On Day 2 of the MAG meeting, the workshop evaluation groups reported back on their proposed final lists of workshops on the themes of data, environment, inclusion and trust. In total, the workshop evaluation groups have, provisionally, recommended 86 workshops for further consideration, but as this is more than at previous IGFs, and the format of the virtual IGF 2020 is not yet decided, the MAG agreed to defer contacting the proposers of workshops until it holds a call in the coming days to further discuss the format of the virtual IGF and whether such a large number of workshops is feasible.
The format of the virtual IGF may also affect the number of other session types at IGF 2020. By the deadline for requesting slots, the IGF Secretariat had received the following requests: 31 open forum applications, 45 day zero requests, 72 IGF village booth requests, 16 Dynamic Coalition requests, and seven NRI meeting requests. As many of the requesters had proposed sessions to take advantage of so many people being together in one physical location, some may want to reconsider, now that the conference will be fully virtual. All proposers will be approached in the next week to confirm their interests and propose how they plan to hold their sessions in an entirely virtual environment.
The MAG recognised that the number of sessions at previous IGFs had been limited by the number of physical rooms and space available – a restriction that doesn’t apply in the virtual space – but that “Zoom fatigue” could mean that sessions still need to be limited, to keep the attention of participants throughout the conference and maintain a clear focus on the four thematic areas agreed to by the community for IGF 2020 (data, environment, inclusion and trust).
There was also a suggestion that the MAG members create guidelines to help session organizers adapt their sessions to a fully virtual environment.
The MAG also briefly discussed proposals for main sessions, before breaking into smaller groups to brainstorm ideas for main sessions further. The groups will report back today, on the final day of their meeting.
Finally, UN DESA reported that as IGF 2020 would be a virtual meeting, with no host country, the UN would be acting as host, and in that capacity, would be organizing the high-level track for IGF 2020, as well as the opening and closing sessions. The MAG, and the wider multistakeholder community, will be kept informed of progress in organising these sessions.
Registration for this week's Open Consultations and MAG Meetings are open through to the end of the meetings on Friday.