The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2019 Second Open Consultations and MAG Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from 9 to 11 April 2019. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. We're about to start the afternoon.
Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. We're about to start the afternoon session of the MAG meeting. Open consultations is tomorrow, if you just joined us after lunch. This is the first day of the MAG meeting.
And with that, I go to Lynn.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. Welcome back, everybody.
So this afternoon's agenda has us spending another hour on some strategic topics at the MAG's choosing. And then from 4:00 to 4:30 we're going to have just a quick review of the IGF 2019 program themes. What I would ask there is that somebody from the working groups that actually delivered -- or developed the narrative just maybe review quickly the narrative, if you have any insight into what's happening or any kind of what you think would be important for the MAG. It's just to make sure we didn't lose track of those themes and that part of the process. We're not looking for a substantive update because, of course, the workshop submission process is still open.
And then Jutta and I think a few other members from the team are going to walk us through a quick review of the evaluation tool but also one or two open questions from the working group on the workshop eval process.
And then -- and I do hope we can keep both of those to the two half-hour slots.
And then from 5:00 to 6:00 is when we're going to come back and revisit the strategic discussion which will focus on the high-level sessions and the day zero sessions. And I would ask everybody to really keep the terminology separate. We often say "high-level sessions on day zero" and I think that confuses ourselves often as well as others external to the room. So I think we can simply say "high-level sessions" and then we will have the day zero discussion as well. Some sort of updates on the open and closing ceremonies, both in terms of ensuring we understand the U.N. protocol that need to be followed at a high level and any particular thoughts from the German host country.
And then maybe try and get some additional thoughts together on the main sessions. I think that's a lot to go through in that hour. But if we can take it in that hour and anything we don't get through, we can pick up in the next couple of days.
So just before lunch, we had started a discussion on sort of outputs and what more we might do in sort of two threads. One thread was are there some sort of stylistic things and some support things and some mentoring things we can do that would actually support the workshops themselves. And then another one was is there a way to kind of advance some of the outputs coming out of the workshops in a way that was even more useful to the community at-large? And we had just sort of started that discussion.
We can continue with that, if we'd like. Certainly more concrete, tangible outputs has been a significant ask of many in the community and significant part of many of the reviews that we've actually had. But if there's -- this is also open, this is strategic time. If there are topics that some MAG members feel are more important that we discuss here, then we have some time to do that or at least initiate that topic and perhaps pick it up in the next couple of days.
So I will give everybody a moment to think. We either kind of reopen or stay with the output topic that was in front of us just before the lunch break or move to another -- another area? I'm not looking at anybody with intent. I'm literally just giving everybody a moment to sort of get their thoughts together and determine whether or not you want to take the floor.
Well, then let me sort of jump in a little bit with respect to the outputs then. I do think there are some things we can do that, again, are more supportive of the workshop organizers, are more supportive of the facilitators that are there in the room. I think we can take another look at the advice we give to workshop organizers and perhaps to the various reports we ask them to produce and the timing.
We either do that within a working group that already exists or perhaps set up another working group because I don't think that's something we would take up here. We'd need to look through some very substantive documents and think through timetables. So I think it's more offline working group work than full MAG work. But I would like to see, you know, some effort put into are we doing everything we can to help with the processing in the room, and that requires helping to process it, you know, ahead of time as well. Again, the current reporting-out process -- and Eleonora can correct me if I'm wrong -- basically has a whole template they need to fill out. And they need to fill it out -- obviously there's a workshop submission process. As we get closer to the IGF itself, they start with kind of reasserting what the policy question is and their speakers and what they expect to get out of the session.
And then a week before -- well, do you want to take the floor, Eleonora? I didn't want to surprise you.
>>ELEONORA MAZZUCCHI: No, no, it's okay. Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. I'm actually wracking my brain a little bit to remember the exact process because there were a few steps. So it was, in fact, a three-step reporting process where we asked the session organizers to submit a prereport with some basic information on the session. And what they were giving us in advance that we didn't already have were some kind of succinct key messages that we could use to start putting together our own larger report of the meeting.
And then a report after the session was held with, of course, more detail on the discussions.
And then if they chose to -- this was not mandatory -- a longer report a couple of weeks after the IGF itself if they felt that, you know, the word limit that we were asking for in the report immediately after the session was too restrictive and they wanted to give us more information about what happened in the session.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Eleonora.
I will come to you in a moment, Ben. Just to say that I think we need to take this to a smaller group to actually look through the documents and the proposal and come back.
So let me go to Ben, first, and then process that.
>>BEN WALLIS: It was just to ask Eleonora and the secretariat what proportion of workshop organizers and (garbled audio) -- what proportion did you get that actually provided information that requested? How did it work out?
>>ELEONORA MAZZUCHI: Thanks, Ben, for the question. We actually had a very good compliance rate last year, especially considering that, you know, we were issuing some fairly complex instructions and the process was put together a little bit last minute. But in the end, we had an almost 100% submission rate. I mean, of course, there were people who submitted past deadline. But with some chasing up, in the end, I think almost everyone submitted a report.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Paul, you have the floor.
Thank you, Eleonora.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Hi, Lynn. Paul Rowney. Sorry, this morning I was a bit quiet, but I think I was half-hour behind everything that was being discussed. So I think I've caught up over lunchtime.
One thing we were discussing over lunch, which I think is quite interesting as a thought-provoking thing, is the main sessions. Last year the main sessions took place throughout the whole IGF from the beginning to the end. The question is really: Should be the main sessions be at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end or does it matter?
If they are towards the end of the IGF, then they can be used to sort of bring together what was discussed in the different workshops that are part of that theme and sort of bring a wrap-up or thought of how we can structure what was discussed.
So rather than having them like last year all over the place or throughout, which distracts people from the actual workshops, is to try to draw them to the end, particularly around the three thematical areas that we have. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's an interesting suggestion. And maybe when we come to that, we can actually think about what is it we want to kind of achieve with this three-thematic process and then how would we best support that. I think that's a really interesting suggestion.
I'm kind of lull to suggest what I'm going to suggest in a moment just because the secretariat is so severely overresourced. But it would be a normal secretariat function to look at -- coming back to all the prep materials and the sort of organizational materials and reporting, it would be a normal secretariat function to look at the set of materials that we actually give to the workshop organizers in terms of advice and reporting, understanding what you're looking for in terms of the reporting at the end, and perhaps look at whether or not there are any areas for improvement on the basis of discussions we've had here and we'll have tomorrow, particularly with the community, and maybe put those back out to the MAG for review.
I think it's an awful lot and frankly too much for people to take in sitting here now to understand that process and think about what some improvements might be. But I'm confident that the secretariat understands what we're trying to do in terms of both facilitating kind of the level and the positioning and the conciseness, if you will, even of the messages that come out of the workshops. And I'm certainly happy to be a part of that review and maybe there will be some other MAG members as well which would be -- but if we could do that and look to that in the next sort of month or so, it would probably be about the right time frame.
Is that okay, Chengetai? Eleonora? We have the documents all ready, which were produced most recently by the secretariat.
So then I think if we leave the kind of more operational aspects of the reports to the secretariat for the next step in the process, is there a discussion the MAG wants to engage in with respect to what we can do to step up the level of the usefulness of the outputs that come out of the individual sessions?
In particular, there have been, again, a couple of things that have been rooted through various working groups. One is to maybe look at some of the processes in the NRIs to see if there's some learnings there that we can pull into the IGF. I don't know if Jeremy Malcolm is on the call remotely or not. But he is one of the individuals who wrote the proposal which is looking at other methodologies to advance recommendations within the IGF.
Does everybody think we're doing everything we can with respect to the outputs as they sort of exit the workshop sessions and as they -- Carlos, sorry? It's actually quite loud.
Do we think there's more we might be doing to actually as the outputs exit those workshop sessions to make them more useful? We certainly have a lot of work to do with respect to capturing and perhaps consolidating and marketing and directing. Are we happy with the level of outputs that come out of the various workshop sessions now?
I'm not suggesting I'm happy this is a negative thing. Everything we're doing in this space is about continual improvement, so either improvements that we can see that would actually help kick the outputs up to another level.
Jutta, you have the floor.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Lynn. I do think what Ben Wallis said before about when we should have the main session -- oh, no, it was Paul, Paul Rowney. Sorry -- about when we should have the main sessions in the program is somehow a way forward to this because the outcomes from the sessions could somehow feed into the main sessions if we decide to have main sessions grouped around the three main themes of the IGF. So all the workshops will somehow be allocated to the three main themes. And then it's a question: What can we take out? What is an outcome that can be taken forward to a main session?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jutta. Sorry, I was reading and shaking my head. Thank you. One option is we pivot to a main session discussion now since it's on our agenda later today. Another option is we come back and look at some of the other strategic issues that were on the lists that were on the agenda and determine if there's something else that the MAG would actually like to talk about now. So that list had some of the areas that have been mentioned as areas for possible future strategic priorities, were to identify and ensure that we were focusing appropriately on emerging issues or the most consequential questions; strengthening outputs and recommendations, which we're talking about. The relationship or increasing engagement with the national, regional, and youth IGF initiatives, I think is really a strategic area. I'm not sure that's best done here because we would want to make sure we had appropriate representation from the NRIs, of course, to do that discussion so that we were having the discussion with them.
Anything else we can do to strengthen other intersessional activities. We have increasing participation from senior policy makings and the private sector, increasing stakeholder engagement and inclusion, improving outreach and support, working towards a cohesive program and a cohesive overall program structure. I think we discussed the multi-year strategic program. And fund-raising was on there as well.
Susan, you have the floor.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thanks, Chair. Just some thoughts on the question of outputs. I agree, it might be useful to have a smaller group if we want to toss around ideas about the format of the outputs, et cetera.
But I think one question that might be useful to ask first is: What do we want for these outputs to achieve? What are the different impacts that we want these outputs to have? I think once we're able to ask that -- answer these types of questions, that will assist us in writing for a certain audience or producing in a particular format.
So I would -- I would encourage folks to kind of maybe consider that first. It could be helpful moving the discussion along. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Susan. I think that's an interesting -- interesting suggestion. Anybody who wants to follow up on that approach?
>>CHENAI CHAIR: Thank you. I will revert to using my speaking queue. My apologies.
I think just to add on to what Susan said about what exactly we are trying to achieve in terms of -- that would help us in the outputs.
I think one thing I had suggested in the initial meeting at the beginning of the year was to actually ask our community what it is they would like to get out of IGF because you often ask them what it is they want to hear at the sessions, what is it they want to know about.
And I know in my line of work, we call it, like, an audience analysis. But, in essence, we would be better able to package outputs based on knowing what it is exactly what the community wants to know because maybe the reports are quite lengthy but they probably want to get figures or images of a particular grouping and maybe the policy makers want the big number reports. So maybe we could actually package things according to what the different constituencies say they need.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So it strikes me that we actually have multiple stakeholders here in the room. We have government representatives. We have private sector representatives, civil society and technical community. Maybe rather than us trying to figure out what some third party wants, we ask people from the position of their stakeholder view, as a government, it would be helpful to me if X. As a private sector leader, it would be helpful to me if X. Is there anybody who wants to jump into that? Daniela.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thanks. I just wanted to reflect a little bit what Paul and Jutta said. I think discussing the structure of the program also in the sense of what kind of sessions, when, is certainly a way forward. And maybe also comment to Susan, yes, it's very important to ask first what we want to do with the output, what the stakeholders want to do with the outputs when thinking about what kind of outputs.
But then I would refer to the Tunis Agenda because, I mean, what's our task? Our task is identify emerging issues, bring them to the attention of the relevant bodies and the general public and where appropriate make recommendations.
This in my view means we should ask ourselves what kind of outputs do we need to address the broader public in an understandable way and how can we transfer our discussions to the decision makers.
Because they cannot follow the whole IGF in a sense. That's also what I picked up before, the question of: There are outputs but do we bind them together in a strategic way to inform other people who are not inside our community and are not yet inside our community and the high-ranking people that do not have the time to read 50 pages but just want to have the main messages.
And maybe that's also our task, and we should ask ourselves if we are really doing our job up to now to get that kind of strategic output. And I think that should be our aim.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela.
Sometimes talking about it in the abstract can be difficult. If we said choose one of the main themes that we have, data governance or inclusion or access within inclusion, would it be worthwhile to maybe take those three themes and think about who we're trying to address by the work we're actually -- and of course we don't have the workshops in front of us yet but we had the narratives for these three themes, and the narratives said we think this is something to be considered, and we're looking for workshop proposals that actually address those particular narratives.
I'm still trying to follow-up on Susan's -- Susan's suggestion; right? I've been trying to drive it down to something concrete. If we take, just as an example, one of those themes, does that help us figure out if we were to start to say who are we trying to address with this theme, what are the particular issues, how would we approach it, that would actually give us a communications plan at the end as well which would say these are who we think are the targets of these particular workshops or these particular outputs.
And this isn't work I expect to do in the full MAG here, but if we can figure out what the process and the work is that we think we want done, then we can get some ad hoc groups to go away and do that.
And again, apparently I'm talking to stall and buy you all time to jump in here. So when somebody has a better idea or something that you think would actually work, please jump in. I see Susan has requested the floor again. Thank you, Susan.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Chair. And just as a follow-up. So I think that directing -- having decision-makers, whether they be government or decision-makers in the private sector, decision-makers in general I think, there are a multitude of audiences. we have a multitude of different stakeholder groups here as well. I would encourage us to think about targeting all of those in different strata of the community.
For example, we've been discussing within the dynamic coalition on DNS issues how to engage folks who are going to appeal to or -- appeal to decision-makers about universal acceptance readiness. So it's guidance not only for people who make the decision but for people who want to be able to engage the decision-makers and how to do that effectively.
So I guess I would just encourage us to have a and keep a broad spectrum of decision-makers or audience members in mind. But I also appreciate your brainstorming on the themes. And I just have to think about it a wee bit.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Maybe the decision-makers or the targeted audiences become more clear the more specific we get on what the particular issue is we're addressing or the particular policy question we're trying to advance.
Miguel, you have the floor.
>>MIGUEL CANDIA IBARRA: Thank you, Chair. Just a couple of comments. Keeping the flow of what we are talking, maybe -- and taking into account that we need to, you know, understand the nature of our own outputs, I wanted to make sure that we understand that the outputs are there. We know. We've seen it. We are talking about them year after year. I believe that what -- we can be okay with it, not satisfied with it, we can always do better, but it's even -- it's more about the impact of the output, you know? And here I have to say two things. One, if we are going with the text of the Tunis Agenda and talk about recommendations, we need to remember that we are in a U.N. setting, and a recommendation, if we are looking it from the eyes of a government, it has a certain amount of (indiscernible) single government, and we might find some resistance from different stakeholders. But particularly government that doesn't understand maybe the idea of the recommendations we are trying to put out.
But on the other hand, it's good to find maybe a moment within the program to not make an extract or anything but to talk about the workshops, you know, somewhat high level. To speak to all the audience of the global IGF about the end game, what we want with the workshop, why we are having workshops. It shouldn't take too long. Maybe 15 minutes in some part of the program. But to make people understand why we are having these sessions within the agenda that might seem to, you know, disgrace everything. You know, we are talking about too many things at the same time. That was a criticism we faced in the years before. Maybe if we can give ah idea at the high lev- -- at the political level that why we are doing this, in order to advance, in order to move forward, in order to understand better the problematics, but the end game. And maybe that can create some expectations in the communities that we can use as a force within -- within IGFs. You know -- Between IGFs, sorry. You know, around the year, that we can, alongside with the regional and national IGFs, to keep that as a momentum, as a force that will bring us to, you know, an end of the work that year with the workshops so we understand what the -- the main issues are, that they were seeing in the workshops how the discussions went and some kind of output about this whole process.
Maybe that could help in order to, you know, make people know, particularly with the workshops, what the outputs are, because there are too many. Maybe giving them an idea.
Thank you. Sorry for taking so long.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, no. I think that's a good idea, Miguel.
Let me go to Nebojsa who has asked for the floor.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: Hi. Nebojsa Regoje, government. Second term in the MAG.
One question for the secretariat. Do we distribute the conclusions or recommendations through the U.N. system to the member countries in some way or we just publicly, you know, put them on the web page or not? If we are not doing that, I think it might be very useful if we have a document of two pages distributed either through the U.N. in New York or here in Geneva to the missions of the member countries with a brief report what are the outcomes, recommendations or suggestions from the IGF.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, that's a good idea. We, in our communication plan that we've been talking between us, the IGF secretariat and UNDESA, that is one of our plans; first of all, to distribute it amongst the missions in New York and here, and also distribute it to other U.N. agencies, you know, like UNESCO, et cetera. And then apart from that, distribute it to agencies like the OECD and the Council of Europe -- sorry, not Council of Europe. We haven't thought about the Council of Europe, but the European Commission because they have similar programs and they are supporters of the IGF, so if they could distribute it as well.
So that is in the plan for this year.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So could I try a different exercise? Could I try to personalize it a little bit but not ask anybody to raise hands or show of hands. I want everybody to just ask themselves how many of you read the chair's summary? Again, not looking for a show of hands.
How many of you went looking for workshops on a particular topic and either found the -- again, I don't need a show of hands. I'm not trying to call anybody out. I'm just really trying to get us to drill down and figure out where they're useful and where they're not.
So how many have gone looking for workshops on a particular topic and read through the workshops or found the workshop reports?
How many people have said, "This would be really useful to X" and passed it on?
How many people passed on the chair's summary saying this would be useful?
So I know -- I know some of you did, but, you know, we all -- look, we're all giving a lot of time for something that we obviously care a lot about and feel very strongly makes a difference in the world, and I think we need to get that beyond the 2,000, 3,000 people that are really kind of intimately into all this Internet governance, because they're not the only ones we're trying to engage with or we're trying to -- you know, all of us -- all of us move forward. It goes far beyond that.
So I mean, again, I'm just trying to find ways to unlock, you know, what are our log jams. Are our log jams the reports -- the outputs aren't particularly accessible or they're not particularly useful or they're too hard to find on the website? Are they not concrete enough or specific enough? Is the advice too general and, therefore, it's not a lot of use to policymakers and if I give this to somebody, another entity, it's going to be something they read the other day in the financial times?
I mean, we all hear every single day that, you know, the outputs could be better out of the IGF. And sometimes they mean wish we could find it more easily, I wish they were more accessible, I wish they were more targeted, I wish they were more concrete, I wish -- all these things. But how do we try and distill all those conversations down to say here's two or three things we can go away and begin addressing that are going to give us a better set of outputs; that the world is actually going to say this is helpful, this is useful and I want more?
Jennifer. To you on the floor.
>>JENNIFER CHUNG: Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. I'm Jennifer Chung. Since I'm taking the floor for the first time this meeting, I'm just going to say MAG member. Second year MAG member, private sector.
Before you made your summary just now, Chair, I was actually looking through the IGF website to look at the kind of information, the kind of reports, the kind of wealth of outputs that we have from last year and the years before, and was wondering, you know, how easy would it be for me to find these things to pass it on? How comprehensive is it?
And after a little bit of digging, and maybe it's my lack of, you know, knowledge of the website so much, I did find the list of workshops last year, all the reports that were given. And I think we do have a wealth of knowledge there, a wealth of outputs that we can right now think about how better to package.
I think Susan mentioned a little earlier a really good starting point for us. What do we hope to get -- What do we hope to get from all these outputs? Who are we hoping that will see these outputs? Who are we hoping will take action on these outputs? Even if it's not something that you want someone to take action on, how are we patching it?
Susan made a reference to the DC DNSI issues; what they were thinking about, you know, messaging that needs to go to different strata of the people you are talking to. you know, for example, if you're asking U.N. agencies or governments to look at a reports, they're not going to look at a 50-page report. They're going to look at a two-page summary, and the way the two-page summary report is packaged in a way to appeal to people reading it.
If you're looking to try to engage more private sector, you know, we're more interested in looking at figures. We're interested in looking at how this can impact the particular sector we're working in. If you're looking at civil society, maybe they're looking at, you know, a package where they can spark discussion, conversation within their own communities and vice versa and bring that back.
So I think we do have a lot of output, and we perhaps need to strategically think about how we can package that to speak to the different audiences we want to impact and we want to bring into the IGF ecosystem. And it's not just people who are already engaged. Of course we need to continue engaging them for them to realize, you know, engaging with the IGF is impactful and is useful, but we also need to see how we can attract these new audiences. And maybe it's marketing exercise, maybe it's a communications exercise in (indiscernible).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jennifer. Really interesting things to think about there as well.
So I'm -- and I have been doing a little bit of looking about in terms of other similar processes to see what they're doing, and one interesting one is the U.N. Global Compact, if you actually look at them. And there's, you know, a fair amount of similarities between what they are doing and what they're -- in terms of kind of approach and intent.
I don't know if there are some things we can learn from looking at some of these other activities. I don't know if we can lean on some of these other entities within the U.N. We need to find a way to make it a win-win for both organizations. But again, whether or not we can get some guidance or leadership in terms of how we should process ourselves through this. I mean, this is obviously a real set of expertise as well.
We could, in fact, take a subset and maybe try and think through one or two processes. If we started with one of the themes and maybe one of the tags underneath the themes and said, again, who are we trying to reach, to what purpose, and how can we best do that.
I think we could do more around campaigns as well which we could get through the community with the support of the community that would get interest. And that's a little bit of what you see if you go to U.N. Global Compact; you know, this sustainability, ten principles for sustainability, something. I think I'm confusing multiple sites with what I just said. But they do that by getting, you know, campaigns and initiatives and something that builds excitement and gets people to think about and come to the issues. Maybe that's, you know, "marketing," in quotes, or something we could do in terms of building interest and outreach at the same time.
Again, just trying to spark different pointers here.
Paul Rowney. Paul, you have the floor.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you, Lynn. Paul Rowney.
Just to comment to some of what's been discussed. Firstly, I don't find the IGF website very friendly. I find it quite difficult to find information, and it's quite laborious actually to work through it to get to where you want to get to. So that's just a personal comment. I don't know if everyone has the same experience.
I think if people are expected to go and find information, it's not that easy to find. It's not intuitive to find the information. There's been a lot of discussion about marketing, and I think it is key that we do look at how we market the outcomes and the reports and make sure that the stakeholders are aware or it's pushed out to them, for example.
But basically, make it easier for the stakeholder to know how to get it or to make sure it gets to them.
And just looking at the A4AI on the affordability report, I think that's a key output and I think they do quite well marketing and getting that out. And maybe a similar type of approach could be useful.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Paul.
Hana, you have the floor.
>>HANA ALHASHIMI: Thank you, chair, and thanks to those who have spoken before.
Just to pick up and broaden the brainstorming here, I definitely support the wider dissemination of the chair's summary. Thanks to chairs for putting that together. But also, I think one of the benefits of the chair's summary is that it's a digestible account of all the discussions happening at the IGF. I wonder whether it would be possible to look at aggregating some of the summaries of the different workshops so that there's multiple workshops on similar topics instead of having five different files for five different workshops. Is there some way to get key messages across themes instead of -- so somewhere in between the level of the chair's summary and the more granular individual workshops, which would be key messages that are largely agreeable to the participants. But that might also be a stepping stone towards recommendations or something that's useful.
I think building on the Global Compact idea, the Global Compact of course has principles that you sign on to. So is there something across some of the themes that might be taken up by a community or a series of different actors? I don't really know. As you've mentioned, it's hard to speak without looking at specifics, but I think it's worth thinking about.
It's also worth thinking about when we're putting together the program or looking at proposals. I think this happens in every U.N. setting, there will be a lot of different actors that plan on having similar events but don't necessarily partner on them or don't really know who has an interest in a similar event. So maybe in terms of front loading the work, if we see that there's several different actors that are already going to do something on, say, security, instead of just saying they have to do separate reports, maybe we can encourage that they speak together about how to diversify the different conversations, and also how to have some -- a common outcome, output.
The difficulty I want to flag with talking about outcomes and outputs, even if we're thinking about the examples in the room, everyone has a different definition of what that is. For some it's a declaration, for some it's a report, and those are very different things. So I think a variety is good. But for us to figure out where we can add value, we need probably a common -- a common definition of some kind.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Hana. I'll just keep jumping in. Maybe -- this is all just brainstorming. I mean, trying to get different thoughts coming from all corners of the room. And, of course, the MAG will have to go away and think about what might work or not.
But when we created the three themes and we had the working groups or -- I don't think we called them working groups. We would have confused them -- but the ad hoc groups go away and develop the narratives. You know, one might imagine that process extending throughout the "program"-setting process. So you support the narratives. You support the call. Once the MAG has gone through the workshop approval process, maybe there's another process that comes in sideways or at the same time that actually looks for, you know, are we pulling in the topics that are really pertinent and clear within this topic. Can we do some of the threading that, I think, Hana was alluding to and maybe that culminates in a synthesized report at the end or an outreport or something. So maybe there's an opportunity to keep those kind of narrative groups together to help with some further shaping through the -- again, I know there are going to be pros and cons to that in people's minds. I'm just trying to throw various ideas out.
The other thing that kind of strikes me as I look through the list is the IGF website -- by the way, Luis does a superb job managing the website and all of the I.T. support and all of the audiovisual and all the remote participation support and absolutely everything. So, I mean, we should say that right up front.
Maybe there is a different approach to the website which the website that we had today sort of says, "This what's happening at the moment in the process." That's pretty much what it does. This meeting was held. This meeting is coming up. Here's where we find the report. So you look at it, you don't immediately get excited about Internet or Internet governance or inclusion or anything because it's kind of the process, the next meeting. Here's the deadline for -- and maybe those go on subsidiary pages and we start with, you know, the IGF 2019 cares about inclusion, cares about data governance, cares about -- and we lead with some pictures and the narratives, and that's what the IGF 2019 is about. And we create a storyboard or something up front. But that's not website work. That's MAG work or our community work here. And I think that should be something, which is kind of quite easy to do. Doesn't take away from anything that's there. All that information is absolutely necessary and is still there. But we find a higher level, kind of more exciting, more pulling your heart strings or something a little bit to pull you into the work.
So, again, just in the nature of just throwing lots of things out there.
I will go back to the queue now. Paul, Paul Charlton, you have the floor.
>>PAUL CHARLTON: Thank you, Chair. It's Paul Charlton.
I was just going to follow up on what you were saying and also what Paul Rowney was saying about the website. I agree, I think the way in which we present information there now, it's kind of -- it's kind of static and focused on process which, of course, is necessary in terms of building each year's IGF because there's so much work to do.
But the past IGFs, they're sort of treated like -- they're sort of back there in the archives. And when I think of how sort of large U.N. agencies, for example -- I suppose it goes with other large organizations as well -- present themselves on the Web, there's a focus of we just did this and we're doing this. This is what we stand for, sort of like some of the points you are making.
And I agree that's not just a matter of website management; it's a matter of MAG -- the MAG and other stakeholders working on those types of messages for presentation.
It strikes me as well that we also have a structural problem because it's just the nature of the IGF that we don't have one person who is sort of elected as a Secretary-General or a Director-General, again comparing us to a U.N. agency, where that person's full-time would be job not just management but also promotion and promoting the organization and its mandate and its messages. So that's something we just have to struggle against.
But I think this is -- this is -- this type of work is well worth doing. It seems to me that there's -- you know, there's a connection between this whole issue of how we're presenting ourselves and also the concept of what sort of messages are we going to put out every year. Perhaps there's a little bit of complexity as well because it seems to me when we talk about outputs or results, there's almost two levels. One, there's the specific reports of specific meetings or events or workshops or sessions; and then there are these higher-level, more of sort of strategic messages. Maybe the strategic messages are more difficult.
In that sense, I would agree with Susan and Jennifer that we -- although we have what's written in the Tunis Agenda in terms of our mandate but I think we do have to think of the intended audience.
And, also, think of -- because there are so many different entities and venues that are discussing these issues, what is our value-added. I mean, I think our value-added in some terms is the nature that we are truly multistakeholder where many other venues are not and also that we're looking at a fairly significant range of issues.
I know we're trying to narrow it down and maybe focus on a more limited group. But those I see are the two things that are value-added and I think it's a matter of how do we -- how do we capitalize on that and use that as the basis for developing these messages and these outputs.
I'm sorry, I don't have any answers, but those are just some reflections.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think they're very helpful reflections, and appreciate your coming in. We will go to the queue, and then why don't we close this. And we will come back to over the next couple days so we can go to the rest of the agenda. But we will go through the queue that's up there.
Titi, you have the floor.
>>CONCETTINA CASSA: Thank you, Lynn, for giving me the floor. I just want to share something about what I think should be improved because just looking at paragraph 72(g) of Tunis Agenda, it says we are to identify emerging issues. We have started a good process this year because we have just identified the three thematic areas and we are going to actually discuss and identify what are the suggestions and account for the global environment.
But I think we should pay more attention on the second part of this sentence that says, "Bring them to the attention of relevant bodies."
I mean, what IGF does to bring the attention of the results of the IGF to the relevant bodies. And which are the relevant bodies? Because, for instance, if you want to have an impact in Italy, we have different bodies which are involved in Internet governance. There are authorities related to privacy, authorities related to, for instance, communication and so on.
So I think that we should focus on this sentence and try to do more to bring the attention.
And, also, about "make recommendation," which kind of recommendation makes in IGF? We usually issue some reports. We don't publish very strong recommendation. We don't send them to the public authorities and so on. I think this is the path that is missing.
And when I -- I was thinking about governments, but it's not only governments; it's also businesses and so on because recommendations should be, I mean, communicated in a broader way in respect to now because the website is not enough. People usually have many other things to do, so you need to catch their attention to have impact and to improve in some topics. Okay. Thanks it. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think they were very good points as well, Titi.
We have a few more people in the queue. Deniz wanted to say a few words as well. Is that now or a bit later?
>>DENIZ SUSAR: About the website, I cannot agree more with everyone. All the comments are relevant.
But for me also it took some time to use this IGF website, and it is a portal within portal so we have the 2018 IGF as a separate portal. And you need to go there and you need to study a bit. And maybe we should do more maybe capacity-building on that. And, also, let's not forget the host country website. It's up there and it's much more interesting. You can see where you should be involved more with IGF. You see different interviews. I find it very helpful.
And one point about the suggestion that Hana made about the key messages, categorized by themes, that's actually what we did at the end of -- during the IGF 2018. So if you go to the archive at the bottom of the website and click on IGF 2018, then you would see the chair's summary and key messages there. And we have two pages, I think, for each thematic issue.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: If I can just say your last comment just kind of proved the point that's been made in the room. If you go to the archive and you go to the bottom of the page and you click on the X and you go here, you go there, you get the chair's summary. If the chair's summary is the result of everything we did last year through the IGF and the IGF ecosystem, if you went to any other website, you would see a little book cover up in the corner with it there. You would see the other books as well. So I think it's just the points that we can do more. Sorry for getting overexcited there.
[ Laughter ]
>>ELEONORA MAZZUCCHI: Sorry. Thank you for giving me the floor. I just wanted to tack on to what Deniz said because I think in this discussion the fact that we produced the messages got lost. And, of course, that's also connected to how accessible things are on our website. And I just wanted to quickly add so that the process is more clear for everyone, that the messages are connected to the session reporting; that the reports that came out of the sessions were then used as the basis for these key messages. It's important for that to be understood.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I would encourage everybody to do great work again this year. Thank you, Eleonora.
Mamadou, Mamadou, you have the floor.
>>MAMADOU LO: Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. Mamadou lot from Senegal, private sector, stakeholder.
I would like to echo my colleague calling for more -- (audio difficulty) -- to showcase and distribute well our works and outputs.
One example has been 64 (indiscernible) capacity development sessions organized by the IGF secretariat. It would be nice if we can replicate this during most of IGF events with IGF outputs and documents like IGF annual report, IGF workshop reports, main session reports, brieflet and brochure as we need places and moments to share in talks once (indiscernible) are public.
I'm also thinking on how we can use TV broadcasts to showcase IGF audio events.
Also, I was thinking about how can we envelop a workshop effectively done on (indiscernible) in our first MAG meeting and are waiting for response from the working group on workshop evaluation. Thank you very much.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Mamadou led the working group on communications and outreach last year and I think will continue to be engaged this year but has indicated that he's not able to lead it.
I do think we have a new leader for it. Was it Arsene? Yes, I thought so. Thank you.
Miguel, you have the floor.
>>MIGUEL CANDIA: Thank you, Chair. Miguel Candia for the record. Sorry to take the floor again on the same issue. But some of the points I was going to make were already taken upon.
But just to say that, you know, various formats and tracks have various outputs. That's one of our problems, that it is as well one of our strengths. We have a lot of things that come out of the IGF. We need to make sense of it.
But I'm going to say something on the point that it is the impact that we need. And our impact -- I think the shorter leg we have is to get known. We are maybe less known than the ITU in these matters, possibly less than UNCTAD in the diplomatic community at least. But I think we're getting bigger and bigger within the broader view of the communities. So that is a way we need to continue going on.
And this impact and this getting known will at the same time get people excited about looking into Internet governance that may or may not just have us, the IGF, as a source. You can go to any single institution who speaks about these issues, maybe ISOC as well. But that's completely fair.
But we are in an environment with a lot of opportunities for the people looking at their computers. So we need to get better -- get more visible.
And I usually sell, in quotes, the IGF back home as the only natural multistakeholder fora, forum, within the U.N. system, particularly for -- if I'm talking with other government officials. And that's why when we talk about this, we see the IGF as a place where we can speak more freely instead of being constrained by our instructions, for example. When we go into meetings, we know what to say and what not to say. And that's one of the strengths of the IGF, that we may put everywhere for people to see you can speak freely here. That's one suggestion. Of course, we need to give it a better form for the public.
[ Laughter ]
But I think that is one of our strengths as well. You can speak freely here about the issues that interest you.
And just very short thing about the website, we have to understand that the website's doing what we're asking the website to do. So it's been evolving. It's been changing. It's been growing. And, of course, we have the host website. But the only thing with -- the other problem with that is that it's temporary. It's only one year. And then we have to move to another host website.
So we are, indeed, in need of a small evolution within a very good website we have. We have a lot of information, so much information that it's becoming hard to find it. But we may have the -- we need to have this in our forefront, that is very easy to get people into. And then when you go deeper, you go deeper but you go because you want to.
I don't know if -- the first two clicks should give you very interesting and exciting information, and that's something that the secretariat can manage. Thank you. Thank you for taking so long.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Miguel.
I'm going to turn to Daniela in a moment and give her the floor, and then we're going to come back and just propose something with respect to what we would bring forward to tomorrow's discussion.
But I want to say this again. I want to underline, I don't know that I've ever entered into a website discussion where I've heard "It's perfect, don't change a thing."
[ Laughter ]
Things change fast. Messages in the world change fast. The tools change fast. What is an appropriate style changes fast. So every time I enter into these discussions, it's we could do more, we could do this, we could do that. It's in that vein I tink we're having this conversation. So, again, I want to make sure that nobody here in the secretariat, Luis, or anyone are kind of taking any negative impressions away from the discussion. This is really -- I think it's more existential than it is actually Web-focused which is: What are we? What do we want to represent to the world? And how do we want to tell them about it? I think that's basically the conversation we're having. If we had that, we could put that into the website. So I just want to underline that again.
I'm always overly sensitive to that particularly with a very small resource that's very much overworked. And certainly hope they all feel very appreciated.
But, Daniela, you have some words. And then we'll wrap this session up.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you, Lynn. Maybe not for wrapping up.
[ Laughter ]
Thanks, Deniz, for saying such nice words about our website. In fact, that's in our view sort of an add-on and, of course, we try to do our homework in the sense of public relations for the IGF 2019. But this is in no way a website that could replace or be in, let's say, really -- I mean, output giving place for the Internet Governance Forum. I mean, the basic output should be on the IGF homepage itself. Of course, we would try to give it that, but this is an extra way of doing things.
This is not bashing a website. But as a newcomer, I also had the impression that it's not very easy to find the most important things in the first 30 seconds, right? So maybe there is a task for us to do to get information more easily to users or to people who just have heard about the IGF and then go to the website and then try to find out what's all about and what are the key messages of the IGF.
Having said that and maybe then trying to take away from what we have discussed today, maybe we should really look at what have been submitted as workshops and open fora, et cetera, main sessions and then have a discussion in June about how to structure the program and the way. At the end, we can maybe grab things out of the whole discussions that are sort of key messages and then could be put on a two-pager, for example, and have that at the front Web page of the Internet Governance Forum. Maybe that's also kind of an output that would be easy to digest.
And then I think it's a task for all of us to then distribute that and send links as you mentioned before to the broader public and giving them more, let's say, knowledge about what we are doing here and giving them easier access to the outcomes.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela.
This is actually when we should of move to the rest of the agenda. What I was going to propose, and I'll come back to the queue and see who wants to come in on this in a moment, but what I was going to propose is that I work with Eleonora and Chengetai and the secretariat to get a couple of paragraphs together that capture the discussion this morning before lunch and this afternoon which says, you know, the MAG discussed X and what that is. The MAG had a discussion on outputs and kind of try -- a short paragraph or two that we can use as introduction to the discussion with the community tomorrow so that they understand what we were trying to talk about but that we actually ask them for their ideas. And if they have lots of ideas, then that's fantastic. We can certainly bounce some of the things we've kicked around here off them as well. But that would be the way I propose we actually provide through the strategic part of the discussion tomorrow as part of the open community.
Does that seem -- seem good? Seem okay?
So again, with that, normally we would be coming to the review of the 2019 program themes. I'm not sure if the people who are in the queue were anticipating that and are there for that discussion or were you in the queue for the discussion we're just trying to conclude here?
So I'm going to go through quickly and see. If it's opening up a new FUN, maybe you can either send a note to the MAG list or save it for the discussion tomorrow because I think it's important that we actually go through the remaining discussions today as well ahead of the community consultation tomorrow.
So, Paul, you have the floor.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Yeah. I'll be very quick. Just not to repeat what has been said, but I just want to reiterate that the IGF is the brand and the website is not an I.T. issue. It's a marketing issue. So we shouldn't look at it from a technology perspective. We should look at it from a brand and marketing perspective. So we shouldn't be looking to Luis to create that brand. It's not an I.T. issue.
And what we have now is an Internet on the web basically and we don't really have a website presence.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That was well said, particularly your first comment.
Mamadou. Mamadou, you have the floor.
>>MAMADOU LO: Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor.
I would like to stress again on the website issue. I think the issue we are facing right now is an issue related to a communication channel. I think we have to diversify our communication channels. So the website is just one among them. And I think we have targets. The targets are not using the website. The African, for example, in the Arab region, perhaps they use other targets to -- other communication channel to know how these IGF, what we are doing there now.
Just for that, I think that we need to diversify our communication channel to reach more in the IGF landscape. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mamadou.
>>CARLOS ALBERTO AFONSO: Okay. Well, I disagree with Paul on the portal being a marketing issue. I think it's much more than that and it could be much more than that. A reference for researchers, a content repository, and so on. So this is not a technological point of view. This is a knowledge point of view. And it's important that we have ways to make them more effective, the disposition of content available in the portal.
Another thing that I would like to float here is what if we found and we, generic we, found ways to encourage researchers to produce reviews, critical or not of all outputs from the IGFs. One example, a critical synthesis of all chair summaries. But there would are many other possibilities in that richness of material that we have in all IGFs. Like seeking support for scholarships or funding for successful researchers to participate in the IGF, and so on. Maybe the IGF-SA could help in this. I don't know. But it is a way to stimulate more systematic elaboration on the content that the IGFs produce.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Carlos.
I'd like to have Paul explain to the issue is about what do we want to do with the website, whether it's tell a better story -- i.e., marketing -- or be more accessible in academia, research or other issues. But that was a really good addition, Carlos.
Kenta, you have the floor.
>>KENTA MOCHIZUKI: Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. My name is Kenta Mochizuki, Japanese MAG member for the record. Thank you very much.
Actually, after listening to all the discussions here, I just got back to the WSIS (indiscernible) documents and paragraph 63 said that we extend for another ten years the existing mandate of the Internet Governance Forum as set out in paragraph 72 to 78 of the Tunis Agenda. So then, you know, I came back to the Tunis Agenda, and there are several mandates of us.
So just in case, just a reminder, I really want to read, you know, everything here in order to let everyone understand what we have to do here now. So a. is Discuss public-policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance in order to foster sustainability, robustness, security, stability and development of the Internet.
B., facilitate discourse between bodies dealing with different cross-cutting international public policies regarding the Internet and discuss issues that do not fall within the scope of any existing body.
And c. is interface with appropriate intergovernmental organizations and other institutions on matters under their purview.
D. is facilitate exchange of information and best practices and in this regard make full use of the expertise of the academic, scientific and technical communities.
And e., Advise all stakeholders in proposing ways and means to accelerate the availability and affordability of the Internet in the developing world. Sorry; for (indiscernible). But I think, you know, we should (indiscernible) organize the importance of our mandates.
And also I think f., strengthen and enhance the engagement of stakeholders in existing and/or future Internet governance mechanisms, particularly those from developing countries.
And g., identify emerging issues, bring them to the attention of the relevant bodies and the general public, and, where appropriate, make recommendations.
H., contribute to capacity building for Internet governance in developing countries, drawing fully on local sources of knowledge and expertise.
I., promote and assess on an ongoing basis the embodiment of WSIS principles in Internet governance processes.
J., discuss inter alia, issues relating to critical Internet resources.
K., help to find solutions to the issues arising from the use and misuse of the Internet of particular concern to everyday users.
And i., publish its proceedings.
So when discussing the implement of the IGF, we should always recall our mandates that I, you know, read now, and also, you know, we have to think about which part of mandates we really want to sort of achieve or improve; otherwise, we won't be able to achieve our objectives.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Kenta. I'm sure that was a good reminder for those that hadn't read the Tunis Agenda recently, and there certainly is a lot of good advice and a lot of good direction there.
The speaking queue is empty. So what I'd like to do is to close this.
I think I'm going to suggest that we don't do the review of the program themes. That we wait and do that over the course of the next two days, so that we make sure that we have time for items 8 and items 9. Item 8 in particular has been driving that work. It's not really an appropriate discussion for the community discussion tomorrow, and she's not able to be with us on Thursday. So we need to get that in. And I think it's important that we actually have 9, the strategic discussion, there because that should actually form part of our report out to the community tomorrow.
So if everybody was okay with that, we will capture item 7 in our work tomorrow or more likely Thursday. Again, it was just meant to be a high level kind of refresh-everybody's-mind update anyway.
I want to thank everybody for going through the discussion here. I said that in the Internet Engineering Task Force they have a chair as well and the chair isn't the person who sits on top of these activities. It's the person that everybody else sits on. That's the chair. So I have been just been trying to really pull ideas out and understand from the community where they think the priorities are, what is important, what should we be doing. And of course all that has to be tempered with what's possible for us to do. And of course we would always stay within the Tunis mandate as well.
So I suspect a lot of those ideas will percolate amongst people here. We'll certainly get another run at this tomorrow in the open consultation day, and then we can determine how we take this forward. But I hope we don't lose kind of the enthusiasm for really making some of these changes. We've always been about continual evolution. It's the time. We still have a fairly long runway ahead of us on this mandate. I think the areas we have been asked to improve on are pretty clear, so I think the responsibility is just with us now to figure out what's appropriate and what can we execute on. And I do hope we continue moving this discussion forward.
So with that, I guess we'll turn the floor to Jutta for item 8 which is the workshop process and I think there were a couple of items there, not just the review of the evaluation tool. So, Jutta, you have the floor.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Yes, thank you, Lynn, for giving me the floor. And probably he May ask Luis if he can -- could you put up the tool so that everybody has in mind what we were talking about.
>>LUIS BOBO: Sure. I will do that.
>>JUTTA CROLL: I do think there are two things we should take the time to discuss. First, the experience MAG members have gathered with working with the tool, trying to understand the descriptions of the scores and trying to handle the two. And we should take probably 20 minutes or so for that. And then also second point that we should discuss is what constitutes a conflict of interest when you come to the tool. And you will see that when you start with assessing a proposal, the first question is you tick a box "I don't have any conflict of interest" and the second is "I have a conflict of interest."
So we will come to that later. First we would like to invite you to share your experience with using the tool and setting the scores, understanding the definitions of the tool. And it's just up to the group to come in with your comments, those of you who have been working with it already.
So we got some comments on the list but probably it's better you report your experience by yourself.
Okay. But probably, Sylvia, would you like to explain a little bit why we came up with this description and why you also asked Luis not to show the values of the score but the descriptions? I think you did a wonderful job on this, and...
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Thanks, Jutta. Well, I guess all that information was discussed on the calls and I don't want to (indiscernible) on this.
The idea -- I don't know if we can kind of do a show of hands to figure out how many of the MAG members here have actually had a chance to check the mockup and try to score and see how it goes, see if you see anything weird. I guess the idea was to try to figure out if there is anything odd when you are trying to assess a proposal.
We can talk later about what will be, like, the best way to do it once you have the actual text, put the information in. But the idea is to work on a set (indiscernible). Have any conflict of interest, as Jutta just mentioned, the definition of what conflict of interest is in this space is kind of narrow, also. So we will come up with that little text. I don't think that has been finalized. And then all the six criteria have the same structure: absent, poor, needs improvement, good, and excellent. But the text for each one, of what "absent" means or what "needs improvement" means for every criteria is different. So the idea is that when you are scoring the proposal, you actually take the time and read the criteria again. It might sound like this is a three or not a three or whatever, but just the fact that there is a description that captures what that criteria -- a three for that criteria means is important. So that's why the text is in your face, let's say.
And then the idea is to have weights for those criteria. I think we said for the third option on the weights, if I'm not mistaken. So we should refer to the text that is in our screen around how that criteria is defined and then what the number or the scoring for that criteria actually means to make sure that we are honest about sticking to how we understand the assessment is done.
So hopefully, with that, a three would be a three for everybody and not, oh, I thought it was thinking this and meaning that; right? So let's see how it goes. And personally I'm really interested to see what the MAG things about this once we finish all the evaluations to see how this can be improved in the future.
If you have any questions, happy to clarify.
>>JUTTA CROLL: I think, Nebojsa, you have a comment?
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: Nebojsa Regoje government, second term in MAG.
I see no reason actually why we don't have a numerical value added in front of this as we are going anyway to have a final mark expressed in a numerical value, not as descriptive one. And I just don't know if after we finish one of the workshop proposals evaluation if we are going to get the average value that we assigned to this particular proposal. I'm not sure how this --
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Can I --
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: -- functions.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Can I answer that?
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: Can I finish my question? Thank you.
I completely agree to have these descriptions. They are really useful. But for me, I would add in front or after this description, numerical value that it carries and also the direct calculation of the weight that such -- that mark I've given carries into the total average.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Sylvia, I suggest we take all the questions and answer it then because people might comment on the same.
And the next one would be Ben Wallis.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thanks, Jutta.
My comment had to do with the -- actually, the screen is busy so I won't ask you to scroll back up but the initial question which is have a conflict. And so it's human nature, and I think the secretariat might confirm this, that the majority of evaluations will be done very close to the deadline, despite best intentions. And that was the same with me despite my best intentions last year. But if I have any conflicts of interest, they need to be done by -- that proposal needs to be given to another MAG member and I need to be given another one.
So I think this point has already been made, maybe, on the list but it would certainly be helpful for the secretariat to remind the MAG members when you send out the evaluations that it would be helpful if the first thing they could do is go through all the proposals and identify where you might have a conflict of interest and just put that through the system so that you can then go through and re-farm them.
Now, probably, yes,
Probably for me I would have to click at the top, select a proposal. I would select my subset and I would go through all of them and quickly know whether or not I had any conflict of interest. But that was my main comment because that was the first question I got to. And, yeah, that was all.
I just generally wanted to say this is, I think, really helpful progress of the workshop evaluation process. And I'm really grateful for the efforts that have been made to get us here. I look forward to seeing how it works.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Ben. Rudolf, you are the next.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Thank you very much, Jutta.
I think it's really very good and very intuitive, and you can work with it.
I have an additional question, if it is possible to have a tool that allows you during or -- but specifically at the end of your assessment to have some kind of snapshot overview over what you have actually evaluated because from my last year's experience, at the last 10 or 20 workshop proposals, my head was spinning.
[ Laughter ]
And I did not remember what was the first one I evaluated and at what score. And that is a little bit unfair towards, you know, the process.
So if there is a possibility to have this kind of, okay, "That's what you have done, that's the, like" -- I don't know for policy Track 1, 2, 3, these are the workshop proposals that you have already treated, that these are the outstanding ones, it would be easier to give justice -- equal justice to all the proposals.
>>JUTTA CROLL: I do think what Luis had already put on the screen is exactly what you're asking for.
>> (off microphone).
>>JUTTA CROLL: Yes, you get this table after you have completed. So then you will have a table --
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: It's a new one?
>> (off microphone).
>>JUTTA CROLL: Luis.
>>LUIS BOBO: Sorry, Daniela, for making your mic. It's not a new one. It existed already last year. So as --
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Does it pop up automatically, or do you have to --
>>LUIS BOBO: Yes, after you finish an evaluation, you come back to your table of finished evaluations and you can order it by any of the items. And you can edit your proposals at any time. So you can visualize everything that's a snapshot and change your comments, change any score, change any evaluation at any time until the deadline.
So the only thing that has been added is a suggestion given by Sylvia, which is to put these columns -- like put this same table in a way in which you have here, like, the different scores and then the comments like in a paragraph style and still you can order by any of the -- okay. So we can keep one or the other style or both.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Luis, for your explanation and also for your great work. I'm really impressed.
Sylvia, would you mind to explain about the numerical values and the descriptions.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: All of our scores are stored in the other ways, right? So one of the things we did last year was that there was a spreadsheet circulated later where we have the -- I don't remember if it was all the proposals or only the ones that made, like, the initial cut for the actual face-to-face meeting. But we can discuss on that.
There was I think a value of the scores personally. I think the value of having the details of, okay, this proposal is better on diversity. They have the same score but this one is better on -- the policy questions are better, or the diversity part is better. And then by the two scores, you might have to decide which of the two we both -- let's say, to put them in the program and the other one probably will not make it, right? But that will be useful when we have the scores of all the MAG members.
So it might be possible -- I asked last year Luis to send me the spreadsheet for my proposals, and he was very kind to issue that spreadsheet for me. And I was able to look at all of my numbers and all of that and all of that. I'm not sure how my work for this year, with the new system, we just copy and paste on a spreadsheet and we will work out an idea. But that's something to discuss.
But when all the scores from all the MAG members are put together, then we will have to have the numeric values to be able to make those -- see those numbers and see how the scores fit better in two proposals or three proposals or four proposals that might have the same score.
And that is important because if they all say "poor," you don't see the difference, let's say. So the number will become more important when we have all the scores -- the compound of all the scores.
And I don't know, Luis, if you can issue, like, spreadsheets for every MAG member later or how you think MAG worked. I have no idea how that will actually pan out.
But the numbers will be there on the back end of the platform so that we can always refer to that. And Luis has that information.
So the spreadsheet that I sent that has the same descriptions on drop-down menus or an Excel file for you to handle manually will just help you to see your -- what you intend. But as I said on the list, I didn't add the formula on that. I don't want to have an argument later that the formula that Luis has had one more decimal and the one I have has five decimals, whatever.
So the owner of the actual score is the secretariat. So there should not be any arguments about how that score is calculated. The spreadsheets are just a personal way to refer to your own information. But we will have all the numbers and everything on the website.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: That's exactly what I said from the very beginning. We are going to use numbers at later stages. So why not from the very beginning have them there? If you at least can put to the table -- yes, yes, yes -- and here instead -- in this table, instead of having 4 as a mark that we have given to this, maybe it would be better if we already in this table calculate the weight that was assigned to a particular criteria. That was my suggestion.
So this -- okay, this table, it's up to others to decide. You can see scale on different things. But I see no reason why from the very beginning we don't see the numerical value along this description.
I mean -- it's at least for me, it's much easier when I see the number and I don't see -- I presume there will be note of a problem to somebody. And it will not present an obstacle if next to "excellent" or before or after "excellent" somebody sees number 5. So that's my two suggestions that I mentioned.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Can we probably get some opinions from other MAG members as well who have been working with this? Because, of course, it should be as easy as possible for all MAG members to handle the tool and to do their assessment.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: The whole discussion about having text descriptions was because last year a lot of the MAG members said that they didn't agree or they interpreted the numbers in a different way. So the whole thing about not having the number in your face on the first go is to make sure that you have the chance to read that text again and go and score, assess based on what that description actually means.
So I have no objection or I have no issue with not having the numbers or the weights or everything from the first view. But I guess this was responding to the comments from last year. So it's based on that input.
[ Multiple speakers ]
The numbers and the weights are included in the table and you can change them.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: No, no, just to make sure, I'm not against description. I completely agree with description. I support description, and thank you for making them.
But just -- I see really -- can you tell me why is somebody obstacle to see 5 next to excellent? Why is that a problem? For me, it's help. If somebody has explanation why it's a problem to somebody, I agree, okay, let's not have 5.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Can I try and help move this forward? I guess I don't understand. It's not an either/or. I don't understand why we couldn't have a 1 in absence. If it's an aid to somebody and they're doing the report -- we have all filled out many surveys where it's ranked just 1 through 5. And I think the text is incredibly important.
But is there a strong objection to putting the numbers in as well? Is that feasible, Luis?
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Actually, I think the previous pattern, I think you had it in between parentheses, the numbers were included. There is no reason. It was just responding to comments from before.
>>JUTTA CROLL: It seems we can do both and if it makes it easier for people to work it so we have both descriptions and the numbers.
>>ANANDA RAJ KHANAL: I think it's understood.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Yes.
Rudolf, you're --
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: (off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Paul is looking for the floor back there.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Sorry, I can't find my queue.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Please come in, Paul. Sorry.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: My personal preference is not to have the numbers. I think this helps you think a little bit better of how you're scoring.
But, also, each of them are weighted. So having the number sort of suggests that they're equally weighted. By not having the numbers, it's more evaluated on how you rate it on the description rather than the number. But it could go either way. My personal preference would be not to have the numbers.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Okay. The discussion is open again. I don't know -- I don't think it's necessary to have a vote on this but just make it easy for all the MAG members. And if we hear a lot of voices saying that it's easier to have the numbers and, of course, it's necessary to read the descriptions because, otherwise, you can't go through this because the descriptions, as Sylvia said before, are different for each of the six criteria. So it's necessary to make yourself acquainted with the descriptions and to understand what it means to say absent for policy questions, that it's different if you say absent for diversity, for example.
So there's a compromise to have them both, and I don't see anybody contradicting. So I would say this is concluded. And maybe we can take the last 20 minutes of this slot to talk about what constitutes a conflict of interest. We had already put forward that question to the IGF MAG list and got some feedback. And that is mainly, of course, if the MAG member who was asked to assess the proposal is either a panelist, speaker, moderator, rapporteur, or organizer of the session. This is obviously a conflict of interest.
Then there were several discussions about when the proposal comes from an organization or association that the MAG member is working for, then this should also constitute a conflict of interest.
What is an open question is whether -- about the affiliation of a MAG member to an organization that has submitted a proposal. So if the member's working for the organization, it seems to be clear that this constitutes a conflict of interest. But there are different positions whether an affiliation to the organization or association sending in the proposal constitutes also a conflict of interest.
And, of course, this is related to the situation that all MAG members are representing the community, are stakeholders of the diverse stakeholder groups. So, of course, some of us will have an affiliation to organizations that might submit proposals.
And, therefore, I would like to ask your opinions again, what do you think -- how close must a member of the MAG be to an organization to say, I have a conflict of interest? And in which cases could it be accepted to assess the proposal as well?
What Ben Wallis has said before, please keep in mind that you should do this check whether you have a conflict of interest, very quickly after receiving the set of the proposals, that you should assess. So sometimes it might be the case that only when you go through the whole proposal and have seen what is in it that you recognize that you have an affiliation to the organization or to some of the stakeholders that are engaged with the proposal.
So are there any other suggestions what constitutes a conflict of interest? Or do you have any other ideas around that?
>>LIANNA GALSTYAN: Yes, thank you. From the experience from last year of the proposals, when I'm making the evaluation, I saw among the speakers my name and that was a surprise to me because the organizer -- yeah, they didn't reach out to me asking that I should be there or not.
So in just such like cases should that be considered as a conflict of interest because that was definitely a surprise to me.
>>JUTTA CROLL: If I understand, right, Luis, that is already solved because all speakers need to be in the database, have a profile, and get an email sent once a proposal is submitted. So you would get the information in advance. And then you could confirm, yes, I will be a speaker. Or otherwise you say, I won't be a speaker but I will be ready to assess a proposal.
>>ARSENE TUNGALI: On one of your earlier questions, I think someone -- well, I believe for someone to have -- like, declare a conflict of interest with regard to an organization, I think they must -- I mean, if they work for that organization or have worked with that organization, that should -- that should -- I would suggest to be considered as conflict of interest. Or if they're receiving funds or have been funded by that organization, I would personally consider it as a conflict of interest.
>>JUTTA CROLL: So this expands a little bit what we had said before, if you say if you had been working for that organization. So it could be an organization you left five or ten years ago, sending in a proposal, you would still think that is a conflict of interest? Yes? No? Okay. Some nods their head. Others shake.
Susan and then Mary.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Arsene, while I appreciate your proposal, I would have to disagree. I think that's a bit too expansive for this space where a lot of people have been engaged in this space for a long time. And having a past employment even if it's five or ten years ago disqualify you, that might be a bit too expansive, I think.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Mary.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you for giving me the floor.
I want to support Susan. I think five or ten years is too expansive. But if we did two years, I think we are still very fresh in what happens in the organization.
[ Laughter ]
That's my -- but it's a tricky one because some of us in this room we have several caps. We belong to so many associations. Even if you are working in the government, one or two of associations might be part of the affiliation. We are not representing the affiliation here in the MAG. But how far can we go to declare the conflict of interest? Because there are multiple proposals from multiple chapters of an association. So how do we handle all that? So that's the tricky aspect of it.
So I think we just -- at least the ones that we know would directly affect the evaluation of making the decision of the evaluator and see where we can draw the line. Because if we go along this line, there's no end to it.
I'm an ISOC chapter member. So if I see a proposal from that chapter, I should say there's a conflict of interest. So those are things that we should also put into consideration and have the cut-off point where to draw line on this conflict of interest thing.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Mary.
I do think Arsene wanted to answer directly and then we have Luis and Michael Ilishebo on the list.
>>ARSENE TUNGALI: I'm not trying to answer anyone. I'm just saying if we go about -- well, that was my thinking. I believe if you worked whatever however many years, you know, you worked for that organization, there's still kind of a link that may lead to
That may lead you to assisting in that particular proposal. Because we cannot agree unless we go that way of saying and you've been with it more than five years or two years or whatever that and a very complicated exercise rather than saying you've worked or you've been, I think that can be the easiest way because I think for -- for 40 plus MAG members, there will be some people have no association with that particular association and can easily declare themselves having no conflict of interest with regard to that specific organization. I think that would make our life much easier. Well --
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you. Luis? >>LUIS BOBO: Just -- thank you, Jutta. First, a piece of information. To the maximum possible extent, the proposals in the evaluation phase are presented anonymous. This means that only the speaker's information is available for the MAG members. So the organization, the organizers, and it's not presented at this stage. It's only presented the stakeholder group, the regional group, (indiscernible), organizer of the organizing group, et cetera, and the speaker information, but the organization -- except if some information is written or you can extract it, it will be hidden to the maximum possible extent.
>>JUTTA CROLL: But now I have a question back to you because the diversity criterium is also based on the organizer and co-organizer so people need to know whether diversity is addressed properly or not.
>>LUIS BOBO: You can see that. You can see that. What you cannot see -- exactly, you can see the agenda, the stakeholder group, the regional group, their nationality, their everything.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Not the name.
>>LUIS BOBO: Not the name of the organization.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Okay. Thank you.
>>MARY UDUMA: Excuse me.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Michael.
>>MICHAEL ILISHEBO: Good afternoon.
>>MARY UDUMA: I just want to --
>>JUTTA CROLL: It's Michael first.
>>MICHAEL ILISHEBO: Yeah. Good afternoon. This is (indiscernible) Michael, government stakeholder group. As a MAG member, I've done evaluation process two times. So the one (indiscernible).
On the issues of conflict of interest, it's not something that is so serious, as far as I'm concerned, because at the end of the day there are issues of integrity. If you can't evaluate a workshop based on the set goals and probably your -- what your interests because probably as (indiscernible) organization at some point might have funded you or you are doing works with them, then you mark them based on those emotional attachment. I think that is wrong.
Basically last year we had one of the best evaluation system. I think the system was, I think, led by (saying name) from Egypt. I don't know why we've moved away from it.
>>JUTTA CROLL: That can easily be answered. It was developed further. We did not step back from the system. It's mainly the same system. It's just more elaborate.
>>MICHAEL ILISHEBO: Yeah, it's true. Like, i just think the time I was trying to do it, it was almost like closing up. Is it still on?
>>JUTTA CROLL: Yes, it is.
>>MICHAEL ILISHEBO: Okay. I think I'll try it this evening. Otherwise, (indiscernible) some levels of integrity, evaluate decisions as they are, we move away from issues of conflicts of interest. If I was to evaluate something from Wazambia, I would evaluate or you would evaluate a workshop session from somebody from Germany, it would surely be something that I should waive maybe because I'm from this country. Maybe give my students something with the attendance or we want to increase but especially from Africa because there has been so many workshops dropped from the Global South. It shouldn't be like that. Thank you.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Okay. Thank you. I have seen Mary raise her hand.
>>MARY UDUMA: Okay. Sorry. I was to -- to ask -- get clarification from Luis. The workshop proposal, you will see the topic and theme and order. You take the main workshop, you are going to evaluate. You see the theme. You see the proposals of the organization. Normally ISOC, you will see, you know, mentioning ISOC Nigeria or ISOC India or ISOC anywhere, right? So it is seen, the organization will be seen. If it's from ICC, ICC BASIS or ICC chapter, I think the (indiscernible) we are publishing, that we're going to remove this ones and make it anonymous. I mean, last year when we were evaluating we saw those names. And there are some names also that we are familiar with, we know that are proposing a workshop. Those are things that might emotionally affect your scoring or somebody's scoring. So that's why I wanted clarification from you that those information will not show the -- at the workshop evaluating. Luis, please.
>>LUIS BOBO: Very fast. You will see the organization from the -- you see everything from the speakers, as an evaluator, who are the speakers for the proposal quality, I guess. From the organization -- from the organizers you don't see these data. So don't you see the organization, you don't see the name. You see the diversity information.
>>MARY UDUMA: No. I mean the main proposal sent in by the proposer. You have to read through the proposal. In reading through the proposal, you see that it was from France and it is this organization from France, those that are proposing the workshop. I think they are there. I don't know how you do not see reading through the workshop proposal.
>>LUIS BOBO: Yeah, the country is available. But only the country for geography information. Country, yes.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Can I come in on this, just quickly. So you might see some of that information through the workshop submission itself, but I think possibly only rarely. And the fact that we haven't disclosed the organization of the organizer or the organizer's name has actually been a process that's been in place for quite a number of years now. And that was so that people actually evaluated the proposal on the proposal, on the speakers who were there and not, you know, we're a global process and we're still a very small community and not on the basis of this was submitted by X individual or X organization. So that has been a standard operating practice for -- and for five years, maybe longer. But that's not a -- a new change.
>> (Off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Because the eval -- the evaluation should take place on the substance of the proposal and the policy questions and the speakers and diversity and the content and that sort of thing and not who may have lead the process that actually put the submission in. So make sure we're all talking about the same thing here.
>>JUTTA CROLL: I do think we can wrap up the discussion at this point of time. And I do also think we have clearly stated what would be a conflict of interest and, of course, it's all -- always up to the responsibility of the individual MAG member to say yes, I do have a conflict of interest or I don't have a conflict of interest. And if you feel unsure about that, if you get the feeling going through the proposal and say oh, maybe that's from an organization I've been working with two years ago, you still could go back to the secretariat and ask for clarification. So in the clear case that you say, I do see a conflict of interest, you would tick the box and then you will get another one. And as Ben said before, this should be done as early as possible, just to give time for other MAG members then to receive this new proposal and so that we have a transparent and fair process.
So I do think from the perspective of the working group the question that we had clarified so far is -- Susan and Sylvia, anything that we need to ask the MAG members right now?
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: No. Certainly not on this topic. I think at some point we'll have to discuss how the proposals are meted out to the MAG members and the different groups but we can -- and the evaluation process there. But I think for now we're doing well. Thank you so much, Jutta, for all of your work and guidance.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Thank you. I do think we will have our working group meeting before the next virtual MAG meeting, so we can put any further questions then to the next virtual meeting. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you to Jutta and to the working group. I do have one question because I think it may be solved, and if not, we should recognize it's still open.
Last year individuals said, I have interest or expertise in these topics, these are workshops you can consider signing me up for, and there was some concern about that. And people thought that, you know -- the purpose was to identify the expertise. So we had people that were knowledgeable about the topic actually evaluating the workshops. But some people felt that that may be too close, that, you know, if you were particularly interested in subject X and that was your organization's capability, that you might not be as unbiased in reviewing all the proposals and alternative opinions. And we had that discussion at the last MAG meeting on one of the calls. And my impression there was that everybody was more -- the kind of consensus here was that people were more comfortable with a random assignment across the MAG. So, I mean, I thought we were like 85% close on that before, and if we're really that close, we can close it now and not tie up the working group or a future meeting. Is there anybody objects to -- and allows the secretariat to get on with some of the other programming as well. Is there anybody that objects to a random assignment? Random assignment, by the way, still looks at all the diversity qualifications, the stakeholder group, the region, et cetera.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Just to add --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Is that no or -- so Jutta, you add, and then we'll go to Ben and then Lianna.
>>JUTTA CROLL: Just to add to this, this is best way to avoid conflict of interest. Once we allocate based on expertise, we would have much more cases of conflict of interest. So it's the best way to do it randomly.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Ben.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you. I don't think -- I don't have a strong opinion about whether it's allocated to expertise or not, but I do think it's worth me, for example, just being assigned workshops for one particular theme and each MAG member having a random assignment of workshops which fall under one particular theme. So the benefit of me evaluating only workshops related to inclusion, for example, is that I start to compare and get a sense of what's a, you know, good proposal in this area, what's not. If it's completely random and I have a third of them on inclusion, you lose that ability to kind of gather a comparative sense of --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, that's a great point, and I took a shortcut when I was explaining here. Because the other thing we did do last year was we did actually group workshops by tags, by themes. And then people were assigned to that theme. And we intend to do the same thing this year. It's simply the people that are pulled into that group will be pulled in randomly, but that group will review a set of one or two tags, depending on how many tags actually come in. And that is so that we have the same group of people reviewing all the workshops on access or all the workshops on cybersecurity, so that we actually make sure we're, you know, in our minds checking for redundancy, checking for completeness in terms of coverage of the topic, and you've got a consistent evaluation basis, if you're evaluating everything in that tag. So I think that was a really significant improvement last year which the MAG really appreciated, and that is still going forward.
And I think we can offer one other functionality as well. If anybody really feels they've been offered a tag for which they have absolutely no knowledge, expertise base, or something, I would suggest talk to the secretariat and the secretariat can see if there's something we can do for that. I think it would be extremely rare, but I'm trying to get beyond kind of any last objections that somebody might have.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: I have just a quick question. Are we going to express our personal preferences to which categories we are going to or you are going to assign us a category?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No personal preferences.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: Not like last year.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Not like last year. That was the only difference from last year.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: No, I just wanted to know for my information.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you for clarifying, and making extra clear. Arsene, you have the floor.
>>ARSENE TUNGALI: So just to make sure I heard it right, so there's a possibility to reject like assessing a certain proposal if one finds they have like close to zero knowledge about the proposal, right?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's a discussion you can have with the secretariat, yes. I expect it will be very rare if you look at the three major themes we have and where we all are. Again, we're trying to take that exception away. Don't make me sorry for saying that.
>>ARSENE TUNGALI: Just in conclusion to this, last year I had maybe one or two proposals that were in French which I -- no, but that also falls in this category. And last year we couldn't change it, so I left it completely unmarked. That brings marks for that specific proposal completely down. If we could include such proposal also in this category so to (indiscernible) to be pulled out from us and if it happens again, who knows, maybe it will be in German or --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, you can have it reassigned but theoretically it doesn't put mark down because you get the average of the mark. So if two people mark it, you get the average of both marks. If six people mark it, you get the average of six. So theoretically the marks don't go down. But --
>> (Off microphone).
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: You gave it zero?
>> I left it unmarked.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: No, no, it will be unmarked. There's a difference. Yeah.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you, Lynn. Paul Rowney. Just following on to what Ben said, if we rate based on theme, will we be looking at doing some rebalancing later? If, for example, one particular theme gets 50% of the top-rated then we would look at balancing so we get to a balance of 30/30/30 per theme, or something like that?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yes. So I think there's two discussions we still need. I think the answer is yes, in terms of the rebalancing. We've done that every year against kind of a different criteria. I think there's also another discussion which I understand the working group is going to go away and have which is, make sure that the evaluators are all operating to the same set of context. If they go through and they review and some of the members go back and say, you know, I've got three workshops here that are really about the same thing, so I'm going to, you know, downgrade two of them because I don't want three of them in. We just want to make sure people are going through the same mental exercise when they go through. If they're going to go back and look at the proposals to see if there's a good spread of proposals that are in, so this obviously needs a lot more thinking about it, and the working group is going to go away and think about whether or not there's any kind of additional advice which might be given to the MAG members as they actually do their reviews. That's within our own individual review processes. And then yes, we still need to have a discussion which is, what are some of the additional criteria. We would look at the full program and say, this is a fair reflection of both what the community has said they're looking for and what the MAG thinks their responsibility is to develop a cohesive focused program along the lines in the narratives that were submitted. We need to do some more work thinking about that as well.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, so basically, I don't think it should be 30/30/30. It depends what we get in, and we can balance it somehow or the other. Not quite proportionate.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yeah, we do need to think through the other balancing criteria.
In the past, we've gone through very extensive calculations looking at how many people from each region were on, and I don't know if that's one of the best criteria to raise to the front. So again, I think we just need to think through what the balancing exercise looks like in that final meeting. And I think the working group is going to do that and bring some proposals forward to the MAG.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: So the reason I was making a statement really was if we mark in a certain band, then we need to mark higher in that band, which could elevate one particular theme higher than the others. And if we balance it by going across all three, then you neutralize that to some extent.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So I think that's an important point, but I think there were other equally important balancing points as well that we need to take into account. So I think we need to certainly check for that.
Susan, did you have a comment on -- no.
Jutta, thank you, and thank you to the working group has done a tremendous amount of work here in a relatively short period of time to move forward a critical part of our process. And the tool just gets better every, every year. So thank you to the secretariat and Luis, too, for all their superb work there.
(Indiscernible) the session here and not necessarily do a restart of the discussions from this morning because we had some of the discussions just by virtue of questions that were coming in, but ask, in this case, Daniela if there's anything else she wants to say. And then we'll ask the secretariat if there's another introduction afterwards on the other day zero events or any more questions from the -- from the MAG. And then just some quick comments on the opening and closing ceremonies. There are some U.N. formalities we need to recognize. I just want to make sure everybody is aware of those so it's not a surprise later. And then talk a little bit about what some of the thoughts are about those from yourself. So we have time beginning to advancing some of the discussion on main sessions.
So, Daniela, you should treat this as your kind of -- I wouldn't say starting over, necessarily, but reflect what you want to the MAG on the basis of the thinking in the German government and German stakeholder community and on the basis of the discussions we had this morning. But do what you think will make a sensible discussion.
[ Laughter ]
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you, Lynn. It's maybe coming back to the high-level segment that we are planning for day zero. Our aim is a little bit to discuss really a vision for the Internet with the different stakeholder groups. And, therefore, one of my questions would be do we have, until now, a submissions for day zero as society events? Because I think that will give an input also to our discussion in the high-level segment seeing what others are suggesting for day zero. That would be interesting for us. And maybe more or less organizational questions, because some already addressed us asking for invitations to come to Berlin. And maybe it would be helpful if we could have an official UNDESA list of all the MAG members, to send that list to all our ambassador -- embassies around the world, because that would help maybe then -- or that would serve as sort of an invitation. Because what we cannot do is send out personalized invitation letters; right? But I see the point especially of all the MAG members to get sort of an easy in, and that, in our view, would be the least bureaucratic way of doing this.
So this would be a request to UNDESA if we could have that -- sorry?
>> (Off microphone).
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Okay. I don't want to open a big discussion on visa we had last time, but I know for some it would be easy to have such a letter, but we cannot send out letters to everyone, and that's why we thought of having an unbureaucratic way of doing this, and this would be a list that we could then send around to all our embassies around the world, and then that would help you in getting the visa for coming to Berlin.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. For the visas, usually once a person is approved, they get a letter, an email letter, computer generated standard letter with the logo and everything, and that is used, and they take that to the embassy for their visa application.
They still have to comply with all the other standard Schengen visa requirements, but that proof of registration should also help them get a visa. That's what we have done with most of them.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Yes, in that case that is not sufficient because we will have the MAG meeting in June and that will be before the official registration for the IGF. And we have MAG members from outside of the EU or the Schengen area who want to come to Berlin, and they need a visa already for this session. So it is not sufficient to have it for the IGF main session. We need it beforehand.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. Again, yes, it's the same thing. I mean, Schengen visa for Switzerland is the same. The visa for Switzerland is the same as the visa for Germany.
We usually send them letters from the IGF secretariat, yes, to get them their visa letters. Most of the letters that we've sent, especially for this time round, we've asked for multiple-entry visas, and we've also listed that the MAG members will be coming to several meetings. So I think most people who got the letter got multiple entry visas, if I'm not mistaken. So it should cover. If there's a few people who may have been using their visa they got from January and it doesn't quite, we'll deal with it. That's what we usually do. Yeah.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Perfect. Very good.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: The other question for the day zero, we've got -- sorry. Now I've forgotten the number. I think we have 13 at the moment applications for day zero. But it finishes off, yes, on the 12th. So we usually get most of them on the last day.
>> (Off microphone).
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Oh. What did we get last year? Oh, yes, we didn't get a day zero last year.
[ Laughter ]
2017. We have to count. Sorry. Yeah, yeah. We'll check. It doesn't take long.
>> (Off microphone).
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: I was asking for two reasons, because, first of all, we told you last time that we had a lot of space, and that is the case. All of you who have been there know that already. But nevertheless, the space is not unlimited, meaning that we will, then, in the end, will have to design it. That's the first thing. And the second thing is that I just wondered if you can have sort of a sense what kind of issues, what kind of sessions are already submitted and if we can see something as sort of a trend or something like that. That will be interesting.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So I think the answer to the first question, I mean, we've not had a venue that hasn't been space limited. So that's not -- that's not a problem or an issue, and we can certainly work to understand the sort of space that is available. And with respect to as of -- I'm not sure if we're extending the deadline from Friday to Sunday, but as of very early next week, you'll be able to see the open forums requested have been -- day zero requested have been submitted. So we would have that information for you then.
>>ARSENE TUNGALI: Yeah. Sorry. Actually, the visa issue. Sorry I have to bring this discussion back. But if there is anything, you know, that's the host country can do to support the visa process, this will -- I'm thankful for the letter that I received from the secretariat admitting, but it didn't work for me because I missed the January meeting because I couldn't get my visa. And so I was supposed to like to request a multiple entry visa but it didn't work. So I didn't even get any single entry visa at that time.
So luckily I am here now, but who knows whether I will be able to come back in June or in November. So any type of support like any kind of special letter that's the government of Germany can produce, at least to support MAG members, and this should apply for the June and November meeting, this will be really helpful.
I understand the invitation letter that is, like, automatically generated once one is registered, but I don't think this one really is enough. So if we can get anything specific from the governments of the host country, this would be really, really helpful.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: That's actually really good feedback because we would like to know when it doesn't work ask then we can investigate the reason why it doesn't work. Because it works for most people, but we don't know. Maybe they were asking for some -- I have no idea. I can't even guess what the reason was. But if you tell us, then we can investigate, and then next time round, you know, we can see if we can solve the problem. Because, yes, I mean, embassies in different countries do -- are more stringent on the requirements and some are less stringent on the requirements. So, yes, it's good for us to know this and get this feedback as well.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, I think, Rudolf, for bringing up the visa issue for everybody for a key piece.
And, Daniela, can I come back to the high-level session, though? Can you say a little bit more about either what sort of structures your contemplating for the day and do you have any expectations of the stakeholder communities that they should be working with their community as we speak? Is it too early or is there something...
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: No. In fact, we are already in contact with different communities. And thanks again for those who are engaged and trying to help us to really get high-ranking participants, because that's the idea. I mean, the idea is we get more relevance and more visibility to the IGF, and usually you get media coverage if you have the high-ranking people there. That was the idea of, first of all, saying, well, we will invite ministers, and that's what we will do. And if you have ministers there, then probably it will be interesting also for other stakeholder groups, not only governments, to come and talk to governments; right? That's the idea of basically having such a meeting at day zero.
We are not yet in the position to say how exactly the day will be structured, but the idea is to have sort of an opening session with an overarching theme which, in my view, could be what is our vision of the Internet. I mean, you can read a lot of articles about the different visions of the Internet in the world right now and maybe that can be an interesting topic. Maybe we can have sort of an introduction paper or an introduction keynote speaker. And then we'll have to split up, because probably hopefully the groups will be too big to have a whole day-long discussion all together. But then we'll have to split up. And that could be in the sense of different stakeholder groups, but maybe also as we have now the three themes, one opportunity could be then to have three different sessions mixed up with different groups to get them into discussion among each other. I mean, to talk together, that's basically what the IGF has as a unique selling point. I was telling this this morning at WSIS that in our view, the fact that the different stakeholders are coming together and are exchanging their views and the different views and getting into interaction with each other, that's basically what the IGF is all about. And that's what we will try to do on day zero as well.
And then they can come back, maybe, for over lunch and have a new exchange of what they have taken away from their different discussions. That's basically more or less where we stand in our preparation.
I also think as we talked about outcomes already today, maybe it could be a possibility to discuss also sort of an outcome. And we do not want to have a sort of a text discussion or something like that and ensure we do not want to have negotiations, but maybe there will be sort of a then chair summary or something like that that we can then also post on our website as a sort of take-away out of the high-ranking discussion of that day.
That's more or less where we stand with our preparation so far.
Rudolf, do you want to add something?
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: No.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Could be interesting to think about asking those -- either that gathering or if you do break into themes or something what would be helpful for them to understand coming out of the IGF. What could the IGF help them with or what could the IGF help them frame or understand or address. So almost more posing a question rather than kind of a summary. That would actually keep the dialogue and the engagement --
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Ongoing.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: -- ongoing, which could be interesting. And maybe that even feeds into the main sessions if we move a main session to the end of the themes or something.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: And then get something out for the last day; right?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yes. Would have them coming back and understanding what the discussion was that took place during the IGF and how that actually added to, you know, whatever views or position or discussions had been held before. Again, just still --
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Yeah.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: -- still brainstorming.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Yeah, as, indeed, the IGF should give, let's say, also advice, I think that's a very good idea, then. Having a discussion, coming out with questions, posing those questions to the IGF community and then seeing what's coming up for parliamentarians, let's say, that could be an interesting story.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: No, just one thing. There will be perhaps also an input by the high-level panel, just to flag it for -- on (indiscernible). If there is a report (indiscernible) of this recommendation. If the Secretary-General takes it on and makes something out of it, it would be good for the high-level discussion. But it is still not so clear what would be the outcome if it might be one of the inputs.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Again, I think much of the discussion is trying to support some overarching goals of the IGF, which is bring in more senior policymakers and more private sector participation, continue to be relevant and useful in terms of helping to address those issues that are kind of in front of much of the world today, what the Secretary-General calls the more consequential issues. And continue kind of deepening engagement from a lot of those sectors through. And of course focus on outputs, too. So we really appreciate the German government and the stakeholder team behind you in terms of really trying to work with a lot of those sort of differing desires, if you will, to figure out what is best in terms of meeting, you know, some different demands. So again, I really appreciate the fact that we're still kind of open and flexibly thinking about how to do this and accomplish those within, obviously, some expectations and discussions.
Any other reflections or questions on the high-level session?
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you. No questions at the moment for the day zero high-level session, but back to the parliamentarian or legislator meeting.
So I guess it's understood that this is still in discussion and we're still having ideas about how that meeting would flow, but I would just like to say for the record that we would hope that discussion be open, at least to all participants, that legislative session or parliamentarian session, just in keeping with the principles of the IGF. So I'm not sure if that was envisioned as a closed session or open to observers or who would participate, but the discussion we're having vary about that parliamentarian session.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Well, I mean, more or less it's also up a little bit to the parliamentarians who are designing the session; right? I will take that up to them as I said this morning, but -- and I assume they are interested in having sort of a debate and then also an open part. But if this will be a completely open session, I can't tell you today because we are not inviting; right?
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Sorry; just to follow up. So would this be (indiscernible) or an open forum or a host country? So if it's during the IGF, what type of session is this being proposed as?
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: That's -- I mean, also, this is still under discussion. It is so uncertain how this is going to get out. So we cannot tell you exactly what kind of (indiscernible). Perhaps it will be, because of the translation, it will be an open forum. We will see. It also depends on how many parliamentarians or legislators at the end will really show up, and it is not so -- I mean, when it's for the ministers, we are in a very good position. We know how to handle it and we have, you know, tier of structures. With the legislators, there have their rights on their own in every constituency. So we have to be careful. We will take everything on board that we hear here. We will talk to them. And I think the idea is convenient for everybody, but now we cannot (indiscernible).
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Rudolf.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I really want to thank the German government for working with us on a lot of these because there are some guidelines whereby the host country has some flexibility. That's not quite the right word, but...
And the point of having something that entices the parliamentarians there was so that they participated in the IGF. And where they are for the IGF and for portions of the IGF, all the stakeholder groups have their own stakeholder meetings. Governments have their meeting mornings. Private sector has their meetings. Civil society has their meetings. Some of them are not on the IGF agenda. They are organizational meetings or they're meetings where they want to themselves kind of grapple with a particular issue or try to understand it a little bit better.
I don't think -- If the parliamentarians want some meeting by themselves at some point, I don't think the MAG would actually argue with that as long as they were there participating in -- in the IGF. We have a lot of activities that take place on day zero with GIGAnet and a host of other things, so a lot of people come in for those day zero events and I think don't stay for the IGF either. So it's sort of a community facility.
So I don't think we're talking about a separate track in the IGF and we're not talking about closed meetings, per se. I think what we're trying to do is to figure out how we actually engage different sets of actors in the work of the IGF and find a way that make it work -- that makes it work for the IGF and what we're all about and provides value to them as well.
So it almost felt like the discussion was kind of an either/or. Like we're inviting parliamentarians and they're going to go have a closed meeting over there. That's not what it is. But if they want some time amongst themselves to discuss, the same way a lot of the other stakeholder communities do, I guess I wouldn't have an objection to that. And if there's an objection within the MAG or the community, I think we need to piece that apart a little bit because I'm really not sure why that's substantially different than a lot of individual company, government or stakeholder organization meetings or meetings in the background.
Any comments on that from the MAG and the floor or from secretariat?
Arsene, you have the floor.
>>ARSENE TUNGALI: Just for clarification, this is happening on the last day; right?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: The question is is this happening on the last day.
>>ARSENE TUNGALI: Yes, like the MP's meeting. It's on the last day, not day zero.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: Last day in the morning. 6:00 or 5:00, whatever you wish.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: And I think we need to understand sort of the scope of the meeting, why it's helpful to them; why, frankly, they'd want to travel to Berlin at an IGF meeting to have a closed meeting themselves. Is it just because it's a convenient forum or venue? Presumably they really would want to be there early and engage in the IGF. And I think we need to make sure that we actually facilitate that. That's why we're doing this. It wasn't because there's a free conference room available at the back of the venue they can go use.
So I want us all to figure out how we try and pull together these kind of competing -- competing, I don't know, values or objectives or something.
>>RUDOLF GRIDL: I think at the end, I mean, the parliamentarians of most -- nearly all of the systems, they are used to debate in public. So I think if you talk to them and if you explain to them what is the -- I don't think that there will be a problem, but we have to talk to them beforehand and then let's take it from there.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Timea, you have the floor.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Chair. And hello, everyone. This is the first time I'm speaking today, so I'll just take a moment thanking everybody for being here and saying good afternoon.
I'm sorry to have been out of these discussions. I am splitting my time within the WSIS room and the IGF today.
I just wanted to comment on a couple of points we have been discussing throughout the day, and thinking about having perhaps a different exercise and thinking about what kinds of sessions we are seeing at the IGF and for what purpose. Because I'm feeling a bit -- in the IGF, we always try to think about any idea that comes away, if it's fit for a main session or if it's fit for a workshop. It's usually these two that we try and fit things in, and sometimes I feel like this conversation is trying to square down the circle or circle down the square; trying to make -- you know, to fit holes that are sometimes not necessarily fit for that purpose. So I'm thinking if we could have a discussion either now or on the mailing list of what kinds of other sessions, what kinds of other objectives we're trying to reach. Do you want to share information about the IGF? Do we want to have capacity-building sessions for newcomers or other stakeholders? Do we want to invite unusual stakeholder groups like the parliamentarians and what type of sessions we want, how much time in the agenda we want to allocate there and what is that for the actual policy discussions in the main sessions and the workshops, and try to think, I think, from the other side.
And in terms of inviting parliamentarians, I think that's a great idea. We can work with Interparliamentarian Union. We can work with different governments that are represented here. I think that's a stakeholder group that wasn't really approached before. I see no problem with them being there. I second Susan's call and what you said, Chair, for having the openness for others to participate and hear what this -- what's being said and take stock from those conversations because I think that would be really valuable.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Timea. I think that's a good comment and it brought to mind there's probably analogies with the newcomers' orientation. We had, you know, special sessions that were directed to facilitate a newcomer coming in and understanding the IGF environment.
Another analogy that might be useful as we sort of think through this is within the Internet Engineering Task Force, I wanted to engage with policymakers, and you can probably appreciate that it's not a natural environment for a policymaker to go to, particularly seven, eight years ago, in the Internet Engineering Task Force where everybody is walking around in shorts and Birkenstock sandals. And yet it was clear that the technologists needed to hear from policymakers and understand what their issues and concerns were and policymakers had a lot of questions for the technologists. So there was program which was run which actually reached out to some policymakers, asked them sort of what sort of interests or topics or questions or problems they were actually struggling with, got them to detail what they were, and then ISOC, in fact, working with the IETF leadership drove a program where those policymakers came in, had a few, you know, newcomer sessions, orientation to the IETF and sort of protocols and rules and style and culture and that sort of thing, and then attended normal IETF sessions on their topics of interest, and at the same time were -- it was intertwined with more private sessions between the policymakers and technical experts or the policymakers could say "I really don't understand this. Could you just help me understand how X works?" And there were people up at flip charts and white boards and drawing diagrams. And all of that facilitated an understanding and appreciation of both parties in terms of what, you know, the particular topic was.
If it looked at that, it didn't look like an IETF process either. And if you looked at it, it certainly didn't look like a normal policymaker or government process. I don't know if the program is still running, but it ran for years and just had great reviews from policymakers and technologists alike. And it was really interesting. Technologists like to solve problems. So if you have somebody standing in front of you saying, I don't understand, or couldn't we do or would this work, or would -- you know, they loved it. It was really interesting to see those two together.
But I think my point is that trying to understand what some of the objections are to Timea's point. If we're trying to get some new communities more deeply engaged in the work of the IGF, because we think it benefits them and it benefits our work, then I think we need to figure out -- you know, everybody is using purpose build or fit for purpose language these days. We may need to do some additional sessions -- to not confuse it with our workshops -- on the front end or back end to help them understand how to engage in this environment or to help frame an issue for them so they can take it away or to help conclude at the end of the meeting what it is they heard and what some of those discussions are.
So I think if we -- we step up to what are the issues we're trying to advance within the IGF, who do we need to be in the IGF to help us advance those issues, and how do we make this work for them and for us. And as Timea said, rather than trying to slop them into is this a workshop, you know, is it kind of an open session or closed session. I think this is more to the task that we're actually asked to do here as the MAG.
So, I mean, I think that's what -- I really think that's what Germany is trying to do with a lot of these sessions. And they're paying extreme amount of attention to the priorities and the strategic issues we've all said we want help with. That was more senior policymakers, more private sector, trying to understand where there's value and then, of course, we have the other requirements from the Secretary-General about broadening the outreach, both in terms of developing countries and South as well as particular types of practitioners, for lack of a better word. So we're trying to address some of those -- those as well. And again, you know, the vein of I think trying to pilot some things and learn from them as we go forward is also another saying in the IETF which is be liberal in what you accept and I think conservative in, I don't know what, you reject or say something like that. I'm forgetting at the moment. But I do hope we keep some of the higher level objectives that work in mind, and none of us are trying to break the IGF. None of us are trying to work against things which are really counter to multistakeholder, open consensus processes. But if we can facilitate some additional communities and some practitioners coming into the work, helping our work and helping them when they go back to do their work, then I think that's a huge win/win.
I don't know if there's anything more at the moment on the high-level sessions. I'll ask Chengetai if there's anything he wants to say on the day zero.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: We have 22 minutes left. I mean, I speak a lot in the morning about -- oh, sorry. Just saying we have 22 minutes left. I think we covered most of it in the morning. I won't repeat myself, but I'll just open up the floor to see if anybody has got questions about day zero. Basically, it's looser rules than what happens during the week. It still has to be Internet governance focused, and we want to have a fair mix of things that happen there. You know, anything from, you know, one full day like the GigaNet -- like GigaNet does to, you know, 30-minute sessions. So it's very loose. We just want something, you know, interesting in a way to mix in plain and blond, whatever. But, yes, we encourage.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Are there any further questions just now on day zero? Again, we'll have some visibility into those when the --
>> ( Speaker off microphone. ).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: When the solution process closes. Veni?
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: Did they understand correctly that, Daniela, the German government is going to send invitations for day zero and you would expect to see some list of respected representatives of different communities? Was that something said in the morning?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: You're talking about the high-level, not the day zero, right? I really want everybody to get that terminology right.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: I'm sorry. Yes, yes. My mistake. I'm sorry.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: I mean, what we will do is our minister will send invitations to the other ministers via our permanent mission at the U.N. Right? This is for the ministers' meeting. We are in contact with other stakeholder groups, but that's not decided yet. I mean, that will be also up to them. And the other thing is that just before that was more to the MAG members. That's not -- we cannot send personal invitations to all the IGF participants, right? But, of course, we will make sure that there will be no problem for MAG members and the less bureaucratic way was, in our view, to have such a list. And then I learned today there was an established process for how that should work, and thanks to the secretariat for that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you. I'm going to ask Chengetai to just say a few words about kind of the -- we'll go to the opening and closing ceremony and come back to domain in a moment but just in terms of any U.N. protocol that we need to observe.
Mary. Go to Mary first.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. I just wanted to ask whether the youth could be allowed to do their business on day zero.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think the answer would be yes, but, you know, youth and doing business is -- are you talking about --
>>MARY UDUMA: Youth IGF, so their coalition and the rest of them.
>> Government related.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Obviously if there's been a submission for a youth event in day zero, that will be part of the evaluation. If there are other things that take place or we want to facilitate the youth getting together because there are different youth events taking place during the course of the IGF then I think that's something the secretariat or the MAG could make available and facilitate. I know one of the things a lot of them say is that the most valuable thing for them is the connections they make when they're there. And if they can make those broad connections, I think that would be helpful. But we could probably find a venue, a room, I would think. Thank you, Mary.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you. So we have the opening and closing ceremony. The opening and closing ceremony traditionally have been organized between the secretariat, the host country, and UNDESA. There are certain protocols, and we do adapt them depending on the country that we are at.
For the opening ceremony, the main purpose of the opening ceremony is for the passing of the chairmanship of the IGF which is given to the Secretary-General. So the Secretary-General's representative passes on the Chairmanship of the IGF to the host country chair which is usually the highest representative there at the meeting. So if it's the Chancellor, the Chancellor comes in and we have a little ceremony and that is handed over to the Chancellor. Then when the Chancellor leaves, she can give it to whomever she feels appropriate -- appropriate. So that's the core of the opening ceremony. And the things that are surrounding the opening ceremony, it really depends on the protocol of the host country. Sometimes in some countries, okay, the Chancellor has to speak. But like in Mexico, the governor, the mayor, and the whole list of other people have to be there at the opening ceremony to speak. And we accommodate that.
And we also have, like in 2017 in Switzerland, we had the ringing of the bell to -- for the opening of the IGF. In Bali and Indonesia we had a gong. So it really depends on what's happening -- I mean, on the traditions of the host country.
Apart from -- I'll jump quickly to the closing ceremony. So with the closing ceremony, it's not as formal as the opening ceremony and it's usually maybe, I don't know, minister of foreign affairs or whoever is available for the closing of the meeting. We have the host country representative, we have a representative from the U.N., the highest official who is there at the U.N., and then we also have representatives from the stakeholder groups. Usually what happens is that we ask each stakeholder group from the MAG to nominate a speaker to speak at the closing ceremony and then they can give their reflections on how the meeting has gone -- gone the last couple of days. And there may be also additional speakers, depending on the host country's wishes.
So those are the two ends. And then we have the opening session, which is different. And this is something that we've also grappled with because at the very beginning it was just a conveyer belt of speeches and we've tried to liven it up a little bit. But then if we are inviting ministers and high-level representatives, they really must have a part in the opening. And the last two times it has been a panel. This year we are trying to take on board what the Secretary-General has said and maybe try and invite some of these people who not normally come to the IGF, but we also have to make space for the ministers that come. So that's something we have to discuss amongst us and how we're actually going to do that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Sorry. Sylvia.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: Don't forget the photo (indiscernible). I'm not leaving Germany without it.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So we -- thank you, Chengetai. That is very helpful. So the formal ceremonies he talked about at the beginning are probably roughly a half hour and an hour at the end of the program. Again, this is another terminology thing because we spent far too much in past years in MAGs being confused over kind of the ceremonies versus sessions. But the recent protocol we need to follow, and, of course, the territory actually gets turned back to Germany at the end of the -- at the end of the IGF.
But the opening sessions, I mean, that is something we're going to need to spend some time thinking through. The last two years, as Chengetai said, we have gone to these smaller, sort of VIP panels where we had -- we tried to have, rather than as he said a conveyer belt of speeches, we tried to have themes with a few VIP speakers speak to these themes and then actually take questions from the audience. A lot of those people in the audience were plants because there were other VIPs that really did expect and would normally given a speech at a U.N. session. So we're trying to find a way to accommodate the expectations of a whole host of different stakeholders in a format that works within the IGF with all of its expectations in a way that actually delivers an interesting discussion and value to the participants. And that's a big enough task in and of itself. If we're actually really successful at getting top-level CEOs and top-level policymakers in, the task becomes even more Herculean. So, I mean, I sort of share that now because it is something we need to start to think through and work towards. And it is for the host country, but the host country, I know, just as every other host country, wants it to work for the IGF within the expectations of the community as well. So while there is a responsibility which is the host country, it clearly needs to work within the context of the IGF and the community as well. So that's why there's always been -- been this kind of exchange. Please, Daniela.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Should we know this is probably the most difficult task or difficult task we have for the IGF this year. I mean, the more successful we'll be in getting higher level people to the IGF, the harder it will be then for the open ceremony. But nevertheless, I mean, we expect that the U.N. Secretary-General would be there to hand over, together with the Chancellor, and then we know that our minister will be there. He has his session already on day zero, so that will be fine for them. But our ambition is not only to have high-ranking government officials for the opening ceremony and session, right? But really to keep the people that are coming for day zero, for that high-ranking discussion, to stay, of course, for the IGF and be there the next morning to yet -- to transfer that into the IGF and to have that as a discussion for the panel.
And in my view, of course you will have to give speaking time to those people. But in my opinion, it's not the best way to have speech after speech. But what we will at least try to do after, of course, the speech of the Chancellor, to have more of an interactive session and we should be in close contact about that afterwards.
There's an issue I would like to raise today here as well and that's the question of the open mic at the end of the closing session. We wondered a little bit if the three-hour open mic session isn't -- couldn't be a little bit long. And maybe after the ceremony part, what about having the first open mic session as sort of an introduction to the IGF and so to sort of say split the three hours to one and a half hours at the beginning and one and a half hour at the end. In our opinion, that could be more lively to follow instead of having a three-hour session at the end. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: We'll come to the queue in just one moment. I mean, the open mic session was sort of extended last year and past years. Of course, that three-hour slot is actually part of the closing ceremony as well. And it was, I think, a conscious decision, because we had the Secretary-General there and his comments, and we had President Macron's speech and his various calls and comments. We actually thought there might be an opportunity for good dialogue across the community on those two, so it was relatively open. They've been less open in past year. We've actually had a structured timer. We'd really like to hear from the community back on this, you know, more strategic area and now we're going to take a half hour and hear back from the community on this. So we can structure it differently as well. And keep in mind the request, which maybe there's an opportunity to hear from the community at the front end of the meeting and at the back end of the meeting. We have Kenta in the queue. Kenta, you have the floor. And in terms of the time, let's close the queue, if we can, after Ben so we make sure we keep the transcribers and the AV support and that sort of thing close to time, and then we can pick all this up tomorrow. So Kenta, you have the floor.
>>KENTA MOCHIZUKI: Okay. Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. I'm Kenta Mochizuki, Japanese business MAG member. In last year many people couldn't participate in the opening and closing session. So this year, you know, I hope there will be on a more transparency, you know, for the, you know, prior stakeholders all over the world so like, you know, IGF Geneva 2017. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Kenta, I'm not sure. Are you saying that people had VIP speakers that they wanted to participate in the sessions and there wasn't room for them, or is it something else?
>>KENTA MOCHIZUKI: Yes -- it's work? Yes, that's right. Yes, actually, you know, I know many young Japanese stakeholders who couldn't participate in the opening and closing session somehow. I don't know why. But actually, you know, we are -- we were in a different room to, you know, watch some, you know, screen. So --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I think you're talking about the room was filled and then we had to go to an overflow.
>>KENTA MOCHIZUKI: Just filled.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: It was just filled. Seats in the room.
>>KENTA MOCHIZUKI: That's good. That's good.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: This year there will be enough seats.
>>KENTA MOCHIZUKI: Yes. Appreciate it. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. Thank you for the clarification. Hana, you have the floor.
>> HANA ALHASHIMI: Thank you, Chair. Just a few brief. I thought it might be interesting to link the point on giving VIPs a role, VIPs from different sectors a role, with our previous conversation on outputs/outcomes. So would there be -- and again, just brainstorming, thinking out of the box. Would there be -- would it be an option to perhaps give VIPs from two different sectors leadership in coming out with common messages and threads from one of the tracks, for example. So we say, okay, you can only speak for two minutes in the opening and an interactive format and not a speech, but you would co-lead messaging on privacy, for example, or recommendations on security or something more specific than that. And even if we just had three, then you'd have roles for six VIPs that either would have a shortened role in the opening or wouldn't have a role in the opening but would have something to do there.
The reason for suggesting it is, this happens in a lot of human fora. And I think it is -- it is helpful to look at other things, particularly from stakeholders that are looking for outcomes. Perhaps to engage them in creating those or finding some of the common threads in different sessions.
And just to recap what's meant by "common threads," it's that oftentimes you have multiple side events on similar topics. Yes, that's very well-captured at the microlevel in the chair summary. But, perhaps, something more along the lines of recommendations, furthering these topics for the purpose of harnessing tech for development, for example, would be helpful. So thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Hana. Lots to think about.
We do need to update the queue because Hana is, in fact, a MAG member but you haven't been designated as that. We know it, but so that everybody participating online knows it as well.
June, you have the floor.
>>JUNE PARRIS: Thank you, Chair. And hello, everyone. This is my first time -- my first on the mic.
First of all, I just want to say that the IGF seems to be getting better and better thanks to Germany from what I've seen so far.
Secondly, I'm happy to see that the VIPs are being included and given a role.
And, also, I want to go back to what the co-chair said earlier about the open mic, cutting it in half, one and a half always at the beginning, one and a half always at the end, I think that's a really good idea. And that's my part for the day.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, June.
Ben, you have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thank you. Yes, I could support shorter opening plenary sessions. The idea that I wanted to put forward was I wasn't able to be there last year so I don't know how it worked last year. But in Geneva in 2017, I think the Swiss had a professional journalist moderate the session.
So in response to Daniela's concern about you don't want to just have a bunch of speakers going down a panel, the way the Swiss managed it was quite good because it was a conversation. It was asking questions. It was a more valuable session as a result.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ben.
We have two minutes left. I think we've done A and B.
I think on the main sessions, I think that's quite an extensive topic, and I think we will move that forward. We have touched upon various things we might do with the main sessions, both in terms of how they might be purposed, either at the beginning of the introduction of the theme to help set it up or at the end to help pull threads together from the various workshops and the themes we've talked about where they might be placed physically in the program as well. So I think there's a lot of ideas floating around.
I think we should keep that discussion open. And I think we should start to drill down in terms of what some of the objectives are of the main sessions.
And we do still need to have a discussion because not all the main sessions specifically come forward and driven by the MAG. In fact, in past years, we have had a practice of having some dynamic coalition presentations as a part of a main session or a main session or national, regional, youth IGF initiatives also. So I think we need to think about what are the things that's appropriate for the main sessions.
And I don't know how much we'll be able to do with respect to the topics until we've actually seen the workshop submission close. But I think we can have a kind of a general discussion on some principles or some options probably on the Thursday, the third day of our meeting, given tomorrow is the open community.
So we will not lose that topic. It is obviously critically important and one of the main MAG responsibilities. I think we're just out of time today, and we do have some more time to advance that.
Let me see if there are any comments from the secretariat, UN DESA or Daniela before we close?
>>DENIZ SUSAR: From day one, I just want to say that I take note of the many issues that were raised. It was clear that we need a marketing communication expert, and I will raise that, not only on the website but for other outreach channels.
One thing I'm taking is also we're are organizing a side event together with Germany and we will be sharing chair summary to all ambassadors in New York with an invitation letter.
And, also, for the IGF invitation, we will be posting soon a generic invitation letter from our Undersecretary-General on the IGF website. We also don't send specific invitation letters to people.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: One of the presentations we're pulling together to reach out to missions or whatever could be interesting to ensure that the MAG has that as well and the NRIs so people can actually use some of that context to outreach within their own communities and convincing them to come participate in the IGF. So if there's some materials that we think would be -- could be repurposed and are useful, just keep that in mind.
We have obviously national, regional youth initiatives that are meeting. And if a piece of that was promoting the IGF meeting in Berlin, which I know they do, but if they can do it with some of the materials that are being pulled together, I think that would be helpful as well.
So for tomorrow, we will just have a very kind of light set of opening statements in terms of the introduction. It's the open consultation day. Eleonora is working on capturing the discussion here that Luis has just sent but I haven't read it yet.
She and Chengetai and I can take a look at this -- and, Daniela, if you're interested -- in terms of just setting up the discussion with the community tomorrow, looking for community comments on what they say is the strategic priorities and then any ideas they have on how we might actually advance them.
And then in the afternoon, there's an item which is called the workshop process review. That's where we ask the community for their input on the workshop submission process that they had just gone through, any questions they had but also really understand how well it worked for them, if there are some other areas that need additional focus.
We have a presentation on the NRIs later and some information to be shared on IGF intersessional activities.
As we report out on those intersessional activities, again, we want to be very brief in those comments because we want to actually hear from the community with respect to their comments or questions, suggestions for improvements on all those areas as well. This really is about hearing from the community. So our interventions ought to be setting up the discussion, if you will, or kicking off the discussion but really inviting comments from all of them.
And then at the end of the day tomorrow, we have our traditional strategic contributions from the relevant Internet -- Internet governance organizations. And that tends to be a group of people that have come in. But actually I'm -- half of that will actually be the HLPDC report. So, yeah, maybe we'll figure out how to move that forward to make sure we have enough time for everything. But that's the agenda as it sits now.
I thank everybody for staying with the day. And there is a WSIS reception which everybody is invited to which I think starts at 6:30 in the cafeteria, right? Oh, that's right. It's in the CICG building. Everybody knows where the CICG building is? You can either go out the Montbrilliant exit and look right and walk down the end of the street or I think there's a secret side passageway if it's still open. So if there are no more questions or no -- reception starts at 6:30. Hope to see everybody there. And thank you all very much. Thank you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: And thank you to the scribes.