National and Regional IGF Initiatives: Planning the IGF 2016 Substantive Session
- Virtual Meeting V: 19 April 2016 -
1. The fifth virtual planning meeting for the National and Regional IGF Initiatives’ (NRIs) Substantive Session at the IGF 2016, took place on 19 April 2016. It was hosted by Ms. Anja Gengo from the IGF Secretariat and jointly moderated with Ms. Marilyn Cade, MAG Member and facilitator of the planning process for the NRI substantive session at IGF 2016, invited by the MAG Chair. The agenda is attached to this document as Appendix A1 and a list of Meeting Participants as Appendix A2. Appendix A3 includes a list of other relevant documents.
2. Participants introduced themselves stating which NRI they are affiliated with, and asked to share any updates on their Initiative’s activities and future plans.
3. It was reminded that the first Open Consultations and MAG Meeting took place in Geneva from 4 to 6 April 2016, along with a note that the Meeting’s discussion reflected several times the work of the NRIs and the needs for enhancing support to the NRIs, which resulted in MAG members unanimously supporting that the substantive session at the IGF 2016 annual meeting will be a Main Session, even though other sessions may also incorporate NRIs. The concept of a booth in the IGF Village was discussed, as explained below in this Summary Report.
Opening remarks: Chair of the 2016 Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG)
4. The 2016 MAG Chair, Ms. Lynn St. Amour participated, at the invitation of Marilyn Cade and the IGF Secretariat. She opened the discussion by presenting the main remarks of the first Open Consultations and MAG Meeting, related to the NRIs, and noted her strong support for the important role of the NRIs.
5. The Chair pointed out that during the MAG Meeting there was a clear support for the work of the NRIs, as the network of IGF initiatives is very important for advancing the work on Internet governance at both the global and national/regional levels. The Chair noted that the reflection from the NRIs into the IGF planning is both welcomed, and essential to guide the IGF.
6. The Chair acknowledged that the need for better incorporation and leverage of the relationship between the NRIs and the IGF was recognized by the 2016 MAG members and it requires active work by all actors within the global IGF community. It was emphasized that within the new IGF’s 10-year mandate, support for NRIs from the IGF Secretariat and other sources are recognized as essential to strengthen the NRIs, and increase also the number of initiatives.
7. The NRIs were invited to actively join the Second Open Consultations and MAG Meeting that will be in the week of 11 July 2016. The obstacles for the majority of the coordinators/NRIs representatives not being able to attend in person was recognized, but the participants were invited to take active participation online or to gather the inputs that would like to be presented to the MAG in one document and submit to the Secretariat for further proceedings. It was suggested to organize a specific online participation contribution.
8. As the 2016 MAG is agreed that there is a need to continue last year’s project on Policy Options for Connecting the Next Billion (CNB), this was discussed related to the NRIs views and input. [2015 output document available on the IGF website, here]. It was emphasized that a suggestion was made during the last MAG Meeting to continue this work in a way of developing effective ideas and suggestions for making these proposed recommendations more relevant at the national or regional levels, with discussion for how national level change can be implemented.
9. The Chair pointed out that these suggestions were made during the Meeting in line with indicating that many national and regional IGF initiatives contributed to the 2015 work.
10. Participants were informed that the MAG is expecting a written proposals on the continuation of the CNB project to be submitted. The proposal will be a subject for commenting and the NRIs are invited, and welcomed to comment, in order to ensure that their views are incorporated in the follow on work related to Connecting the Next Billion – Phase II.
11. There was a discussion on the visibility of the NRIs during the annual IGF meeting. The Chair pointed out that the MAG’s intention was to make the NRI community more visible during the IGF meeting which is why the decision on having the IGF Initiatives organizing a main thematic session was fully supported. It was noted that other events might also occur, in addition to the main session, which was to be organized by the NRI Coordinators.
12. The Chair concluded her comments with further comments about the work of the NRIs as essential, and contributing to the fulfillment of the IGF’s mandate, and welcomed the NRIs’s contributions.
Briefing on the ‘Global Connect Initiative’ Event
13. Prior to the this Virtual Meeting, the Secretariat was informed that a recently concluded series of meetings - ‘Global Connect Initiative’ reflected the issues of connectivity and its challenges to the application to local level. In addition, the MAG Chair, Ms. Lynn St. Amour and MAG Member, Ms. Marilyn Cade were invited participants in these events.
14. As a participant in the two days’ sessions, Ms. Marilyn Cade offered to report on this to the NRI community. The item was added to the agenda and adopted unanimously by the Participants.
15. In her opening remarks, Ms. Marilyn Cade briefly explained the ‘Global Connect Initiative’ (GCI) and that it calls for actions for advancing the policy options for resolving the existing issues for population that are either unconnected or under connected. Marilyn invited all to consider the concept of under connected as also important, as improvements are made in connectivity, as well as understanding that capacity to fully use the Internet’s resources go beyond mere access.
16. GCI has now been endorsed by over 35 countries, and many companies who are not yet engaged in the IGF, representing new partnering opportunities for the NRIs and for the IGF overall. The output documents from the event were shared with the Participants. In line with this, it was suggested that it might be useful for the NRIs to meet their representatives of Governments for the purposes of becoming more visible and establishing potential partnerships. Marilyn offered to act as a interlocutor between the NRIs and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) who is a key organizer of the GCI. She noted that while not all NRIs will have IEEE members, many will, and suggested that the NRIs might want to welcome engagement with the IEEE contacts for the purposes of assisting on the issues of connectivity. As GCI evolves, Marilyn offered to continue to update the NRIs.
17. In the discussion, it was stressed out that it would be beneficial if the NRIs representatives could take more active participation in these and similar events and activities, so that they become more involved in the actual process of work plan shaping and decision making.
18. The majority of the Participants expressed their support for the above summarized content of the presentation.
IGF 2016 Substantive Session
19. It was noted that this Meeting is the first organized formal gathering of the representatives of the NRIs, to develop a meaningful timeline for the next months ahead of planning the NRIs’ Main Session at the IGF 2016.
20. This Meeting section was opened by the remarks from the Moderators that the goal is to think all together about the structure, content and methodology of the Session.
21. The Participants were once again reminded that the MAG Members agreed that the NRIs will have a main session during the IGF 2016, organized by the NRIs, and with some possible unique aspects from the standard guidelines and potential rules on main sessions. A Doodle poll will be used to both further develop the topics, format, and optimal date for the main session.
22. It was agreed that the leading principles in work on the organization of the main session are to share the experiences of the NRIs with the broader community.
23. Suggestions included asking the Secretariat’s assistance in creating a public survey for the NRIs coordinators to develop further suggestions of the NRIs for the structure of the session.
24. Another Participant raised the importance of establishing a set of principles around which the session will be build. It was emphasized that the planning process should be done on the existing foundation in terms of the work that has been done by now. Identifying some policy questions would be useful for streamlining the session content.
25. Some suggestions were made that the main session should be concentrated on exploring the ways for empowering the Initiatives, addressing the relationship between the national and regional IGFs and to identify what are the concrete action steps to be taken from now on.
26.Another recommendation was a concrete proposal for orienting the main session at the IGF 2016 to the presentations on the NRIs on the main topics that they are discussing in their respective communities which will help the global community to better understand what the challenges are at national or regional level for Internet Governance related issues. This proposal was welcomed by other participants on the call.
27. On the above proposals, it was added that it would be beneficial for all IGF participants, not only those that are affiliated with the NRIs, to have this unique opportunity of having direct input from the ongoing issues in every region, and to later map the differences. It will result in creating an image of how the world looks like today in reference to the Internet Governance challenges.
28. One participant said that this is a unique opportunity to strengthen the visibility of the linkages between the national and regional IGFs, and also the global IGF and was of opinion that the session should address this. Additionally, during the preparatory process it would be useful to have the NRIs achieve more visibility in the planning process.
29. At the end, a question regarding the organization of a focus Working Group that will be developing action plans for the main session at the IGF 2016, was raised. It was proposed to send out the public call through the NRIs mailing list where all NRI Coordinators/or their designees can join the group and contribute. The Group’s tasks should be clearly defined and supported by the IGF Secretariat. This proposal was fully supported by the Participants.
Organizing the NRIs Booth
30. It was reminded that the idea for organizing an NRI booth during the annual IGF meeting was raised and discussed last year. However, the NRI community agreed to leave this suggestion for this year’s meeting, as it was late to organize it for the IGF 2015. The moderators reminded on the above and invited the participants to discuss this idea.
31. It was noted that the aim of the booth is to create a place on the spot for the existing Initiatives to share ideas and best practices as well as for the newcomers to have unique place where they can go to ask for advice, experience and opinions. Those interested in collaborating are asked to advise the Secretariat and the Coordinators list, to gather all interested in working toward this goal.
32. The concerns were raised regarding the commitment of the coordinators to effectively spend the time at the booth and to create a set of material that could be distributed to the visitors. Because of these reasons, alternatives were suggested, as summarized below.
33. One alternative suggestion was to organize a 30 minute pop-up session [with a planned schedule] for the national and regional IGFs where the representatives could present their work.. The second, additional option would be to have a ‘Gathering Corner’ that will serve as a meeting point for all NRIs and those interested in their work, but it will not be a formal booth. It was suggested that Secretariat assistance would be useful regarding this. Some other comments were noted that some Initiatives might also seek to request an Open Forum, or propose workshops.
34. The Secretariat will summarize the key suggestions raised during the meeting. It was proposed that this discussion on this subject, should be continued during the next virtual meeting.
35. The Secretariat will reach out to very IGF initiatives’ coordinator individually to seek for inputs on the modalities for organizing the substantive session.
36. Next meeting: The Secretariat will distribute the Doodle poll for the members of the NRIs to cast the votes for the best time, during the week of 9 May.
37. The meeting summary will be distributed on Monday, 25 April.
38. Lastly, the Coordinator and Secretariat will explore the feasibility of a small, informal gathering for those that will attend the WSIS Meeting scheduled for the period of 2-6 May 2016 and the ICANN 56 Meeting schedule for the 27-30 Jun 2016. The polls will be distributed along with this email.
AGENDA: National and Regional IGF Initiatives: Planning the IGF 2016 Substantive Session, Virtual Meeting V: 19 April 2016
1. Welcome and Introduction
2. Feedback and Outcome: IGF 2016 First Open Consultations and MAG Meeting
3. Reporting from the 'Global Connect Initiative Event' and its implications for 'Connecting the Next Billion - Phase II'
4. Next Steps: Developing a Timeline of Activities
- Abdeldjalil Bachar Bong, IGF Sri Lanka
- Ali Hussain, IGF Pakistan (under formation)
- Anja Gengo, IGF Secretariat
- Brian Gutterman, IGF Secretariat
- Christine Arida, Arab IGF; North African IGF
- Eleonora Anna Mazzucchi, IGF Secretariat
- Fotjon Kosta, IGF Albania (under formation)
- Giacomo Mazzone, MAG member; EuroDIG; IGF Italy
- Julian Casasbueans, MAG member; Colombia IGF; LAC IGF
- Lynn St. Amour, MAG Chair
- Marilyn Cade, MAG member; IGF USA
- Michael Oghia, Turkey, observer
- Omar Mansoor Ansari, MAG member; IGF Afganistan (under formation)
- Sandra Hoferichter, EuroDIG
- Yannis Li, Asia Pacific regional IGF
- Yulia Morentes, Youth IGF movement
LIST OF SHARED DOCUMENTS:
- Global Connect Initiative: Road Map. Available here:
- Global Connect Initiative: Global Actions. Available here:
- Global Connect Initiative: Building Global Support. Available here:
- Policy Options for Connecting the Next Billion: output documents. Available here: