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IGF 2017 - Day 4 - Room XXI - OF86 Memory and Documentation in Internet Governance: The Challenge of Building Collections

 

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Geneva, Switzerland, from 17 to 21 December 2017. 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 to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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>> HARTMUT GLASER: Good morning, everyone.  Let's start.  You can stay here.  You don't need to go.  We are not so many participants.  Probably we can sit more in the middle, sit together, I think.  You can have interaction.  I invite you to come in the middle here please.  If you don't like my invitation, I have a sweet bon bon for you.  Please.

Okay. It's a great pleasure for me to be here and open the session about open forum on collection and documentation processes.  It's of great importance of the memory and research for our internet governance history.  My name is Hartmut Glaser.  I work for CPI in Brazil.  It's the organization who coordinates in Brazil, and we work for the participation model.  IBR is what was created promoting different products that seek production and information about different aspects of Internet Governance.  To the work of our departments, we like to name them centers, study centers, how they integrate the Brazilian network center.  CBI is responsible for producing and publishing technical manual statistics studies, education materials about information and communication technologies.  It's a very important part of the work conducted by NBR and the major part is made available as an open access fashion.

We propose this open forum to present recent initiative being developed under CGIBR and Internet Governance collection.  Jean Santos, who is one of our speakers, part of the advisory team that works together with us, will handle this presentation.  But we also invite two other people to be here with us to present very important initiatives for the field.  We have, we asked Susan Chalmers from NCIA to present the France IGF project which tries to preserve all the memory of our IGF meetings, and also to talk about the documentation process that organize everything produced in the context of ICANN, the internet corporation for assigning names and numbers, we have gone Ron da Silva, one of the ICANN board members.

Each of them will have ten minutes, and then discussion with the audience.  Susan, please, y'all go first.  Then we have Ron and Jean.  Please.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Hartmut.  It's a pleasure to be here with everyone this morning.  Good morning.  So, my name is Susan and I'm going to talk about the friends of the IGF project.  The friends of the IGF project is a grassroots effort to increase public access to over ten years of IGF discussions on Internet Governance and policy issues.  The core element of our project is friends of the IGF.org and it is a living archive of IGF discussions.  So, that website features a searchable database of found transcripts, videos, agendas and reports from IGF events stretching back to the very first IGF in Athens in 2006.  So, just a little in the way of history of friendsoftheIGF.org.  Why did we begin this website?  Well, it was about 2013 and there was a discussion amongst members of the multistakeholder advisory group at the IGF about how to continue to implement improvements to the IGF based upon recommendations of the working group on IGF improvements.

And we all saw that there was something that was missing in the way of access to previous discussions.  So, so often, the MAG had said, well, we like to encourage new faces.  We'd like to come to the IGF.  We want to bring in new people, new ideas, but really, part of being able to do that successfully is to help enable these new faces understand what the IGF is about.  So a few of us got together to put the transcripts and videos in one place.  So, previously, this had not been done.  So there were different parts of the web.  Some weren't online.  So, we undertook this effort and it was an open effort, anybody could help join the cause, to find all of these really, truly valuable pieces of Internet Governance history.

So, over the course of a few years and a lot of virtual meetings, and a lot of volunteer effort, we were able to create a website that served this basic function.  And so, around two years ago, CGI.BR became the Secretariat for this very important project.  And where we are now is that we have a renewed website.  It's at beta.friendsoftheIGF.org.  So, we have now built a capability which will enable different IGF initiatives, national, regional, subregional, to be able to upload their content into the archive.  And really, the vision here is to create a state of the art archival databases, but more importantly, this is a project to have that be sustainable by the stakeholder community.  So, we are looking in this next year moving ahead now that we have built a new website to be able to encourage other folks to support it whether through in kind donations or volunteer time and to help spread the word.  So, I think the ultimate, when we can get there, hopefully, but the real vision is, if you have a living archive of IGF discussions that is translatable, that is open to text and data mining with semantic search, just think about all of the insights that we could glean from having that information available to us.

And to have it be open and never treated in a commercial way.  And so, that's basically, that's where we are right now.  And so, we would invite you to join us going forward, and help support the effort.  Thank you.

>> HARMUT GLASER: We will have time for questions later, but I now invite Ron to introduce what ICANN is doing.

>> RON DA SILVA: Excellent.  Thank you.  It's rather an interesting crowd we have this morning.  It's a bit mismatched with the size room we have here.  Thank you for those of you that gathered here in the middle to make it feel a little bit more intimate.  I like this, rather than it being vacuous with lots of space and lots of air.  Anyway, I'm Ron da Silva, CEO of Network Technologies Global.  Also a member of the Board of ICANN, and I'm here to share about the information transparency initiative undergoing at ICANN.

And I have slides.  I think we'll bring them up here in just a second.

>> One more?

>> RON DA SILVA: Well, I can't see.  (laughter).  There you go.  So, why is this important to ICANN?  You know, ICANN has an enormous repository of data that it's ‑‑ thank you.  My mic decided to turn itself off.  I was saying, so, ICANN's got an enormous repository of content that it's accumulated over 20 years.  And, why is this important?  Well, today, it is all pretty much buried under a number of different web presents, or web identities.  Different websites, not just the ICANN.org website but all the different constituencies, all the HNOFCs each have their own website as well.  You've got additional content that's been accumulated over 20 years.  So, there's this huge trough of data available, and the challenge is, it's not very well indexed.  It's extremely difficult to find things that, you know, go across many years of different content, whether that's a presentation, like a PowerPoint or a PDF, or a Word document, or a transcript from a live meeting, or an audio clip from a meeting, or video or other media.

There's so many different types of content that is saved in 20 years of accumulation through the various different web interfaces of the organization that, you know, finding something of interest is a bit of a challenge.  And that's complicated even further when you consider there are six different languages supported officially for all of this content, and many of it may be produced in a subset of those languages, or perhaps all of those languages.  And not having an easy way to, based on a language preference, to research, retrieve, and be able to easily access content, is really a challenge.  Next slide, please.

So, this content is really at risk.  The content is only valuable, this data is only useful if it can be retrieved, if there's something somebody needs to find.  If you're looking for a particular piece of data from one year or another year or one topic or another topic, if it's there, but inaccessible or indexed in a way that it is not retrievable efficiently, then that content really becomes useless.  And that's really concerning for us as a community.

There is a document management system in place, but it is, you know, clearly lacking in a few key things.  It doesn't have sufficient mechanisms to label, and to then organize so that it can be quickly and easily retrieved.  Next slide, please.  This particularly comes to the forefront of the attention of the organization in response to the accountability and transparency mandates as part of the transition.  And, you know, the organization has really taken it to heart that in order to be transparent and to be accountable for the different activities that the organization is doing or the community is doing, that we need to have easy, accessible, visible access to all of this content and all of this data.  So, this is, you know, part of what's motivating, besides just a basic need that we've heard from the community of having access to the content in a good and easy framework, we also feel compelled as part of our mandate and our mission to be accountable, to be transparent to the community.

So, that's another motivation here.  Next slide.  Good.  Thank you.  So, to enforce, to make this possible, it's not as simple as changing the website.  That is just ‑‑ or changing the websites.  There's a dozen and a half different websites in existence.  It's not as straightforward as simply changing how you look at the content.  The challenge for the organization is, we need to have an enforceable governance model on how content is created and how it is described and labeled.  And that points more towards the need for changed workflows, changed processes.  Really 80 percent of this initiative is focused inwardly on, how do we ensure documents are routed through a standard and repeatable process that, once we have new tagging mechanisms, new metadata, new information to make it retrievable, we need to make sure there's discipline in place so that documents ‑‑ not just historical documents, that's one thing to relabel old things, but new documents are created in a way that's correctly and accurately tagged in a way that future proofs content going forward.  Next slide, please.

So, there's a lot of content.  We have over 100,000 pieces of published content across these different brands, and, you know, this is going to continue to grow as we, every time, have a meeting, have a call, produce a presentation, send out emails, send out newsletters, all these things multiplied by different languages.  It's 25 to 30 percent per year is what we're seeing as a growth trajectory on the number of unique pieces of content that needs to be managed.  Next slide.

So, I talked about the need for governance.  There are really these two elements.  One, having an architecture that can support it.  But, then, secondly, having the discipline around tagging those documents across different languages.  Next slide.  There will be some changes to the external presentation.  There's significant expense to the organization today, maintaining a dozen and a half or so different websites, and the publishing discipline around those websites and the framework and the different layouts and how we're supporting those from a Cloud standpoint varies significantly, so certainly there's some opportunities to get some opportunities and consistencies across different brands, and get some savings around that.  But the bulk of the work, like I said earlier, is really internally focused in making sure that as things are produced, as things are created, it goes through a consistent, predictable methodology to tag documents, tag media and catalog it and save it in a way that is, going forward, no longer this, you know, gigantic, disorganized collection of data, but it's a structured and well‑indexed and retrievable set of data.

Next slide.  We're going to jump one more.  A bit of redundancy here.  So, what is the information transparency initiative?  It's exactly what I was describing.  It is this effort, not to create a new website, but to create a new document management system where documents are better cataloged, organized, indexed across multiple languages.  And then whatever front end website we put out to the external‑facing side of the organization, that would be much easier than to leverage this new scalable, hierarchical document storage system.  Last slide.  So, motivators.  Why is the organization undertaking this?  It's going to improve transparency.  The quality of the content is going to go up.  It is actually an improvement on cost.

We've looked at financials over the next few years, and maintaining these discreet web properties as well as this disorganized set of assets has a significant cost to maintain, and it's actually a great financial savings to the organization over a number of years.  We're excited about that.  I chair the finance committee, so I'm particularly excited about that.

It ensures future‑proofing of the content and lays a good foundation for our ecosystem which is across multiple languages, multiple cultures, and distributed over the entire world.  And lastly, like I said earlier, we feel in order to meet the transparency and accountability mechanisms that is a mandate for the organization, this is just one element in what we're doing in order to achieve that.  So, thank you.

>> HARMUT GLASER: Thank you, Ron.  Now, we will have the third speaker.  The questions will be after the three presentations.

(speaker too far from microphone to hear)

(laughter)

>> I thought that the whole game of the internet was about classification of information and about search engine, and now I discover that the very organization which claim to bring the universal information, universal library to mankind have severe problems of their own about sorting their own information.  So why not turn IGF into SEGF, Search Engine Governance Forum.  I think that would be a great step forward for the world of information.  Thank you.

>> HARMUT GLASER: Thank you.  Now, the third speaker will introduce some information coming from CGI.  Jean Carlos, please.

>> JEAN C. F. SANTOS: Good morning, everyone.  Thank you for your presence here.  My name is Jean.  I'm part of CGI.BR administrator team.  The main goal is to foster initiatives related to documents, organization information and governance fuel.  CGI.BR is a collection focused on Internet Governance.  The project is quite new, but is now becoming more confident.  The organization talks about the many aspects of the project in this collection.  The creation of the center both physical and digital with relevant information to research, policy making, and other interesting aspects of Internet Governance.  Our focus is to bring together collection in a single place, both physical and digital.  So as it can support researchers and everyone in the feud, we are developing a collection comprised of books, technical manuals, journals, and multimedia materials.  The main goal is that this become a collection of references and research for Internet Governance.  I'm seeking the fundamental materials of Internet Governance, based on some criterias like importance to tracts, subjects and events organizing the field, academic studies, documents, papers and others one of the most important phases of the project was the assessment of alternative and adoptions of software to help organize the collection to make them available publicly, since the criteria is that it be an open source, too.  Not only because of the cost involved, but mainly because of the opportunity for interoperability standards.

One of our main tools of the main development until now was the implementation of Softer to catalog materials and put the information available.  Coha is a software that fulfills those functions.  It manages the libraries in an integrated manner.  It supports the major part of library's central online catalog with searching functions, classification, permissions management, circulation, acquisitions, reporters, journals.  Our proposal is to use that tool to aid in a search in a vast collection with diverse information search bibliographic.  Management fields as well as information to all materials provided by NIC.br and CGI.br.  The goal is to have all the projects, services, and materials in a collection interface with integrated search.  By now, we focus on the prospection of financial and internationally adequate tool.  A safe space that manages digital collections with a variety of other functionalities among diverse materials such as audio visual and visual organization, being supported by sessional archiving institutes, and others.  So, as to collect bibliographic metadata.  Tools like that, repositories.  For example, office of statistics about use of this collection.

One of our focuses is to establish a corporation with other organizations like research groups and others.  For example, in the exchange publications, there is in Latin America traditions with cultural networks among librarians and information centers.  We have been sending our main ideas to different institutions like research groups like Brazil, want to build a network offering informations among these organizations.  Among the next steps for the projects development, there is an idea of making a call for community to include to collect recommendations and to be considered in the development of the collections.  There was specific titles, materials.  People consider them relevant for the collection.

So, some points with challenges in this process.  We'd like to close this talk describing some challenges we consider crucial for this debate.  There are several other challenges, but our perspective, some of the challenges in our organization for information is that the field of Internet Governance is complex.  Some challenges, like standards, semantics, controlled vocabularies, introduction of database for information retrieving improvement.

One of the points we have observed is a great number of materials related to Internet Governance, such digital books and reports, do not carry a unique identifier.  For example, international standard book number or international standard serial number and others.  That is the challenge of feeding the database with materials as well as, and mainly with metadata linked to those materials.  Multimedia materials.  There is a huge production of these materials.  How to think about documentation and memory when taking account of multimedia materials such as images and videos.

It is common nowadays to start visual ‑‑ such as YouTube.  What are the standard practices for memory preservation and integrity in this field?  So, my role in the CGI team is to provide solution for enable CGI to put together the different things to have.  But I do not do alone.  I do it in the context of the activities by CGI.br other team.

So, my colleagues here join today the discussion we have now.  Thank you.

>> HARTMUT GLASER: Thank you, Jean Carlos.  After the speeches from Susan and Ron and Carlos, giving us an idea what we need to do.  Probably hard work before us, because it's very, in the beginning, we need to listen to you to see if you have comments, contributions, proposals.  So, now, I will open the floor for comments, proposals, questions.  We have some time for interaction.  Please use the time that you have now.  Please.  Let's start with Litu, and then behind.

>> Thank you.  Litu Uara, also with ICANN Board.  I would like to add a comment to what Ron had said.  In a parallel and ongoing project within ICANN, as an initiative from former chairman Steve Crocker, ICANN is also carrying out the ICANN history project, which is already on the web page.  So, in order to say for the history, the origins of the ICANN itself.  So that's another piece we can look at.  Thank you.

>> HARMUT GLASER: Thank you.

>> TOM MACKENZIE: Hello.  Tom Mackenzie from ICANN International in Paris.  This is a subject which I find particularly interesting, having just co‑authored two ICANN independent reviews.  And so, as independent reviewers, coming in from the outside, we have to borrow into the archives of all the data that's put at our disposal.  And we found it extraordinarily difficult to track, to try and track the activities that have been carried out by the two parts of the ICANN system that we were reviewing.  We were looking at, at large, last year, and the address supporting organization earlier this year.  So, it really was very difficult, and in fact, we had to rely most of the time on Google just to sort of, and search words, to find the information that we were looking for rather than the ICANN website itself, which was absolutely, at least, superficially, it's kind of attractive, but as soon as you try to burrow into it, becomes unnavigable.

So, we welcome opinions, I think it's absolutely key that if you want to seem to be accountable, then you at the very least need to have a clear archive and website.  And I do have some sympathy for the gentleman sitting here opposite until he walked out, saying that at the very least, the organizations that are responsible for the archiving information should have a clean sort of history.  So, I suppose I would just like to end with one question.  Which is, what sort of timeline do you have for completing this work?  Which will, obviously, as I say, be very welcome.

>> HARMUT GLASER: Thank you.  The next speaker will be Ron.  Probably, you can answer this question.  You have your comment and then your ‑‑

>> RON DA SILVA: Yeah, I wanted to first make a comment.  The gentleman's statement before he left regarding ‑‑ I mean, I can appreciate, and I think everybody in the room can appreciate that search is difficult.  And even if you pull up a Google, you know, your browser now and you put up Google and you put in some information, you're invariably going to get a lot of results that you don't want, that are not interesting, that are not giving you the document or the data or the link or the information that you're searching for.  Search is a big challenge.  And it's not the mission of ICANN to go solve search as a technology.  Our mission is to ensure the coordination of domain names, IP addresses and protocols are done efficiently for the whole of the internet, not to create new search technology.

So, I just wanted to correct that because I think that was an assertion that was made.  But even still, you know, the whole research in how to get better search results, independent of how you're labeling and describing your documents, which is something we can solve and I think you're hearing the interest of the panel here to solve that problem.  That's within our ability to address.  But then, subsequent to that, being able to have third party or other search mechanisms to, you know, really churn through that information and get the results you want is a completely different science than what we're describing.

So, let's see.  I think you had a question regarding timeline.  For the ITI project, there's a pretty significant effort underway that will be engaged in the next couple of years to get it up and running, to get the process in place, to get the workflows updated, to get the metadata schemas to find.  And then there's two tasks from there.  It's a never-ending project because then it needs to be implemented going forward and there's a bit of a backlog of information we have that we have to go back and figure out, how do you prioritize that, relabel that, how do you introduce that into the system.  So I don't have a timeframe on the second beast.  But obviously, the go‑forward is going to be a new way of addressing documentation.

>> HARMUT GLASER: Diego?

>> DIEGO CANABARRO: Hi, I'm Diego.  I work for CGI.advisory team.  But in this Open Forum, I have different hats.  One is actually someone who follows ICANN discussions.  I also work for the Secretariat team of the IGF and we have been developing the data.friends of the IGF which is a Newportal, and I'll get to it in a few minutes.  I also have a colleague of AGI and we discuss a lot of these things.  And I think that the basic question of this panel is, what is actually a document in terms of internet governance?  Because we recently came back from the Abu Dhabi meeting and we brought a very nice document which was handled in Steve Crocker's farewell party, that action figure of Steve Crocker.  And that is actually a document.

In our internal discussions, we realized that in any Internet Governance event, we have a lot of T shirts, fliers, and things that are distributed.  These are all documents.  So, I think that's the basic question.  I understand that the project of ICANN is just like documenting working flows, et cetera, et cetera.  But, so we are actually in a different end here.  We actually want to create for the Brazilian audience and for the world public as well, sort of a physical, as Jean said, and digital reference center of things that have been collected during our existence.  So, I don't think we will have a timeline and it's actually a much more complex ongoing task that we intend to develop in the couple of years that are ahead of us.  And that discusses with the question posed by that gentleman.

It's unfortunate that he's not here with us because I don't think that we will ever be able to build the mankind library, let's say the Babylonian library, mostly because the production rates of different documents, and I'm not talking about just paper and printing materials but every sort of document, they are a lot higher than the capacity that we have to catalog and to blah blah blah blah blah.  And I think that it's pretty interesting that one of the things that you mentioned it just like search engine stuff and one of the things that we could publish for the Friends of the IGF project is actually a very good search engine tool.

And the idea of put together this panel is mostly because there are synergies between the Friends of the IGF effort, which is just like, let's try to preserve the memory of the IGF because there are discussions that were lost.  There are videos we can't find anywhere.  The majority of the videos that we have right now are available on YouTube and if YouTube goes bankrupt tomorrow, we might lose everything that we have.  Yes, we have redundancies in servers that are scattered across UN's nation's headquarters, but there are things, and CGI can work on that.  But what we wanted to do with this panel, we saw a presentation, I think it was Johannesburg.  And we just wanted to get everybody for a first conversation.  Something that has to be discussed for IGF and we intend to bring these discussions to the table.

>> HARMUT GLASER: Other questions?

>> ANJOU MANGA: Yes, my name is Anjou.  I represent the Pacific.  I'm from Fiji.  Regarding libraries, you see that the documentation, you lose a lot of data, you lose a lot of information.  What we've done in the Pacific is created an online and offline knowledge management system, and this is basically, it's a repository of 38,000 plus information for the Pacific.  So, what's happening right now is that we're losing a lot of data.  A lot of the stuff is happening on the paper, but no one is actually documenting it.  So, what we're doing now is not just digitizing library books or anything, but anything and everything.  And we've created also a photo library, a video library.  So, like you said, if YouTube dies today, there will be some sort of, I think knowledge retention as well within the countries.  So, I think this is one of the things that we're working on.

>> HARMUT GLASER: Thank you for your comments.  Any other comment?  My understanding is that we try to put together some efforts to avoid that we need to duplicate.  So, if we can learn from some initiatives, probably, we can have some extra cooperation, agreement between us, informally.  And to support, I think, the idea that Susan started some years ago with Friends of the IGF, now we are working together and we learn together and we start to have our own project.  And ICANN is doing the same, and now we have Fiji is doing something for the Pacific.  Probably, we can help ICANN to have easier access to information.

I remember your interview was a lot of questions, Tom.  It will make it easier if we have this in the archives, or very, let's say, good way.  Another comment, some questions?  We don't need to stay here until midday or lunchtime.  Vinicius, you have a comment?

>> VINICIUS W. O. SANTOS: It's because what the ‑‑ I forgot your name, sorry.  What Anjou said.  I'm just connecting what she said with what Diego said.  We have actually three different initiatives, but we've very similar challenges for organizing all the information, and actually, this one that Jean presented from CGI is one of the initiatives, actually.  The collection is just one of the initiatives.  We actually had a set of discussions going on inside CGI about the organization semantics, difficulty of organizing the institutional information.  We are discussing all the things there, also.  So, I think if we can in any sense establish some sort of cooperation and some continued conversation about those challenges, we, I think it will be of much help for everybody.  Thanks.

>> HARMUT GLASER: Thank you, Vinicius.  Susan, please.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS: Thanks.  And Hartmut, just building on what you said about collaboration, I think it's key for these types of projects to learn from other initiatives and so often because of the nature of the project and the initiative itself, it really depends on community support.  And so, I could say for the friends of the IGF, I think Diego and his team sat down and had a pizza party and uploaded all the content by hand over a day, sometimes, you know ‑‑

>> HARMUT GLASER: One whole week.

>> SUSAN CHALMERS: One whole week?  Yeah, sorry.  It's a lot of pizza and a lot of time.  But, so I'll be contributing to the uploading.  But right now we're doing it by hand so the question is, how do we collaborate with the Secretariat, for example, to develop a way for the content to come in in an automated way.  How do we collaborate with others to be able to develop an API for the content to be open and text and data mined?  So, I think really, one of the key things about this project is collaboration, and making sure that's a group effort.  And I think that there's some hope there because nobody likes it when a library burns down, right?  It's probably one of the saddest things that happens.  So, this is something that despite whatever stakeholder group you're in, wherever you're from, despite some position groups, this is really something that I think truly the internet governance community can come together and come to support.

>> HARMUT GLASER: Thank you.  Some comments or are we ready to go?

>> NICK: Hartmut.  Sorry, hi.  This is Nick from the NPC.  Interesting topic.  I'm still trying to get my head around this session.  I don't know if this is for the IGF only to find a way to collaborate with all of the participants here to feed into one area, as a library, as we say.  Or are we just hearing from different organizations and what they're doing with their documentation?  We were just having this conversation with the chair today before I came here as far as even regional independent registries independently have ‑‑ internet registries independently have their documentation.  But I think overall it's all piecemeal and there's a lot that's been lost over time.  I've been with the regional registries for over ten, 15 years now.  And even with office moves and documentation that has been printed that's not been recorded, we've lost a lot.  And I think that this is a sad thing, and I think this is a good initiative, but again, I'm not quite sure where this session is heading.  I don't know if this is, again, focused on IGF documentation or trying to get all of us inspired to (microphone went out).

>> HARMUT GLASER: IGF don't have the mission to put this together.  The idea is to use different initiatives, and the idea is collaboration.  The idea is to work together.  Let us learn.  You bring contributions.  We can do it, is nothing under one central coordination.  Personally, I am against organizations taking care of everything.  We need to use the free contribution coming from everyone.  You see the example from Fiji.  You see the example from CGI and others.  Let's do in a very open cooperation way, but it's important to know what others are doing.  I know what others are doing.  Let's work together.  So the information you have, probably you need to spread out the good work, the good archives, the good information that you put together.  Someone, Susan, please?

>> SUSAN CHALMERS: Yeah, just to clarify that the Friends of the IGF project is not part of the IGF Secretariat.  The project was borne out of MAG meeting in 2013, so it's part of the community.  It's designed to support the mission of the IGF.  I just want to clarify that it's not the Secretariat.

>> HARMUT GLASER: Good.

>> Maybe one of the things ‑‑ I'm really sorry, but that's awful to speak like that.  In 2015, we actually started a conversation, we from CGI advisory team started a conversation among different internet conservatories that are out there.  We repeated the information in 2016 and put this together and used the IGF as a focal space to enable conversation between those different projects.  And actually, now, we are sort of a network that talks throughout the year intersessionally.  And we actually just intended a session with a lot of humility to be a session for putting some projects that we observed that were out there in 2017 that could simply talk together and maybe start putting people on board to emulate what we could accomplish with the observatories things.  That's it.

>> HARMUT GLASER: Ron, your final comment?

>> RON DA SILVA: Yeah, I definitely appreciate, Hartmut, your response.  That there's a lot of efforts underway to kind of address some of the same problems.  And to the extent that we can collaborate and share best practices, it benefits everybody.

>> HARMUT GLASER: Susan, you like to share final comment?

>> SUSAN CHALMERS: Sure.  I'd like to echo what Ron just said.  But, also, in terms of the Friends of the IGF project, when we can develop a more honed call to action for the community, when we figure out exactly the best way that we can ask you to help us, we will be contacting everyone.  So, thank you.

>> HARMUT GLASER: Jean Carlos?

>> JEAN C. F. SANTOS: I think when we're talking about collections standards, information retrieval, I think cooperation in the community is essential for this.  I think, I hope in the next IGF and others, we can continue discussing these.  And I think we can cooperate more and more on this, to debate standards and some specific aspects of this field.

>> HARMUT GLASER: Thank you.  Tom, you have a comment?

>> TOM MACKENZIE: It's probably ‑‑ if this is the wrapping up of the session, it's probably not for me to comment at this point.  But, I was just, the last thing I really wanted to say is that, as far as I'm concerned, there's some urgency to get these kinds of projects underway.  One of the findings that we had from conducting a review, admittedly, it was of ICANN so not of these other two organizations, but there is a sort of feeling in the wider community that ICANN is a tricky kind of environment to get involved in.  I mean, when you show up at meetings and lots of people are talking in acronyms and things like that, so simply from a getting involved kind of thing, it's sort of tricky.

And then, if the website is also a sort of tricky place to navigate, there's some people have a kind of sense that maybe this is a sort of deliberate attempt to kind of keep people out.

>> HARMUT GLASER: Nigel, wait, let him finish.

>> TOM MACKENZIE: No, no, no.  I don't think there is a deliberate attempt, but what we collected, we did collect people who said, it's impossible.  We can't understand the sort of language that they're talking, and the website is sort of tricky to navigate.  So, any attempt and all these attempts to help outsiders navigate this information, I think will be very welcome and will help the organization, will strengthen the organization and make it more accountable and do all those kind of things.  So the faster you can do it, the better.  That was my real point.  There is a sort of urgency to get these projects underway.

>> HARMUT GLASER: Thank you.  My ‑‑ please, speak.

>> I think that the NCC is guilty of having an over, very heavy website, and not intentionally so.  We have so many members of the community that we serve.  And yes, we have to keep perfecting the website, and reducing the amount of verbage.  It's difficult.  It's a real challenge.  But it's certainly not to, you know, put people off or purposely confuse them.  But I completely understand, you know, when people come to the site, where do I go?  What am I looking at?  Yeah, it's a challenge.  But, it's an ongoing process for us.

>> HARMUT GLASER: Ron?

>> RON DA SILVA: Just wanted to follow up, Tom, on your comment.  Your mic is still on, too, by the way.  And that is, completely agree.  The organization believes that the sooner we get it done, the better.  Not only is it, helps the community and provides good will and I think addresses some of the mandates on the organization for accountability and transparency, but, again, to put on my financial hat again, there are financial incentives to get it done sooner.  The longer we prolong, the longer it takes.  The longer we're going to miss out on some of these financial synergies we can get by having a new, refreshed, consolidated document management structure.  Totally agree.

>> HARMUT GLASER: The idea was to have a seat for collaboration.  The idea is to exchange experiments and different cases, so we're just listing that some others are doing the same.  We'll try to do the same.  Let's cooperate and work together.  Our time run out.  We need to give up the place for the next session.  Applause to our speakers

(applause)

Thank you very much for attending this session.

(Session was concluded at 4:10 AM CT)

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