Should I click for Internet governance? Where?
Please use your own words to describe this session. You may use external references, websites or publications as a source of information or inspiration, if you decide to quote them, please clearly specify the source.
From Internet access to an active and meaningful participation in a digital society and in Internet governance processes: the way forward.
The Internet is transforming our society into a digital/information society and it becomes a key enabler for economic growth and social, cultural and political development. Internet access is more and more available to end users, businesses and governmental entities around the world. This, in turn, enables end citizens to more easily participate in a democratic society (via, for example, e-democracy and e-participation tools), allows private companies to consolidate and expand their business, and offers governmental entities the opportunity to communicate easier and more efficient with citizens, and to provide better and more efficient public services. Internet can be seen, in a nutshell, as an empowering tool. Many of us see this every day and are part of this process. But under what circumstances is the Internet really able to play this role? Is access simply enough? Or is there a larger list of ingredients that, if mixed in a proper way, enable the Internet to actually play this role of a catalyst of economic, social, cultural and political development? If we take end users as an example, does it mean that, if they have Internet access, they automatically actively participate in the digital society; or are there more prerequisites that, put together, truly empower end user to be an active part of the digital society? What about digital literacy, awareness, education, adequate and encouraging public policies and regulations – do they also play a role?
Furthermore, Internet governance processes are also aimed to “shape the evolution and use of the Internet” in such a way that this “network of networks” contributes to sustainable development. Assuming Internet stakeholders are empowered by the Internet to actively participate in a digital society and contribute to sustainable development, how to make sure that they are equally empowered and motivated to take one step further and participate in Internet governance processes also? And why is participation important for both a sustainable development of the (digital) society and for efficient and effective Internet governance processes?
If Internet is meant to empower stakeholders, how do we actually ensure that these stakeholders do not limit themselves to being passive Internet users, but rather become active participants in the evolution of the digital society and in Internet governance process that help shape this evolution?
Within this framework, the current session will be aimed at:
- discussing the connection between Internet access, empowerment and active participation in a digital society and in Internet governance processes;
- identify motivations, prerequisites, challenges and barriers when it comes to meaningful participation;
- develop key messages encapsulating possible ways forward in terms of moving from simple access to active and meaningful participation.
Participants will also be encouraged to share and discuss experiences (projects, platforms, policies and strategies) they have came across within their countries and/or stakeholder groups and that are related to the focus of the session.
A list of guiding questions to help frame the discussions has been developed. Stakeholders are invited to provide their input in advance of the EuroDIG meeting. For more details check the guiding questions
Access, empowerment, participation, digital society, Internet governance, multistakeholderism.
Overall format: World café (inspired by The World Café)
The main objective of this session is to identify possible ways forward in terms of moving from Internet access to active and meaningful participation in a digital society and in Internet governance process.
With this objective in mind, participants will be organised into several break-out groups (depending on the total number of participants) that would discuss around a set of key issues connected to the session focus. There will be two rounds of break-out group discussions, an intermediary round of inter-group discussions, and a final full room discussion for conclusions and key messages.
The detailed structure of the session is as follows:
- introduction: 5 min.
The key facilitator explains the objectives and focus of the session, as well as the format and structure of the session. Break-out groups are formed.
- first round of break-out group discussions: 20 min.
Break-out groups start discussions around the session’s overarching question: “How to move forward from Internet access to an active and meaningful participation in a digital society and in Internet governance processes?”. Possible topics tthat could be covered: relevance of and motivations, pre-requisites, challenges and barriers for/to participation in a digital society and in Internet governance processes, as well as modalities for participation and the way forward. Their discussions will be guided by a set of questions developed in advance and available here. At the end of this first round of discussions, each group can briefly present their main findings to the entire room, before moving into the next part of the session.
- interactions between groups: 15 min.
Members of break-out groups can travel from one group to another, carrying with them ideas and questions resulting from the discussions within their initial groups. Each group designates a “host” who remains at the table, welcomes members of other groups and briefly share ideas and questions form the initial conversation, encouraging guests to link and connect ideas they bring in from their previous groups.
- second round of break-out group discussions: 20 min.
Participants return to their initial groups, synthesize their discoveries and continue their discussions, while trying to identifying possible ways forward in terms of moving from Internet access to active and meaningful participation in a digital society and in Internet governance process. At the end of these 20 min, each group should have developed at least three main ideas that are connected to the focus of the session.
- full room discussions and development of key messages: 30 min
All break-out groups briefly present their findings, with an emphasis on their (minimum) three main ideas. Under the guidance of the key facilitator, participants then discuss their findings and their main ideas, and try to develop and agree on a set of key messages related to the focus of the session. These messages could, for example, take the form of several recommendations/guidelines for an active and meaningful participation in a digital society and in Internet governance processes.
- World Summit on the Information Society - Geneva Plan of Action, December 2003
- World Summit on the Information Society - Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, November 2005
- European Commission - Internet Policy and Governance. Europe's role in shaping the future of Internet Governance, February 2014
- Council of the European Union - Conclusions on Internet governance, November 2014
- European Commission - The Global Internet Policy Observatory
- European Commission - Digital Agenda for Europe - Digital Society
- Focal Points:
- Iliya Bazlyankov, UNICART, Bulgaria
- Lianna Galstyan,ISOC Armenia
- Aida Mahmutovic, Oneworld - Platform for Southeast Europe Foundation, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Dusan Stojicevic, RNIDS, Serbia
- Sorina Teleanu, Chamber of Deputies, Parliament of Romania
- Org team:
- Justin Caso, IEEE
- Anelia Dimova, Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications, Bulgaria
- Narine Khachatryan, Media Education Center, Armenia
- Karen McCabe, IEEE
- Margarita Nikolova, Executive Agency Electronic Communications Network and Information Society, Bulgaria
- Grigori Saghyan, ISOC Armenia
- Rabea Willers, Council of Europe
- Bissera Zankova, "Media 21" Foundation, Bulgaria
- Key facilitator: Olivier Crépin-Leblond, ISOC England, United Kingdom
- Groups facilitators: focal points and members of the org team
- Reporter: N/A (It will be the key facilitator's role to guide participants towards agreement on a set of key messages.)
- Remote moderator: Narine Khachatryan, Media Education Center, Armenia
Conf. call schedule & minutes
Virtual meeting IV - Thursday, 21 May, 13.00 CET
Discussions continued on the format and content of the session. It was agreed to prepare an agenda/outline for the workshop, based on the information already available on the wiki.
Virtual meeting III - Tuesday, 12 May, 11.00 am CET
The key facilitator and remote moderator for the session have been identified. Discussions were also held on: the need for more outreach with regards to the call for public input, youth involvement, participation and logistics. Detailed minutes of the meetings are available at the discussion site.
Virtual meeting II - Monday, 27 April, 12.00 noon CET
The session description, format and guiding questions have been agreed during the meeting. Discussions were also held on the session title, outreach and the role of the org team. Detailed minutes of the meetings are available at the discussion site.
Virtual meeting I - 9 April, 10.00 am CET
It was agreed that the session should try to look into issues related to the connection between Internet access, empowerment and participation in a digital society and in Internet governance processes (as these are all interconnected issues, one leading to another). As such, this session is aimed to:
- discuss the connection between Internet access, empowerment and active participation in a digital society and in Internet governance processes;
- identify prerequisites, challenges and possible ways forward;
- develop forward looking key messages connected to the overarching theme.
The overarching theme/focus, key words and format of the session were provisionally agreed, as outlined above. Further work is now done with a view to develop a more relevant session title, a session description and a structured concept form the session format. Detailed minutes of the meeting are available at the discussion site.
Estimative timeline: by 20 April - draft session description, title and questions; virtual meeting in the week of 20 April or early in the week of 27 April; agreement by 30 April (in line with the EuroDIG deadline).
This session is intended to be both a follow up from SEEDIG (where issues related to participation in Internet governance processes will be discussed), as well as an integration of the various EuroDIG proposals identified as fitting under the general theme of the session. All these proposals, as well as several questions that will help frame the SEEDIG discussions are listed at the discussion site.
Following the first three virtual meetings of the org team, the session teaser, key words, description, format, title and guiding questions have been agreed, and the key facilitator and remote moderators have been identified, as detailed above. Work is now being done on outreach and attracting input in advance of the session.
- Stakeholders need to be empowered to participate, through awareness raising, education, capacity building and allocating financial resources.
- Internet governance processes have to ensure equality among stakeholders, so that all voices are acknowledged.
- Use SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) methodologies to catalyze Internet governance from all stakeholders, especially end users. See the results and have an impact.
- Improve remote participation and make it part of the DNA of Internet governance, by giving it more time in face-to-face interactions.
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