>> MODERATOR:  Hello, everybody.  Please take your seat.  Thank you for coming and welcome all of you and congratulation, you all found room XI, the first meeting of the day from our perspective. 

 

My name is Frederic Donck with the Internet Society and I'm heading the European Bureau.  We have a tradition, that is to call and invite communities, plural, members or chapters of members and actually who is interested to discuss what we feel are critical issues when we start the IGF.  So that is our tradition.  You will see and you will have seen from the invitations that we have some interesting subject that we'd like to discuss with you and you will see how seriously we take a collaborative process because you will be asked and called to really contribute. 

 

We will have also a panel that will help us in this conversation and I will introduce it to you in a few minutes.

 

Before I do that, I would like to seize this occasion to also introduce to you our president, Mr Andrew Sullivan, who will spend a bit of time to just work you through the intentions to drive the Internet Society in the next coming months and years.  So, Andrew, if you could take the floor and join us.  Thank you very much. 

 

>> ANDREW SULLIVAN:  Good morning, everyone.  Thank you for the kind introduction. 

 

I started as the CEO of the Internet Society in September and what I have learned is that the Internet has been created so that I can be on airplanes.  People started asking me where are you based and I've come to tell them in airports. 

 

This is not, of course, a permanent fact, though, because the interesting thing about the Internet Society is how many places and how many people we are.  We're made up, as a society, of participants, of members of chapters, of organizational members all around the world and this frames the basic way that we think about how the Internet works.  We like to say the Internet is for everyone.

 

How do we put that into action this year?  We put out an action plan and it's now on our website, so I won't bore you with a recitation of those things since I presume you can all read.  But I want to do highlight a couple of things that I think are important in framing this panel today. 

 

Because the Internet is for everyone, we have several key pieces that we're trying to ensure.  One is to make sure that we connect everybody in the world.  So connectivity is extremely uneven throughout the world, despite the fact that there are a large number of places where connectivity is quite good.  There are also many places where connectivity is extremely bad and unlikely to get better without concerted action by a large number of participants in the Internet Society and in the wider society. 

 

So we continue to work on that connectivity through our efforts on community networks and also through our efforts around IXPs.  Those are key initiatives for us. 

 

But another thing that is super important for us is building the trust in the infrastructure itself, that people need to believe that the Internet works and the reason they need to believe that is because that's how the Internet works. 

 

The Internet is a network of networks and if people don't connect willingly and they don't collaborate with one another, we don't have the Internet at all.  This is not some weird political stance that we have, it's a fundamental fact of the Internet.  That means people need to believe that the Internet infrastructure is trustworthy.  That when you hook up to it it's not dangerous. 

 

That's why we continue to work on the issues around security of the Internet of Things, particularly with respect to consumer devices because we don't want people to believe that the devices they're bringing into their homes are going to destroy them.  And we want people to believe that the fundamental infrastructure of the Internet, the routing infrastructure, is not hostile to them, a problem that has festered in the Internet infrastructure for many, this years and we continue to work on that. 

 

You should see our manners project produce its observatory soon.  The observatory for operators of networks to look at the outcomes in the Internet routing infrastructure and to decide whether that routing infrastructure is doing what it said it would. 

 

This is a tremendous opportunity to restore that fundamental functioning of the way the Internet works.  You operate your network, I operate my network, and we implement the common protocols and then we work together to do that. 

 

That's also how the governance of the Internet has to work.  It has to work that way because if it doesn't, you don't get the Internet.  The Internet just is a kind of collaboration.  And that's the reason that the IGF is important because this is a forum where we can come together and try to work on that interoperation, that collaborative, emergent technology that benefits us all so much. 

 

When the Internet Society was founded there was no question.  Somebody said, "Do you want to hook up to the Internet", people would say "Oh, yes, more Internet, always good.  More connectivity always good."  In the last couple of years I've started to notice that people are not too sure.  They're starting to become afraid of the Internet.  They're forgetting the big value that we get from the Internet because it's become ubiquitous and all we see are the problems. 

 

We need to work together.  The Internet Society, the entire Internet community, we need to work together to make sure that we deliver the benefits of the Internet to the entire world.  If we don't do that, we're going to lose a tool that is best for the development of all humanity. 

 

We have rarely seen a technology that enables so much good for so many people.  So let us work together this week to make sure that we deliver that kind of benefit to all humanity, securely, in a trustworthy way, that we can connect everybody. The Internet is for everyone and the Internet Society wants to make that true.  With that I'm going to turn it back to Frederic.  Thank you very much.

 

(Applause)

 

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, Andrew, for your words.  For those who are interested to know more about our 2019 plan, it's available on the website so please don't hesitate to check on it and ask questions to everybody here in this room from the Internet Society staff starting with Andrew, of course. 

 

Let's get to the main session of today.  As I said, we used to organize a session when we start the IGF with some critical issues.  This one has been carefully cooked by Raquel.  Thanks a lot.  You've see on the invitation, the IGF, the world is better with the IGF than without.  It says it all. 

 

We hear through our communities that some people might have some fatigue about the IGF.  Some people say it should be taken care of or improved or whatever vocabulary.  We wanted to know more about that and to ask you what are your thoughts. 

 

In order to help us, I have the chance to have a wonderful panel around us with people who know a lot about the IGF because they were there since the beginning, starting with you, Thomas, Thomas Schneider.  I always wonder how to introduce you when I see your CV, you are pretty well everywhere when it comes to IGF.  Thomas, you were Ambassador and Director for International Relations for the Swiss Government, you were the host last year, you are a representative today.  You are in the IGF, the ITU, UNESCO, well, all the UN.  You are also a founder of the EuroDIG and you were the past chairman of the ICANN GAC.  Thank you for being here with us.

 

Do we have David Martineau in the room?  David, thank you for being there.  You are the host this year and ambassador for cyber diplomacy in the digital economy.  Thank you for being with us.

 

Last but not least, we have Gunther Grathwohl.  He will be the host next year.  So we have the real troika here, as we say in the European Union vocabulary, the three governments who are responsible with hosting the IGF.  Gunther, you're from the German Ministry for Economic Affairs.  Thank you for being here. 

 

That is my panel and I'd like also to acknowledge Lynn St Amour.  Of course everybody knows Lynn after more than 13 years driving ISOC.  You are now the chair of the MAG and in this position we will also ask your feelings about the IGF as it stands now. 

 

So you will see, we will have our experts and then we will turn to you, we will break this room in two parts and ask you to work a little bit and tell us what it is that you think.  I forgot Raul, of course.  This is so obvious, you're in front of me.  Another expert, of course, Raul Echeberria who is the Vice‑President of Global Engagement in the Internet Society.  You will be called to give your thought as you were also part in so many endeavors since the beginning with the IGF.  Sorry for this. 

 

Thomas, why don't you start with some of your thought.  If I ask you, what is your thought about the current IGF?  Should there be an improvement, what would you say?  No, you can stay there. 

 

>> THOMAS SCHNEIDER: Thank you, Frederic.  First of all, good morning to everybody.  Thanks to David and his team for organizing the IGF here in Paris.  Having done the same in Geneva last year, I know this is not an easy task and in particular if you have not planned this years ahead.  A big thanks to the French Government as well as to UNESCO and of course the hard‑working friends at the IGF secretariat.  We also know what it means for them to organize an IGF so we're happy that they're still alive and here and thank them a lot for their great work that they're doing.

 

With regard to your question, I think we need to understand first of all where the IGF comes from.  The IGF was the result of a compromise at World Summit off Information Society in 2003, 2005, this famous process towards enhanced corporation, which I won't go into detail about because that will take the whole session. 

 

The IGF was a compromise that the least common denominator to talk about intergovernment issues, we might call it digital issues today and it was established.  It was an experiment, it was something new for the UN to have a multistakeholder dialog forum with everybody not just on equal level, all stakeholder not just on equal level on participation but also, this is fundamental, in the shaping, in the set-up of the organization of the meeting and the sessions and the content of the dialog. 

 

Our hope at the time was the IGF would serve as a way to make people understand what the issues are, what you're talking about, what are so‑called respective roles are in particular aspect of digital or Internet governance and that it would serve as a catalyst for cooperation.  Cooperation of different stakeholders with different experience, different mandates, different resources in a solution‑orientated, opportunity‑seizing orientated way. 

 

Now we are like 12, 13 years after that decision, some of us have been going to all the IGFs, participated in all of them.  We have about 80 national and regional IGF structures that have taken up in different variations the model of the IGF and I think that basically the IGF has and is still fulfilling the purpose of being a forum where people get together, they learn from each other, they understand the issues better, they may hopefully understand their own roles better and they engage in cooperation. 

 

But as you refer to, there is, among certain of us, or many of us, some kind of fatigue in the sense that, okay, we've had this now, this has been established but that's not enough.  This is something that you hear from many people that if you ask them which direction should we go, this is where the problem then, of course, starts. 

 

I think most of us do not want to create a new top‑down structure in the UN that will deal with all aspects of digital governance or Internet governance but nevertheless there is a sense that something is missing and if you look at the way that the digital world has developed since the IGF was created, we have now lots of different and new applications and tools that we didn't even know they existed in 2005 or if you knew they existed they didn't really take as much space in our daily lives like they do now.  Just talking about social media but also other aspects, of course. 

 

So there has been an enormous development in terms of what is possible technically, what applications we use, also connection has made enormous progress, connectivity.  We're not there yet with connecting the whole world.  And on the governance level and political level, on the cooperation level, not that much progress has achieved.  So we're lagging a little behind in terms of how to deal with the issues. 

 

But the question is what does that mean?  What does that have an effect on the IGF?  What we, as the organizer last year, together with some others, tried to do is basically keep the IGF in its existing role as a space for dialog and not for negotiation, as a space for bringing people together, enhancing understanding, building capacities, inciting cooperation but improving its interactivity, trying to improve its political visibility with high‑level representatives of all stakeholders which is a challenge because everybody says that ‑ or many people say the IGF should not start negotiating outcomes, in particular this comes from the private sector and some Western countries. 

 

At the same time it's the same stakeholders who say I can't come to the IGF because my boss doesn't allow me because it's not creating outcomes.  So there's a little bit of a chicken and egg problem in terms of what the IGF should do and then why people say it's maybe not what it should be which, I think we need to be transparent and honest about and also explain if we still think that the IGF should remain a forum for dialog and not start negotiating outcomes then we should explain why we think this is important and we should explain to the political leaders why we think that they should, nevertheless, or in particular because it is not a negotiating forum, participate in this. 

 

So what we tried to do last year is to make the outcome a little more tangible by introducing the so‑called Geneva messages.  That is not something that we invented.  We've done this in EuroDIG since the beginning.  It tries to capture the discussion in a more readable, easier to access format, informative short bullets that hopefully people use when they go home to their silos and institutions that they can refer to by saying this is the latest stage of the discussion as it was held at the IGF. 

 

We also tried to improve the interactivity.  We think that the inclusiveness is unique at the IGF, if you compare it to other conferences.  We keep fighting for having as little minutes devoted to panelists and to speakers on the floor but to give the maximum amount of speaking time to the audience because I think the more we use the crowd intelligence that is gathering at the IGF the more insights that we get. 

 

But we think that we should not necessarily fundamentally change the IGF.  We can improve it in elements on its operational side, with the MAG, with the way things are prepared.  Of course we should improve the resource situation, we should try to make it more plannable, approve the MAG earlier so that they can start work at the beginning of the year.  We here there are some positive signals that this is actually working this year. 

 

What we would need is a more political figure on top or as a visible face of the IGF like we had it with the special adviser for the UN Secretary‑General and his office on Internet governance issues.  This is also not something new.  The question is who designates and who decides who that political figure would be.  Maybe we just let the IGF community put forward some names and vote on it instead of having some small club deciding about this because this is one of the problems why it didn't happen. 

 

So there are a number of things that can and should be done to improve the IGF but we think that basically the IGF is not wrong.  It still serves its purpose and it should, in our view, continue to serve its purpose. 

 

Where we're missing out is in terms of cooperation, in terms of follow‑up action on the discussions at the IGF.  We think that this is the key element to drive the digital world in a way that everybody in the world is benefitting from what is available in terms of new applications and technologies. 

 

So we have great hopes in the UN Secretary‑General's panel on digital cooperation that this may help us, not just strengthening the IGF and use the IGF as the basis as the first step for people to get together but go home from the IGF and cooperate in a more structured way, in a way that follows principles of inclusivity, transparency, accountability, openness, some diversity, and that after the IGF the gaps are filled between having just a talk shop and having new UN institutions or existing UN institutions with new mandate.  I think there's a lot of room for improving digital cooperation so let me finish by saying don't blame the IGF, improve digital cooperation.  Thank you. 

 

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, Thomas.  From what I hear then, don't touch the DNA of the IGF but you see that the issue might be political and social be the solution?  Yeah, okay. 

David Martineau, thank you for being the host today.  What's your take about the IGF situation? 

 

>> DAVID MARTINEAU: Thank you for giving me the floor.  Hello, everybody, welcome to Paris.  We're happy to have you here.  We already, as you've mentioned - we managed to have a rainy day so that you don't have any regret for being focused on the IGF panels.  We'll see if we consider that everybody's worked enough in the coming days if we can have a sunny day, we'll see about that. 

 

 

I think we're very much in line with what Thomas said.  I was out of the room but I know what he was saying because we've been ‑ first, because we've been knowing each other for years now and, second, because we thought that it would be very useful to work as a troika, sort of a troika with the outgoing host country and with the incoming host country which is Germany and so we've talked amongst ourselves about what should be done with the IGF.  Again, very much in line with what Thomas said. 

 

The fact that President Macron offered to host the IGF, you told me about that in February, I went back to Paris and made the proposal which was eventually accepted in April.  So the reason why he offered that France host the 20918 IGF, France is very attached to the UN system.  We believe it is incredibly useful and because it's unique and we believe it has a role to play including all topics of Internet governance. 

 

Having said that, we believe that now the IGF should maybe, in a way, come back to its DNA and its mandate that was given in 2005 in Tunis and maybe try to do more in the coming years.  So we sort of decided to take stock of what our friends did last year with the Geneva messages.  There will be Paris messages this year.  I wouldn't be surprised if there were Berlin messages next year, but that's out of my control.

 

We believe that it's not enough anymore to have the kind of discussions that we've been having for years at the IGF.  We believe the community expects to be consulted.  We believe the community expects to be in a position to give its advice or its position.  The problem is ‑ and we need the community to express itself and define what could be a global position or ideas on such and such topic. 

 

Why?  Because we see new challenges every day.  In the digital world there is a new topic every day.  Fortunately some of them actually vanish otherwise we would be more than occupied.  And as government representative, I can tell you that we need to have the kind of feedback that can help us to define what a smart, political resolution should be. 

 

So this is where we are and we believe that if we want to be in a good position to rely on these possible recommendations, we need the process that would lead to these recommendations to be unquestionable and for that we need it to be transparent, we need it to be open, we need it to be understandable, we need it to be universal and efficient. 

 

So this is the sort of very easy mission that we have ahead of us, we believe, and we believe that it is up to the community to think, to conceive the sort of grammar of the multistakeholder approach that we're trying to follow.  It's not an easy task but unless we manage to make the sort of progress we need on how to define what is legitimate voice, what are fair consultations, how do we organize the work of the community to be able to write these sort of recommendations if we managed to do that then we would have made a fantastic progress. 

 

Very much in line with Thomas again on the fact that we believe the IGF needs to have a more permanent political role.  We need Lynn to be better helped to have more resources, to have more possibilities to travel, to meet with political and economic and social leaders around the world and we need her to be the voice, well, her, not personally but as the MAG chair, to do that kind of mission that is absolutely crucial for us.

 

I may pause here but first I want to say that the very fact that the website of the UN IGF is under attack today shows that it's a strategic place and I wouldn't be surprised if UN Secretary‑General Guterres and President Macron were to address this very topic this afternoon. 

 

So, again, welcome, everybody, in Paris and I wish you more fruitful discussions here.  Thanks. 

 

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much, David.  Thank you for those very nice words.  You should expect maybe some question from this community about what you mean by consultation in the process but that might come later. 

 

Gunther, the last part of the troika then, tell us what is your take? 

>> GUNTHER GRATHWOHL: Thank you very much and good morning, everyone.  I would like to thank, in particular, David Martineau, and his team for preparing here this global conference in a very short time.  It must have been a lot of work.  We know how much work it is because we are preparing the next IGF 2019 but we had much more time, more than 18 months, but we see already it's really a challenge to organize it but we are doing it with a lot of passion because we believe really in the basic approach of this forum here, the multistakeholder approach. 

 

It is really important that the Internet remains an open, secure, reliable interoperable and truly global infrastructure which is more and more a challenge in this times and I think that this forum here is the right place to keep the Internet as it was, room for innovation, for growth, for employment, for new ideas, for creativity and so on.

 

That's the reason why the Ministry for Economic Affairs in Berlin has decided last year to organize in 2019 the next Internet Governance Forum.  This forum has a future, it will continue. 

 

On the basic philosophy I do not have much to add than the previous speaker said already.  We see us completely here in a continuous line with colleagues from Switzerland, with Thomas Schneider and with David Martineau, with France.  It's a way from Geneva via Paris to Berlin in the meaning that we think we should strengthen the IGF a little bit.  It's not so easy to strengthen it but we all want to put effort here on that challenge and it's really important, we should make it more relevant. 

 

How to make it more relevant?  Thomas said already, we need perhaps more tangible outcomes.  We need perhaps more political visibility and we should improve interaction, it's true. 

 

How could we tackle this challenge?  First of all we need a relevant agenda and I think relevant agenda is the product of a discussion among multistakeholders so this is the right way to put the important and relevant topics on the table. 

 

In this regard IGF is perfect.  There's no room for more improvement.  Here we are really brilliant but what can be improved is the outreach, the process for having really impact on the discussion that take place here. 

 

We have to raise awareness of all the issues, topics, discussions that are taking place in this forum among the general public.  We shouldn't forget this is also part of the mandate that was agreed on in Tunis in 2005.  So we should work on this more perhaps than before. 

 

What is needed to achieve this, I think first of all we should really get all key stakeholders from all regions of the world onboard.  This is one point.  The German Government has decided to make some money available for the United Nations in order to cover travel expenses from participants that come from the global south and they should come to Berlin, so this is one point to make it a global event, a global discussion should take place.  First point. 

 

Second point is we want to integrate more the business community and high‑level representatives of governments and how can we achieve this?  We hope we can achieve this if we have a high‑level segment like it is here also in Paris.  President Macron will open the session in the afternoon.  This is a really good sign.  Next year our chancellor will open, or I hope so, will open the IGF in Berlin.  The same was true in Switzerland last year.

 

When we achieve to attach more high‑level people coming to the forum then that will bring also other high‑level people to the forum and perhaps also business and we have one day, the day before the IGF starts, the so‑called day zero before the IGF, that we want to make something perhaps more official where something can be adopted or agreed on, kind of recommendation or kind of declaration among ministers.  We're still in the process of thinking about that but perhaps it's a possibility to combine such a discussion platform like the IGF, multistakeholder approach and something that is more official.

 

We are still in the process of thinking how to do this but these are our ideas. 

 

We tried to contact directly to go to business people, to business representatives, to integrate them and we are coming ‑ or we are working in the Ministry of Economic Affairs so we have the context and we hope that we can broaden here the community and make it more relevant, as said before. 

 

Then the last point is that we want particular put a focus on the cooperation also with parliaments and here today in Paris we have a parliament delegation that is attending here from Germany and also from the European Parliament.  This good practice, we want to continue also in Berlin. 

 

So above all we are really proud and we are delighted that IGF next year will take place in Berlin in November from 25‑29 November and we will not only host the IGF next year but also a kind of preparatory or parallel meeting of Internet and jurisdiction from 3‑5 June also in Berlin.  And we hope that we can get some input for the discussion later in November coming out of this conference. We are cooperating very closely also with, of course, with the national IGF, German IGF, which is a really strong and very important partner for us. 

 

So I very much hope to see many of you also next year in the multistakeholder events in Germany and only together we will maintain the stability and the innovative power and all those positive outcomes that are promised by such a well‑established platform like the Internet Governance Forum.  Thank you very much. 

 

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much. 

 

(Applause)

 

>> MODERATOR:  Raul Echeberria, you are also a pioneer in the IGF, you've been there from the very beginning, so what's your take? 

 

>> RAUL ECHEBERRIA:  Thank you very much.  Good morning, everybody.  When I listen to Thomas speaking about the inception of the IGF in 2003, 2005 I was part of the negotiation.  I was heavily involved with the negotiation.  It looked like it was yesterday but it was 13 years ago. 

 

But first of all let me add my voice to add to our cause this year, the Government of France, through our colleague David Martineau.  Thank you very much for taking the time to be with us in a very busy day.  I know that you are very busy preparing, not only the IGF but also the participation of the President of France that will highlight the importance of this forum. 

 

Thank you very much also to the Government of Germany because taking the lead on organizing the next IGF that we think will be crucial in this process of promoting changes and transformations of the IGF and it's very good to see the government, the previous host, the current host and the future host working together to align on this issue. 

 

I published a blog about IGF, the title of the blog was Let's Reform the IGF.  I published that blog in March and I have to say that it have a lot of repercussions at the time.  In fact it was surprising for many people and the level of the conversations since March has changed a lot.  It is amazing to see how many people have added their voices to the idea to promote improvements of IGF. 

 

One of the sentences that I included in my blog is the same that my colleague Raquel had made famous because, in fact, this is the title of this session, that is the world is much better with the IGF than without the IGF.  So that it says a lot about our position with regard to the IGF. 

 

What we are proposing is not to disband IGF, to create something new, we are proposing to improve this forum and the idea behind it is the IGF is the most notable government experience we have seem in our life. 

 

The investment we have made the IGF, how the community has learned to participate, to work together with a different logic than their traditional governance system, not building majorities but trying to build consensus, means transparent, open, it's something that is a huge asset for the community. 

 

It would be very bad if the stakeholders start to think that this is not the most relevant place for coming to discuss the most relevant issues.  So this is why we have to improve the IGF, in order to make it, to continue making it attractive for all the stakeholders to come together to solve all their facing challenges. 

 

As many people, the panelists, including our CE Andrew, say before the Internet is very different than the Internet in 2005.  We have ‑ sorry, the Internet is an intrinsic component of every human activity today.  This is why it's important, it's important for the governments and for the community in general. 

 

So we need to deal with a lot of challenges that are coming up every day and so the impact of the technology and the Internet particularly are producing in the life of the people is big and this is why we need relevant forum to say deal with those issues. 

 

I agree with everything that has been said before and this is a very good news and probably the most important outcome of this discussion is that the level of agreements.  There are many, many practical things that we can do in order to improve the IGF and some of them have already been mentioned.  I would add we cannot continue having the number of sessions, competing sessions that we have so far.  We need to more focus IGF, base it on issues as we have been discussing with Thomas.  Not base exclusively in the meeting itself but we need to improve the intersessional activities. 

 

When we say intersessional activities, we need to connect better with our forums to push for the outcomes from our discussions so they are considering the discussions that are had in other places, we need to decide when more discussion is needed on a topic within this community so we need to provide the avenues for continuing the discussions in between two meetings. 

 

Also Gunther mentioned the high‑level discussion.  Thomas also talked about the outcomes.  We already produce outcomes in many meetings, in many forums, but I like it very much the way that Thomas put this and the correlation of the same people that complain about the lack of outcomes are the same people that shake their improvements in order to produce outcomes. 

 

But we are already doing that.  Everything is in producing outcomes, the regional IGF, we produce outcomes in a very novelty way, producing outcomes without introducing formal negotiations mechanisms.  This is very novel.  So we can do that again. 

 

We can have the level there, the high‑level discussions probably to analyze those outcomes.  If we have few tracks, we are focused on few tracks, not 100 parallel sessions, and so we can produce some kind of outcomes.  We can't review those outcomes in a high‑level discussion.  Probably the end of the meeting not the beginning. 

 

It's good to see that the Internet Society has been strongly committed with IGF and is still strongly committed and so we are bringing content.  This year we have again beautiful group of young leaders coming to the IGF through our leadership programs.  We want to continue working with all the community.  We will do that but we have to keep in mind that if we ‑ if the discussions refer to many places so we will also have to distribute our resources to be present everywhere, to follow discussions in ten forums instead of just one. 

 

This is one of the reasons because we need to strengthen this place.  We have to learn how to work together here, this is the best place to do it, so let's reform the IGF, not to destroy it.  Let's reform the IGF to improve it because the world is much better with IGF than without it.  Thank you very much. 

 

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you, Raul. 

 

(Applause)

 

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you, indeed I have heard no‑one challenging what you just said, that the world is a better place with the IGF.  So it may be one of the main sentence we keep in mind. 

 

Lynn, you were kind enough to say you were ready to say a few words.  I would like to include you in a broader conversation because there is a principle in IGF is that the plans never go as planned and I've been told that we have no time anymore to break this room because we are close to the end. 

 

So, Lynn, if you can say a few words and I would like some of you to react as well.  Thank you. 

 

>> LYNN ST ARMOUR: Thank you, Frederic, and thank you to the Internet Society as well and I would like to thank everyone who organized this as well.  I was approached at a reception last night so fair warning. 

 

The IGF has long been focused on improvements and evolution as are so many of the Internet processes we participate in because it's changed so many fundamental practices in our day‑to‑day experiences.  I'm not going to go through all of them here.  There are a couple that I will point out because I really would like to be very brief in my comments and really engage the audience. 

 

We've instructed every one of the workshop organizers that they should plan on 50% of their session being left for participation from the people in the room and, of course, we're well beyond that now. 

 

There have been many, many improvements.  We have working groups on improvements, we have a working group working on multiyear strategic work program, we have another working group that has been focused on fundraising, that is a significant problem with the IGF today.  We are an extra budgetary project of the United Nations.  All of the funds support the secretariat, some developing country participation activities and some staff and consultants for some of the intersessional activities. 

 

These annual events are actually hosted by the host country, this year, France, and we are very thankful to David Martineau and the French Government for hosting and supporting us this year.  But so many of the improvements we're looking for require more staff and resource to say be quite direct about it. 

 

The secretariat runs on a staff of four and one of those is an IT person.  So if you can imagine what that takes to work cooperatively with over 110 national regional and IGF youth initiatives, with over four best practice forums, over 17 dynamic coalitions, and a major policy initiative, connecting and enabling the next billion, and, of course, try to support and drive the work of 55 very active MAG across worker groups.  It's a Herculean task.  That's one of the roadblocks to the IGF doing even more. 

 

My last comment would be we have all focused much more on tangible outcomes.  How can we make all the outputs and outcomes we get from the work of the IGF more accessible.  I mean accessible more broadly.  More concise, more useful, more directed, more topical as well as, of course, more findable on the IGF website as well. 

 

Last year we did pilot something called Geneva Messages.  That was for the main sessions only.  It was a pilot that was well supported by the IGF community so we have now sort of institutionalized that, if you will.  Going forward there will be IGF messages because they are messages of the community and we are doing them not only for the main sessions but also for every workshop session and we're also focused much more thematically this year than we have been in past years. 

 

What I would like to ask everybody to do, many of the workshops are doing this themselves and many of them have learned from a lot of the national and regional IGF initiatives, are really trying at the end to try and engage people and pulling out a small number of key messages themselves and looking for some sort of reaction from the people that are participating in the room and online, with whether or not those messages resonate with the discussion that was held in the room. 

 

I think that's an extremely useful piece of work for pulling some of those messages out but I think it doesn't also allow us to tap into the community as much as we would like.  So one of the things we're doing, and on the home page of our website, there's a survey which will specifically ask what impact can the IGF have on this topic or this issue, it's meant to come from each workshop session, over the next year?  We want to hear from everybody and we want concrete, specific ideas and we want it focused on impact, advancing issues and we're looking at a timeframe of one to two years.  It's not a we want world peace sort of statement. 

 

I would encourage everybody to promote that within your own networks.  Please go to the website and do that for the sessions we participate in, or those that you don't.  If you have a particular point you want to make on the other topics and themes.  All of our sessions are streamed and transcribed and they're posted so you can even look at them outside of the IGF, or post the IGF and submit comments subsequently as well. 

 

So I want to thank you for the time.  I hope I didn't take too much but we're really wanting to engage deeply with the community, so jump in. 

 

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you, Lynn.  I will jump on what you just said.  Please, community, you have unique chance to talk to the troika.  I see the gentleman there. 

 

>> AUDIENCE:  Thank you, Frederic.  My name is Wout De Natris.  That's correct, thank you.  In the past two years I've been able to work on something called strengthening cooperation in the context of the IGF and it has two iterations by now.  Basically, what that started off with is by literally tapping the IGF community on what could the IGF be in the future. 

 

We had a room full in Geneva on day zero and actually everybody started thinking about their own ideas and then you could see that a lot converges and a lot of recommendations can be made in a session of 1.5 hours. 

 

I think that that is a major lesson that if something is truly ‑ seen as truly important, people will speak their mind. 

How do you get to something important that will probably come from emerging issues, from the workshop proposals?  If you say we have ten proposals next year on cyber security, why have ten sessions instead of telling the people the room is yours, you have to come up with recommendations at the end of this session, which will be published on the IGF website.  Do you have to agree?  No, because they're recommendations and ways forward you can actually learn. 

 

That's something which the session last year on strengthening cooperation taught me.  People will speak their mind and will try to think together on getting something forward.  That is one. 

 

The other thing that came out is there could be pilots held in 2019.  They are being sort of advertised in the multiyear working group, strategic working group that have been made. 

 

The other thing is outreach.  If we need more people and different people on specific topics then people within the MAG can actually tap their networks.  You can ask people who you know are very well versed in specific topics and experts.  You can invite them actively to participate in some sort of intersessional that comes together at the IGF. 

 

I think the last thing that is of importance is to celebrate successes.  If the IGF actually manages to come up with an outcome which makes a difference, I'll give a very short example of it. 

 

When I was working for the secretariat two, three years ago now, there was a topic that we're not allow to do from the CSIRT side.  We're not allowed to say we're going to reach out to governments.  I voted this as a recommendation anyway because it was really the elephant in the room.  A year later, they were working with the OECD, there was a whole paper compiled, this is what CSIRT do explaining it to governments.  That came forward from the first iteration of CSIRT. 

 

I never read it anywhere on any IGF website.  We actually managed to change the mindset of people that are reaching out to governments and governments understand what CSIRT do.  One example of what it IGF can reach and we should see people that they should be doing that.  So thank you very much. 

 

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you.  Yes, please. 

 

>> AUDIENCE:  Good morning, everyone.  My name is Chrissy Algiri and I am a member of the chapter of Egypt. 

 

I would like first of all to thank France for the efforts they've been putting into the IGF this year but I would also like to thank ISOC for dedicating space at this open forum to discuss the IGF improvements.  It's a timely important topic to reach out to the global Internet community where ISOC chapters can have a discussion about that. 

 

I want to tackle one specific point that I have heard mentioned through the discussions this morning and that is the point of outreach of the IGF as it needed improvement.  Coming from a region where there is evident need for such outreach, especially as we're talking about government leaders but also if we're talking about leaders from the different stakeholder groups where this is much needed at the IGF from the global house. 

 

So I think, and I've seen the work that has been done by the MAG, I've been there for many, many years.  It's tremendous work.  I salute Lynn for orchestrating that.  I would say there's an integration between the work of the MAG and the work done by the hosts to secure high‑level segments. 

 

I think what we need is not separate high‑level segments but we need those two paths integrated in a way that the high‑level leaders, whether it's government or other stakeholder groups, are integrated in the agenda as being put by the MAG.  This is work that has to be done early on.  We have next year Germany, we have the host already this year in place very early on.  I think there is an opportunity to do that through the coming year between the host country and the MAG.  Thank you very much. 

 

>> MODERATOR:  Yes, please. 

 

>> AUDIENCE:  Thank you.  I'm Nadine Anima, Youth IGF ISOC fellow for this year, and my question is basically how do you want to in the future bring governments and companies to listen to academia, civil society on issues such as surveillance and the use of drones in war?  Thank you. 

 

>> MODERATOR:  I will keep your question if you've got time, I love it.  Please. 

 

>> AUDIENCE:  Thank you.  I'm a Youth IGF fellow as well.  I would like to thank the French Government, Internet Society, Google and Microsoft for allowing me to be here. 

 

I work with young girls in Delhi, India, and I wish to know if there can be an implementation mechanism or something like an SDG compass for IGF through which I can implement the recommendations made to IGF to improve access to Internet with young girls in India?  Thank you. 

 

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.  Last one and then I will have to wrap up, I'm afraid. 

 

>> AUDIENCE:  My name is Mary, I'm from Uganda.  I'm also a Youth IGF fellow.  This year I attended my first IGF in Uganda and the main theme was creating online trust which is basically the theme that we have this year.  My question is should the regional and national IGF meetings have the same themes as the main IGF because we have more pressing national issues in our countries and having people online which is as a result of if you look at fake news and trust, these are issues that are a result of having people online which we don't have.  Shouldn't we as national IGF chapters be focusing on the issue that is are in our particular countries and have more tangible outcomes?  Thank you. 

 

>> MODERATOR:  Well, I believe we won't have the time to address those questions but I would like to keep them because I think you three made very good suggestions, how can we improve the representation, align the themes at regional level and international level and find ways to include more people.  So we will keep this. 

 

I had a question for the troika, we won't have time.  We have to wrap up.  I see desperate sign from Raquel.  But I believe that your message was very clear and what I heard today, Raul, is good news.  Your sentence is still very valid.  I hear we need more IGF.  I hear that people are even more positive on the way that we should make it more relevant, more focused, more dedicated to including other bodies as a parliament. 

 

So those are all very good message, including the pragmatic message from Lynn.  This community needs to contribute as much as they can through those sessions and through the websites.  So please continue to feed us.  ISOC take this very seriously.  We engaged in the very beginning of IGF. So we continue to collect your ideas but I believe at least what we heard today is very encouraging.  We need more IGF than less IGF.

 

So thank you for being here.  I know there is a bit of frustrations but that's the start of the IGF so enjoy this wonderful moment of exchange.  Thank you very much.