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IGF 2019 Pre-Event #12 On the Road to the IGF 2019 in Berlin

eco – Association of the Internet Industry

Description: 

An outline concept for the inclusion and networking involvement of representatives of the SME user industry in a multi stakeholder dialogue with representatives of governments, civil society, business, academia, (inter)national organizations, and the technical community on current Internet governance issues.

Summary

When the Internet Governance Forum (IGF 2019) comes to Germany for the first time in November 2019, the players in the international multi-stakeholder dialogue (governments, civil society, business, academia, (inter)national organizations and the technical community) will discuss issues such as the freedom, openness, security, and performance of the Internet of the future.

The IGF 2019 Community is to be brought into closer contact with users from small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Germany as part of Day Zero. The aim is to identify and discuss the real points of reference of the SME representatives from the user industries for the Internet of the future. The points of contact for regular exchange between the SME user industries and the multi-stakeholder groups mentioned have so far been limited. For this reason, eco – Association of the Internet Industry would like to draw the attention of and gain traction with SME representatives from the user industries in advance of the IGF 2019 in Berlin in relation to the range of topics and the IGF 2019 conference format.

The following concept builds on already established activities of the eco Association, which take place within the context of the “Initiative Digital” project. The “Initiative Digital” was founded with a focus on southern Germany, but is now active nationwide. In various administrative districts in Germany, representatives of SMEs are brought together with representatives of the Internet industry to discuss current issues of digital transformation in relation to their specific business models. Both the “Initiative Digital” and the traditionally strong work of the eco Association will be drawn upon in the circle of SMEs in order to involve SMEs in the run-up to and during the IGF 2019.

The aim is to incorporate the concrete needs and demands of SME representatives from the user industries into the multi-stakeholder dialogue for an Internet of the future. In this way, the voice of the users in Berlin should find its way and be integrated into the dialogue, and in turn the relevance of the Internet Governance Forum for the user industries should be communicated. An early involvement of SME representatives from the user industries is therefore clearly worthwhile and is described in more detail in the following concept.

The Partners

eco – Association of the Internet Industry
With more than 1,100 member companies, eco is the largest Internet industry association in Europe. Since 1995 eco has been instrumental in shaping the Internet, fostering new technologies, forming framework conditions, and representing the interests of members in politics and international committees. eco’s key topics are the reliability and strengthening of digital infrastructure, IT security, and trust, as well as digital ethics and self-regulation.

eco advocates for a free, technologically-neutral, and high-performance Internet. With the "Initiative Digital", eco promotes the exchange between the SME user industry and the Internet industry.

More information on the initiative can be found in the German-language site https://initiativedigital.org

The "Initiative Digital"

The following organizations are involved in the “Initiative Digital”:
• eco – Association of the Internet Industry
• mib – Mittelstand in Bayern Vereinigung der Selbständigen und mittelständischen Unternehmer e.V.
• BDS Bund deutscher Selbständiger
• German Mittelstand e.V.
• MIT – Mittelstands- und Wirtschaftsvereinigung der CDU/CSU
• Liberaler Mittelstand
• UMU – Union mittelständischer Unternehmen e.V.
• Institute Europe of Market Economies

Together with its partners, the "Initiative Digital" has a mailing list comprised of 12,000 recipients.

Activities of the "Initiative Digital" in 2019:

Bavaria
• 8 district events (KickOff), each with approx. 30-50 SME representatives (C-Level)
• 2 regional forums (Weilheim & Nuremberg), each with approx. 70-100 SME representatives (C-Level)

Berlin + East
• 4 district events (KickOff), each with approx. 20-35 SME representatives (C-Level)
• 1 regional forum (tbd. Berlin or Dresden), with approx. 50-70 SME representatives (C-Level)

North (Hamburg / Lower Saxony, Schleswig Holstein)
• 4 district events (KickOff), each with approx. 30-50 SME representatives (C-Level)
• 1 Regional Forum (tbd. Hamburg or Kiel), with approx. 70-100 SME representatives (C-Level)

Middle (Hesse, Thuringia)
• 4 district events (KickOff), each with approx. 30-50 SME representatives (C-Level)
• 1 regional forum (tbd.), with approx. 70-100 SME representatives (C-Level)

The Objectives of the Campaign “On the Road to the IGF 2019”

• Early involvement of SME representatives of the user industries in the process of the IGF 2019 and effective public preparation of the wishes and demands for an Internet of the future
• Distillation and discussions of the voices of SMEs collected in the run-up to Day Zero
• Increase in the number of SME representatives attending IGF 2019

Outline of Planned Activities

“On the Road to the IGF 2019 and the Internet of the Future ...”

1.) “Testimonial videos” on the wishes and requirements of an Internet of the future
Within the framework of a total of 6 different event formats in administrative districts in Germany (e.g. Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein, Berlin/Brandenburg, Thuringia, Hesse), statements will be collected from the medium-sized user industry with requirements and wishes for an Internet of the future.

The focus is particularly on family businesses, such as Rodenstock for example, or medium-sized representatives such as Heidelberg Zement, among others. However, representatives of Munich Airport and the ADAC will also feature and can comment in a video interview on questions, wishes, and the challenges of the Internet of the future.

Basic tenor of the testimonials

The business of SMEs in Germany is also becoming increasingly digital. The regular and intensive dialogue between the user industries and the Internet industry is a key to success, because:

• IT security and trust in digital products is the number one acceptance driver: “If I can’t trust the Internet (espionage, data theft by criminals, data protection leaks, etc.), I won't use it.”
• Questions about the performance of the Internet in rural and urban areas (broadband, gigabit society, etc.),
• as well as the need for skilled workers are topics that have a decisive influence on the success of the digital transformation in the user industry.
• The development of the mobile Internet as a further innovation driver and also as an extension of the user base and decentralized business models of SMEs (in the construction industry, agriculture and forestry, etc.).

Ideally, in addition to the testimonial videos, “Best Practices” will also be filmed separately and insights into the “how to” of digitalization from medium-sized companies will be filmed and documented.

2.) Teaser Videos on the Event Page of the IGF 2019
In order to present other stakeholders and participants with the perspectives of German medium-sized industry regarding “digitalization” and the “Internet of the future” – and thus also to provide a further incentive for participation in IGF 2019 and the discussions there – short teaser videos from the material collection will be published on the IGF event website (www.igf2019.berlin) from mid-September 2019.

Basic Tenor of the Teaser Videos

The IGF 2019 will also discuss topics relevant to representatives of the SME user industries. The videos are intended to encourage participants to participate in IGF 2019, to engage in the multi-stakeholder dialogue, and to use IGF 2019 as an opportunity to actively shape the Internet of the future.

3.) Representative survey via CIVEY or YouGov on current assessment of digitalization and the Internet of the future

A representative online survey will be initiated to support the statements and video documentation and also for the later PR work. It will also focus on the essential aspects of opportunities and challenges for SME user industries in Germany of the digitalization of the Internet of the future. Graphics and core statements will be published as press releases for IGF 2019 and will also be shown in the final event video.

4.) Panel Discussion on Day Zero

The video will be presented for the first time as a “long version” (approx. 4:30 minutes) in the presence of the German Federal Minister of Economics on the Day Zero of the IGF 2019 in Berlin and will form the prelude to an effective public discussion by and with SME representatives of the user industry, the Internet industry, and politics.

The Federal Minister of Economics will provide a brief keynote address and a classification at the beginning of the event (approx. 10-15 minutes).

Rather than inviting the “usual suspects” from the Internet industry to the actual moderated panel discussion (approx. 45 minutes), we will invite medium-sized German companies (e.g. data center operators such as noris network, Telehouse, netcologne etc.).

The results of the online survey will provide the basis and set the direction for the moderated panel discussion. At the end of the discussion, the invited audience (representatives of governments, civil society, business, academia, (inter-)national organizations, and technical community, as well as the press) will have the opportunity for a maximum of 10 minutes of Q&A.

If beneficial, international perspectives can also supplement the discussion round (e.g. video clips by a representative of Angola Cable and/or EuroCloud France).


PR and Media Work

• In conjunction with “Initiative Digital” event activities, the IGF 2019 will, with immediate effect, be regularly referred to in the accompanying PR and media work (PMs, newsletters, social media, and website announcements).
• All participants and interested parties of this event (primarily representatives of the SME user industry) will also be urged to participate in IGF 2019. At a minimum of six events, participants will have the opportunity to comment on their wishes and demands for an Internet of the future for the video statements described above.
• Teaser videos will be published via the social media channels of the participating partners and on the IGF event website (www.igf2019.berlin).
• The results of the representative survey will be published in advance in a media partnership (e.g. with Handelsblatt). The general public will be informed about the IGF 2019 in press releases.
• The panel discussion will be offered via livestream and subsequently made available online.
• Press background discussions with representatives of the partners involved (including the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Industry, if required), SME representatives, and other relevant stakeholder groups will be offered as a follow-up to the panel discussion.

Further Ideas on IGF 2019 Itself:

• eco also extends the offer of participation by eco representatives, such as the Honorary President Michael Rotert, in delivering a detailed commentary on the individual event days or contributions via text or video statements.
• eco would also be pleased to present the self-regulatory approach of the eco Complaints Office for exemplary handling of illegal content within the framework of the IGF 2019 marketplace.
• If desired, eco will participate in discussion rounds, panel discussions etc. (eco representatives or representatives of member companies).

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678