do need to figure out how to do a better networking room, but I understand the cost involved in trying out one of the other platforms is also very expensive. So maybe if we do this again, we should look at trying to figure out how we could do some virtual ones.
As for the other ones, and I saw the comment that Paul made, and I think about the YouTube matching, and that's something that maybe DCAD could put on the list is YouTube when we do our tech person, what Jolly McPhee does it, he makes sure that he is having the signer and the interpreter on the, the signer needs to have the faces in the, needs to have the faces, in the screen so that way they could be seen on the YouTube because otherwise I think what Paul was mentioning is that when they had the sign language interpretation in their session, it wasn't picked up.
And so we have to figure out a better way, and I think what someone said before that the only reason why we the this convoluted scheduling was about the security in the Zoom bombing, but we are not going to have that issue with YouTube. So there is no reason to put the YouTube behind the security block so that way people can view the schedule without registering and I think maybe Mike mentioned that that way you could see what the programmes are, and then say, oh, yes, if I want to join, I need to register.
And then you could have that because the YouTube people are extra, and they are not, yes, there is a possibility to Zoom bomb the YouTube chat, but that's often not done. But it is possible. Yes, I like facial chat, but I think that's limited to a certain number of people, and also that may be more expensive.
And then the question is where do we put the money that we have? Do we put the money we have in more captioning or do we put money we have in some kind of other networking system? And it's just a limited priority of where you put your money.
Going with the sign, when you have a sign language, as we found on DCAD, when we have the sign language interpretation, we were using international sign, which is twice the price of regular sign language. So that brings up the expenses really high too. So there is a whole mixture, I think, of different contributions, but I think that was great. So I just would add that to my comments. Thanks so much.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Judith, I think you have encapsulated the things that we do struggle with every day here at the Secretariat. We have a limited and also with the host country, we have a limited budget, where exactly do we put that money for the most effect, and that is an ongoing thing, but we do, we really do take the needs of people with disabilities very, very seriously, and as you know, we have had great collaboration with the DCAD, and we will continue to do that, and we will try and fix the sign language thing.
Hopefully we won't have the same sort of circumstances that we had this year, but still going on forward, if we do have sign language, even if we have face‑to‑face, hybrid or two stage IGF meeting, we will see how we can do that and get it done straight. As we said, we are a learning organisation and we do want to continue.
Just one comment on the day zero, the day zero historically speaking did come about because when we went to a meeting venue, it was stipulated in the host country agreement that, you know, the rooms should be ready two days before the meeting. So the things were there as such, the physical things were there and it was still just the testing of the network, the streaming, and et cetera. And then the decision was made that instead of letting all of this infrastructure go to waste for a day, we would let other people, the community to come in and use it.
That's why we had these events such as the academic network and other sessions that may not quite strictly conform to the requirements of the IGF and that's why we called it pre-events.
But, of course, there had to be IGF‑related. And so sense that is why the pre‑events as you probably noticed that the session requirements are not as stringent as you would get for a workshop, best practice form rum or an Open Forum. And we do stipulate that we don't guarantee anything. We don't guarantee the network. We don't guarantee the streaming, and we don't guarantee the transcription.
Though, yes, in other IGFs depending if we have the transcription team there, they have arrived three days before, then, of course, we do use them. Online, of course, it's a little bit different because there is no wasted space or wasted time as such, and, therefore, it's a decision whether or not we want to spend more money on transcription because it is an added cost when it is onsite, the transcribers are there, so whether we use them or not, we still pay for them, so we might as well use them.
So, yes, we do have to kind of look at the day zero again and see what we can do, but that's just the historical effects dealing with the day zero.
I'm sorry, I might have ‑‑ I think it was Marco, please.
>> MARCO HOGEWONING: A few comments and I'm relating to the discretion we have to work with technical constraints that we have especially in a fully virtual meeting like this. I saw some comments about using spatial chat. I think we have to be conscious about the fact that not everybody is in such a privileged position and has enough bandwidth to use these fancy tools, but the one point I would like to reiterate and many speakers before me have made it already is that I very much appreciate sort of the more format of this session over the standard webinar format.
I think especially with smaller groups and, for instance, Dynamic Coalitions, it helps a lot if there is sort of more people can be there and show their face. What I really miss is you have no idea who else is in the room, and for future editions, be it fully virtual, hopefully not, hopefully we can meet again face‑to‑face, but I like to sort of preserve that as a take away.
These kinds of meetings like we now have with 104 people in the same room where we can all see each other helps a lot. But that's all I have to share.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Marco. I hope you can hear me. Thank you very much, Marco for that input.
I'm sorry if I'm not saying this in order, but the next person on my list is Abdel and then Mauricia and then Veronica.
>> ABDELDJALIL BACHAR BONG: Thank you Secretariat for the success of this event. I would like to say this is the first event we are organising online, so I would like to congratulate them and I would also like to say that your accompanying the developing countries and we appreciate the help. The time zones are a very good thing. We see also some problems with the agenda, the navigation on the Web, but mainly about the agenda, and I received a lot of feedback from the community in order to register and to participate in the sessions because there is a double check prior to get the link.
So, of course, like this we can avoid some problems, but it was more complicated. So first, personal agenda, then press the button. Well, it was complicated for some people. So we need to think over this strategy of validating and for interpreting, we have here in Chad French speaking people and many main and high level sessions were in French and there was interpreting into Spanish and English. It was a good thing.
And this should be maintained also during other sessions to get the interpreting so that society can get involved on that. So I think that the format was a very simple one and easy to understand for the NRIs and other sessions too. Once again, thank you to the IGF Secretary and thank you very much.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you. I'm closing the list of Olivia, because I think we are almost up on time. So the next person is Mauricia.
>> MAURICIA CINDY ABDOL TSHILUNDA: Yes, thank you, that was said perfectly. Good evening, good morning, good afternoon to everyone on the call. Well, I can start my video, but I'm a mom of one, newborn, so if I need to grab him, I will need to do that quickly as well.
With regards to the youth inclusion on panels that I mentioned in the chat, I just wanted to emphasize that to reach the goal of inclusion and diversity on the panels and also obviously to improve our IGFs going forward, it would be important to include more youth on main session panels. And if, for example, Sylvia mentioned many people do not complete their profiles and list themselves as resource persons, if there is a lack of that, I do have a solution.
We have groups such as the youth coalition of Internet Governance, we have the digital grassroots and we also have ISOC youth Ambassadors who participate in the IGFs every year. We are active groups and we are open to being part of the main sessions and we are excited to be part of the main sessions.
We have a lot to contribute and to obviously build on that. So please do make use of the groups to reach out to us as youth and so that we can improve diversity within the IGF.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, very much. Yes, that is high up on our agenda. This year we did manage to get a youth representative in the opening and closing session, but, of course, that is not enough. They should also be represented in the other sessions so, yes, with the resource people, resource persons, et cetera, that's a very good idea.
Veronica, please. If you could make it short and succinct the.
>> VERONICA PICCOLO: I wanted to join on what Mauricia just said, and actually about youth participation at the IGF, especially because as Youth Ambassador, we also prepare for months for this IGF. I was a bit disappointed that many of the panels were youth dedicated, like it was a bit compartmentalized the youth participation at the IGF. And I totally degree with Mauricia that maybe you should be brought in mainstream panels especially because some of us, most of us are also young experts in specific fields, and many of the stakeholders know us and know our work. Thank you.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Olivier, you have the final word, please.
>> OLIVIER CREPIN‑LEBLOND: Thank you very much, Chengetai. I'll speak for GEMS and I wanted to thank you Chengetai for trying your best to try to get the band to be able to play on line. Unfortunately, technology is such that it is impossible to coordinate so many different band members from so many different places around the world. And so I'm really hoping that either the technology in the next 12 months gets developed so that it actually works and we are able to bring this over to the community, or, of course, that we can play in person in the next IGF. And that's all. So thank you again, and plus one to everything that's been said before on a more formal note. So thanks.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Olivier. Next year we will do it. Thanks. That brings us to the end of the open mic session.
Thank you very much for all of your inputs. We have taken note of them, and there is a recording, and also the transcript, so we will go back, comb through it and get everything.
We will also do our general call for inputs because we know, especially for Governments they do prefer to have written inputs, and so we will publish that on the website, and give you time to send us those written inputs.
Now, just looking ahead, for next year as well, apart from the call for written inputs, we will also be issuing a call for issues for the 2021 cycle. As you all know, it's scheduled to be in Poland, and the dates for this is 6‑10th December 2021, so we do have a year to really plan it, and we have the new MAG has been announced and Anriette is going to continue to be the highly effective Chair that she has been in 2020.
And we do plan also to have the first open consultations and MAG meeting for the end of February because we do want to have those inputs come in that I have mentioned, the written inputs and also the issues and then the Secretary is going to tabulate them and send them back.
When we do have our open consultations and MAG meeting we can be prepared and make it a real worthwhile meeting. Unfortunately, I have given the current situation, I have, I don't think there is any chance that it's going to be face‑to‑face, and we are going to have to look maybe the meetings, I mean, this is just my determination at the moment, maybe we will revisit whether or not we will have face‑to‑face meetings in June on wards.
But at the moment, we are planning for the first meeting to be a virtual meeting as well. Let me just give it to Anriette quickly for any final words. Anriette, please.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Why does the unmute button not want to work. I think it's tired. There are some questions in the chat about confirming that it will be a face‑to‑face event. We will do that in the course of the year. I just want to thank everyone very much again, I mean, the Secretariat, you have been thanked before, but it was a phenomenal effort. I'm not sure if everyone that's in this call is aware that the Secretariat this year also did the bulk of the work to organize the high level sessions.
So they had the double duty of supporting the IGF, it being a virtual IGF as well as being the lead organizers of the virtual IGF. Thanks also to the team in New York, UNDESA who provides the back end and so much support for the IGF. And then a special thank you to the outgoing MAG members.
A lot of MAG members have come to the end of their term, and I just want to thank them for their work, their contribution, but also for their legacy. They have left a legacy in terms of systems and procedures and of documentation that we will be building on.
And the new MAG members, welcome to all of you, and you would have seen from the session, there is accountability to the IGF community. They do watch us. They give us feedback, but they also give us huge amount of support. So looking forward to everyone working with us on the next IGF with our host country, Poland. They are also on the call, and so a special thank you to them for having been with us in this year and for everything they will do next year. That's it from me, Chengetai.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, and thank you all, a very special thank you to the participants as well, because this is what makes the IGF. Thank you.