The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the First Open Consultations and MAG Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2020 in Geneva, Switzerland, from 14 to 16 January 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.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Morning, everyone. Thanks very much to everyone for being here. This is our last day. Thanks for the work you've done so far. Thanks to the people who were here in time for the end a little beyond time for the 9:00 pre-session. It was very productive and we have an output to present to you.
As we start the day, I would like you to look at your agendas where we have meeting outputs because today is our last day. So let's all have in our minds clear what our bottom line is and what we have to complete by the end of today.
And there on page 1 of your agenda, if you have a hard copy or online, number 1 is main themes for the IGF 2020 meeting. Now, we've got a clear output on that. It might not be quite as simple as main themes, but we have -- we have worked on that and the working group this morning has a concrete proposal to present to you.
2, and this we need to do today because we haven't actually started that at all, is charter the BPFs, the best practice forums for 2020. We need to make a decision on that because the one thing we do all agree on about best practice forums is that if they don't start early, they don't work that well or it makes it really difficult for those that are inside them.
Thirdly, we have to approve MAG working groups. This doesn't mean we have to have working groups, but we need to talk about working groups, reflect on the experience from MAG working groups in 2019, and decide how to move forward.
And then finally, have a tentative outline for 2020 milestones and events. So that's our timeline. Chengetai presented a draft one. We're already beginning to deconstruct it and look at where it needs to shift and change. There's a strong call for trying to find a way of having a third MAG meeting, things that we possibly can't decide today, but we can definitely look at our broad timeline. And there's some timeline milestones that we have to fix, such as finalizing the thematic structure and a call for workshops.
So on that, let's go to our agenda for today. And I'd like us to -- if you could indulge me to give me time to present the outcome of this morning's discussion, while it's still fresh in my mind, and then everyone else can think about that and we can come back to it if necessary. Then we'll move on to the best practice forums and strategies for collaboration and complementality across intersessional work. I would also like us to look at the output from Jutta, Jutta and Sylvia, who analyzed responses from the community on the workshops submission process. And then at the end, before lunch, I'd like us to get back to the -- if necessary, to the program structure and flow. I also want to say to you that I got very positive feedback on working in groups yesterday. People liked that. They felt they were able to progress and talk to one another freely and more comfortably, so we'll do that again today.
So on that note, I would have liked someone else to present. Did anyone else take detailed notes from this morning's discussion? Or should I present what I have? I'm going to take that as a yes.
Okay. Just to contextualize this for everyone, for remote participants. By the way, welcome to the remote participants. Do we have any Luis? I haven't logged in yet. Can you just tell us? No, not yet. It's fine if there are observers. Well, welcome, welcome. Marilyn and Avri, you should be asleep, but it's very nice to have you with us, and everyone else.
Okay. And so yesterday you broke into groups. You looked at thematic structure and tracks and for the IGF 2020, based on the Berlin experience and the successes of Berlin and the lessons. And the three groups came up with proposals that had a lot of commonality but also some differences.
We also had a stocktaking input exercise that went on in December but we only had 42 responses, and MAG members felt it was really important to get validation and give the community another opportunity.
So the group that met at 9:00 made the following decisions, not cast in stone but we hope that we don't have to go back to the drawing board too much. Firstly, consensus that there needs to be another open call. It can -- it doesn't have to be a wide open call. It's a call that would present the community with the work that we've done so far and the input that we've received so far and then give the opportunity -- the opportunity to add to that and to validate that.
We also agreed that this call will go out to NRIs as well. And this will go out to NRIs from the vantage point of giving NRIs the opportunity to influence and input on the overall agenda of the global IGF. So it's not a call to NRIs to ask them what they want to do at an NRI session. It's actually asking the NRIs how they feel about the overall thematic structure of the event. This call will also go out to the constituencies. It will go out to them directly. It will be wide open, and MAG members will be asked to use their networks to make sure this call gets out to the right people within the right time frame, and we felt it was important to prioritize input from, for example, the technical community. But everyone has their own different priorities. You know, there's also the IGF priority to include marginalized groups and to include least-developing countries and small island and developing states. So the call is a way of making sure that we have inclusion.
What will this call be? Firstly, we agreed this morning that we'd like to work with Poland's proposal for a main theme as our overarching theme or I'm not sure what other term we used for that. But we thought that the theme of Internet united is broad, it's positive. It also addresses some negative issues because fragmentation is something that people are often concerned about. So we thought we'd be happy to propose endorsing Poland's suggestion as the overarching theme or motto of the IGF.
Next, we will say to the community that based on the experience of 2019, the input of the December call, and the discussion of the MAG in Geneva in January, we've identified three tracks plus one. The three tracks are essentially the Berlin tracks but expressed in a more simplified way. So it will be trust, inclusion, and data. The plus one is emerging issues. And in our call text that we send out we will say that so far what has been identified as emerging issues that emerged from the open call, climate change and environmental sustainability and digital economy, that those two emerged. And then we'll say to the community, how do you feel about this? Would you like to add others? Do these make sense to you? There was also a feeling within our group that there's value in having an emerging issues track. Because that gives us the opportunity to accommodate something that might emerge in the next six months. Some very dramatic or topical issue that Internet governance needs to face and we can then build it into that.
So that's really the proposed overall structure that we will give to the community. But we won't say it's fixed. We'll say that they need to reflect on that and tell us how they feel about it.
We will also ask them for each one of those four tracks or the three plus one tracks to identify what they feel are the priority issues that they think we should address in IGF 2020.
In the language where we ask them to identify issues, we will say that if you have policy questions, express them. If you have policy solutions, you can share them. But we don't want to ask specifically, we don't want to make it compulsory to submit input in the form of policy questions because we felt that would preempt the kind of -- two things. It would preempt the thought processes that goes into crafting a workshop proposal and people often only really refine their policy questions when they do a workshop proposal. So that's why we don't want to demand policy questions at this stage. And the other reason why we don't want to demand that is we want to create some space for -- the other reason we don't use the term "subthemes." We're not asking for subthemes, even though we might get subthemes, we don't want to ask specifically for subthemes because we want to give the MAG the opportunity to finalize subthemes based on the input from the workshop proposals, which is what you did last year and for most of the tracks it worked well. Not equally well for everyone. But we do want to ask for issues and we want to have enough raw data from the community so that we can begin to synthesize some kind of subthematic structure because the point was made that when we put out the workshop call it's good to be transparent. It's good to be clear as to what we feel they should be responding to in each of these tracks.
So essentially that's -- that is it. That's the proposal from the early morning working group that tried to synthesize, harmonize the work of the three groups yesterday. So anyone want to add or clarify from my presentation? Anyone who was with us this morning? Ben, you have the floor, and then we'll open it to questions.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you.
I think you clarified to me where you talked about the possibility I proposed yesterday about the possibility of having environments as a focus -- a horizontal focus for this year.
I think you were saying we are not getting into cross-cutting issues yet. Let's have this call for proposals first so I didn't go on for a horizontal cross-cutting theme of one SDG this year. I thought that's not for now. Let's do the call for inputs.
I thought I would check that's the case and that you didn't mention this idea that came up in a couple of places about having a horizontal theme because of that kind of ordering of structure. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: That's true. Group three yesterday discussed the idea of cross-cutting horizontal themes. I think partly, group three, you made it difficult for us because some of you felt the cross-cut would be overarching and others felt it would be underarching.
But you are right, we didn't discuss the idea of cross-cuts finally at this point.
I think we shouldn't take it off the table. And I think the time line -- I didn't say that -- this call that I have tried to now describe, Chengetai said we have two weeks for that call. What we would now have to plan for would be a MAG online meeting and feeding into that online meeting working groups where exactly that kind of thing can then happen, where you can look at what the input is on this call for issues and input on the proposed thematic structure and process that in a way. In fact, that might lead us back to looking at a cross-cutting structure.
I do think -- and I would warn -- having worked with cross-cuts a lot in my life, they are often harder to work with. They are very good at satisfying people's need for conceptual representativity, but they can be difficult to work with. And they often make more sense to the people that identified the cross-cut than to the people who are attending the event. That's just a caution. I'm not saying we won't have cross-cuts.
Any other questions or comments on this proposal? And is it clear? Does everyone understand what we are proposing?
>> JI ZHAOYU: Thank you, Madam Chair. As I understand, those are the proposed three themes for the year: Trust, inclusion and data. Or are there four?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: It is the proposed draft three themes plus one, which is the emerging issues. It's not finalized because we felt that we didn't have a huge enough response to the initial call that we want to present those draft themes to the community, to constituencies to comment on and to validate. So they might still have to change, but those are the proposed draft three main tracks. And the plus one is emerging issues.
>>ZHAOYU JI: At this moment can I have some clarification on what is -- what does the "trust" mean in this context? Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I will open it to the floor, but I will just tell you how it came to that. The discussion yesterday was to work with the themes from Berlin because they worked well, but there was also a proposal to rephrase them and maybe simplify them.
So "trust" is the root of the theme from last year which was in the wrong order, I'm sure, stability, security, trust, resilience, and safety.
Jutta, what was it?
>>JUTTA CROLL: It was security, safety, stability and resilience. We thought to simplify it to use the word "trust" which covers all that but could also be something more.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So that's where that "trust" came from. And I think it's good that you asked that because I do think that we'll need some narrative. We can't just give the people these three words. There will be text in the call which explains or locates how trust has emerged as what we feel as an overarching theme and that text will make the link to security, stability, resilience, and safety.
Jutta, you had your flag up?
Anyone else speaking? Thanks. You have the floor.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: I just have a question. Maybe I didn't hear if you mentioned it. How does this fit into time line that was proposed by secretariat and deadline of 3rd March of starting the call for proposals for workshops? Can we just address the time line for this call? Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: We can do that now, but in a way I think would rather give an answer quickly because we did look at that.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: We did look at that. When we did the proposed time line, we did have some room. So if we give it two weeks, it won't affect anything much. We may have to shift some dates, but we won't have to shorten anything. There is time to fit it.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: As long as it doesn't put secretariat under extreme pressure in the sense of publishing call, collecting data, summarizing and everything, I'm okay with it. Just wanted to ask it. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks. Thanks for that. I think the secretariat will cope with that. I think it will have pressure for the MAG because once we have that response and the secretariat has synthesized it, MAG members are then going to have to work with that to get it into a narrative or a format that is clearly understandable enough for us to use that as a basis for the workshop proposal. So it's good that you bring that up because we'll want to give you all advance warning and identify now already, I think, or soon, who will do that work.
But we did look at it. It doesn't have to change the time line with regard to when the call for workshop proposals goes out.
We have an observer at the back. Just introduce yourself.
>>ANASTASIYA KAZAKOVA: Thank you. My name is Anastasiya. I'm representing Kaspersky.
The other question for some MAG members, I still have to ask, what's the procedure for finalizing these themes, as we just mentioned, trust, inclusion, and data? I imagine it will be further discussed with the community and due to some public response. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So the procedure will be that we put out this call. The secretariat synthesizes the feedback and then we will have to have an online MAG meeting where we finalize the decision and where we allocate the work of developing or finalizing the different -- I am going to use the term "narrative" because I think that has worked well -- to the point to being able to send out the workshop call.
So we'll need to schedule an online meeting in time for us to work with the synthesized input from the community. And at that online MAG meeting, we will finalize and then we'll do a bit more work and then the call will go out for workshop proposals.
Okay. Is everyone happy with that? Because I think that's actually a big milestone. It's a clear process. We're close to finalizing our themes but we're honoring our commitment to being consultative and open to input from the community.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Good morning, everyone. I am not happy. I agree with the three overarching themes. Perfect. But I can't see how the fourth one, the emerging issues, whatever the emerging issue you find does not fit into one or more of the other three, because the other three are big, big umbrellas that you can fit almost anything into one or more of the three ones. So it's a bit inconsistent to put "emerging issues" at the same level as the other three. I'm not sure how to solve it.
I do understand it is important to stress the theme of the digital economy, which is obviously an issue of today, and of environmental sustainabilities from the (indiscernible) as well.
But how to fit all these into the three big umbrellas or separate from the three big umbrellas, I don't know.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Susan.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: I would just like to support what Carlos Afonso has just said. I agree with him.
Of course, if we are discussing the breadth of the narrative this afternoon, then we'll have to take that into consideration. But I think it would be useful to stick with the proposed -- well, the approach that we achieved last year. And I just do want to note that there are opportunities, I think -- different ways that we can create space in the program for environmental issues. They are the main sessions, of course. So I would agree with Carlos.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Paul.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you, Chair. Paul Rowney. If my understanding was correct on the discussion that we had, was having that line for "emerging issues" was just to capture them, not necessarily to have a theme. It might end up a theme, but that's not the intent. And then as a MAG, we can see if they fit in the other streams or if there's a need to accommodate them differently. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Absolutely. Paul's quite correct. We're using that as a way of framing this validation, final call for input. That doesn't necessarily mean that's going to the shape of the program. And we already have -- we have a call from existing input. We've been asked to have something to deal with emerging issues. We've been asked to deal with digital economy. We've been asked to deal with climate change. This does not mean that the program structure that we end up with doesn't look more or less like the one you are proposing.
We had Ben, Timea, Mary, Rudolf and Susan, you again. And then I would like for us to move on.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you. Firstly, to your question, just to express my support for this as a balanced way of going forward to have a short consultation to increase the amount of input we receive from the community.
And so thanks for that clarification about an emerging issues bucket for the purposes of the call of input. If we are seriously looking for ways to provide space for issues which emerge nearer the meeting, then having a bucket for a workshop proposal process that finishes in April is irrelevant. It's more about potentially reserving a main session for something that we organize in September, October, or some of the way of keeping space in the program.
But, yeah, I appreciate there's a way to try and capture what other issues don't fit in those buckets, and we as a MAG can work out how to fit that into a theme next month once we've got the responses.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Chair. Good morning, everyone. Just to reiterate what has been said before and to support also the concerned voice from Carlos and the comments from Susan and Ben, I think what we need to be careful about is how we phrase the call for consultation.
I am in favor of making sure that we involve the community as much as possible. I am unclear at this point -- maybe I wasn't paying enough attention -- if we frame the narratives before or after the call.
If we frame the narratives before, that might help saying this is what the MAG is thinking, what kind of issues do you see under these three buckets. And then have a fourth question: Does this capture everything? Do you feel there's a need for more?
And then we don't call it "emerging issues" because people might feel it's emerging technologies. "Emerging" might be other for many people. But we can say is there anything else or have another bucket or something like that for people to voice any concerns or additions.
But I do want to have that question of what do we do with the narratives. Is this before or after the call?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I think it's a little bit before and a lot more after. We can't just send a structure with three words. So it will be a little bit of both.
I think "other" conveys something very differently from emerging issues because we've already had a call. Just keep that in mind. I know some of you don't feel ownership of that call, and I apologize for that. We needed to communicate it more clearly, obviously. But it did go out, and enough people did take time to respond to it.
Next we have Mary.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you, Madam Chair. My name is Mary Uduma for the records.
I just want to support what Paul said about the emerging issues, I think is a window for us to gather more from the community. As of now, we're fixed in our minds about three tracks. We aren't giving opportunity to the community to add to what we have talked about.
And I think if we go that way, we are not being more transparent and we are not going bottom up. Let it come from them, what they think. That should be in that basket since we already have three main tracks that we have. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Mary.
The co-chair would like to make an input at this point and ask a question. And then I will go back to Rudolf and Susan.
>>MICHAL PUKALUK: Thank you, Chair. I think this is vital to have emerging issues as another track for the IGF. I just have a question on the criteria that will be used to select emerging issues from all those that will come in in the process. Will the criteria be how much conversion they are with the rest of the themes?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I think -- I mean, I'm not sure that we'll have criteria. We'll have the wisdom of the MAG. And I think -- and the skill of the secretariat, who will try and synthesize that, and then as a MAG we'll just have to have an online meeting and look at that and make some hard decisions. I think I would say as criteria we probably know, and I think that came out of the meeting yesterday, that some simplicity works, coherence works, but as the IGF we can never lose flexibility or openness completely. But even if we are bombarded with a whole bunch of new issues, we can't accommodate them all. We're either going to have to either use a crosscutting structure or -- so we'll have to find a way to do that. And I think we will find a way to do that. My understanding very much from yesterday and from the stocktaking feedback so far is that some sort of every overarching, coherent framework that people can easily identify with and follow has worked well.
So as a criteria, I think we won't lose that. So we won't be able to accommodate everything. That would be my response. Okay. We have Rudolf and Susan.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Thank you very much. Rudolf Gridl, Germany, government stakeholder group. I want to firstly thank you for this good work of consolidation. I think three themes is very catchy and they are large enough to cover a lot of issues that will be probably also in the second round. If this second round of call for issues is short and precise, I could go with it. I would not extend it ad infinitum and have a new round because we already had one.
Concerning the fourth, like emerging issues, I think what Ben said has to be borne in mind because the workshop selection process is very determined and at one point in time we will not be able to open it up again. So we would probably have to go to other formats like main sessions in order to accommodate any newly emerging issue during the year. So, I mean, we can leave it as a placeholder but probably it will not -- I mean, if there is something emerging very, very early in the stage, we can cover it, but perhaps not.
The fourth point I wanted to make is more on the substance. Two of the newly proposed issues that we had yesterday were about environment, climate change, and so forth. I wouldn't really label them as newly emerging issues, but I think in the communication of whatever we send out it has to be -- it has to be very prominent and it has to be clear that the IGF and the MAG is aware that this is an important issue and that we are going to deal with it. Otherwise, we will be subject to massive criticism, I guess.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks. Sorry, Susan. I just want to respond quickly. Yes, in fact, we talked about that. They are in a sense emerging priorities rather than emerging issues. So I think we do need to finesse that. And Rudolf, I agree with you, and I think maybe I wasn't clear enough. My understanding is that we are treating this as a validation call rather than a new call. And does that -- if we do that validation call but with sufficient opportunity for people to still provide new input but it's not a new call entirely. Does that address your concern? Good. I agree with you completely. Susan.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you. I just want respond to Paul's comment, and this is also relevant to what Nebojsa had just asked. When we do this -- I'd just like to encourage everybody to think about the evaluation process as we are having this discussion because the broad strokes that we are setting out right now will have ramifications on the evaluation process. So if we -- when those emerging issues come in and if we want to have a discussion about which categories they will have to go in, data, inclusion, or trust, that is a whole extra load of work that we'll be doing to sort them into different categories and not everybody will agree on which workshops go into different categories, if we do emerging issues.
So I would just like for us to bear in mind that the steps that we take now will -- we may have to retrofit the more specific workshop sorting and evaluation process to address -- to address this call. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks. Thanks, Susan. And I think, yeah, we need to make sure we allow enough time for that.
So I'm going to give you the floor because you haven't spoken before. But I do want to close this. So Ananda, go ahead.
>>ANANDA KHANAL: Thank you, Madam Chair. I don't have much objection on the way we have kind of consolidated the themes for 2020 IGF. But we require a paradigm shift in thinking and identifying the themes and the reason that we will be discussing IGF.
Whatever we have been discussing from the first IGF will be relevant in the foreseeable future. So the relevance alone should not be the criteria. We should focus, when we think of next years, we should focus on what is the issue that is most emerging, and there is no clear-cut ramifications of it's impact or it's guidelines of the policies, the laws, that is going to guide it, guide its development. It's not very clear. It's very hazy.
So these kind of things should be discussed so that we can hear many views from many stakeholders. Cybersecurity will remain relevant, you know, every time. This problem is there with ITU study groups. Same question is repeated even four times. Four into four is 16 years. When we discuss about this, they say it is relevant? It is going to be relevant always. For example, climate change, disaster management system is relevant all the time because disaster is going to happen. eWaste is relevant all the time. Human exposure of EMF is always going to happen. Cybersecurity is going to happen.
So we repeat the same questions, I have seen even five times. For 20 years, same question is repeated. And if we cannot implement something that is studied for four years, how can we establish our relevance in -- so fast in technology in the world.
So I think because we have almost consolidated, I have no objection, but my view is so that we shouldn't repeat the same thing that we did last year or many years. Because they are relevant doesn't mean that we should do it again. There are so many things that are relevant. Because it's not going to be relevant. For example, my view is, let's have one overarching theme. For example, consider artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence, the ethical issues, the future of artificial intelligence, the data, how the data protection is governed, you know, the security. Even the future of humanity is being discussed, and there is no clear, you know, future projections of how artificial will emerge in the future. So what are the regulations behind artificial intelligence the countries will think of.
So if artificial intelligence is an overarching theme, then under this we have subthemes we can think of. Its regulations, its ethical considerations, its data governance, and so on and so forth. So this is my view
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Which group were you in yesterday?
>>ANANDA KHANAL: I was -- I was in the group that almost, you know, considered finalizing the three themes.
>> (Off microphone).
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: The deep thinkers have a challenging habit to share their deep thinking at the end of a process rather than the beginning of the process. And I always wish I was a deep thinker. I'm not a deep thinker. I'm like a synthesizer. But I think those are important points. All I can say, we can't go back now on the process, but the one thing I can assure you is that I think the structure of data, trust, and inclusion is not meant to convey the three most important issues. They convey -- they are intended to convey kind of a conceptual map that allows people to relate to the IGF and to see it as more than just this huge big event with hundreds of different sessions. I think there are priorities absolutely and there are issues where we need closure and to move forward on, and I think the idea is that that overall thematic structure should still be able to accommodate that. So I think your point is taken. But we can't go back now in terms of identifying artificial intelligence as an overarching theme. But we can certainly still -- and that will be in the work of the MAG this year -- identify how to deal with those issues. But we will do that also based on very much, I think, the input from the workshops as well. But -- but yes, I think your point is absolutely taken. I think these issues do not change. The challenges do not change that dramatically. But we do need to find a way of making the IGF be more understandable and accessible, just from a program -- a programmatic and narrative point of view. And next time say that at the beginning, please. So that we can -- we can work with it.
Okay. On that point, thanks very much, everyone. I think there's quite rich input. I think, Secretariat, we are going to have to look at the transcript of this morning's discussion and based on that, we will do a draft validation call for themes and issues or tracks and issues for IGF 2020. We'll send that to you and give you some time to comment. And we'll --
>> (Off microphone).
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Very short time. Can we just set a target for when do we want this call to go out? Shall we say by the -- is the end of next week too late? Can we give -- in a week's time?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. Yes, let's call it a week.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: In a week's time, which means -- and I think you should aim to get about two days from us. You'll have two days in which to read this and comment on the -- on the narrative and the framing.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: You can comment on it on Monday and Tuesday, and then we can see if we can finalize it on Wednesday.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So we'll have a draft by when?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Well, we're going to try to get to a draft tomorrow.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Tomorrow, good. So our target for this to go out, this validation call to go out, is the end of next -- next week Thursday.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yeah. As I said, nothing ever works really on time but we're going to try for.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yeah. Thanks very much, everyone. And I'm sorry if not everyone feels completely accommodated, but there will still be another round. We may have to synthesize this input and build it into some kind of structure, and that will give all of you another opportunity to give input.
Now we need to move on to best practice forums. So I'd like to open the floor to the proposals, and maybe, Secretariat, you can start us off by updating us on -- actually, I'd like you to first just present what the BPFs are. I know you did that yesterday, but for new MAG members, just say what they are, their history, their purpose, and then we'll look at proposals for BPFs 2020.
Timea, I see your flag is up. Are you -- is it very, very important?
>>TIMEA SUTO: It's a question before we go into the next agenda item regarding the next agenda item. I'm wondering if colleagues have seen the discussion online pertaining to this topic from the previous week where we discussed, I think it was Sylvia who put it forward first, about the criteria for judging BPFs. And I just have a question on the order we're going in here. Are we hearing from the proponents first and then going into that, or the other way around?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Sorry, my mic wasn't on. I would like to suggest that we hear from the proponents first and then we talk -- we have a general discussion on criteria and selection. I think -- I mean, we could have a general discussion on criteria and selection first, but my feeling is that it might be better to just -- you know, then we could end up with the proponents feeling they have to address those, they haven't had a chance to do that. So I think let's just hear the proposals, and then we have a general discussion where we can talk about criteria and selection and the way forward.
I did think about that, but I think let's just get the proposals and we'll take it from there.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: All right. Thank you very much, Chair. For the best practice forums if you go on our website under Intersessional Work, there's the best practice forums. Just click that, please. And then you have what the best practice forums are. And the best practice forums were basically a response to the call by the CSTD, the Commission on Science and Technology's working group on improvements to the IGF. They're calling for the development of more tangible outputs coming from the IGF. So the best practice forums was one of those initiatives to respond to that call.
And it's meant to have some experts come together and even members of the community to come together, discuss what are the best practices, with practical examples, and then publish those best practices, or now we're calling them good practices, for distribution.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I will add a little bit to that, and that is that, you know, there's also these BPFs emerged during a time when there was quite a lot of dissent and tension around the IGF and the production of outputs. You had many, particularly developing country governments saying the IGF is not producing any outcomes. You had other governments and other stakeholder groups saying but the IGF is about debate and we don't want to have a negotiated outcome. So there was quite a lot of dissent about how to deal with, on the one hand, the demand to be more outcome and output oriented and on the other hand not to have the IGF become an intergovernmental type negotiation process.
And so -- and I'm going to ask Markus to add to this. So the BPFs were in a sense a mechanism to accommodate that demand, to have more concrete outcomes that are vertical, that are specific, that give policymakers and other stakeholders something concrete to work with. Issues like spam, for example. You know, those came up, without turning the entire IGF into a policy recommendation best practice machine.
So that's how they emerged. And it's very interesting, actually, if you reflect on that, how there's now much more wider consensus on the need for the IGF to be more outcome oriented than they used to be, although we still don't necessarily have agreement on whether those are messages or recommendations. But that's sort of the political history of BPFs.
But I would like Markus Kummer to add to that, and I think it's useful for everyone to understand the history of why BPFs emerged. And they emerged under Markus' term as MAG chair. So Markus, can you give us your insight?
>>MARKUS KUMMER: I'll happily do so. I would also like to go back even further. We already thought -- the second year of the IGF, which took place in Rio de Janeiro, we introduced the notion of best practice forums but it was workshop. Some governments then took it up and said, we have a best practice forum, but it turned out to be more of a beauty contest. And we had specifically said, we don't want beauty contests but we want to learn from you also what was your experience, what worked, what did not work, and on the whole you learn more from experiences that didn't work. It's lessoned learn of what, as I said, it didn't work. And also, because it was self-organized and people then thought okay, we can show them how good we are, and that is not what we wanted. But then we let it sleep a bit, and it's right, in 2013 I chaired the process. And that was an interesting year. That big emerging issue was actually surveillance. And that came up, and the U.S. Government actually came to Bali and was open and disclosed and discussed about it. And we thought that was a huge win for the IGF, that actually a government uses the IGF for this kind of discussion.
And then we thought we are really ready to go a step further with the IGF, and here I contradict Chengetai. It was not at all a reaction to the working group on IGF improvement but it can be seen as that. It is indeed a more tangible outcome. But it was not seen okay, we have to do something because there we have instructions to do something. It was more the feeling was the IGF is ready, is more mature. And I was working then for ISOC and we produced a paper that launched the idea to revitalize the best practice forums. And we also thought as ISOC, as you know, provides institutional home of the IETF, the Internet Engineering Task Force, and we thought the IGF could be kind of a policy equivalent to the IETF where you talk on policy issues but not negotiate but you just see whether consensus emerges. And there the best practices lend themselves as a mechanism to come forward. And we also thought it would be best to start with non-controversial issues where there's a lot of experience.
So some of them -- of the early themes were mentioned, spam. Another one was CSIRTs. They exist, but it was just about gathering the information and sharing it. And also IPv6 was one of the issues. There again, it's not a controversial issue but it's sharing good practices. How do we go about introducing v6. So these are some of the issues that lent themselves, and then it expanded from that. Other issues came up. But that's a short insight into the history. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share that with you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thanks. So can I ask you to help us update the page then since it's erroneous?
>>MARKUS KUMMER: I will do that.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I don't think it's erroneous, necessarily. I was a member of the CSTD working group on IGF improvements. I think -- are there others in the room here who were part of that working group? And I -- that certainly -- outcomes was definitely one of the issues we identified. But we didn't call them BPFs. We didn't come up with the term "BPFs." So you're both right. But it's a good idea, Markus. Help Chengetai update that page. Historical and institutional memory is such a challenge.
And Timea, we're having a little bit of a general discussion, so I hope you're okay with that. But we still do need to move on. But Jutta, you have the floor. And then I think it's fine for us to have a little bit more discussion. But we need to keep in mind that some of our BPF representatives are only here this morning and that we do need to get to the work of reviewing the proposals. Jutta.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Madam Chair, for giving me the floor. And thank you, Markus, for that explanation on the history of best practice forums, which I myself am very acquainted with. But I do think the perception of best practice forums in the community is somehow different, and that is especially due to the fact that the MAG as a whole decides on which best practice forums we will have and we will continue or not. So somehow the perception is that these are -- these topics are given priority over other topics. And, for example, from the community of child online safety, I've been asked several times why have we never had a best practice forums on child online safety. And that is because that is due to the perception that people think if we have a best practice forum and there go additional resources into the BPFs, then this must be very important topics, and there are other topics as well very important.
So we need to take that in mind when we talk about criteria for best practice forums, how is the perception of the community on the BPFs. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes, I think so. There was a BPF on child online safety in 2014. So it's -- it just was then not continued. In fact, Chengetai, do you mind just reading through or pointing people to the page, so we can see what BPFs there's been since they were introduced in 2013.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yeah, it's exactly the same page that I was reading from. We'll just do it once more to go -- to go to the -- Luis, yes, intersessional work, best practice forums. Just click that -- the best practices forums tab, just click it. And then where we have an explanation there, which we will merge the two explanations that we heard today, and then if you go down, all the way down, those are the tracks for last year which we have as local content, Internet of Things, IoT, big data, artificial intelligence, gender and access and cybersecurity. And then if you go down a little bit more, those are the mailing lists so people can go there and join. And that's another -- that's another issue. I don't know how to actually make this stand out a little bit more because I've had questions even from the new MAG members where this information is. So if anybody's got any ideas, please let me know. And then if you go right down, that's the table of all the best practice forums that we've had. And then yes, the second from the bottom is online child protection, and that's the report. That's the report. If we click on that, that's the report. All of them are there.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I think these often are -- they're a mix of champions of people feeling strongly about these issues. I think the original criteria was very much about the debate within the IGF had reached a point where it had matured to the point where we could begin to capture and document best practices or good practices and recommendations. That was the original criteria. It's a topic that's not a new topic. It's a topic that actually emerged through existing debate and that debate had matured.
It has changed. And the IGF is an evolving format and mix of formats. I think as some people have said to me, they feel BPFs and dynamic coalitions are maybe more similar. The difference is that one has consultants and the other one doesn't. One has MAG coordinators and the others do not. So keep that in mind. Also, keep in mind that there is existing work and effort that has gone into this.
I think -- shall we now go into the proposals for this year? I want to declare that last year in my capacity as a consultant to the secretariat, completely independent of my current role, I worked as a consultant to support two BPFs. And I'd like everyone to feel completely free to be critical of the outputs of those BPFs. I will certainly join in, if I may. Though, in my capacity as chair, that would be difficult for me.
But do not feel any reservation about being critical of the outputs of the two BPFs that I was involved in because of my current role. My ego is quite capable of any of that kind of criticism.
So on that point, Chengetai, I think if you can review what we last year and the proposals that are on the table. And then we can hear from them. And then we will have another open discussion about selection and criteria.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: If we go to the front page again under "documents," we have the intersessional work proposals. And these are the best practice forum proposals.
So we have the BPF on cybersecurity proposal, the BPF on big data and artificial intelligence, local content, and gender and access. And all these are continued from 2019.
And then we have a new proposal which is the BPF on Internet business/economic models. That's a new proposal from a new MAG member this year.
And then we have a -- this is not quite a new proposal because this -- am I correct, we had this last year -- you worked on this last year as well, correct?
>> (off microphone).
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, the pilot initiative, yes. The pilot project on implementing Internet standards for a safer Internet. So I won't explain that, but I will let the other people, the proponents, explain them.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, Chengetai.
So I now would like to give the floor to the BPF on cybersecurity to present their proposal. And if there are any initial reactions on some of the discussion thus far, you can add that. I'd like us to -- I'll open for some questions for clarification immediately afterwards. But try and keep most of your general remarks for after we've heard all the proposals. But definitely, if you have specific questions on each proposal, we'll take that immediately afterwards.
So, Wim, can I give you -- or, Ben, are you presenting?
>>BEN WALLIS: Ben Wallis for the record. I'm the co-facilitator of this best practice forum. Markus is my other co-facilitator. I play the role as the MAG liaison point as well as helping to facilitate the process and work with our lead expert as well as Wim. This is one of the BPFs that he has been a consultant supporting.
I circulated the proposal last week. And let me go over that and give you a sense of where we got to at the end of 2019.
In broad terms, we're proposing to continue the work that was started in 2019 exploring norms developed in cybersecurity and exploring whether and how these norms get implemented. So, yeah, if I start by looking where we ended up come the end of 2019, during the year we had 11 different organizations working a volunteer group to draft the research paper which provided the bulk of the report.
We then had 12 organizations which responded to the public call for contributions. And as we were preparing this proposal for this year, I was really happy to see that the membership of our mailing list jumped by about 40% over the course of the year. I think we had 249 people at the start of the year. 346 at the end.
Though, I think we've established a good body of engaged contributors within the BPF, in addition to a growing mailing list of BPF members that follow and sometimes sharing their views with the mailing list.
And in terms of one of the IGFs roles of making links between this multistakeholder community and decision-making bodies elsewhere, we took account of feedback from MAG colleagues last January that we should reflect the initiative that is were kicking off in the United Nations. There was a renewed group of governmental experts and a new open-ended working group. We ended up presenting the best practice forum report to the consultative meeting of the open-ended working group in December, when it met in December.
So with that context, I'll just briefly summarize the proposal for this year. As I said, in 2019, the work explored norms developed in the area of cybersecurity and whether and how they're implemented. We consider this further work to do in this area for a couple of reasons. Firstly, that new norms are being or have been developed since we did our initial analysis in the middle of last year. We'd like to take those into account.
And, secondly, the breadth of the 2019 work limited the possibility to go into depth. So one of the evolutions this year would be to select a limited set of norms and look into them in greater detail. So take the quantity of last year and add some quality this year, not that there wasn't quality last year.
The main additional development would be to create a work stream looking at how norms are assessed. And this was something that came up partly during the year but also in the discussion we had at our session in Berlin.
As part of this, we would incorporate a multidisciplinary angle by bringing in experts from other strands of social science where norms have been a dominant form of rule making to see what learnings can be applied in this relatively new area of cybersecurity.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that, Ben.
Any questions or comments? Markus, do you have additions? Or Wim? Nothing from the floor.
Thanks a lot.
And now let's move on to the next one, which is the BPF on big data and artificial intelligence. And I think 2019 was the first time or was it the second -- it was the second iteration. So the MAG first identified that and selected that in 2018, and 2019 was the second year.
Who's presenting that? Titi.
>>CONCETTINA CASSA: Thanks for giving me the floor. This is Titi Cassa, government stakeholder for the recording.
As you know, the BPF was started in 2017 and continued in 2019. The first year was more focused on how to improve dialogue between the stakeholders. And last year instead we focused the discussion on how to use the three technologies, the IoT, big data, and artificial intelligence, to improve and address societal challenges. Actually, we had a lot of discussion. We also had the survey. We actually identified the different policy challenges related to these three technologies that we have grouped in three clusters that are: How to stimulate the usage and uptick of this application using the three technologies, how to improve trust in the application, and also a lot of challenges related to collecting and using data.
Starting from the discussion we had in Berlin, we actually proposed this new -- the work for this new year. And we would like to focus more on the data because during the discussion, it came out that there is a lot of opportunity in the data and as data can be used to solve a lot of problems, complex problems, related to transportation (indiscernible). At the same time, we realize that maybe we don't want to restrict or limit collection of data just referring to the data collection by the IoT devices.
So for this year, then the BPF suggest to focus more on how use of data is collected and analyzed and, also, try to collect more best practice on how these are used to bring benefit to users.
So we actually identified three main huge issues that came from the discussion of last year. So I list -- these issues are: How to ensure the data shared by users is used for the benefit of users in the community.
And the second issue is inevitable to live in a world without privacy.
And then the third one is how can digital literacy and wellness empower users and limit the control of companies and governments they have in their lives.
This is our proposal for this year. I can give the floor to Wim and maybe he wants to add some more on this.
>>WIM DEGEZELLE: Thank you, Titi. I would like to not speak specifically to this proposal but prefer to give a general comment as I have been working in supporting several BPFs.
What I think is important -- and it comes back in the IoT proposal but also in the cybersecurity and in the others, it's linked a little bit to the remark Jutta made.
It is important to look at BPFs as they're a MAG initiative. But then the purpose is to give ownership to the people that are participating. And to give ownership, you have to have the right people from the field that are outside the IGF. And you have to have those people around the table and your questions and you have to discuss with them the questions: What is actually relevant for you? And what are points and real challenges? So translating the overall topic into real concrete challenges.
And at that point, you can, with those people, start to collect best practices.
And I think, therefore -- to go back to the proposal Titi made, therefore, it was their idea also to zoom in from the general issue into very specific questions linked to that.
I don't know if you mentioned -- if Titi mentioned it already. The idea was also to change the focus a little bit or at least change the title of the BPF from "IoT, big data, AI" to "Big data and artificial intelligence." That doesn't mean that IoT is no longer on the table or it is no longer covered.
But an observation I think we made in the last two years is that a lot of people are interested in IoT. A lot of people, for example, in IoT security, in developing and the use of IoT but they come with completely different interests to BPF. And if you confront them with people and have them in a discussion with the people that are dealing with AI, artificial intelligence, big data, they come for one or two calls and then all of a sudden they -- they both say it's not really my topic. That's the reason why in this year's proposal it is also said -- or the BPF would suggest to at least in the title focus on AI and big data and no longer IoT.
But that's all from me. Later on in the discussion, I would be happy to also answer questions because I think I have a good view on not only last two years' BPFs but on the practice of how BPFs work.
And one point I maybe would like to make here is the MAG cannot underestimate the important role the MAG coordinators play and all the coordinators play. I think it's often underestimated. They are, on one hand, there to make sure the progress moves on, that the BPF is not a stand-still thing that nothing has happened. They're very important also to reach out to those stakeholders outside the IGF.
And they're also very important as to, I would say, guardians of the discussion to make sure, on the one hand, it's not one stakeholder group or one party captures the whole discussion. Also to be there to be make sure that, for example, the IGF code of conduct, the way how people interact, discuss on mailing lists during BPF calls is taking -- is respected. That's something I really wanted to make. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes. I think that's very important just because there is -- the U.N. Trust Fund covers the time of a consultant to support the IGF. The role of that consultant is not to coordinator the BPF, not to coordinate the BPF or drive the BPF. It's to support the MAG coordinators and the other practitioners and experts in the field that are working that. I think that point is very, very important. And without that leadership coming from the MAG member, the formula doesn't actually work.
Next we have -- do we have gender? Which one is next? It doesn't really matter. Gender and access.
>>MARIA PAZ CANALES: Thank you very much. For the record, Maria Paz Canales, co-facilitator with Chenai Chair from the BPF on gender and access in last version, 2019. This is a BPF that have been keep going for at this point five years almost. This will be -- no, we already complete the fifth year.
And in each version, we have been working deeper in analyzing the different consideration regarding Internet governance issues that are linked with gender considerations.
And the last version, 2019, was around digital economy, understanding that when we talk about gender and access we are not only covering the connection but what happened after the access and how to fully ensure that women and gender-diverse people can fully participate and benefit from Internet.
The experience during this last version, it has a combination of good things and things that didn't work so well.
So taking the invitation of Anriette to be very honest about how the BPF worked, we confront a number of issues in the work of the BPF regarding the sustainable engagement of the community with the work of the BPF.
We have a list of participants for the BPF that is quite active in general over the year, but it's a list that at the end of the work, we have a little bit of a struggle to provide more substantive input into the work.
We also confront the issue of the challenge of having our consultant hired too late during the process because we already had the consultant support from June which make difficult also to move forward in the concretion of the input for the report.
And overall, the experience was the result of the report. It was a good landscape of the different challenges that we confront in the space of finding places in digital economy to discuss and address the issues of gender.
But we probably run short in more concrete suggestions in terms of policy mainly because we didn't have much time for gathering additional support of governance initiatives and we struggled being on time for delivering our report, even if our consultant, which was Anriette as she mentioned, worked hard to try to consolidate everything that was available.
So considering all these challenges, we think that it's still relevant and important to keep the work of the gender and access BPF. We are not discouraged. We learned about these.
Also, I have to be very honest, this year, this BPF have two new co-facilitators who also we were first-year MAG members. So probably part of the struggle was linked also with the lack of experience from us to properly handle our renovation in the community of participants. We also have co-facilitators that were not MAG members, but they also renovate in a certain way.
Being honest about all that struggle, we still find value in the work in the community that it is built. And we are proposing during this year -- you can see we were a little bit late with the proposal, but it's already uploaded in the Web page.
And what we are proposing to bring this version of 2020 of gender and access BPF is linked to more consistently review how the gender consideration and the gender approach can be inserted in the policy-making processes in a mainstream way.
The way we come up with this topic was precisely because during the building of the last report and during the conversation afterwards and during the BPF session at the IGF in Berlin, we realized that many of the subjects that were touched on in the previous version of the BPF are still issues that are ongoing and very much not solved.
And a lot of that is linked with the fundamental issue of how we haven't been totally successful of mainstream, the consideration about gender in the policy-making processes.
So this is an opportunity to build on top of all that experience on the specific topics and revisit the places in which the policy-making process will benefit from concrete suggestion about how to standardize and increase the specific instances in which these gender issues are feeded in a more consistent way in the policy-making process in different spaces and link it with the comment that have been made previously for many of you that have more experience with the work of BPF.
I truly believe that the engagement of more MAG members during this year in the work of this BPF and particularly probably members that are government representatives, it will be essential.
I encourage my colleagues to join us, to work with us, to provide us more feedback about a governmental experience in this input of the gender consideration in the mainstream of policy making. There are very good examples around the world as the Canadian government provide a full policy in how to insert the gender consideration, any kind of policy making. I'm pretty sure there are more experience over there.
And I encourage you as a MAG member, representatives of governments around the world, to come to us, to work with us, or point it out to the right places to look at it.
That's my side. I don't know if Chenai maybe has something.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Chenai, do you have anything to add?
>>CHENAI CHAIR: Thank you very much, Anriette. Thank you, Maria Paz, for setting the scene and actually going deep into the proposal.
I think just one more thing to add is that what I think is quite useful about this BPF as long as we've been around since 2015 is that we're taking this year as an opportunity to reflect on the different work areas that we've actually looked at. And then I think it does -- speaking to the outcomes issue, to actually say the work we've done has either impacted or not impacted and then is able to be something that can be used by the IGF space to actually reflect on when you do create the spaces, do we have to continuously answer the question or do we have to figure out a way to answer the question innovatively. So I do think that this year's process should also be considered as a reflection by the BPF.
And then also I think we're taking on a suggested framework by the community, the feminist framework, because the Canadian government, for example, which we're drawing on from, has actually said they have a feminist Internet policy.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Feminist foreign policy.
>>CHENAI CHAIR: Yes, thank you, Anriette. A feminist foreign policy.
So I do think it would be interesting and quite a critical point to use it as what does it -- how does that framework react and is received within the Internet Governance Forum space.
So I'm looking forward to having more participation, especially from the government community, within the BPF. Thank you. And the business sector as well.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Chenai. Any questions for these proponents?
I have one. And that is actually based on having worked with the BPF, is that it's very -- it's still very broad. And I think that in the way that -- with the question from last year which was woman and gender diverse participation in the digital economy, that is just massively broad.
And I think similarly looking at gender and policy processes, it might be worth looking at -- because you have a one-year work time line, which is something we can discuss. Identifying one or maybe two -- if you want to look at foreign policy, then maybe use that.
Because I think that's the difficulty. If the work of the BPF involves scoping huge terrain, you spend more time on the scoping and the analyzing of the context than you actually have to then get to the point of identifying the best practices.
I think what we've seen with some of the BPFs is that the narrower you go, the more specific you can be in identifying best practices.
And you can either do that by narrowing down on the work of the previous year, as some BPFs have done, or if you're taking on a slightly new topic, just make sure that your initial terrain is narrow and specific enough for you to get to the point where you can actually identify specific best practices. That was just my experience working with the scope of participation in digital economy because it just involved so many different areas of policy and practice. And I think participation in policy processes is also huge.
>>MARIA PAZ CANALES: I think that is not exclusive of this BPF but is a general comment, very much linked also is what Jutta mentioned before about what is the perception of BPF and the comments in the same line.
I think that is relevant to understand that there is internal tension in the work of the BPF. Because as co-facilitators, we tried to keep this in a scope that will allow us to have a more concrete outcome of the BPF in terms of recommendation or in terms of mapping of good practices. I was reminded that was the original purpose of the BPF.
But, also, because this is something that is owned by the community, there is an internal tension of the community to expand because every time you try to narrow down, people consider there are things that are left out that are relevant.
I think in that sense, maybe -- I don't know if it's a suggestion. Again, not for overengineering the processes, but maybe to have some kind of guidelines in terms of the orientation of the outcome expected of the BPF, that make more explicit some of these original considerations that are in the history will be something good in terms of moderate this expectation that can be an intention inside the work of BPF. Because, otherwise, we all the time we are in this tension, for example, what we were describing about IoT, something that also can happen in our gender and access BPF because we have also the issue of how women consideration or feminist approach might or might not be the same ones for gender-diverse people in the open mic of the session in IGF and also in the BPF session that we had. There were some mentionings about having separate discussions for gender-diverse people.
So those kind of tensions are always present and maybe some kind of guideline in terms of the scope expected could be helpful in terms of moderate expectation and provide the sense of ownership in any case from the community of the BPF.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Good point. Gunela, you have your flag up and Chenai, then we'll come to you. We'll take the questions first, Chenai, is that okay? And then we'll come to you.
>>GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thank you. And as a new MAG member, I'm learning, so this might not be relevant but I just thought in terms of the BPFs looking a year ahead, would it be appropriate to use the main three themes that we have and the discussions during the IGF about those themes, the introduction and the breaking out the groups and so forth, where there are particular issues identified and, for example, digital inclusion. I mean, Susan summarized some of the issues that came out, and maybe the leaders of those particular thematic tracks can look at specific issues that come out often each of those three thematic tracks and say well, this needs to be drilled down and looked at in more detail and maybe that could form a future BPF in the following year. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes. In fact, I would like people to break out into groups before lunch to look at that closer integration of intersessional work in principle. But we also have to consider the fact that that's a new idea and if we want to work with that idea, we can't -- we have to do that in a way that still respects the fact that there's an existing process and we put out a call for proposals. But I think there's definitely ideas in the room about how to maybe find a way of doing at least part of that.
So let's move on a little bit. Let's take your question, and then we'll have Chenai respond and then Wout. Wout, you have a question first, a specific question for the gender and access BPF. Leave the general questions for a little -- points for later.
>>XIAOFENG TAO: Thank you, Madam. Madam, this is Xiaofeng. Back to BPF, PT,and AI. I prefer speaking with IoT, PT, and AI. IoT for information collection, PT for data analysis, and AI for making decision. This is a procedure for information processing. IoT will play a very important role in recent years. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that. And I think the -- maybe do you want to respond to that, why you are changing the name, and do you want to repeat why? Because it's not saying that IoT is not an important issue. I don't think that was your intention, was it?
>>WIM DEGEZELLE: Definitely not the intent. It is more based on the experience that in the last two years there is a lot of work going on and discussions going on around IoT, very practical, going from IoT infrastructure, developing new product, a very important track on cybersecurity, and the -- BPF was always looking at the -- we look at the new technologies and the development of the new technologies and exactly in the way you mentioned. For example, the focus is where IoT is used to collect the data and then artificial intelligence is used to analyze the data and then take decisions, and how that everything like that happens -- that process happens in an Internet context.
The observation was that there were people interested, they saw IoT in the title, they came to the BPF, they discussed or they were participating on one or two calls. Often also gave very useful -- well, gave input that pushed the BPF in a certain direction. But then there were other people that were more focused in on the policy, for example, the EDD data, privacy, those discussions. And we noticed that it doesn't fit -- those two different discussions, they don't fit together. And then you end up with losing people and losing people's attention. So that's the only reason. It is definitely not to exclude IoT. It's more to -- let's say, to avoid that the IoT specific discussions or people that are really involved in IoT specific discussions don't look at the BPF as that's a -- where we should go to.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks. And I'd like us to speed up a little bit, please. Chenai, do you still want to respond?
>>CHENAI CHAIR: I will make the responses very brief. I think in terms of the narrowing of the scope, completely agree. And as Maria Paz has pointed out, balancing our needs to make sure that it's scoped down to the community wanting everything to be included. But I think that's the role of the coordinator -- not the coordinator, the consultant that will be brought in. Because I have seen past BPFs where the consultant comes in a little bit earlier. There's much more work that's done prior to making sure that you get one concrete question coming in.
And then secondly, with regards to linking the intersessional works and as had been pointed out that the BPF on agenda does have issues that feed into the other BPFs, my suggestion going forward would be maybe getting the consultants to actually sit together, together with the MAG coordinators, to see what may be the emerging issues that come out so it does not seem as though we're working in silos and talk about security within the gender BPF and then it doesn't even come out in the other BPF that may be dealing with data. So that is my suggestion. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, Chenai. So now let's move on to local content.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Carlos here. The BPF was facilitated by -- co-facilitated by my and Giacomo Mazzone and with the tremendous help from Anriette as the consultant. And as an introduction, I would say that the 2018 BPF on local content, it was built on the 2017 work and considered relations between development and the growth of the local Internet content as well as the availability of content and services that are relevant for the local Internet user. It intended to focus on the local development of content and local content value chain considering three basic aspects new self-sustaining models for local content creation, the development of --
[ Speaker off microphone. ]
>>CARLOS AFONSO: What?
[ Laughter ]
A computer is talking to me. So new self-sustaining models for local content. That was the basic aspects treated in 2018. The development of enabling the environment for local content creation and existing models promoting, supporting, or subsidizing local content creation.
Last year we advanced the agenda by adding issues such as preserving and enhancing local cultural assets, discussing the protection of community intellectual property rights with special emphasis on preservation and promotion of languages and heritage and the conditions in which cultural and linguistic diversity are sometimes at risk as a result of political and social shifts and crisis.
It also stressed the relevance of capacity development in secure digitization or digitization and described the experiences related to these issues. A call for contributions received 26 responses which were consolidated in the report, thanks to the wonderful help of our consultants, as well as raised during the discussion in the BPF session in Berlin. Beside the problem of the access to the Internet, the other top goal is to make possible broad access to local or regional contents and services and not to just make accessible global contents and services.
In this sense, in Berlin emerged a clear need to broaden the scope of this BPF on how to -- how copyright and content protection could become tools to preserve and protect local creativity and community of others and not as a form to impose external cultures and cultural goods across the world.
We have reason to think that the main issues taken up in 2019 are still very pertinent to the continuation of this BPF in 2020. And I think finally this BPF at least should make a stronger effort to reach the community and disseminate outcomes and the need to capture initiatives and practices.
The proposal which is in the site details much more the ideas for the 2020 BPF continuation. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Any questions for local content BPF? By the way, the reports of these, the outcome documents of these BPFs are all on the website. You can look at them, and there's -- you know, there's actually -- there's a lot of value in using those reports. Questions for local content. Remote?
>>LUIS BOBO: No, it's just, if I can recommend, if you don't mind, we can use the speaking queue when the floor is open because it helps the scribes to identify the next person.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Okay. So a reminder from Luis that, please, you should use the speaking queue on the website to request the floor. We have reverted to flags. You're right, Luis. So please add your name to the speaking queue. But in the meantime, if you have a flag, you can wave it. No questions for that. I mean, yeah. I think Carlos, so if I understand correctly, the idea of different ways of approaching copyright and content licensing, that has emerged as a specific issue that you want to look at. That was. I mean, I think what we found with the report was that people are developing different ways of approaching copyright and also copyright emerged both as an enabler and in some instances a disabler. And I thought that was really interesting, because you have some of the participants in the BPF felt very strongly that stronger intellectual property regulation was a good enabler of preserving content. Others felt that it was a disabler. But then there was a third track of people developing different ways of developing content licensing, which was very interesting, where you actually have business and communities and organizations like WIPO forming partnerships. So am I right? Is that going to be the specific focus?
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Yes. That's one of the focus. The other is secure digitization because there are lots of experiences of digitization which well, it's fantastic to have everything in digital form but also the security of that storage is always at risk. So you have to think of secure ways to digitize.
We had a council experience, they lost everything after digitizing and it's terrible. Backup systems, et cetera, that didn't work and so on. So this is another theme that we would like to collect experiences about.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: That's right. You know, we worked a lot of the library community and --
[ No audio ]
Oh, sorry. If there are no questions for local content, let's move on to the next proposal which is a new proposal. Karim, that's your proposal on a BPF on digital -- Internet business and economic models.
>>KARIM MOHAMED ATTOUMANI: Thank you, Madam Chair.
>> (Off microphone).
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I've done this personally, but I wanted to really congratulate Karim for taking the initiative to propose something in his first year as a new MAG member. I think it's fantastic and you shouldn't -- even if it doesn't go ahead, I think that is really a very positive move to see from a new MAG member. Congratulations.
>>KARIM MOHAMED ATTOUMANI: Thank you, Madam Chair. I guess I admit that the presentation of my proposal is not consistent relevant, if you compare it with other proposal, but I tried to come up with a -- an idea from work that we -- we had to discuss during African IGF. And if I took a look on all the BPF proposed on last year's, I noticed that we -- we have something looks like missed. Perhaps I'm -- I didn't have the right time to read all the material, but in term of Internet business and the economic model, we had to discuss on something on Internet taxes regarding to the GAFA.
If we analyze the challenge in terms of infrastructure development at the developing countries and the switch from circuit-switching network to a packet-switching network, we have a lot of service and content provider from abroad that impact the needs in term of broadband Internet of infrastructure development at local level that's remain to local actors.
So now the idea is that to try to see how we can address this issue because we have some regulatory actions, some regulatory -- introduce some taxes on, for example, video, Messenger, VoIP. Some economic, for example, in Europe we have tax, GAFA tax, but I think that's regarding the -- regarding the specific economic on each region, I think that we can learn from experience, from best experience, and to see the right way to guarantee Internet stability and development. You see the scope of my proposal. I saw that as a proposal, and I think that we can work on it and to improve it maybe on the next round. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much, Karim. Other questions for Karim? Ben. And please do use the speaking queue.
>>BEN WALLIS: Ben Wallis, for the record. So, Anriette, just to share your comments before I give my thoughts on the proposal, to congratulate you, Karim, on bringing forward a substantive proposal in your first few weeks on the MAG. It took me a lot longer to find my feet and develop confidence to make proposals in this forum.
So I think the proposal contains a number of topical issues, for example, how to manage taxation of a global company. That is clearly a current issue which the OECD has been grappling with for a couple of years, and I'm very hopefully they're actually going to find a compromised solution this year.
And the questions of how the telecommunications sector should adapt to the Internet economy, I think they've been discussed in a Council Working Group of the ITU and they're still being discussed in ITU-T study group 3. So it might well be that these issues are already being discussed in relevant decision-making bodies or it could be that there are already a lot of potential solutions and best practices for the IGF to explore.
I do think, Karim, that your proposal suffers somewhat from coming from too narrow a perspective. So I think it does reflect the challenges that face the telecommunications sector in some countries, but it doesn't reflect perspectives of other parts of the private sector. And I'm not sure to what extent it reflects the perspective of other stakeholder groups. And I'll just give you a couple of examples to explain.
So I understood the proposal as saying that the companies which provide Internet applications pose unfair challenges to Internet service providers. Well, another perspective could be that Internet application providers, they actually drive demand for the service of ISPs. The fact that people want to get online and use social media means that customers will need to buy a bigger data package from ISPs and that increased revenue should help with building out the infrastructure. The other example is, I had the impression from the proposal that you see net neutrality as potentially unwelcomed constraint for ISPs, but I think Internet application companies, certainly Microsoft and other stakeholders, see net neutrality as a vital principle of Internet governance.
So I think that if we were to take this topic of Internet business models forward, whether as intersessional work stream of some sort, maybe even as a main session in Katowice, I think it would be important to think about how we could broaden it to reflect the needs and perspectives of a broader range of stakeholders, not just within the private sector stakeholder group but also interested citizens, the challenges that are faced by governments and regulators in tackling these questions and adapting to the Internet economy. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Roberto.
>>ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Thank you, Madam Chair. Well actually, this is an issue that I have been thinking of from the last two years when I was involved in our LAC IGF first in 2017 and later on. Also during my participations in NRI group during the last two years. And I think it -- it's an issue that's affecting not only our region, as I'm seeing now, it's only -- it's also affecting African region. What I'm saying, local region, I'm talking about the Latin American area. And I think the problem with the business model is affecting, of course, the accessibility to the people in our countries.
I will say that to different -- in a difference to the whole world our penetration is really less than 30%, despite all the efforts that we're affording telecommunication companies. I mean, we do are have infrastructure, we do have mobile Internet services, but the business model is really old for our -- for our budget capacities.
So I think this is a really big problem, and I think this is important to face in the -- in the close or future, hopefully through this kind of best practice groups. Perhaps in order to think in more creative ways to face how can we reduce the prices of the service in our countries. I know this is not a problem in Europe. It's not a problem in the U.S. I mean, not a big problem. But it's a really big problem in our region. So that's why it's important.
And I totally support this from Karim, and hopefully some others do, and we actually will be able to put this best practice group in place. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Roberto. Susan.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Chair. And thank you, Karim, again for proposing a BPF in your first year as a MAG member. I think that's excellent.
So I -- I would say actually I've been -- folks have been thinking about this issue since much longer than three years. I mean, the title reminds me of the WCIT in 2012. So I do think it's a very well-discussed topic. And as Ben has mentioned, there is work going on on this topic elsewhere. That's only to say, my question would be, what -- what is new? What can the IGF and the BPF bring to the discussion that hasn't been brought before? I think that should be a criteria, by the way, for evaluating the BPFs. I think that what we could bring to the discussion within this unique multistakeholder environment is again that diversity of perspective.
So I also did find that the proposal was from one perspective in particular, and I don't think it is up to a BPF to find, quote, the right way to approach funding for Internet infrastructure and different business models. For a best practice forum -- just recalling what Markus had -- as Markus gave us an introduction -- I think it's useful to look at a plurality of different business models, not just one.
And so to that extent, I would suggest that we take time to approach the proposal with -- I mean, there are a plurality of topics in there, net neutrality, OTT, taxation. So I would suggest that we maybe take another step together as a group and then see if we can narrow it down a little bit and think about a multistakeholder approach to the topic.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Susan. I think there also has been some work done on the IGF -- in the IGF on, for example, social media taxes. Because the problem is still there. I mean, for countries that are landlocked or small island developing states, getting the revenue needed to build the basic infrastructure when the demand side for bandwidth is expanding and completely outweighs what you have on the supply side remains a massive problem. And I think one of the responses we've seen, in Africa anyway, are taxes on voice over Internet and social media, which then actually increases the cost at the end user level.
So I think the problem remains. I think it has changed a little bit since 2012. And it has been discussed -- I think, Karim, you should probably also look at the transcripts and outcomes of workshops, and then I think, as has been said, there are -- it's an issue that impacts on different stakeholders in different ways. But I think the problem absolutely is one that is still very topical.
Okay. Wout, do you want to present your proposal? You have the floor. Oh, sorry, you had a question, Timea. I see you just now. Go ahead.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Sorry. I was in the queue online. I don't want to take up much of the time. I just wanted to, you know, maybe this is repetitive, but I really want to congratulate Karim on his spirit of initiative from the first moments on coming on the MAG. I think that's great and should be encouraged of colleagues. I feel inspired by our new business representative on the MAG.
With that, I also understand from Karim's intervention that he invited our input and our help to make this proposal fully fleshed and workable for the community. So I want to, you know, ask this from the MAG, what is the procedure here? Can we take some more time to work together or are we to make a decision here? Because I think there is different levels of detail in the proposals that we've heard so far. That's one thing.
The other thing that I wanted to -- to talk about is, how can we connect -- and this is also a challenge for new MAG members -- how can we connect our ideas and proposals to what has happened before? And I'm thinking here, Anriette, you mentioned workshops and others. I think there was discussions in dynamic coalitions as well and many of those topics there was also discussions in the CNB. I don't know which year it was that looked into connectivity models, but I think there was work done there as well. So maybe we want to wade through that area of input and make sure that we connected with this issue.
And then I want to echo some of the thoughts that my colleagues have voiced before on work going on elsewhere. And then also thinking about the work on taxation of Digital Economy that's currently going on in the OECD. From what I understand, the ambitious goal of the OECD is to have something ready by the G20 process this year. So perhaps it would be a good opportunity for the IGF community to reflect on what's coming out from that process. Maybe in a main session or in another way later on in the year. And that also links with what our Polish hosts were talking about earlier today -- or was it yesterday -- on regulatory aspects of the work in the EU. That might also come up through the end of the year. That also links with parts of this.
So I don't know if there are work -- there is a lot of work going on right now that is culminating very soon. If it's the right moment for the IGF to provide input ex ante or is it better for us to do an ex post input. So that's a question to Karim and to all of us here.
And then thirdly, and that's my last point, about I think it was Ben who brought it up about sectoral interests and scope and narrowness or breadth of the work of the IGF. And I tend to believe that the IGF is there to accommodate views in an ecosystem perspective, to hear concerns from all sectors and to hear ideas on advancement from all sectors as well. So if we were to take work on this forward, I think it's -- it's good to make sure that we hear all voices and we don't say this is the best practice, that these are the practices out there. These are the views out there and provide a menu (indiscernible) before. So those are the three things that I wanted to put on the record here. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I think useful points and particularly in the light of the fact that the G20 and the OECD includes only a fraction of who makes up the IGF community, which is actually much broader than those that are part of the OECD or G20. But I think that that point about working on that and linking that work to the IGF community, I think that's definitely worth thinking about. How can the IGF actually add value by linking people that are not directly part of those discussions but that can really benefit from them.
Rudolf, and then I'm going to give Karim the chance to respond. And then I -- let me just tell you what the process is. Wout is going to present his ideas. I'm then going to ask everyone to break up into groups because I think you do your best work when you break up into groups. And I will ask those groups to reflect on the proposals that you heard, to come up with questions and suggestions, decisions, if you have them, on these current BPF proposals. But I also want you to, in those groups, talk about Item 2 on today's agenda, which is strategies for collaboration and complementarity across intersessional work. And I will elaborate on that, but let's first just complete our round of input.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Thank you very much. Rudolf Gridl from Germany, government stakeholder group.
I have a question because, to my knowledge, the number of BPFs we can approve is limited. And I wanted to know how many BPFs can we retain, especially if we break out for working groups later on. It's important to know how many funds are available, how many BPFs will there be at the end feasible.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Secretariat, how many BPFs can the IGF trust fund currently provide support for with financial implications?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Again, it's not a straight and simple answer as such. Because we do have a pot of funds, but we have to be very careful with those funds. If we add somewhere, we have to subtract somewhere. So that's what we have to think about. And we also have to think about is it -- is it really worthwhile looking at everything else that we have to do to have this other additional BPF.
Usually it's a good idea to have it in pairs because we can have one consultant -- this is just mathematics. I'm not talking -- to have it in pairs. So, I mean, it's not -- but we were thinking that if we could maintain four, that would be good.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So the planning essentially is for four, but what you are hearing is respect coming from Secretariat and a commitment to be responsive to input from the MAG. But there are real limitations. So if there are five or six BPFs, that does mean that those resources would have to be taken from other budget lines. But I asked them this previously, Rudolf, and they want to be responsive rather than prescriptive. But the planning is anticipating that no more than four would be easily accommodateable.
Okay. So Wout -- sorry. I want to give Karim the opportunity to respond. Carlos, is your comment a general comment?
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Regarding --
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Oh, you have Roberto first. Sorry, I'm getting confused myself now. So we have -- we have Roberto, Jennifer, Ananda. Is that on general comments or on this digital -- this business model BPF? Business model BPF. Okay. So Roberto.
>>ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Let me turn off this.
Thank you, Madam Chair. In this case, it's both. Just to close my intervention regarding the business model, I'm not talking about the OTT aspect itself. I'm talking about the general business model that we are now currently suffering in our countries.
Just an example, we are still paying Internet by the megabyte. So it's really hard for us in our countries to make it affordable. That's a big issue. I'm not talking about a solution as to implement a new tax for the OTTs. Let that for me to be clear.
The second part, I am also concerned in this new stage we're going to have working in groups, what are going to be the parameters for the iteration because it's really hard to subtract one of this important, very important, themes, very important BPFs if we can't actually analyze.
I know all of them are really important in terms of the subject we are dealing with. But, perhaps, we need to -- and that's the question. We need to evaluate in terms of certain parameters, like they were successful during the last years. They were up regarding to the outcomes actually they were achieving. That's a question. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Okay. We'll come back to that.
Next we have -- Carlos, are you in the speaking queue? I think you were and then we lost you. Yes, so you go. Go quickly, and then we'll have Jennifer.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Very quick. I don't know -- I don't have in my memory all the 14 or 15 dynamic coalitions. But I wonder if Karim's proposal could fit into one of the dynamic coalitions we already have. I'm not sure. This is a question.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: That's one of the things I would like the breakout groups to look at. So let's flag that for something for the breakout groups to consider.
Next we have Jennifer.
>>JENNIFER CHUNG: Thank you, Madam Chair.
My intervention is more general. Just recalling that one of our colleagues -- MAG colleagues, Sylvia, did put a question to the list prior to this and she seemed very interested also to participate in the process.
I notice she's not online. So I just want to caution us, like, if we are to make decisions after the breakout groups, to consider MAG members who may not be currently in the room and have very difficult time zone constraints. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes. I'm going to ask you to look at that as well in your groups.
>>RAJ ANANDA KHANAL: Thank you, Madam Chair. I have two comments. One is on the BPF proposal on Internet business/economic model.
This is going to be -- if we adopt this, going to be very interesting. But at the same time, it's going to be very controversial.
I cite my own country's case. I was heading a study group on formulating the regulatory framework for OTTs in Nepal. And, finally, I concluded -- my report was that it's too early to come up with a regulatory framework that requires registration of these big companies who provides the OTT services. And if they don't come, what are we going to do?
For example, in the 2019 IGF in Berlin, I attended one of the sessions, the European Commission's GDPR. The governments don't have the technical platform to monitor the compliance of GDPR law itself.
So having a law or a regulation or anything sounds good. But if you don't know how to implement it, how to monitor it, it's going to be useless, futile attempt. And it's going to be very, very controversial in a forum like IGF. That's the first point.
Second point is the number of the BPF and the Fund constraint. In ITU, each year a study group has questions. And these questions are headed by rapporteur and vice rapporteurs under the guidance of chairman and vice chairman. That doesn't cost much. We don't have consultants for each study questions.
So if somebody is interested who proposes it, let them be the rapporteur and the responsibility rested on the rapporteur and other MAG members to contribute and come up with the report. So no additional cost should incur. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, suggestion, Ananda. You are suggesting we should consider having BPFs that are not funded.
Okay. Next we have Christine.
>>CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you, Chair.
I wanted to come on the proposal of Karim. And I wanted us to reflect on how this can address actually the needs of the special stakeholders in developing countries because, yeah, the OECD was mentioned but also if we look at other regions, both regions I come from, whether the Arab region or the African region, this is an important topic that's being discussed in many venues.
And I would suggest that we seriously consider supporting this proposal. And even if it's going to be -- it would have some controversy, I think it is worth tackling it. It's worth putting it on the table and discussing it, especially if we're talking about parliamentarians and how to involve them. I think this topic is very important also for parliamentarians to consider as they are looking into law that is look into taxes and things like that.
Putting the different practices that are out there on the table would be very important in my view. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Christine.
Paul. And, Zhaoyu JI, you will be the last person to speak on this before we give the floor back to Karim.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you, Chair. Just a general thought. It might have been captured. I apologize if it has. I have a feeling we should look at restricting BPFs to emerging and evolving priorities, that we need to contain the life span of a BPF. It shouldn't be an indefinite process, and we have a tendency of keeping things alive.
So maybe we might not need to start prescribing the maximum term that a BPF can continue for. It is -- the BPF should end up with some tangible output, the best practices. It's an output, yeah. We should try and avoid it becoming a mainstream continuous, keep the same BPF alive. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, Paul.
>>ZHAOYU JI: Thank you, Madam Chair. Just a very brief comment on this new proposal on Internet business models. I think that the Internet business models are different across countries. It's a really important topic for developing countries. I will give you an example, in China, for example, we have Alipay and WeChat which are a little bit different from other countries. But our farmers in very remote area can use the services to sell their products to very big cities, municipalities. I think it's very important issue for developing countries.
So I personally support the new proposal. And I encourage all colleagues to give very positive consideration in this regard and maybe with some minor changes on the title of the name to make it more specific. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much.
Yes, Wim. Are you finished? Are you leaving? I want to give you the floor because I know you can't be here.
It's a general comment. It's not related to Karim's proposal. It's a general remark. So park it a little bit because we're nearly there.
Karim, do you have responses at this point?
>>KARIM ATTOUMANI MOHAMED: Thank you, Madam Chair. Thank you, colleagues.
If I had responses on all conditions and remarks, I would not submit the proposal and I would not invite all of you to support and to join and try to work on it.
Thank you, all, for your remarks. And I think that, yes, we can work together to see how to define our components to come up with a proper proposal.
And, yes, if we can start working on it -- because in my point of view, I think that the global IGF might be the starting point of our next IGF or it could be the achievement of all bottom-up IGF.
If we rely on what is done during the year from countries, regional and continent IGFs, we can come at the global fora with issues and all problems addressed from bottom.
If we'd like to define what should be discussed by a top-level initiative, I think that we'll miss a lot of things that happened in different region, in different specific economy.
And, yes, I will come with your proposals to work together and try to refine it and come up with a good one. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks. Thanks for that, Karim.
And, Wout, do you have a BPF proposal or is this proposal somewhat different? Can you give us some brief remarks on that?
>> WOUT: I had a presentation. Can you put it up, Luis?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I don't think we have time to do the presentation right now.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: Otherwise, my message won't come across.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: If you can clarify if you are requesting a BPF for your activity or not because that's my understanding, was that you were not specifically asking the MAG to approve it as a BPF. Is that correct?
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: Well, now the option is on the table to have a self-funded BPF, then I would go for that one.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: It is not on the table yet.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: If that is an option, that would be ideal. I have been having contact yesterday on the dynamic coalition, and it's not supported. Just look around how many times has something coming out of a dynamic coalition been discussed here? That's zero, zero.
In other words, what my constituents are proposing is to have the IGF look at a long-term, serious issue that is not being solved in any way and bring all the capacity that the IGF brings together in the world to solve the problem of the deployment or implementation of Internet standards forward.
And if we look at the two months I was able to work on it when it was funded, that's what I would hope to have a few minutes on to present because it's astonishing what two months actually did with the input from the whole of the IGF community. It's not myself doing this. This is the input and with support from very, very broad section of the IGF constituency.
So, in other words, I would like to have, say, about ten minutes to present results. And I'll skip the whole intro as I think I said enough about that in the past days.
But I would like you to see what the IGF is capable of and make you understand what this beast actually can do if used right. So please consider to give me a few minutes. I will skip all the first slide.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Sorry. Ten minutes is too long. But I think if you can just do three minutes, that would be good.
So, Luis, can you bring up the one -- the main? Yes.
Put your mic on, please.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: I switched off until you pushed your button.
Please go to slide 4 to start, Luis.
This is it. Why Internet standards? It's Internet security, which is a major issue. And many solutions already exist except they are severely underused.
And next slide, please.
This is what we are talking about. DNSSEC secures domain names. RPKI secures routing. BCP38 secures email. OWASP top ten secures website. ISO standards secures information. And there's one below that which is safe software principles. So they are not Internet standards as such but all will solve a part of the problem we daily face on abuse and cybercrime.
So is the IGF capable of producing? Well, I'm here and there are two questions: What are the causes of slow deployment? And what are the ways forward?
Let's go on from there, and I will skip everything I have been doing.
There are six recommendations. Two more slides. One more. One more. Yes.
The six recommendations: Create a business case, either legislate or regulate which we're not pushing forward but this is what kind of came out of the customer. Safe security needs to be built into products. It needs to be disseminated in a clear and understandable way. Education has to change, and communication on Internet standards is pivotal.
So I'll skip the next one and the next one. And go to conclusions.
So what we found out is that everybody says what solves this problem is legislation is the easiest route. But if you ask people how, they said we don't want regulation or legislation. So, in other words, nobody wants that. So you need to have something else.
We also found that Internet standard is not a standard in the official, legal context. It's either formally excluded in laws, and everybody is talking about the public core of the Internet and protecting it. And it's not anywhere in the law mentioned.
So in other words, when the European Commission told me this ticks all our boxes, this project, there's no box to tick. Literally, there's no box to tick in the E.U. because it's not there. It's excluded in formal text.
Next slide, please.
What is extremely important is that the technical community is brought in to discuss this with policymakers, with industry, et cetera, because there is a complete lack of communication and everybody is pointing to that.
The Internet of Things is moving towards regulation. I think we can drop that as a topic. Education programs need to become better. There's a role for government, but which one, that is to decide.
So potential actions, that is why I'm asking for a continuation of this pilot project. The first one is we need to think about what is a positive business case when you want to deploy Internet standards. At this moment, there is no case, nothing. There's no stick. There's no carrot. There's nothing in place. Nobody cares if you deploy or not. You're not getting recommended. You're not getting pulled down, whatever.
So if we don't want legislation or regulation, we need to determine whether these arguments are valid. Nobody knows. It's just opinions. So we need to check that. And what can regulators actually do under current law? It could be that under liability or duty of care, et cetera, there are options already. But we need to determine that.
And we need to assist end users and SMEs and developing nations because they combine. We need to address platforms. If they enhance cybersecurity and the standards, then actually it would go forward very fast.
Next slide, please.
So potential next steps, I think I just mentioned them to you. But it's -- one of them I would like to propose to the cybersecurity best practice forum.
When you talk about norms, norms have the potential to identify who is breaching norms. And that is something which I would urge -- or ask the BPF to take in consideration because if you have the norms, it becomes easy to see who's breaking them.
Next slide, please.
The major question is: Can the IGF deliver something? Well, this is the result of two months' time of using the potential of people interested to discuss this. And there were dozens and dozens of people. So that's yes.
Next slide, please.
This is just a thank you to see who made this possible. You can see it's a very diverse set of organizations that actually have been paying the project to make this happen.
And what comes next? That is your choice because there's reason to believe that there's support for a phase 2, that the funding will be found, that the next steps will actually really make a difference, and that further reachout, we'll be reaching out to parliamentarians to see what sort of influence in thought that already made and others need to come on board. But what form is up to the MAG.
And if, as I said, the option for a self-funded BPF is possible, then I would definitely go for that. Otherwise, not a pilot project but a pilot -- sorry, a project under the IGF on the same terms, self-funded, with little assistance of the secretariat. That would be fine.
And in the end, I'm going to take two seconds to quote the Beatles in the very last sentence on their Abbey Road album. But in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. And that is something which is going to create the business case that we're going to need here.
So thank you for this opportunity. And if you have some questions, then, of course, I'm willing to answer them. And if we can discuss over lunch something, what the potential is to continue it, I'm very much welcome to do this. And I'm not asking this for myself but for a lot of organizations in the world. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that. And I'm going to open the floor. I just want to make a few general remarks.
I think, firstly, I would say that based on my understanding of the IGF and the evolution of the modalities of the IGF the idea of the dynamic coalitions are that you can make love there, too. You don't need a BPF.
And I think that is something to keep in mind. And I would say probably if I was looking at an IGF sort of taxonomy of terms, I would think the secretariat would probably say that an unfunded BPF is a dynamic coalition. I'm not sure if Jutta or Markus would say that.
But I think that is kind of why the dynamic coalitions were created, to create a format that allows people to use their own time and resources to put into the IGF in a self-organized way. And there's nothing to stop dynamic coalitions from having output.
In fact, if you look at the DC3, dynamic coalition, the dynamic coalition on community connectivity, it's produced very substantive output. I think let's keep that in mind.
Secondly, I think on criteria, the questions about criteria, I think they're completely valid. Sylvia asked them. Roberto has asked them. I think what we need to -- in all fairness, though, we can't null create criteria that are new.
I think what we have to work with and interpret is what we have and what we know.
And that is, I think, very much what you heard in the introduction from Markus, that the idea of the BPF was to take a topic that had matured, where there has been a lot of discussion already. And now we want to get to a point to capture that and concretize that as best practices. I think just keep that in mind.
I think the issue of inclusivity and controversy and the difference in regions, I think what's really important here is absolutely right. I don't think we should avoid controversial issues, and I think we need to recognize that issues affect different regions very differently.
But I think what is very important in the IGF is stakeholder inclusivity. And I think we had, as Timea said and Ben and others -- even if that particular issue is more relevant to developing countries and small island and developing states, when we approach it, we still need to approach it from the perspective that telecommunication companies are going to have different concerns from platforms, from end users, from governments.
That's then the richness that you can put into the IGF process, that you can tackle that issue and you can make sure that you look at it from the perspective of all those different interest groups.
That I think remains important, even if from a geographic or level of economic development and infrastructure development. It's going to be different and affect some regions.
I don't think we should shy away from that. But I think we always have to respect the fact that different stakeholders have different perspectives, different interests, and different texts, and different solutions. And that we need to find a way of accommodating.
Okay. So that's really all from me at the moment. I'm going to take the two people on the floor, and then you're going to break out into groups.
We have just half an hour left. But that's still time to get some work done.
So, Wim, you have the floor.
>>WIM DEGEZELLE: Okay. Thank you. It's very important to try to get -- before we break up in groups, to start to discuss different proposals. Titi and I discussed a little bit the focus of the IoT -- or, sorry, big data/AI proposal is data and new technologies seen in an Internet context.
And it might be good if we look at the proposal and focus on that title and avoid having the discussion whether or not IoT should be in the title or not. So use that label.
And then I think afterwards, if it would be accepted as a follow-up of the BPF of last year, if it's necessary or relevant or not to change the name of the mailing list or not.
I think that captures -- that avoids diving into the discussion whether or not it's IoT or not, and it captures what actually is in a proposal. It is about data after what we discussed last year. No focus on the data part, how data is used in new technologies.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Wim. Jutta.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Madam Chair, for giving me the opportunity to respond to what Wout had said before. And you might have felt that I had a really -- an urge to respond to that. And I do that in my capacity as a co-facilitator of the dynamic coalitions, because first, what Wout said, I think it's an inacceptable insult to the work of the dynamic coalitions, saying that there was no or zero outcome of that work. We can't accept that.
Secondly, when Wout said that he had been talking to representatives of dynamic coalitions, when this initiative -- and I understood that it's also about a safer Internet. I would say the dynamic coalitions on child online safety would be one of the first that the initiative should talk to.
And thirdly, as you have said before, I do think what Wout has suggested could fit very well into a dynamic coalition. And if an unfunded BPF is a dynamic coalition, then it's more or less the same. It only then would need more partners to create that dynamic coalition. And I would strongly suggest to try out that way and then also to give evidence that this dynamic coalition then would be able to produce an outcome from the work compared to others. But I do think that all of the 17 dynamic coalitions have somehow produced outcomes that are very valuable.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I am not going to give anyone else the floor. But I think those points are taken.
I think, maybe just for everyone's information -- I checked on this myself earlier today -- there's no time line for formation of dynamic coalition. Anyone in the IGF community can form a dynamic coalition at any time. There is a time line around the annual IGF where the dynamic coalitions do have deadlines for requesting meeting slots and -- I think that's the main thing, is it? For requesting meeting slots and then for submitting reports. But that was very deliberate. That -- that modality, which is truly bottom-up and flexible, it gives everyone complete flexibility.
Okay. So thanks very much, everyone. I'm sorry to be --
>> (Off microphone.)
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Excuse me. Wout?
>> (Off microphone.)
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: You have to use your microphone because we can't hear. Thanks.
>>WOUT DE NATRIS: I would just like to respond to Jutta. Because if that came across, then I apologize.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Wout, you can respond to Jutta during lunch.
>>WOUT de NATRIS: No. I'd like to do it officially, because it's on there now, and that is not what I meant.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Was it a misunderstanding?
>>WOUT de NATRIS: It was a misunderstanding. So please, Jutta, please I will explain, but please accept my apologies. It is not what I meant.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes, Jutta, I think what Wout meant is, in the context of his particular issue that there has not been an outcome from dynamic coalitions. I don't think he meant to dismiss the outputs and outcomes of dynamic coalitions in general. So I think that's important to clarify.
Okay. So I would like you to break into slightly different groups as yesterday, although you have the freedom to work with the same people, if you like that. But I leave that to you to decide.
Your task is -- it sounds like it's not simple, but I actually trust you to use your judgment and to put the interest of the IGF first and to come up with. Firstly, to reflect on these inputs and proposals, requests for best practice forums, if you feel ready to make a decision, then make a decision. I think keep in mind that it's not fair to change the rules midway. I think there are very valid points that have been made about BPFs shouldn't be expected to be continuous. But -- and I think that's very valid. But maybe there's a way, in fact, of giving them the opportunity before shutting them down completely to consolidate and work on what they've done already and actually maybe give them the time to -- to get to closure rather than just saying, "That's no more." So keep that many mind, because it could be perceived as unfair to put new rules in place without having given people the chance.
Keep in mind the financial limitations, the time limitations.
So if you can make decisions on the proposals that we have on the table. And you can be creative as well. You know, you can ask for resubmissions or you can make other suggestions. That's your charge -- your choice.
But I don't only want you to reflect on these BPFs. I also want you to pick up the issue that emerged yesterday, and it emerged on day 1 as well, when we looked at the high-level panel and the input on IGF improvements, where strengthening the connecting tissue and the connectivity tissue of the work of the IGF and the broader Internet governance ecosystem is a priority. And the NRIs as well. How do we use this IGF ecosystem, its place in the broader ecosystem, to actually really play the role of the IGF, which is at the heart of the IGF's mandate, which is the -- the connectivity across issues, across communities, countries, stakeholders, and so on.
So if you can also look at this item number 2 on the agenda, strategies for collaboration and complementarity across intersessional work. And I think that includes how to find ways to ask the IGF's intersessional modalities -- the NRIs, the dynamic coalitions, and the BPFs -- to feed into the IGF's thematic track. Now, you -- again, you might not have all the answers, but begin to think about that.
And so those are essentially the two things that you need to talk about, the BPF proposals on the table and the broader issue of strengthening the integration of the intersessional modalities into the work of the IGF.
And if you are willing and able, you can continue to work over lunch. I'd like the groups again to have chairs and rapporteurs. And we'll come back after lunch. And I think we won't be able to allocate more than half an hour to the reporting back session, so try and keep your reports concise.
So on that note, we actually are breaking now. And we will not come back before lunch. There's no time to come back before lunch. So you can set your own time frames.
What I'd like to have is you all back here sharply at 3:00, ready to present your reports.
Thanks very much. And please -- please self-organize. It might actually be simpler for you to just use the same groups as yesterday. But every individual will have the -- the right to move groups if they want to. But if we can ask at least the chairs and rapporteurs of yesterday's groups to play that role again, I would really appreciate that. And then people can self-organize around you as they wish.
Thanks very much, everyone.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Welcome back from lunch, everyone. Apologies for starting us late. It's eight minutes past 3:00. Let's take our seats and let's proceed.
I'm sure everyone is feeling quite tired. Ask your neighbor to poke you if you fall asleep. Everyone give your neighbors permission to wake you up if you fall asleep because I know many of you are jet lagged as well. This is our last stretch so we'll get through it. We've done really well so far.
We will be losing some of our members who have to go to the airport or the station to travel back home.
We'll be losing Michal as well who is also having to leave. But for now, let's plunge in.
Roughly, what I have looked at in terms of just our agenda this afternoon, so we know what we have to aim for, for the next hour until 4:00, we'll be looking at the report-backs on BPFs and linkages with intersessional work and we'll decide on some next steps. And we need to have that done by 4:00.
Then from 4:00 to quarter to 5:00, we'll be looking at the reports, where they exist, from working groups. We know we have one group that is quite substantial that we need to discuss, and that's the working group on workshop process.
And when we get to -- by the time we get to 5:00, I would like us to have decided on next steps with regard to working groups or task teams, or whatever we call them, even if those next steps involve making some decisions online.
And then I would like us to dedicate the last hour of the meeting to time line and general reflections and any other business.
I know that's long but I think often towards the end of the meeting, people's ideas start flowing and suggestions come in. And our time line is quite complex, so I do think it's important that we have enough time to decide and leave on that. So that's pretty simple.
And with that, I am asking for whichever group is first to put themselves in the speaking queue to report back on their discussions on BPFs and linkages.
The speaking queue is empty. Paul. What's up? Okay. Then you can switch your mic on.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you, Chair. I'm in the speaking queue. Paul Rowney here.
The output from our group after some consultation is that all the BPFs need to be time bound, must have an objective, annual targets and a final output objective, and they should identify how their output is going to influence Internet governance.
Our feeling is that a BPF, they could request a multiyear mandate, where under a multiyear mandate, there would be a requirement for an annual renewal based on meeting the conditions of having meetings, having an annual report, et cetera.
Based on that, we're proposing that the existing BPFs should be given two weeks to resubmit their request for renewal. And if they haven't already added a defined term with the stated final output that they're trying to achieve or they're working towards, and some thoughts on how they see the work, if necessary, progressing beyond the BPF, what would it evolve? Could it be used as input material into a DC? Could it form into a DC? Could it change to a multiyear intersessional work stream or something?
We feel that -- when we look at integrating with intersessionals with everything else, a BPF could grow from an IGF session. It could -- where everyone feels that this is a pressing area that needs to be looked into deeper and we need to get some more tangibles out of it. So it could grow out of an IGF session or a main session or high panel. Or it could be out of a DC. A dynamic coalition says look, we need some specific output. We feel the best way to achieve this is for a BPF and then a BPF could be motivated out of that through the usual channels.
So what do we expect from the BPFs? They should have a purpose. We're saying they need to resubmit, state the objectives, seek approval for the term that they're looking for. The new BPF or BPFs should also resubmit with that in mind. We're saying give all the BPFs two weeks to restructure their proposals and then we can review them online and determine which ones go through. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that, Paul.
Any additions from others in your group? Okay. Let's take all the reports and then we'll have discussion.
Group 2. I think Group 2 was that little group that was standing over there.
>>BEN WALLIS: I do happen to be next in the speaking queue, and we have different people reporting on different questions that you asked. But I was the person who was going to talk about -- how we discussed around the BPFs.
So we looked at the five proposals. We felt that four of them were already in a fairly good place and could be approved. They used a format that we have become used to using, and there's an existing body of work behind them. So we would be happy with those being approved. So we spent more time discussing what to do with Karim's proposal on Internet business models.
So the idea we discussed was to allow for -- I think your term was stakeholder inclusivity and to think about the topic from different perspectives. We could think about reserving a space for a session in Katowice and working through the year amongst interested MAG members to kind of flesh out what that could be, which of the three topics or which perspectives or broadening it somewhat.
And then one of the outcomes of that session in Katowice, whether it's a main session or some other kind of session, could be some kind of proposal for a project or a BPF next year.
And so that way -- I mean, we certainly very much welcomed Karim bringing an idea and wanted to kind of work with it and see how it could be developed through the year and potentially become a BPF next year. So that was our thoughts on the BPF question.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you for that, Ben.
And, Paul, you're next. And I assume -- you reported on another aspect of this group's discussion. Is that correct? Or were you a different group?
>>PAUL CHARLTON: I'm a different group. So if we want to go to the rest of Ben's group right now?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes, let's do that.
Gunela, I think it's you.
>>GUNELA ASTBRINK: Thanks. I will be talking about the BPFs' intersessional. Is that appropriate at this time? Great.
What our group discussed was the -- including the BPFs in the thematic tracks' intrasessions. So each of the BPFs would choose trust inclusion or data intrasession to give a short presentation about what their findings are in their report and that will help to stimulate the discussion with the breakout groups and so forth.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Just to clarify, would they choose one of those or all three of those?
>>GUNELA ASTBRINK: No. They would choose the one that's most relevant to their work and then further discussion could be held in the breakout groups in that particular introduction session and possibly in the concluding session, too. It's clear where that work is going.
Obviously, the BPFs would still have their own session where they can work more in detail. So that would be that part of the BPFs.
But it could also be that in the intrasessions there would be -- the breakout groups would discuss particular topics. There could be drilling down into some specific issue and then with the help of the facilitators identify that this could possibly be a future BPF and then there might be a champion within the session that may wish to work on that. But whatever the case, it could then be taken to the MAG for the following year and to see if it fits in with the future thematic tracks, the themes for the next year, and to develop that further into suitable BPFs. So that would be about the BPFs.
And then the further -- we further discussed about dynamic coalitions.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I have a question just for clarification. So if I understand this correctly, at the concluding session for the track, there then would be a discussion about whether there's a need for a future BPF?
>>GUNELA ASTBRINK: Yes.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Because I think that's a really interesting idea. Or is the idea that the BPF would decide?
>>GUNELA ASTBRINK: No, no.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: It would emerge from the concluding session on the track?
>>GUNELA ASTBRINK: Yes.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Great. Just want to make sure I have got this right. Go ahead. Sorry to interrupt you.
>>GUNELA ASTBRINK: No, no, that's fine. Further, in the dynamic coalitions, in that the main intrasession, the representatives from specific dynamic coalitions would choose the particular thematic track that's relevant to their work and do a short introduction so that, again, it's setting the scene for some of the discussions in the breakout groups. But it's also a bit of a promotion for that dynamic coalition to encourage people to come to that particular dynamic coalition meeting because they understand a little bit more about it. So that was where we went with that to try and align both the BPFs, the DCs with those intro and concluding sessions in some ways so that we have some cohesion there. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that, Gunela.
Paul. Paul, I'm -- anyone want to add from that group? You happy with that? No one else in that group? Good.
Paul, you have the mic.
>>PAUL CHARLTON: Thank you, Anriette. In our group, we -- on the subject of the BPFs, we supported continuing existing the four BPFs. However, like some of the other groups, we believe that we should consider a term limit in the future for BPFs. It may be not the right time now in the middle of the process, but we certainly think this is something that should be considered for the future, that they have a limited duration.
In regard to the proposal by our new colleague Karim from the Comoros, the idea from our group is that perhaps this would not be a BPF but possibly a special project under the umbrella of the IGF.
There were some in the group who were familiar with the Connecting the Next Billion project and suggested it could be done along those lines. In other words, it would be under the IGF umbrella subject to MAG approval and also subject to resources which perhaps Chengetai could speak to.
And, also, we are operating under the assumption that Karim is going to -- or would be prepared to rework the proposal based on the feedback which is received today, which I think he had indicated he was willing to do.
There was also a suggestion by some members of the group that this -- Karim's proposal might be incorporated by our Polish hosts in one of the sessions, for example, the parliamentary session that they were considering for the IGF, or some elements of it might be.
Also, on the subject of Wout's project that he presented briefly this morning, our suggestion is that could also be addressed as a special project again under the IGF umbrella subject to MAG approval. And in his case, he's indicated that it could be self-funded. So that was our idea.
On the subject of connectivity, our focus there was on the connectivity with the NRIs. So what we were proposing or would like to see is more -- more outreach, more connection with the NRIs. It was mentioned that the BPF on cybersecurity last year reached out to the NRIs.
Now, I was at the NRI information session just now, and I know some people brought up that when the outreach took place, there wasn't always a lot of response from the NRIs. But nonetheless, we think that's an experiment worth considering and maybe broadening and continuing this year.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Paul.
Anyone else wanting to add anything from Paul's group?
No. The queue is empty.
Well, I really -- I think the simplicity and clarity and practicality of the proposals are really commendable.
So I want to add -- before we go into open discussion, I just want to add a couple of things.
One is that I think the discussion this morning was actually very useful and I think very timely to have that type of reflection on BPFs, where they came from and where they could and should be going, including, I believe, whether they should be good practice forums rather than best practice forums.
I think one thing that I would like to propose is that we have a -- either a working group or a task team that actually does an investigation, a reflection of this format and that we come up with recommendations and criteria, all the things that you were raising this morning.
And I think Markus has already declared himself willing to be part of this. And I think there are other people who have been part of the BPF process in the past.
So I'm saying this would be long term or medium and long term, but it would give us something that makes it much easier to start this process next year. And I think these suggestions about multiyear programs and all these other suggestions of a very innovative way of linking the BPFs to the concluding sessions, I think that could be undertaken by that group. So that's another proposal on the table.
So I'm now just opening it to general discussion. You've heard one another's proposals.
Any comments or reflections on that?
>>ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Thank you, Madam Chair.
I think you -- what you just proposed, it's the correct way to go regarding how we should analyze and how we should evaluate the current best practice groups, but also how is going to be the procedure in order to open the space for anyone, and it's -- and if it's going to mean that we should remove one of the previous ones or actually we are going to be able to add one. That's one thing. And that -- I think that's important to follow with that in that direction.
But the other thing, and I wouldn't like to lose this opportunity, is to understand that there are topics, that there are issues that are really important for our regions.
I -- I don't agree when we say that it's just one part of the ecosystem, to one sector, actually. It involves all sectors. Of course, the private sector that don't have the same ideas, because on one side, we have the telecommunications operators. On the other side, we have the new big companies, you know, the new big, huge enterprises like Facebook, Amazon, things like that. On the other side, we have the regulators as part of the governments that are really different between the ones that are in our countries, except our big brothers like Brazil or Argentina, because the other ones that we have in Africa and in Latin America are really small in order to put some pressure to these big companies. It's really hard. We don't have the traditional way of collaboration that you have, or years. We don't have that in Latin America. We care for each other too much, but it's really difficult to arrange common rules, articulate common regulations. And that's something that we need to learn for the future a lot, and we need to work.
But that's just an example of how difficult for us in small countries, is to deal with the companies.
And the other aspect -- well, the other part of the ecosystem, which are civil society, academia, et cetera, of course, are the users, the users that right now are suffering for not having an Internet as we would like to, I mean, as the other sides of the global community have right now. That's why it's important.
And when we listen to the arguments of all our dear colleagues, none of them lives in this reality. That's why I put a strong voice to this. And I think all the other colleagues for the regions will think of this.
And it's not the matter of funds, but it -- we were -- (saying name) explained about the funding thing. It's just to cover a facilitator for work, the report. It's a matter of visibility. It's a matter of put pressure in something that is really important for our regions. And I think BPF is one of the places that it could have.
So my proposal will be to give a space a chance in order to just make a better proposal, perhaps, an enhancement in the proposal. I already offered to work on that with Karim, and to have it considered. Not particularly to remove any other current BPFs, but maybe to start as a pilot, consider it as an initial BPF to be evaluated at the end of the year in order to be if it's going to be kept in the future or not. That will be my proposal.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I just -- I noticed that Karim and -- and Eric Armel have had to leave. They notified me and apologized in advance. So don't be alarmed that they've walked out or that Karim has walked out just as we're discussing his proposal. He has to go to the airport. He's leaving. I'm sorry we couldn't say -- good-bye. Are you still there? Anyway.
So thanks for that.
And I'm -- you know, I will go to the speaking queue. But I think it is -- I'm glad you mentioned that. I think we have to work with that and live with that in the IGF, the fact that our realities are so different. And it's -- it adds a certain kind of tension. It also adds a certain kind of, I think, excitement about the IGF. But that is part of our internal DNA, that it's very hard for people who don't live in that reality to really -- to really grasp what it means. But then it's also important for those of us who have these realities which are defined by the lack of infrastructure or the lack of cost -- of affordability, or the lack of freedom of expression, for that matter, to also not impose our reality on the entire universe. So, actually, that's one of the most interesting and challenging dynamics in the IGF. And it's good that you are passionate about it.
So let's -- Ananda.
>>ANANDA RAJ KHANAL: Thank you, Madam Chair. I'm Ananda Raj Khanal from government stakeholder Nepal.
I have two observations here. Some of my colleagues compared this BPF proposal on the Internet business economic model to the IGF policy options for connecting and enabling the next billions.
I have a reservation in accepting this comparison. They are not comparable in terms of views of different stakeholders, because this IGF policy option for connecting and enabling the next billion is never a debatable issue. It has been endorsed by U.N. and all other countries in the ITU also.
But the BPF proposal on Internet business economic model is very debatable issues and will have very wide and contrasting different opinions from different stakeholders, especially depending on the countries and also, you know, these technical communities or businesses.
So my solution for this problem is, we can accept -- because the new MAG member has proposed a new BPF, so we can accept this under the following conditions: Number one, there is no financial burden to the IGF, as others have. So no consultants to be required. And we follow the model that ITU follows, like a study group. So the proposal will lead that as a rapporteur, and then MAG members and other interested stakeholders will join in writing the report, and we present it as other BPFs.
So it will not be a recommendation; it will be a summary of the international best practices on the issues in hand. So that will, you know, I think solve the problems that the IGF secretariat is talking about.
And also, because it will have no recommends, just international best practices.
ITU has already entertained this question. And you can find the report in the last 2017 reports also.
So I think that will solve the problem.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you, Ananda.
>>JENNIFER CHUNG: Thank you, Madam Chair.
I was in the other Paul's group, and I did want to put my hand up, but I was a little slow when you said if people want to add to it.
Just to give a little more context, I was actually the person who compared it to the CENB. But not in terms of the content. It is more in terms of how we can go about this work. I think there's nobody here that disagrees that it is a very important topic that's pertinent to a lot of different stakeholders in different geographic regions.
I think as a MAG, we really need to consider what format or channel is the best way to advance each part of the work. And I think I hear a lot at least from the reports back from different groups, and also your summary, Madam Chair, that this -- the proposal on the Internet models and businesses is very important, does require some tweaking and editing from the comments we've received from other MAG members, and also, it can be taken up in a way where it can mature -- actually, that's not the word I want to use -- that it can possibly evolve into a BPF next year, where we can consider where is the best way to move forward.
I don't think anybody wants to disregard the importance of this topic.
And one more thing, and I keep on being the repeating record, just to make notes that Sylvia mentioned that she will be joining us, hopefully, in an hour or so, she will be able to make her opinions known on this.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you for that, Jennifer.
And I would appreciate it if someone can just alert me when Sylvia does join us.
We have no one else asking for the floor at this point.
So, you know, it sounds to me -- I hope I'm remembering correctly. I think we have two groups suggested that we approve the existing four -- oh.
Okay. So Timea, and then Ben.
I'm going to switch you around. Sorry.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Sorry. I think technology doesn't like me anymore. (Laughing.) I won't be long.
I -- Just adding on to the discussions that we had in the group, but also we had breakout discussions from the breakout discussions while we were having lunch. So we discussed a little bit and I think there's general agreement to anybody that I personally talked to about the importance of the topic that Karim has raised.
I think the issue is about finding the best way forward in how to bring this to the community.
And I was wondering, also adding on to the comments from our colleague from Nepal, how can we entertain the idea and the enthusiasm of a new MAG member without losing it, but without also burdening too much the secretariat and having, you know, 5 million types of work that we have to do?
And I think, also with talking to Karim and to others, the idea that also emerged, I see, from other discussions, using this year in refining the topic, but not only here in this room and in the MAG, but also with the community at large. And if we go about the idea of perhaps having a main session or a different session in Katowice in November, we can communicate that ahead of time to the national and regional IGFs who are dealing with the same topic in their local context. We can communicate to the dynamic coalitions who feel connected to it and gather that input for the specific session, have a couple of expert speakers or, you know, multidisciplinary, prominent thinkers around the issue in a session, and then have that community already engaged when we start talking about the BPF or intersessional work or DC or whatever this grows into being, already having them engaged and on board.
So I'm just trying to connect the little dots that I hear around the room. But I think that might be a good way forward without us jumping into an idea at this point that is not fully fleshed.
But we obviously need time to consider all of this, so I support also all of the comments that everybody should go back to the drawing board before we decide.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So that's an elaboration of Ben's group's original proposal. Ben and you.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you. So I wanted to add a little more color to the idea of how we used the introductory sessions to make linkages or concluding sessions but to make linkages between intersessional work and what's going on in Katowice.
So if -- for those who were in Berlin, if I take you back to the introductory session you went to, they were almost two hours long and the majority of the time was for breakout sessions and reporting back from breakout sessions, and I think that should remain the case because there was real value in that, providing a place where people could speak who wouldn't normally speak, and a social component. But we also had like 20 minutes at the start for keynote speakers.
So the idea I think Rudolf originally said, get the relevant BPF. And then we thought, oh, and the DC's as well. The idea would be, instead of having a keynote speaker take that 20 minutes, you have short presentations from each BPF or DC that is relevant to that thematic track. So if it was trust, then my BPF cybersecurity lead expert would come but we would also have any relevant and like the DC to security, they would come and speak as well.
And just briefly -- and they would be asked to talk about their work this year, but also to make sure that they're thinking -- presenting it in relation to the thematic track and the narrative of the thematic track. So therefore, it's to make that linkage.
I think it would raise awareness of the work of the BPFs and DCs. It might even -- and raise awareness of the sessions that they're going to be holding later that week. It would provide a bigger and more interested audience for the DCs than the last two years we've had these DC main sessions.
So I think this year they had a pretty poor turnout where each DC was given a few minutes to talk about their work, and that was an opportunity to raise visibility. But there weren't many people in the room.
In my introductory session on data governance we had 150 people in the room who were interested in that particular area of Internet governance. So you would be having more engaged people who were relevant potentially interested in your DC, who would actually hear about it. You would free up a main session for something else or to have fewer main sessions. And yeah, I think it would demonstrate how the intersessional work streams relate to thematic tracks.
So that was just a bit more color about how that introductory session might work.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I think that's a brilliant idea, by the way. And Susan.
Wout. We would normally not give an observer as much time in the MAG, and I know there are other observers so I apologize to the other observers for not giving you equal time, but Wout has submitted this proposal and that's why I'm giving him time to speak to this. Wout, you have the mic.
>>WOUT de NATRIS: Yes. Thank you. And I totally appreciate that. In our group you heard that there was a proposal to continue the pilot, and what I would like to ask the MAG is that I know that there's some significant support for continuing it, but I need to know what to do next. Do you need a proposal just like the others are making, exemplify what I'm going to do, or is it -- is this the end of the discussion or is it going to go forward just like it is now? So I would like to know what to go home with and tell my constituents what the next agenda point is. So thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: And yes, I hope that you will get that. Susan.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Chair. I had actually put my hand down, but I'll just be very brief. I support developing a working group on looking at the modalities of what a BPF are, just so we're all on the same page. Of course, these would operate in line with the core principles of the IGF which -- which are pretty obvious but it would be nice to unearth those, I think, maybe, as part of that discussion.
I just wanted to support the idea of including the NRIs that Timea had suggested with the proposal put forward by Karim. I do think that it would be good to explore this issue and as part of a main session and then have a BPF grow out of that. One of the questions that we ask after any main session is how can the IGF help further this conversation. A BPF is a really good idea for that. But also, you know, while it may -- people -- there may be opposing views on this topic as presented, that's okay. That's a good thing. And that's what the IGF is for. And having a debate on a main session is one of the most exciting -- they take a long time to plan, but one of the most exciting and kind of useful functions of the IGF, I think. And I'll end my comments there. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: And thank you very much. Okay. Let me try and summarize. So for BPFs, we had five proposals on the table. Five or was it six.
>> (Off microphone).
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Six. Five. Six. And we had -- we had gender and access, cybersecurity, local content, and big data and artificial intelligence. So those were the existing ones. So we've had proposals from them. We had the pilot project proposal from Wout and we had the new proposal from Karim. So that is six. Sorry.
So what I hear from the groups is that the four that are asking for continuation, two groups suggested that we approve them. One group suggested that we give them two weeks to resubmit.
Now, I don't think these are mutually exclusive options, actually. I think that even if we go ahead with approving them, I think the fact that there was this quite intensive and challenging discussion gives them an opportunity to strengthen and improve their proposals.
So my proposal for the way forward would be to go with the -- what seems to be the majority consensus, the rough consensus, that we go ahead with them but we also begin to -- we sent the message that actually we are revisiting, rethinking. We've got some initial ideas about how they can resubmit their -- improve their proposals and we give them time to do that. So I would suggest that we go ahead with that -- with the existing BPFs.
Then with regard to the -- and I'm not -- I'm going to give you all time to comment on this, so this is just what I'm proposing. Then with regard to the other two, the one thing I would say is, let's use existing modalities. I think -- I mean, my concern is that if we create new modalities now, like a pilot project or an unfunded -- self-funded BPF, I think that could feel like lack of transparency, some form of favoritism by the MAG. I think if we want to suggest new modalities, we have to do the modalities first and then we begin to put them into practice. I think creating new modalities to deal with interesting and relevant proposals that -- that have in a sense privileged access to the MAG, either because they come from MAG members or they come from observers who happen to be here, could be unfair. If we want to open those modalities up to the community, we have to give everyone a chance to use those modalities. So that would be my concern.
But we have modalities that we can use, you know. And I think as you said yourselves, we have dynamic coalitions and we have the policy options modality and we have main sessions. So, you know, my suggestion would be that we don't actually necessarily even have to decide that right now. I think we can give this -- we can ask Wout and Karim to take that two-week period, to resubmit their proposal, taking into account these very specific and concrete and useful suggestions that the MAG came up with.
So there's the option of the main session for the business model proposal. I think there's a -- you know, there's the option of a policy option. So I would suggest that we ask them to resubmit but to use existing modalities. And I think that what I hear people say about Karim's proposal is that it's very relevant, it's very interesting, it's complex, we need to talk about it, and we need to find a way to talk about it. But it might not be in its current form ready for a BPF because of that whole notion, you know, of the BPF being a modality we start using when a debate has matured and when we get into the point where we can actually come up with good practices or best practices.
So actually that would be my proposal, to ask them to rethink what modality would best suit the topics and then we -- we discuss that and find a way forward. And at the same time we'll have this other working group which we'll ask Markus to convene for us, which is to look -- do an evaluation, a retrospective reflection, on what has worked, what has not worked that well, the history, the role of BPFs, how that has evolved, with recommendations about way to take it forward and also to create more clarity as to what the criteria are and what the -- what the outputs and the shaping of the outputs could be of those BPFs.
So that would be my proposal for -- let's talk about linkages later on because there's such good suggestions, but can I just get feedback on that as a proposal for dealing with those six proposals we received? I see no one in the -- Ben is looking for right button to push and I'll talk really slowly so that he gets it. Are you ready, Ben?
[ Laughter ]
>>BEN WALLIS: Just to clarify part of your proposal, which I think I'm generally supportive of, if I just look back at the transcript, I think you were suggesting that we give approval to the four existing BPFs to continue but that we also send the message that we're revisiting, rethinking, and we have some initial ideas about how they can resubmit and improve their proposals and give them time to do that. So does that mean that they -- that we have to go back -- don't start our work yet and we'll be asked to kind of reformat them and kind of delay the start of the work or was it possibly that you've asked Markus to go away and pull out some ideas about next year they should be thinking about things in a different way? So next year they will be asked to present things in a different way but they can start this year.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Let me try and be clearer. So the work that the working group on BPFs will do is unrelated to this year's agenda. I think we need to give them time to do an in-depth analysis of the BPF work since the inception in 2013 and they will then give us recommendations so that when we have this conversation next year we start from the position of having been informed by the outcomes of that report. So that's the -- so it's unlinked to this year's BPFs.
What I'm saying about this year's BPFs is I'm kind of going with the majority which is the two groups said we should go ahead and approve them. But I think very useful suggestions from group 1 about giving them time to resubmit their proposals, and there's some concrete suggestions about building in an annual report, you know. They can use that or not, but they can look at the transcript of this discussion. And I think they can start their work, but they can also take two weeks to refine their proposals, resubmit them, drawing on the discussion that took place here. Because I think that will give them stronger, stronger proposals and a better place from which to start their work. So that's my proposal for the four. Is that clear? Okay. I see Roberto, I can see you have asked for the floor. And then with regard to the other two proposals, I'm suggesting we ask them to resubmit as well, but look at not necessarily BPF as the modality for taking their work forward. We've had suggestions for -- I'm not quite sure about -- because policy options, it's not necessarily just for the next (indiscernible) or does it have to be? It is, it's related to --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thought we had closed that.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: And we closed that. So I think -- I mean, we could reopen that, but I think it's easier for them to look at dynamic coalitions and then look at the structure of the IGF main sessions and other formats that we could use to -- and drawing in the NRIs, as Timea was saying, to take the work forward. And they can also have two weeks to resubmit their proposals.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: If they want MAG approval for it -- it doesn't have to have it. But if MAG decides to give it, that's fine.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yeah, Chengetai is saying they don't need MAG approval but they -- it would be good to get MAG support. I think certainly, if we're taking Karim's proposal of the way of integrating it into the 2020 program, that is going to involve MAG input and support. I do think it makes sense for the revision of that proposal to come back to MAG.
Also, I think for MAG members to support that proposal. MAG members that are more familiar with how we can include content of that nature and issues of that nature into the programming structure.
Is that clear? Not entirely. Anja.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: It's clear enough.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Okay, good.
Thanks very much and thanks to the BPF coordinators. I think there's some important take-aways for you for your proposals. I think Paul Rowney's group noted some of them. Some of them came up. I think the issues of facilitation is absolutely key, leadership from the MAG.
A concept I really like from the cybersecurity BPF is having identified a lead subject expert. I don't know if you noticed on the proposal of the cybersecurity BPF, they have co-facilitators and they have a lead expert. And that's quite useful, I think, for the BPFs to have.
And, also, just to take away the experience shared by Maria Paz and others of having to have a balance having a focused, output-oriented work program worth being inclusive and listening to your community but not to the point where you actually find your work program so fragmented that it's very hard to produce specific outputs.
And I think the other take-away really is narrowness. If your goal is to identify specific best practices, then don't start off with too broad terrain because then it becomes harder to identify those specific good practices.
So thanks very much, everyone.
Roberto and then Paul and then Markus and, then I'd like to move on to linkages.
>>ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Thank you, Madam Chair. I just wanted to confirm that in your proposal we -- I'm saying "we," but we're going to work together with this new proposal, resubmit this new proposal. I just want to make sure that the idea is to look for one channel or one modality that allow us to start the work right now because that's important. And we wouldn't like to wait until having some sort of session in November and then start the work. That's something that should be considered in order to -- I don't think it should be specifically BPF. But as I said before, that keeps a more relevant view about it. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks. Thanks for that, Roberto. I think it would be good -- we have -- can I just get a sense, in terms of the development and resubmission of Karim's proposal, can I just get a sense by show of hands of who'd be willing to work on that? I think we need a good mix of old and new MAG members that would work with Karim and Roberto on developing that proposal. Can I just get a show of hands? We've got Susan. We've got Timea, Roberto, Carlos Afonso, and Ben and Christine and Arsene. That's great. We've got a regulator. We have private sector. We have big, mega business, and we have got civil society, and we have got a telecommunications company. Good.
Look, I think the important thing is please -- please, Roberto, seeing as Karim has had to leave, will you be our focal point for bringing those people together to work on resubmitting that in two weeks' time? That is not for yes-no. That is really for just how to take it forward.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you, Chair. Paul Rowney. Just to clarify because I got a little confused in part of what was discussed. And I think speaking on behalf of our 1/3 minority that we have here, we would support the BPFs being approved and going on. Whether they change or not I think is less relevant.
From our take-away it really is that this working group gets established. It takes note of what we've committed and that all BPFs are conscious that next year it might change and they should prepare for next year. I don't think we're changing anything this year, so they can move ahead. I think they have the submit to continue as they are. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I think thanks for bringing that up, Paul, because I think I did not include that in my summary.
I think we are wanting to communicate to the BPFs that there is this process of reviewing the format and the process and that -- you know, that there should not be an assumption by BPFs that they can just continue infinitely.
I do think we need to capture that in the output of this meeting and ask everyone in the room to communicate -- to all the BPF coordinators to communicate that to their communities.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. I take it then that I should be the facilitator of a best practice forum on best practice forums, a kind of meta best practice forum.
I was just going to make a comment, those who refer to the Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion, they might not have necessarily thought of continuing that work. That has been closed, indeed, but having a similar policy track for that issue. That would be different from a best practice forum, but that would explore the policies related to these issues. That could be a possible way also, a possible format for this work.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes. In fact, I had that in mind as well. Sorry, I didn't stress that. And that came from Jennifer. It came from Paul Charlton. And I think that is again for Roberto.
For those of you that are working on taking that proposal and reviewing it, find out more. Talk to Markus, talk to Jennifer, to others, and Paul Charlton who have been around and the secretariat. That's a slightly different modality. But looking at different specific policy options, you would probably have to still narrow it down and change and develop your proposal. But that is a modality that you can consider asking the MAG to consider. That would have to be approved by the MAG.
>>WIM DEGEZELLE: Just a quick note. There are also the regular updates BPF coordinators are requested to give at the MAG meetings and the online MAG calls.
I think that could be an opportunity. I mean, the coordinators of the proposed BPFs are here. They know what the issues are and what is -- what the ideas are of the MAG that could improve next year. It could be an idea instead of -- instead see this as a dialogue and that those updates every month from BPF coordinators can just -- or is used to continue this discussion and reflect on how the BPFs -- instead of -- I mean, it's kind of complicated if you talk now of reformulating the proposals. But seen in the longer term, that the coordinators that are in the room here, they were part of the discussions. They know what the attention points are for this year and that the MAG continues this discussion throughout the year.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: My response to that would be that I think the MAG has had a discussion. The MAG is asking BPF proponents to resubmit their proposals. If any one BPF felt that their proposal is already solid and strong enough that they are addressing all the issues and suggestions, then they can resubmit the same one.
But I think let's -- let's stay with that process of approving but asking or giving the opportunity for resubmission. I think if a BPF feels it's not necessary, they don't have to. But, then, yes, those updates definitely would continue.
Is that okay, Wim?
Okay. Maria Paz has just joined the speaking queue manually.
>>MARIA PAZ CANALES: Should we feel already mandatory by the MAG to communicate these as a resolution to our BPF? Or should we expect an official communication from the secretariat or from you to move in this course of action, of notifying this reviewing process that we want to implement and everything?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So I think, again, we need to be -- let's not be confused here. I think we are approving the existing BPFs. We are giving BPFs an opportunity to resubmit their proposals, if they feel a need to, based on the discussion in the MAG.
We are also informing them that there's a concern that there's an assumption about continuation and the MAG is going to approach that through a BPF on BPFs which will make recommendations that will then be taken up next year, not this year. So the Markus Kummer BPF on BPFs is not going to impact BPFs this year.
But they will probably be asked to provide information and give input. So you have -- you can inform them that the MAG -- this is my understanding -- that we've approved those BPFs, those four BPFs. But we are inviting the proponents to resubmit and revise their proposals based on the discussion in the MAG. And we're sending this message that there's a concern about the assumption of continuity and maybe the diffusion of outputs.
Okay. Okay. On linkages, really creative suggestions. So, I mean, it's -- I think -- and what I like about the suggestion on using the introductory sessions and the concluding sessions, it's a very perfect example of incremental change that is simple but actually quite powerful and that does strengthen the overall conceptual coherence of the IGF.
So I certainly would think that's a really good practical suggestion.
I think the request to BPFs and DCs to select a track that is most relevant to them and then to provide some input on that is also really good.
I think what we will need is maybe a little bit of documentation on that. I think we'd want to -- again, it's our narrative. We need to find a way of documenting that so that it's clear and that it makes sense.
I would like -- I think the suggestions on NRIs and BPFs reaching out to NRIs, I think we need to also talk about DCs reaching out to NRIs and requesting them to do that. I think our DC coordinators, that's something that I would like you to comment on.
I would also like Anja just to share the discussion on linkages that took place during the lunchtime sessions with NRIs.
>>ANJA GENGO: Thank you. Very briefly, we had an informal discussion with the NRIs and there were a few very good proposals.
One very concrete proposal came from Paul Rowney and really broadly endorsed by some colleagues, noting that some of the session proponents lacked speakers and expertise from certain regions. So what we will try to do is work with the NRIs to identify speakers on a particular topic from countries and regions where there are NRI processes and, with that, enrich the resource person's list that's on the IGF website. That's a concrete proposal.
Of course, if the NRIs will go with their sessions, it would be good. And I believe the collaboration would be welcomed that the MAG also cooperates with the NRIs on the bottom-up selected themes by the network.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So any other comments or discussions, suggestions, on linkages? If not, I would like just to make sure that we capture this.
I would like the secretariat to extract from the transcript the discussion on BPFs and the discussion on linkages so that we capture that as a very specific output or summary of the discussion as a separate document so that it's easy for us to communicate the discussion on BPFs and on linkages to the BPFs, to the NRIs, the DCs, et cetera. Because if it's just part of everything else, it will get lost. So if you can capture that and share it with the MAG before it goes out.
Thanks a lot. We are behind time, which my control-freak personality does not like. But it's not too bad. So now we are going to go to MAG working groups.
I'd like somebody who was on the MAG last year from the secretariat or any one of the MAG members just to give a bit of a background to -- this is now the item -- item number 9 -- on what those MAG working groups were, how they were constituted, just a little bit. And then I'd like to have reports from MAG working groups that have MAG working groups. And I know there's one MAG working group that has a very important report for us to consider, and that is the working group on workshop process. But let's keep that one last.
So before we have the reports -- and then we'll have discussion about them -- if somebody can just give us a sense of what the history is of these working groups, when they were constituted, and what was the thinking behind that.
>>JUNE PARRIS: Everyone, this is June Parris. And I'm going to start with fund-raising.
[ Laughter ]
I'm obsessed with it.
We started it about two years ago. Lynn was the chair. Unfortunately, she's not here anymore. I was co-chair. We spent a year trying to establish how we could encourage donors and make it easy for donors. I think we had a great number of success thanks to UN DESA. We've now got a website. We've got links, and we've got the potential that we can encourage donors. Last year we continued, but it wasn't so much work. We had regular meetings so we could update what was going on.
Since then we developed -- we also developed a postcard which is available on the website so anyone who wants to access this postcard, you're quite happy -- we're quite happy for you to do so.
We will -- I would love for the working group to continue. But without Lynn, I'm not sure how we can do that because she was the expert. So I'm not sure. We would probably need another expert to join us.
We had a very small group. Not many people were on the working group. Probably five or six people. I'm not sure how we're going to continue with this group.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: You don't have a proposal yet for --
>>JUNE PARRIS: Not at the moment, no.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: -- for continuing? So we can come back to that then.
Next we have the working group on IGF improvements. I mean, I know a little bit about that because that dates back to just after we finished our report as the CSTD working group on IGF improvements.
Can someone speak to the working group on IGF improvements?
>>JUNE PARRIS: We have done some work. But because it's a lot of work, we had four people in the group again.
I think we are considering continuing, but it's not fully discussed yet. If we could get more members with experience and the ability to continue the work that was started by some MAG members a few years ago -- they have done brilliant work, and we would love to continue.
Once again, we have to discuss it. We haven't really fully discussed it. Myself and IGF chair, we have been talking about it, whether we should continue with the work. It's just the two of us really and Julie Ann, former MAG member. Does anybody remember -- there were two MAG members who did quite a lot of work on it.
Again, it is in discussion and we will probably get back to you within the next week.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that.
I think keep in mind that IGF improvements is so tied into other aspects of our work and into the discussion of the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation Improvements, the recommendation on mechanisms for digital cooperation. So it's -- and also, in fact, the BPF work as well. So there's, in fact, work happening around the MAG on IGF improvements and maybe the working group can build on that or communicate that or maybe it needs to play a different role or people can just participate in those processes. But so you'd like some time.
June, if I understand you correctly, for both those two groups, you'd like a little bit of time to talk to others and come up with a proposal and work plan for 2020.
And I don't think anyone should feel under pressure. I don't think we need to have a working group because we had a working group. We'll have lots of other work to do as a MAG. So make sure there's a very clear, strong need, demand, and commitment. Don't feel under pressure to continue.
Okay. Next we have working group on outreach -- oh, sorry. I saw, Jennifer, you had -- you're down. Okay. Good.
Working group on outreach and engagement.
>>ARSENE TUNGALI: This is Arsene Tungali. I would like to speak on the working group on outreach and engagements. And I hope you all received a report that we shared yesterday on the MAG list which kind of outlines what we've been up to the past year, 2019, which was essentially about discussing with the IGF secretariat on ways we can support their online communications.
And so we had very good conversation with the secretariat along the year in trying to understand what are the needs in terms of outreach and engagement with the broader community because we had the impression that not so much was done in terms of communicating around what's going on in the IGF in terms of processes and events and the things that the community needs to be aware of.
And so we kind of developed a strategy that we're able to share with the secretariat for implementation.
We've been thinking about what he need to do in 2020, so we have a request to MAG to approve a new -- or to recharter the working group so that we can work on a new charter and look at how we can focus our work and on which area.
But essentially this working group aims at supporting outreach and communications around what's going on within the IGF to the broader community to ensure feedback and involvement from the global community of the IGF.
So that's it.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much, Arsene.
Any other comments or questions at this point? So, I mean, would you like to continue? Is there discussion about continuing? Or would you like to do that at a later stage? Would you also like time to submit a proposal?
>>ARSENE TUNGALI: I think we want to continue, but I'm not quite sure about the process, whether it's the MAG as a whole that needs to approve a working group to continue. But from our end as members of the working group, we are willing to continue and see if the MAG feels like we -- they want us to continue. Then we will work on a new charter that we can submit for approval to the MAG.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I think the purpose of these working groups are to produce results, not to keep MAG members busy because MAG members will have a lot of other work once we start working with the thematic narratives and with the workshop proposal and the program development .
So I'd like to suggest that we -- I think it's a good idea to give you time. But I think it might also be good to give the secretariat an opportunity to look at where they need because these working groups go beyond the work of the program, of designing the program of the MAG. So it might also be useful to get a sense from the secretariat and myself as well when we process the outcome of this meeting where we feel there's specific needs.
I think I've heard communication strategy, for example, as clearly something that is important. But I think what need to be careful about is fragmentation of effort. And I think we had -- with some of the work, with some of the working groups -- I was part of the last working group which was a working group on reporting. There was work happening elsewhere on reporting, and they were disconnected. The secretariat was doing work. The host government was doing work. I think that's what we've got to be careful of.
Let's review them all and then we look at the way forward. I think all the working groups obviously have the right to propose a work plan for the following year.
And I think basing that work plan on the outputs they delivered during the previous year I think is a good way to start as well as responding to needs.
We are almost there. Jutta, leaving you last.
Working group on reporting, can anyone talk about that?
We're coming back to that because we know you've got a substantive report.
Is anyone able to talk about that working group? I think Wim has left the room.
I was not on the MAG but Lynn invited me to join that working group. And it was -- the idea was to make the reporting of the IGF more conducive to dissemination of outputs. And I think we had several meetings. We had some discussions and ideas. But I think those were -- there's no report, to my knowledge.
Is there a report, secretariat?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: There's -- on the website -- oh, sorry. So sorry.
On the website, there is reports of the meetings. We had two meetings, two online meetings. And the summary reports are on the website.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So we have reports of our meetings, but there wasn't really a report on the work of the working group. And I think that was partly -- and I think this often happens in real life. A working group is formed to fill a gap. And in a way, that creates encouragement for that gap to be filled, even if that gap is then filled by other people. And I think that's what happened. And the gap was filled by the key messages, the real-time reporting coordinated by Wai-Min, with Samantha, and the work the host government had done and DiploFoundation.
I think in a sense the work of this particular working group was done by others but with the support and the involvement because both Wim and myself were involved in this working group.
So I'm not sure that at this point, we need -- my sense is that -- and I'll check in with Lynn on this, but my sense is we don't need a continuation of that as an isolated working group at this point.
If there are no further comments, I'd like to give the floor to Jutta. And that is the working group on workshop process. And for the new MAG members, this is very important because workshop selection is one of the most complicated and challenging activities that we do as a MAG.
And it's also the one that the community is most concerned about. And, therefore, the work and the study that this working group did is very important.
So, Jutta. It was Jutta, Susan, Sylvia. Who else worked on that? Who's presenting it
>>JUTTA CROLL: There were many more people who were working on that. But chairing was Susan, Sylvia, and me. And Susan will start explaining the methodology and what we changed from 2018 to 2019. And then I will present the survey results in a second.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Jutta. My apologies, Susan.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: No worries. Sorry. No worries.
And I'll be brief. And if there's -- I'd like to share some general thoughts later, if we have time, Anriette, on the process.
But -- so just very quickly, a brief history of the workshop evaluation process at the IGF. So the MAG actually set to defining criteria for evaluating the workshops in 2013. That was the first time. I think that the MAG and the IGF were smaller and before then certainly. So there were no -- workshops were selected through discussion. But there were no criteria that were published for the community and the evaluation process wasn't spelt out. So 2013 was the first time that the MAG set to enunciate that, which was good for transparency reasons.
The reason why I know this is because I was part of the MAG back then in a very different capacity. So it's been a long process.
The MAG used to evaluate all proposals that came in. And, of course, as the IGF became more important and gained in visibility, more proposals were submitted. It used to be the case that you would get 100 workshop proposals. And now how many did we receive last year? Over 300, I believe. So the workload increased because as a MAG member, one of the primary responsibilities is to review what the community has submitted to us collectively for consideration and to decide whether or not that proposal should be accepted or declined.
So what happened a few years ago was that instead of the MAG reviewing -- all of the MAG reviewing all proposals, because the numbers were growing, we split into different groups. So we just split the proposals up, and we only read one section of them.
The benefit of this, of course, was that people did not have to spend as much time reading the proposals.
The detriment of this is that people did not have a bird's eye view of what the committee had submitted. And when you're trying to -- because part of our obligation is to balance the whole program, that becomes problematic; right?
So what -- so what we did, then, after that, taking that tack, that approach, the year before last, we assigned proposals randomly. That's when we have many more themes. And we also assigned -- we could also signal or flag our interests, our subject matter interests. So if somebody wanted to review a proposal that was on cybersecurity more than they would like to review a proposal on human rights, they would be allocated the cybersecurity proposal, or at least in theory. Some people did not get their preference, their preference wasn't met.
I think the MAG found that was problematic for a lot of reasons. So we discontinued that practice. And that leads me, Jutta, to just the changes that we made for last year.
So last year, we discontinued the MAG expressing an interest in a certain subject matter area. And MAG members were assigned to each group per theme. There was a digital inclusion group, safety, security, stability, and resilience group, and a data governance group. And if you were in that group, you got all the proposals that were submitted under that theme. And that's how -- those were the proposals that you reviewed. And you had the benefit of working with the others in your group to discuss the proposals.
So while not all MAG members have a bird's eye view of all the tracks, MAG members will have a bird's eye view of at least one of the themes, which helps for at least selecting proposals for that theme.
And I think that is -- that's probably the gist of it. So I'll turn it over to Jutta.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Susan. I do think you explained it very well.
I just wanted to add that I do think the more -- all the efforts started with Rasha Abdulla being a MAG member, coming from the academia background. And he put a lot of efforts into the process to have a fair and transparent and objective evaluation process.
And what we tried to -- in developing that further was mainly giving the MAG members a common ground to start from. So that means if we have a system where proposals can score between 1 or 5 points, that everybody got the same -- more or less the same notion of what it's worth to give a 5 and what is maybe a 3, a 2, or only one point.
That was very important. And we somehow did a little bit of training together with the MAG members trying to get a common understanding how to apply these scores.
Yes. And also that it's important to know that when we have these different criteria that we apply to the proposals, like, for example, diversity, which was a big debate how we apply diversity to the proposals, but also content and quality of the policy questions or quality of the interaction with the participants in the session. All these are the criteria that we applied. And we give a different weight to these criteria.
And I do think that is one task we have to discuss during our virtual meetings, or, hopefully, during our next two face-to-face meetings. But we need to discuss face to face which weight will be given to diversity, to content, to methodology of interaction, and so on, and come to a good conclusion to use that.
But not to disappoint you, but to give you more motivation to take that burdensome process on you as a MAG member, I would like to show you the results from the survey that we did send to the workshop proposers. And that was after the workshop selection process was finalized but before we had the IGF, that -- you need to take that in mind, that it was before November, but after all the feedback was given to the proposers.
Could you please click to the second slide.
So it was before the IGF took place. And we got 54 respondents answering. This is about 20% of those who sent in workshop proposals, because several people sent in more than one proposal. When we had over 300, it wasn't 300 people who sent in these proposals.
So we -- firstly, we asked about their overall satisfaction with the process. And you can see that we had eight people saying we were satisfied; 15 well satisfied; it was okay, 21. So we had less than 10% that were not satisfied or said it could have been better.
Next slide, please.
While the application form, whether it was clear and whether the guidelines about the criteria were comprehensible to the people, again, you can see that nine people were very satisfied. We had 23 well satisfied, 14 saying it was okay, and, again, less than 10% who did not agree with what we had done.
Then we asked about the time line. And there, we had the overwhelming majority said it was fine for them, well satisfied, 19. It was okay, 24. So I do think we can stick to that time line more or less. It fit into the work that proposers were doing.
Then we asked about the feedback they received from the MAG members. And that -- in the last year, we had two fields as MAG members in the evaluation where we can put in comments that were meant to go out to the workshop proposers and comments that were for our internal discussions. So sometimes you decide this is something I will discuss with my other MAG colleagues, but I would not want it to go out to the workshop proposer, not to make it public.
Ten people said it was very comprehensible, what they got as feedback. 26 said comprehensible. Eight said it could have been better. And not well explained or incomprehensible, only three said they didn't understand what they got on feedback.
We asked them also what they made out of the comments they got. And 14 said the comments helped me to improve my proposal, I agree with the comments. 21 said I took some of the suggestions on board. Eight said I did not want to change my proposal, although some of the suggestions might have been worked. Two said the recommendations were well thought through, but I could not achieve to adopt them. And eight said they were not fit for purpose.
And now the last slide. That was a question about mergers. Because we thought -- we were a bit in conflict whether we should suggest mergers or not. But from the feedback we got, I would say mergers could be a good solution. So let me have a look at -- I can't read there.
Mergers of workshop proposals help accommodate more relevant issues to the program, said 36 respondents.
Only six that mergers are not an adequate option.
And 16, that if a merger had been suggested to me, I would have accepted.
So we can see that in the community, we have much more acceptance for mergers than we had thought before. So that could be also a consideration for the next evaluation process, that we consider more -- in more cases to suggest a merger.
So overall, I would say that is a very good result that we -- and good feedback we got from the community. So it's worth to go into that burdensome process of evaluation again.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much, Jutta and Susan, and everyone else on your working group, for that.
And Maria Paz, you have the floor. And the floor is open to questions for this working group.
>>MARIA PAZ CANALES: So Maria Paz Canales, for the record. Representing civil society from GRULAC.
I think that Susan and Jutta, they made a terrific work over the year -- and Sylvia also. I will mention -- I mean, I will not mention everybody, but they lead the initiative of the workshop process working group.
I tried to follow and support the small pieces of that work at some point. But I think that they also gathered a lot of more experience and made very valuable comments over the course of the year. But it's not totally reflected in the survey, neither in some aspects that have been already commented. And that -- those elements are really relevant for the phase that we are starting now of planning our work for this year.
On some of those elements, they haven't been mentioned now, some of them over the time in the past two years -- two days, sorry (laughing) -- but I think that are relevant are the ones that allow to have a -- a more thorough learning process of the review that, for example, relate to how you provide this instruction that Jutta was mentioning. According -- last year, we had Excel spreadsheet in which it was an indication of how to apply the different score, what means the scores for each one of the categories. So that provided a guideline. And there were some difficulties that some of us declare in the application of the criteria but I think that are worth review. Some of those have been mentioned before. I want to recall them now. For example, the self-declaring of belonging to a specific stakeholder group, which was problematic to measure the diversity criteria, because sometimes there are some things that were, like, belonging to a very -- a broad bucket, and it was very difficult to make a very -- a more thorough assessment of diversity of the proposal. And many times, there were very good proposals that scored low in the diversity section but very good in the other ones. So that's something that we need to review in order to check the stakeholder belonging of the submitters and also I will encourage to take a step further and look into the regional divisions also, or geographic divisions that sometimes also are making that some group feels not enough represented because they belong to a community that is too broad.
Another thing that I will highlight on this point regarding the process is precisely the issue that -- the fact that we get the agreement about what will be the track in advance of making the calling for the proposals was a very good improvement, because it allows the proponents to identify themselves in one of the tracks. But I think that afterwards, when we did the categorization of these proposals for scoring them, the fact that we had only some indications to tacks about the subtopics provide the issue of, like, not being able to be very strategic in the overview of the proposals that were presented in each of the tracks and being allowed this bird's eye view that Susan was mentioning that it's very relevant for being able to be sure that nothing relevant for that track is being left out. Because many times, there are many proposals that are very competitive and score very high in the same topic that can be one of the most popular topics inside that track, but there are less popular topics that are also relevant, and we should strategically protect the space for them to have at least one proposal addressing.
So I think -- Now I am going with my obsession of this year. I think that the possibility of looking at the subthemes at an early stage before doing the call for proposal, it will avoid to have this issue. It will provide more simplicity for the MAG to have this overview and be more fair in the scoring of the proposal, at the same time being sure not leaving important pieces out of the program.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Maria Paz.
But you could still have the problem of having more workshop proposals identify with one of those subthemes than with the others. That -- it won't eliminate that.
I just want to read quickly -- I see, Ben, I know you've asked for the floor.
But just to revisit what we looked at during the open consultation. And that was the feedback from the stock-taking exercise. This is version 2, the document that secretariat posted yesterday, which is implemental -- it's called IGF 2019, taking-stock process, implementable suggestions for improvements.
I just want to read this one item on workshops.
Develop detailed requirements for workshop proponents. Simplify overall process. Introduce more transparency in the evaluation process. Policy questions for thematic narratives to be more specific.
There could be two types of workshops: Workshop exploring new areas and looking to the future on emerging issues, and workshops that are expected to feed concretely into the thematic structure and the discussion of the main sessions on selected priorities.
I just want to refresh your minds.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you.
So I wanted to provide some support to what Maria Paz just proposed.
And if we think about where we've ended up -- and it was great for Susan to provide that history -- it's evolved -- the workshop evaluation process have evolved as the years have gone on. And last year, it adapted so that as a MAG member, you were just looking at one particular track. And that made it easier to kind of compare the various topics of interest within a track. So you weren't looking at workshop proposals across the whole gamut, but you were able to do a better comparison.
And so I think -- I like what Maria Paz was saying. I like the idea that when we review the workshop proposals, we can also be looking at them by subtheme. And that potentially requires even more work from the secretariat to organize for us, because, you know, as the secretariat is working at very short deadlines, each workshop proposal is given the number in the order it comes in. And then it's quite hard as the MAG member to then kind of group them into the subthemes. And some MAG members -- I think Maria Paz was telling me this. She made the effort, before she started, she went and grouped them herself. But that won't necessarily be easy or obvious to MAG members, and so others won't, and others won't have that same benefit.
So I wonder if there are ways when they're passed out to each of the groups that it's clear, and so when I start reading, I can start reading all the ones on this particular subtheme under my thematic (indiscernible). And then the others.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: But my understanding of Maria Paz's proposal is that we actually identify those subthemes before the call goes out so that at least an initial identification. It could be a draft identification or subthemes. And proponents will then self-select.
That's how I understood your proposal. Is that correct, Maria Paz?
>>MARIA PAZ CANALES: Yeah. I think that it's always needed some kind of creation work from the secretariat, because sometimes the proponent also made a confusion in the categories. So, in general, it will work by self-identification if we provide this option in the submission process. That is why I'm advocating for doing that at an earlier phase. Because that simplifies a lot the work of everybody, of the secretariat and the MAG members in the review, everyone. Because we have as a filter the self-identification of the proponent. And then we can apply some corrective filter if we are seeing that there is something that is not being covered or there's something that it's badly categorized, something like that.
But at least we have a base that is easier and answers the issue of transparency that people are mentioning.
But I know that -- I understand that Jutta was mentioning that that was not so prevalent in the survey, but it appeared in the feedback.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Ben, do you want to come back on that? Or is that....
>>BEN WALLIS: Yes, I think that would be helpful, too. And then that's just this extra step between what the secretariat cease and then when they pass down to us, rather than, you know, an 80-page PDF document where they're just in numerical order in the order they came in, we're given them in batches or something like that. I know it comes under big time pressure.
But, otherwise, different people have different ways of marking them. And this way, they're forced to kind of think of all the ones -- if we get down the road where we want to do mergers, it's very helpful that you read all the different ones on fake news within the same hour or at the same time rather than across the week, you know, on Monday I read two on fake news, none on Tuesday, on Wednesday, I came across another one.
It's a process where I think it would further evolve the process to help us do it in a more focused way.
That's too many uses of the word "focused."
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you.
We have Jennifer, Susan, and then we have Jutta.
>>JENNIFER CHUNG: Thank you, Madam Chair.
Just really quickly, I guess Maria Paz's proposal I do support. And we can actually use the call we're going to go out -- the validation call, to take a look at a preliminary cut of the subthemes. I think that would be helpful for all of us to think about.
And I wanted to briefly respond to her other people about some proposals last year coming in quite low for the diversity and high for other things, like content and thoughtfulness and innovation.
I know not everybody was in the room when we had the NRI informal meeting during lunch, but both Paul and I mentioned that it might be a good idea to integrate some kind of people resource list from the NRIs, meaning that the NRIs themselves may have experts on certain topics that they can put people forward or people can self-identify to put forward onto a currently existing resource list that the IGF secretariat has on the Web site. That can help with, you know, whether people who don't know certain other people in other regions, if they don't know there are some experts on this or people who are relevant to their workshop or topics, they can have this resource.
And similarly, it would be beneficial for us as MAG members to have this resource to look at and suggest, you know, possible people to add to increase the diversity aspect of proposals.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: But I also -- just -- sorry, Susan, to interject just quickly.
But I also understood that, in fact, that it might not have worked that well to demand confirmed speakers early on in the process, because the speaker rolls that were in the workshop proposals looked very different from those that eventually made it to the IGF. So you might be creating more complexity, hard to work for your proponents, maybe more room for bias in the evaluation by MAG members, and then, in fact, you end up, because no one can guarantee who is actually going to be at the IGF, in actually having a very different way of approaching that.
No one's raised that, but I've heard several people talk about that maybe not having worked that well, so I'm just flagging that.
(Off microphone) quickly.
>>JENNIFER CHUNG: Sorry, Madam Chair. Just very quickly.
Definitely have seen this as feedback from the taking stock. One thing that we did talk about when I was in my first year as a MAG member, people do remember Rasha did mention, we look at the proposals as they come in, and we evaluate the diversity as we see it.
So one suggestion that I did see from taking stock was, perhaps these proposers could also indicate, this is a slot for somebody from GRULAC who is from civil society. This is a person that I've confirmed. But if that person cannot make it, we can then use a resource list to replace a similar kind of diversity there.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So there's a different way of getting at that.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thanks, Chair.
I just -- I'd like to take a step back just for a second, while we're discussing this. I think it's a really important conversation to have. There are a lot of comments that would come in about the IGF over the years: It's too busy, there are too many things going on at the same time. I mean, that's -- that's, I think, a feedback that the secretariat has received maybe for, I don't know, a decade.
And I -- you know, what we tried to do last year was to be able to narrow the focus, as we had discussed on day one, by putting -- creating a three-theme program. It was a great way to organize. And organizing and streamlining is key. I don't think it's really good anymore to have more than three themes, or eight themes, which we had at one point. This is what people are reacting to when they say it's too busy.
So I think as we step into next year's process, and even considering some of the gaps that the IGF is said to have kind of a lack of focus, we need more concrete outcomes, all of this, I really do think, relates to the design of the program. And the culture of this group, I think, for better or worse, is one of accepting be more inclusive in terms of all the workshops that we have, than less. It's really tough for the MAG to make hard decisions about sticking to one subject matter theme.
So as part of -- just to address the subtheme. I'll be more specific now. Thanks.
Just to address the subtheme idea, will we have -- if we establish subthemes in advance, does that mean that the workshop has to fulfill a nexus requirement for that subtheme or not? Presumably, we develop the narratives for digital inclusion and for the other two themes. Those were narratives because we were encouraging people to tailor their workshops to that narrative and to meet a nexus.
We have an Internet governance nexus requirement. We have a narrative thematic requirement. If we do subthemes, are we asking submitters to also prove that there's a nexus between what they will discuss and these three levels of nexus? So Internet governance, the theme and the subtheme.
And it's important that we consider that, because we only accepted -- I mean, we accepted less than a third of the workshops that were submitted last year. It's very competitive now.
And the last point I wanted to make is that if we establish subthemes and if we have these narratives, nothing matters. All of the work that the MAG knows so well and that the secretariat knows so well, because the secretariat is the cold face of implementing this, whether it's at a Web form or -- because the secretariat's job is to focus on these discussions. This really doesn't matter unless it's communicated to the proposers who are making these proposals.
So a lot of folks have mentioned the problems with the diversity component, which we addressed extensively last year. Part of our conversations were about, what does diversity mean?
So if you have -- I recall Sandra from EuroDIG said, well, there were a lot of regional proposals that were submitted but were rejected on the basis that they were not diverse geographically.
We had an extensive conversation about this in the workshop selection process last year to come up with a definition that says that diversity is relative. Clearly, that wasn't communicated, neither to the MAG; right? Well, it could have been to the proposers. But the MAG didn't understand that.
So I think it's a question of simplification, designed thinking. I mean, there are 50 of us and we're all very bright, dedicated people, but I am not a design person. And I don't know if anybody else here is a design thinker either. How can we try and, if possible, have design expertise incorporated into this process so we can make it simpler for everybody and simpler and more clear for the proposers, the community. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks. Good points, and I'll ask Jutta to go next.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Anriette, for giving me the floor. Somehow -- and I think Susan has brought us back on track, so I wanted to say some minutes before that I have the suggestion not to go too much into detail how the evaluation process will be done at this point. We have only one hour left. We have a lot of things on the agenda. I'm ready to take part again in that working group. I would like to invite all the MAG members, former MAG members, new MAG members, to join that working group so to expand our expertise, but I don't think it's the right point to go too much into detail. I prefer all the way you have put it forward now and concentrating on the other aspects as well. And we should, of course, take into consideration what messages do we send out to the community when we put out the call for workshop proposals.
And now that I have the microphone, last but not least, I would like to mention that I got a lot of feedback during the last three days on concerns about whether we have only the two face-to-face meetings this year, and I do think we should discuss that.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: We're going to get back into that in the next slot.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I think we've got June, Paul, Timea. I'd like to close the floor. If there's anyone else, quickly add yourself, and then I'm going to ask Luis to close. And I think just, yes, in terms of the design thinking, absolutely. And I think we cannot add an imposed structure at the track level, then add too much imposed structure at the workshop level either. I think we do have to be careful about that. The IGF has to be a mix of structure and openness. And I think if we overengineer and try and create too much structures and subcategories and subthemes at all levels, in all the dimensions of the IGF, it could become fragmented and in a completely new way. So these are good cautions.
I think I'll make a suggestion later on about how to deal with the design thinking. Let's go to our floor, and everyone, please be quick. We're running late. June.
>>JUNE PARRIS: Thank you. I was -- what you just said is what I was going to say. Sometimes we can make things a bit too complicated and then it's not so easy.
The work done was -- is brilliant work done by the group, especially the three leader -- lead group workers.
What I want to say in terms of the -- the feedback from the -- from outside of the -- from the survey is that it's not representative. Is it possible that we could probably do that again and get a true picture of what the public actually feel about it? We had 300 -- 300-and-whatever proposals and we had 50-something responses to the survey? Not representative.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: What I can tell you, because I checked with the secretariat while you were all talking, and we -- we need to have our revised workshop call ready by 15 February. So we do not have time to go back and ask for more input. We're going to have to work with what we know, what we've learned, stocktaking the survey, and our own good judgment and our connections with our constituencies. And Rudolf has added to this, so we'll have June, when you're done, Paul, Timea, Roberto, and Rudolf will be the last speaker in this -- in this element -- this segment of the agenda.
>>JUNE PARRIS: I agree with you.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Okay. Thank you, Chair. Paul Rowney. My biggest issue or concern from the IGF last year was the workshops changing speakers. And they were qualified based on diversity, and then they ended up with no diversity. One of the proposals that was made last year was that if a workshop is selected, it's given provisional approval, and then given time, say four weeks, to conquertize on their speakers. So they can go out, they can get confirmation letters that these people will attend, and if they need to change speakers, it has to be like-for-like, to maintain that diversity. And yet this is where this database, resource database that we spoke about and integrating it with the IGF resources and stuff, it enables the workshop, if they lose someone, they can actually dig into a pool and quite quickly find someone. And if we build that database in such a way it's quite easy to work -- to filter on the criteria that you're looking for, they could then quite easily get a replacement, and maybe even fund some people, if they can afford it, to actually attend the IGF. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Good. And that needs to go into this working group. Timea, before I give you the floor, I'd like to give the mic to our co-chair, Michal. And I really want to thank you very much. Thank both of you very much for having been here and worked hard as part of the process. It's really been very good. I feel certainly very excited about working with you. And convey that to Wanda, as well.
>>MICHAL PUKALUK: Thank you, Chair. Sorry for breaking the good flow of the session, but I really have to go with Przemyslaw. And I think the most relevant word from me right now is the warmest thank you. I'd like to thank you all for your support, your assistance, and consideration in making this first MAG meeting for me as soft a landing as possible. And I -- we -- we have had a lot of meetings with Przemyslaw, and I think I'm slowly getting the hang of what's going on and where I am finally. And a big thanks to Anriette for chairing this meeting so wonderfully and for being patient and responsive to me, wanting to flow outside of the queuing system, which is still a bit of a mystery to me -- sorry, Luis -- and looking forward to cooperating with you in the future to -- or I -- eventually or in Geneva or, of course, in Katowice. Thank you very much, and see you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much to Przemyslaw and Michal and safe travels, and please, give our best regards to Wanda. Thanks.
[ Applause ]
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Chair. Interesting to follow applause and these thanks. Completely forgot what I was going to say. No, not really.
It have a couple of points, and do stop me if I'm out of order.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: You're going to thank your mother and your father.
[ Laughter ]
>>TIMEA SUTO: Yes. Hold the Oscars now. I was going to reflect to all of the best practice forums -- sorry, all of the working groups that we -- that we were looking at earlier this afternoon, and have a couple of points. We're going to echo something that you said, Anriette, on the purpose of why we have MAG working groups. And I think the -- you were saying the purpose of the MAG working groups is to take off burden from the secretariat's shoulders and then to work in tandem where we need to support the work that is already being done somewhere. So with that in mind, I would have a couple of questions around working groups on funding and then working group on improvements.
I think the working group on improvements could be in observer mode this year perhaps while we figure out the linkages with the high-level panel on digital cooperation and other -- you know, the voluntold working group that Markus is going to lead on BPFs and the others. and for the MAG to focus on some of the other work.
In terms of funding, we've been calling for this repeatedly and I want to reiterate the question, is there any way where either a professional fundraiser or somebody with clear experience in this could lead the work rather than well-meaning and enthusiastic working group members trying to figure out how to do that without much experience? And happy to support any outreach or calls or whatever that we can do. But I -- I still remain skeptical that the expertise lies within the MAG to do this meaningfully.
On the working group on workshop process, I think just judging from the conversation that we've had just now, I think it's vital that this continues. And I also feel the same way about the working group on outreach and communication. And taking those two together, I don't suggest merging them, but taking those two together, I think both would benefit from a clear schedule and action plan that we are to -- we want to take and a clear solidified process that we all commit to as of the beginning of this year that we want to follow looking ahead to Katowice.
I think given all the work that we have we fall into the trap sometimes of rethinking the process midway and coming up with new ideas. We have a good draft time line that we're going to talk about soon. Can we look at that time line and see if we can solidify the actual organizational and logistical process for this year. And then leave it to the working group on outreach and communication to come up with a communication plan around it, working in tandem with the workshop proposal process and the team there, to make sure the community is very well informed about what we want to do when and it's not just informed about the sausage-making process but also enticed to participate. So coming up with good messages on the actual narratives that we are going to employ this year, the three tracks, et cetera, et cetera, so that people who might want to come to Katowice know from the get-go how can they engage and how can they participate meaningfully if they want to go there on the issues that interest them, not on proposed workshops. The message is not proposed workshops. The message is, come to discuss the issues that you are interested in and these are the ways at the IGF that you can do.
So if we can work around, one, solidifying the process, communicating and process and then sticking to the process, I think those are good -- three good goals that should inform the work of the MAG as we break into our working groups for the year. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Timea. And just one quick reaction to that. I think those are good suggestions. But you mentioned the high-level panel and the working group on IGF improvements. You suggested, you know, putting it on pause for now, but, in fact, that could also become its work. We could have a working group that looks specifically at IGF and IGF improvement in the context of IGF+ and those proposals. So that's starting different -- starting from where you started but just looking at it slightly differently.
And we have Roberto.
>>ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Thank you, Madam Chair. That last part was clarifying maybe the opportunities that we have. I don't know if we're going to create another group, work group, regarding the -- to this best practices as Timea said before, or maybe we could include it in the improvements for IGF. That's another alternative. But I'm not sure which one is the best.
But I also want to comment a little bit, very quick, about Maria Paz's passion. And by that moment we didn't have -- we didn't agree yet that we were supposed to open another call for issues. But now it's agreed, right? So we're going to have this process again.
Can't we take advantage of that process in order to also ask to submit what could be the subtheme related to those others?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I think we've already decided that we would do that. We might not call it subthemes, but we are asking for content, for issues, that we can then use to begin to develop subthemes. So we are already planning to do that.
>>ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: That we could work in a preliminary fashion of already fixed subthemes, that we could include in the call. That could be an alternative.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I think -- yes, and I think we've -- I've got a proposal on that, which I'll come to later.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Two things that come my mind, especially when we talk about workshop selection process, if we go perhaps to the end of the process and look, did we have good workshops last year at the IGF? Were these good workshops? Were they diverse? Did they have a good substance? I would say yes, for the vast majority of what we -- of what we had on the IGF.
So the selection process perhaps was not so bad at the end. So we had good results. That's important to retain.
And the second thought that I have is, we will not get rid of the responsibility to select. And we will not get rid of the burden to reject. And it will perhaps be even more that -- more responsibility and more workshops that we have to reject more the IGF becomes popular and more people want to get involved.
So I think the process is important and it's -- it has to be transparent and everything, but this, at the end, is the responsibility of the MAG, and we will be -- we will be confronted with that in any weather. That's just two ideas that I wanted to share.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: And I think, just to add to that, I think a point that I think one of the MAG members made to me is that, in fact, if we change the process every year, we're not making it easier for workshop proponents. We're making it harder. So that's -- you know, if we're going to make changes, simplify what you have but don't change. Don't change the process.
Thanks very much, everyone. I will try and conclude on working groups. I think we -- existing working groups have the opportunity, I think they can have two weeks, like BPFs, to come up with proposals if they want to continue. I think we've got the input on fundraising and professional fundraising. I think take that on board.
Don't feel compelled to submit a proposal for continuation. I think that we need to consider having some kind of group of MAG members working on IGF improvements, particularly in the context of the best -- of the high-level panel on digital cooperation and this discussion on the IGF+ because clearly when we asked on day 1 people to talk about IGF+, they actually talked about IGF, and I think that's a reality we need to be able to respond to at a strategic level as well as at a substantive incremental change level. So I think we should consider a call for -- or a formation of that type of working group and maybe we can work on that.
There's a proposal that the working group on engagement and outreach and reporting actually integrates in some way. I think we clearly agree that there's a need for the working group on workshop process to work with all the input that it's gathered and the content of this discussion, and we need you to do your work quite quickly because we need to start formulating that.
I'd like to say we also need something -- maybe we can call it a task team, not a working group -- to help us craft this call for validation of thematic tracks and issues. And we need to do that basically next week, Monday, Tuesday. Monday, Tuesday. So I'd like people that are -- that are willing to be part of that. That's where we call for the three main themes, the plus one and issues and subthemes, so that we can craft that in a way that makes sense. We'll send it to everyone for comment, but if there are people who are willing to work on that beginning of next week, then please just let me know or let the secretariat know.
But beyond that, I think what we are saying, we're giving the working groups an opportunity to reflect and submit a proposal for continuation with a work plan. But I would urge you not to feel too hasty because I think as the work of the MAG continues, we will need other working groups or some of the same working groups that focuses specifically on the work of 2020. And so rather than have these continuing standing working groups, it might be better to form work teams and task teams to address specific work areas and deliver specific outputs as we need them.
So, I mean, is that too open-ended, or is everyone happy with that as a way forward? Good. So you've got two weeks, and you can talk to one another and plan on that.
So I think on that we are finished with working groups. Thank you very much for all of the work of the working groups that you did last year and the work that has already started this year.
Rudolf, do you need to go now or a bit later? Arsene, you have a question?
>>ARSENE TUNGALI: Thank you, Madam Chair. Just a quick clarification. I'm not sure I heard about what do we do next in terms of working groups. Should we wait until the secretariat conducts a kind of assessment or -- please do clarify.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: If you want as a coordinator or a chair or a member of the working group that you were part of -- I'm expecting the working groups to get together on their own to decide whether they want to submit a proposal and work plan with concrete suggestions for what you will be doing. To continue. Or you can make a suggestion for your work to be continued in a different way that also -- that's your choice. It's entirely your choice and I think the working group on workshop process, there's a little bit different because we actually need them to continued their work in the short term because we need an output which is a revised workshop proposal submission. Just one more thing for that working group. Do look at the stocktaking input and the proposal for different types of workshops. Even if you don't do that, it just would be good to be able to reflect that you did look at that consideration.
So is that clear? Just get back together and decide what you want to do for the year and you've got two weeks. And remember, there are be other opportunities for task teams and working groups and committees.
So on that I think we close the segment and go into the final segment of this meeting which is to look at the time line for the year. And can Chengetai will open it for us. If anybody needs to leave, they can make their closing remarks. And then after that we will listen to your input and it will also be an opportunity for people to make sort of their closing reflections on this meeting. And then we will close, hard close at 6:00.
So Chengetai, secretariat, you have the floor. And Wai-Min.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Chair. You've all seen the time line. I sent it through the MAG list and it's also on the IGF front page. I think it's the last link in the document section or it was, second-to-last link now.
Yes, thank you.
For the discussion today, trying to keep the time line as it is at the moment, if we have the call, starting, let's say, Wednesday, and then that call would end -- or so we launched the call on 23rd of January and then that will close on the 6th of February, and then I think the secretariat needs some time -- let's give it, like, two days -- to synthesize the input and then send it out to the MAG. And then, of course, the MAG needs time to digest that and also work with the narratives, right? We can give it another two weeks, I suppose. And then we have the call for workshops on the 2nd of March.
But then I was looking at the time line and then right at the end, if we keep with the MAG meeting, that's going to be in June, we do have, I think, like, two weeks where nothing much is happening. And we can, in fact, move the call for workshops up two weeks and put that two weeks in the front instead of in the back. And then we've got an extra two weeks to play with, which is what I was suggesting.
But we cannot really finalize this until, I think, we should -- because there were some question about the second MAG meeting.
I think we should talk about those first and then we can finalize the time line.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So Chengetai is suggesting we don't go into too much detail. I think maybe let's look at this time line but from a very big-picture perspective.
The first big milestone is the call for validation of issues and deciding on the thematic tracks.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: That's essentially -- that call is going to go out next week, next week Wednesday. And then we give the community two weeks --
>> (off microphone).
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Someone left a phone.
And then we need a call. So I think we need to schedule -- we need to start our procedure of regular calls.
Then the next milestone will be to work -- and we'll need task teams, we'll need work teams to work with the call for workshop proposals, which would work with the main tracks after we've decided what they are exactly and what the issues and subthemes. You are saying that needs to go out on --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: The workshop proposals right now is going out on the 2nd of March. But we can push that --
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: We can push that to the 10th of March or something like that.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So please keep that in mind because that means we'll need work teams, task teams, to work on the narratives and on that call that goes out. So we don't just need the procedure for workshop selection and call, we also need to look at the text. So we'll be asking for MAG volunteers.
We'll do this in the call. We don't have to go into the detail.
And then we have the MAG meeting. At the moment, the next open consultation and MAG meeting is scheduled for 16 to 18 June. But there's feedback that it's too late for an early November IGF. And there's also a call for a third MAG meeting.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: The MAG meeting that we have in our time line for June will be the one where we finalize the workshop selection. I don't know whether or not that will provide difficulties for the workshop facilitators to get their workshops together, to write up an agenda, et cetera. It's up to you. I think it's possible, but I don't know.
I mean, this is just a proposal from us. We're waiting for your feedback, and then we'll do the adjustments.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So we're going to open the floor soon. So that's the proposal at the moment. Think of the timing of that meeting in June and also think of the number of MAG meetings. And the timing of that meeting, especially if that's the meeting where we finalize workshop selection, think about that.
And then the next big milestone would be working with the drafting of the schedule. And those, I think, tend to work fairly smoothly. Once we've done the selection and the program structure, we start working on that.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: The core is basically the workshop selection process and what comes before that. So that's the core. Once we've done that big chunk of work, the rest flows quite smoothly.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Okay. Thanks for that, Chengetai.
And, Rudolf, you have to leave. Thank you very much and travel safely and see you online soon.
So let's open the queue now for comments on the time line.
And we have roughly how much time left for today? Yes, we've got just over half an hour.
So this is also the opportunity for people to mention anything else, and we need to prepare for closing our first MAG meeting of the year with comments on the time line. But if there are any other remarks, closing remarks that people want to make, now is the time to make them.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Chair. A point of clarification and perhaps a point of caution, I'm still not 100% clear about the work on narratives in relation to the call for input on issues that will inform the call for workshops. If we have to work on the narratives or even the prenarratives that will inform our ask for the community to talk about extra ideas, I think we need more than two days. I think it's very, very ambitious for us to work with the 21st of January for the call to go out if we want to work on those narratives, especially because we want to base those narratives -- it was a great idea to base those narratives on the messages coming out from Berlin. I think we need a little bit more time there to really focus those three narratives so that the community understands what they have to do. It's not just about calling for issues. I think we need to inform that call.
So I would ask for a bit more leeway on that, if we have it. A week perhaps.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: That's an option to make it a little bit later. Just remember to clarify, we don't need much narrative because this is the validation call, remember? This is not -- we need some text that explains that we are building on the 2019 tracks but that we are also having a call for input for issues, for subthemes.
So this is a fairly simple -- this is the 2020 version of that call for issues that went out in 2019 that had 300 plus responses. So it doesn't need a huge amount of work, but you are quite right. It does still need to work. Maybe we can take a few more days.
I would suggest let's aim for the end of next week. If we need to get a little bit more time, then we'll make that time available.
This is not the more in-depth narrative development work that would have to go into this for the call for workshop proposals. That's the larger work. Does that help to clarify?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yeah, that larger narrative would be -- you would have two weeks to develop that according the plan we have right now.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you, Timea. Paul Rowney.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Paul Rowney. In general, I don't have any material issues with what's been proposed. And I might be shot by someone -- my colleagues. But I actually support only having another face-to-face. I think we can spend a lot more time productively elsewhere.
What I was going to say, yeah, with the narratives and stuff, because we are maintaining pretty much the three main themes that we had last year, they are pretty similar. We would have working groups and a lot of that was already established, and there's no reason they can't kick off immediately to start giving this thought and thinking about the narratives from now onwards. So we don't have to recreate working groups. People can choose which ones they want to join. But we already have the framework to move forward from. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: That's a good point and an advantage of keeping some of the same themes. Thanks, Paul.
>>JUNE PARRIS: Hello again. I second Paul's comments, and I also want to add that I think we should probably try to have another meeting in April or somewhere around April, if possible, because I think when we see one another, we tend to be more efficient and it's easier to see one another face-to-face and get things done.
So if possible, it doesn't have to be three days. It could be two days.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, June.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Yes. Firstly, I would like to say with regard to the time line, I don't think that 16th to 18th of June is too late. If that's the meeting that we can take the final decisions, then it would leave enough time for workshop proposers to organize everything that they have to do once their workshops are accepted.
We can also get that from the feedback that timing was not a problem last year and it was more or less okay, the IGF was a bit later than it will be this year. But, still, it's three months to go and I do think that would work.
Also, I second what Paul and June have said about a meeting in between now and the June meeting. I suggest to try to have it during the WSIS, which is from the 6th to 9th of April when several of us will already be here in Geneva and probably we can combine that, if it's possible.
And I also think that it's important to bear in mind that we have not had at this meeting the same participation that we had usually in meetings because for many people it was just too short notice. It was too early in the year. And we had nearly no online participation in this meeting, which is usually from those MAG members who can't achieve to come to the meeting face-to-face. Usually the online participation is higher than we had during this meeting.
So I feel a little bit not confident about having enough engagement of the MAG members if we have only this smaller meeting now and then the meeting in June. That's my comment.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: And thanks, Jutta.
By the way, Paul said we don't need a third meeting, just to clarify. June said we need a third meeting. Paul said we didn't. And just to keep -- I just want to put this in your minds. If we don't have the resources for a third meeting, we would still have the option of making our second meeting longer. This is something we can consider, to go for an additional MAG working day, if we can't have a third meeting.
Okay. Next we have Carlos Afonso.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Okay. First, I agree with Jutta's argument about the possibility of a meeting at the WSIS time in April with the reasoning that Jutta presented.
And second is a short observation, is that the workshop's and other session's evaluations from 20th of April to 10th May, I have suggested that we should extend ten days more to 20th of May, to have a month to do this evaluation. The rest is okay.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Secretariat, I hope you are -- because my notetaking abilities are -- just taking notes of all that.
When -- if there are further MAG members that want to talk about the third meeting, it would also be good to look at what the agenda -- if we're assuming that one meeting is dedicated to workshop selection, it will be useful to reflect what the agenda will be of the other meeting so we can make sure it fits into the time line.
Next we have Mary.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you, Madam Chair, for giving me the floor. Mary Uduma from Nigeria technical community for the records.
First is that I want to refer to what Timea had asked about pre or post-narratives. I think I'm not too clear where we stand. I need a little bit of clarification there. I know that you said it will not be an in-depth one and the call goes out and then we have feedback from the community. That's one.
Secondly is that I want to support what June and Jutta have said and Carlos about the third meeting. As for the agenda, we can develop the agenda for the third meeting. You can see now that even this first meeting we are running short. Everything is -- some of the agenda we had -- I don't know we would be able to cover it in-depth.
The third thing I want to say is during the WSIS, more people are -- you can even meet the community to get info and get input into what we are doing, members of the community.
Since I have the floor, I want also to say -- the first thing -- my first reaction when I saw this timetable was, ah, we did better last year. We did three meetings and we saw that they helped us. Face-to-face comes with its own advantages. So I think we should consider that.
Since I have the floor, I want to talk about this working group -- I want to raise something about the working group, especially the improvement. Those that are going to be in the improvement -- in the IGF improvement working group, I need us to consider what I've been raising since I came, that I need -- that my community were left out of the process in Berlin, some of them, not all of them, because we went -- we went to town to call them to come to Berlin. Some of them could not understand English.
So in improving the IGF and the evaluation process, if we could have people that could evaluate inputs, whether it's call for issues or call for workshop, in another language, not necessarily English.
Yes, we can use the Google translation to do translation, but it will not be as clear as it should be.
So last year we had people submit proposals in other languages. And they were translated to English for us to evaluate.
So if we have our members that could evaluate in other languages, they could be given that opportunity to evaluate in other languages. And then we also -- the improvement -- is it possible for workshops to be organized in a language other than English so that those who could not understand English would be able to attend to that -- will be able to participate effectively in that workshop?
The next thing is that those that could afford to translate their workshop, could the IGF or MAG give them the opportunity to translate or have translation in the workshops or in the open fora or in the DCs? That's another thing that I need -- I'm saying that we should consider, please. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Sorry to interrupt the speaking queue.
I actually think we need a task team on this. This is an issue that I think we need a short-term task team to look at, at what we can do on that. I know there are lots of constraints and there are also implications and also which language. But I think if there are people who are willing to work with this so that we can develop a proposal for the MAG to consider, I think that would be useful. Because I know there are -- there are lots of constraints and financial constraints. It might be possible to have a transcript in French as opposed to simultaneous interpretation for French for certain sessions. And, yes, we might be able to raise funding. We know the financial constraints.
But we might be able to raise external funding at least for some sessions.
So rather than -- this is a very big discussion and it's a very complex and sensitive discussion.
So I would suggest that people are willing to work with Mary on this would come up with some proposals that we can discuss in -- not at the next call, but maybe in the coming month, to come up with some input on that.
And working with the secretariat as well, because we -- there are certain constraints.
Is that -- is anyone willing to work with -- with Mary on this?
That's perfect. That's -- that's absolutely perfect.
So please email your -- your names. Contact Mary. And I will work with you on that as well.
Okay. Let's move on. Glavor.
>>NATASA GLAVOR: Hello. Natasa Glavor. No, no problem.
Third term MAG member from Croatia.
I just wanted to say that I'm also -- I also think that timing of the proposed meeting in June is fine, and I don't think it's too late. And I'm also in favor for if -- if it's possible, of course, to have third meeting.
And I just wanted to ask something. It's probably more of a question for our colleagues from Poland. But just for the record, I think it's good to say it now.
We'll have an invitation sent to high-level participants in February. So I was wondering if we could coordinate somehow better than we did last year, if I can say it that way. Because, unfortunately, no one from -- none of the high-level participants and parliamentarians from Croatia got the invitations. So they were lost somehow, and we couldn't track what happened.
So I don't know if Poland colleagues or secretariat could share the information whether the permanent mission, U.N., would be informed and send invitations or through some other channels. That would be valuable information.
And if maybe Poland colleagues could share with us contact information with someone who will not be so busy those days just before the IGF to help us, if needed, with tracking those sent invitations.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. We can help you, if needed. But also, for this year, it would also be good if you could give us the address and name of the president of the parliament. And then we can make sure that it gets there. Maybe it was a wrong address. I don't know much about what -- what happened last year. But for this year, if you just forward us the correct address of the president of the parliament, then we'll make sure that he gets it.
>>NATASA GLAVOR: Email addresses, I suppose? Email addresses? Or mail --
Both. Okay. Okay.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you, Natasa.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you.
Firstly, I want to express my gratitude for putting out a year-long time line already before we came here in January. I can't remember if we had that kind of information that early in the years before. But I appreciate it. So that's very welcome. And I'm supportive of the time line.
In an ideal world, we would have an additional meeting, because it can be easier to process issues when we're together in person. But I appreciate that that's three or four days of travel for some people in addition to the two or three days we spend together. And I think, you know, it's important to have that meeting in June where we take final decisions about the workshop proposers.
My final point is about the timing around the call for issues next week.
So I -- my understanding is that the secretariat will draft some brief narratives based on the 2019 narratives and the IGF messages and that the MAG members will have a couple of days to comment, two days to comment. And I think that works.
And then MAG members will work on more detailed narratives that will be used for the call for workshop proposals. And ideally, then we do that with the benefit of the response from the call for issues.
So I just wanted to clarify. I think that kind of two-step process works well. But I just wanted to make sure that was what you were envisaging.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Ben, I think that is where I am. And I think -- and if I am being a bit vague about this, it's probably because I wasn't part of the call last year.
But I think this will be a validation call. So the narrative will probably be more in the introductory text, explaining why we are making the call in this particular way, why we have the continuity of the Berlin track, so -- rather than a narrative on each of those tracks. So it's more sort of explanatory narrative text. The real work of narrative development will start once we pull out the content and the response to the call for validation and identify all the issues and we begin to look at the themes and the subthemes. But I think we will also have to keep in mind the fact that we don't want to make the process too top-down. So that's where that process will work.
So I think the work next week will probably be -- hopefully, be relatively simple, because we'll just be processing our work here at the MAG meeting, plus the responses to the December call.
But, yes, I think we are on the same page. I know it's a little bit -- a little bit tricky.
>>XIAOFENG TAO: Yes. Thank you, madam. My name is Xiaofeng.
I don't think it is a good idea that we should reduce the number of workshops. Ben mentioned yesterday that only 20% of workshop proposals were accepted last year. This ratio is lower than that of most conference. Based on the statistics of over the last five years and the number of workshop proposals, it is clear that the number we are keeping growing in this year's IGF, therefore, I think it is our duty to have their voice heard.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I don't think we are planning to reduce the number of workshops. Am I right? That's not a goal at this point.
>>XIAOFENG TAO: Somebody tell me. I don't --
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: No, no.
What we're talking about is because last year, there were the three themes. And there were how many workshops last year? Who remembers?
68. 65, 68. And there were 300 proposals. Correct.
I don't think we need to -- personally, I don't think we should at this point look at reducing. We might even be able to have more workshops. That's not the issue. I think the concern is more that the -- the coherence of the structure and the quality of the proposals.
So I don't think that -- certainly I have not heard that we are planning to reduce.
I think there's a general call to not have too many sessions at the IGF. But I certainly don't think reducing it is on the table.
And you would be happy about that?
Next we have Nebojsa.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: Nebojsa Regoje, government group in the MAG.
When -- the additional meeting in question, I think this period just at the end of the workshop proposals submission is very good period when we could meet and discuss specifics about the workshop process evaluation. That's probably the most critical aspect of our work. And I think that the discussions on this topic would be much more efficient and effective if done face to face rather than -- rather than online.
If there is not sufficient funding, my proposal would be to have that -- only one meeting, if it comes to only one meeting, to have that meeting after the submission of all proposals, which means that if it's good -- if it's possible to connect it with the WSIS, if we have three meetings, then okay. If not, then after the 15th of April, when the workshop session proposals are accepted, and then to have that meeting. I think that's more critical to have properly established procedure and -- rather than to have the final decision on the number and the -- what proposals we can accept.
When it comes to the third meeting, I don't think that this June meeting is too late. Last year, we had it at the beginning of July. A year before, we had it also in July, even in the middle of July. And I think there were no complaints, as we saw from Jutta's presentation, about that from all these participants in the survey.
The second thing is related to the language. Don't get me wrong, I am really in support of diversity. And when it comes to diversity, I think you -- maybe you will remember that last year, I was one who advocated that diversity should not have reduced percentage compared to the other criteria. And the language I consider one of the aspects of diversity.
But we must be very careful. If we take in account only six official U.N. languages and if we have in mind that official translation during IGF meeting is only done during the main sessions, how we are going to execute workshops and how those who prepare workshops are going to execute them if we don't have proposals prepared in English.
I'm really just expressing my concern. Really, I am fully supportive of that. But as I will not take part in that working group on language, or task team on language and just expressing my concern about that.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Absolutely. You are completely right. And I think this working group is going to have to look at exactly that. You can't change the nature of the IGF or the huge multiplicity of languages of the people that come to the IGF.
And so -- but it's still worth discussing that and processing it and having a response to the people that have asked for changes with regard to that. Maybe there are some solutions.
I'm not suggesting that we're changing the procedure. I just think we need to tackle that particular request and proposal and then document what we can and what we can't do in response.
But I think I agree completely with your reservation. They will take that into account.
>>CHRISTINE ARIDA: Yes. Thank you.
Regarding the time line, I wanted to comment on the possibility of having a meeting alongside the WSIS week. And I'm just trying to remember. I think on the open consultation day when we were discussing the champions group that are going to consult on how to implement 5A and B, the WSIS week was mentioned for a potential time and venue to look at consultations on that matter.
So if this is the case and if it's going to happen, I think it's worth not to conflict with the day and to align in a way so that people that will be attending -- unless I recall wrong.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Christine, sorry. I was just checking dates. Consultations on what matter?
>>CHRISTINE ARIDA: We were discussing the report 5a and b.
>> (Off microphone)
>>CHRISTINE ARIDA: Yeah, I think I mentioned that the WSIS is a potential week for those consultations, and it could be actually an opportunity also to bring in NRIs for this consultation here in Geneva. Many of them do attend the WSIS.
Now, on the language point, since Nebojsa just mentioned, not last year but the year before, I attended -- actually I moderated one of the workshops that have ran completely in French from the beginning to the end and it was a francophone community. They did prepare the proposal in English which was an extra step they did. But, I mean, the workshop was in the room without translation completely in French and it was perfectly dynamic with a lot of discussion. So I don't see a problem with that.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: And the report was in English, if I recall correctly. Yeah. And they reported in English.
>>CHRISTINE ARIDA: They did report in English as well, yeah.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So that's a good point. And I think just keeping in mind that the dates, for everybody's information, of the WSIS forum is 6 to 9 -- or 6 to 10 April. So, you know, if we have a meeting then, we need to be sure that we really do have an agenda and that's a concrete proposal for what we could talk about it. Timea.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Chair. I'm going to jump off topic here, but since we're coming up to the end of the day here, I'm going to start with the thank yous. Sorry, Rose, if I'm jumping ahead of you.
I just wanted to really express my gratitude towards the IGF secretariat for the input material we had for this meeting. I don't think I took enough time to talk about that, especially with the secretariat working at reduced capacity. I was very, very impressed for us having not just this time line done but also the input for the taking stock, which was really done, I believe overnight because there was no other way this could have been done. So thank you. Thank you very much for that. I really appreciate it if we can keep that momentum up. I think it would be great for us to work on this through the year. All my support that I can help with to keep to that.
And if I may, a closing request, coming away from this meeting, if we could ask the secretariat for half page action points per agenda item type of summary. So not a minutes, not a five pages summary of the discussion, but I think, especially in light of many MAG members not being able to attend the meeting, if we could just have agenda item, decision taken type of summary only for the MAG list, it doesn't have to be more public than that, I think it would be very appreciated. So with that, thank everybody for being here. Again, welcome to the new MAG members. I hope we didn't scare you. And thanks, everyone. Bye.
[ Applause ]
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, and I'll thank the secretariat soon as well. I just want to give the secretariat the opportunity to clarify for us exactly what the attendance has been of the MAG at this meeting.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Chair. And thank you very much, Timea, for your kind words.
For this meeting we had 30 -- 6. So sorry, I'm getting the MAGs in my head. 36 MAG members attending in person and we had 4 MAG members remotely. So we had 40 MAG members in total participating in this meeting, which is rather high actually.
>> (Off microphone).
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: So I think there's a perception, I'm not sure why there's a perception that attendance has not been good. Maybe because some really key people like Sylvia was not here with us. But in fact, I really feel the attendance was very good. It's apparently high attendance for a MAG face-to-face meeting. And I think I -- you know, which is, to me, indicative of the commitment and the support of the MAG, to be at a face-to-face meeting with such short notice, so early in the year. Mary Rose.
>>MARY ROSE RANGAL: Thank you, Madam Chair. And Mary Rose, private sector.
I want to take this opportunity to speak before the meeting ends. I know this is my first time to speak for this meeting. But, yeah, just a general comment on how the general process of the meeting went.
I really commend Madam Chair. I appreciate the process of the breaking out -- breakout groups. I think it's a really good idea to have it. And it is really a productive meeting for us because, you know, the breakout groups is has provided us a more venue to speak up, and it's more a focused discussion, so I think it's -- we're going to do that more often.
And, yeah, you cannot see me. And I also, like, want to second to what Timea has raised earlier about having a highlight summary of what has been discussed during the meeting, and it's a good way for us to review before the next virtual meeting.
And I also want to support on having the second meeting during the WSIS time.
So congratulations, everybody, and it's good to see you and I hope to see you soon again.
[ Applause ]
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you, Mary Rose. And, yes, that's an excellent suggestion to have that.
Wout, you have the floor.
>>WOUT de NATRIS: Yes. Thank you, Chair.
A short reply on the parliamentarians, because I am the only one in the room now who works on the projects, with Rudolf gone, the Polish people gone.
Very short clarification. We've reached out on three different levels. So the German government, Mr. Schauble, the president of the parliament in Germany, sent out a letter to all his colleagues in the world. From experience, we learned that that sort of disappeared in email boxes that were too general. So that's something we could learn from.
The second one is that a lot of people were reached out to individually. And I think that the most people who showed up at the Berlin IGF came from that interpersonal reach-out.
And the third one is that we did four presentations to parliaments. I did four, German government. So my advice would be -- I think that the Polish are sort of looking into doing the same -- that the MAG members can actually assist with email addresses from parliamentarians that are relevant, because it's very hard to get those sort of addresses. And if we pool that together, then we may be able to reach even more parliamentarians this year than we did last year.
And that's my advice. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Wout.
And so that's the -- our last speaker in the queue. So now it's my opportunity to -- firstly, to thank all of the MAG members. I think thank you very much, all of you, for being here. To the new MAG members who could be with us, for coming and for participating. You'll participate even more as time continues.
To our MAG representatives from past host countries. I want to give a special shout out to Mexico, because they've been here with us in the room for the duration of the meeting and -- even though they haven't necessarily participated and they didn't introduce themselves.
I don't think you were given an opportunity to introduce yourselves. But thank you very much for being here.
Along with Egypt and Germany and Switzerland and Brazil. So thank you very much. We really need to carry that history with us.
And to the secretariat and UN DESA. Timea, you are so right to thank the secretariat. I mean, we were working, and they were doing the work -- I was there interacting with them -- between Christmas, new year. There was really -- I think both Chengetai and Anja, I'm not sure about Luis, took little, short breaks. But, essentially, there is no real holiday for the secretariat. They went straight from IGF 2019 to IGF 2020 with almost no break.
And, Wai-Min, thank you for the long trip from New York and for being here with us so early in the year.
And, Lima, thank you for your work and preparing and synthesizing.
And, Luis, thank you for your work, which is the -- none of this would actually work without your input.
So thanks very much to everyone who participated, to the remote participants.
And we have a lot of work ahead of us, but I'm very glad to hear people say that June is not too late. To me, that demonstrates that you all know what you're doing and you understand the time frame. And I feel reassured by that. So thanks a lot.
[ Applause ]
>>MARY UDUMA: The chair for good chairing, please, can we give her a round of applause for good chairing?
[ Applause ]