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IGF 2021 Newsletter: May 2021


In this Newsletter 

Hybrid IGF 2021

Preparations for the hybrid IGF 2021 are underway. The IGF 2021 process will have two components: a preparatory phase and the 16th annual IGF, hosted by the Government of Poland in Katowice from 6 to 10 December 2021 under the overarching theme ‘Internet United’

What the hybrid IGF 2021 is about?

It is mostly about creating as-equal-as-possible conditions for online and onsite participants. This further means that the IGF 2021 will made possible for a session to be implemented in Katowice with fully online participants or a mix of online and onsite participants. Therefore, all stakeholders wishing to submit a session proposal can do so regardless of whether they or their session-engaged parties will participate onsite or online.
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IGF 2021 Call for sessions: you asked, we respond!

Stakeholders are invited to submit session proposals regardless of whether they plan to be present onsite in Katowice or attend IGF 2021 online. Deadline to apply is 26 May 2021, 23:59 UTC


Q: I don’t know yet if I will be able to travel to Katowice. Can I still apply for a session?
A: Yes, absolutely! Regardless of whether you will take part online or onsite, you can still submit a proposal and organize a session. 

Q: Some of my speakers won’t be able to travel to Katowice. Can they still participate?
A: Yes, absolutely! Speakers can take part online or onsite.

Q: None of my speakers or moderators will be able to travel to Katowice. Can we still submit a proposal and participate online?
A: Yes, absolutely! It is possible to submit proposals for sessions in which all involved parties join fully online, including speakers, moderators, rapporteurs and other resources the session will benefit from. Read more here about the organizing modality for these types of sessions.

Q: If the session has only online speakers, do I still need to provide an onsite moderator?
A: No, there is no need to provide an onsite moderator. The assigned meeting room in Katowice from which participants can connect to the online session will have a member of the technical support team who will provide information on how to contribute to the discussions.  

IGF 2021 Village and Remote Hubs

Showcase the work of your organization! Host a booth at the IGF 2021 Village.
Apply by 1 July 2021, 23:59 UTC

Participate in the IGF 2021 from the comfort of your home or office together with your local community. Register a remote hub! Deadline is 20 September 2021, 23:59 UTC

Intersessional Activities

Policy Network on Environment (PNE)
The PNE Multistakeholder Working Group met twice over a virtual meeting to define the work scope. Join the next meeting and contribute with your ideas. Join the mailing list!

Policy Network on Meaningful Access (PNMA)
The multistakeholder working group for PNMA is expected to be formed in the coming days. The work plan and ways of stakeholder engagement will be announced. Join the mailing list!

Best Practice Forum Cybersecurity on the use of norms to foster trust and security

The BPF presented a draft work plan with intended deliverables at its April virtual meeting and is inviting volunteers to join its workstreams ‘Mapping cybersecurity agreements’, ‘Testing norms concepts against internet events’, and ‘Outreach and cooperation with other IGF Initiatives’ to elaborate the parts of the work plan.

Interested in this BPF? Join the mailing list!


Best Practice Forum on Gender and Digital Rights
The BPF made a first attempt at defining ‘gendered disinformation’, the focus of this year's work, during its May virtual meeting, and identified community priorities. An online survey is launched to gain insight in the topic and collect resources and expertise.

Interested in this BPF? Join the mailing list!


Dynamic Coalitions (DCs)

DCs continue to work on developing a paper that will document their activity and explore their role within the IGF ecosystem. More details are available on the DC Coordination Group webpage. Find out more about DCs! And join their networks.

National, Regional & Youth IGF initiatives (NIRs)

The network of 135 NRIs is expanding! The IGF Secretariat welcomed the national IGF of Greece and the sub-regional IGF for South-East Asia.


Collectively, the NRIs network works over the regular monthly meetings on planning their organized participation in the hybrid IGF 2021 and strengthening of engagement with governments and parliament through development of briefing materials for the two groups. Find out more about NRIs

For Your Action!

Coming to Katowice for the 16th annual IGF?
Let us know via this quick poll if you will participate onsite or online.


Organize sessions at the IGF 2021
Submit your proposals by 26 May, 23:59 UTC


BPF Gender & Digital Rights survey
What’s gendered disinformation? Support the BPF by completing a short survey.

Key dates and deadlines

26 May, 09:30 UTC
31 May, 13:00 UTC


IGF 2021 Host Country Webinar: Ethics and the Internet

31 May, 15:00 UTC

NRIs virtual meeting IV

See also: Full IGF calendar

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Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

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

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 411