IGF 2021 - MAG - Virtual Meeting - VIII

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during an IGF virtual call. 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. 


>> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. welcome to virtual MAG meeting number 8 and just to start off with notice that this is being recorded.  There is going to be a summary report published afterward, and it's also being transcribed.  There is the live transcription button at the bottom of the screen to you can click.  For the speaking queue we ask you to use the speaking queue.  If you are not able to use the speaking queue you can request for the floor by doing a hand up or stating it in the chat.  With that, let me hand it over to Anriette to start the meeting.

>> CHAIR:  Anriette here from Johannesburg.  Let me quickly run us through the agenda.  He will have an update from the host country.  We will have updates from the Secretariat, and then well address the two primary Agenda Items that really are priorities, the final review of the description of issues and the policy questions developed by the MAG, and then also looking at the application forms.

After that item 6 we will look at next steps and then we can address any other matters.  I want to apologize to all of the intersessional modalities because we have not given you a chance to report substantively, so, for example, if the Dynamic Coalitions have any updates they want to share under number 7, BPFs, policy networks, anyone else, but I do promise at the next MAG call we will dedicate time for you to present your work and share with us.  So on that, thank you very much to everyone for the work you have done.  It's been a very intense week.

Thank you to the Secretary and to the MAG members.  I hope today we will achieve the next step and make final decisions on the release of the call for session proposals.  I'll step away from the Mike and give it to our colleagues from Poland to give an update from their perspective.

>> POLAND:  Good morning, good afternoon, good evening ladies and gentlemen, MAG colleagues, from the host country perspectives, I would like to kindly inform you that we have issued the save the date to digital Ministers in the UN Member States and we are, I'm happy to inform you that we are receiving the first confirmations already.  So we are very happy that we have already some outcome on this issue.

Another thing that I would like to kindly inform you is that along with our good colleagues from the IGF Secretariat and the UNDESA, we have been working on the hybrid format also of the IGF 202 is, and our reflections and considerations have been outlined in the draft form for the workshop proposals which has been, which was presented yesterday at the Working Group on the hybrid meetings.

So I'm sure that the IGF Secretary will familiarize you also with this as well.  And last but not least, my continuous request, very kind request to you to share with us your situation with the COVID 19 pandemic in your regions.  From the Polish perspective, we are speeding up the vaccination process, and starting from May and June I do hope that many, many, more people will be vaccinated in Poland and another part of vaccines is coming to Poland.

So we are, we do hope that until the end of the holiday summer period, the majority of the polish people will be vaccinated.  So that's all for me for now.  If you have any questions, I'll be very happy to answer them.  Back to you, Madame Chair.  Thank you very much.

>> CHAIR:  Thank you very much.  I have seen in the news that Poland is one of the countries with the highest number of new cases.  So I know it's very challenging.  I have not encouraged MAG members to send updates on the pandemic because I really wanted us to finish the work of drafting the issue text and the call, but as soon as this is done, I think we do really need to share information in the list because that will help the hosts prepare.  So on that, let's move on to the next Agenda Item.  Chengetai and team, do you have any updates for us.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  Thank you very much, Anriette.

Just one update, actually, is that for the policy network on environment the multi stakeholder group has been formed and you can see it on the website.  I think Anja is going to paste the link in the chat and we have our first meeting on the 28th of April.

And then after that, then well transmit, to the MAG the PNE work plan.

And also the stakeholder engagement plan.  Apart from that, I don't think there is any other news from the Secretary.  Thank you.

>> CHAIR:  Thanks very much for that Chengetai.

I think real progress has been made with the policy network on meaningful access.  Anja has worked with all concerned and the document has been finalized as far as I know.  There is also a document that the Secretary has produced that explains more about how policy networks work, and how they fit into the IGF intersessional work ecosystem.  Chengetai, a question on the meeting of the 28th, is that just for members of the Working Group?  Will that be open to other MAG members or just to those MAG members that are declared as the liaisons with the policy network on the environment?

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  It's originally envisioned for the policy network.  It's their first meeting so basically just to get the work going.  If you want to observe, I mean, this is the IGF.  You can come and observe.  That's fine.

>> CHAIR:  So thanks.  So you will share information and I would just ask the MAG members on the Working Group Theresa and Joyce to keep us up to date and they can report back to the MAG.

If there is nothing else, I think let's move onto item 4 because we do need to finalize our decision on the issue outlines and text and policy questions.  Can I ask the Secretariat to get ready to present that for us?  I have asked Winn and Sorina, I'm not sure which one of you will do this.  I haven't checked messages, but one of you get ready to display this.

I'll just recap for everyone what the process has been.  So this process of deciding on IGF 2021 issues started with the call to the community for input.  We received a range of issues.  They were classified into broad categories.  They were then revisited and clustered in different issue areas.  Based on that, the MAG reviewed those issue areas and decided to organize the different issue focus areas into two baskets, a basket for main issue areas and a basket for cross cutting and emerging issue areas.

The next step was for MAG members to work in groups on refining the descriptions of those different issue areas, and developing sub themes and policy questions.  We received all of this, so thanks to everyone for going the limit last week to get the drafts to the Secretariat.  So over the weekend the Secretariat worked with these texts and they have since been edited to ensure they are uniform in terms of style and also that there are policy questions that are articulated for each of the issue areas.

The one thing we felt when we looked at the text was breaking the map into sub topics became difficult because we felt that the sub topics or topics overlapped with policy questions.  So at this point we don't have sub topics per issue area but we have specific policy questions.  I won't say anymore.  I will leave it to the Secretariat to present this to you, and then you can flag questions and well discuss the document after we have looked through the entire version of this.

To make sure everyone understands how this document will be used, it will be used as a basis for public information sharing about IGF 2021 focus, but also and importantly it will be used in the forms that go out to the community for proposing sessions.  So when you review the text, try and see it through those use case lenses.

I'll now hand over to the Secretariat to run us through this document.

>> SECRETARIAT:  Thank you, Anriette.  Sorina speaking.  Anriette has said everything I was planning to say about this document, so I just add a few more things quickly and we can go to the document and see if you have specific comments.  Luis, can you show the document.  Thank you.

What you see now on the screen is basically an intro that we have revised slightly based on text we had before about the focus areas for IGF 2021 just for it to be part of the document explaining what is in the document so we can scroll to that quickly.  And then we have just used the documents that the MAG Working Groups have developed and as Anriette has said we tried to bring some sort of consistency both in the way in which the text is framed but also in the structure.

So you might have, so we tried to bring consistency in how the text was written and the structure of the document, and that's why the description of the issues is now shorter than what some groups have developed because we tried to bring them all more or less to the same length.  And in doing so, we have revised a bit of text and tried to make it more concise, but we think it still covers everything or almost everything that the MAG wanted to cover.  We did the same with the policy questions.  We tried not to have too many policy questions, especially for the main focus areas because we kept saying that we want more focus, so that's why we narrowed down the list of policy questions a bit.

And one more thing we have also tried to do was to look back at the issues that have been submitted during the call for issues and see if there was anything else that might not have been covered.  So we tried to include some of those very clear and specific issues as well in some of the policy questions.  And that's just to discipline why you might see some things appearing in the policy questions that the groups might not have developed on their own.

And then we tried to narrow down a bit the list of what you initially called topics.  We now call them related issues just for a bit more consistency to try to have not too many, because if we would have put everything from the Working Groups we would have had pages of tags and that would have been overwhelming for people to go through.

As Anriette was saying, we have basically removed the topics at this stage because there was repetition between the topics and policy questions, and we felt it's more important to try to have focus through the policy questions and not to confuse people with too much information, both topics and policy questions which are more or less, which are more or less the same thing.  That's basically it.  The idea is to have the policy questions in the form for session proposal so people will be able to select exactly the policy questions they want proposals to focus on, especially for main focus areas, but we will go more in depth when we look at the forms.  Thanks to those who have added comments and suggestions.  I think I have received most of them, but I will look through the document throughout the call and see what else might come up.

Win, if I have missed anything, please go ahead.

>> SECRETARIAT:  No, Sorina, I think you covered everything well.  I just would like to reiterate, I think it's obvious that the focus is on policy questions, and whether the workshops started to present their proposal, how they want to answer and refine the questions and focus on specific elements.  This is a little upside down of the work last year, because last year we ended up when we had to do the reporting with a large number of policy questions going into all different directions and then it was very challenging also to try to put some focus into that and do some reporting.

So that's the, that's the reason why or the starting point we took when we looked to this to what the MAG groups have done.  So try to bring focus by asking people to focus on policy questions and then then go more into detail from that point.  So that's all.  Thank you.

>> CHAIR:  Thank you for the presentation but also for the thoughtful work that you have put into this editing process.  I can assure MAG members they tried to be sensitive and respect the original text while also reducing length and achieving charity.  The other element that we might have edited a bit was to try and make sure that the text are multi stakeholder sensitive, that the language is sensitive and inclusive and not alienating for any particular stakeholder group.

Do we have any comments on the questions?  I know we haven't looked at the text or the questions in detail.  We would like to give the MAG at least until the end of today or until tomorrow morning Geneva time to send in further comments, and but we can also have a more in depth discussion now.  So I know you only received this text yesterday, last night quite late for some of you, but I'm opening the floor here for any comments, any questions around these issued texts and policy questions.

>> ROBERTO ZAMBRANA:  Thank you very much, Roberto second year MAG member.  I wanted to make a comment about this, well, first of all it's a great job that Sorina did so far, bust I wanted to react about the purpose of including topics as we have in the last year in our experience at the beginning of 2020 when we were working on these topics and thematic tracks.

The idea was to narrow down the different topics that were supposed to be included as part of this different general thematic tracks.  Now we also have two main issue areas and the idea of having these topics will allow the people to know what should be included in one of each of those two main issue areas and also in the other four cross cutting issues.

I think there is a value there and perhaps we could still think of including at least some of those topic lists that are related with each of the main topic issues or main issues, areas as a guidance for their proposals.  And the other thing is about the policy questions, the idea of the policy questions last year was to make them as an example because, of course, the proposals are going to think about their own policy questions.  So I'm not sure if the policy questions we have now are the ones that are going to serve to guide the work of the proposals.

Those are my two comments about it.

Thank you very much, Anriette.

>> CHAIR:  Thanks very much Roberto.  And I'm glad you are asking this.  I think you are getting to the point of where the process is changing from last year.  So and some of these are decisions that we have discussed, but I know they have been discussed in different places at different times.  So firstly, the decision was to be more outcome oriented.

I'm going to recap.  So some of the, in the reflection on 2020 when the Secretary developed the pre meeting guide, they did that on the basis of the session proposals.  And last year every proposer for a session could express their own policy questions.  And when the team redid the documenting of the IGF and documenting of the pre-IGF content as well as of the post IGF content, when they did their work, it was extremely difficult because from the proposal applications, they had issues soup.  There were like hundreds of different issues, hundreds of different policy questions.  So in fact the recommendation of the Working Group strategy was to make this IGF more focused, and that is why for the main focus areas the policy questions are determined by the MAG prior to the call.

And workshop proposals that are addressing the main focus areas will be required to select one or up to two of the policy questions so they won't be able to formulate their own policy questions.  That's also why as Sorina was saying, the topics and the policy questions in a sense are playing the same role because they are selecting a policy question, it's very similar in the functionality of selecting a topic because that is how the proposer is selecting what specific aspect of the focus area they are addressing.

This is quite a fundamental shift actually.  As we discussed in I think the workshop process meeting last week, for the emerging issue areas there is more flexibility and people will be able to propose new policy questions.  They can select some of the existing ones, but they can also select new ones.  But by limiting the option to these existing policy questions that are here that are based on MAG inputs, we make it easier to have an IGF where different workshop sessions address specific policy questions, and that should also make it easier for MAG members to evaluate whether there is overlap or duplication in some of these proposals.

I open the floor to others who have been part of the discussion to add to the explanation or to make any other points.  I hope that made sense, Roberto.

>> ROBERTO ZAMBRANA:  Yes, thank you very much, Anriette.

>> CHAIR:  I urge others to come in and ask questions.  This is a departure, it is different from previous years where proposers could articulate their own policy questions.  In the past the MAG developed indicative suggested policy questions, but this year the policy questions in the MAG developed text operate a little bit like subthemes.  They tried to address the different angles that the MAG highlighted in the description of the issue.

Anyone else I'm deliberately going to wait because I think it's very important that we all have a common understanding.  So if anyone is not clear on the process or the rationale for it, now is the time.

>> ROBERTO ZAMBRANA:  Just an additional comment if I may.

>> CHAIR:  Please Roberto, go ahead.

>> ROBERTO ZAMBRANA:  Just since now the policy questions are the ones that are going to narrow the proposals or be more explicit in terms of outcome oriented proposals, we will need to work harder in the call for proposals in order to explain well this, because many of the proposals that were presented were proposals during the last year perhaps will be used in the policy questions as the way they did before as an example.

So that's very important to work, but I think that's something we are going to cover with the call to proposals text.  Thank you, Anriette.

>> CHAIR:  You are correct.  We need to send the message in the form, in the text of the call, and how we communicate the invitation broadly.  We do have to be clear on that.  I'm looking at members present, perhaps if there are any MAG members or other members that are participants in the Working Group strategy or the Working Group hybrid meetings or workshop process that have had more discussions on the shift.  It would be good if you can step in here.  Even the Secretariat if there has been anyone who has been part of the process that have resulted in this shift in approach, it would be helpful if there is anyone who wanted to add anything.

I don't see any hands.  No questions, no one in the speaking queue.  Does everyone understand this difference in approach that we've just discussed?  And does anyone have any questions?

>> SECRETARIAT:  I think Courtney has her hand raised.

>> CHAIR:  Courtney, please go ahead.

>> COURTNEY RADSCH:  This is Courtney, MAG member.  I like this approach, I think it sounds like a good development and we’ll be back it to the community when we submit on it.  One small suggestion is to rephrase as, you know, sample or emblematic policy questions.  People don't think that these are the only options.  I'm sure that the community has many relevant policy questions that we didn't necessarily think of.  So maybe to convey it in a way to make Thursday that we make it clear that we are also open for ideas from the community that are relevant  

>> CHAIR:  Thanks Courtney and I see Joyce agrees with you.  This is a decision we need to make.  The process as it is now will not allow for proposers of workshops to address new policy questions.  They can do for the emerging and cross cutting areas but not the main focus areas.  The reason is to make it easier to have more outcome oriented approach, and to have more workshops that are addressing these policy questions, but we can change that.

If MAG members feel strongly that we still need to for all session proposals retain the option of new or further or additional policy questions to be added, we can do that.  So this is quite a fundamental decision.  As it stands we are requiring them to select one or two policy questions.  We are giving them lots of flexibility in how they approach policy questions, but we are requiring them to choose one of those for the main focus areas and then for the emerging cross cutting areas they can identify other policy questions.

So this is a big decision.  I would like to hear more people on this.  I think Sorina do you mind just speaking so that, if you can speak to it?

>> SECRETARIAT:  I was saying that at least for the main focus areas where we are saying we give people a chance to only select one or two policy questions.  That doesn't mean they have to focus on that policy questions and be stuck to that.  They can say, well, we only want to focus on one aspect of the policy question or we want to add a slightly new dimension to this policy question.  In a way we are trying to keep the focus by putting only these policy questions there and not allowing completely new ones.  So there is still some level of flexibility as Anriette was saying but not too much if that makes sense.

>> COURTNEY RADSCH:  One of the right hand side I'm concerned about keeping it on these policy questions is if we take care of the first economic and social rights which I was involved with, the COVID 19 pandemic context is about digital and social equality.  Nothing about Human Rights.  There is an entire Human Rights dimension to COVID 19, to the survey lens, to access all of that.

So I think we need, we would need more time if these are going to be restrictive.  We could maybe frame it as guiding policy questions, but note that we are open for, but they need to be clearly articulated additional policy questions that are within line with these types of things.  I look at this section and I see from my point of view as somebody who comes from the human rights perspective not nearly enough of the options and I can think of our community as not seeing these as emblematic enough.  So I wonder if there is some way to encourage people to use these policy questions, but also to be open that if they have compelling policy questions that are in line with these themes and with the types of specific policy questions getting outcomes that we would still be open for that.

>> CHAIR:  Courtney, did you look at all of the policy questions? 

>> COURTNEY RADSCH:  I have only gotten this morning given the time difference so I have taken a quick look, but if we look at just the very first one, I would definitely want to see what can be learned from the COVID 19 pandemic about the Human Rights and the intersection with Internet Governance or something so that.  I would definitely need more time to go through if this is going to be the only policy questions that people are responding to.

>> CHAIR:  Good.  I'll give the floor to Tereza but a quick response.  Firstly, we can change the approach, but I think it would be a dramatic shift because we aren't trying to have a more focused approach, and secondly, we can edit this, we can still snake it changes to the policy questions.  We can give you until tomorrow to do that.  And thirdly, there is a further question below which is specifically about human rights.

But your point is absolutely taken and I think that's why it's so important that we do need MAG members to read news questions and comment on them.  Tereza, over to you.

>> TEREZA HOREJSOVA:  Thanks a lot Anriette.  I understand the rationale and it will contribute to more focused IGF and outcomes.  I'm trying to anticipate potential practical issues and problems.  One can be how do we avoid that the sessions are not kind of too similar to each other, something that in the past might have been solved by merging sessions because people are limited by very specific questions to be addressed.  We can expect that there will be quite a few dealing with the same thing.

Second, looking at it from the point of view of the participants of the IGF that they have kind of more varied experience.  Several sessions dealing just let's say with the impact of the pandemic on social and economic inequality as an example.  That doesn't mean I don't agree with this approach.  It's just like I'm trying to think ahead what practical issues might come up.  Thank you.

>> CHAIR:  Thanks, Tereza, and the form will make it clear that they don't have to address all of the questions, so that's, and we also try to make it clear that the pandemic focus is important and optional, but they don't have to respond specifically just to that.  And maybe this document doesn't make that clear.  When we look at the form, that will make it clearer, I hope.  Any other comments?

>> Hi, I have my hand up.  I'm a MAG member representative of GRULAC and civil society, my third year as a MAG member.  I only want to contribute a little bit for the ones that are maybe confused or surprised by this change.  With the experience I have had being part of the MAG I'm going through this process in the two previous cycles that I participated.  So for the ones that are thinking about if this is the right approach in terms of limiting the policy question or it could be problematic in their consequences, I'll strongly support this approach, particularly for the main topics of the IGF, precisely for the reasons that our Chair highlighted in terms of being more outcome oriented.

The problem with the policy question that can be suggested and included by each one of the session organizers is that, again, the thing that happened when we went through this work in different Working Groups, teams for trying to flesh out the content of the different issues, the process ended in a lot of diversity of things and overlapping between topics.

The thing precisely happened when the proposer tried to propose their sessions.  That made it difficult first to categorize and for the Secretariat being able to provide us different stacks for evaluation of the workshops that had been submitted and later it made it very difficult to process outcome of sessions in a way that is more oriented to being back flow in policy processes outside the IGF.

Because of those two reasons that are very practical ones and basically my own experience being a MAG member, I strongly support to keep this limitation of the policies for ones that are identified by the MAG members.  I think we can do a second effort hopefully during today to review the question in terms that provide them the wideness that they are required to leave less relevant things out, but at the same time to keep them enough focused and oriented to produce outcomes we are trying to get from the IGF to make it even more impactful than what it has been so far.

That will be my contribution.  I additionally have a specific doubt about keeping it open for the cross cutting and emerging issues because precisely the same reasons, but it will make sense in terms of the logic we presented at the beginning that this different budget of issues are more discussion oriented and outcome oriented but in that case I'll be in favor of recovery those issues because I think that only provides some illustrative policy questions and without tags or any kind of other additional guidance we will end with the difficulty I described before that happened previous year.  Thank you very much.

>> CHAIR:  Thank you very much Maria Paz.  Can I just ask you to restate that last point.  So do you think we should not keep it open for the emerging and cross cutting issues or are you okay with it being open?

>> MARIA PAZ CANALES LOEBEL:  I don't have at this point strong opinion about leaving it open or closed, but I think if we leave it open, we need additional guidance for that set of issues in order to avoid the problem that happened before about having too many policy questions that are not easily possible to fit together inside some kind of output from the track that makes sense.  So I think that that is why I say that if well leave it open, that can make sense because this is a discussion oriented issue.

Maybe in that case well need back the tags or the teams or any other guidance that help to manage in a more condensed way the threat of this type of discussion inside the issue.  Otherwise I'll fear that because they are very broad topics also on cross cutting topics by nature, it can happen also that the discussion could be diluted in an infinite number of discussions that will be very difficult to then capture in outcomes that are more impactful from the IGF.  That's my concern.

>> CHAIR:  Thanks very much, Maria Paz, and that makes a lot of sense.  I don't see any other hands on this issue.  So what I propose is that we capture here as the action point that all MAG members look at the current text and that you make specific suggestions and proposed edits and comments in the Google Doc, and then also if you have any other concerns or suggestions about the process that you communicate that to us.

But my understanding is that I think we are still coming to terms with this adjustment and process, but I do think there is support for it, and I think particularly from the perspective of the older MAG members because, and new MAG members you will find that once you look at the workshop proposals, if we keep it open for people to add policy questions, often what you get is actually not policy questions.

You end up with just a lot of information which makes the process of doing the evaluation quite hard.  I want to propose that we action that at the moment that MAG members review and comment by, shall we say, 7:00 UTC tomorrow.  I'm going to give the floor to you Roberto.  I think it would be good for MAG Working Groups to discuss these in their spaces as well.

And then we can move onto looking at the form.  I this I once you look at the form, you might find yourself having further comments about policy questions.  I call Roberto to the floor and Roberto you can be the last person on this topic and then well move onto the form, and when we discuss the form, we can revisit the issue of policy questions.  Roberto.

>> ROBERTO ZAMBRANA:  Thank you very much, Anriette and thank you for the additional time we are going to have to review the narratives and policy questions.  Just a quick comment, and I think it's very important, if we are going to use the policy questions for the main issue areas as the ones that are going to limit or limit the work, the proposals, well need to use in the same way in the cross cutting issues.

I also think that we need to have them open in the cross cutting issues, but the problem is that if we have two different messages, one different message for the cross cutting issues and the other for the main issue areas, I think we can make the people confused.  So we need to take care about it and do it very carefully.  Thank you, Anriette.

>> CHAIR:  Noted, Roberto.  And I don't see any other hands.  Let's move on.  As I said, you can come back to the issue of policy questions as you look at the form.  Next we're going to move on to looking at the form and Luis has been working very responsibly adjusting the application form based on the outcome of workshop process last week and further discussions.  Let's have a look at that, again, I know we can't have an exhaustive discussion on it today, so well also give people another 24 hours to comment on that.

In fact, Roberto, if you want to convene a Working Group on workshop process call tomorrow to discuss the form, we can also fit that into our timeline.  But by end of tomorrow we do need to close MAG, the deadline for MAG input.  So, Luis, can I hand over to you, and, please, everyone start raising your hand or putting questions in the chat, and then I'll come to you after Luis has gone through the process.

>> LUIS BOBO:  Hello everyone.  I hope you can hear me and see me.  I'm going to stop my video because I'm working on the computer, but basically so not all of the changes have been implemented yet, but basically let me pass through the form quickly, but you can just make questions later.

>> CHAIR:  Before you show the form, I realized I forgot something important.  The first thing that people will see before they enter into the form itself, they will see a page that presents them with all of the different types of sessions that they can apply to hold.  So Anja has worked on a document with different sessions and it's an update of existing documentation on the website.  And so what we are trying to do here is to make it clear to everyone that they don't have to apply for a workshop.  They can apply for a networking session, or they can apply to present some research that they have done.

So in that way we are trying to the session proposals.  Sometimes the MAG would receive a workshop proposal which is a proposal to present a project.  So we tried to.  Further into the workshop proposal itself they will have the option to apply for different sessions.  I wonder, Anja, if you are able to just actually run the MAG through the types of sessions.  I think that might be helpful.  It won't take long.

>> SECRETARIAT:  Yes, Anriette, I can do that, absolutely.

>> LUIS BOBO:  Thank you Anriette.  Basically first part is not going to enter too much, it is just information on the proposal and this is the point of contact between the Secretariat and the proposer or the editor of the proposer the narrator.  We just made the change here that is to be put along the side just we had before gender female, male, other.  Now, anyone can just put whatever actually not necessarily as it was before, but just not related to the proposals.

Second thing here, basically we will have to change this focus area or cross cutting issue, and basically they can select in the calls will be well explained but between the two focus areas or one of the four cross cutting issues.  If they select that focus area, then as discussed in the, one of the Working Groups, there are so many that I lost my    I think it was in the Working Group on workshop proposals.  If they said that as one of the focus areas, they can select what is the approach they are taking.

They optionally can select it.  We will change if for not applicable and we will put it out of here, not here, but just by low.  So here if they select one of the focus areas basically or cross cutting issues they will have the narrative which is also not updated, but it will be updated.  Here instead of the topics we had before, as we had said, we’ll have instead now the policy questions.  And they can select up to two.  They will be updated and uploaded there.  They can select up to two.

And following the discussion, I understand that for the focus areas there will be no more decisions at this point for the cross cutting issues.  They will be able to refine or put policy questions.  Then if we go on well have the title, and the descriptions similar to last year.  Then here instead of just being congruent, just being congruent with the new approach, but we’ll have is an explanation of why these policy question was selected and what is the approach to this policy question.

Well also put here at this point this possible optional approach to a focus area through one of the cross cutting issues.  Everything will be here.  And anyone corrects me, Anriette or someone, but this will be basically also related to what's the relevance of the session proposal to the IGF context.  Then the policy questions, this is removed because it's up after the selection of the focus area.  Then the expected outcomes.

We keep these, it's how it's linked to the description, what is expected from it.  Then this context, both of them are removed according to the new approach in which their context is basically or the relevance is basically introduced through the answering of one of the policy questions.  So it will be in step 6 in which they will actually insert this information.

Then well have the formats similar to last year.  Again, the new formats proposal are not really formats for this the regular session, I'm sorry for calling the workshop the regular session, it's just sessions that are typically evaluated by the MAG through the platform given the expected points to the criteria, et cetera.

So the formats are similar and the other kind of new formats are actually different types of sessions that, and this as said before will be selectable by the community as a possibility to participate in the IGF, not necessarily with a workshop, but with other kinds of interventions, networking and these kinds of things that Anja will describe later.

Then diversity, we changed this by so much work of the group of the workshops and evaluations it was remarked that diversity is important, but that only a few aspects up to three can be marketed as important to the proposal depending on its approach and universe, and they can select here which one of these are and explain them here.  We can also propose another aspect.

Then organizers information, they have to identify, the contact information, if you want.  And then we keep this as in previous year unfortunately we have to move to online meeting, but now hopefully we will have it in Poland and there will be still this link to Poland if they can select, they have invited any local organisation or if in case they have the IGF before the session at the IGF before just to select the link.  This is important for the quality of the continuity of some agency to the IGF but also to know if they are newcomers or they have a longer experience.

So this is information that is only available for the evaluation but not for the public.  The public does not see this information.  They see just the information of who are the speakers or, sorry the organizers.  Here with the speakers, we have added this information about the necessity to add, the need to add also specify, of course, understanding that not all answers are clear at this point, but to at least start to decide who of the speakers will be able to travel and who are selected to, for example, to participate online.  There is a space here to specify that information.

The moderators, again, this doesn't change from last year, but we can change more of the description to specify there will be still two moderators.  Maybe they are on the side, but one more with the order of speakers and who with the online activity that is also on site because this is hybrid meeting.

The same with the rapporteur it's to identify who is the rapporteur out of the organizers, the Rapporteur explain will be updated here so say that the rapporteur is expected to get at the end some takeaways for the session formally that those in view of this.  This was extended and respecified for hybrid meetings.  Also in coordination with host country.  Basically we ask the proposer to specify how are they going to deal with the hybrid, if they are online how they are going to deal with participants that are onsite or how would they deal with online participants to integrate them as any other onsite participant.  We are asking them if they are going to use additional tool.  If yes, then how.  And we make reference to the trainings and in case training is required or not required just to specify the current skills of the proposers.

For this everything will go to the evaluators to see how the hybridity of the session is prepared if you allow me that word.  In relation to SDGs, this has been last minute change and it seems a good change in my personal view.  Instead of selecting the goals, it will be instead select the target like each goal has a target.  So this somehow will force a little bit the proposer to check really how they are covering the SDGs in what aspects to identify.  It could help to compare the check box Mark into really the explanation.  The granular explanation of how the proposal is related to SDGs.

So all of these are pending change in the workshop proposal.  Then the background paper at the end is going to be just background information or something that can be added.  We understand that many things are requested to the proposer so we don't force to send any kind of background paper but they optionally can upload any document here.  And finally for logistics and looking forward to hybrid event, this is a completely new thing this year.

We as you maybe know, we have also added the option to Mark if they already know or could know that they don't want a meeting hybrid, just online as it had last year, so maybe some of the sessions will just be online which means there is no space reserved in the venue.  So it will be fully online meeting.  It's a special kind of sessions, so the possibility, and then the possibility to Mark a moment during the working day if the session is held to the last phase of the IGF to the 6th of December, but we have said that we can ask this at a later stage it's not necessarily at this point because it still can be done later and maybe it is difficult for them to mark that or it could change.

So we are not going to ask it now.  We are going to ask it later, but we are going to ask this one and if they are willing or see the possibility to also not necessarily celebrate their session to 6th of December, but also in the preparatory phase with the not having so much constraints in physical time in Poland, but knowing that maybe it's not so covered, for example, with human transcription or similar.

And that's all.  They will be able to have up to three drafts of different proposals made up to three proposals.

>> CHAIR:  Thank you very much, Luis.  So everyone please note that this is not the final version yet, Luis has been updating it as the discussion has progressed.  Luis, when would you be able to share more updated draft for comment?  What's a realistic time for you?

>> LUIS BOBO:  So as I had discussed with you this morning, I think that I could try to target to integrate most changes by Thursday morning UTC meaning that I still need time to do the test because, of course, everything has to be tested and the other things that happen behind that need to be updated, but a list for other people to see what does it look like by Thursday.  But what I could propose is that, is that the MAG, I mean, this form is always open and you can always see what are the changes.

And basically I have explained the final version of this, so if anyone has any comments, and the best thing would be to give it as soon as possible because I understand that we are already quite late in the year and the sooner the better.

>> CHAIR:  Luis can post the lang and Chengetai let me give this to you to close but then I have various speakers.  Chengetai if you can talk to the timeline, that would be good.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  I mean, talking on the timeline and as far as the comment period is concerned, I would think that we should freeze the features or the feature requests in the next couple of days and then once everything is done, the only comments would be if something is terribly wrong, but I think it's time for the features to be frozen after this.  Just a comment.

>> CHAIR:  I agree.  I agree.  So let's give people the floor and then we can restate the exact time frame for further comments at the end of the discussion.  I have Courtney and then Carlos and then Adam, and Kareem, I see you have put your hand down, but Chengetai I want you to respond.  There was a can he from Kareem on whether we are accepting the workshop proposals in other languages.  My understanding is that we are not yet able to do that because it would make evaluation for MAG members very difficult, but I recall that we said we could accept proposals for some sessions, like networking sessions, for example, that can take place in a different language, but, Chengetai, if you can before the end of the discussion, I want to answer this question.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  Yes, exactly, Anriette.

For the main workshops where they are going to be evaluated against other workshops, I don't think it would be good an idea for other languages because not everybody speaks that language and if you use translation services like Google Translate, they don't do it that well, and you might actually lose points in that way.  But, yes, for the day zero and for those other kind of sessions, I don't see why not.

>> CHAIR:  Thanks Chengetai.  Courtney, you have the floor.


>> COURTNEY RADSCH:  First off, thank you,, this is comprehensive and amazing form.

Just a couple of thoughts, on, I believe it was questions 5 and 6, could I suggest that I think the sixth question is incorporated in the description that that should be incorporated in the description, and we could maybe take out the last portion of five where it is how discussion will be facilitated during the session.  I wonder if we could have all of the questions related to session format and interactivity in one section because it seems like there are three different areas where we talk about interactivity and format, and so instead of having that strewn throughout, we can put all of those together.

Everything related to format, so including the check box about whether it's virtual or hybrid, all of that, and then just a last suggestion which would be on the dropdown menu where it has the session type and the length of time.  I think that is a daunting menu.  So I think if we could separate out session format, and then have a separate dropdown for preferred length.  And maybe this would be too much, but we could have, you know, first choice for preferred length and second choice for preferred length.

But we could also just give them one option.  So I think those are all of my comments.  And then also on the SDGs, is that an optional or required question, and I would ask that it be optional.

>> CHAIR:  Thanks Courtney.  On your suggestion to have all of the questions on format and facilitation and participation together.  That's already on Luis' list, and it's good spotting that this text under section five actually.  We didn't see that belongs there too.  Luis, I think you can note whether it's possible for you to make that change in the dropdown list on times and formats that Courtney suggested.  So thanks for that, Courtney.

>> LUIS BOBO:  I completely agree with you to say that.  Yes, they are together, the format with the interaction.  And the second question with, apologies, the answer is no, and this is something that sometimes have has been raised but not strongly in previous years.  The reason is that it also has some advantage to have it in a compact way, and the disadvantage of separating is it makes much more complex the functioning behind the work form and no time at this stage to apply all of these changes.  The advantage of this is later, it cannot be seen now, but keeping everything in a formal way, it makes it visually understanding what duration links to what of the layouts or format, and to be able for the proposer to really select what is the one that is better to them.

>> CHAIR:  Thanks Luis, and Courtney, I see you have already accepted Luis' explanation.  So thanks for that.  And maybe there are ways in which it can be made, you know, different, but Luis is correct and in the long run it might be easier to do it this way.  Next we have Carlos Alphonso and after you Adam.

>> CARLOS ALBERTO AFONSO:  Yes, good morning.

I have a question which is not related to the form itself, but the way in which the form will be handled by the IGF system.  For instance, gender, self identification, names of speakers, these point to privacy questions.  I wonder if the handling of the form by the IGF will pass the GDPR tests regarding privacy.  This is a question.

And a point question regarding the form itself is I don't understand clearly what the perspective means in the diversity options list.  Thank you.

>> CHAIR:  Thanks for that question, Carlos.  By the way, Courtney, I haven't passed over your question about SDGs.  My understanding is that it is not optional to identify SDGs.  And the reason is that this is compulsory just to give you some background, I think this was discussed at the hybrid meeting Working Group session as well is that if the IGF wanted to present its work to the UN and link the IGF workshop outputs to the SDG process, then this information could be very valuable, it can be a way in which we can inject the IGF outputs and IGF dynamism and community and bottom up process into the SDG process.

So it might seem cumbersome at this point to ask people to think about that, but it has potential value in the feature.  But you, of course, are not the only MAG member that have raised that.  Carlos in response to your question.  That was developed by the Working Group on workshop process last year, those diversity questions and perhaps one of them could answer, Luis, can you scroll down to diversity.  If I'm speaking from memory, I think the intention that the MAG had was to encourage session proposal writers to think about diversity in a more rounded nuanced way, to look at how the diversity relates to the topic, and I think perspective, I'm not sure if that maybe had to do with political perspective or    I agree with you, it's not very clear, can mean many different things.

So I would suggest that it has a bit of explanation.  Does anyone else have any wisdom to share.  Carlos' question is in diversity what is meant by perspective, diversity of perspective.  I don't see anyone respond, but Carlos, I think maybe we can add more explanatory text there.  I think if I recall, I think the intention was diversity in world view, in approach and experience, experiences there as well.

Maybe we can combine experience perspective.  But whale we think about Carlos' question, Adam, you have the floor.

>> Adam:  I'm sorry, it takes a while to find the mute buttons.  Hi, everybody, I wanted to briefly talk about the hybrid element as this is something that will be important for the operation of this meeting as we heard at the beginning from our hosts they are anticipating us to be on site as much as we can, but also that some people will not be able to, and also as an ongoing principle for the IGF beyond this year and hopefully beyond the restrictions of the pandemic.

So what I wanted to say is I think we’ll look closely as you suggested Anriette, at the form, in the Working Group, but also I wanted to ask if it would be possible to add text in the messaging that invites proposals, so whether that's the email or whatever it would be to say that the call for proposals for the IGF 2021 is only.  And also text on the website, the IGF website which introduces the call for proposals where a visit to the site so that before they reach the Forum, they are aware that the IGF will be organising the hybrid format, welcoming participants on site, and online as peers in the engagement they have.  I think it would be helpful to have that up front so that anybody coming into this form is aware when they look at those particular questions what they are facing.

So that was the suggestion, and we have text if it's helpful and I can put that in the chat if anyone wants to read it, but it's probably a paragraph.  It's a bit long.  Thank you.

>> CHAIR:  Thank you, Adam.  Thanks very much.

I think we cannot stress what you have just said too much.  I think how we frame the text is very important.  I also think it will be helpful if we in that introductory text and in the invitation text point people to what is different from previous processes.  So the Secretariat will be working on drafting the text and we should be able to share that in the next 24 hours maybe, 48 hours.  I will let Chengetai give us an update at the end of the meeting as to when we want to get the call out.  It's not going out today, but we still need to get it out very, very soon.

But I think your questions are extremely, your points are extremely important.  I think when we draft the text and the Web page that we will use to distribute the invitation for session proposals, give it a very careful read, Adam, and others.  So it has to cover the hybrid format.  It has to cover the different approach to issues, and also other differences in few we are approaching the IGF this year.

Are there other hands?  I don't see anyone in the queue.  In chat.  Gunela, I'm glad you are here.  Gunela made a point about ability and disability, and her proposal was to keep it to disability.  Again, I'm not sure why the MAG, there was a reason for having both last year, but Gunela's request is that that is changed to just disability, and that's also in section 12 own diversity.  Gunela, why don't you take the mic and explain to everyone what you mean by that.

>> GUNELA ASTBRINK:  Yes.  Thank you, Anriette.  This is Gunela Astbrink.  And in terms of the wording ability and disability, when it comes to diversity, we usually talk about disability because that's what, that's what the focus is in that particular aspect of diversity because ability, we assume that a person with a disability has ability in a range of different ways.  So it doesn't need to be stated, and I think that people would get quite confused when it says ability and disability.

People who are not from a disability movement would say, well, yes, we all have ability, and if they are trying to explain that in section B of that question, it takes away from what that particular aspect of diversity is which I expect it to be focusing on disability.  I hope that explains it.  Does it?

>> CHAIR:  Yes, thanks very much Gunela.

>> GUNELA ASTBRINK:  Thank you.

>> CHAIR:  I don't see any other hands, any other questions.  Luis, yes, please go ahead.

>> LUIS BOBO:  Yes, thank you.

Because Carlos also asked before about privacy, et cetera.  Just to say that always, again, as accessibility, security and privacy very much seriously.  So everything is protected.  Gender, for example, is never, ever showed in publicly.  The only exception is for MAG evaluators when they need to evaluate about, for example, gender diversity and, of course, we just listened to what the users may have written about gender in this open text.

  But this is not public.  Not only that, but there are several phases, for example, when there is the evaluation phase and these are the complexities of all of these processes, for example, is that only some fields or some information has to be shown, and some way, for example, the organizers should not be shown during the evaluation or these kinds of things because the process should be kept, the authorship of the proposer should be kept hidden.

In general, what is shown is basically what is also general information across the IGF which is the name, the organisation, stakeholder group and regional group, and that's all.  The other things are hidden and, of course, they are captured, but for statistical information.

>> CHAIR:  When you evaluate proposals, they are actually anonymized.  You have to evaluate them on the description and other content and not based on who proposed them.  I don't see any other hands.  I don't see new hands.

I would like to, before we finalize the next steps, I want to make sure that there aren't strong objections to this approach of requiring proposers to select one of the predefined, one or two of the predefined policy questions.  This is a departure, and I know we discussed it already, but I want to make sure that there is no one who feels strongly that we need to revisit that.  If there is anyone, please now is the time to speak. 

Well, I don't see any hands and I take that as agreement, perhaps still in uncertainty, but I think that it is    it's not a shift that has made arbitrarily.  That's the important thing to keep in mind.  As Carol Roach, it's a call for the IGF to be more focused.  It's a response to one of the challenges that the IGF has received over the past few years.

  I know it is a difference and it may not work.  We have to accept that changes that we make sometimes work and sometimes they don't.  That's the value of this crowd sourced process that we use with the MAG is that we come up with new ideas and new approaches, we assess them and if they don't work, we consider change them again.

I would like to thank everyone, and now let's look at timelines.  So for commenting on the issued texts and the policy questions we are giving everyone until tomorrow.  So please do that as individuals.  If you want to do it in your issued teams that's also really good.  But if you can please send final comments by tomorrow morning Geneva time.  So that's one action item.  For workshop proposal 4, I think I would like you to summarize what the timeframe is for further input and finalization because you have a better understanding than I do of the constraints that the Secretariat is working with.

When that has been done I would like Anja to show us the type of sessions that we will give people as options this year.  Chengetai, if you can just summarize the timeline for finalizing.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  Thank you very much, Anriette.

If we finalize the form and launch the form on the 26th of April and then we can have the call for four weeks until the 26th of May, and then then a question we have been discussing is how long would it take for the MAG to evaluate the workshop results.  Would two weeks be enough time?  If two weeks is enough time, let me finish and you can comment.

If two weeks is enough time, then the evaluation of the workshops could be from 2 to 16th of June.  And then now we come onto another question that I have, is that the MAG meeting at the moment is scheduled for the 21st to the 23rd of June.  So that gives the Secretariat four days to process the evaluations and send them back to the MAG and then the MAG can look at it and I'm not too    I think that's rather tight because if we need to, for example, extend the workshop evaluation, I mean, the workshop submission time or extend the MAG workshop evaluation time, then there is no real buffer there.

So one proposal is that if we could move the MAG meeting to be on the 28th to the 30th of June, I think that would help and that would give us enough buffer.

So my two questions are, is two weeks enough for the MAG to evaluate the workshop proposals?  And my second question is should we move the second open consultations and MAG meeting to the 28th, to the 30th of June.  And I think if we do that, we can give enough time and enough buffering just in case something happens and we need more time along.

And we would also still end before the 1st of July which traditionally basically the whole of half the world goes on summer vacation.

>> CHAIR:  Thanks for the proposal, Chengetai.  Adam asked in the chat what does that mean in terms of the reevaluation.  I think, Anja, if we move the meeting to the 28th of June, that will give MAG members longer.  So if you can just propose then the dates that they will have for the evaluation if we move the meeting so that everyone can see that.  And I see so far people are agreeing on the new dates.  Any further comments?  Anyone who objects to the new dates?

>> Anriette, just for the new members, can you explain a little more about what goes into reviewing the proposals, do we review all of them, a portion of them, double reviews, just for those who have never done it, that would be helpful.

>> CHAIR:  Courtney, to some sent, what I explain will be very provisional because the Working Group on workshop process will have to update the procedure for 2021, but generally what happens, and in fact, I can let Chengetai do this because he will also give you an idea of how many proposals each MAG member has to review.  It will be a bit different this year because we have a different issues and areas, but Chengetai, let me ask you to explain.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  Thank you very much, Anriette.

In turn, I will give it to Luis because he is the one who manages the groups and puts the groups together and the checking so Luis, please.

>> LUIS BOBO:  I thank you very much both Anriette and Chengetai.  The first thing I would like to say is the soonest the see evaluation, the Working Group on evaluation group starts to redefine new possible changes, the better.  The fact of this tight schedule.  What I can say now is what was the situation last year and previous years.  So in previous years we received around 400, 300 some, in those numbers, 300, 400 proposals, and they were divided between roughly five groups.

So every year there is the discussion depending on the approach of the IGF if, for example, they are divided by track, by thematic track as last year, or just randomly, et cetera.  But they are divided in a way in which all MAG members, evaluates roughly around 80 proposals, some evaluate 70, some 90 proposals.  Sorry.  But and each proposal is evaluated by roughly eight MAG members or maybe eight to ten MAG members but then not everyone evaluates, so maybe eight MAG members.

It is true that this year we have less MAG members, by the way, so maybe there are more proposals per person.  That's what I can say.

>> CHAIR:  Thanks, Luis.  In the past when I was a MAG member, for example, all MAG members had to evaluate all proposals and that was really a lot of work because you would have to look at hundreds and hundreds.  But as Luis says more recently people Working Groups, and what the Working Group on workshop process still has to do for this year is to propose how those groups will work, but, I mean, logically if we follow the same format, people will break up into groups according to issue areas and they will review the proposals.

Sometimes we find that some issue areas receive fewer proposals than others.  And then we adjust the numbers accordingly.  I think Maria Paz's information, is useful, she says in the past she has had around 80 proposals to share.  So that's, that's something to keep in mind.  I think two weeks sounds like not a lot of time, but I also know from my own experience and from being briefed by the Secretariat that no matter how much time MAG members are given, they generally do their evaluations in the last week or the last few days of the time that's been allocated.

So I think that's, you know, it's worth keeping that in mind.  But Chengetai, just please note Mark Carvell's comment.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  That's what I wanted to comment on.  We can't really have it on the 28th to the 30th and we don't want to get into trouble with Sandra.  So the option is we either keep it as it is or we go into July.  I have no problem going into July, but it is up to MAG members to decide whether or not a date at the beginning of July is okay with them.

>> CHAIR:  So the alternative would be the first week of July, and, I realize many of you are on holiday.  Is that, is the first week of July okay?  Courtney is saying no.  It's say major U.S. holiday.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  Oh, 4th of July.  So second week of July.  It.

>> CHAIR:  Voila!  As long as we don't make it 14 July.  I assume that that would not work.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  Fourteenth July doesn't work.

>> CHAIR:  What I suggest that we do is we can't make this decision.  I think what we have gathered from this discussion that having a few more days will be very valuable all around, and it won't cause very serious damage to our overall timeline, because the annual Forum is in December.  So Chengetai, I would like to suggest that you and the Secretariat consider alternative dates that don't fall on important national holidays and that you share that with the MAG for comment in the mailing list.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  Okay.  So it would be in July.  We are not looking at June anymore because a little bit more time especially in the evaluation period I think is good, and if we arrive at, if we go, if we start the MAG meeting already with an idea on how we are going to finalize these, I think that would be good as well.  So, yes, well do that.  Thank you.

>> CHAIR:  Thanks for that, Chengetai.  So just to recap, deadline for comments on the issues texts tomorrow.  Deadline for comments on the form in its current form, you can all access it on the website.  Please send Luis some comments.  He will distribute a new draft on Thursday or Friday.  And then at that point please only make comments if they are really, really important.  And then text for the call itself, the descriptive text, that will be distributed for comment also by the end of this week.

So we have enough time left, so if there are no questions on this topic, I would like to ask.


>> COURTNEY RADSCH:  When we are talking about moving, we are talking about moving the MAG meeting that we have originally scheduled for the three days in June now to mid-July?  I think that's really, really tough, and not really fair given that I think a lot of people have made plans already and those, kind of keeping those three days allocated for some pretty intense work, I know I'm going to find that extremely difficult.

I think it's important, we put those on the agenda so we could plan around those, so I think putting it into July in a year when so many people have been stuck indoors with COVID and might finally be able to be getting out on vacation and have made plans is maybe not the best idea.  And I did not hear that there is a consensus to move to July.  So I just think we need a little bit more discussion on that.

>> CHAIR:  Noted Courtney.  I think that it would be good to get input from more people on this.  And my proposal is that we do that in email.  I think it's, you know, there are different factors, obviously for people in the northern hemisphere, it is a holiday period.  It is not a holiday period for people in the southern hemisphere.  In fact, December, when the IGF takes place is the holiday for people in the southern hemisphere.  So I think what we should do is reach some kind of compromise on this.  I realize it's terrible to change these dates, but I think the quid pro quo is having to go into the meeting without the MAG feeling comfortable with the work being done on the evaluations.  I'm sure you are not the only person that has that concern, Courtney.

Chengetai, maybe what you can do is to distribute a doodle poll to MAG members that includes existing dates, because then if we see there really is critical mass for the existing dates, we’ll just have to work towards that.  That okay?

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  Yes, will do.  Yes.

>> CHAIR:  Thanks for and all of those points are noted.  Can I ask you to show the MAG members the different types of sessions? 

>> SECRETARIAT:  Thank you, Anriette.

So as agreed, we will all be introducing a couple of new types of sessions for this year's IGF, based also the previous experience.  I think that the members of the Working Groups on hybrid meetings and the workshops that look at this comment, it would be great if you could take a look hopefully by tomorrow so you can finalize the calls and texts for the website.  And so when it comes to the types of sessions in total you will see in this document ten types of different sessions and a couple of them are completely new and some are traditional sessions we have in the program.

So let's start from the beginning.  We have workshops.  I won't be spending much time especially on the sessions that are known to you, so workshop requirements are, of course, known to you, and what's pending here is the menu that needs to be updated and we need the Working Group to look at it.  After workshops, we have the Open Forums, again, traditional sessions that are organized usually by Government and the governmental organisations or exceptionally by international organisations with international scope and presence.

And that's all described in the Google Doc.  Then we have the networking sessions which we introduced last year at the IGF.  So we are going to advance the format a bit, but what these networking sessions would then be shown in the program and they would be suitable for instance social gatherings, or gatherings of people in organisations from political regions, stakeholder group or area of activity.

Sometimes, as you know, the IGF is approached for certain awards ceremonies to be hosted within the framework of the meeting, so the session could also get that location.  For instance, I'll just give an example of the ITU speaker program, they always have the award ceremony follows that session.

Then another form would be, we still need to think of a name and creative idea is most welcome on this, but a format that would fit presentations of our particular research or think tank work or book launches related to Internet Governance but also the IGF's thematic focus areas, and usually we would accommodate these sessions within the capacity of the meeting on the margins of the meeting.

So, for instance, whether it's before or after the formal hours or during the lunch slot, but in any case, not during the formal hours.  So at least now we are introducing transparency here and we can think because we will have additional roles if these sessions could be hosted during the network program sessions.

You see the time options.  There is a range from 20 minutes to 30, 45 or 60 minutes as the maximum.  The Secretariat will confirm the tools that we can offer, for instance, can we offer breakout rooms for the online participation part.  Webcast, description and interpretation, for now, interpretation and transcription is not an option.  Webcast is possible but needs to be confirmed.

The DC sessions, the Dynamic Coalition sessions, we don't need to spend a lot of time on this.  Near known concepts to the IGF for years.  We would offer different time options for DCs.  As you know, slid sessions were up to 90 minutes long.  Now, we will give options for 30 and 60 minutes long and hopefully that will free up space in the program which is consumed by longer 90 minute sessions.

I believe because we have 22DCs, usually around 16 or 17 on average to host sessions so we do expect that perhaps these sessions will take around 10% to 15% in developed programmes.  Again, webcast description, we did provide these traditionally for the DC sessions.  And I think from the tools and breakout rooms will be possible but to be further confirmed with the technical team. 

We have local specificities on what is Internet Governance thematic focus.  They are very similar in terms it of logistics for the DC sessions, but a very important difference is that they traditionally were 60 minutes long.  We can introduce offer maybe 30 minutes long sessions in case it doesn't work, but I think we will not be offering longer slots as for the DCs.

And then this is the Town Hall for type of session, sorry, is a completely new type we are introducing this year.  They are interactive sessions which are organized by organisations that have international scope and presence with operations across regions, so you can see the definition is quite similar to the Open Forum definition with that clear difference that the organizers are not Governments or intergovernmental organisations.

And that this should open hopefully options for those that do not fall under the IGO, so Governments that have important work, important subject matters to communicate to the global audience which is a relevance to everyone at the IGF.  So, I mean, I can give a couple of examples where we had in the past these types of requests such as, for example, Internet NGO jurisdiction were asking for a slot and because they would not qualify for Open Forum then they would request a lunch slot and that's something that we were able to give in some of the meetings depending on the capacity, but as you know, they don't fall under the formal program.  So hopefully this will remedy those requests.

We would offer between 45 and 60 minute slots here, and we do expect that around 10 to 15% of these types of sessions would be represented in the program throughout the four days of the meeting.  Similarly, in terms of the conditions for these sessions as for the Open Forums, we have breakout rooms.  We will able to offer webcast, yes, transcription, yes, and interpretation, no.

Then the new format, well, not completely new, but we are reintroducing something that successfully worked in 2016 17 so in Mexico and in Switzerland at the IGFs.  Those are the lightning talks, very brief, to the point, presentations on whatever the specific Internet Governance issue is. and I think and we will expand the definition of agree on specific issue related to IGF's thematic focus of the year.  The format options are up to the description of the organizer, can be presentations, can be interviews, can be free style speech.

The time options are quick, 20 30 minutes maximum.  We aim to have maybe around 10% of these, but perhaps the number will grow, we will see what is the demand and we can discuss together.  From the infrastructure, microphone is usually what these sessions ask for, and, of course, speakers, I think webcast transcription and interpretation is not an option for these sessions.

And then we have the additional day zero sessions, so that definition and description for those phase.  As these we would probably just introduce concrete time options which were not offered on the form previous years ranging from 30 minutes, 45 minutes up to 180 minutes depending on the capacity of the meeting.

Usually these sessions would be webcasted as they were in the past, but this year, again, it's subject to be confirmed, transcription and interpretation is not something that's offered by the host.

And then another new format are the capacity development sessions.  These are the sessions that usually the host, well, the organizers would organize.  So I know there will be a number of sessions, for instance, this year organized by the host country for young people in the form of webinars, but also in the form of onsite trainings or mentorship sessions during the IGF.  So I know that the host country will communicate on this to the MAG.

The IGF Secretariat is expanding its capacity development plan and it could be that well include some capacity development sessions hosted during the preparatory phase as well as the IGF meeting to be confirmed for a concrete plan.

So that's everything that I have.  I will share again the Google Doc link in the chat and go to the comments I was unable to mention.  Thank you.

>> CHAIR:  Thanks very much Anja.  And what we have done is just add one or two types of sessions, for example, capacity development sessions and the networking sessions and the purpose here is to really have the workshops be focused workshop sessions that address the main focus areas or cross cutting areas.  Any comments or questions?  We have got just under 15 minutes left.

And I don't see any.  And just to remind everyone, so when we put out the call, the invitation for proposals, the community will be able to select from all of these session types.  They won't automatically be directed to a workshop application form.  They will first have to consider whether they are doing a book launch or networking session before they go to the actual form.

  Gunela asked a question about captioning and transcription.  Transcription means that there is captioning and what is the other    Gunela is also making the comment in the chat that it's very important that the capacity development are captioned.  I don't see any other questions.  Please go ahead, Joyce. 

>> JOYCE CHEN:  Thanks, Anriette.  My question is on what if we had workshop proposals that may not be so suitable for workshop format but might be more suitable for some other type of session.  Does the MAG, is the MAG able to suggest that they be hold in I different format since we don't evaluate those other formats?

I'm confused about how this worked exactly.  The second question I have is who evaluates the pre-event proposals?  Is it also the MAG or I'm not that clear about that?  Thanks.

>> CHAIR:  So the answer is that MAG members only evaluate workshop sessions.  I'm not sure that that will be changed this year.  I suspect not.  Maybe they will be some adjustments.

We still need to discuss that, but I think at this point assume that MAG members only evaluate workshop proposals.  Pre-events go to the Secretariat as do Open Forums.  So we might, I'm not sure we can still ask the Working Group on workshop process to consider it and the Secretariat to consider it.  Maybe some of the networking sessions, you know, we might want to draw the MAG into looking at those, but the general principle has been that MAG members only evaluate workshop proposals.  And Joyce, in response to your first question, absolutely.  I think that if MAG members see a workshop proposal, and they feel it's actually in an Open Forum proposal disguised as a workshop proposal, they are entitled to send that back and suggest that the organizers request a different format.  So that's    that's one of the reasons why we want MAG members to be familiar with these different session types.

I think partly because MAG members have often found it difficult to deal with a workshop proposal that actually looks as if it's not really a workshop, it's people who are keen to share their work at the IGF, and they are doing that through a workshop rather than through the IGF Village, for example.  So we try to make it easier for people to be part of the IGF, and having the option for more diverse range of session types.

That's why it's important that MAG members do the evaluation in groups so that you can discuss that with one another.  If you, Joyce, feel that this workshop proposal would be better as a capacity development session, for example, you discuss that with fellow MAG members and then the Secretariat can communicate that proposal back to the organizers.  Does that help?

I see there is a point about conflict of interest.  I think that's important.  Do one of the past or the existing MAG members want to share how you have dealt with this in the past when a MAG member is conflicted?  It happens very often and the MAG has developed ways of dealing with this.  I invite any of the old MAG members to share how you have dealt with this. 

>> JUNE PARRIS:  Thank you very much.  This is June Parris, former MAG member.  I cannot exactly remember, but I know that there is an actual part in the evaluation form where you can pull it down and say you have a conflict of interest and you don't have to evaluate that workshop.

I think we had meetings prior to that and there was a lot of discussion about what we were able to evaluate, and Carlos, I'm not sure if you can remember about it, but we discussed it prior to the evaluation in meetings.  So we have, suppose you are involved with a group, you don't have to do that evaluation.  If you are part of that evaluation, you can say you have a conflict of interest, and then you don't have to do the evaluation.

>> CHAIR:  Yes, I think that's it, June, if anyone else wants to add.  Keep in mind that a MAG member may not always know because the proposals are anonymized when the MAG, but if you are aware of the proposal, the evaluation form you use to evaluate each proposal will give you the option to express conflict of interest and to abstain stain for to provide an explanation. Ben.

>> BEN WALLIS:  Just to add to that I think the general rule was if your organisation was involved in proposing a session, you should recuse yourself.  And what I would add to what June said is that it's important at the beginning of the two or three weeks that the MAG has to evaluate the process that the MAG members look through them at the start and recuse themself, because anything that's, that you can't do is going to have to be given to someone else you do.

Otherwise you end up with workshops that have been evaluated by fewer MAG members.  History shows that most MAG members do their evaluations in the day or two before the deadline.  We encouraged people last year to at least go through and screen the proposals and find any that they would be unable to do because of conflict of interest.  Thanks.

>> CHAIR:  Chengetai do you want to jump in there.

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  Thank you very much, Ben, I totally second that.  Once you receive it, you don't have to Mark them straight away, but just go through the list you have been assigned and indicate immediately to Luis if there are any conflict of interest issues and then he can reassign them.

>> CHAIR:  That's important because Luis also balances the load.  So he will reassign a new proposal to you if you have a conflict, and the one that you have a conflict with will be assigned to someone else.

I think that let me just close this with an action item.  I think what we also need to do, our priority now is to finalize the issue text and the form and the call text, and then we also need to finalize the criteria and the explanatory information, and we still have a little bit of time, but I want to reassure MAG members that before you start the evaluation, the Working Group on workshop process together with the Secretariat will review the procedure, the form and the guidelines.

So you will not go into the evaluation process without clear guidance.  So I want to reassure you.  We haven't updated those documents yet, they still have to be updated, but you will get very clear guidelines to take you through the evaluation process and we can also run an orientation session with the Working Group on workshop process for MAG members before the evaluation process begins.

It's time to close the meeting.  I don't see any further hands.  Are there any final comments or questions?  I have a feeling the MAG feels a little bit overwhelmed and intimidated by the next steps on the horizon, but, you know, as you have seen, we take this day by day and step by step, and we do get through it and we do achieve the necessary results.  As June is saying, it is quite scary, but really once you are in the process as you did with the text for the issues, once you start the process, it becomes so much clearer, it's taking the first step and plunging in.  And Carol, definitely, there will be a workshop not just for new members but for all MAG members on how a workshop evaluation can take this.  So I would like to thank everyone, again, thank the MAG for the work and the issue text and thank the Secretariat for all of their work and Luis for being so responsive with updating the form.  And thank you to the Working Groups.

We have really seen the value of the hybrid meetings Working Groups efforts and the Working Group strategy efforts because they have provided the inputs that have taken us this far.  The action item on the shifting, the possible shifting of the date of the June meeting is that the Secretariat will issue a doodle poll to get a sense if this is really realistic or not, and we’ll all do that in the near future.

I think that is it.  And any other matters?  Chengetai, anything from you?  Any closing remarks from you?

>> CHENGETAI MASANGO:  No, just thank you to you and thank you for, to everybody as well, and I think this was a very, very constructive meeting, and the next meeting is going to be on Tuesday, 4th of May, 1500 hours UTC.

>> CHAIR:  Thanks for that Chengetai.  Everyone, we will distribute by email the tasks that you have to prioritize in the coming days.  So thanks very much, everyone.  Thanks to our captioner and our observers for being with us.