The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during an IGF virtual call. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Just testing my microphone. Can you hear me? Okay. Great. We'll start in about three minutes, just to give those people some extra time to log on. Thanks. And this is Chengetai, by the way. Yeah.
No, we won't be using the hand-up system. If you want to make an intervention, just please indicate so in the chat.
Okay. Good afternoon, morning, and evening, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for joining us on MAG Virtual Meeting V. The agenda is in the window as well. As I said a little bit earlier, we will not be using the hand-up system. If you want to make an intervention, please just type your name into the chat window, and then we'll pick you up.
Okay. With that, I'll just hand it over to our Chair, Lynn, to start the meeting.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Thank you, Chengetai. I'm actually here in Geneva, Chengetai. I'm here in the Geneva offices. (Audio cutting in and out).
Can you hear me?
(Audio cutting in and out).
Okay. Let me just go over to adoption of the agenda. The agenda (Audio cutting in and out) -- for approval of the adoption of the agenda while I troubleshoot it in the background here.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay. I'll just take over for a little while. We have the agenda in front of us. Does anybody have any amendments to the agenda before we adopt it?
I'll just give it a six count. Okay. So then since there's no amendments or suggestions, then I will call that the agenda is adopted.
So the first part of the agenda, which is the miscellaneous updates by the Secretariat, which I'll do --
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Take my computer off, my audio off.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay. So we don't have that much to update you on. The call for workshop is still going on. We are still receiving proposals, but as you know, our proposals go in an S curve. We have quite a few proposals being started on the first day or the first couple of days of the announcement, and then we have a quiet period, and then at the end, the rate increases, so I think we have 18 at the moment, but that, of course -- there's nothing to worry about. It is going on as we've done in the past couple of years.
For IGF 2018, I cannot give you a venue today, but the only thing I can say is that we are progressing and we are narrowing it down. The Secretariat is within quite intensive negotiations with both sides just to narrow down the requirements, et cetera, and then we'll come back to you with a decision as soon as we can.
Again, I'll say hopefully by the next virtual meeting we'll be able to tell you -- I know I've said this before, but hopefully this time we will be able to.
For the other calls, I mean, the Secretariat still has to publish the calls for the open forums, et cetera, which we will do that, and we hope to synchronize everything -- all the calls for the sessions will be over before the face-to-face meeting so we can make a qualified decision to have any workshop proposals, to admit, et cetera.
Let me just check if Lynn is online now; otherwise, I can carry on talking. Lynn, are you there?
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR We are, Chengetai. Let me see. (Audio cutting in and out).
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: No, okay. She's still -- okay.
So let's go on to the next agenda item, if Luis is ready. Let me just ask if Luis is ready.
>> BEN WALLIS: Chengetai, there are a number of us with hands up. It's Ben Wallis here.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Shall I start with Arnold first? Arnold, then Ben, then -- okay. No, Ben was first. Ben, please go ahead.
>> BEN WALLIS: Thank you, Chengetai, and really appreciate all your continued efforts to find a venue and a date and appreciate how complicated it must be and how much effort you're putting in. I just wondered whether there's a point at which you just say, okay, it's too late now, we're not going to go ahead with a meeting this year and kind of pivot efforts towards next year. Is there a point at which in June or July, if there's still no venue decided, we just say, okay, that's enough for this year, or have you not kind of come to that thought yet? Thanks.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: We have -- we have a lot of contingency plans. I mean, if these two venues don't work out, then there's another venue we can look at, and we've even got -- I mean, the worst-case scenario is basically having the meeting in -- at the beginning of January, you know. We have that as well. I mean, there's even the outside chance of people saying that we could have a virtual meeting, but I don't think it will come to that. I mean, I am quite confident that one of these two that we are looking at will come through within the next couple of weeks.
As I said, it's not in the stage of, you know, we're looking for the venue. I mean, we're getting down to the details, so I do think that one of the two will come through, yeah, within the next couple of weeks. Thank you for throwing in the hat that we want to have a meeting, not yet. Yeah, yeah, it's much more positive than that, as Lynn was saying, yeah.
Okay. Ben, do you have anything -- any add-on?
>> BEN WALLIS: No, sorry. Thank you. Thank you, that was great.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay. Arnold, please.
>> ARNOLD VAN RHIJN: Yes. Thank you, Chengetai, and good afternoon from the Netherlands to all. On the venue and the dates, thank you for your tireless efforts to make progress in this respect, but I must tell you that we are getting a bit worried here, especially when we sent out a call for workshop proposals. The immediate response from many of the proposers working on those proposals were where is IGF 2018 going to be held and when, because it depends on, of course, travel arrangements whether they will send in their proposals. It is worrisome, and I sincerely hope we will have in the very near future the final decision.
I saw some news on social media. I don't know whether it is right, what has been stated there, but it said that if IGF 2018 will be held from 11th to the 15th of November, then it will be in Europe, and if it will be held the 10th through the 14th of November, it will be in Asia. So I see this as some more news. I don't know whether that's true.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: No, that is also -- that is true.
>> ARNOLD VAN RHIJN: Okay. But then my next point is, as we have stated earlier, there's a quadrennial event, very important event coming up between I think the 26th of October and the 16th of November in Dubai, and that is the Plenipotentiary Conference.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes.
>> ARNOLD VAN RHIJN: Every four years this event will be held, and lots of governments will be there. They're also going to discuss intergovernance issues, so if the decision will be that IGF 2018 will be held from 11th to the 15th of November in Europe, then, of course, we are foreseeing quite a lot of problems, that is to say that many governments will not attend -- cannot attend this IGF because of their attendance in Dubai. That's where I'd like to pass on to you a very important issue. Thank you.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. We are aware of that, and we did have some talks with some governments. This week is the CSTD week. That is one of the reasons why Lynn is here as well.
So we did sound this out amongst some of the governments, and they said for the top-level officials that we would want to bring in to the IGF, they usually go to the ITU during the first week, they're not there during the last week, which is when the -- November 15th is basically at the tail end of the ITU meeting, so though it is unfortunate, and yes, we will miss a couple of people because of that, I don't think the effect would be that large.
(Echo in the audio)
Yes, if it was ideal circumstances, we would be able to move, but, unfortunately, we cannot move those dates.
And we will also take advantage of the fact that -- oh, yeah. I don't know how to say this particularly -- that other people from missions can come to the IGF then as well.
For the travel arrangements, yes, we're well aware of that, and that is why we're pushing, but we can only push so far, and also, part of the fact is that getting the cost estimates, I mean, that's mainly the real delay because it is quite a complicated thing to organize all the logistics, to get a proper cost estimate, to make sure that the venues are fit for the purpose, and if they're not fit for the purpose, can they bring the right stuff in, especially for the webcasting and the remote participation, et cetera, so that is part of the delay, as such, for announcing it, but once all that is settled, we can announce it. Yes, we do apologize for the delay, but that's part of the circumstance.
For those people -- we do hope to make the announcements before the workshop selection closes, so people will be able to make adjustments to their panelists, are et cetera, and if not, I would also ask them to consider that for those panelists who may have difficulty traveling, I mean, we are putting a lot of effort and a lot of money into the remote participation, so maybe they can become remote panelists as well.
Of course, again, it's not ideal, but that is also an option.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Let's see if we can -- can you hear me now?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, perfectly.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR So just -- just want to underline, I think, a couple of points in that the dates that Arnold just quoted were dates that were announced to the MAG a month ago, and those dates haven't changed, so it's -- just to be clear, I mean, it's not kind of a rumor on social media. They have been formally announced by the Secretariat. And the discussions are progressing, you know, really positively. The fact that the announcement hasn't come out yet is not because of concerns or problems, it really is because of a lot of the formalities in the background.
The Secretariat has looked at the rooms available, the types of rooms, the capacity of the rooms, the cost, the details from the host government. All that looks really, really strong and really well. Literally, it's just waiting for some of the formalities to happen, so, you know, at this point, probably the earliest it would happen is within a week, and hopefully no later than two, but I really want to kind of reassure the MAG that things are going well. It's not because there are, you know, problems in the background or tricky details or that sort of thing to be worked out. I mean, it is progressing well, and we should have an announcement really quite soon.
I think we have Liesyl with her hand up, if she was the next one. Liesyl, you have the floor.
>> LIESYL FRANZ: Can you hear me?
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Yes.
>> LIESYL FRANZ: Okay. Great. Thanks. I just wanted to sort of underscore the issue of the dates for the November dates. I mean, yes, they were announced by the Secretariat a month ago or whatever, but I think ever since then, several people, including myself, have been raising concerns about the conflict with the ITU meeting, and while, you know, I agree that the -- you know, the senior-level government officials that might be attending the Plenipotentiary only -- some of them may only attend for the first week, that may be true for some, but it's not true for all, and also, I would say that the government representatives that tend to participate in the IGF throughout the IGF week on various panels and, say, on the MAG, will also be attending the Plenipotentiary Conference in Dubai and, frankly, have no choice about it, so, I mean, if there is a conflict with that, I can assure you that I won't be able to be at the IGF.
So while I'm not making this parochial concern about me, I am using myself as an example of a potentially nonstop senior government representative who participates actively in the MAG and in the IGF, and the conflict is real for that. I think you guys will have -- I think the IGF will be sorely underrepresented by governments, not just senior-level government people but government voices if it is during Dubai. And not only that, but government voices that you want to get to. So I really am not -- I'm really confused by the fact that these dates are even out there, and believe me, I'm not the one who generally worries about when ITU meetings are, but this is a big one.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR And Liesyl, thank you. I mean, the dates weren't of our choosing at all.
>> LIESYL FRANZ: I appreciate that.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR We have also been told unequivocally there are no other dates available. When you talk about needing, you know, ten to 12 rooms with the kind of capacity we need, those venues are hard to come by this late in the -- this late in the process, so it's, you know, basically really between a rock and a hard place or maybe even a harder place. I mean, I think at this point, you know, we're continuing with both venues, and if the other venue and the other date in December is an option -- and that means with a host government and funded -- then that is fully the preference, both in terms of regions and dates, but if there is, from that perspective, no offer that comes through that meets those key criteria, we will have to take the -- the other offer in Europe, and, you know -- and, frankly, appreciate everything they're doing to actually accommodate it all at this last minute.
I mean, we have not been able to find any other option, and we, over the last two years, have now probably worked actively with ten, 12 different countries, I mean, not just two or three. For some reason, this was a particularly problematic year, which is also why we're working so hard to get -- to get out three years or more. So, I mean, your concern is noted, and as Chengetai said, we have been trying to reach out here and gauge that and inform as best we can, but I actually don't see us as having any other option other than to continue to pursue the two that are in front of us.
Now, there was a series of questions, I think, with respect to timeline and proposals and extensions that maybe Chengetai wants to talk to, because even if we come up with an announcement early part of next week, that is literally one week before the intended close. Since I'm here in Geneva with -- in the Secretariat's office, perhaps we can look at that afterwards and see if there's any possibility to get a couple of days out, but, you know, recognize that that's just going to squeeze the rest of the process, and goodness doesn't come out of short circuiting the selection processes and the review processes either. What we may need to do is allow a little bit of additional flexibility for speakers and things like that, if people weren't able to kind of reassert that ahead of time.
So if we can take away the action item, I will go and sit down with the Secretariat, see if there is anything extra we can eke out. We can certainly put a memo up on the website that makes it clear that we're -- as June said, we know things are moving forward, but the announcement eminently and see if we need to do anything else in a -- in the workshop proposal process that has people indicating which speakers are confirmed and which ones may need to be revisited or something so that we have full information in front of us and we review the workshop proposals as well.
I'm just trying to read through the other comments quickly. If we missed any comments here, given the difficulty I was having getting on for a moment, we will come back to that offline, but we will take those actions away and see what we can do.
If folks are okay with that or as okay as we can be, we'll move to the next item. I see Renata just came with a hands up, so we'll give the floor to Renata and do the next item in a few minutes. Renata, you have the floor.
>> RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Hey, Lynn, Renata here. Yes, I just wanted to come back to the point about the date extension. There are -- there were reasons stated about the venue, but just like last year, we had an improvement in the evaluation process. We had changes with the call for issues. That raised questions, and we had an extension last year of a week or so due to this new process for the community to be ready to submit proposals in a new scenario, so this year the community has two new scenarios, a change in the workshop proposals process and the venue to be confirmed, so I would -- and we are less than ten days for the call to end. I think that it's very hard to get the proposals ready with these two challenges in front of the community. If we could at least think about a one-week extension, it would benefit a lot.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Thank you, Raquel. We understand that and we'll take it under advisement. I also saw a counter-point in the chat as well with respect to making sure we don't unduly handicap the evaluation process. The actual workshop submission process I don't think changed, you know, significantly at all from the past years. I do agree with you, though, that the lack of an agreed venue is a complicating factor. We'll go away and look at that.
I'll point out that I think stretching it a full week is probably not possible unless we really want to short circuit the MAG review time, which is only two weeks as it is, and we can only cut the Secretariat process so far as well. If -- they do an awful lot of work in terms of sorting the proposals, reviewing the proposals, doing some analysis and statistics that facilitates the MAG's review, so we need to make sure we leave enough time for that to be done properly as well.
And, again, part of this is -- and it's something we continue to work with the UN -- part of this is, again, because we got such a late start with the MAG in this entire process, and we thought we had that fixed this year. We obviously didn't. We have more assertions, and it will be fixed for next year, but I'm getting tired of saying we just have to do the best we can in the time we have in front of us, but I do think that's what we're faced with.
But in any case, we'll go away and we'll look and see what we can do to provide some additional flexibility for the proposals, either in terms of time and/or other accommodations as we go through the evaluation.
So let me come, I think, to Luis now, who's going to walk us through the Workshop Evaluation System, and then we'll come to the Shaping the IGF Program, where I think we have some specific agreements that we need to make sure are clear. If, in fact, we hit any of those questions as we're going through the demo, let's just put those to the side and then come back to the substantive or content questions as a separate part of -- as a separate discussion. So, Luis, you have the floor.
>> LUIS BOBO: Thank you, Lynn. I'm going to take the screen to show you the demo. If you want to follow the transcriptions, the transcriptions are in the link I'm sharing in the chat now. You can follow them in an additional window.
Okay. So right now I'm going to show you -- I'm going to share my screen with you, okay.
Okay. I will try to be very concise and go to the points, so it's going to be short, and then if you have any questions or -- you can feel free to ask me. Even if not here, later by email.
So the proposal system is very simple. I'm going to reduce the window a little bit just for you to see it all, okay. So it's just this, okay. And it's -- it has basically three parts, okay. At the beginning, you have the selection of the proposals you are going to evaluate, so at the beginning, you have a link to the list of proposals that every year we present in two styles. First, a link in which you can see all the proposals, so it's going to appear in something like this style. This was last year, so they are all there, as you see, by number. And you can see all the proposals. But we also produce this PDF file with all the proposals that you can read when you are traveling or something or at home quietly. I mean, you can have them offline and can you check every proposal, you can access to every proposal with one click, the proposal that you are going to evaluate, and you see the same information that you would see online, okay, if you click here.
So this year we have improved a little bit the information that we are seeing in the proposals for you to evaluate, firstly because we have changed the evaluation and goals or the -- and the categorization of the proposals. Last year we had this tax thing, but this year for example we have the themes and subthemes, so I'm going to show you -- I'm going to show you an example of what are you going to see when you are going to see a proposal for evaluation, and this is this screen.
So this is the same proposal. This is for this year. We don't want to see -- to enter into the tiles now about the content, but what I want to see -- to show you is the different information that you are going to see and how it is organized.
So let's concentrate in the left screen, better -- excuse me -- in the right screen. The right screen will be the public view of the proposal, okay, before selection. The text is not important, so this is why it is small, but you will see here the title, okay, the format, the theme and subtheme, and then there is the list of organizers without, of course, the real information of the organizers, just the stakeholder group and the original group, and the same with the speakers, okay. The speaker, however, is clickable, and when you click on a speaker -- when you click on the a speaker, you will see the same as you are seeing in your profile but with a bio, okay. The birthdate is not seen, but you see the other things, the regional group, the stakeholder group, the organization, the name, and the biography and the specialty, okay. This is as last year. This hasn't changed. If they have a picture, you will see a picture, but this is not important, of course. The important -- you can see the biography and the specialty because this information is already in the main view that you had before.
So if you want, you click in the names only for seeing the biography of the person, okay, if you want to know more.
Then -- let's go now to the left side. This is the only difference in the right side and the left side. In the right side is the public view for everyone, but you, as MAG members, will see additional information for both, the organizers and speakers. Basically this is the gender and nationality. So the gender and nationality are not public information in the profiles, only the stakeholder group and regional group, but you will see for the diversity evaluation, you will also see the -- for the organizer ones -- there are three, for example, there can be many. So the gender, so there is one organizer female -- two females and one male in this one, and you can see the countries here, and the same for the speakers. The public view, they don't see that, okay. That's the only difference.
And then you will see the four fields that you have to evaluate, which is the relevance, the session content, the interventions, and the diversity. Then, if you remember our workshop proposal form, we also ask it for the online participation, how is it going to be managed, and the discussion facilitation, and this is all. This is what you are going to see for the evaluation.
As you see, everything is anonymous, you don't have any information here that could give you hints about who is the organizer. When the selection is done and the proposals are -- everything is public, then we also are taking, as you know, who is going to act as remote moderator, rapporteur, and these other kind of things, and, of course, we will be able to publish the organizers with the name, organization, et cetera.
But this is basically what you are going to see. Of course, not so small but big, and in this booklet that I have sent to you or online directly in the work site, okay.
So when you have seen the proposals, now let's go to next step, and you will see here the menu of proposals that you have to evaluate. You will not see here all the proposals but only the proposals that you are assigned to evaluate, and how is this designation going to be done? Of course, this is in discussion, but in the shaping of the program, it has been decided that we had to decide the -- the MAG members have to decide the groups of expertise and/or groups of interest, and the IGF Secretariat with that information would make the groups -- the most possible balanced in terms of gender, regional group, and stakeholder group, but taking your preferences. This way we have created a very easy -- a very easy grid that you have to fill as soon as you can before the evaluation starts, basically ranking your expertise among the eight themes in a way that we can extract the first -- I mean the priorities for each MAG member and be able to create these groups.
As we are not sure yet about how many proposals we will receive, for example, for cybersecurity or how many for media and content, we are not sure about how many people we will need or how many groups of proposals we will need to create for one theme, but this is why it is important that you select all your priorities, so as we can take from your first priority and put you in the first group of evaluation for a theme, and then we will fill up that group with first priorities, MAG members with first priorities, but then maybe we have to correct in order to make balanced groups. And that's all. What you have to do is very -- you just select here. Of course, you have to put different rankings, and you click on Submit, and that's all.
Okay. So it will be something like this and this one will be this, okay. So you click on Submit. This is only accessible for MAG members, only for you, and you can do it only once, and that's all, and the information comes to us, and we will cross this information with the information that we get from the evaluation -- from the proposals that, as you know, they have to select the theme and subtheme.
Okay. So this is in order to -- this is the first part of the evaluation form, which is the selection of the proposal, and the fact that you will see here at the end only the proposals that you are assigned to.
Second part, the evaluation itself. Once you have read the proposal and you have your evaluation, it's as simple as marking here the number of -- the grading that you give for the relevance, the average has been updated also. This is an improvement from last year, so can you do as many changes as you want, and the average is updated all the time, so you can put here all the information, and, for example, this proposal would mark it as this thing, okay. So the average is 3. It's calculated. And you have finished it.
You could click on Submit now. The point is as last year -- and this hasn't changed as nothing has been said to change this -- for proposals with a grading -- average grading 3 or less, we have said that you should write here a comment that will be used for feedback for the proposer, and I don't know, maybe Eleonora can correct me, but maybe for the information, but any information that you want to put in your proposal, in your evaluation, even if it's more than 3, you can put it here in the comments.
Okay. I'm seeing the comment by Renata. Renata, if you want, I'll finish the presentation first, and then I will answer all the questions from every part, okay. I will be glad to do so.
So I'm going to just submit this one. I'm going to put a comment in any case, okay. You will see here the last part which I am going to go now, which is also an improvement from this year, listening to the requirements from last year. So we click on Submit, and basically I have done -- sorry, I have not selected a proposal. It's going to give me an error, of course. So I'm going to put the proposal, for example. Here I'm seeing all the proposals for 2017, but you will see only the ones from '18, so let's evaluate this one. This is a fake evaluation, of course. I click on Submit. Okay. And the evaluation is done.
What happens, the evaluation appears here. My comment and the score that I gave with the average, okay, and they are ordered here. So the difference from last year is also you will have all your evaluations here for you to update if you want, clicking here. You can see it right now. But also, the other important thing is that the proposal has disappeared from here, so if you have a list, for example, 30 proposals, you just need to evaluate all of them, at least once, please, within the time, and they will be already evaluated, and if the deadline arrives -- of course, until the deadline arrives, you will still be able to change your evaluation as many times as you want, but this evaluation comes as already submitted, okay. Simply this time, I can go again to this evaluation, for example, click on Change here, and it will -- this is not changeable now, and this is -- I can just, for example, try to put this to 4, so the average will be updated, and, for example, right now I don't want to put a comment, so I click that and save, and that evaluation for this proposal is already updated for me.
Okay. And you will come back again to the same screen and you see the evaluations. Of course, this has been updated. Okay. No comments here now. And that's all.
So when the -- as you see, here is the deadline already set. This list, again, for you, you -- only the MAG members will be able to have access to this screen, and depending on your log in, you will see the proposals assigned to you.
Last thing, I have not forgotten, if you have an interest, there is a link to contact us here directly, and in order to receive other proposals, or last year that was not practically possible because other proposals have already started, and it's not always possible to get the balance, but at least we will do that proposal, if it cannot be evaluated by you, it's evaluated by other similar MAG member, I mean, keeping the balance in regional group, stakeholder groups, and gender. And that's all. I hope that was clear.
And now I can -- I can answer your questions. Let me see the chat. I will -- I will see the chat. So maybe -- Renata, do you want to take the floor?
>> RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Yes, Luis. Hi. Renata here. Thank you for this comprehensive explanation. I am just -- can we come back to the screen of the ranking of interest/expertise? Yes. So I was wondering by -- when we are starting evaluation, you already have the list of all the workshops submitted; right?
>> LUIS BOBO: Mm-hmm, correct.
>> RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: There are some issues, cybersecurity and digital inclusion, human rights and gender, and cybersecurity or emerging technologies. I'm thinking about some issues which intersect but will not be seen here by the call of issues to the person. The cybersecurity and gender, I would be really interested in -- in evaluating a workshop on cybersecurity and gender, but I would not put cybersecurity as one of my number one interests in evaluation, so I wonder if there's some way we can fish in some workshops to evaluate or select from the general pool if there can be at least a way to contact Secretariat for that or to -- to improve balance.
Another suggestion, just so I speak only one time. I saw you -- can you come back to the screen where you show after we ranked? There is the numbers -- the ranked workshops below. Yes. So change, change, change. Yeah. So 3.25, 3.50, 2.75. I wonder if that can be set of time ranking order, so the lower ranked go below, because again, to correct, if we have only one workshop which is digital inclusion, accessibility, for instance, which talks about blind people and technologies, can we change the -- the ranking? This would be my two points. Thank you very much, Luis.
>> LUIS BOBO: Thank you. I'll start with the last one because it's a technical one. With fast thinking in my head, I think it's going to be possible with the time we have. I think it's going to be possible. I cannot assure, but I will try to do my best to do that. If it's approved, I mean, because now it's ordered by -- by the same -- I mean, by number, by -- in the same way that the proposals are ordered, and I don't know if all the MAG members or -- if there is a consensus on this, but, of course, if this is a MAG request, it could be done.
The second thing, I'm not sure I can answer that question. The point is that every proposal in the form, they have to select at least a theme. In the subtheme, they can select others and write down. This was decided by the MAG, but at least every proposal is basketed or categorized within one theme. That's -- what you are saying would pass through two themes or we, as the Secretariat, could change that with -- would change the theme with permission of the -- of the proposer, so it would fall into the proposals that are going to be evaluated by another group, or we, of course, can open for questions, and all the proposers will be -- I'm not sure, maybe Chengetai can confirm, but they will be published, all of them, and every -- we could also be open for MAG members to specify interest for a specific proposal, but I am -- I don't know if that would be adequate or not, but that could be practical.
Of course, putting to you the possibility -- giving you the possibility of a proposal and making it appear in this frame, we can make that's just giving you permission to evaluate the proposal. You will see the proposal and can you evaluate it, and you, of course, can contact us, but if this is within the way of doing the evaluation proposals for this year, that doesn't correspond to me to decide.
I don't know if there are -- let me see if there is anyone.
Yeah, (?) is asking me if this is one of my proposals. No, this is -- this is clear. What I have prepared, my first priority is the one that I would have more expertise about or I have more interest, so, for example, in my case here I would have selected cybersecurity my first priority for evaluation, then emerging technologies, and most probably I will not be selected to evaluate any proposal of technical and operational topics. But if the language is not clear, let me know, and I will try to adapt it, okay.
Do we have a reference report from previous year workshops? Lianna, maybe you want to talk? I mean, all -- the proposals from 2017 are online. This is the link, okay. I can share it in the chat. Okay. Simply, last year, as I said before, there were, for example, Tagged, they were not themed and subthemed, but, again, there were four things to evaluate, the diversity, relevance, the content, and the -- I don't remember the other one, sorry, so that doesn't change. If you want to see some proposal already from last year, this is the link.
Any other questions?
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Luis, this is Lynn. I just have one question. The comment field, maybe you can clarify. My understanding is that those comments actually get sent back to the proposers because it was intended to be an aid to them with respect to what would have kind of made their proposal better or where it was found to be wanting, which means people need to be somewhat sort of circumspect about what they actually put in. It's not meant to be a comment field that's of use for MAG review per se. Is that true?
>> LUIS BOBO: That's completely correct. Yes, that's the thing we have been using it for, this field in the recent years. For example, when it's merged, et cetera, there are still going to be able to send comments, but it is true, the comments that are sent to the proposer, it is true that these comments are going to be sent or object to be sent to the proposers as they are written, okay, so it would be good that this proposal has more diversity, et cetera, and maybe if it's time or is in the group of proposals, of the commenter or not, or the commenter can decide if this is corrected, your comment or the comments of the evaluators are going to be directed to the proposer, yes.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR So one more question. Thank you, Luis. So, I mean, there is a note that says that above the comment box. We can make sure that that kind of blinks at people so people really understand.
I guess one of the questions to the MAG is would it be helpful to have another box that was not sent -- that was reserved only for internal MAG review, which might be a place for MAG members to put their notes, which is -- you know, seems to be some commonality between this proposal and that proposal, possible merger candidate, or -- would that be one of use to the MAG as they review and as we subsequently build the full program, and would it be possible for you to add another field but make that field, obviously, not visible to the proposers, only to MAG members?
>> LUIS BOBO: Honestly, I think it's a very good proposal, Lynn. If the MAG agrees, I will do that. I mean, that's not an issue. I can add that field up here for your internal comments. That will not be used for being sent for the proposers, yes.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Okay. So there seems to be support within the chat room for the internal comment box, so why don't we just ask you to go ahead and add that then.
>> LUIS BOBO: Okay. I will implement that.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR And we -- there was a question in the chat room as well, which was about how do we get to the page where the MAGs express their preferences, but I'd like to set that to the side just for a moment because I think that's part of the next -- the next item, but let's just see if there are any other questions with respect to this particular process.
So, yes. There's a couple of questions. Rasha has a question and then Douglas has a question.
>> LUIS BOBO Rasha.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR She's typed it in the chat room. She wants to see if we could also see a list of all sessions a speaker is listed on.
>> LUIS BOBO: No, we're going to send it in the list or in the booklet. In the booklet, you can do a search, if you want. For this year we have not predesigned that listing by speaker.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Is there any way the Secretariat can have a review process where the speaker is listed more than three times in the proposals?
>> LUIS BOBO: We can do that. Eleonora will correct me, but there is a means to do that. Also, the proposals you have to evaluate are necessarily taking all of the appearances of that speaker, in that case, but, of course, that is going to be possible. We can extract the list and make the statistics and -- yes. Maybe Eleonora can correct me if it's going to be done or not, but I don't think nothing has to be added initially.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR So Rasha has her hand up. If it's on the same topic, why don't we just finish this out, and then we'll go to Douglas. Rasha.
>> RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you, Lynn, and thank you, Luis, for all the hard work. We really, really appreciate it. I was wondering -- I seem to remember that you said this year when the proposers are in the process of preparing their submissions that they -- if the speaker has been listed before, they can sort of choose the name from a list or type the email and the speaker pops up or something like that, and I'm just wondering if my memory serves me correctly if that could be used to maybe then display all the workshops that the speaker is on or is that too difficult to ask?
>> LUIS BOBO: No, in fact, we can measure that the same speaker is being cited for several proposals, so during the proposal process, the proposers can be already -- the proposal, sorry, the speaker can already be in the system because it was by a first proposer, for example, so it would only be added once, and the other third and fourth would add this speaker in the proposal directly. But the proposal, as you see them listed and the content, you see all the speakers in the proposal, and, of course, we can -- at the end of the evaluation -- extract that information, make the statistics, and see who is in where, you see, in any proposal.
But -- and we can do a first selection or -- first of the proposal or a first discussion of -- if one proposal has to be accepted because it has been, I don't know, selected by -- or it has a speaker that appears in another ten proposals, or maybe because it has been done by an organization that has already selected or presented ten proposals, but as we discussed in the MAG meeting, I think, four weeks ago or three weeks ago, technically there was no limit. I mean, any proposal could put any speaker, anyone could submit any number of proposals, and at the end, we can study the statistics, but this is independent from the fact of the grouping, which is done -- it has also been decided by the MAG in terms of the themes and subthemes, and this selection of expertise and interest, so -- which is independent, I guess, from the fact of taking out a proposal according to the speakers. I don't know if that answers the questions.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Let me see if that answered Rasha. Douglas has taken his hand down.
>> RASHA ABDULLA: Yes. Thank you, Luis. I was just wondering for ease of -- I guess just for more information for us to know if certain individuals have been listed on, like, ten workshops or on two.
>> LUIS BOBO: We can get this information. Yeah, we can get this information from the Secretariat.
>> RASHA ABDULLA: That would be very helpful. Thank you.
>> LUIS BOBO: There is another question, Lynn, you told me? Sorry.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Douglas took his hand down, so you anticipated his question, so that's excellent. There's a question from Paul, which is can we separate the workshop proposer and speaker diversity into two separate questions? I'm -- I'm not sure I understand the question, so maybe, Paul, you can take the mic.
>> PAUL ROWNEY: Yeah. Hi. Paul here. The reason I'm asking this is because the workshop proposer might meet the same diversity criteria as the speakers, so the person proposing might be from a developed country, but they've got a very diverse speaker platform, and --
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Let me try and answer that, Paul. I actually understood that the workshop proposer, neither their region, their gender, or any of the points of diversity were meant to be taken into account. The points of diversity for the workshops are meant to be assessed through the organizers, which ought to be multiple people, and then, of course, through the speakers, that the workshop proposer was -- think of it as a point of contact as opposed to anybody with a substantive content-based role. So I think -- so I think that answers your question, that to assess the diversity, you would look at the organizers and then, of course, the workshop description and the speakers. Luis is showing us now in the screen there.
>> PAUL ROWNEY: To me, the most important thing is the diversity from the speakers.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Right.
>> PAUL ROWNEY: I'm less concerned about where the proposer comes from. We want --
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR I just want to make sure we're using the same -- yes. So I think -- I mean, with -- I think we aren't -- I'm trying to find a positive way to say this. It doesn't matter who the workshop proposer is because it's not being taken into account. What matters is the organizers, and it's certainly nice to see that there are organizers from different stakeholder communities and perhaps even different regions, but then, as you say, the real diversity and strength of the proposal comes from the speakers and the workshop description.
>> PAUL ROWNEY: That, to me, is not clear in that question.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Okay. So do you think we need to make the form more clear then?
>> LUIS BOBO: Sorry to interrupt you here, Lynn. Please notice that this text is from last year, so now that we have changed the format, we will need to change. This is just text. We will change the text for sure. For example, we are going to evaluate diversity against the whole diversity. This point is very important, Paul, so thank you for raising it, so -- but we will update the language. So I'm sorry, I have not taken -- this is just a demo for the process, but the language, we will correct it for -- to adapt it to this year, so we will still evaluate relevance, content, diversity, and format, but these questions will be adapted to what has to be evaluated, so this year we will have the organizers and the speakers, diversity, et cetera, okay?
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Yeah. Thank you, Paul. It was an excellent question. Just to clarify Renata's question in the chat room, we will understand and know and should address the gender and region of the organizers and speakers?
>> LUIS BOBO: Yes, that's correct. You will. And nationality as well.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Right. Any further questions for Luis? Thank you for capturing this year's suggested changes and picking up on those items from last year that we had suggested would be helpful as well. I think this is great, and particularly appreciate the ability to go back easily and change your scores too because it -- I know last year there were comments which said as people get to the, you know, final batch of workshop proposals, they wanted to go back and visit some of the earlier ones because your perspective could, in fact, change once you see the --
>> LUIS BOBO: Thank you, Lynn. Thank you.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR It's excellent. Thank you.
And if we move to the fourth item, that was about the MAG Shaping Proposal, and I don't want to put Rasha on the spot, and, again, we're trying to do so many of these things in parallel, but there was the IGF Program Shaping document, which was put out probably six, seven weeks ago, that tried to capture that point. That was my attempt to capture the different discussions we had at our physical MAG meeting and some of the discussion on the mail list, just so we had one document in front of us.
I think we need to update that because some pieces of that have been overtaken, you know, with better ideas, and so it's not, per se, up-to-date in all sessions. I think there are two areas in particular that we need to talk do.
One of them I'd like to ask Rasha, if she will, to talk through the kind of workshop -- the MAG evaluation phase. I mean, there were some questions with respect to how we to that it, is it by subthemes and groups of MAG members and that sort of thing. I think there's a couple of views there, so I think we need to clarify that on this call so the Secretariat can do the work.
And then we have a pretty substantive piece of work in front of us, which is to understand how the MAG is actually going to carry out its program-shaping activities once the MAG has actually reviewed the workshop proposals and we start to build the full program, but -- and I know Rasha's been trying to get the Working Group kind of kicked off and active. I'd like to ask her to sort of share where she thinks she is with some of those activities, and then we'll take whatever decisions we need to on the call here and ask the Working Group to continue the work in the background. So is that okay, Rasha?
>> RASHA ABDULLA: Sure. Thank you, Lynn. I sent a couple of emails during this past week or ten days or so, and I guess I received maybe one or two active emails at the beginning of the process, and then people kind of tended to -- I'm sure everybody has a zillion other things to do too, so we haven't had many responses to that, but I would argue -- I would urge the members of the Working Group to please go back and look at that email and try to pitch in on the questions that I -- that I have asked and basically just to share with the MAG at large.
The first question that I've asked, which I guess Luis has already moved on, but we still need to make sure that this is okay with the MAG, is whether it's a good idea to sort of group the MAG members by interest in order to evaluate the workshops, or is there a possibility that that might introduce some bias or some conflict of interest in some cases, and would it be better to just randomly assign MAG members to workshops?
When this process started last year, my initial idea was to just randomly assign people to workshops. Of course, we didn't have the themes and subthemes last year. I can see the merit of having people grade workshops by specialization, of course. That's a very obvious advantage. But I also can see the potential for some biases or -- because, basically, if you're looking at an area that you're really interested in, you are bound to know most of the speakers on that list. Are there speakers that, you know, some people are going to want more than others or, you know, are there -- or is there a potential even that you could, yourself, be invited to that workshop later on in the project as a person -- as a point of interest after you had evaluated the workshop or maybe even during the workshop evaluation phase, so it does introduce a potential for some bias. I'm honestly torn. I'm not sure which way is better. I'm not adamantly in favor of one over the other, but I wanted to gauge the opinion of the MAG members at large and see what people prefer. So that was one point.
The other question that I'm still very concerned about is the third phase of evaluations where -- when we basically come together in the face-to-face meeting and then we sort of choose or select a few workshops to sort of push through, even if they didn't make the cut. And so far that has basically only been based on diversity, so if there is a region of the world that's been very underrepresented, for example, so we take that workshop and we put it through.
Of course, this year, again, we've changed that a little bit because we've listed everybody or we've listed, basically, multiple proposers rather than just a single proposer, so I'm not sure how that will affect the process.
And are there any other criteria that we should be looking at to advance a workshop, maybe, or work with proposers to improve the proposal and then push it through, or how exactly do we do this? This process has not been very clear. There are no set criteria. We sort of do it as we go along just, you know, by the feel of what seems right, so that needs a little bit more -- more structuring at this point.
I'm also a little bit concerned about how we can deal with mergers on particular workshops given that we wanted to list -- to limit the number of speakers particularly on panels, so if we have, you know, two workshops and each one has listed, you know, five or six speakers, that's 12 speakers. How do we then get them to take half of these speakers out, basically? That's another question.
And finally, I was also concerned about how do we encourage or publicize the use of the community collaboration space? This is another idea we came up with last year to have sort of a web page that basically says, hey, I'm looking for a speaker, you know, from this region with that particular interest and for people to basically, you know, swap ideas and collaborate on workshops, and I'm not sure -- maybe Luis, again, can tell us a little bit about that, but I'm not sure how well that space has been utilized or advertised. Do we need to do more in this regard, basically, to get that together?
These were the questions that I put forward to the Working Group, and I'm happy, of course, to add on any questions or concerns from the MAG. So I'll stop here, and I'm happy to answer questions. Thank you.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Thank you, Rasha. If we can come back to your first question, because that's the one I think that we need to assess now.
As Rasha said, last year there was a -- you know, intended to be completely random, but, in fact, it was a manual process done by the Secretariat which grouped MAG members into a smaller number of review teams, and each one of those review teams were assessed for diversity, so regional diversity, stakeholder diversity, you know, that sort of thing, so that we had a -- we had diversity in each one of the reviewing groups, and then they were assigned a random set of proposals. That's one option for this year going forward.
The -- there was a suggestion from several people that this year, given the MAG's desire to focus a little bit more on kind of a thematic approach and make sure we had a cohesive program and we didn't have -- we minimized redundancy and that sort of thing in the program, that we would, in fact, have the program reviewed by theme, which might equate to a track as well, and that we would have all the proposals that came under each theme reviewed by the same -- by a group of individuals, again, randomly selected with appropriate diversity in that group but that they, then, would be reviewing all the panels that were associated with cybersecurity or Internet of things or Human Rights, which would allow us to ensure that we had a lot of diversity in the final workshop selection process and, you know, would also allow us to look for any kind of overrepresentation or underrepresentation, again, by region or other diversity characteristics, so those are the two options. And it's something, unfortunately, we actually need to decide on the call today.
So the question specifically is when it comes to MAG members reviewing workshop proposals, one is randomly selected proposals so everybody -- each MAG member would potentially be reviewing proposals across a whole spectrum of themes, or MAG members are assigned by themes so that we had, again, this sort of thematic review?
Let me open it up to the floor to see if there are any questions. Either first any clarification questions or any suggestions or opinions? So Timea, you have your hand up. You have the floor.
>> TIMEA SUTO: Hi. Thank you for unmuting me. A really quick question or suggestion. I'm wondering whether the second option, which, for me, sounds like it has a lot of merit, has to depend on someone's interest or not? I think we can still go with the group of randomly assigned MAG members to review a randomly assigned topic, not necessarily a topic that there are experts who are interested in, for me the merit of reviewing the whole roster of submissions in a certain topic is -- to have the ability to compare apples to apples and not apples to oranges when you are maybe reviewing just randomly selected number of workshops, so I don't necessarily feel that we need an expert or subject-matter expert to review a certain topic, it can still go randomly, but I do feel that it's important to see the competition within one category when reviewing it. Thank you.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR No, so that's a good point, Timea. Let me say it again. You're saying that you think a group of MAG reviewers should be responsible for reviewing a theme or perhaps even several themes but that that group should be comprised of randomly selected but with diversity MAG members and not people that have self-declared an interest or expertise; is that right?
Okay. Yeah, she said that was her point. So let me see. So far in the chat there has been, I think -- it seems as though there's support for reviewing thematically. I'm not calling that yet, I just say that's what I'm taking away from the comments in the chat room.
Is there anybody who wants to -- and I'm trying to track all the plus 1s. There were a number of plus 1s to Timea's suggestion, which would have MAG members randomly assigned to themes as opposed to interest expressed. Rasha has her hand up. Rasha, you have the floor.
>> RASHA ABDULLA: Thank you, Lynn. I actually kind of have a problem with that. If I'm going to be assigned to a theme, then I want to be assigned to something that I know something about. Last year we actually gave MAG members the option to opt out of a workshop if they think that they know nothing about the topic, enough to -- enough to judge it, at least. So if, for example, I were chosen to be put on something technical or cybersecurity or something like that, I can obviously deal with some issues of cybersecurity, but I wouldn't think I would be the best judge of panels in that specialization. I would do a lot better, for example, judging content and, you know, things related to the media and stuff. This is my specialization.
So I -- I think if we -- I think we're going to go by theme, then we should go by the teams that people know something about. If we're going to go randomly, then let's just go randomly because then I could get, you know, one or two workshops that I'm not sure -- that I don't know, you know, much about, and I can alert the Secretariat of that and get myself out of these, but if I were to land on a whole theme that I know little about, I think that would be very unfair to the people on these sessions.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Thank you, Rasha. That's a good point as well. Veni, you have your hand up. You have the floor.
>> VENI MARKOVSKI: Thank you, Lynn, and I actually tend to agree with Rasha in terms of -- in terms of if we are -- if we are to evaluate proposals that we are not competent or we feel we're not competent, we should be able to opt out, but also, if we see that there -- I mean, isn't it possible, actually, to kind of fine-tune at the end, you know, whoever feels that he or she is not in the right spot to kind of switch and evaluate the things that they are aware of? I don't know if that's at all possible, but I think it will be -- it will be really awkward for people who are coming from one community to discuss issues that they're not aware of and at the same time, you know, other people who are not aware of technical -- I mean, the example Rasha gave was exactly the point, so --
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR No, I think that is possible, and it was intended. You know, whether it's an opt out or if somebody ended up in a group that they felt they weren't really kind of the best or competent to review, then they obviously should declare that.
You know, I start from the assumption that we all want the best program and we all want to do right by the workshop proposers, so we're all going to be responsible with respect to kind of declaration of knowledge.
So I think your answer to your question, Renata, was yes, we have that option as well, and to Raquel as well.
Let me go to Julian. Julian, you have the floor.
>> JULIAN CASASBUENAS: Thank you, Lynn. I think that last year it worked very well in terms of having this workshop evaluation selected randomly for MAG members. Remember that we always have the option to withdraw if we have a conflict of interest or if we believe that we don't have enough expertise in one of the teams that we are evaluating, but I'm more in favor of choosing those topics where I can really evaluate in a better way or make recommendations for the proposers to improve the proposal itself, and I believe that if we have more experience of those areas, we can also help the proposers to improve their proposals. Thank you.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Thank you, Julian.
Let me see if I can kind of make a proposal based on all the comments that are here, and if anybody thinks I'm not calling this correctly, please let me know. It's kind of hard to listen and track everything.
Renata had a couple of comments, and I'm not sure I actually believe -- follow -- I mean, first, it makes an assumption that because you're technically minded, you don't care about inclusion. Most of the people I know in the technical community would say that's basically their entire purpose for everything they're doing, but I don't want to get hung up in those sorts of arguments.
I think what we have in front of us -- so let me see if I can just put this out there, Renata, and then I'll give you the floor. People are supporting, reviewing the workshop proposals by theme. I think there was support for that, and we'll call that in a moment. I think the discussion we're having now is how the review groups of MAG members are determined.
It seems to me as though there's a fairly significant support for kind of an -- I don't know if the word really is an opt in or not but for people to declare that they think they have expertise or interest in a certain number of areas and that that would be used to comprise the groups of reviewers and to assign the groups of reviewers by the themes. So let me just see if Renata has any comments or can add any clarification to a couple of her earlier comments and then see if we can close on this soon. Renata.
>> RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Hi. Yes, Renata here. I just want to go back to the point that Timea made. I think it would be very unfair, for instance, to have cybersecurity -- only cybersecurity experts judge that theme. You would have a very poor representation of aspects much cybersecurity, which are actually needed and which are probably the reason for IGF to be, which is cybersecurity in developing countries, cybersecurity and gender. Same thing for technical. There are several perspectives, and I did not mean that technically minded people don't care inclusion, but -- about inclusion, but when you're talking about networks and access for the blind, that is where someone who has perspective -- an expertise in IPv6 is not necessarily engaged in or worried in or even able to assess that, so I think that it's -- it's not only -- we will have a pool of workshops published, all the workshops submitted will have been published before the evaluation, so maybe we can find a compromise between the interests and the random with this idea that MAG members can also choose, I don't know, one to five workshops that they can -- they can highlight, and I will refer to a process I have just been in evaluation, a very big technology of about 835 proposals. 200 were chosen, and the evaluators were given a chance to take a look at the 835 to see if they would pull one or two from a limited set already given to them, so I think this is -- this is not unusual. And it could be done, and it would definitely broaden our evaluation process. So that's just a suggestion. Thank you.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR And so good comments, Renata. Raquel has her hand up, so let me go to Raquel.
>> RAQUEL GATTO: Yes. Thank you, Lynn. Hi, everyone. I hope you can hear. I'm in a bad connection here, but -- so hearing Renata and everyone in the chat, I had a suggestion of two options that we could move forward.
First, I think I strongly support the second approach regarding a more thematic grouping just because you can see the big picture and you can better evaluate the several perspectives on the workshop proposals under one topic, and I know where we talked before, having repetition, even with the speakers, but also with the content approach, et cetera, so it makes really -- it improves the quality of the evaluator overview under one team. And also I like Timea's approach in perhaps assuring this randomly MAG grouping to avoid any bias.
What I think, as Option 1 that I'm seeing, for example, we could have a mix of opt in and opt out. We have eight themes suggested, so each MAG member could give at least four -- it can be more, but at least four of the topic -- the themes that they are more familiar with and the random assignment will be done considering this familiarity option. And then you can also include the opt out in case you have any stronger problem or challenge.
The second approach that could be taken is you need to consider even in cybersecurity, for example, we are going to have several proposals tied to that, so you could -- even if you opt out, not being familiar, it would be with one or two. I don't think there will be that many, so you can still have the -- just the open, randomly selected MAG members by team and then just opt out on a few workshop proposals, assuming you would still ensure the diversity of reviewers. I think it was 11 or 12 -- Rasha, you can confirm -- MAG members that would review at least one proposal. That's something you can still ensure afterwards if that makes sense.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Thank you, Raquel. I'm trying to sort of ask Chengetai in the background here if he thinks it's possible, I mean, to either do a mixture of the kind of interest and option or, you know, my -- if you want a group of people to review cybersecurity, it might be nice to have a group of others that are kind of expert in privacy to make sure that we actually get a balanced perspective, but Chengetai is -- do you want to come online and comment or do you want to just say you'll go away and try to find some way to accommodate a mixture of expertise as they review by themes?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. I mean, it is possible. It just depends on how we do it. Is it worth the effort doing it automatically or will the Secretariat be doing it manually, you know, assigning the groups manually, or we can even do a mixture of both.
I will let Luis comment on this as well. But the simple question, is it possible? Yes, it is possible. How much time does it take and stuff like that. I will -- Luis.
>> LUIS BOBO: Yes. Thank you, Chengetai. Basically, it is possible. Simply it will be -- have a manual component in which we could do the -- if you want, for example, this expertise yeah, this is -- this theme of expertise by the MAG members, and we will field a number of proposals for that, and then we will take the rest of the proposals for that member to have -- assign a similar member to every one, and basically, this will -- we'll need to do this manually so as at the end the MAG member will see the proposal that she or he can evaluate.
And at the end, even they could still opt out, so I would say, yes, it is possible. Simply, it's -- it's complex and not perfect if you want it the way that there could still be expected some changes and thoughts, and I'm not sure if that's going to be the most smooth solution, but, yes, as you said, Chengetai, it is possible. There could be a manual component for the manual designation for which the random proposals -- the -- are selected, and then the -- it comes the designation, yes.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Thank you, Luis. Let me just check Renata's last comment.
Being able to dive in and take into intersectional themes, and coupled with your last comments, are you actually asking that even though a MAG member might be assigned to a particular group that if there's some other number of proposals they want to take it upon themselves to evaluate that they can do that, so self-select a certain number on top of the ones that have been assigned to them? Renata, you have the floor.
>> RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: I also remember -- Renata here. Thank you, Lynn. Last year we had -- in the end of the process, we had some workshops that we highlighted to reevaluation, and we debated about them. This could be a way -- if we have, like, five -- the suggestion of another five workshops, which are not really into our chosen interest themes which were not assigned to us but that we think that these workshops should be important to be rated, we would have this possibility because if -- this is -- this optional. There will be those MAG members who want to focus only on cybersecurity and who wants to assess only cybersecurity, but I do think there will also be those MAG members who want to see something more than the traditional already expected cybersecurity themes and will try to look into other areas, such as things in digital inclusion, which may look into cybersecurity.
So to really guarantee that there is no bias and that there is diversity in the theme selection, we should have this possibility to highlight the -- to fish in, really, from the pool a few workshops that could be lost by not being assigned, and I do understand that that could be a possibility there of seeing this as, oh, you're picking that because you're friends of that person and so on, but that's why I'm saying give it a number, give five optional fishing workshops and highlighting them, then just choosing one or two.
And also, you have to give a -- probably a rationality why you chose to rate this workshop. Can you do that in the comment field, remembering that the comment field is -- it can be done also if you have a higher rate of evaluation. Thank you.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Thank you, Renata. Lots of discussion going on here with the Secretariat with respect to what we can do to accommodate this.
Let me -- so I -- I'll try and break this down into a couple of pieces. I think we have agreement that we are going to approach the workshop review by themes. I'm going to wait a moment and see if anybody wants to object strenuously to that, but I think that's pretty much what the discussion and the comments in the chat room have said.
And then we've had a couple of -- I don't see anybody coming in sort of disagreeing with that. I think it was pretty clear that that's what people were looking for earlier.
What we could do is ask the MAG members to identify kind of their areas of interest/expertise across the eight themes. I think the Secretariat was thinking that that might be limited to four, and I'm not sure if it was first, second, third, fourth, or just here are four areas, but I can let the Secretariat work that out.
And maybe when we -- when the groups are created -- you know, this starts to put a lot of work on the Secretariat, which, of course, is a resource. It certainly means it's not random, but, honestly, it can't be fully random in any case given what we're trying to do and all the diversity criteria we try and manage against, but we could make sure that if -- you know, for instance, a track having to do -- or a theme having to do with cybersecurity has people who have expressed cybersecurity as their interest but also, you know, privacy, for instance, or some of the other kind of, you know, other -- other views or sectors -- I'm trying to think of a better word but to that same issue. We could certainly make the groupings of MAG members visible to the MAG members, and if, you know, there are things that people think could be adjusted or -- I guess it shouldn't be sort of, you know, whimsical changes, but if you really see something that you think is kind of fundamentally not correct or is really going to put some unfair bias in, then we should obviously raise that flag and work to adjust that.
But if people are comfortable, I think the Secretariat probably -- I think the Secretariat -- and I understand what the MAG is trying to do with respect to ensuring that the group of reviewers we have across the MAG aren't unduly biased and, frankly, are able to represent the full complexity of each one of the themes, not just sort of single-track theme, to use Renata's example. Cybersecurity track is only with cybersecurity experts. I also remind people to kind of look at the MAG and the people we have on the MAG. I think we've got a really good representation across a whole different points of expertise, so I don't think we're going to be locked in to kind of really uni-views amongst any one of the MAG teams.
Are people okay with giving the Secretariat a little bit of latitude to go away and think about what that process could look like and then come back? But, basically, we would have a MAG reviewing team, respecting diversity with an appropriate level of interest and expertise but fully rounded out so it covers the issues, evaluate the proposals by themes? I'm just waiting for a moment for people to kind of comment. And I see so far lots of agreements and yeses, and I know the Secretariat really appreciates kind of the vote of confidence in their ability to do this and giving them some latitude to define the process here, so ...
Okay. I'm looking at the comments in the chat room here, and given the agreement we have, I think we'll proceed on that matter.
What I'd like to do, just in terms of the time we have left, is really point everybody back to the Working Group Workshop evaluation to Rasha's questions which she has posed on the list and covered here as well and really get hopefully a couple of meetings in over the next couple of weeks that helps to drive that.
Anybody that's participated in the face-to-face meeting, once we get together and try and pull these tracks together, knows that it's not -- it's not the most straightforward process, and, in fact, it's fairly painful most years, so I think to the extent we can kind of get ahead of that and think about what that process might look like would help significantly, and that's exactly what Rasha's trying to drive us through, so please look at her email, participate in the Working Group, and let's see if we can put a little more organization into that process.
Thank you, and thank you, again, to Luis and the Secretariat for all their work there.
The last item was just -- was kind of just grouping the MAG Working Group, Best Practice Forum, Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion for some brief updates. We could start maybe -- I mean, partly what I think we need to do with all these is ensure we all know who the point people are or the co-facilitators are for these efforts, particularly as we're looking for kind of good integration across the efforts, whether it's a BPF connecting with a CENB or -- we need to make sure that we're clear on who the leaders and co-facilitators are.
People need to get appropriate notice out, not just to your Working Group members but also to all the other pieces of the intersessional activities within the IGF ecosystem, so, you know, the BPF should be letting the NRIs know, Dynamic Coalitions and vice versa so that it's really well understood across the entire ecosystem what the main activities of the MAG are here and what the opportunities are for participation and engagement, so that's something I would like everybody to think through.
And then if we could just take a minute or two, maybe, and go through each one of the Working Group's Best Practice Forums and CENB and give a quick update to, you know, is your working list up, have you started to set up your first meetings, do you have chairs and co-facilitators? This is partly, again, to keep these in front of the MAG members, and, frankly, I think to keep us all focused on the need to move forward expeditiously with all these items.
So does somebody want to go first or could I maybe just work backwards and ask Raquel, perhaps, to give us an update on the CENB?
>> RAQUEL GATTO: Yes, sure, Lynn. So regarding the -- I can do for CENB and the BPF agenda right now. For the CENB, we're convening with co-facilitators, those are myself, Constance Bommelaer, Christopher Yoo, from UPENN, and (?) who is also a MAG member. We are preparing for the methodology, and I did receive also from the Secretariat the instructions to set up the list, which we're replying pretty soon. If anyone is also interested to join is more than welcome, and also for the BPF, we reached out. We have -- well, Joaquin, who was the BPF co-facilitator last year, myself, Renata, and others. We are reconvening also to start the timeline and the work plan methodology for the BPF, so I took the point -- we also reached out to the NIRs, DCs connected to this matter.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Thank you, Raquel. Does somebody want to speak to one of the other BPFs, continuing to work backwards here? Ben or Markus perhaps. Hi, Ben.
>> BEN WALLIS: Hi, Lynn. It's Ben. So on BPF cybersecurity, we -- Eleonora flagged an issue, which is that the current list, you know, as a continuing BPF, and the current list has 2016 in the name of the list, and so that could be confusing for people who are on a 2018 workstream, so she's going to help us find a way forward because there could be privacy concerns about just forcibly resubscribing people to a different list, and so we might need to create a new list, and that would involve asking people to kind of sign up to a new list, so we're just going to work through that with the Secretariat, and then we'll be ready to send out a kick-off email explaining the topics for this year's BPF on cybersecurity and inviting people to get involved. Thanks.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Thank you, Ben. And I'm sure there's some learnings there as well with respect to how we name lists going forward.
Let me see. The local content and/or the AI, Internet of Things BPFs, is somebody prepared to give us a quick update on those?
>> SUMON AHMED SABIR: Yeah. Hi. This is Sumon speaking. Can you hear me?
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Yes, we can hear you.
>> SUMON AHMED SABIR: Thank you very much, and thank you all for selecting our BPF, and me and Concettina Cassa actually just started discussing it and how we should move forward, actually, and we're thinking that first we need some help from the Secretariat. We'll be contacting them for creating a mailing list for BPF, and we still need to find an expert. They've been able to find one for all topics, but anyway -- and what -- we were looking for people who were willing to contribute and are enlisting all the MAG members to actually have people who are really interested to contribute in this very special subject, and we're ready to move forward, actually.
From my side, I will add something more here.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Thank you, Sumon. Let me see if there's anything else to be added. Doesn't seem so. So let's go to local content. Is Miguel on the call? No. We'll follow up with Miguel offline, unless there's somebody else that's engaged with that and can give us an update. I'm not seeing any hands jump in here. Oh, oh, Giacomo, sorry. Giacomo.
>> GIACOMO MAZZONE: Yes, we have -- just -- can you hear me?
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Yes, I can hear you.
>> GIACOMO MAZZONE: We had a brief exchange of mails last week after the confusion, and we're waiting of for this meeting to circulate the BPF of the project as it was circulated before, so if there are no objections, we considered the one that was submitted for discussion as approved, and we'll work on this basis.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Okay. Thank you, Giacomo. I think that's a fair assumption on local content. You know, I think if there's some minor adjustments that are actually made or, you know, additional details put in, that's -- that's certainly fine in terms of any adjustments.
>> GIACOMO MAZZONE: Okay. We will proceed in this way. I will communicate to the others. Done worry.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Okay. Thank you. Renata, you had your hand up.
>> RENATA AQUINO RIBEIRO: Yes. I'm not sure if -- Renata here -- if we go -- ask to include this here or -- probably an AOB item, a new commerce track. We have re-sent the proposal and addressed a few questions for MAG members, received more support expressions. We're thankful for that.
So there is an idea of doing a webinar on -- on the workshop submission, but as mentioned, the newcomers track, we work with youth groups who volunteer to spread the word about the IGF, so these would not be very formal communications, these would be more chats on how to submit and so on, and any groups interested in doing it, we would be glad to help publicize and support, so, yes, that would be it for now.
And I would also welcome any guidance how to move forward. As the proposer said, there is a list, and people will be invited to subscribe, but if there is anything else we need to do, we are ready to amend the proposal. Thank you.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Thank you, Renata. That's really important work, so I'm glad you and other folks continue to move it forward and would certainly draw people's attention to the document that was just sent.
Let's move now to some quick updates on the Working Groups. I can speak to two of them, but I'm happy to let others go first if they -- if they choose to. Let me see who's on the list here as well.
Let me jump in, and then we'll find the other MAG members that are on the list by Working Group.
There are two Working Groups that I'm kicking off, kind of an anomaly -- to lead for. One of them is a group on fundraising. The MAG had approved a charter, which on our last call, subsequent to that, Sylvia, who's very active in this field, sent in some additional comments. It was after the approval had taken place. I've responded to some of those comments, and I think what we should do in this case is once we hold the first meeting is see whether or not the -- the charter needs to be updated, and if it's significant enough or is changing anything fundamentally, then, of course, we have to go back to the MAG. If this is sort of refining timelines and deliverables, you know, the rules that's thought to be in the charter, then I think we could get support from the Working Group to proceed.
We'll be looking for one or two more co-chairs to support that work as well. We did have an expectation that each one of the Working Groups would have at least two co-facilitators, preferably with diversity, different stakeholders, different regions, at a minimum, and it certainly helps keep the work going forward when people inevitably get sort of bogged down.
I have put out a pole for our first two meetings. I did that on the basis of who already had indicated support and was interested, and we will find the time for future meetings and rotate as appropriate, depending on the participants.
I will also be working on an agenda for the first meeting to kick things off there as well.
The second Working Group is the multi-year work program. So the -- just go back to the fundraising for a moment. That was the new group. Last year there was a pickup of people where we tried to go after what I call low-hanging fruits and obvious actions. This is the first time there's actually been a formal Working Group effort in the MAG with fundraising.
With the multi-year work program, that's a continuation from last year. The -- there are two things in particular I want to call out. One is that in the documents that were included for this meeting, there's a link to something called the IGF Program Component Document. That was some output from the Working Group last year, and it was based on a series of discussions within the MAG where it was made clear that I think people weren't really clear on what all the different components were that made up annual meeting of the IGF and all of its intersessional activities and who had responsibility for them, so that document actually outlines that. It gives you whatever charters or other defining work was available to identify -- to document the particular activity, such as Dynamic Coalitions, for instance, and also talks about the responsibility and provides, again, links to other appropriate resource documents. That documents the state of play for last year in 2017, so that is -- you know, and was deemed to be through various approvals reflective of last year's process.
I think a few people have actually requested copies of that document, finding it to be helpful when they actually think about the work of the IGF in total, so I just want to make sure that we draw everybody's attention to that there, and we should decide whether or not it needs to be updated -- updated going forward, but I think we can do that within the Working Group.
There was another effort which was started by a drafting team within the Working Group that was led by Jeremy Malcolm, who actually sent his regrets for today's meeting. His flight was postponed, and he's actually on a plane at this point in time. But he led a piece of work that was actually trying to understand what were some, perhaps, additional activities the IGF community could undertake which would have us working towards more concrete outputs, so that's a document which they completed, frankly, just around the time of the IGF itself. Of course, the Working Group and the MAG were stood down at the end of the IGF, so it's laid fallow here for a few months, but that would be -- I would expect that would be one of the first pieces of work the Working Group would decide to take up.
I think the other pieces we need to move forward really have to start to identify a couple of issues that we believe are sort of challenging enough, I guess, for the world as a whole, of interest enough to the community that it's worthy of us thoughtfully putting together a multi-year work program. We've had requests to look at some of the SDGs and what our activity of the work should be there, we've had requests to think about artificial intelligence and whether or not there was some work in that area as well, so I think determining what some of those topics are and what that work might look like is another significant piece of work that we would undertake within that Working Group.
I will get a high-level draft agenda out and ensure the documents that were left over from last year are passed on to this year's Working Group, and in the first meeting I suspect we'll at least take a good stab at trying to refine and prioritize the work in front of the Working Group there.
For all the Working Groups, you can find them all on a page, which lists both their charters and email sign-ups. It's up to everybody individually to sign up, and the Secretariat provides kind of minimal support. They just don't have the resources to the effort, so it's up to the co-facilitators and the Working Group members to ensure that meeting minutes are taken and published and Doodle polls are sent and meaningful. It's very much kind of self-managed effort or a MAG-managed effort.
I saw a comment on -- from Israel saying no update on the Working Group. If you could send out the kick-off mail, that would be really excellent, Israel.
Rasha has sent out one on the Working Group on Workshop Evaluation and has asked for participation in that effort.
And is there one more Working Group that I'm missing? Fundraising, Evaluation, Outreach and Engagement. Oh, yes, Working Group on Improvements. I don't think we actually have a MAG member that's actually co-facilitating that. We did last year. Flavio is on the call. He was a MAG member last year and one of the co-chairs of that effort. Flavio, maybe we can talk offline and we can figure out how to get a request in front of the MAG such that we actually have a MAG member supporting that effort, and, of course, would look for some additional co-chairs as well. It's an important piece of work and there's been a tremendous amount of work done already, so we'd like to see that one properly kicked off as well. And Flavio is agreeing to talk offline to see how we do that are there any comments or suggestions on the Working Groups, any one participates or any other AOB items?
Not hearing any, then -- oh, Arnold. Arnold, you have the floor, for an AOB item.
>> ARNOLD VAN RHIJN: Yes. Thank you, Lynn. Just for information. Last week we transferred a second (Off microphone) 100,000 Euros to the IGF Trust Fund and the five-year agreement between the government and (?), so I hope it will be followed by others. I'd make a plea to others to reach out to their constituencies to see whether their stakeholder groups or someone within that group can also contribute financially to the IGF Trust Fund. I think it's worthwhile doing that, all for the benefit of an open and secure Internet and support of the multi-stakeholder approach. Thank you.
>> CHAIR ST. AMOUR Thank you, Arnold, and, of course, a very big thank you for the donation as well. And, you know, as you know, because I saw your permission to do so, I have been using that as -- you know, as a model, I think, and as a little bit of a hopefully trigger for -- it's hopefully a trigger for others to trigger donations and I'm really hoping the fundraising group -- there's a lot we can do to, in quotes, professionalize our fundraising activities. There's actually a lot we can do now in the short-term in terms of a fairly select group of organizations or governments we can target. I think we know what the proposition is to them. We are not looking to make every MAG member into a fundraiser but looking to get a little more resource to this effort and for people to kind of look through their own set of contacts and their own, you know, organizations they deal with, and help send some suggestions in and some contacts, so I think we're looking for both some pragmatic operational activities in the short run as well as trying to determine what this whole activity should look like longer-term and be clear on respective roles, both from the UN, Secretariat, MAG, and MAG Chair, and I think part of the difficulty is that that's not been particularly clear either, so really look forward to good support in the Working Group on fundraising as well.
Any other items?
Let me just thank everybody, and, again, thank everybody for putting up with the pace here. I mean, I think in some places, we really are flying the plane while we're still building it as well, and it's not the most comfortable place to be, but I really have to thank, you know, certainly the Secretariat for everything they're doing and all the MAG members who are just keeping up with the workload and these conversations here and really helping us to move all this forward expeditiously. It is truly much appreciated. So thank you, and have a good afternoon, evening, morning, and talk to you soon.
>> ARNOLD VAN RHIJN: And thank you very much, Lynn, as well.