The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. 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, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Welcome back, everyone.
I think we are ready to start.
Is everyone with us? Secretariat, are you with us? And, Luis, it looks like everyone is back.
So welcome back to all our participants. I do hope that you had a short break, even if not as long as intended.
And just to recap where we are on the agenda, we are now starting with item number 3, shaping the IGF 2021 program. And we are going to start off with group discussions and then have a general discussion and plenary after the reports, group reports.
And we will have to keep it to time. We only have an hour. Our time-keeping so far is very good, and I'd like us to respect that for the rest of the meeting.
After that, we'll do a recap of the input on issues and themes. That's item number 5. The secretariat will present the report from yesterday's open consultations.
And then we need to have a discussion within the MAG, with participation of the observers, but primarily the MAG needs to decide what are the next steps. How do we get to the point where we can identify and share and communicate what the issues and themes are of the IGF in 2021.
We might not be able to finalize that today, but we do need to finalize next steps.
And after that, we will close our meeting and recap what we need to address tomorrow.
So now I'd like to welcome the groups to present their reports.
I am going to start from the bottom, so I'm going to ask English 4, if you remember who you are. I know Auke was in that group. If you can start with your report. And please, everyone, try and keep your reports as brief as possible. And we do have the documents.
So can I invite English 4 to report.
>>AUKE PALS: Thank you, Anriette, for giving me the floor.
Yeah, I would like to summarize the session. We really had a good discussion and also some arguments were given that were the opposite of each other. So a few participants in Zoom room 4 suggested to focus more on a hybrid version of the IGF, so focusing on the face-to-face, because the organizing of the face-to-face requires good logistic planning.
There were also opposite opinions. And those were -- those were questioning if it was a good idea to host -- host it face to face and only to focus on the digital -- digital version.
And, yeah, we really had a discussion about that, and other opinions where participants could also just connect to the virtual room while being at the venue. So that was also quite a good suggestion.
And, yes, others questioned also a little bit if the sessions would be of higher quality if it was only an online version. That argument was actually rejected by the argument that a face-to-face meeting also has a good quality by having also the corridor talk, and that the quality won't go down.
I would actually like Sandra Hoferichter to continue in explaining a good example that she explained.
>>SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Thank you, Auke.
And I will be brief. My intervention stems from the preparation work that we did for EuroDIG. You know, EuroDIG is earlier in the year, so we are a little bit ahead of our planning process already and have spent a lot of thoughts already on how to manage this new format that we would like to experiment with, the hybrid format.
And it became clear that if we would really like to do both, the online and the on-site component, which I understand is the case for the IGF 2, we have to think the sessions and the session flow and the conference from the perspective of the on-site format. And this does not by any -- this does not mean that we would like to put remote participants in the second tier. This means that the limitations are coming from the on-site setting, because we cannot have too many people in the room.
Sessions shouldn't be too long, because we have to get people out of the room and clean the rooms and sanitize it and everything. And this has an impact on the duration of the session and on the number of participants that are allowed and so on and so forth.
So, therefore, we were looking into new session formats that are split into 45-minute slots and have 45-minute breaks. And this basically gives on-site participants the opportunity for more networking, because I think this is the only thing that the on-site participants have an advantage of to have the networking aspect, compared to the online participants that have less of an experience. I wouldn't say no, because we experienced just last night how good networking online can work out. But the corridor discussions and these kind of things definitely only happen when you meet face to face.
So we consider 45-minute or 60-minute sessions shorter, but then with an extensive break afterwards and basically a discussion that emerged in a workshop or plenary can be continued bilaterally on the corridor break anyway.
And so this is the main finding from our point, that think the entire program from the limitations that are given by the pandemic measures with regard to a number of participants in the room, duration of essentials, how long should we stay in closed rooms, and all these kind of things.
And then in the worst case, if we have to switch to a fully online format, that can be easily done. We just proved it in 2020.
Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much to Sandra and Auke and everyone else in group English 4.
And I'm sure we have more comments that you'll submit in writing.
Next, we have English 3.
Can we hear your report, please.
>>NICOLA FRANK: Yes, thank you. This is Nicola Frank speaking.
We went actually through the documents and made comments. And there were several ones. I mean, one was, for example, in the first block that we think that shorter days would be maybe an option. You'll see it in our document, because it's very tiring, especially perhaps the online part in it. And have a proper break at lunch so that people, yeah, can get some new force to continue with the meeting.
Then the accommodation of the different time zones is, of course, a challenge. And I think this is a practical issue which probably has to be addressed by the secretariat also to a great extent.
What we would like to have is parallel sessions which treat the similar or same issue, so it should be organized in a way that you have one, let's say, a data issue or cybersecurity that should not be treated parallel issues at the same time so that people who are interested in these can follow all the different parts of the program.
And that leads to an organization of the thematic tracks and the subthemes.
Then we -- also, we agree that sessions should not be longer than 60 minutes, maybe even 45 minutes would be a good thing. And that would impose a certain discipline on the number of speakers. And that is a good thing. Of course, we want to have the maximum interaction also during the sessions.
Then the practical advice also, to use -- for the online part, to use a less-data-hungry application, because experience shows that some use more than others. And if your connectivity is not very good, that can be a hindrance to the participants.
Then with regard to the hybrid format, I think if it's possible, it would be the preferred format. That is to say, you have on-site plus online. But this, of course, asks them for quite an elaborate production, really, and you have just heard it, people in the room with cameras, to make sure that people speak from other places can be seen on screens by the panel in the room. And that also interaction can be organized. So it's a challenge. It can be done. And it's probably the format which will be needed, if not a complete online format. But that remains to be seen in accordance to the development of the pandemic, I suppose.
Then, just looking at my notes here again, yeah, and then the selection of themes and issues.
There was the idea to say they should select it according to their relevance, yes, but not if they have been discussed many times already and if they're already being addressed by global, regional, or national policy and are in implementation.
So it should be, really, issues which still need policy discussion.
And then I'm just looking, and I think this is mainly it. Yeah. I think this is mainly it.
So I'll leave it at that.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much to NICOLA and everyone else in the English 3 group.
English 2, you are up next.
>>FEDHI CHANNAN: Hello.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Hi, Fedhi. Good to have you back. I think you're being taken advantage of to be a rapporteur. So it's great to have you back.
>>FEDHI CHANNAN: Well, I must say this is quite a learning experience, and I do enjoy the opportunity. And it's quite a pleasure to speak to all of you and also write up the minutes.
So as group 2, we touched upon a variety of different topics. We first started off with discussing how the IGF needs to focus on a bottom-up approach with regards to addressing thematic pillars with regards to its MAG members.
There also had to be a revision of the number of themes. Are they all necessary or can they all be streamlined, considering that there are themes that overlap?
The suggestion was made about prioritizing themes into clusters of three based on importance and coming up with three issues to address on each theme as we progress.
Also, with regards to revision of the session times, would they be longer or shorter or would we mix them up? Would we have 40-minute sessions, 60-minute sessions, and 90-minute sessions pertaining to each theme?
There was also a question of the number of workshops that we would use, would there be more or less and how long would they be as well. Would it be practically and financially viable, considering we have -- we are currently living through a global pandemic. Will these sessions be held virtually, physically, or both?
The virtual sessions tend to become long and monotonous, and depending on time zones, attendance can be quite a challenge. Physical meetings break the monotony and allow people to engage with each other, but considering the logistics required during these times, it may seem more challenging than we assume.
The development of a hybrid model, although quite challenging at the moment, could prove to be a good long-term goal worth looking into if the system is replicable in other international bodies to improve efficiency in the future. A hologram is worth looking into until then. This is something that the IGF could take into consideration.
Recording live sessions on YouTube is already agreed we should develop an online database that the MAG can use to reflect virtually and develop workshops that we can use then as physical sessions to implement the workshops.
Keeping in mind that existing MAG members are used to working virtually across the globe, maybe the idea would not be to reinvent the wheel, but to also focus on making it more comfortable for virtual users to participate. This may mean improving digital infrastructure in member states so that the MAG members do not have difficulties accessing the IGF forums.
It is also recommended that we keep adequate time Q&A sessions so that all members have time to participate and feel valued and contributed to.
So, finally, the MAG can develop narratives and then develop criterias to measure the impacts of each theme. If a great workshop is proposed and the IGF is able to package these recorded sessions, we will be able to make a valuable contribution to (indiscernible) information required for capacity-building before physical sessions are held.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Fedhi, and thanks everyone in English 3.
On the Google Docs, do you have more specific responses on the proposals? But I'm saying that to all the groups.
And next, we have English 1.
>>ROMAN CHUKOV: Yeah, thank you so much Anriette. My name is Roman Chukov, representing the Russian government in the MAG, third term.
So our group decided that I will start and if someone needs, they will just add.
We commented on the Google Doc, so everyone can see what we put there.
One of the most relevant comments is that we need to define time for Q&A to make it sure that we have enough time for discussion. For doing so, we should definitely limit the amount of speakers, and as a matter of fact, the amount of time of the sessions.
One of the ideas was to actually let the secretariat and MAG decide whether this session deserves to be 90 minutes or 60 minutes or 45 minutes. So potentially, maybe we should not offer this option in the beginning or to identify that MAG or secretariat can decide the time limit.
Also, speaking of potential mergers, there should be (indiscernible) in, like, merging several similar sessions. Because one of the propositions is also to have fewer sections with applications.
To ensure true hybrid nature of the meeting, we propose to have an online co-moderator as well. And our friend Ucha proposes to use EuroDIG and SEEDIG experience in this direction. His idea was also to have either no slides by speakers or to very limit them.
Another thing we came up with was that if we request slides before, there should be some certain deadline to make sure that either with the help of volunteers or by any other means, as our accessibility group, I will recommend we ensure that these visual materials are equally accessible by different people with disabilities. So this we consider very important.
What else we need to say? About the editorial control, we already said. The session of -- time session, also. Zoom is the platform for cooperation potentially.
Also speaking about online and offline moderators, one of the ideas was to actually have it half of the time devoted to speakers and moderator online and the same equally to offline sessions. So 50/50 balance of online/offline audience engagement. Plus, a very questionable thing is to play with the time zones because here -- as a matter of fact, we are -- those who will be on the venue, we are in the time zone of the host country. So we cannot do anything about that. But, potentially, we can have some recap sessions or networking sessions especially in different languages for different time zones.
Or also if we limit the whole duration daily of the sessions, they could start and end to ensure the sort of middle of the day, so not too early for the Western hemisphere and not super late for the Eastern hemisphere. So surely some balance can be found.
And, yes, one of the points from the Under-Secretary-General, His Excellency Liu Zhenmin, is that it should be more action-oriented. And so one of the ideas is that each session and each session proposal should contain the specific recommendations, or at least strive to provide the specific recommendations. Otherwise, we are not moving anywhere.
My dear colleagues, do you want to add something?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Roman. Any additions?
>>COURTNEY RADSCH: Can I add to that? This is Courtney.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Go ahead, Courtney.
>>COURTNEY RADSCH: This is Courtney. I'm obviously Director for the Committee to Protect Journalists and was in Group 1.
And just to add a couple of things to Roman's useful report-out, one thing we also discussed was trying to compress the time of the IGF. So as we have fewer sessions, to think about having that take place in a shorter block of time to decrease the time zone issue.
We also talked about having proposals indicate how long they would want a session but recognize they would -- that would be open to revision by the MAG.
And then also for a proposed moderator, that they could indicate the level of experience of that moderator so then the IGF can figure out how to allocate supporting resources to sessions that have less experienced moderators or people who have never moderated. And we can provide a toolkit or a set of effective moderation and effective speaking. And ideally that would also include a link to resources that we might use from the -- I don't know if it's a working group or the one that is on making meetings accessible to those with disabilities and that can be distilled into some key tips that would go to everyone who has a speaking role. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that, Courtney and Roman and everyone in this group.
Next we have the Spanish group.
>>ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Thank you very much, Anriette.
Well, in our group we discussed the different questions. And we started with day zero. And we think that we need to expand not only for that day but perhaps to have different sessions during the previous month perhaps of the main event. And we could have several regional sessions with online topics.
In that way, we could use also different time zones to be more inclusive. That doesn't mean that we're going to eliminate day zero. So host country organizers will be able to allocate relevant sessions for this day zero, such as introductions for main tracks or some other types of the sessions that we need to arrange.
And regarding this type sessions, we also thought we could group them in three types. The first type will be the opening and closing sessions, main sessions as we used to do in the past, one per each thematic track; high-level sessions on digital cooperation, connected now with this Tech Envoy work; the parliamentarian and high-level meeting, interactions with the IGF.
And the second time will respond to track-theme sessions, perhaps, between three or four clusters, organized with the responsive policy questions that we analyzed yesterday.
About the number of these sessions, perhaps we shouldn't be above 60. For sure, we will have to discuss it further.
And the third type will be maybe a more flexible allocation of sessions. Those coming from the community, not necessarily aligned to one of the themes that finally we will define.
And, also, more flexible formats. Perhaps shorter in time sessions and lightning talks, et cetera.
And it also was important for the group to discuss about the formats that the sessions will have to present maybe to consider some innovative formats like the inversion or reversed panels that we will have time maybe in the following activities to explain. Lightning rounds, research sessions, round tables, et cetera.
And, finally, about interaction, as we all know, in our virtual IGF chat was very dynamic and attractive as a participation tool. So if we -- when we select a platform that we are going to use to provide online functionalities, perhaps if Zoom is selected, we need to make it available as meeting format, not seminar.
Besides this tool also had to be used for physical attendance as well. So everyone will have the opportunity to have the same interaction experience during the event.
Thank you very much, Anriette.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Roberto.
If there's no one else from the group that wants to add, then we can move -- does anyone want to jump in.
>>JOSE AMADO ESPINOSA: Yes, Anriette. Thank you very much. It's Jose Espinosa.
Just to enhance the comment from Roberto by saying we are certainly supporting -- strongly supporting the hybrid format of IGF this year and looking for how we can include the social networks or the chats from the Zoom in order to make more interactive the participation of all participants, local and remotely, and that we really appreciate the strong effort from the secretariat in order to provide us last year with this successful experience.
And now we are trying to embrace these format as a new format for IGF which should be included into the Webinar basis.
And also trying to approach, instead of four tracks, three tracks regarding digital collaboration, digital economy, and new technologies which we think are also very representative from what IGF+ is looking for. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Amado. We will also discuss that in more depth later.
Now, our last group to report is the French group.
Who is reporting for this group? I think that's Afi, Giacomo, Lucien.
Giacomo, you are muted, I think.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Can you hear me?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Yes, we can hear you.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Can you hear me? Hello.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: We can hear you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: We can hear you, but I don't know if you can hear us.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Hello, hello?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Let's type in the chat.
Giacomo, we can hear you. Thanks, Tereza.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Can you unmute me?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: You are unmuted. We can hear you.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: Hello? Can you hear me? Okay, good. Sorry for this mismatch.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: That's fine.
>>GIACOMO MAZZONE: I was saying that we were trying to stick to the document as it was submitted by the chairperson to us. And so we followed very carefully what was there. So I will follow the same structure.
The first question which we tried to answer was the question about the duration of the session, if the session have to be longer or shorter, et cetera, et cetera. And about that, there was consensus on the principle that is not a question of the session duration but is a question about mainly -- how the session was structured.
For instance, one of the key points is to have less speakers in session because sometimes if you have many speakers, then it's quite inevitable that you have succession of speech one after the other and very small interaction with the rest.
About the right duration, there are -- also, many of the participants said we need to have a global approach to this. And once you know exactly what will be the global -- the architecture of the old system, then you can make proposals (indiscernible). I will say one more point on this later.
About fewer parallel sessions or tracks, there was quite consensus that the problem is not the number of the session but it is the competition and the repetition of the same subject across different formula, plenaries, workshops, et cetera, et cetera.
So it's important to decide which are the main topics that are going to be under the spotlight that year. And based on that, we have to avoid repetition but on the contrary create synergies between workshops that are contributing to prepare the plenary.
This can be structured in tracks that can protect -- create a protected path for the topics that are the most important for that year.
What is absolute to avoid is the competition on the main topics between various sessions because this will fragment the audience and will avoid the debate amongst the callers because civil society will go to the same seminar made by civil society but they will miss what is the point of the industry, et cetera, et cetera.
On the tracks, Michel said very correctly that IGF global cannot be limited to three topics because this leads to be very restrictive. So there was an idea from our Polish colleague that could be good to have a choice among two or three topics that are the priority of the year. In that case, plenaries and workshops that are related to this priority of the year have to be protected against competition. But this doesn't mean that other topics need to be excluded.
You have simply to create a calendar that allow other topics that are of interest of other communities to be discussed but in a different moment, not competing with the main topic of the year.
And Minda correctly said you need to first know what you want, what are your priorities for the year. And then based on that you can decide which are the themes and how to structure the workshop and the plenaries around it.
A point that was also mentioned by Lucien and Michel is that in order to identify which are the priorities, this cannot be an initiative that can only be taken by the MAG or by the IGF participants but need to be done in close cooperation with U.N. Secretary-General because if we want to -- the IGF really contribute to a global debate, this needs to be done selecting priorities that come directly from policy action calendar of the U.N. Secretary-General. Lucien said also by others. For instance, he mentioned the initiative the European Union is launching this year that could be of interest for everybody in the world.
Then on the friendly participation platform was said that, of course, everybody agreed on the fact that the website need to be improved. But we have to wait until the new website would be available. But Lucien, again, mentioned that it's important that in the six languages will be adopted all the time for all the sessions that are key, according to the priority themes we said before, but also for the final documents and also for the calls.
If you wanted everybody as equal opportunity to access the call for proposals, for BPFs, for dynamic coalitions, this has to be done in the six languages of the U.N.
On the moderator, about the priority for the people online to have a priority over the onsite participants, we don't think that was -- this is the right approach.
The right approach is to say that the -- you have to respect and incite intervention for the online people but not necessarily to give them a priority on who's there.
The role of the moderator is to make the more attractive debate possible. So they have to use all possibilities on equal footing. Whatever is better for them they have to do.
I conclude with two final points. One is a consideration about the youth group and the other the diversity of the panels. Yes, of course, it's important. Diversity is respected but cannot be the only meter to evaluate the proposal or to structure the architecture of the events because in some cases, for instance, is -- if you have one representative for each diversity case, then this will reduce the quality and the effectiveness of the message. For instance, you have to present the research. You have not to ask a researcher to be young or from a certain continent or another. They are the expert there to present themselves.
And the last point, as I said, is about the duration. Everybody thinks that three weeks over in a month is a little bit too much. And especially this will be very important in a period of the year like December where -- November, December where there is a high concentration of many, many events.
That's all. And all these ideas are already in the document in certain. The document is in French. I can translate in English, if it is needed. Thank you very much for your attention.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Giacomo, and to everyone in the French group.
And I cannot really summarize that. I think there's a lot of really concrete input. And we look forward to looking at your written submissions, comments on the document.
I'd like to open the floor now to some general discussion. I think what we have are clear input on formats that we need to be innovative. There's across-the-board support for hybrid format. The platform selection has been mentioned.
The number of sessions, I think there was one proposal for 60 sessions. But I also think the comment from the French group is really important, that it's not just a question of limiting the number, it's structuring the program in such a way that sessions don't overlap or compete for audiences and that they lead to some form of input into a plenary on that particular topic.
And there's also useful points about how to plan it. I think Sandra's point about having -- planning the virtual components and the face-to-face components in an interconnected way is very important.
And then I think we also do take the point that from a thematic content point of view there needs to be some space for issues not covered by the primary focus.
But I want to open the floor. The one thing I didn't hear a lot of response on yet is the idea of having these different phases. And then, also, if there are other suggestions on the issues that you see in front of you on the agenda, youth engagement, engaging parliamentarians, and strategies for collaboration and complementarity across intersessional work. So I want to open the floor. The queue is empty at this point.
And I'd also like to invite people to -- if they have proposals, for how we can get to the next step which is to have consensus on a draft approach to event format and design. Please go ahead and do that.
So I call the floor --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I can say something quickly.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: We have 20 minutes. Please, Chengetai, please go ahead.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Just a very quick comment.
Especially if we are going to be adapting the meeting -- the main meeting, that 6 to 10 December, for other time zones, it's also very important to take into consideration what the cost could be. Because it would be an increasing cost if we're using the venue after, say, 6:00 o'clock or before 9:00 o'clock or 8:00 o'clock, because then it's basically another shift. And in some instances, since it's after normal working hours, it's double shift, the double time as well. So we have to really communicate with the host country there and see whether or not they have that in their budget, just to take into consideration.
And, again, just looking at the money aspect of it, and, again, yes, as with the French group, yes, interpretation is also very, very important. But, again, the extra cost and the teams should also be looked at and to see whether or not what the host country can budget for.
And we did try just to add on French the other time for our open consultations, and nobody used it as such. And so -- and this is very difficult for us as the secretariat to push more multilingualism when nobody uses the facility when it is provided. So if we do have it, it's very, very, very important that people use it. It's -- otherwise, if there's no proof that people are using it, it's the first thing that goes off because it's a very high cost.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Chengetai. I think, actually, just in response to your comment about the main event and time zones, I think that's precisely why the phased approach was put on the table, so that we use the preparatory phase and the pre-event phase to accommodate multiple time zones and that we respect the budget limitations and the time zone limitations of the main annual forum. So that is, actually -- because you're absolutely right, we can't expect the host to support a 24-hour meeting cycle.
Next, we have Courtney, and then Michael Anguria, and then Roman.
I do want to take MAG members first. So, observers, with all due respect, I'm going to give MAG members the floor first, and then it's open to observers, and you're all very welcome.
So Courtney, and then Roman, and then Michael.
>>COURTNEY RADSCH: Thanks so much. I think a couple things is we can help get to the type of questions that we want by really think of that in advance during the proposal submission phase. And I think really thinking about how we gather the information from session proposals and send a signal about what is going to be expected could take place during that phase.
I also want to suggest that the idea of hybrid meetings does not need to be that every session is a hybrid. It could also include, again, that a session proposer could say I want this to be an online, digital-only, and then we could potentially have somebody say in-person only. But I think that's probably not the best option.
But if we do look at having different hybridity in a range of different formats, I think that could help. Because if we do want to address time zones, we could do in-person time zone events only during a limited time period. But you could have other events that are online-only and thus don't pose the same resource requirement on the host country and the resources of the secretariat in order to have those available in different time zones.
So those are just a couple of thoughts on this ends.
And also, just in terms of, like, the size of sessions, I really think that getting information from the session organizers about their level of experience moderating and what they intend -- how they intend to design the session would be helpful. Because you could have a ten-person session where you're bring in people from all sorts of groups that might not self-select to just listen in, but if they have a defined role, would be more likely to raise their voice. And actually could encourage people who might not be comfortable speaking up to have that role.
So I want us to be careful about seeing an inherent good in small sessions. It's really about how you design it and whether you have a strong moderator and speakers who are going to adhere to the guidelines that are set up.
Thank you so much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Courtney, and, yeah, I think those are important points. By the way, these points come up every year. The secretariat will include that.
We did include in the preparatory phase training for moderators. But I think even really experienced moderators can have a bad day. I think it is important to provide as much guidance as the MAG can, but also not for the MAG to patronize session proposers. It's a difficult dividing line. But we cannot lose the bottom-up nature, either.
Anyway, next we have Roman, and then Adam.
>>ROMAN CHUKOV: Hello, hello. This is Roman Chukov, speaking as the MAG member from the Russian government.
So several points. We should also group the rooms on the chat that the practice shows this year that a moderator plus three speakers is more than enough to keep the audience active, not bored. And the more interaction we have, the better. So holding up the previous idea when we could have an online moderator for every session or for only some sessions, it will be definitely a huge (indiscernible) to engage the online audience equally. So this is first.
Second, speaking about youth engagement just for a moment. This is my big experience and this fear, and now as recently elected vice chair for U.N. Major Group for Children and Youth, I can mention the experience (indiscernible) forum in April. So everyone, youth organizations, youth constituencies, can nominate side events led absolutely by youth. So I would definitely propose the MAG and secretariat to see this as a practice and launch a special format for young people. Moreover, I would really recommend to include at least one youth speaker to each session, maybe as a must, because why not, you know. Because we cannot change everything if we don't do that.
The next one, with regard to parliamentarians, I personally support this track so much, and I believe that there should be more and more attention to parliamentarians' engagement since they should eventually start using this platform, IGF, as a platform to speak up to change their legislation experience and also to strategize how to better lead our world to some sort of legal network and true digital cooperation on Internet governance.
So these are, briefly, my points. And as we are now organizing the youth, first youth IGF as a part of Russian IGF, I would definitely love for same youth IGFs to have some certain space to share. So maybe not just the youth track, but as I previously mentioned, some additional call for youth-hosted events.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Roman.
Adam Peake, you are next. And then Michael after Adam.
And I'd like to close the speaking queue fairly soon. So anyone else who wants to speak, please add your name.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Hi, everybody. I just put a comments in the chat about moderation. A little bit flippant, but I hope you get the point.
About the overall design of the agenda that we're sort of looking at here, we heard from I think it was breakout groups 4 and 3, Sandra and others, and also Chengetai's point about taking direction from the face-to-face meeting and noting that we can adapt that if, unfortunately, that could not take place face to face. But we are working towards that.
So taking our direction from the requirements of the face-to-face gathering in Katowice. And we are hearing that that can be and should be four plus one days, the traditional, typical format, and that we should stick to typical core hours of 9:00 to 5:00, otherwise, it becomes just simply logistically and costly inappropriate.
So how do we work around that?
And if this is really a question -- and I'm not sure that I completely agree with my question as I'm sort of posing it. But should we keep those four days -- let's think about them as four days -- as being the sessions that the MAG and the United Nations, UN DESA and others, organize, so this would be the workshops and the main sessions and perhaps the high-level tracks, and, obviously, the opening and closing. And that anything in the prestage, which may be an additional seven or more days, whatever is required, should be other sessions, the sessions such as the dynamic coalitions, the Best Practice Forums, the open forums, even the NRIs, so that they are given the prespace. And, unfortunately, those would not be, under this question -- and please notice the question, is this something that we could consider -- they would not be face to face. They would be taking place online. And they would be in some way feeding into the themes that the on-site meeting would be discussing. Otherwise, I don't see how we can accommodate things such as shorter sessions, which were suggested by a lot of people, the gaps that may be needed, and we'd have to talk to the host country about this -- the gaps between sessions, as Sandra noted, about things like cleaning and ventilation and other things. These are things that we have to hear from the logistical side of the host country. We don't know yet. But these are things we're going to have to consider.
I'm not entirely sure that I like what I've just suggested as a question, but I would just wonder if this is something that might be worth discussing. Does an approach like that work? The things that we as MAG propose and the U.N. propose are in the block of four. The rest come before. That's all.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Well, Adam, a different way of thinking about that is actually the idea of a preparatory phase and a pre-event phase. I don't think that means -- You know, if you take the idea of the preparatory phase folding into the annual forum, that doesn't mean it has to be only MAG-organized and host country or UN DESA-organized sessions. So do -- don't you --how do you feel about -- I'm just going back to Adam now and this idea of a preparatory phase. You seem to be talking about it, but with some reservation. How do you feel about having a preparatory phase and preparatory fence that build into the annual forum?
>>ADAM PEAKE: That's essentially what I'm saying. But I'm trying to think about the practicality of the fact that we have however many sessions that we have to squeeze into what would otherwise be a rather small box. We're talking about four days, which at the maximum, would be 9:00 to 5:00, which the maximum would be -- and, actually, in the practicality, we're thinking we're going to reduce the time available for sessions within that block of hours because of the shortening of sessions, as people are suggesting. Because people are talking about the focus.
So I'm just wondering, yes, I do agree that there should be a preparatory stage. But how do we make that happen? And is it -- how do we squeeze in 20 open forums, ten Best Practice Forums, 20 dynamic coalitions, eight or nine NRI sessions, et cetera, et cetera, or can we divide it up in some way that makes us able to retain a rather full number of workshops without cutting those back. People have said -- and I tend to agree with this -- that the workshops are the heart of the IGF in that they're bottom-up, they are from the community, and they are multistakeholder by design.
So I'm just trying to -- I'm not at all sure. Yes, I like the idea of a preparatory stage and I like the idea of, you know, obviously, focusing on the in situ, the in-site meeting. I just don't know how to accommodate it. And that's what I'm trying to suggest with this question. Is this a way of accommodating problems that we're going to have to address, very difficult problems and issues that are actually in tension with each other? We have tensions. Reduce the number of sessions; keep the number of sessions. Reduce the number of hours, time per session; keep the same.
You know, we've got a lot of things to balance here. So I'm trying to suggest a question I'm not very happy with as -- but we may have to answer.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: It's a very good question.
And I actually think we are getting closer. I think that's the power of this kind of process. You know, once we take the input from all the different groups, and if we synthesize that, we'll get closer.
But before I propose the next steps, our last speaker is our observer.
Michael, please, take the floor and introduce yourself.
Are you still with us? That's Michael Anguria.
>>LUIS BOBO: This is Luis. Sorry. He's not available.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Is Michael -- I don't see him with us anymore. Okay. So he's left.
Thanks. Thanks, Luis.
Well, everyone, we're at the end of this session. I -- it probably has left you with a feeling of open-endedness.
But I think that what we have done is actually to get closer to a resolution. My proposal for next steps is as follows: That we -- that we synthesize, with the secretariat, your feedback on the proposal that was presented and which MAG members did not have time to present, you know, much comment on, we can also circulate that proposal to the MAG and give you some time to comment on it and make more specific proposals or reactions to what's in it.
And then I think based on that, we would look at an updated proposal. And I would also like to proposal that we ask the MAG working group on hybrid meetings to work with us on that proposal and review it and put more specific ideas into it about how to respect the idea of a hybrid meeting, but not in a very mechanical or instrumentalist way, in a way that still provides for diversity of formats and diversity of experience. And that we then at our next MAG call, that we discuss this and format -- in that way reach a final decision on that.
I actually think that we have come a lot closer. I think we might not have very concrete conclusions. But I think what we have is a kind of brainstorming, but also a critical view from you on some of those proposals. So your participation and the discussion of the proposal makes it clear what works, what might not work, what needs further thinking.
So I'd like to close this now. And I do think that even though we haven't finalized everything to date, we're very close to it. And we should definitely be able to finalize this decision on the overall shape of the program by the time we have the next MAG call.
And we can discuss this further tomorrow if there's time. But we also have other agenda items to cover tomorrow.
So thanks very much, everyone, for your input on this discussion on the shaping of the program. It's been very rich. And we will get to a very clear approach soon enough, I think. Or clear enough approach.
I'd like us to move now to the next agenda item. And I'm very happy that we are keeping time. And that's the recap of input on issues and themes from yesterday's discussion during the open consultation.
And to start us off on this Sorina from the secretariat will start us off from discussions from yesterday.
>>SORINA TELEANU: Thank you, Anriette.
Kindly ask if I can get cohosting rights so I can share my screen.
Thank you. I will also share in chat the link so you can see the document on your browsers as well.
And I'm hoping you can see my screen and (indiscernible) for joining the document.
So what we've tried to do was bring together in some sort of a high-level summary the main discussions from yesterday's breakout groups on themes, issues, and related issues for the IGF 2021 program, with the reservation that we still haven't received some of the reports, so some of the notes yet are based on what we were able to take note of yesterday during the presentations.
And what you will see is an overview of what has been proposed yesterday by the groups. And we've tried to bring them together into themes to focus on. And some proposers came in out of the group. Then other proposals and comments generally on themes and issues. And then some other considerations even more generally on the approach for 2021.
So at the top of the document is an overview on groups' proposals on the themes that potentially we might want the IGF to focus on. And they are listed by how frequently they appeared in the reports by the group. And I think it was obvious that, basically, every single group that looked into themes proposed security and trust with some variations. Some groups suggested putting together digital cooperation and trust, or renaming the theme to safety -- security, safety, and trust.
Then there are also quite a lot of support for digital rights and freedoms as a theme, with some variations here as well, like bringing together data and digital rights or digital inclusion rights and freedoms. Or another suggestion, renaming the theme to implementing values and rights.
And there are also two proposals on maybe considering (indiscernible) rights and freedoms as some an overarching theme spanning all others that will be decided for inclusion into the IGF 2021 program.
Access and inclusion also got some support as a potential theme for this year, with variations here as well, digital cooperation and inclusion. Digital cooperation itself was supported to some extent, with variations to bring together Internet governance and digital cooperation as a stand-alone theme.
And here there is also the suggestion to maybe consider digital cooperation as some sort of an overarching or main theme for the whole IGF.
Sustainability and environment was proposed by two groups as one of the main themes. And one of the groups suggested bringing them together in environmental, social, and economic sustainability as one theme.
New and emerging technologies were also supported by two groups which a variation, that this theme could also be tackled under different themes, like inclusion or security and trust.
For technology, there was a proposal to bring together new and emerging technical issues and parts of the data team under this new potential technology team. But there is also some level of support of tacking technical issues within other themes and groups. It is still important to look into technical issues at the IGF.
And then there was one group suggesting digital economy as a stand-alone theme. But, again, some of the other groups have suggested merging economic issues with other themes.
And that's basically what you will see in these six proposals, document.
And then there were also some general proposals or comments on issues and themes. On merging of themes and issues, there were proposals again to bring some of them together like Internet governance ecosystem and digital cooperation, as was already mentioned, or economic issues renaming digital economy. I'm going to skip the rest because you can see it in the document.
And there are also some suggestions for potentially new issues, like very specific issues, to be tackled. And these were challenges of harmonization or interoperability of policies and regulations across jurisdictions and related the extraterritoriality of regulations and its impact.
Then a suggestion that digital rights should also tackles issues of culture. And some other issues briefly mentioned by some of the groups were local content, Internet access cost, digital health, education, IPRs, and participative governance. Again, these were just mentioned by some of the groups in presenting their reports.
And some were general considerations. There were some suggestions to maybe consider starting from looking at specific issues and then defining and developing the themes based on the issues, so not the other way around. Suggestions to be careful in merging the clusters, not to lose sight of the main issues belonging to those clusters or themes or whatever we call them.
Not to repeat what has been discussed in previous IGFs. And if some of the issues end up being discussed again, then at least make sure to build on previous outcomes and bring new aspects into the discussion. And make sure we discuss them from different angles and, again, have a concise program for IGF 2021 and for these thematic tracks should be comprehensible and distinguishable and participants should understand from the names of the track and the structure which issue to expect to be included under each of them.
And that's basically it from the groups yesterday in their summary report. You'll also be able to see the full reports as they came from the groups, but we've tried to put here the main outputs.
And I'll stop sharing my screen and take questions, if you have.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much, Sorina. And I open the floor for questions on this and comments. I would also like suggestions on how you see the MAG coming to conclusion on this.
I just want to highlight three things. I think we are beginning to see some consensus on which themes received the most support yesterday. But then there's also in Sorina's presentation two items that I want to highlight.
And the one is that you can have cross-cutting or horizontal approaches to those different themes. So something like inclusion, for example, could, in fact, be used as a way of approaching security and trust, as a way of approaching digital rights and freedoms, as a way of looking at the economy, for example. So keep in mind that we can use some of the themes as lenses through which we examine and develop and discuss the main themes.
And then the other point she also made -- and I think it came from one of the groups yesterday -- is that we should also consider starting off with very specific policy questions that came from the community and also that the MAG feels important and that we use those as a starting point for holding the program and finalizing the themes as opposed to just starting with these quite broad umbrella terms.
But I'd like to open the floor now for general comments, questions for Sorina, and also specific proposals for next steps for the MAG to finalize the decision on issue and themes. And I think that might also include, as has been proposed by the working group strategy, further engagement with the community, even though we have done a lot of consultation, but possibly we can do more but in a very targeted manner. So I open the floor.
Is the speaking queue -- it's not visible to me right now. Is there anyone in the speaking queue?
>>ROMAN CHUKOV: Yes, if I may.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Go ahead, Roman. And others, please add your names to the speaking queue or you can raise your hand.
Go ahead, Roman.
>>ROMAN CHUKOV: Roman Chukov MAG member, governments, Russia. Security and trust was, indeed, I think, one of the highly voted topics. So no doubt that it should be there. We in our group put it as trust and security, but it's a matter of choice.
The second one, I also agree. We put it as data and digital rights. I think that's -- in current formulation "data" is missing. So I would actually propose to put it as "data and digital rights."
I have nothing against inclusion and access in different variations. And potentially digital cooperation can be a cross-cutting one.
Our group also prioritized new and emerging technologies; but as I see, it has less interest by other groups. I will be comfortable with those as I mentioned before. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Roman.
And next we have Adam Peake.
>>ADAM PEAKE: I had just taken my hand down.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Anyone else? Anyone else with comments? I also invite the secretariat who have years of experience in this process to contribute.
Roberto, you have the floor.
>>ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Thank you very much, Chair, for giving me the floor.
I just want to comment that we need to be careful about what we feel. Of course, as MAG members, we have the opportunity to listen and provide all our feedback based on our experience. But, also, it's important for us to listen what the community said. That was the idea about the call for issues.
And when we looked through the statistics, those numbers should give us that kind of approach, particularly about inclusion. If we look at it, we can see that there's a lot of -- a lot of support for different themes but actually when we look to the clusters specifically, we can even be higher in terms of the particular main important thing regarding universal access.
I will say that it is even bigger than we mentioned here. I think we had it as with a high number, but not as high if we combine some other important, very related issues regarding universal access.
And that's why I think also this is one of the key topics that we need to consider for the tracks that we're going to define in the following days. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that very useful input.
We also have very useful comments in the chat. So I see comments from Alfredo. I see comments from Courtney. Please, let's hear your ideas.
So I'm inviting the people that are commenting in the chat to take the floor, to raise their hands, join the speaking queue and take the floor.
So, specifically, I'm going to ask, if he's willing to speak, Alfredo Calderon and then Courtney.
>>ALFREDO CALDERON: Sure. Thank you, Anriette. This is Alfredo.
From a civil society perspective, and someone that might submit a proposal, I think that it will be key if we agree on what are the key questions we want to address in each one of the tracks. And then besides that, as you saw that in the chat, I also believe that digital economy is -- shouldn't be a track by itself because it could be -- you know, discussed in each one of the final tracks that we decide as an element to be considered. And if we post clearly questions that address that, it can be covered when we decide to submit proposals to the meeting. Those are just some of my comments. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks, Alfredo. So it's the framing of the questions which become as important as the selection of the overarching theme, in other words.
Next we have Courtney.
Courtney, I'm not sure if you are willing to take the floor. If you want to wait, you can.
I will give the floor to Auke who is next in our queue.
Auke, please, go ahead.
>>AUKE PALS: Okay, thank you. Yes, I would also like to make a comment that I would like to stress because I would also like to stress the theme of open accessing academia. For instance, in Europe, there is a European open science cloud that is now being developed with a push from the European Commission. I would also like to explore opportunities on how such a platform, such as this as an example, could also be open for nonEuropean researchers because it's also a difficult theme because you have got subsidiaries and how can you also allow nonEuropean researchers to benefit from it.
I really also would like to see more of that open access to academia in the program, if that's possible.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, Auke.
Next we have Carlos Afonso.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Okay. Thank you, Anriette. Carlos Afonso for the record, MAG member.
I want to address an idea which I am still elaborating, which is the following: Every year we sit down to discuss the themes that the workshops should relate to and which we would consider as important, relevant, et cetera, and, of course, related to the main tracks, four or five main tracks.
Every year we have the process -- the intersectional process discussing very important themes in the dynamic coalitions and the best practice forums. These themes are there every year and through the discussion of the specific themes that should be treated by the workshops completely detached from those things. This is estranged at a minimum.
So I would like to consider that and see how we can relate the discussion of the basic themes, the subthemes or whatever, within the tracks, not detach it from what we are doing every year, which is considered relevant all those 22 or 24 issues which the dynamic coalitions are carrying out.
This is my challenge. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks. Thanks a lot, Carlos. In fact, that resonates with one of the ideas in the draft proposal, which is to work with those intersessional activities and fora in the IGF to refine the issues and the questions.
Next we have Adam Peake who put himself back in the queue.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Hi, everybody. Yes, sorry about that.
I suppose immediately responding to Carlos, yes, I think that's a very good idea. But, really, it's up for the dynamic coalitions and the others to respond and contribute to the workshops. Otherwise, we're going to end up with a never-ending IGF which has the same people contributing and leading the same issues each year. And they, of course, are experienced. So if they want to contribute to issues that are being proposed from the broader community, I think that's a very good idea. But I wouldn't drive it the other way around, and I'm not suggesting that you were suggesting that. But that's something.
About the themes that Sorina presented -- and thank you very much for pulling these together in such short notice, Sorina -- I do think we ought to also consider what we heard in the taking-stock sessions and other comments. This is very helpful. It gives us a very good guide, but I wouldn't leave it only at that. I think we've heard other input as well, not just the rather small number of people who participated yesterday, wasn't it? Anyway.
So let's not disregard things that we've heard since the IGF in 2020.
And then a sort of proposal for -- it's almost a lens for looking at the themes as you mentioned, Anriette, a lens -- apologies to people who were on the breakout group earlier. You heard this from me already, and that was to try and look at the issues that we select through the lens of sort of the evolution of Internet governance or the acceleration of Internet governance topics and issues during the global pandemic.
I think we've seen issues that we've identified over the years as being extremely important, have either accelerated or be highlighted and accentuated by our experience during the pandemic.
Obviously connectivity and inclusion are highlighted across the world. It's not just one particular region or group of peoples.
Security and trust as we've moved online changes to work practices. We're seeing an enormous focus from governments around the world in terms of legislation. This was happening before, but I think we can say that this legislative effort has been accentuated as people in governments recognize just how important the Internet as a whole to their societies because their whole societies and economies have been operating upon it in the last 11, 12 months. I'm not saying entirely, and I'm not saying globally. But I think this is a trend that we might recognize and use as a lens to say, okay, these issues, they're important. They always have been important. But how have they been accelerated and accentuated and highlighted over this previous period? How have they become more important? So that's just a suggestion for a sort of general approach. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks for that, Adam. And I think your last remark actually alerts me or reminds me that the outcome documents of IGF 2020 in themselves actually present a rich pool of issues and questions that we can also consider in the programming of IGF 2021.
And that last particular topic you raised was very extensively covered in IGF 2020. So I think before we finalize the issues and questions and themes for 2021, I think we also need to revisit the outcome documents of 2020.
And I think this is also in line with what the UN DESA colleagues have presented about beginning to think about a multiyear approach and also the working group strategy raises that as well. So all very useful input.
Time check. We still have time. So I have -- I'm trying to formulate a proposal for next steps, but we need to hear from more of you.
So it's good to see the hands going up. Courtney, you are next.
>>COURTNEY RADSCH: Okay. Thank you. So I'm torn between wanting to have kind of the broader themes that are nonetheless focused but also then thinking about some of the other goals that we have for the IGF which includes, for example, more media attention.
And I think if you adopt -- like, what Adam was saying or some of the issues like at the forefront of kind of the interesting work that's being done at IGF, like, on environment and where it's pioneering, that would be helpful. And so I think that should be a guiding light that we might want to think about how we're going to communicate about this externally if our goal is to get, you know, other high-level policymakers in other venues to just pay attention to what's coming out of here as well as media attention.
It seems to me another way of doing that can be to combine what seems to be things that aren't necessarily related but actually depend on each other. So I noticed that, like, trust and security go together. But it could be interesting to combine trust and cooperation because digital cooperation essentially depends on trust.
And so thinking about how we can combine things that are identified by the community and MAG as priorities but maybe in interesting ways could lead to some more interesting sessions.
It seems to me like the next thing that we need to do is basically decide whether we're going to get -- Oh, I guess my first question, before I make a suggestion, Anriette, is, if you have cross-cutting themes, how is that communicated and what does that mean for the session proposers?
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Courtney, I will try to answer that question. It's very just preliminary.
I think it would be that you would formulate in your session proposal template specific questions about -- let's take the example of inclusion, for example. So if it's a session proposal but it's focusing on the digital cooperation process and evolution of the architecture of digital cooperation, you would ask -- you would say to the session proposal in format that just -- and these are just arbitrary -- that inclusion is a cross-cut, and harmonization of approaches in different regions is a cross-cut. And then you would ask that, how do they plan to address those cross-cuts in the discussion. So that's one way of doing it.
The other way of doing it, I think which we'll hear more about tomorrow when the MAG Working Group on Strategy presents their proposals, is to -- once we've identified the specific themes and questions, is to put it back to the community. And that could actually be to the NRIs and the BPFs and the DCs and say to them, from your perspective, how should we unpack this question. So, theoretically, you could put the question to the Dynamic Coalition on Media Sustainability, and say to them, "Under trust and security, we're addressing this question. From your perspective, as people from the media sector, how do we need to approach it? What kind of workshop sessions do we need to have on it?"
So before we put an actual call for specific session proposals, we can put out a call to help the MAG identify subquestions in more detail.
But these are just provisional suggestions.
>>COURTNEY RADSCH: Thank you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I hope that helpless.
And Amrita, you have the floor next.
>>AMRITA CHOUDHURY: I kind of agree to what Adam mentioned, that if we are looking at (indiscernible) when you're looking at how Internet governance has evolved due to the pandemic and other (indiscernible) seen in the last year, perhaps inclusion and access could be something, security and trust. Legislation is interesting, because that would encourage more parliamentarians and high-level planners to be kind of interested in these discussions, even leaders from the business community, because this impacts them, and business communities have not been participating much in the IGF.
And perhaps the cross-cutting questions, each of them would relate, as I mentioned yesterday, be related to human rights or be it to data privacy, security, for example, if you're talking about inclusion, perhaps questions could be asked as how do you improve (indiscernible) while improving (indiscernible). While trying to include people, how would you ensure that rights are protected of people, similarly in legislation, et cetera.
So I think we need to look at (indiscernible) interest in high-level panels and even youth, which makes it more contemporary for discussion.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much for that, Amrita.
I don't see anyone else requesting the floor. Am I right?
We have MAG members that are silent and reflecting.
I think that what I would suggest now as a next step -- and, you know, certainly you can all come back to tomorrow's meeting with additional ideas. But I propose that we ask the secretariat to work with the discussion from yesterday, the outcomes of that discussion, what seemed to begin to be some kind of -- some kind of consensus on priority themes. To then go back to the community input on those themes and see if there are in fact more specific policy questions that have emerged and to also try and integrate this discussion today.
And then based on that, I think we need to go back to the MAG. And my feeling is that we need to get the MAG to discuss that. We have MAG working groups that the MAG can also delegate some more specific discussion. I've already made the proposal that we ask the MAG working group on hybrid meetings to pay particular attention to the proposals on format and design. I think the MAG can have a discussion during its phone calls that also ask the MAG working group on strategy and strengthening to contribute to the discussion on these issues and themes.
We have the proposals -- so the one that Carlos Afonso made about working (indiscernible) intersessional modalities.
We also have the idea of the multiyear plan, which we haven't given much attention to. And I think it's very difficult for the MAG to, on the one hand, address the specific challenge of building the 2021 program while also thinking towards the future. But in some ways, I think that can also be quite a helpful device for the MAG to come up with an approach to themes for 2021 that could actually then also built on during 2022 and onwards.
So that's my proposal for next steps, that we ask the secretariat to produce a document that captures, aggregates consensus so far, but that also adds, where they have been expressed, more specific policy questions. And we might then feel that we have enough detail. But we might also feel that we do not.
So I know that we don't want to delay finalization of this decision of what the thematic focus will be for long, because we want to communicate and get the community engaged. But we also do need a bit more time. I think we should roughly set ourselves a deadline that by the end of March, that we really have to have finalized issues of format and design and process and themes.
So unless there are additional suggestions or proposals from the secretariat, that is what I am suggesting as a next step.
>>ADAM PEAKE: Hi, Anriette. Can I --
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Go ahead.
>>ADAM PEAKE: I'm jumping in again. Sorry, it's Adam again.
Yeah, so I mentioned that we have the proposals from yesterday. And I don't want to minimize people's participation. It's just that everyone is spending their whole lives on Zoom. And it's great that people are here, but there's not that many. So I wonder -- and I don't know if this is typical of what happens with the MAG. We're all here because we have linkages to our respective stakeholder groups. Should we take this -- would it be a good idea if we take this document that Sorina sent us, share it with our respective stakeholders to the extent that we can, and get more feedback on this?
I'm very aware that what we're doing is quite important. This is a session that is still under the auspices of the, you know, secretary-general of the United Nations. We're talking about heads of state attending. It's a very significant activity we're doing. And so the most input possible is probably a good idea.
So I just wonder if this is a way of refining it. But I don't want to step outside of what would be a normal or a typical MAG process to do a more specific stakeholder-oriented consultation.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Adam, I think that's an excellent idea. But just to clarify, I wasn't suggesting that we include just the outputs of yesterday's discussion. I was suggesting that based on the sort of overall consensus that emerged from the call for input and yesterday's discussion, we go back and identify specific policy questions and issues within these broader themes. So that's 231 inputs that was received prior to yesterday. So I do think we want to work with that as well, not just with the discussions and -- yesterday. So it's kind of a combination, a refinement of the discussion yesterday, but against the backdrop of the 231 submissions that we received on issues and themes.
And then as for MAG members reaching out to their constituencies, I think that's absolutely important. I think we just need to decide when and how. And I think that we -- we just want to be sure that there's at least consensus within the MAG on what it is that we want to do board of consultation on first. But in principle, I think, absolutely, that's very important, and that's one of the values that such a diverse group of MAG members bring to the process.
>>ADAM PEAKE: I just played around with the reactions. I've given you a thumbs up and a heart for that comment.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: I was wondering where that heart came from, Adam.
I don't see any other hands. I'd like to hear more voices. I see Lucien is also expressing support.
I don't see any other hands. No one is joining the speaking queue.
So MAG members, we are finishing our meeting a little bit early.
I'm very glad to see Paul Charlton has just asked for the floor. So there is more time.
Please do contribute. And then we'll review tomorrow's agenda.
Paul, you have the floor.
>>PAUL CHARLTON: Thank you, Anriette. Just for the record, I'm Paul Charlton. I'm the government of Canada representative on the MAG.
I just want to say, Anriette, I support your proposal for how we go forward, and I look forward to seeing the results of the secretariat's review of these different questions tomorrow.
I do think that, you know, for me, one of the -- well, I think, really, the best idea that came out yesterday was the idea of starting our sort of thematic approach from a narrower base, in other words, starting with questions instead of overall themes. I realize there are different ways to get to that. But I do think that the -- the overall themes, especially the way we approached it last year, with just a one-word theme, I know we tried to refine that with different policy questions. But I think starting from the questions and then kind of building outward strikes me as a better approach. And I think it's been mentioned before that there is a direct connection that the -- the better job we do of having streamlined and clearly defined themes, then the more likely we are to have streamlined and clearly defined -- and I think if I can say -- engagable outputs, there is a direct line there. And so I think it's very important.
And it also -- I also support the idea -- I think it was Carlos Afonso who talked about making a connection between the questions that we're asking and the work that's being done in the intersessional, as well as the need for flexibility so that we can -- we can look at, for the different themes, however they're formulated, how COVID-19 and other recent events has perhaps changed them or accelerated their development. And we can capture that.
As a final comment, and this is more sort of a tactical observation, I think our instructions from the secretariat to the community, when the call for workshop proposals and session proposals go out, is going to be more important than ever, because there -- we're going to have to ask a lot of adjustment on the part of the community in terms of more flexibility, in terms of how their sessions are organized, how long they are, the hybrid factor and working with that, and then also being perhaps more narrowly focused or -- than the -- than the workshop organizers are used to being in terms of they're used to having a big theme and then you sort of shape it the way you want to.
So those are just my two cents' worth for today. But I look forward to the discussion tomorrow.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Paul, thank you very much. And I think what you've done is actually capture much more clearly than I did this idea of starting from a narrower base, starting with more specific issues.
And I -- you know, if there are any MAG members who are opposed to that approach or feel that's not a useful approach, it is a departure. It's a slightly different way of working. But the reason why I'm so glad that you expressed it so clearly, Paul, is because I think it really responds to this principle that we heard from the Under-Secretary-General, Mr. Liu, that we've heard from the open consultation and stock-taking, about having a narrow focus. It's a way of achieving that narrow focus.
So I think I'm happy you agree with the next step, and no one else has disagreed with it. But I do invite MAG members to share further thinking and reactions to this idea of starting from this narrower base, in other words, from specific questions, not simply from baud themes. And I think they can be complementary, obviously.
And then, as Paul has said, this can work well with the proposal put on the table about Carlos Afonso to reach out to those IGF intersessional modalities.
I don't see any further hands.
Oh, I see one. There's Amali De Silva-Mitchell you have your hand.
One of our observers.
Please go ahead.
>>AMALI DE SILVA-MITCHELL: Thank you so much. It's Amali Mitchell, (indiscernible) dynamic coalition on data-driven technologies. I just (indiscernible) go and tag those who are talking about themes that are sort of very niche-oriented in terms of content, because I find it very interesting, last year, I listened to a whole group of diverse opinions, very specific opinions. And I think in terms of risk management, this is where we can identify issues early that probably will get escalated perhaps into the future into just a very large theme.
So I think that all of those who have supported having these smaller sort of narrow focused sessions, and especially for the dynamic coalitions, this is very important, because we are really, at ground level, observing what's going on internationally and locally. And, you know, those are our discussions. We are very much into the emerging issues. So this is very much appreciated.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thanks very much, Amali.
So on that, I will close this part of the meeting.
I will review tomorrow's agenda. I think we have more or less a common understanding of next steps. I just do want to run those next steps by the secretariat overnight to make sure that what I've proposed is realistic for the secretariat.
And then we will -- we will give you a confirmed approach to next steps tomorrow morning or whenever you join the meeting based on input of the secretariat, not just my own proposals.
So to review tomorrow's agenda -- Thank you very much, Luis.
So tomorrow we have some MAG decision-making to finalize. If we do that in good time, we could go back to IGF 2021 issues, themes, and format. But it is very important that the MAG makes decisions on the following.
So item number 8 -- tomorrow, by the way, we start earlier. I hope this is a little bit easier for our colleagues from Asia. And my apologies to those of you in the Americas. We start at 9:00 UTC. But then we want to move on to Best Practice Forums and policy networks.
I'm hoping that this can be quite quick, because the MAG has done an extensive review and given feedback on the Best Practice Forum proposals and policy networks. So it's really just making sure we all have common understanding of what the next steps are and also how this work will be resourced so that you can all feel confident that for the secretariat, what we undertake this year is realistic.
And we will then look at the dynamic coalitions. And here, we will be -- we are focusing particularly on the secretariat's support, which is -- there's -- and some support from the secretariat to dynamic coalitions. We'll also hear about this learning study on dynamic coalitions. And that will be led this year by Markus Kummer, in collaboration with MAG members.
And then we'll look at NRIs and currently what's really underway about how to collaborate with NRIs in 2021.
We'll then have a short break. And then item 11, very important that MAG members are well prepared for this, because we don't have a huge amount of time.
During this session, we will consider proposals, recommendations from the 2020 MAG working groups. We have specific recommendations from the working group on language and the working group on strategy and strengthening.
I'm not sure if the working group on outreach has recommendations. They do have a work plan for this year.
And then we have proposals for forming new MAG working groups for IGF 2021. We have proposals for continuation from the MAG working group on outreach and the MAG working group on strategy and strengthening. And we have new working group proposals and activity plans for working group on hybrid meetings and for one on communication strategy.
And here again, MAG members have heard most of these ideas before. So we are hoping to just run through their plans fairly briefly, give MAG members the opportunity to make strategic input. And that's really the primary goal of that session tomorrow, to get ideas and input from MAG members. And then we'll finalize what the next steps are and make sure everyone understands how to participate in these groups and how to invite others to participate in these groups.
And then we'll move to our meeting closure. We'll have remarks from our host country chair. I'll make some remarks, hopefully not too many. And we'll do an evaluation of our meeting.
And, hopefully, then you'll all be able to go back to your day-to-day lives and invest in IGF 2021 thinking and planning.
So any questions?
There's a question in the chat: Are some of these working groups open to machine MAG members? That's from Raymond Mamattah. Raymond, yes, they are open to nonMAG members. MAG working groups are initiated by the MAG and MAG members to co-facilitate them. And they report to the MAG, but they are open to nonMAG members.
I don't see any further hands, comments or questions in the chat.
Courtney is asking about the agenda item on the annual dynamic coalition work plan. I'll let the secretariat respond to that question. I don't think there is any input document.
Chengetai and Anja, can I actually hand over to you to make any further announcements or remarks. And you can also respond to the question about the dynamic coalition work plan item.
Raymond, we will discuss the working group process for joining working groups. You'll hear more about that tomorrow. But, essentially, it will be through the MAG members that are facilitated -- facilitating those working groups. And you'll find the information about the working groups and how to join them on the IGF website. If you go to the website link for the MAG, you'll find a link to MAG working groups. And there you'll find out how to join them.
That was a question in the chat.
So, secretariat, let me hand over to you.
>>ANJA GENGO: Anriette, thank you. I think Chengetai will be taking --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I was just searching for the mute button. Thanks.
[ Laughter ]
Thank you very much, Anriette. For the DC question, I think I'll just hand it over to Sorina, if she could answer that, if she's able to.
Are you able to, Sorina?
>>SORINA TELEANU: Thank you, Chengetai. I can cover it briefly. As it been mentioned these days, the dynamic coalitions are planning this year to produce a paper about how they have been working in the past, what can be improved, how they can be better connected with the rest of the IGF process. And they are now basically working on that work plan. So there's really nothing to share until it's been agreed by the dynamic coalition coordination group.
But we can do a quick overview of what we want to do with that paper tomorrow. Thank you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Sorina.
Anja, did you want to inform about something?
>>ANJA GENGO: No, nothing from me. I mean, we'll be presenting tomorrow the annual plan of the NRIs. But that's in any case on the agenda, so you can expect it.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay. Great. Thank you. I think that's all, Anriette. Back to you.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much to the secretariat. And I hope that answered the questions.
And thank you to everyone for being with us in this meeting today.
Thanks to our captioner. I'm not sure if it's still Jennifer or if she's been replaced by someone else. But thanks to the captioners. Your work is invaluable.
And to all our MAG members and our observers and to Krzysztof, our host country chair and Przemyslaw and the rest of the team, thanks for being with us today.
Please take the floor if you want to make any closing remarks.
And that is all from me, from the MAG chair now. And we'll see you tomorrow at 9:00 UTC.
I'm just checking. I'm not sure -- is Krzysztof still with us? I think he might have had to leave, but we'll hear more from him or from Przemyslaw tomorrow.
So, thanks, everyone. We are finishing early. I hope that's a small achievement.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Anriette.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Thank you. I hope I wake up very early tomorrow.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Sorry, Carlos. Go to sleep early. That's the key.
Go to bed early tonight.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: That's right. That's what I'll do.
>> Nice meeting you. Stay safe.
>>CHAIR ESTERHUYSEN: Bye, everyone.