NRI Assembly – Pre 09 2021
It is a tradition that European National and Regional Internet Governance Initiatives (NRIs) are meeting at EuroDIG. The session will consist of 4 thematic segments, facilitated by various stakeholder. The meeting is open for everyone interested in the work of the NRIs.
ICANN – Strengthening and Supporting the IGF. (20 mins) – Andrea Beccalli
This part will review ICANN’s history of support for the IGF, along with the mutually reinforcing benefits of collaboration.
The talk will also cover identified characteristics of successful and sustainable NRIs, based on ICANN experience.
ICANN’s current approaches to IGF support will be covered as well.
IGFSA Update – Future Prospects and Approaches (20 mins) – Markus Kummer or Nigel Hickson or Chris Buckridge This part will provide a brief update on the role and approach of the IGF Support Association, introducing the executive committee and key areas of activity. These include new communications vehicles and a fundraising campaign. Emphasis will be placed on the value added through IGFSA support for NRIs, along with eligibility criteria and how support works. A ‘call to action’ will seek help on achieving IGFSA goals
Part 4 - Session hosted by the IGF Secretariat
Towards an innovative IGF 2021
For over a year, the world turned to digital completely. The IGF, as well, was hosted completely online for the very first time in its history. Many lessons are learned and being applied to this year’s IGF. Join us for this interactive session to learn what is new and to help us improve further IGF 2021.
The IGF 2021 process includes an interactive community-centred preparatory phase and the 16th annual meeting to be hosted by the Government of Poland in Katowice from 6 to 10 December. The entire process will be hosted in a hybrid format, to ensure as-equal-as-possible participation of online and onsite participants. Even though the IGF was always hosted in a format that aimed to accommodate online participation, this year's process will invest even more effort into this goal. The COVID-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions are not the only factors that prompted the IGF to evolve towards a hybrid nature. Its mandate, continuous advice from the community, as well as the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation all added to the momentum for concrete action in improving the participation conditions.
The IGF is more out there, closer to people. This is why the intersessional working modalities are also advancing and many capacity development activities are being introduced. We hope that the IGF 2021 process will engage many historically unrepresented stakeholders who will help us to ensure Internet governance processes are present in all corners of the world. This session will allow participants to learn more about IGF innovations and how to effectively engage in the IGF 2021 processes.
Briefings and updates followed by interactive discussions among NRI-Organisers supporters and everyone interested.
Digital Cooperation Roadmap (the MHLB proposal is described on pp. 25-26)
- About the IGF
- About IGF 2021 hybrid format
- IGF 2021 Guide to issues and policy questions
- Policy Network on Environment (PNE)
- Policy Network on Meaningful Access (PNMA)
- BPF Cybersecurity on the use of norms to foster trust and security
- BPF Gender and Digital Rights
- Our Digital Future - Capacity development workshop series
- About Dynamic Coalitions
- About NRIs
- NRIs 2019/2020 Compendium
- NRIs brochure to support engagement with parliaments and governments
- Mark Carvell, Internet Governance Expert
- Andrea Beccalli, ICANN
- Nigel Hickson, IGFSA
- Mr. Chengetai Masango, Head of IGF Secretariat
- Ms. Anriette Esterhuysen, Chair of the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group
- Ms. Anja Gengo, Associate Programme Expert / National and Regional IGF Initiatives Focal Point
- Ms. Sorina Teleanu, Consultant for Dynamic Coalitions and MAG support
- Ms. Sheetal Kumar, co-Lead BPF Cybersecurity work stream on outreach
- Mr. Wim Degezelle, Consultant for Best Practice Forums
- Ms. Flurina Wäspi, Consultant for Policy Network on Environment
- Ms. Raquel Fortes Gatto, Consultant for Policy Network on Meaningful Access
Transcript, Parts 1-3
Provided by: Caption First, Inc., P.O. Box 3066, Monument, CO 80132, Phone: +001-719-482-9835, www.captionfirst.com
This text, document, or file is based on live transcription. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), captioning, and/or live transcription are provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. This text, document, or file is not to be distributed or used in any way that may violate copyright law.
>> MODERATOR: Welcome to studio Trieste, EuroDIG 2021, day zero in the afternoon. We are going to have, we are going to open with another pre-event that is the NRI Assembly that is going to happen in four parts, and let me just quickly read the session rules.
For everybody, please enter with your full name. To ask a question, raise your hand using the Zoom function. For those who have the old version who are used to the old version of Zoom, now, the raise hand function is under reactions on the far bottom right.
You will be unmuted when the floor is given to you, and when speaking, switch on the video and state your name and affiliation. Chat will not be stored or published. Do not share links to the Zoom meetings, not even with your colleagues. And having done this housekeeping, let me give the floor to Mark Carvell, Internet Governance expert who will start this session.
>> MARK CARVELL: Well, thank you very much, Roberto, for the introduction. And thank you also to Sandra for inviting me to participate in the NRI Assembly with this first part, which is an update on a very important process led by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, with regard to promoting greater cooperation and strengthening the governance mechanisms including specifically the IGF, and, of course, that whole agenda has important ramifications for national and Regional IGFs like EuroDIG for stakeholder engagement for developing multi-stakeholder process throughout the global ecosystem, and, of course, Regional IGFs and national IGFs have an increasingly important role to play in the whole moving forward of the Internet Governance ecosystem.
Taking into account what the high level panel that the U Secretary-General has developed in its report for recommendations to strengthen the Internet Governance processes and specifically the IGF in advancing digital cooperation, and it’s contribution to sustainable development goals. There is a huge contextual back drop to this specific focus we have today on the figure and the proposed source to strengthen the IGF which were set out in, well, initially in a set of options and recommendations which talked about establishing a high level leadership group within the IGF structure.
In addition to the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group, the MAG, which will continue to have an operational role primarily as it was described in the options paper to develop the program for the IGF and so on, this high-level group would be a smaller entity comprising it would envisage Ministers, CEOs, high level people active in the whole area of digital policy, digital implementing, digital transformation and Internet Governance policy generally.
So it would be a smaller group, and it would create links to other processes, other fora where decisions would be taken. That was the conceptual rationale behind having this separate smaller group that it would provide linkages from the IGF that were perceived by the high level panel as being missing or inconsistent to deliver the outcomes from the IGF discussions to decision takers and Governments and private sector across the world.
So this group would have that kind of remit, it was envisaged. It would not be a decisional group. That was made clear from the start, but it would provide inputs, and that’s where, I think, a lot of discussion subsequently has been focusing. How will this group interact with the MAG, the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group with the IGF community in terms of inputs contributing to strategic thinking and so on.
So it started to create a lot of interest while there was general support for the concept of some strengthening through having high level leadership. I think throughout the consultations that have happened since this proposal emerged there has been broad support for that, and I will touch on that very shortly. So that’s the origins of this proposal for a multi-stakeholder high level board, I smaller strategic thinking group with high level participation.
It’s created a lot of interest, because it raises the question of how you can reconcile a new strategic governance mechanism like this, a smaller board with the well-established multi-stakeholder bottom up characteristics of the IGF that were set out way back in 2005 in the Tunis Agenda that was agreed at the UN World Summit on the Information Society, the WSIS, how to reconcile bottom up multi-stakeholder engagement with creating a smaller governance entity this would deal with strategic issues and so on.
How is that going to work? And I think that’s what’s generated a lot of discussion, and expressions of concern that may be the fundamental that was agreed back in Tunis is going to be compromised in some way when you have high level people charged with some kind of strategic role. Some might see as an oversight role, superior to the bottom up policy development process, the program setting for the IGF and so on.
So it’s generated a lot of discussion, as I say. There have been lots of consultations on this, and to their credit, the relatively newly created office of the technology envoy, the technical envoy’s office of the Secretary-General together with the IGF Secretariat have been leading a lot of these consultations with the aim of securing broad support for implementing this proposal in a way that will command the support of stakeholders and establish credibility, but it’s quite a long way to go, it seems.
Having followed these consultations, representing Sandra and the EuroDIG community, and you may know that I have led some of the consultations on this, EuroDIG held a EuroDIG extra event on the 3rd of March where we specifically looked at this issue. I was asked to moderate that session.
The messages from that EuroDIG extra event were that there wasn’t a broad support for the idea of having a multi-stakeholder high level board that would relay outcomes, policy approaches and recommendations to other process other fora, so on. So the extra event reaffirmed broad support for the kind of concept of that. And this high level board would provide a valuable bridge between discussion at the IGF, which is non-decisional, and the sort of origins if you like of the decision takers, where decisions are taken, that bridge function was agreed.
There was support for the idea of the board having the ability to provide strategic inputs, but also concern that the MAG should retain its essential authority and responsibility for developing the IGF program. That was a very clear message from the EuroDIG extra event.
And another key point that came out of that discussion was that this board should not be separate, a separate entity wholly detached from the MAG, that there should be integration of the two so that there would be no risk of the board developing, a duplicating or inconsistent role or mission.
The MAG should be able to work closely with this board. That was another point that came out with a lot of support from the EuroDIG extra discussion. And also, there was underlining of ensuring maximum transparency of how the board was appointed, you know, the process for recruiting members of the board. So that was – those are the key points, I think, that came out of the EuroDIG extra event.
And to bring you further up to date, a couple of weeks ago on the 14th of June, the tech envoy’s office and the IGF Secretariat had another webinar consultation, a very interactive event. It was well attended. A lot of the points that came out of EuroDIG consultations Reilly came to the surface. I think the second yacht and the tech envoy’s office were rather than taken aback by expressions of concern that still encircle this proposal with take guarding in particular to its relationship with the MAG, and it’s still unclear role with regard to its strategic remit.
So that’s – you can find a summary of that webinar held a couple of weeks ago, I think, on the EuroDIG website. I captured some of the keynotes from it. It was one thing that surprised me and it may have surprised others, that it was emphasized by the IGF Secretariat, by Chengetai Masango that the ultimate decisions about the characteristics, the composition of the board would lie with the Secretary-General’s office.
So that’s a point, I think, to take to think about carefully in terms of transparency and accountability, and how this kind of a board would be formed and who would be appointed to it. The Secretary-General would have quite an important role.
And you have already got the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs having functions or a locus in these discussion as well as the tech envoy’s office. So a lot of these decisions are going to shift from Geneva and the IGF Secretariat to New York, and stakeholders will want to make sure that those processes of discussions and decisions are transparent and fully accountable.
Another point that came up from the Secretariat’s updating was that it would be optional for the high level board to meet in closed session under Chatham house rules. I think this alarmed some stakeholders who felt that this was compromising really the openness and transparency of the whole IGF modalities, if you like. And I think the office of tech envoy can expect some serious push back on that.
Meetings should be completely open and transparent. Another interesting point that came up in discussions was what kind of people are going to be on this group? It was made clear by the Secretariat that it would be a small group, that they were aiming for high level people. If these people are going to be Ministers from individual Governments, there was concern that that might not work easily. Ministers don’t have easy facility to participate in complicated Internet Governance discussions. They usually rely on officials. I speak that’s a former special having to advise. They rely on senior officials, really, to steer their contributions which are time limited. Ministers have enormous portfolios to manage. So I think really expecting Ministers to participate, maybe they should aim for senior policy makers from Government, and likewise from the private sector and civil society you would have, you know, highly respected, very much experienced senior people from those quarters participating in the group, in this small group.
So a lot of questions about that were raised. And I think the whole question about the relationship with the MAG was a big issue in this webinar consultation a couple of weeks ago, and there was a strong consensus, I think, from the participating stakeholders that the board should be integrated within the MAG. It should not be a separate entity. It should be highly integrated into the MAG and the MAG may well indeed have a role in nominating who participates in this kind of a board.
There are other points raised about where is the voice of youth in this process? Is it should be in my personal view taken into account when identifying people to be on the board and also, you know, the scope of the board’s work. I think I will finish there, Roberto. I fear I may have gone over time, but it’s an important issue, an important milestone in the evolution of the IGF. It’s one that has stakeholder, but R and certainly the technical envoy’s office you can left us with the message that they had to do some rethinking. They had to examine some of these key issues, relationship to the MAG, who is going to be on it, openness, transparency, and so we can expect further conversations from the technical envoy’s office, from UNDESA and the IGF Secretariat and EuroDIG should continue to engage directly and consult the stakeholder across the whole European continent because it’s an important step. I hope that’s been helpful. Happy to take questions and reactions. I have covered all of the salient point. So back to you, Roberto, unless Sandra wants to make a comment.
Thanks very much.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. Yes, I don’t know if somebody wants to take a comment or what’s the plan to have questions at the end, but if we use 20 minutes each, there will not be a lot of time at the end. So I assume I shall go to the next speaker that is Andrea Beccalli. And, Andrea, you have the floor.
>> ANDREA BECCALLI: Thank you, Roberto, thank you, EuroDIG for hosting the session, thank you, Mark for the update. I wasn’t following it that closely, my colleagues were, so it was a good learning for me, and indeed an interesting process. And some of this of the criticism, it reminds me of the early days of the process so we see there are trends that keep repeating themselves.
But moving on, ICANN’s role in supporting NRI and IEG discussion in general. I want to pay tribute to this, I don’t know if you can see it. This is another thing missing from the virtual event, we don’t have the very useful gadgets that kind of reminds of you where you were and how fun it was, but we will go back to that soon.
So I will try to, not to take too much time and kind of put all of the different points of ICANN support for NRIs and I don’t know how many NRIs are participating so, yes, Stephanie, and I sue fortune, Leannna, so particularly for those that are involved in NRI, I think that would be most interesting.
It really goes back to the whole WSIS process, and the first, the very first global IGF, and then goes all the way to the bylaws, which will be the mandate of ICANN, supporting a stable and security DNS, but in a way supporting a multi-stakeholder model and be a not for profit. We had also the possibility to contribute from our budget to the global IGF, funding in the IGF, the same spirit, the same goal, particularly from the beginning when the global IGF was very much more on their technical Government, and now I can call it technical Internet Governance, so that was even more prominent. That doesn’t mean we stop doing that.
The kind of support of the ICANN to the global IGF and the national IGFs, it would be good to do the Math, but I think in the 17 years, I think we are in the millions, in the six figures number. With, I remember, it was a top contribution to the global IGF in 2013 when the Indonesian Government figured out that they didn’t want to support the noble IGF. So ICANN and other stakeholders joined with hundreds of thousands of other for the global IGF. For ICANN the value of doing so is very much recognizing sister organisations that continue the discussion among the same approach and same light.
And that for us is a key value. It’s a value of engagement, it’s a value of meeting stakeholders or bringing stakeholders inside ICANN or bringing stakeholders into getting used to the different model of governance, and even now when the discussion within the national or Regional IGFs or the global IGFs moved partially, you know, big transfer of discussion of the main sessions moved away from the so called technical Internet Governance, they went more into the application layers, even then that doesn’t mean that I ICANN has lost an interest or will lose an interest at one point.
As I was saying our support really goes into even the model itself. We lead ICANN in 2020 an internal assessment, kind of an internal study to see where are we supporting national and Regional IGFs, why are we supporting those, kind of tidying up our books internally and sharing within the organisation some best practices.
And we came without with an internal document, and in this document, so, many years after ICANN started supporting that, we still found out that we are supporting those because they are very much in large supporting the very same goals and values that we did at the beginning. And we, you know, we then moved into kind of, doing kind of a repository of best practices. We found out that in ICANN, we went so much into the support of NRIs that in some cases we kind of kick started them, like, ICANN board members or ICANN fellows, or ICANN staff, they were at the origins of national Regional IGFs particularly in countries where there is not so much, you know, participation on these topics.
People that usually started following ICANN whether it be because they were a representative or they were managing the Top Level Domain at the national level, they started also getting interested into the larger topic, into the mother, and then from – model, and from there they moved on in launching the national Regional IGFs.
That’s something that, you know, we kind of found out in this internal review that happened a lot. It happened a lot basically across all continents. We boot strapped the national Regional IGF. And from this exercise, we kind of gathered that what we found out just confronting all of the NRIs that we supported what we found out that in our view are – I would like to pull out the documents. We found the elements of success. These are internal documents, there is knowledges that is secrets but I will read some of this to you. I think that’s important for this discussion. We looked at those good practices, we listed six of those. The first one is the effectiveness. And effectiveness, it’s kind of in itself is a different benchmark to evaluate, it’s a difficult index and the global IGF has been struggling with that to many years.
One of the first elements that we found in that was whether the national Regional IGF, the NRI, was an open enough platform for discussion of IG issues.
It was valuable in exchanging experiences, best practices, and if it was more than just an annual event, and there was also another element of its effect of kind of tracking and testing the effectiveness, and we saw indeed that many NRIs started as an annual event. And then they were able to move from only organising one Conference into doing more than that, were indeed publishing a newsletter, doing a workshop on a specific issue, doing trainings, and this is something that, you know, we really appreciate and we kind of keep looking for that in the national regional initiatives.
Then we looked into the world structure program Committees. We kind of saw that there is a large variety of organisation model and structures in the NRI’s families. And we looked at the Toolkit as a very good move from the global IGF to give some consistency and directions towards NRIs.
And assessing whether the program Committee is truly multi-stakeholder, is open, is committed, it comprised by people that know the subject, that, you know, they are able to be recognized by the community, this is something that makes kind of design a lot of the success of an NRI. How many minutes more do I have, because I’m realizing that I’m just on the second one? Sandra, can you help me on that, Roberto?
>> MODERATOR: You have ten minutes.
>> ANDREA BECCALLI: So I have four more and then concluding lines, perfect. So on that, we kind of insisted a lot, on organising and ranking the NRI on that one, program Committee. And then the well balanced participation. We wanted to have, we wanted to see whether not only on the program Committee sides, the same multi-stakeholder participation is reflected on the participation side, and I think it’s a good index of the openness of the model.
So an NRI has to be open and inclusive, and for us then it’s a good opportunity for us to engage with the support. So the well balanced participation. Now, that as another dimension in that which we saw is that not in all IG processes, the bottom up principle is, you know, is that easy to implement. We have always pushed for the bottom up, but sometimes we see that it’s not always happening, but that doesn’t diminish the impact and the interest for us to support.
So sometimes, you know, we have though kind of go around that one if it’s not bottom up, but it kind of fulfills the first three, then it’s good enough for us to engage, but this is still, this is a very important principle and we always try to support it. So well balanced participation but then with a bottom up element that has to be taken in consideration.
Then, and similar to that one, the agendas. The meaningful and bottom up built agendas. We have, we saw that the most successful one, the one that we supported, the one to support in the future are those IGFs that have an agenda and choose a topic through a process of consultation that is open, that engages as much as possible all of the different communities, and these are topics that are relevant particularly relevant to the regional country.
So that’s something that we started really seeing in NRIs where at the beginning a lot of the agenda were kind of replication of the global IGF agenda, of the main theme, and kind of replicating that in kind of a minimal fashion. We wanted to see more and more coming up from the bottom up. So even if the program Committee, the whole thing is not organized bottom up, but at least the program has to. And the top down programmes were a bunch of people having a session, we did support those, but we wanted to be tighter on those. And that’s a note of caution. That doesn’t mean in the agenda there is nothing about ICANN, we won’t support it.
As I said, the discussion moved beyond, you know, only technical Internet Governance, and we welcomed that, and for us, the fact that is there is nothing about the DNS or DNS abuse or any of those topics that keeps people at ICANN, that doesn’t mean we won’t support it. Actually, it’s even better for us, because we want, you know, we have a meeting for that. We want to broaden the community, and then for us there is still an opportunity to go to an IGF and say, by the way, you may learn more about that, if you are interested, you can come to an ICANN meeting and that’s the place where you can have more of the discussion.
So I think it’s a key element to the NRI assembly. There was written in 2020, but it started before the Pam, and one of the elements was remote participation accessibility. And we saw already back then that there was a good practice that most if not all of the NRI started implementing, we supported a lot of those NRIs landing our online tools. We do that also for the global IGF. And, I mean, this is something that even today I have been playing around with EuroDIG, I couldn’t find one male with long hair, so I complained on that, but I kind of, will appreciate now in the NRI, even before the pandemic, and, of course, with the pandemic, it was kind of forced to, but the inclusion pass through the online participation.
And then the last one and I will close after that one. We wanted to see evolution. We don’t want to see IGFs at the national level at the replicates the same agenda, the same program Committee, the same board, the same position in the same board, kind of the same people, you know, year after year again and again. We wanted to see an evolution of the model, an evolution of the new ideas, also an evolution and kind of a test from NRIs to walk with their own legs.
We saw there were a lot of dependencies from NRIs from international sponsors and donors, but they are not able to engage with national donors, and then they become overly dependent from us, and kind of, there is kind of a relationship on how much they are dependent from us, and how much you can impact at the local level. We also kind of saw that.
So that’s something that we definitely look for continue supporting the NRIs, the evolution of bringing in new ideas, bringing in new people and engaging with new formats. And those are the six key elements that we look for now when we support a national regional initiative. Just so conclude, as part of our general support to NRIs and the IGF, we also support the IGF SA, Chris Mondini, my colleague, my boss and the Vice President for Europe for engagement is also sits on the board of the IGFSA and our contribution is in kind with 20% or something like that of his time dedicated on the board of the IGFSA, but also in money we give money to the IGFSA.
I think just back of the envelope very rough estimate I think every year we give something like $200,000 at least in cash to the global IGF NRI and IGF SA and there is probably another 70 or $90,000, U.S. So our engagement is there. Okay. I close here, I have some more notes and observations, more kind of my personal experience, but I want to leave time for questions, and then I will stay for the rest of the session to I could share more after. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Andrea, for this nice description of the situation. I think it’s time to give the floor to our next speaker, that is Nigel Hickson from the IGF supporting. Nigel, you have the floor.
>> NIGEL HICKSON: Yes, and good afternoon, good morning. Can you hear me? Yes.
>> MODERATOR: Yes.
>> NIGEL HICKSON: Well, it’s a delight to be able to talk briefly to you today. It was really good to follow Andrea, always nice to follow Andrea. You need a haircut, but apart from that, it’s great.
I’m just speaking as a sort of member of the Committee of the Internet Governance Forum Supporters Association. So no more and no less than that. I will just outline a few things about the IGF SA, and then I will be really happy to take questions. So I’m hoping that I might be able to share my screen, and I’m going to, if I can share my screen, I don’t know if you can see that, if that’s working.
And I will play, I will play this.
>> SECRETARIAT: Nigel, we can’t see your screen.
>> NIGEL HICKSON: Okay. Okay. Let me – so you can just see me, so to speak. Let me see if I can share my screen. I have a video to show you. Can you see that.
>> SECRETARIAT: Yes.
>> NIGEL HICKSON: Let me see if this works. Can you hear him?
>> SECRETARIAT: No.
>> ANDREA BECCALLI: Nigel, if you want to share the sound, you need to kind of do a little trick with Zoom.
>> NIGEL HICKSON: Up won’t worry about sharing the sound, but what I just wanted to do was to say a couple of things about the IGF SA. I don’t need the sound to do that. So let’s not worry. So the Internet Governance supporter’s association as I said was set up obviously to support the IGF. I mean, you know a lot about the IGF already. You know the IGF is funded through a trust fund, which is administered by the IGF and this trust fund is a voluntary trust fund which businesses and Governments and other supporters contribute.
And, you know, from time to time, the trust fund has grown and the trust fund has waned, and the trust fund is very important. Not only does it support the operation of the IGF at the annual level, which, of course, is very important indeed, and funds some of the contributions that are needed to run the annual event, but the trust fund also, I’m sorry, yes, the trust fund also contributes to the national and regional initiatives. And as Andrea said, that is the, if you like, the life blood of the IGF.
Those contributions from time to time go up and down, of course, as Governments find funding difficult or businesses find funding difficult, and people come in and out. So the supporter’s association, if you like, plugs a bit of a gap in that funding structure, and indeed contributes to both regional and to National Initiatives.
And the trust fund has been going, was set up in 2014, and it was set up as a, set up as an initiative, and the video that I was hoping to show you was from Markus Kummer who has acted as share of the IGF SA for years and has been a really, you know,, an inspiration, if you like, in terms of the what the IGF SA has done.
Let me show you this slide, this, let me show you this if I can. I’m going to try to get this right again. I’m not very good at this stuff, but I will try and share the right screen this time. Hopefully you will see what aim sharing there. Can you see something. This is the IGF SA contributions they have made since 2014 so it’s contributed itself 2 the $0,000 to the – $290,000 to the IGF Trust Fund, it’s contributed nearly $500,000 to national and Regional IGF initiatives.
It’s contributed to 145 national IGF initiatives and it’s contributed 47 to, 47 regional initiatives since 2014. I think that in itself is a, if you like, a testament to what the IGF SA has done in this area. Let me tell you a bit about how the IGF SA works. We have a Committee of a number of representatives. The Committee is elected in an annual meeting that takes place of the Forum at an annual IGF, so this year, of course, we will have an annual meeting in Katowitz in Poland which the board, I’m sorry, the Committee will be subject to reelection. So it’s a very democratic process.
And the Committee people are on the Committee in their own right, if you like, and hopefully they contribute ideas and they contribute their skills and as Andrea said, ICANN has been very generous in Chris Mondini is on the Committee and ICANN is a funding contributor to the IGF SA. We have a Secretariat, which is provided by DotAsia, and they provide the Secretariat and run much of what the IGF SA does.
The important thing about the IGF SA is the membership. The important thing is that it supports of the association has to have supporters. The important thing is not the Committee. It’s the membership itself. That’s what I think is really important membership on the website, you can see how to become an individual member is only $25 a year, to become a corporate member is only $100 a year, and that if you like signals your support, signals your appreciation for the IGF SA.
That funding directly helps us. There is no other reason to raise funding apart from to support the IGF. We support the IGF by contributing, as I say, to the trust fund, and we support the IGF by contributing to national and regional initiatives. And we are indeed, as I speak, so to speak, that’s terrible English, I’m not very good at English, but you know what I mean, we are supporting regional initiatives, EuroDIG is brilliant. We are giving some support for EuroDIG. I know it’s not much Sandra, but EuroDIG is our friends and our colleagues.
We are also supporting a number of National Initiatives that are happening in the next few weeks. You might say, well, surely what is happening? But, of course, these virtual meetings whether they are virtual or hybrid, what we have found, they equally need support, and you don’t need me to tell you this. The cost of running a virtual meeting are not trivial as, of course, we find out.
So that’s what I really wanted to say. The website allows you to directly click through and apply for funding for national and regional initiatives. We are open to found these initiatives the only real criteria for funding initiatives is that the national regional initiative has to be recognized by the IGF Secretariat at.
You can’t just say I’m going to do a national IGF. It has to be recognized as a national or regional initiative. And it has to be, you know, the location has to be either from the Global South or being of an economy in transition. So that’s the issue, if you like, the criteria. We are open to applications and, of course, the Committee, the IGF SA is open for discussion on these funding opportunities.
I think I want to leave it there. Many of you will know something about this already, of course, so I’m speaking to an extent to an educated audience here. Please do look up the latest newsletter which has a lot of information. We have a very professional Secretariat, we are very lucky indeed in having a Jennifer Chung leading our Secretariat and really in a professional way. So I will stop there. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Nigel, for your description of the supporting association. And I think that we have time for questions. I don’t know how we are going to handle the questions Sandra.
>> SECRETARIAT: Thank you, Roberto and Nigel, Andrea and Mark for this great update. I think this more or less covered some of the essence what NRIs are concerned with. I want to mention one point.
It became clear and Andrea said it clearly that we should definitely avoid that NRIs are getting dependent on certain organisations to, for the financial support. And I fully agree that that’s an issue. Last year during the pandemic for the first time our budget was or not the budget, but the income or donations were decreasing, and so at EuroDIG we started a donation system, I know the IGF SA has a tool kind of a donate button where every member or person, individual organisation can basically do a donation.
We have it up for, I would say, since the registration for this year’s EuroDIG was open, and I would just like to share with you an observation. It’s up since April now, and we received three donations from three individual people.
I must say, this is really surprising for me. We have announced it in in the newsletter and also when you do the registration, you can basically find this button. I wonder what this community and I ask for your money on this, why is it the way that these national and Regional IGFs and also the global IGFs are supposed be for free. They need to be for free for the participants, but there is not much of support for voluntary contribution. And, I mean, we would not ask for big money, but if every participant gives like 5 Euros, I think every NRI would definitely benefit from this and the entire concept could continue.
I fear that since donations are going down, I have the feeling in many places, not only at EuroDIG, that we might not keep the standard, neither be able to improve the standard of what we are doing here in terms of how we organize, how creative we can be, how much we can promote and all of this. And I would like to hear from the participants what they think about this issue of asking for individual donations, if that is too much of an ask or if you are just doing it the wrong way or what hampers participants to make even small donations or maybe even from the IGF SA how it works in your case if you can share that information.
>> MODERATOR: Chris, you have the floor.
>> Thanks Roberto. Brick Breckinridge from the IFCC. There is a couple of things I want to respond to.
Thanks for the update on the IGF SA. I think it’s a really interesting and important, potentially important group or organisation. I think we are all struggling and Sandra sort of highlights this, with how to fund these initiatives, this work, these projects. They don’t come free. And there isn’t a sort of standard model for funding that’s working right now.
I think the IGF SA is one possible way of addressing that, and find IRAs working together have been significant contributors to the IGF SA in the past, but I think we have also been, had have concerns that we have shared with IGFSA with Markus and others about the limited range of contributors there.
I know the IGF SA is working hard on that, and I know they have made some positive moves in recent times to further broaden the base of contributors there. That needs to keep happening. I think that’s not just something for the IGF SA. It’s for all of us here to think about, you know, is that a useful thing, and why is the IGF, say, specifically such a good vehicle for this funding? Because I think if we can make that argument effectively, then that sort of entices people more to contribute via that channel.
I mean, I think Sandra is write and Andrea is correct in this as well, for all of the figure SA is great. We shouldn’t have NRIs dependent on a single global kind of pot of money. I think the point of these events is they are targeted and built around local communities, the national or regional. And those stakeholder communities should see the value in contributing and making this happen. So. We are learning as we go, and I think the sort of make a contribution button you are talking about Sandra is a good initiative. I think it’s not too much to sort of suggest to people when attending that, yes, you contribute 5 Euros or 10 Euros. Not as a mandatory thing but really to sort of say, this doesn’t come free, and if you can spare it, please a little contributing here. We are learning as we go and we are learning how to market this stuff if you will, so I think continuing to try to innovate and try new methods but we shouldn’t be afraid of saying to people, this isn’t free. We need to pay for this somehow. If you see value in this, and we should explain that value if it’s not immediately apparent, yes, you should contribute.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Chris.
Are there questions and comments?
>> ANDREA BECCALLI: Roberto, I can make a comment, but I really we are at the end.
>> MODERATOR: Yes, we are just, well, we can eat a few minutes out of the break.
>> ANDREA BECCALLI: This is a very complex and interesting discussion, so I don’t think we can really, even myself, know where to start, but I think it’s time for the NRIs to bring the experience and I would expect that more NRIs participate in that session on that front. There are lots of elements here.
It’s kind of, you know, it’s kind of a car that’s been defined when the petro engine was the only thing and then suddenly the Tesla comes and there are many things in the petro car that were deficient, but you are still driving it.
And I think something changed, something changed in the past year, some changes were sudden, of course, like the pandemic. Some changes were more diluted in the time that led to this growing disengagement from many stakeholders into the NRIs, and into also this inability of NRIs even through the global IGF to provide some of the responses and answers that 15 years ago were only discussed in the global IGF, and suddenly you find them on the tip of your fingers when you are opening up, and you have to click on a new feature from the iPhone or you are reading in newspapers because the European Commission or whatever regulator is pushing some laws.
And suddenly, you know, we have this huge audience that doesn’t know really us, and then these topics are not us, meaning, you know, the global IGF, the National Initiatives. So I think there is a combination of things here, and, of course, it’s always easy to give answers in hindsight, but as I said, two major trends we are seeing is the overreliance on the same donors from one particular part of the Internet, technical community.
In a way also the impact on the content and on the participation on that, and that can, you know, was good, it was money and it is still keeping, but it kind of prevented you to move to others, and kind of connected to that the fact that when the whole world is dealing and struggling with issues of, you know, governance of the Internet, the it application layers, the content layers, almost, you know, very few countries the NRI was the place to be, and, therefore, it’s hard to ask donors to contribute to something that you have never seen before, although these people are discussing these kind of topics.
So I think that’s quite relevant. And the way forward, you know, it’s kind of hard to, I don’t have a ready solution for that, but starting looking at, you know, not looking at this model as the only one, and clearly seeing that it is not sustainable, it’s not working that well, and try new things like, you know, the direct donors, although, we used to get something for free for 15 years when you see click and pay. Even myself, I felt ashamed, I felt I didn’t even consider that. I didn’t even consider giving money myself. You are kind of used to having that. So I think there is also a communication has to change on that.
But I think it’s worth it even in EuroDIG and among us to have a frank discussion and confront others because clearly not looking at that doesn’t help us in addressing it.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Andrea. We have a last comment by Adam Peake before we close the session.
>> ADAM PEAKE: I would like to build on a couple of things that Andrea said, and it may have been said earlier. There are now 93 national IGFs, 19 Regional IGFs and with the global IGF, I think that’s 113 events that are associated with the IGF totally. That’s an awful lot to support. And they are increasing all of the time.
And for the funders, as Andrea mentioned, quite often there will be related activities that we are also asked to support, such as the schools on Internet Governance, so while, of course, they are not NRIs, they do start to extend the general scope so a thought, and, of course, providing individual donations is a good idea and like Andrena, I didn’t realize that I could, so I’m embarrassed and will see what I can do, but I attended RightsCon and I can ICANN supports RightsCon and one of the things RightsCon has done it’s a fee-paying event, you pay a fee to participate, and the usual sort of menu of options for private sector or not for profit or academic, whatever it may be, with a varying scale, but there was also free participation.
So you could just register and attend for free. So if you turned that around and said that an NRI should always be free and that’s one of the things about the IGF generally, I think it’s almost a requirement that there should be no participation fee, but that didn’t mean that you could actually voluntarily say that if you are a private sector organisation, would you consider paying 125 Euros, just a number off the top of my head to participate in Euro dig this year or the Dutch IGF this year or the global IGF this year, and if you are not a not-for-profit organization, perhaps you would participate for $50 or 50 Euros a year.
Reverse it around so that the fee is optional and it’s a suggestion. It will always remain a free event, but to offer the opportunity for people to pay with a receipt and an invoice and all of the things that a corporation or an organisation would need.
So just a thought, and I don’t think it’s something that, you know, it’s probably a bad idea, but I thought I would mention it any way. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Adam. And I think that it’s time now to close this session, unless there is, Sandra, if you want to intervene again?
>> SECRETARIAT: I’m sorry, it’s Sandra speaking. I don’t want to intervene. I thank the others for their comments and I made some more comments in the chat. I think it’s an interesting discussion because looking at very successful conferences, you are used to pay a huge fee and sometimes I have the feeling that if you limit the access to an event or to something, then people want to come, but if it’s all for free, then it’s sometimes more difficult to engage people. That’s my personal feeling over the many years that I’m struggling with the budget, with the funding, and looking how others are doing.
And possibly that’s, we have to, we have to respect it for what it is. I’m a little bit clueless and speechless. I don’t know how to overcome that issue in the future, because we are looking for sustainable funding and sustainable budgets since the beginning, and it’s still difficult., and not speaking about only EuroDIG, but the global IGF, and many other NRIs.
>> MODERATOR: Adam, is this a new hand?
>> It’s an old hand, of course. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Well, with these words, for sure, I think that we need to, we need to think about how to make the Internet Governance work sustainable. I’m also wondering whether the fact that we had the pandemic has changed something in terms of maybe lowering the interest and changed something also in the way people approach the Internet Governance. I think that in, when we resume normal operation, probably, this is a discussion that we should start doing.
So this said, there is now a coffee break, and the next session is at 15: 15, and is the continuation of this session of NRI and will be a round table. See you in something like 35 minutes. Bye.
Transcript, Part 4
Provided by: Caption First, Inc., P.O. Box 3066, Monument, CO 80132, Phone: +001-719-482-9835, www.captionfirst.com
This text, document, or file is based on live transcription. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), captioning, and/or live transcription are provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. This text, document, or file is not to be distributed or used in any way that may violate copyright law.
>> MODERATOR: Good afternoon, and welcome to part 4 of the NRI assembly. Let me first read for you the session rules. Please enter with your full name. To ask a question, raise your hand using the Zoom function. You will be unmuted when the floor is given to you, and when speaking, switch on the video and state your name and affiliation.
The chat will not be stored or published and do not share links to the Zoom meetings, not only with your colleagues. We have many speakers so without further ado, let me give the floor to Chengetai Masango, head of IGF Secretariat.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Roberto. My name is Chengetai Masango, and I’m in charge of the IGF Secretariat. Thank you very much. And we are just going to go quickly through the intersessional activities and also the Road to IGF 2021 in Katowice.
As Roberto says, we have quite a large number of speakers, each representing different aspects of our intersessional activities, and what we are going to do as we go towards IGF 2021 in Katowice, so I will try and be quick from my part. I will just do a quick overview, and then unfortunately, Anriette, our share, the Chair of the MAG is unable to attend. I will hand it over to Anja Gengo, who you all know, and she is the national and regional IGF Regional Focal Point and the Associate Program Expert for the IGF Secretariat. Thank you.
Is it possible that I can share my PowerPoint presentation?
>> MODERATOR: Yes, Chengetai. Let me drop my screen and you can go.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: As most of you know, the IGF 2021 process this year is a different approach. This is what the MAG has adopted, and the MAG came up with two main focus areas and four emerging cross-cutting issue areas. So the two main focus areas are economic and social inclusion and human rights and the second area is universal access and meaningful connectivity.
For the cross-cutting issues, the first one is emerging regulation, market structure, content dotter and consumer rights regulations. This is a new one we started last year and is in response to everything going on, climate change is very, very important, so it’s environmental sustainability and climate change. The third topic we have is inclusive Internet Governance, ecosystems and digital cooperation, and the third is trust, security and stability.
An explanation of all of these topics are available on the IGF website. You can download a document which is the IGF 2021 Guide to Issues and Policy Questions. Now, as we go into the preparatory process for the Road to Katowice, we are going to have a preparatory engagement phase running from July to November 2021. And what we aim to do is facilitate in depth engagement with the IGF 2021 issue areas.
And that is to get the community talking about the issues now and develop their ideas and concepts so that when we come to Katowice, we have a mature, developed discussion going on there.
And we also plan to facilitate the engagement with the IGF community for the intersessional activities, and also, which is our main point as well, is to broaden participation, make sure that no sector of Internet user’s voice is left unheard. Now, for the 16th annual IGF meeting, as you all know, it will be on the 6th to 10th December in Katowice in Poland. We are planning this as a hybrid meeting and I will go into the hybrid aspect of it in our next slides.
All of the outputs from will be incorporated into the 2021 meeting and the objective is not to start the discussion at the meeting, but have a very mature discussion at the meeting and so that we can have solid outputs and solid conclusions and also that we can have a set next steps as well that we will have after the Katowice meeting.
Now, there is three aspects to the preparatory phase. As I said earlier, a deep dive into the 2021 issue areas, mapping the links between the IGF 2021 issue areas and the activities of the IGF community at large through cooperation and shared online experiences and space. And then, we also plan to have feeder workshops, and also having these in cooperation with the national and regional activities which I’m going to now concentrate on the second box now, we will have policy networks which you will hear from now, best practice forums and Dynamic Coalitions and having the 137 national and regional initiatives that we have. A large part of this prep phase we are going to have as well is the capacity development activities., and we are going to have training for session organizers and participants, and this is different from the substantive side that I have said before, but also how people can make best use of the online tools that we have, so that if you are not able to come, you can still participate meaningfully at the IGF 2021.
So we are going to have training for workshop organizers, we will have workshops that also explain the background behind the issues that we are going to be discussing. As I mentioned, the IGF is going to be a hybrid format. What we mean by hybrid format because as you know, we have had virtual participation in most of our figure its Hyderabad, are all of our IGFs since Hyderabad, but we want to take it to the next level where the people who are physically there and the people who are not physically there will have virtually same experience and will be able to participate equally. So it’s, we don’t want the people who are not there physically to feel that they are disadvantaged in any way.
And we are doing this via a lot of things. We are going to have a virtual experience where we are basically rebuilding the IGF venue in virtual space where people can have, where we have IGF Village. People can come in, download materials, talk to people, it will be very, very comparable to being there and in person. Panelists, if you can’t take many to Katowice, we will be integrating the on-site panelists with offsite panelists and we have workshops that can be done fully virtual, and all of the mix, all the way from fully virtual to fully present.
If there is a fully virtual workshop, it will have a workshop room so people can come in, sit down and participate. We have strong tech staff there from our Polish hosts and they will connect everything. We have an app that we will be releasing in September as well, so it will be ready and tested by December when people want to make comments or request the floor, it will be exactly the same experience if you are on site or off site. Now, for the intersessional work, as I said, we have the best practice forums, we have the BPF and cybersecurity, the use of norms to foster trust and security. The best practice forum on gender and digital rights. They are concentrating on gendered disinformation.
We have our new policy networks for this year, which you will hear more about shortly, the policy network on environment and this is focusing on digital technologies for environment and environmental data, food and water security, energy security, supply chains. Then weapon have the policy network in meaningful access focusing on how to achieve meaningful and universal access.
And if you do recall, a couple of years back we did have a policy network on Connecting the Next Billion. So this could be seen as a follow John to that so to speak. And for the Dynamic Coalitions, we have 22 Dynamic Coalitions, and they are focused on various Internet Governance issues. For example, we have the Dynamic Coalition on accessibility, Blockchain, child rights online, Internet Governance schools, indicators, security and a whole lot which you will hear about shortly. You can find this information other than the website and if you have questions contact us or contact the individual leads you will hear from shortly. With that, thank you very much for your attention. I will pass it onto Anja Gengo.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you Chengetai. It’s a pleasure to be at EuroDIG and it’s been a success and it’s only been a few hours if to judge by the traffic on social media which I tend to follow when it comes to NRI meetings so special congratulations on that. We are looking forward to the next two days.
As Chengetai said the IGF 2021 is in its creative phase and I’m sure EuroDIG is already implementing some of the creative ideas as well as other NRIs.
The MAG and the Secretariat and the community, of course, are working on that, on your journey toward December we create conditions which will meaningfully and as equally as possible accommodate all participants regardless if they participate online or on site.
One of the most important sections on our journey to Katowice in December is the intersectional work that Chengetai mentioned and spoke about. It’s very diverse this year, not just in terms of the substance, but also in terms of the format which allows for different broad scope of engagement possibilities for people that are interested or becoming interested in the topics that Chengetai mentioned, but before we give the floor to the co-facilitators of our intersessional work streams, I just would like to see if anyone has questions or suggestions related to what Chengetai presented, especially on the structure of the IGF, including its preparatory phase and the logistics that we are all working on for the 16th annual IGF meeting which will be hosted in Katowice in December. You can post in the chat or raise your hand and ask for the floor. I will give you a few seconds to think.
I would like to remind that as Chengetai said the preparatory phase is explained in more detail on the documentative posted in the chat. It spokes about categories which are very interactive and very much dependent on you, on all of the stakeholders in the community and we are hoping that you will help us to understand what are the issue areas of the IGF 2021 should be, and if there are any gaps that we should fill in, of course. We are very much counting NRIs to tell us what are the local specificities that we should take a careful look at and ensure that when we meet in December, we really have a comprehensive program and coverage of all of the local specificities that are outside in the world.
If there are no questions on this part, let’s move to the second part of the session, which is I think very interesting just because of the profile of the speakers and also the topic that’s are being in the work streams which Chengetai mentioned and we have a couple on very different topics. Chengetai did show you the slide about the, about the nature of the Policy Networks, of the Best Practice Forums of the Dynamic Coalitions which do form the intersessional work which means community-led work, and I also would like to bring in the concept of the NRIs, the national, Regional IGFs which are really important partners to us in developing intersessional work. Thanks to their contributions we are very much aware of the concerns but also the potentials on the topics that the intersessional work covers.
And in addition to that, many of you will know, as I can tell that many of you are affiliated with the NRIs, then you will know that the NRIs collectively, 137 of them, are working throughout the year to organize in a bottom up manner their collaborative session, their main session, but also on other important topics for the network, such as development of materials to ensure better engagement of members of Parliament and members of Governments in their local communities, in the NRI processes and with that, of course, the IGF is hoping that that would also help the IGF to foster engagement with important stakeholder groups.
I will not go back then in explaining the different modalities of the Policy Networks of best policy forums and Dynamic Coalitions, I will just say that Dynamic Coalitions are issue-driven unlike the Best Practice Forums or Policy Networks they are not tied to a one higher year process but some of them are as old as the IGF and are doing excellent work and they are very much open for you to join. We have colleagues, facilitators, I believe Mr. Markus Kummer will be speaking shortly about it, the new format that Chengetai mentioned are the Policy Networks, so briefly underline the main difference between Best Practice Forums and the networks.
One is that the Policy Networks do look beyond just good practices in comparing those, and another important difference is that unlike the Best Practice Forums the Policy Networks are, of course, open to everyone to participate and they are very much fostering the bottom up development process of its work, but they do have a dedicated multi-stakeholder Working Group of experts.
And that’s the main difference, it’s already a group that’s formed for policy network for meaningful access and policy network on environment. If you go to the IGF website, and I will post shortly in the chat the links, then you can see that there is really an interesting high level composition of experts on those two important topics, while the meaningful access has been with the IGF from the beginning, the environment, as you know, has been with us kind of in an active form since the last year, and it makes it more important for us to learn from people that build their careers in those particular fields and can help to navigate the communities, and the direction of participation and support in these topic.
So without going any longer into this, I would like to now ask our intersessional work co-facilitators to very briefly take the floor and introduce the intersessional work streams they facilitate. I would maybe start from the new formats that we have for this year, which we mentioned the Policy Networks and give the floor to Raquel Gatto. She will briefly outline the policy.
>> RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much. I’m grateful to be here and enjoying the new normal that EuroDIG is using with the formatting of the meetings. Thank you very much for that. Just following my name is Raquel Gatto, and I’m working with the Secretariat to facilitate the Policy Network on Digital Access. I believe Chengetai and Anja, of course, previously covered the wide Policy Network. Let me cover a little bit on why the meaningful access.
And this concept of meaningful access or meaningful connectivity, there are some nuances in this language, but it has emerged in the past year and with the pandemic it has been growing and catalyzed as connectivity is one of the important lifelines for everybody, but also it’s about the question beyond only the connectivity. So if you were connected you may not be using and taking the full benefit of the Internet itself.
So that’s the question. While access to infrastructure is important and is critical, meaningful access really means about being inclusive, being sustainable and affordable. It is linked to the human development and also to the relevant content that you can have. So this is the broader vision for why meaningful access.
We did have, and I I’ll explain the multi-stakeholder Working Group so it’s the Government team, but we do have some of the T-shirts, phrases that are building up about access without autonomy is not meaningful or Internet with connectivity is the internet with the small I.
But really the important focus and overarching goal is to look into why despite all of the efforts in the past years from multiple stakeholders the access, meaningful access is still a challenge? And how can we overcome that? So it’s about having the holistic approach but also being realistic in terms of finding those few things that we can really focus and create the impact. And, of course, connecting those to the Secretary-General’s roadmap on digital cooperation and the sustainable development goals.
So be brief, I know we don’t have much time to introduce the multi-stakeholder Working Group. So we have 23 experts that we were invited to join and provide this year while defining the work of the PNMA. And, oh, thank you so much, Anja. Anja is showing the, all of the list and the names that are on the website. And so we are just starting. Anyone interested, this is my Call for Action, join the mailing list in the IGF website you are finding all of the information about the dedicated mailing list.
The meetings terms the multi-stakeholder Working Group are open to observer so if you are also willing to join, they are going to have monthly, the next one is 15 of July, and this information is also going to be provided pretty shortly. I hope this helps, Anja, and we are going to have time to talk later. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Raquel. This was helpful and all colleagues interested in joining or learning more about the PNMA will have a chance to chat one and on one with Raquel in the breakout rooms after we hear from colleagues on the intersessional work streams with thanking, again, Raquel, I would like to give the floor to Flurina Wäspi.
She is leading the Policy Network on the environment from the IGF Secretariat.
>> FLURINA WÄSPI: Thank you for giving me the floor. I’m really excited to be part of this kind of experimental new format that we have, or the Policy Network is working with a group of unique experts and as Raquel said words about why do we even need a Policy Network on environment. I guess for some of you it’s obvious, which is also one of the challenges.
There has been a lot of work in recent months or one and a half years and regarding this topic of digitalization and the environment, but just to be brief, the digital transformation has been going on for a couple of years now and has impacted most of the areas of our lives and also everything that concerns the environment. Many states in the world have signed up to or have kind of committed to Sustainable Development Goal, so I think there are many states or many actors that are thinking about the impact of the digitalization and digital tools, digital technologies and the digital transformation at large, the impact on the environment and so our Policy Network has kind of reunited a group of experts that are interested, that are working in very different areas but that are interested in kind of thinking about acting on this topic.
So we are right now trying to find out how we can or kind of our goal is to formulate concrete policy recommendations on how to act with digital transformation, and how to use digital tools and how to use them as a force for good so to say so that we may achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in different topical areas. In the beginning Chengetai showed it on the slides.
We are quite diverse, there are topics we want to address and we will narrow down further. It’s depending on the interest of our Working Group members and also of the larger network. And, yes, thanks, Anja, you can also join take mailing, public mailing list, of course, you are very welcome and here you see our group of experts and we also are right now, we are a bit at the end of a process of kind of just methodology, defining the methodology according to which we want to work. We have a Co-Chair of three people who will be leading the different Working Group meetings.
We are meeting month to month and from the next meeting on, we will also invite kind of the public as such, which is the spirit of the if IGF methodology to really include broader network which is one of the challenges that we are working now on how to generate more outreach. On our work and how to not duplicate efforts that are in the making or have been in the making in the last couple of months. That was it.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Flurina Wäspi, and as I said for Raquel, Flurina Wäspi will be in one of the breakout rooms so you can meet and join with Flurina Wäspi to speak one on one. And moving from Policy Networks no best practice form rums, I would like to give the floor to Sheetal Kumar, one of the co-facilitators for the Best Practice Forum on cybersecurity to guide us briefly on what is happening there.
>> SHEETAL KUMAR: Great. Thank you Anja.
Can you see my screen? Just bear with me for one second. All right. Can you see it? I don’t know whether you can see the right thing?
>> ANJA GENGO: We can see your PowerPoint, yes.
>> SHEETAL KUMAR: Great. Wim put this together so thank you for doing that, Wim. My name is Sheetal Kumar, and I’m a senior program lead at global partners digital, but I’m also part of the coordinating team for the Best Practice Forum on cyber, and I know we don’t have much time. I’m one of the coleads of the third work stream, which is all about outreach, and that’s why I’m here with you. The other one, the other colead is Markus Kummer, so he is here as well and I know he is talking to you later. Let me introduce to you a little bit about what we are planning to do this year and we have already started actually, so do get involved if this interests you.
As you can see on the screen, we are basically building on the work that we have already been doing in the BPF on cybersecurity over the past three years. We are looking at norms, but I think this year we are doing something even more exciting than we were doing before, which is through work stream one looking at the texts that relate to cyber norms and making sure that we are aware of everything that is out there that is relevant. But also doing some analysis on what drives cyber norm adherence. And then in the second work stream, we are actively engaging from the page so to speak and assessing them to real life incidents, cyber incidents, and looking at what happened and whether the norms could play a role in mitigating those kind of incidents.
We are also going to be speaking to, for example, victims of cyber incidents and bringing their voices to the table. And in the third work stream, as you can see, what we want to make sure is the analysis and work feeds into the rest of the work that the IGF community is doing. So that’s what this work stream is all about. That’s why I’m here with you today as well.
So I think there is a lot to learn from each other, a lot to make sure to do to make sure that this work is really the most impactful it can be for the multi-stakeholder community, and so really encourage you to join in. That’s a brief overview, but please join us in the breakout room if you want to hear more.
>> ANJA GENGO: Perfect. Thank you very much, Sheetal. This is very interesting and from cybersecurity, moving to Best Practice Forum on gender and digital rights I believe Bruna, one of the co-facilitators is with us and Bruna will be speaking about the concept of the BPF agenda, thank you.
>> BRUNA MARTINS DOS SANTOS: I am one of the co-coordinators of the BPM gender and digital rights.
In the past year, this BPF was referred to BPF gender and access, but given the work we have been doing in the past five years this was one created back in 2015, we decided to expand a little bit on the scope, and then take a look on some things related to digital rights right now.
So for the year of 2021, the main subject and goal of this BPF is to understand how gender disinformation has been deployed as a strategy against women and gender diverse groups. This is also something relevant to highlight that this BPF is also looking, is also taking a further look into other groups more than just women. So we have also expanded the scope based on some recommendation from our members in the past years.
And other things we want to do is understand as well the negative effect on digital rights bill over the rights such as political participation and what allows gender disinformation to be part of a larger project of silencing voices, hierarchization of citizenship and rights. Another thing we want to do for this year’s work is to map strategies and actions and to highlight as every other year the best practices and good strategies being deployed by all stakeholders around the world, and then showcase this positive initiatives.
This is a BPF that’s around its third, we are going to have our fourth meeting on the 8th of July so everybody is pretty much welcome. We have so far both a resource list, a list of either speakers, specialists or any good work that is being constructed around this topic and also we have done kickoff survey to request how our members are seeing this call set and what other approaches the BPF should take for this year.
So that is pretty much it from us. Our next meeting will be on the 8th of July. We will have two specialists, Maria and the second one I’m forgetting the name, but Maria Bressa will be with us. And that’s it. Everybody is pretty much welcome, and if you are interested own these topics make sure you join the Q and A and I will be happy to answer any questions. Thank you, Anja.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Bruna. Thank you to Wim for supporting the BPF from the Secretariat for preparing this presentation. So with this, we are moving closer to the end of rounding the discussion on the intersessional work. I mentioned at the beginning the Dynamic Coalitions as the coalitions or networks of different stakeholders working on various issues throughout the year. Some are really working on it for quite a number of years.
But the best person to speak about that is a person that does not need any introduction, I’m sure, Mr. Markus Kummer. He is facilitating the coordination of the Dynamic Coalition supported by Sorina from the Secretariat, and I’m giving the floor to Markus to guide us through the work of the Dynamic Coalitions.
>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Sorina. Hello, everyone. It’s a pleasure to be here with you. You said in your introduction that the additions are as old as the IGF, indeed they started in Athens at the very first IGF meeting. They are what is common to them all, is that they are bottom up, they are self-organized and they are open to everyone who wants to join. Currently, there are 22 of them, so it would take too much time to go into the details, but what is also common is the diversity of issues they cover.
They are incredibly diverse. They cover very practical issues such as accessibility for people with disabilities. Some cover more high level issues such as rights and principles, but there is also a youth coalition which is defined by its membership. Obviously young people.
And there is one Dynamic Coalition is of the summer school that is more comparing notes, it’s not, for instance, driving a common issue. But, again, they are very diverse and what is common to them is they meet throughout the year. A few years ago, we have started this coordination group where we all Dynamic Coalitions get together and agree on certain common principles. We have established common principles they all abide by that their mailing lists have to be open. Anybody who wants to join can, is welcome to join, and their archives also have to be open.
These are the ground principles that define the Dynamic Coalitions. Now, this year, we have started a new exercise that is to develop a paper that would sum up where we are, where they come from. There would be a more investigative part that would be fact finding and explain what they have been doing, and also highlight the achievements and the impact they have achieved throughout the years.
And then we would also be more forward looking and look what can be done and what needs to be done so that the IGF Dynamic Coalition can reach the full potential. They all agree that they are an integral part in the Secretary-General’s roadmap and can contribute to the IGF plus that is envisaged in that roadmap. But also they are keen to participate in the issue groups that this year for the first time will prepare the ground for the annual IGF meeting in Katowice.
I think I can leave it at that, and I’m happy to talk more about it in the breakout rooms. Thank you for your attention.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Markus, for this brief and concise informative update about the Dynamic Coalitions. So with that, I think we have rounded the brief updates from the intersessional work streams on their concepts and how you can join. And now, I believe our hosts will help us to move into breakout rooms.
We will be having, I believe, five breakout rooms if I’m not mistaken. Yes. I will just post them in the chat. And for about 15 minutes we will have opportunity to speak one on one with colleagues that you have just heard from about the intersessional work streams that they facilitate together with other members of the MAG or the community. We will have the breakout rooms open for a maximum of 15 minutes when we will come back to the main room. I will be walking from one room to another very curiously to see what will be happening and I advise all of you to perhaps take the advantage and walk from one room to another just to meet better our co-facilitators and help to us to advance the work if you have ideas and suggestions in that respect.
With that, I believe the breakout rooms are active now, and if you click on join breakout room, you can join any of the rooms, if I’m correct, Roberto. And colleagues.
>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: I set up the rooms and they should be available for the participants now.
>> ANJA GENGO: I see them.
>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Everyone has to make their own decision to move into a specific room or do the random order.
>> ANJA GENGO: I see if you click more you will see join breakout room. There are five rooms at your disposal. You are free to join any of the rooms and move from one room to another. And until you don’t move, I will stay a little bit here in the main room and then I will join you in one of the breakout rooms.
>> ANJA GENGO: If you have issues or I see Sorina also said it in the chat, then maybe with your permission or you can indicate in the chat, Roberto can help to move you directly to the room where you would like to be moved. So if we have no colleagues joining us, I will repeat we have five breakout rooms so if you are interested in Best Practice Forums you can join one of the two rooms on cybersecurity or gender. Then on Policy Networks you can join a room on meaningful access or on Policy Network on environment, and you also can join the room to learn more about the updates of the Dynamic Coalitions or if you have any ideas, suggestions, ideas from your side for how to even advance better this work, they are most welcome and very timely because we are about to start with the implementation design of the preparatory phase for the IGF. So in short, if you would like us to move you to the breakout rooms please tell us. You can unmute and speak or just say in the chat, and we will ask Roberto to help us.
>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: I encourage others to write in the chat to which room they would like to be assigned to. Wim, I see you would like to go to Best Practice Forum security.
>> ANJA GENGO: I believe we are back in the main room, but I will give it a couple of seconds to confirm that by the participants list. Yes, I think we are back. I managed to join only one breakout room, that’s how interesting it was, and I really got engaged into the discussions with Bruna, Wim, and Kotcek, I’m sorry if I’m not pronouncing it well, but I want to thank you for a very good learning experience in these few minutes. That’s always well spent time. I hope you had similar experience in your breakout rooms.
We have three or four minutes until we have to close the session, so if anyone would like to take the floor or use the chat to leave the feedback comments to what you heard during this almost past hour about the IGF 2021 Road to Katowice in December as well as intersessional work. Now is a good time. We have a minute or two to reserve for that. If not, I can briefly say about the next steps.
But before that, I’m very happy to see that we will hear from Mark Carvell.
>> MARK CARVELL: Thank you, Anja. Just a very quick question, and apologies if I may have missed relevant information previously, but will there be an NRI assembly in Katowice? And what, how do you expect that to intersect with other discussions about the future of the IGF. Is there something you could quickly say about that? I’m thinking also staring Committees of national and Regional IGFs being ready to prepare for such an important discussion about how they are going to contribute to the future of the IGF and this new IGF plus formulation. They need to start thinking about this and consulting their stakeholders at the national level. So the earlier they know of the opportunities to engage with others, the better. Thanks.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Markus. That’s a very good question, and a very good advice and observation, and will come in a very critical time. There will be the so called NRI coordination session. Basically mirrors the concept of the NRI assembly that EuroDIG does, just on a global level, and the agenda is under development by the NRIs. So I believe tomorrow the Secretariat will call for the task force among the NRI such as the focus work group, to be formed, and then to further plan the agenda of that session.
I will gladly take your advice to the task force to think about how could we develop the agenda accordingly, because indeed, it’s a very critical moment for the multi-stakeholder high level body, but also other improvements on the IGF prompted by the roadmap, and other practices that are around us. So all of the NRIs for sure will be informed including the EuroDIG, and if you allow, I would Annex this more, more about this information to the report we will produce from this session. So it will not be, it will not be a feedback on the discussion, but basically an Annex for additional information for you, for records. And that coordination session will take place in Katowice so it will be in hybrid format, 90 minutes and you are all most welcome to join its planning.
With that, thank you, Mark, again, for a very good question. I believe Sorina wanted to take the floor and after that, Raquel, and I would stay for the next two, three hours on this session, it’s so pleasant, but I do believe that the hosts will want us to leave in maybe two, three minutes from now maximum, so please, Sorina, you have the floor, and then Raquel and I think we will have to close the queue.
>> SORINA TELEANU: Thank you, Anja. I will be quick just on what Markus was saying about dynamic coalitions and the work we are trying to do on documenting past experience as and look a bit into improve the presence within the IGF ecosystem. We have an open survey dedicated to basically everyone trying to collect ideas, suggestions, feedback, whatever, on Dynamic Coalitions in general and on how they maybe can be improved, so a kind request to everyone who is even remotely interested in IGF work to take a look.
It’s not that complex nor that long. So just take a look and give us your thoughts on Dynamic Coalitions. The survey is open until 25th July and I will paste the link in chat. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much Sorina for that information. It’s also on the IGF website’s home page and the news section. So you can find it and we are joining Sorina and encourage you to respond and take the most potential of the additions. Raquel, please, you have the floor.
>> RAQUEL FORTES GATTO: I’m going to be brief, first apologies for the dine am ache significance, I believe we were transported and did not finish everything. That’s good there is appetite and I wanted to react to more comments to support it and to say is that whenever you think there are also opportunities for us to join the NRIs and not only the coordination sessions, but also the meeting itself, how we can bring them along, not only in our RTCs and everyone in the IGF community that this is not cooked, right, they are cooking together with us.
So that’s a very important point that I just want to emphasize that we are open and I am open, please to let me know about those opportunities so we can cook this together this experimental cannon. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Raquel for the call and most certainly we are all joining it. The IGF Secretariat will also try to give more visibility to the meetings of the NRIs happening, Faraq is the new intern at the IGF she is a great addition and she will be working with our team to ensure that calendar of all of the annual NRI meetings this year is more visible on the IGF website, that there is more information about the NRIs, and I believe in August that information visually will be more appealing because the IGF is getting a new website, and I can for sure say now that what I have seen from the demos, the NRI pages look very nice., as well as the really other pages look different.
With that, apologies Roberto, we went three minutes over time, but I think with reason with very good discussions. I want to thank everyone on Chengetai’s behalf on behalf of Anriette that could not join us due to an extent she had, but we hope that she is doing well. We will hear from her on our mailing lists. Please do stay in touch, subscribe to the IGF’s mailing list, they are all available on the IGF website, and write to us. We are very much looking forward to hear from all of you. Thank you very much for joining and thank you EuroDIG 2021 for having us.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Anja, and that closes the session. We are going to have a coffee break, and the next session is at 1700 local time, that’s 1500UTC. So there is a little bit of music to relax and see you all in some 40 minutes. Bye.