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DCCG meeting 53

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. 

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DC COORDINATING MEETING #53

13 MAY 2021

11:00 UTC

 

>> MARKUS KUMMER: The main Agenda Item is the DC paper that we are supposed to prepare to look back what we have done in the past and also coupled up with recommendations for future work and the IGF plus model. So that will take a big chunk of our discussion and also look at the IGF this year and how we go about, and we have Anriette on the call. They did lead the discussion on that and say what they expect from the DCs, and I think with that, I would suggest that we get started.
Sorina, can you give us a little bit of an update on the survey which was a bit of homework for the DCs with many, many questions and the feedback wasn't that perfect, but nevertheless it wasn't that bad.

>> SORINA TELEANU: Thank you, Markus.  
Hello, everyone. We had a long survey with some 40 questions and many, many thanks to those DCs that have taken quite a lot of time to respond to those many questions. Out of the 22 active DCs or at least mentioned as active on the IGF website, we had responses from 14 of them, which is not that bad as Markus said it's not perfect either, but we got some very, very substantive responses.
I managed to go through them and try to synthesize them, I'm going to share with you the link to the synthesis in chat so you can take a look and then well tell you a bit more about some of the findings. Let me just share it.
All see the document itself with the responses is quite long because the survey itself was long. 40 questions and I tried to summarize main points. All see as you go through the document that I have tried to take out of your responses some points for further consideration whether we call them possible recommendations or considerations or whatever that is a matter for discussion, but as we will be sharing this review with all DCs, your further comments, suggestions and other points you might want to add to these points there are very much welcome.
So the summary of inputs is structured basically around the structure we had in the survey, looking first at how DCs work, what kind of objectives focus, modalities, governance structures, outputs and achievements they have. Then the second session was around the integration of Dynamic Coalitions into the IGF processes. First of all, how things are happening now, and then we asked for suggestions on how DCs should or could be further integrated into the whole discussion about future IGF plus or whatever else we might want to call it.
The text itself is not extremely consolidated in the sense that I have tried to put the main findings more as bullet points and key issues rather than sentences and paragraphs just to make it easier for you to see the main points. If you scroll through you will see at the end of each subsection, there is a small table with first the key findings and then the considerations or potential recommendations. I'll go through some of the points quickly, but then, again, we will share this with all of you and you will have time to read everything carefully and add your comments and suggestions.
So own the objectives and focus on DCs obviously there is wide diversity between the Coalitions, how they work and what they focus on. One thing I found interesting about how the coalitions work and that most of the coalitions, of course, experience challenges with the engagement of membership mostly due to the voluntary nature.
This applies for the 49 DCs that have responded to the survey. We will see how we get input from the rest. In terms of governance mechanisms, the key findings were that some DCs have written frameworks to govern work in terms of reference, charts, whatever names you use, but there are also many of them who function on a more or less ad hoc basis while being bound by the general DC guidelines.
There are various types of governance structures, coordinators, Chairs, steering Committees and the like. Some DCs run elections, others have more ad hoc processes for appointing Chairs or coordinator it's. And there are also some governance challenges which have mostly to do with voluntary nature of DCs, again, and the fact that whenever people are appointed to coordination, sometimes they don't deliver to what they initially commit to. And this was coming across from the responses of some DCs.
In terms of availability of resources, as you expect, most DCs carry their work on a completely voluntary basis, and as I have said already, this comes with challenges in terms of continuity and consistency of work when people come and go, but there are also a few DCs which benefit from support from various organisations and this support ranges from human resources to engaging the work to helping with administrative and more technical issues like providing website space or mailing lists if those have not been provided by the Secretariat. Most DCs do not benefit from any sort of funds.
Somewhere managed to secure some funds for activities such as production or translation of key documents, and most of you have said that you would benefit from some sort of funding, but you are unable to find it.
Going down to web resources, well, there has already been a discussion about the presence of the DC on the IGF website, and we still had some more or less suggestions in the survey. Basically saying that DCs would benefit from a bit more visibility on the website, and, again, a request from some of you to be able to edit your own spaces on the website, and that's something we should probably be taking over to a discussion with the Secretariat.
In terms of activities and outputs, findings, most of the DCs conducted work through mailing lists. Some hold more or less relation online meetings and a few have Working Groups to carry out certain activities. There's a lot of difference between the type of activities carried out between producing various documents, papers, reports, newsletters to hosting events, and a bit of a concern that I found across responses is that for some DCs, the main activity seems to be the session at the annual meeting and maybe as we go into discussing next steps, recommendations, suggestions or whatever we call them, we might want to look into what it actually means to be a DC, and what do we mean by the dynamic aspect of this name. If it's only the session at the annual IGF or if it should be more than that.
Outputs was the next section, and here, again, we have different experiences when it comes to whether, how often and what kind of outputs are being provided by coalitions. There are different examples of outputs, papers, studies, reports, policy guides, compilations of good practices or even statements put together by different DCs.
When it comes to how these outcouple documents are being drafted it's usually someone taking the lead whether it's the coordination, the Chair or people on the steering Committees, they tend to hold the pen and some DCs ask for input within the DCs, but there are also a few who are asking for broader input or comments on their documents from the larger community.
There are very few cases of coalitions which have written procedures on how they produce their outputs, and what was interesting though, I guess, again, expected was that many DCs felt that more needs though be done to promote the outputs both within and beyond the IGF ecosystem. Both by themselves, but also by the IGF Secretary and the Mac, and that's probably -- MAG, and that's something we may want to look into as we start discussing considerations and recommendations.
And also related was the section on impacts and achievements of the DCs. Some of them or most of them considered that the most significant impact is that they have managed to bring up some issues on the IGF agenda and those issues have stayed there over the years despite others coming and going. It was also interesting to see some coalitions indicating impact beyond the IGF, like the DC on children contribution to the elaboration of the General Comment 25 at the UN, and some other examples you might read throughout the document.
And that was the first broad section. Then looking at DC coordination, we asked you does you participate in the coordination call and how often and whether you find this useful. Most of you said yes, but there were also a few suggestions here. And one of them was to enable these meetings to also serve as some sort of opportunity for DCs to talk about their work and to get to know each other a bit better. So not only to think about coordination of how DCs are present, for example, at the meeting, but enabling these calls to act as some sort of a space for you to interact with each other around your work.
And then another recommendation from someone of you was to encourage more DCs to join these calls. So not only the ones that are here now and are usually in these calls. The other broad part of the survey was about the integration of DCs into the figure processes and starting with their participation in the annual meeting, you can see here that most coalitions hold their individual sessions at the IGF, and there is some general level of satisfaction with the presence of coalitions at the annual meeting, but there were also a few recommendations on how this could be improved., starting from better promoting the main session from a consideration to maybe offer more opportunities for DCs to make use of the annual meeting to advance their work beyond the dedicated sessions and for integrating DCs into other IGF elements as we will see a bit later when we talk about coordination with intersessional activities.
We asked you what make DCs stand out, and here we had wide range of responses starting from the expiration of emerging issues which is enabled by DC. The bottom up and the open nature and, of course, the independent nature of the IGF as key issues that make you different from all of these networks and Best Practice Forums, for example.
We also asked about potential cooperation with other IGF intersessional activities but also with NRIs, and some of you also gave examples of collaboration or contribution to other entities and processes outside of the IGF which was interesting and many thanks for all of you who provided those examples. The findings were on the one hand that DCs sometimes do collaborate with one another in joint sessions in the framework of IGF activities. Members of some DCs also being members of other coalitions. There were also a few examples of DCs contributing to Best Practice Forums and joining meetings. And many of you said that you would like more opportunities to contribute to the work of best practice forums and launch policy networks, but you also felt that this, of course, would mean that you allocate more resources to something which is, as we have seen before not something DCs really have since most of them rely on voluntary work.
And here we had quite a lot of recommendations coming out from the survey that you will see as you go through the piper from encouraging DCs to engage more often with one another and consider joint activities when relevant. From encouraging collaboration between DCs and the other IGF work streams by enabling more exchanges of information between each other and here one suggestion was to use some of this coordination calls to bring best practice forums or NRIs or policy networks into the meetings and allow them to present work a bit and see how DCs could contribute to their activities.
There was an idea of the MAG maybe acting as a bridge between these various work streams. I'll skip the part with relations with the Secretariat because most of you gave high scores. Thank you for that. With the relation with the MAG, we had a few questions around this. There was a bit of uncertainty around DCs as to how the MAG as a whole is seeing DCs and their contribution now and in the future into the IGF. So maybe that would deserve a bit more of a discussion with the MAG itself, and we will talk a little bit later on about the next steps in developing our paper and how we want to also reach out to the MAG and get input into all of this. The last section was about DCs and the future of the IGF and it was mostly about asking for your suggestions and recommendations. You will see them reflected in the document.
It was said in general that more can be done to enhance the presence of coalitions at the annual IGF and further integrate them into the annual program, and here again we had suggestions about more joint sessions between DCs and joint sessions between DCs, Best Practice Forums and policy networks. Fostering more connections between DCs and other sessions. For example, one suggestion was to encourage workshop organizers to look at the network of DCs and consider involving some of them in their sessions, and several other things which are in the document.
There was also a section about the potential for involvement of DCs in the planning of the annual IGF meetings, and here many responses indicated that, yes, it would be good to have the DCs a bit more involved in the planning process around an annual IGF. Suggestions were extremely diverse from inviting DCs to actively participate and contribute in MAG meetings to inviting them into the shaping of the main sessions beyond the main session that the DCs are organising.
And then the last part of the survey was about how DCs see themselves contributing to what was written in the roadmap for each cooperation and in other similar documents about focused, relevant, outcome oriented IGF. And reading some of the recommendations, you have put forward, what have I done with this table. Yes, you said having DCs more involved in the planning of IGF meetings may help with a more focused IGF. Having DCs themselves try to have more actionable outcomes. And some of you said, well, if we are going to discuss about how DCs could contribute more to all of these issues, we need to have a further discussion also about the relation between the MAG and the DCs and how this all should or should not be involving in the future.
I think I will stop here because, again, this is a long document, and I will never end, but well be sharing this with you for comments later on. And Markus, if you want to add anything. If not, I will take questions and I'm seeing comments in the chat.

>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much, Sorina and thank you to all of those who answered the survey. As we said, it was a lot of work, but I think there the result of it, it's a very substantive paper with lots of good ideas and many good points. One issue that struck me was the fact what Sorina said that quite a few DCs define themselves by the one session they have at the annual meeting. That is an issue of concern as this was early on a point brought up by some MAG members who felt it was not fair that DCs are given an automatic slot at the annual meeting whereas in order to have a workshop slot you have to go through a very onerous process, and you are being assessed against other proposals.
So this is, I think, something we really need to address and maybe make it a bit the criteria for getting a slot a little bit tighter that there is proof of intersessional work that has taken place. We are not talking about putting it through a MAG assessment process, but at least have some kind of checking whether the DC has actually done some work between the two annual meetings.
That's just a very initial comment after my first reading of the summary of the survey results. I don't know, Jutta, do you have anything to add before we throw open the floor?

>> JUTTA CROLL: I do think we can open the floor. Nothing to add at this point except a great congratulations to Sorina for the work she has done.

>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. Who would like to comment? Or ask questions? Any case, you will be given the opportunity to make written comments when we have also more time to digest.

>> AMY CROCKER: I can't find the hand so I'm using my real hand. I want to echo Sorina. I'm looking forward to reading it, but that sounded, and you presented it very clearly like a very, very interesting document that will give a lot of, will be a good roadmap for where we go. I just wanted to comment on to respond, Markus to your comment, the thing that struck you.
Again, I'm not new to the IGF, but I'm new to being involved in organising DCs and sessions, and one of the things I think it is difficult, it is problematic that DCs aren't more active throughout the year. I would sort of almost take a step back and say my internal reflection, and Jutta feel free to correct me, as the incoming Chair, I have very little control or influence about the membership of the group.
So if I get no response from people, I can't say, well, three strikes and you are out, for example. And I think that what really would be so important moving forward is to have some kind of expectation management, and expectations of participation in groups that were agreed among all DCs. Because it's not, I'm not making a judgment against any members of the coalition, but as he said, people are busy, they are doing this voluntarily, but I think to make DCs more dynamic, you need to understand and move with a membership base that is engaged. So that was a long way of saying I agree with you, but I also think we need to reflect upon the membership itself of the DCs.

>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. All good points. I think Sorina also made the point when she looked at the governance of each DC that they are very diverse governance structures and this also may be some merit in discussing what our best practices, what works well. And that could be part of the paper. There are two more hands up. Sivas, please.

>> I agree with the idea that DCs should have continuous activities and that DC coordination should assist if a certain coalition is active only at the IGF or during the IGF, but what is the method by which you could come to a conclusion that DC is inactive intersessionally, and does it imply that you will look for activity in the mailing list or does DC expect DC to have an intersessional event in a Regional IGF or a national IGF or in some of the Forum? Could you make it clear as to what counts as activity and what counts as an indicator and because even when you do that, if the definition, if the process of assessment is rigid, it may not suit all of the DCs as you have observed that each DC has its own method of working and DCs are diverse governance structures and methods of working.
So one, there needs to be some hints given to DCs as to what constitutes in your eyes activity that is intersessional, and, second, a certain degree of flexibility or manual attention or abstract attention by which you could look at all that DC does visibly and invisibly and take note that this DC though it does not conform to the rigid criteria laid down as an act of DC.
That's a little complex. Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. All very good points. I think this is something we would need to have to develop together. I mean, it's not up to any of us to lay down the law, but collectively, I think we can come to a conclusion. Yes, the mailing list is the very first element. Now, is it only just one person who posts on the mailing list and nobody else, or is there a real discussion taking place? Second one is does a DC have regular calls, for instance? Maybe one call is a year is not enough between the meetings or if you have quarterly call or whatever.
But, again, to cut a long story short, it's up to us collectively to define what are minimal criteria, and also, I think we agree with what you said that DCs are extremely diverse and we have to be flexible and take that into account and not be too rigid with whatever we recommend.
Elliot and Wout and Jutta.

>> ELLIOTT MANN: Thank you, Markus, and thank you Sorena for putting that together. It looks fantastic. I think my point is picking up what Amy was talking about earlier around the whole point of the DC. I think certainly from the youth coalition perspective, we have been very, very deliberately trying to shift from working only on the IGF to doing a lot more intersessional things and it's been a real struggle because as it turns out a lot of people like sitting on the mailing list and perhaps sharing news but not actually engaging in activities. So I think there is a real struggle, and there does need to be expectation management around what it means to be part of the DC, because while on the one hand it is fine for you to sit on the mailing list and share news, where there are opportunities to do more, it is good.
I mean, the DC in itself has a group of people interested in a single topic can do a lot more, I feel, than just one week at the IGF. And I'll say it was good to see that sort of our struggles with that are also reflected in the report with the other DCs, so it's somewhat comforting.

>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Wout.

>> WOUT DE NATRIS: I think you have commented enough on DCs activities and other activities that we will discuss that. So I won't give any examples that I had thought up during your talk on it. What I would like to propose and ask is a question to the others, because we, the DC on Internet standards, security and safety, we have three different Working Groups that at this point are all active. And one more than the other, but all three are working toward content. That means that that content needs to be checked, perhaps, validated at the IGF where it has the opportunity to discuss with experts that are not involved in the DC for whatever reason but whose opinions are necessary to get, and they will only be at the IGF and otherwise they usually don't respond.
So we need more than one hour to come up with potential content that wed are proposing to deliver at this point in time. So we need more than just the DC one hour. We should probably present with three different Working Groups. So there are all sorts of different ways to get more time at the IGF. And we are working on a workshop proposal, but that can be turned down, and if it's turned down, we don't get to the check the necessary content.
There is options for day zero. We will try that but perhaps more is needed to have some sort of a breakout session or have the opportunities to do serious interviews with people and that will be the only way we will arrive at the tangible outcomes that we are promising to have.
Am I the only dynamic or are we the only DC having this challenge? Or do more have it? And if so, how can we attract attention to this challenge because it is a challenge to get more time at the IGF than is usually allotted to the DC. So if people have ideas on that, then please discuss it and see if we can move forward together, perhaps with the help of Sorina who has already accumulated all of these sort of answers in this great report. Thank you for that, Sorina, and thank you for the opportunity to speak.

>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Wout, I think we can discuss your question under the next Agenda Item when Anriette wants to talk about what, how the DCs fit into the IGF 21 Anriette said that in the chat. She preempted my thoughts. Jutta.

>> JUTTA CROLL: I wanted to pick up two things with regard to the level of activity of DCs. What I understood from Amy's input was that we are somehow talking about the activity of members of the DC, and that makes a difference to the level of activity of the whole DC. We could have very active DCs who have real output, but it's based only on maybe 20% of their DC members while 80% of the members of the DC are completely inactive, but still it could be a very active DC.
And as far as I understand, there is no instrument that says, okay, if we have sleeping members that do not contribute, they are just out of the DC. So everybody, every organisation, every individual that applies to become a member of a DC needs to be accepted. That's the rule how I understood it. And so I do think that is on the one hand we have to solve the question or find an answer to the question what means active members or inactive members and then also we need to answer the question how we measure the activity of the DC itself.
And there has been some people now said okay, do we have a look whether they meet once a month, once in a quarter of a year? Do they have a call? Do they produce an output like minutes from the regular calls? Or do they produce like real output papers, documents? Can we measure that they have achieved some of their objectives and goals? Would that count as evidence for their level of activity? I do think there are several ideas in the room, and we don't have a correct answer right now.
The study will help us sort that out in a certain way, but I don't think the study can produce the answers alone. We need to discuss this with as much of the DCs as possible, and find a common sense in that way. Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Jutta. Yes, indeed. It's already very useful of the paper putting the questions on the table, and it allows us to discuss it in knowing what we are actually talking about. And also, there is quite a lot of comments in the chat. That also struck me in the paper, Sorina produced that all DCs have a majority met of members who are not particularly active, but who are interested and follow the work who are on the mailing list, who want to learn. There is nothing wrong with that either, and as Jutta just said, the idea of having open mailing list is a core principle for DCs so let's keep that and let's not turn that into a value judgment if many people are just observing what is happening.
Are there other questions or can we move on? I mean, we already had a very good initial discussion, and as I said, you will have the opportunity to also provide written feedback to Sorina to be integrated in a document which is a rolling document which will be improved as we go along, and enriched, I hope, by more contributions. Maybe when they see the first paper, those who have not responded to the questionnaire will feel motivated to contribute to the paper.
It is a rich paper, and it is good food for thought. Are there more comments on that or can we move onto the next Agenda Item. Sorina, will you maybe to conclude this, again, outline the process, what's next from now as we said? DCs will have an opportunity to contribute and then how does it move on. Please, Sorina?

>> SORINA TELEANU: Thank you, Markus.
If you remember when we started the discussion about the paper, we also put together some sort of a timeline. We are still okay with the timeline despite the deadline extension for the initial survey. So, yes, after this call, I will share the overview of the survey responses with the DCs and maybe give you until the end of next week, if that's okay with you, to go through it and add comments. If you feel you need more time, that's fine, we can add maybe a few more days as well. And then in our plan, we had two other elements that were meant to help us gather more input for the paper.
One was to maybe sit and have one-on-one discussions with DCs in what we called back then interviews and the other one was also launch a sort of an open survey in which well try to get input from MAG members and the broader IGF community on how they see DCs and their integration into the IGF processes. So these are two other things we will be doing, but the first one is to get input on this document which, again, will be shared with you after this call. Thanks.

>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Sorina. Are there any last questions, comments on this issue? Now is your chance. If not, then we move on. We go to the place of the DCs in the 21 meeting. We are very happy to have Anriette on the call who is the best placed person to discuss that with us Anriette as the MAG Chair. Can you give us guidance?  

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: I'm going to switch my camera off, just greeting you. My connectivity has been terrible. So it's really great to see the survey results and it was a long survey, but I think it certainly has shown, you know, that there is a lot of substance to the responses. And I'll just, I will -- what I want to talk to you about, and in fact I wasn't sure there would be time, but seeing that we have a bit of time, I'm speaking here really from a MAG perspective. To some extent what I'm saying might address some of those concerns about relations with the MAG, which is survey response indicates.
I think it's interesting to see because from the MAG perspective there is uncertainty about how to relate to DCs because DCs unlike Best Practice Forums are seen to be independent of the MAG. So I think that if the MAG comes across as being quite standoffish, or not that interested in DCs, I think that's at least in part informed by a sense that the MAG feels it's not really appropriate for them to be too involved in DCs, but, of course, interest is always good.
But just to get back to what I wanted to talk to you about, during 2020, in part in response to the IGF plus discussion, but also through a body of work that was done by a MAG Working Group called the Working Group on strategy, IGF strategy and strengthening. A set of recommendations emerged, and two of those are, I think, quite relevant to DCs, and I want to discuss that today.
So one of those was that the IGF needs to have a more focused agenda. So, in other words, cover fewer topics in more depth. So that's not at the expense of being open inclusive, but towards the goal of producing, using the inclusiveness of the IGF, but to be more output oriented in how it treats issues. The other recommendation was that there should be closer integration with the intersessional modalities, and just closer collaboration with them as well.
So linked to this was the recommendation that IGF program content should be more issue specific focused on specific issues rather than just be bold around broad themes, and then also that DCs and other, NRIs, other intersessional modalities should be given the opportunity to comment on and reflect on those issues from their particular perspective because the richness of the DCs is that they present people working on different issues, different areas, different communities of practice or different stakeholder interests.
And that's what we need to work out now. How do we find a way of inviting on a voluntary basis, that's the proposal any way, for DCs to lack at what the IGF is going to focus on in terms of content, and then to ask them to reflect on that or to organize a discussion on that or to send a comment on that. I think the fear here is that it shouldn't be done in a way that in any way undermines the independence, the autonomy of DCs. The idea is to really take that diversity or perspective that DCs represent and apply that to the content areas that the IGF is focusing on.
I'm not sure that if you are all aware, but this year the MAG has decided on two main issue focus areas, and on four cross cutting areas. So those two main areas just in shorthand are economic and social inclusion and rights, and the second one is universal access, universal meaningful access.
And then the cross-cutting issues are trust and security and stability, digital cooperation, and inclusive governance. That's one area. And then environmental sustainability and climate change, and Sorina, what was the other one that I have just forgotten? I'm just pulling it out. I have it in front of me. Emerging regulation. That was a very big one. It's one that I think many of the DCs are actually touching on, emerging regulation, market structure, content regulation, data governance and also consumer rights.
So that's really the background to this and listening to what you are saying here, and I think perhaps we can use this call to DCs to also address some of the concerns that the survey highlighted. The one thing that we would like to do this year, there will be a preparatory online phase for IGF 2021. And in fact during 2020 the consultants working on the Best Practice Forums, and I think this might be similar to something DCs experience, they said they felt that when they have that session at the annual IGF, instead of that session feeling like a culmination of a year's worth of intersessional work, that session actually to them feels like the beginning of a year's worth of intersessional work, because that's often the first time that you get substantive discussion on an output document.
So what the BPF has proposed last year is they think it might be useful to have an intersessional event, like a one-day session midyear or in any case, it doesn't matter when so much, but longish, several months before the annual IGF where they come together and discuss what they have done and assess progress, look at the research if there is research that's been done and get feedback on that.
That can then feed into the final output document or the final draft output document that is fed to the annual event. So one thing I was wondering, and just a few ideas, I wonder if it would be useful, perhaps, for DCs to also be encouraged or even for it to be a requirement, but even if it's not a hard requirement, an expectation that they convene at least one online discussion per year prior to the annual IGF. So that's one thing.
This year if we do that, that can also then be used to get DC input on the IGF issue focus. There is a short document, which is kind of an IGF 2021 premeeting guide that outlines these issues and what the MAG thinks about them. And there are sort of policy questions for eave each of the issues. So DCs could pick some of those and decide which are relevant to them, discuss them, and then document the outcome of that discussion and that could then feed into the planning of the IGF. So that's one option, but I really would like your feedback on how we can do that, how we can get DCs to get more involved in the thinking and the preparatory discussion of these issue themes and issue areas which can then feed into the main event.
The other thought I had listening to Sorina's report was also on promotion of outputs, you know, it's, Sorina, you were saying that there is an expectation that more should be done, and maybe that can actually be used to incentivize more activity as well. You know, if the Secretariat does do more though promote outputs, that can then be used as a kind of a filter in a way to saying, yes, send us your outputs, we will promote them. And that might create a little bit more friendly pressure on DCs to actually produce outputs.
But, yes, I think that's really all I have to say at this point. I would like your feedback on firstly do you think it is welcome or helpful for DCs to be invited to reflect on and provide perspectives on the IGF focus areas during the preparatory phase, and if so, in what way do you think would be most useful? And the second question is seeing as we are having this preparatory phase this year which will consist of online events, and some capacity building events, some of them discussion on the content areas, some of them will be regional, do you think it would work or could work to invite DCs to also participate in or organize events during this prop fore phase. Thanks, Markus. I'm sorry I was so long.

>> MARKUS KUMMER: Don't apologize at all. That was very helpful, and I think I see in the chat already quite a few positive reactions to this idea of having the DCs into the preparatory phase. That's also made me think when we had the discussion in Berlin that we had quite a few DCs who said we should actually work also together closer on substantive issues and have substantive discussion. That came across the survey feedback.
But that's just the very initial reaction and Michael would like to go into more detail, please, Michael.

>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Excellent job with the survey. We really have been needing to do that a long time, I think it actually helps to illustrate in my opinion at least since I have been involved since 2015 how far along we have come as a group and as kind of our own kind of wing or our own component of the IGF. And everything that you have said, Anriette, thank you for being here and for understanding how valuable the DC inputs can be.
I really agree with, I love the idea, as I said in the chat, with what you said about having this kind of intersessional session in the middle of the year. I think that's a great idea just to kind of see how we can bring it together, and as DCs who are part of the intersessional program, I think it's very valuable that DCs be a part of that.
I just want to also address a bit of potentially the conflict between the DCs and the MAG or I love how you put it, more like the MAG doesn't necessarily want to get involved so much with our work given the inherent understanding or the tacit understanding that DCs work independently.
Without trying to sound like I want to have the best of both worlds, I think something to recognize in that kind of gray zone in between is that having DC independence is so important because there are so many topics of discussion or so many Internet Governance or Internet policy related issues that fall under the wider umbrella of the IGF, but don't necessarily get the same amount of time or the same amount of discussion, and that's fine. To me that's why the DCs exist.
It's to help bring in those policy perspectives and bring in those individuals. On top of all of that, I think for me in terms of our interaction with the MAG, I think that the best way to see it is a mutual understanding of added value that obviously the MAG is adding value to how the program is structured, understanding what are the major issues, whereas the DCs to me provide a lot of esoteric or nuanced discussion about maybe more specific topics in addition to expertise that could then be drawn upon to help make sure that we have more nuanced discussions, more expertise where it may not have been held otherwise. I think we need to frame it less as competitive, which has been done or maybe as somewhat, I think it's been framed in the past a little bit more kind of head butting I can't think of the word off the top of my head.
But I think, perhaps, we should see it more as a win/win, that the MAG has this agenda, and this idea how to move forward. The DCs are one of the perfect places to draw from in terms of expertise, nuanced approaches, et cetera, et cetera. I think we need to all make sure that we are moving things along that line, because then it will be beneficial to everyone. I hope that resonates with everyone. Please feel free to disagree with how I'm approaching this.

>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. It's very good to be in a positive mood and to see a win/win situation. And Olivier, welcome, welcome, late but not too late, and I see you put a yes in. Other comments. Wout, please.

>> WOUT DE NATRIS: Can you hear me? Thank you, Anriette, for many suggestions and Michael for the extensive reaction to that. I think that having the intersessional meetings would be a great value because that brings attention to the different DCs and the best practice fora in the first place. So it's, that would be it tremendous value.
The other point is do we get the input we need from the session like that, and that we can't predict at this point in time. So coming back to my point and the actual IGF, I think that for my, it will be the opportunity to test outcomes, and weapon, and that can only be done with experts. And people at the IGF could be invited to discuss it with us. While they may not show up at an intermediate session because they are a member, they are maybe not even aware of the work of the DC, well, at the IGF, most people become extremely focused only on IGF and then they leave again.
So usually the option to get information you need is the IGF, and that is something that I think needs to be taken into account, and I'm very, very convinced that we need this time at the IGF to get potential outcomes that we are promising.
So without laying major claims on time, there will be the necessity to have some in four or five days that we have dependent on how things will go over the next couple of months. But that's something which I would like to put to the group to see can we find a way around that that there is a room for DCs where they can have breakout sessions, for example.
So that, I will leave it at that for now, and I'm sure that we will come back to it in the coming months. Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Wout.   

>> MARK CARVELL: Thank you, Markus. And thank you, Anriette for giving your thoughts. I have talked in the past about the IGF changing, and I come, I do that with a lot of background from my previous role in Government and, you know, how Ministers and senior officials want to see fundamental change in the IGF and the high level panel report and the roadmap is setting out a very good constructive course for creating those changes in terms of especially more meaningful outcomes and impacts and strategic multiyear planning are really part of that.
DCs are, I think, considered by many as moving much more centre stage while retaining their independence and voluntary association, if you like but in a much more integrated way without cracking whips or setting hard rules, but still with respect for the general thrust of much more integrated IGF activity.
So at this intersessional coming together I think is very useful in, as an opportunity to look at this in terms of themes and policy questions which the MAG has worked on and identified. So I think it's a good, very good idea. And the other thought that occurs to me is that it actually may identify gaps.
Such a meeting may alert people to perhaps that policy question could be usefully served with establishing a new DC. So it might actually contribute to the process of renewal of coalitions and emergence of new coalitions.
I'm not suggesting that new proposals for recognized coalitions hinge on adherence to policy direction or whatever, I'm not suggesting that, but it just may actually help create coalitions that will actually then be integrated in a much more year-round IGF approach, which I think is what the UN panel and the roadmap is basically saying, the IGF should become much more year-round in its scope of activities. So those are my initial thoughts if that's helpful. Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. It's all helpful. I think we had a very good discussion on that, and I can take it that in response to you, Anriette, the DCs would be on board for such an intersessional event and not, I would even say enthusiastically on board. And I think that's a very positive outcome of today's call.
We have, the agenda is gone, these were the two main issues on the agenda. We also had the first time the issue on the dispute resolution mechanism, but we don't have time to discuss that now, and I suggest taking that up in the broader context of DC governance. We already heard from Sorina there that there are quite a few responses and discussion, we had initial discussion on DC governance, internal governance, and then also dispute resolution mechanism could be part if we take it up on the way looking forward, if you take it up there and we discuss the DC paper.
Is there anything else or any other business we need to address Sorina? You may have the best overview.

>> SORINA TELEANU: Nothing from me.

>> MARKUS KUMMER: Anriette, anything we should need to address or can we have concluding thoughts.

>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: This concluding thought is this call has made me aware of an oversight on behalf of the Working Group strategy. The Working Group strategy should send its recommendations to DCs for discussion. So I will definitely contact the Co-Chairs and follow up on that. No. I think, Markus, thanks for the feedback from everyone here. I think the next step for me would be to talk with the MAG about how to come up with a more concrete proposal which we then, I think, develop further with you, and I think maybe what we are seeing here, you know, in response to Michael's points and the other points is an opportunity to organize this intersessional activity focusing on the issues of IGF 2021 as a collaborative activity between the MAG and the DCs.
So I think it's a good opportunity to overcome that gray vacuum that Michael was talking about. And I think for the DCs to rest assured that the intention is not to impose anything on them. I think that's really a key concern for the Secretariat, for the MAG and for myself, whatever we do as follow-up will be run by you first. Thanks, Markus.

>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you very much, Anriette. I have nothing to add from my end. I want Jutta as the co-facilitator, do you have any concluding remarks?

>> JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Markus, for giving me the floor. I just can conclude that this was a very productive call, and really interesting discussion not only by words but also in the chat, and I do think we have made a major step forward to defining the role of the DCs in the annual meeting. Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. Thank you all.
With that, I conclude the call. Thank you. Bye-bye. And take care.
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