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IGF 2016 - Day 3 - Room 4 - IGF Newcomers track

 

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Jalisco, Mexico, from 5 to 9 December 2016. 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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>> ANYA:  Hi, all.  Apologies.  The Newcomer track will begin soon.

For those on the side, come to the table so we can listen to you.  No worries.  This is Newcomers, no judging.  Thank you.

We are going to ask you to kindly take your positions and we are going to start in two minutes.

(Pause.)

>> ANYA:  My name is Anya. I work for the IGF Secretariat, but I think we know each other because we spend a lot of time together on the Newcomers Track.  I want to thank you for attending these sessions.  What I see is the same faces at these sessions which is good for the continuation of the track.  I am leaving to Bianca to present herself.  We will go around because we want to hear your names, what are your interest.  We are going to present you our days the speakers.  They will be having dialogue with us to see what is the role of civil society within the Internet Governance Forum and within the Inter-Sessional work of the IGF and how can we contribute all together.  That's it.

>> BIANCA CAROLINE HO:  Thank you.  Yesterday we started with introducing every Newcomer.  Some of you were here, like Sebastian, some of us are not.  It is good to practice talking to the mic.  I feel like a lot of people did the no even know how to use a mic.  That's a good start.  Hopefully you can still participate actively.  Tomorrow, there is not too many days left but you can still start small.  We'll start perhaps from this side.  So do you want to talk about yourself and ... just like introduce yourself and pass on the mic so everyone gets the chance and then we will go to the speakers to talk about civil societies, what they represent, why they are here and how they can interest act with you and we'll open up for questions.  Thank you for your patience.

>> My name is Slobodan Markovich.  I am not actually a Newcomer.  I really supported this Newcomers Track.  My organisation also is one interesting mix of technical community organisation and civil society organisation, given the fact that we are a not for profit.  So please ask me anything either now or around the agenda.

>> Hello.  I'm Stephen, a professor in communications studies at York University in Toronto, Canada.  I also have been involved for the last ten years at least about different, in social movement and civil society organisation and relationships through alternative technologies and alternative media.  I am now right now interested very much by Internet Governance discussions.

>> Hi, I'm Matt Hatfield, on behalf of IFEX.  We develop and promote free expression, a global network of organisations.

>> I'm a youth representative in the Netherlands.  I have to say, this is not the first IGF.  It is my second.  But I'm really curious about things that will happen in this session.  So okay.

>> Thank you.  My name is Benjamin, Vice-Chair of the At-large Advisory Committee at ICANN.  I participated in seven of the previous IGFs and I was in four of them either speaker or organiser for workshops.  I think I will stop here.

>> Hey, my name is (gives name).  I am from Chad, the National Coordinator of IGF Chad and also a member of Afri-NIC.  Thanks so much.

>> Hello.  My name is Olivia coming from Togo, West Africa and part of regional academia, Africa IGF.

>> My name is Dasia, coming from Congo, assistant on new project and it is my first IGF.

>> Hello.  My name is Nicolas from Uruguay.  I am computer engineer.  I am working as a network engineer at LACNIC.  Also part of the YouthIGF movement from Uruguay.  When we organise a meeting to specifically Internet ecosystem, how the Internet works.  Also we are attempting to give more information about security and focus on that.  Thank you.  This is my first IGF.

>> Hi.  My name is Odelu from the Institute on Research on Internet and Society in Brazil with research on a lot of topics and public policies.  I am my first time in IGF.

>> Hi.  My name is Rasha Abdulla, Professor of Mass Communication at the American University in Cairo, a new member of the MAG representing civil society.

>> My name is Ricardo, the Ambassador at Large for cybersecurity of the Spanish government.  I am here as an observer.  I would like to see how the participants of this workshop deal with the issue that we have to discuss today.  Thank you very much for welcoming me.

>> I am PY Wong from Malaysia.  I have a CSI company. We special like in LAC reform.  This is my first time here.

>> Hello, everyone, James, I represent -- I am from Kenya and represent an organisation called the bloggers association of Kenya.  And we have a project called I freedoms Kenya and that is concerned with human rights online.  I'm really happy to be here.  This is my first IGF.

>> Hello, my name is Ted.  I'm a French student in economics.  This is my first IGF.  I took part of the YouthIGF in France.

>> Good afternoon.  My name is Sebastian, here representing the .EU domain registry.  We had a session today on the influence of noncommercial users in the web space and I am here to kind of pursue that dialogue and see how civil society can interact with us and how we can interact with them.  While our organisation has been here before, this is my first IGF.

>> Thank you.  Hello, everyone.  My name is (gives first name) Haga, Youth IGF from France and it is my first IGF.

>> BIANCA CAROLINE HO:  Do we have anyone else?  Maybe you?  Would you like to say your name?

>> Hello, my name is Haurta from Mexico.  We have the telephony cellular project in rural communities.  This is my first IGF.  I come here to this table to see how I can engage with different groups.  Thank you.

>> BIANCA CAROLINE HO:  Thank you.  There is one seat next to me.  Do you want to sit here maybe?  It is there for you.

Also there is one here next to the ...

>> My name is (gives first name) Chavez, the first time for me here in the Forum.  I come from (company name,) a Mexican organisation that focuses on multilateral and civil society participation.  I am Professor of Communications and parliamentary advisor for radio and TV in reference to digital areas.

>> BIANCA CAROLINE HO:  Thank you.  I think that's it.  We don't have any other participants, as far as I can see from here.

So let me now first of all say thank you to the colleagues from IGF friend that accepted to be here and speak to you about how civil society can engage with the IGF and its role of civil society.  I'm thankful that Rasha joined us, a MAG member.  And Renata also is MAG member.  Can you introduce yourself briefly am say what is your position within the IGF from the civil society?

>> Yes, Renata here.  Hi, everyone.  It is nice to see all these new faces here and some not so new and to have the Newcomers Track space, which is very important since the IGF is an community.

Impart of the community, same as you.  I am, however, a part of the civil society in this community.  This means activists, scholars, citizens really who want to contribute to IGF in many ways.

I am a teacher, a researcher in the northeast Brazil in the states of Serra.  And I also do lots of different work, many civil society organisations.  I research Internet Governance and civil society.  I started getting to know about IGF when I was a student at the Brazilian School of Internet Governance in 2014.  Since then, I have participated in ICANN in the noncommercial users constituency space, LAC RILO, the Latin America at large space, the advisory Council for ICANN, which is organised among the five continents, and I definitely would say that to be a part of this community, to be a member of this community you really have to get to know your other civil society colleagues, how civil society organises itself within IGF, debating throughout Inter-Sessional work.  This means the best practice Forum.  I'm Co-chair of the Best Practice Forum on gender and access along with MAG member Jack McKee.

And also the dynamic coalitions which, for instance, have themes such as the D.C. on gender which I am a member, and community connectivity, rights and principles.

So there are many spaces where you can do work in the IGF.  It is like an umbrella of themes for the civil society.  And I am grateful to have been part of those spaces.  I definitely would recommend that you get to know more about them, get to know more about your colleagues and contribute with us to the next IGF in 2017.

>> BIANCA CAROLINE HO:  Thank you, Renata.  We have Leana.  Tell us about yourself and your role in the IGF.

>> Hello.  I'm Leana from Armenia.  I represent ISOC Armenia.  It was founded around 25 years ago when many young participants here were not born even.  I joined ISOC Armenia since 2000 and I want to say that it is really very active community in Armenia.  It actually started from some brilliant minds when at those times in the 1990s there was no IETF -- I'm sorry.  At that time there was I-net conferences and one of our community members went to those meetings and we wanted to have the registry for domain names, top level domain name for Armenia.  That person, now the founder of ISOC Armenia, he met Jon Postel and he wanted to have the .AM.  We have him from Serbia from registry.  So he asked for .AM and Jon Postel said if you have the multi-stakeholder community, some organisation, that would be very fine for the country to have your domain name.  And then some other bright minds get together and founded, which was now called multi-stakeholder.  That term was not that popular at those times.  Nevertheless, we had that process down.  And we had as members representatives from different stakeholder groups in their personal capacity.

And at that time it was called, actually the community was called Armenian Internet Users Group.  From the beginning we were like end users of Internet.

But since that organisation and communities is really very active, we discussed all the things within the community related to the Internet.  All capacity building, security issues, whatever we have we discussed there and we are growing in number.

And regarding our activities, we support the libraries in rural areas.  This is a project which we do in recent years.  We found that in the country, the libraries are going to die.  I mean, everyone is now using the Internet online libraries and in the rural areas they have no connectivity in this.  So we helped them to acquire computers.  We provide them with software, special software and help them to get connected to the online world.

The other project which we do is a project for disability, people with disabilities.  People with visual impaired and blind people.  So we developed an Internet centre for them and in this way we communicate with them, the stakeholders.  We cooperate with other stakeholder groups and invite them to cooperate with us as well, to the end users.

And in the past already two years we established the Armenian IGF.  We formed it and what we have really is a very interesting experience.  We established Internet Governance Council.  We do not have only IGF once a year as in many countries.  We have permanently working body which deals with Internet related issues.  So whatever actual or burning issues we have, we face in the country, then we have this Council which discusses all the issues and brings, gives some recommendation even to the government which might then become a kind of law or rule or something mandatory or to all the operators, et cetera.  It is really very important to have such kind of bodies and we find this model very useful for the country.

And we have also horizontal connections without IGFs.  We participate to nationality, regional, subregional and global IGFs and we have the messages and this is really also very important to have this not only connection vertically but to horizontally to all the IGFs.

And have them overview of what is going on the other countries regions and to my mind I want to say that everywhere the issues and the concerns are more like the same.  So we are all in the same globe and facing the same issues.  All the security things, all the challenges, bringing stakeholders together.  So we face the same issues everywhere.

Thank you very much.  I will pass this.

>> BIANCA CAROLINE HO:  Thank you.  Please, go ahead.

>> First of all, thank you for inviting me to come to this workshop.  It is great to see new people coming, joining the process, joining the discourse because you can see by the time the discussion and the discourse at the IGF is changing with more civil society joining.  This year it is very impressive how you can see all stakeholders actually working together.  Then wouldn't have been done without the engagement of civil society on equal footing with the government and private sector.  This is exactly what my programme is doing.  I am working with HEDIS.  There is an Internet Governance MENA programme, Middle East North Africa.  This is building the capacity of different stakeholder including civil society, but we also work with government, private sector, technical community and researchers.  We focus on Internet related issues, but also try to engage them in the process, to influence the Internet policymaking.  This is done on different levels.

For example, we first start to engage them at the local level and then we took them to the regional level.  We have DR of IGF.  Because we couldn't actually have these discussions until the Arab spring.  It was not possible to have discourse about Internet policies before that.  After the revolution of governments realised how it is important to have this discourse and this is when the Arab IGF started but there was still a vacuum because the civil society was not worried about Internet Governance, the concept.  But also about the related issues.  This is where we started raising the awareness of building capacity in the process. 

After engaging them at the local level and also the regional level, the natural evolution was to take them to the global level as well.  We started this when the IGF was held in Turkey.  Surprisingly enough when we had the first IGF organised in Egypt in 2009 it was the organised for the first time, the first time actually it's organised in one of the Arab countries.  We had zero participation from the civil society.

The first time actually to see people from civil society in the Arab region participating was in Turkey 2014.  It was very interesting to start engaging at the global level.  Starting from then, they started taking it from there.  They participate now with different workshops.  They also start collaborating with different civil society working at the global level.  They actually manage to also voice the concerns of Internet users from the Arab region, as well as networking with different stakeholders working at the local level.  They helped to bridge the knowledge gap.  When they came back they started working with their local organisations, raising issues, building the capacity of further local actors working that level.  They produced articles, blogs, and opinion pieces about what they think.  And they reflected on the participation of the IGF.  This year they are coming, organizing even workshops on their own and taking it forward, whether at the local or regional or even the global level.  So the programme that you are working on also tries to map issues for them so that when they come to this kind of discourse, they can be able toll highlight issues.  For example we have a programme that maps issues in the MENA region and reflect and write about policies.  We keep building capacity over the year.  It's an ongoing process and it is up to them to take it to a local level during the IGF.  Thank you.

>> BIANCA CAROLINE HO:  Thank you.  One interesting thing about civil societies is that everyone has a different cap.  Some could be academia, some could be ISOC or NGOs.  So there are, even if you are civil society, it doesn't mean that you are all the same.  You have different needs.

Now I am going to open up because I know we are short of time because the previous session over ran.  I want to open the floor for anyone who has questions.  You can also go and network.  Maybe we'll start opening up the floor and see if anyone has questions about how to engage civil societies hearing at the IGF.

>> Thank you.  I think it is not the right question to ask because IGF is mainly attended by civil society.  The stakeholders, the other stakeholders are participating but not participating as much as civil society.  The question should be how the civil society could be more effective in participating in the IGF.  This is a different question.  So I think that we have a lot of network of civil society existing now and perhaps we can organise ourselves so that before any IGF, six months before we have to have our programme.  How we will participate and how we can be effective in our participation.  Thank you.

>> Thank you.  I jumped at taking that question because I completely agree.  Civil society is about dialogue.  And we are the majority on Internet Governance Forum.  We need to strengthen the dialogue with other stakeholder groups.  And I see, the way I see this happening, I think every one of us here in this room has a bit of a spark in this.  It is trying to build together our results.  So the IGF has the nature of not being a deliberative body but we have results.  We have our outcome documents.  We have a review platform receiving comments.  So anyone can take the year long work of the BB gender and sex, for instance, and leave a comment there on what they think is the idea to have more women connected to the Internet, since of the next billion unconnected, 600 million are women.

Anyone can leave their thoughts on this.  I think this is amazing.  We are definitely in need of putting more focus in using these results we have on the IGF which bring knowledge and bring the stakeholders also to the dialogue.  We have attempted to invite, for instance, for our session we invited representatives of the alliance for affordable Internet, which has private sector participating, technical community.  We have the ITU.  So we need to bring in these groups to dialogue with us.  It is great that you are here.  You are all here in the civil society track helping us think about this.  So that would be my idea for them.

>> Just a quick comment back to the previous question.  We need to think of the IGF as just a hop where people come and network because it doesn't have any binding decision.  So you have to work before and after.  You have to start working before, preparing for the IGF, doing your own job that you do at the local level.  Then at the IGF you show case, you learn from other best practices, you network and then you take it forward.  The output of the IGF to start working for the next year.  So it is an ongoing process.  You don't come to the IGF to actually have any binding outcome or decision.  So it is important to bear this in mind.

>> Yes, I would agree with the previous speakers and just short addition to that.  We can all start this dialogue, this conversation on a national level, which is more easier as a step, a first step to start on the national level this dialogue.

>> BIANCA CAROLINE HO:  Is there anyone who wants to pose a question to civil societies in general?

(There is no response.)

>> BIANCA CAROLINE HO:  Okay.  I think we will close this session.  As a reminder, thank you so much for all the speakers here today.  Again, I think a lot of this discussion doesn't have to be done here.  Now that you know everyone, know their face, you can always grab them in the corridors and talk to them.  If you go to drinks, parties, you can totally talk to them.  They are very open.  Even among peers you can still talk among each other.

I wanted to announce again:  The Newcomer dinner is not sponsored.  So you have to pay, but there is a Newcomer dinner tonight sponsored by Nicolas.  I want to thank all of you.  We had three different -- as you mentioned, like this is civil society, but yesterday that was, we had private sector and government two days ago with the knowledge cafe.  You don't have to be private sector to go to the private sector one.  I think that facilitates that discussion.

>> I just wanted to leave a comment here.  It is an interesting time, this time of the IGF because we also have a process called the MAG renewal when the next MAG for civil society will be selected.

And this process can be organised via the IGF Web site.  So anyone can fill in a form.  If they want to contribute in that capacity.  And also via the civil society coordination group which is a group that holds together five other groups which are formed by civil society participants.  So get to know who civil society in Internet Governance is, participate, join these groups.  Have your say.  You can have your say on how the MAG is chosen, who is the MAG, where is the IGF, where it will go.

There is a working group on enhanced cooperation of the commission of science, technology, and development, which also is involved in the IGF.  So there are many spaces.  Of course, it is thousands of civil society offerings.  So it takes awhile to learn it all, but we are here.  You can count on us for mentoring, for jobs, whatever.

>> Thank you, Renata and Leana.  We are letting you go, but before you go, join us tomorrow on the final session where you will be speaking and we will be listening.  Your feedback is crucial here to see for the next year whether we should kind of continue with the Newcomers Track and in what way.  Whether this was good logistics or not or maybe you have ideas to change this.  That will be the first part of the 45-minute slot.  The second part will be about how can you engage with the Inter-Sessional work in 2017.

Thank you so much.  And see you around.

(The session concluded at 14:20 CST.)

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