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: All right, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the last session of the MAG meeting, Open Consultations and the MAG meeting. This is the last day, the last session.
I don't think I need to go over the instructions. Please use the speaking queue, if you can. The link is on our website. And then you can log in -- register, log in, and then you can use the speaking queue.
And with that, I'll hand over the floor to Lynn to continue the meeting. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai.
Thank you, everybody for coming back again so timely.
There have been a couple of sort of small meetings, one to understand some of the logistics and timings that were possible within the secretariat and then kind of an informal group of people who had interest in the overall process a little bit.
And I think we've come to kind of the next step in terms of clarity of our next steps which I want to outline here.
The -- there will be a meeting of the working group on workshop evaluation and process on Tuesday. And they will finalize a lot of the details and specifics beyond the highlights I'm going to give you in a moment and get that out to the MAG middle to late next week. And I actually think there's relatively few changes, so I don't think that will be too scary. I will go through that in a minute.
And then the proposal is that we have a MAG meeting, like, the 17th of April, so not next week but the week after. That would be two to three days within your first week -- okay.
>> (off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: 24th. Thank you, Nebojsa.
So the 24th, which is roughly -- I guess it's one day short of two weeks. It's three days into the MAG workshop review process.
And one of the benefits -- and we'll come to in a moment. One of the benefits is that everyone can then take a look at the workshops you've been assigned, discuss with any conflicts of interest, that sort of thing, get some of the early preliminary work out of the way.
Let me just take a half step back and say what I think is the kind of timetable everybody's working towards.
By early next week, the secretariat has said they can share with the working group total number of proposals that have come in by theme. So we'll know whether or not we've got some level of equal distribution across the three or whether one of them is heavily oversubscribed, in which case we need to think about how we process our way through that.
Depending on whether that's three or, one might assume, four working groups to review the workshop proposals, the secretariat is going to completely randomly assign MAG members to those thematic working groups.
There was a point of clarification made. That means even if you worked on a narrative, you might not be assigned do that basket of workshops. It's a completely random assignment to respect the purity of the process, if you will.
The secretariat very early next week as well can take the one field of policy questions and get us possibly in an Excel spreadsheet, I am not sure, some format, a list of all of those policy questions by theme. That means that already next week the MAG members, you won't know at that point which group you have been assigned to -- well, maybe you would. Probably midweek. But we can see -- in data governance, we'll be able to see the policy questions that came in under data governance.
It's just a high-level view of was there, you know, a great aggregation around one or two themes. Were they really disparate? Were they all over the place? It will help us focus our future work and process a little bit.
That Friday is when -- next Friday is when the workshop evaluation process will be opened up to MAG members. And we will get this documented better. I mean, that is, in fact, the time line we're on, but the whole process.
And the MAG members as of presumably Saturday can start looking through the workshops you've been assigned and getting familiar with them.
It would be fantastic if people could as a very first immediate check, as Jutta said yesterday, look for a conflict of interest and signal that in the forms. If there are any questions on that, we have an opportunity at the Wednesday MAG meeting to clarify that. So we're getting that done really early in the process.
I can't imagine there's actually a need to reassign a lot -- I don't know how we reassign anyway. If we have these 20 people reviewing all of the data governance and somebody says, I have got a conflict on these two, we are not going to pull in somebody from another group to come in and review so we have 20 members. It doesn't make any sense because they won't have the experience of all of the other workshop proposals.
It doesn't affect the rating anyway because, in fact, it would say 19 people rated this proposal and the ratio is the same. So, I mean -- I'm trying not to define the process for the exception. I mean, we deal with the exception if it comes.
But, Luis, did you have a comment?
>>LUIS BOBO: No. Maybe I can tell you how this was done last year. Basically it's a manual process and we try to reassign the proposal to any other MAG member with similar gender, stakeholder group or as close as possible to keep the balance.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: It's okay if -- if 20 people mark a proposal or if 15 people mark a proposal, I think it's still the same kind of result you get.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: The difference is last year we had a lot fewer people reviewing each one of the groups of proposal because we did it by tag, not by three or four major themes. We literally should have close to 20 people for each one of those three themes. So if one drops out -- you know, if we have a more significant problem than that, then we need to look at it. But I find it hard to believe in past experience that we'd actually have to...
So Wednesday would be the opportunity for us to make sure we're all clear on the process, on the tool, conflicts of interest, any other kind of clarifying questions or discussions we need. That's Wednesday, the 24th.
Then what was sort of mooted by the kind of roughly 12 people or so that were up here was it would be interesting if those individual working groups could actually have a virtual meeting online. Once they understood what their -- what their aggregate ranking was.
Let's say 20 people were reviewing data governance. Once you understand how all your 20 scores came together and what that actually says in terms of your preferred workshops, if you could have a discussion amongst yourselves to figure out what does that tell you. Have you had a check to make sure you're checking for redundancy? We don't have five workshops the same out of 20.
Is there a narrative or story or something you're building towards? Are there workshop proposals you saw in yours that you might pull up? Maybe it was ranked a little bit lower, but it adds a different level of diversity or different perspective or different value. So it's a qualitative review of what's in that track, not just the quantitative.
And at the working groups comes -- and we're going to set aside some time in the Berlin meeting physically for breakout groups which has been done in past years. So we're still staying in our thematic working groups. And they would finalize a proposal for the MAG. And I think the MAG should kind of look at it at a high-level, make sure it fits, see if there's other interdependencies and linkages and sorts of things. But the other two groups in the MAG are not going into any kind of detailed manner start questioning the work of the first group. They just won't have the knowledge to do that.
Each individual working group will have looked through their hundred or so odd proposals. They will have determined what are the best 20 or 30 or whatever proposals they have and that will be the recommendation to the MAG. And we should look and make sure it makes sense from an overall perspective but not kind of detailed questioning. In other words, we're going to respect the integrity and the expertise of the group that actually built that part of the program. We can come back to that in a minute if somebody has a question.
I think by the end of next week as well, we should be able to say how many sessions we're looking to schedule. That will be on the basis of how many concurrent workshop sessions we want to have -- and we'll come to that in a moment -- and also what the profile is of the actual submissions that come in.
So before you start your reviews, we should be able to give you an indication of whether or not, you know, it's 20 or 30 or something of that nature workshops you'll be selecting. Again, I think that's just helpful advice in terms of what everybody is doing.
I'll stop there. I'll come to the kind of -- well, so the other thing we thought is, many people seemed to like the topping and tailing notion, that we actually try to find an introductory session that would either kind of introduce that particular track or a series of kind of major policy areas, if there are multiple policy areas. It would be under MAG control, probably under the working group that actually evaluated those proposals. It will be like all the other work that the MAG does to establish main sessions. You'll be responsible for the session, the description, the panelists, et cetera, just like before.
And then at the end, there was a notion -- and the working group is going to take away and think about this some more. But I want everybody to at least have some level playing field here so we can keep moving the discussion forward.
A discussion around having a closing session by theme which might actually look more like a working session than a formal session. So if the introductory session was kind of a kickstarter or a framing, the working session might actually have people reporting out from the various workshops over the course of the day or dynamic coalition work or, you know, responding to some of the questions from the opening panel. And it would actually start to capture what are the things we heard or saw or did hear, what is additional work that could be done, is there intersessional work that could be done, are there people that this work ought to be shared with.
If we're going to share something with them, do we need to think about the output of the formats a little bit, which I think starts to get us to understanding who our audiences are for our various pieces of work and what do they need to be able to use that work usefully. So I think it's kind of an interesting input to the outcome/output discussion as well.
So I will stop there, see if I've lost anybody. For all of those of you who have been a part of this discussion, if anything wasn't explained particularly clearly, you want to add, please do so.
Ben, you have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: Hi. I guess I -- I've not been lost. I think this is -- this is interesting, and I don't mean that as a Brit who uses nuance to mean it's not interesting.
[ Laughter ]
I like the idea. I'm looking forward to exploring it. I think it provides a lot more opportunity to actually look.
When we came to the meeting last year to evaluate the workshops, the idea that people could suddenly jump in and say what might be a good proposal for merger, it kind of relied on a few people who actually read it but not on a kind of common understanding of what to look for and not on a broad-enough familiarity among MAG members of the proposals. So I think this is a good way of trying to achieve that.
And I had a few questions or comments. You suggested that as we split up into working groups, we have -- the working groups have a virtual call, I think towards the end -- before the deadline for evaluation? Or maybe -- I just wonder whether, you know, some people won't evaluate until the deadline. That's just human nature. I hope they will evaluate before the deadline.
But it might be something that could more usefully happen after we've all marked and submitted our evaluations. And it's also interesting to do it in Berlin. I think that's a great idea.
So I guess the one question I had is whether we could express a preference for which working group we go in. Now, I understand that we kind of reached an agreement that it shouldn't be done by expertise. It should be randomly assigned. And I'm not looking to reopen that, and that's fine.
But if these working groups end up being the working groups responsible for the main session under those themes, then ultimately I'd like to choose which main sessions I'm putting my time into helping to design.
So I'm not saying that you should let me choose which theme I evaluate the workshops on. I just don't want to lose the ability for MAG members to be able to put up their hand and say, right, I'd like to put a lot of my time into helping design the main session on data governance or the discussions around data governance. So those are my initial thoughts. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's a good point. And I see lots of heads nodding in the room. Apologies to those who are participating online. Again, we're establishing complete random assignment by the working groups. But when we come to establishing the main session working groups, we should open that up to the MAG and ask if there are additional MAG members who want to participate. I think that would be good, because that would allow us to potentially tap expertise by group.
Also, the -- I think the virtual meeting that happens before the physical Berlin meeting happens after the MAG members have all submitted their scores. While the secretariat actually had two weeks for their own analysis, but they could probably quite quickly -- again, this is some of the things we needs to go through and get the real dates on -- could say to people on the data governance theme, these are your 20 rankings. And this is the aggregate. These are the ones -- like they did with the full 200. So these are the 100 workshops you had to review. 20 of you reviewed them. These are the aggregates rankings of them. And provide that information probably early in the first week of that review.
That's pretty much just a -- pull in a consolidation. Which means you could have your virtual meeting sort of the end of the first week of the MAG review, about a week and a half, a week or so before we roll into Berlin. So at least you could get a lot of your own kind of what are we all thinking, how do we feel, what does it look like, any major gaps, anything we need to think about done ahead of time.
>>BEN WALLIS: And just to quickly come back on that. I wonder whether, if we're going to -- to meet in working groups virtually at some point between now and Berlin, whether half of one of these scheduled MAG meetings could be given over. So we have our two-hour MAG meetings. They're all scheduled. People already have them -- will already have them in the calendar and will have time available. We could have a short meeting, an hour, and then a second hour, everyone splits off into different Webex rooms. Just an idea.
I'll put my hand down in the chat room now. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's a good idea in terms of scheduling. So we can look at that with the MAG meeting. Make sure the timings of the MAG meeting line up. And if not, we can get back to everybody and work with you to schedule ones by group. We can easily create, I think, mailing lists once we actually have the individual thematic evaluating groups, if people followed that.
Let's see. Jennifer. Jennifer Chung, you have the floor.
>>JENNIFER CHUNG: Thank you, Chair. Jennifer Chung.
I guess I could take my handbag down now, because I think what I really wanted to know is what Ben and you just mentioned, but just to highlight, picking up on your last kind of -- I think it might have been a suggestion, where there is introductory sessions and perhaps sessions at the end.
So am I correct in understanding that this is not a suggestion for the way the main session will go; this would be a session that's in addition to the main sessions that we might be looking at?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I don't know. That's a discussion we're just about to come to.
I mean, 'cause you could imagine it might be the main session. You could imagine it also might just look like a workshop and be an hour, 90-minute slot somewhere.
And, again, I think that may even depend on, you know, whether or not we have two significant themes under one of our major themes, for instance.
But -- Raquel, Raquel Gatto, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Yes. Perhaps I'm also in -- moving forward to the next topic. But I was separating the qualitative more evaluation of the quantitative ones of the scoring, and the whole process will go on with the random assignment of the groups. And then I think it's also up to the MAG, then, to come back with all the tracks and re-evaluate and also see the synergies, to Ben's point, that not only you want to be involved in that, but there are synergies that might arise from this exercise. So it's unavoidable to have this upper layer with everybody.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: No, I think looking for synergies, looking, to Timea's point from this morning about whether or not there are kind of parallel themes, I think that's the sort of work we should do.
But I think the little ad hoc group here was pretty adamant that what we couldn't do was ask the other two-thirds of the MAG to redo the in-depth review that the individual groups had already done. And I know that's not what you were suggesting. But I think everybody's fully on board with the high-level review of some of these other kind of meta or cross-cutting reviews.
One other thing I want to mention, and just to note, so we don't lose them, there were some discussions this morning as well about possibly it would be interesting to have the MAG members who were responsible for evaluating the workshops, assuming they attend those workshops, do a post survey. You know, did this basically meet what the workshop had expressed, had identified? Was it good? And just so we actually learn from kind of a post review of the workshops how they matched with the descriptions going in.
So we're going to note that as an action item. And if there's interest in the MAG in pursuing that, then we would be looking for a small group of people to define what that looked like. I think the group kind of thought it would be voluntary, but that it is a good way to actually learn how we might improve the workshop submission process if we actually evaluate kind of on the back end what the result of it was.
So if the MAG is interested in doing that, then I think we just need a couple of volunteers to step up and help drive that survey.
Again, not looking for discussion here. Just want to mark it, and we will bring it forward as an action item to figure out if we're going to move forward.
There was one other -- Mary and -- it was Susan or maybe a few other people had sort of suggested possibly some surveys from the people who were in the room, not the MAG members, with respect to the workshop evaluation. How did you find the meeting? Did it fulfill what it was initially meant to fulfill? Are there additional policy questions you thought should be addressed? Is there work we might do next year? Are there any specific -- actually, somebody said, which is a great idea -- who would you actually take this work to? Who else should be aware of it and who else should be involved in it? And that would be really interesting if we had those specific questions, because they might identify organizations or people or structures or something we hadn't thought it, which would be great in terms of outreach.
I also think it would enable us then to say, well, if this type of work is of most interest to this sort of group, what do they need in terms of outputs? Do they need a different structure or different format? What would make this most useful to them? Which I think would be one way to partly answer, how do we actually understand what various audiences are looking for in terms of our outputs and how do we make sure that it's actually meeting their needs?
And, again, I think it may have been Susan the other day who said we need to understand who we're trying to reach and to what purpose. So that might be a way to get to that survey as well. So that's something I think the working group wanted to go away and think about a little bit more and start to design that online survey.
And my final point on this whole session, I think, is diversity.
In some years, I think diversity's almost become kind of a numeric exercise. And I think as we're going through with these themes, we need to make sure that, having built the themes and the workshops that are approved on the basis of the substance and content, then we need to make sure we have the appropriate diversity in that track. If that means we ask some workshop organizers to reach out and involve some other people or something, but I think we need to make sure we keep diversity front and center. But that is kind of an equal partner with the overall qualitative assessment and the overall track we're trying to build.
So I don't know if that means we still need the very, very detailed set of statistics, as Salyou did for us last year, or if we need a different set. But there was a request for, are we going to have those statistics? And I think we need to think about what statistics we need and to what purpose. So that's something, I think, that another group needs to go in and think about as well.
I don't know if the workshop on evaluation wants to take that up, too, or if it's an ad hoc group. But we can think about that next Tuesday.
Obviously, Salyou's not with us, so if we really want that very set of detailed statistics, we need to find a way to do that or, you know, see if the secretariat can support it.
But I think before we go away and just turn them out, I think we need to be clear on what level we want and to what purpose.
Paul. Thank you for your patience. Sorry. You have the floor.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you, Lynn. Paul Rowney.
I just wanted to go back to that point that you just mentioned on the MAG evaluating the workshops, because I think it's a very important one.
I think -- I would support that. Just wonder if we can go one step further and have some sort of online evaluation process that enables the participants to post an evaluation, if they choose to, of that specific workshop.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I was going to jump in with an enthusiastic "yes," and then I heard a murmur to my right. So --
I mean, presumably -- so I think it's a very good idea as well. And that would be different from this other survey which was mentioned.
I think we need to figure out how we structure these, because we're going to be asking the MAG to help us understand what those surveys are. Obviously, that doesn't need to be done in the next two months. I think we can do that after we're through the workshop evaluation process. But we need to make sure we do it in a timely enough manner that Luis actually has time to build those surveys as well.
Before we move to the next one, is there any -- I tried to capture all the things we were talking about this morning. If there's anything I missed, would people please bring that up? If there's, obviously, something that they think needs more discussion or more clarification, then, obviously, bring that up as well.
But is there anything that we've overlooked or -- There were various levels of kind of support and concern for things that were brought forward this morning. If there are still concerns, this would be the time to kind of raise them.
Things we're missing?
Sorry, Chenai, you have the floor.
>>CHENAI CHAIR: Apologies for not using the speaking queue.
I think in my first meeting, the big concern that I had, and it might have already been addressed by the working group on workshop evaluations, was around the feedback to the sessions that were not accepted. And I see we've got a great (indiscernible), and it actually tells where you scored and where you didn't do so well. So I wanted to find out -- probably the working group will be able to answer this question -- in terms of the kind of feedback format, is it going to be a format that points out where you did well and where you didn't do well in terms of your workshop submission, that area was weak, or is it going to take those comments, the qualitative comments that we have to put into the bottom, to actually then say, this was the feedback your work got?
So I was just thinking around that in terms of future participation or people who have submitted for the first time and are getting rejected, or people who are always rejected for their applications.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So that's -- either Chengetai, or is it somebody from the working group on workshop eval that speaks to that?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I mean, they will get the feedback from the -- they will get the feedback that the MAG members give. So they will know those points.
>>SYLVIA CADENA: One additional piece of text that we will have is because the numbers now have that text description, then you can collate and create an email response, let's, with the feedback, saying you didn't address three or more than three of the diversity things, and you didn't do well in this criteria or something. Because it is on the text. So now we can say that. Before, we couldn't. So that might also help to standardize the feedback back to the people that are not (indiscernible).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's a great comment, Sylvia. So I guess that would be another task for Luis to think about making sure that we could pull from the individual workshop reviews and feed them into a template feedback input. But, Luis, you would actually need to work with probably the workshop or somebody else in the secretariat to make sure we have the right set of messages and captures.
But -- Did you have a question, Luis?
>> That's okay.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you.
Those of you who haven't participated in this process before, this may seem a little confusing. I actually think it's going to be a much, much, much saner process than we've had in the past, where, as somebody said earlier, because we had this kind of random grouping and we had -- because we didn't have just three themes, we had, I don't know, nine or ten sort of groups, I think, of people who had reviewed and ranked a small set of workshops, and then we came back together as a full MAG with 300 proposals in front of us to try and figure out how that all fit together to make a full program. And, you know, it's an awkward process, at best, because not everybody has read every one of the workshops, so it's an incomplete knowledge set. And then, honestly, sometimes you have people kind of arguing for kind of a favorite workshop or something, which is -- or somebody feeling that a particular diversity characteristic wasn't well addressed. And it's hard, because not every MAG member had the same full set of reviews in front of them. So it really was not a -- I don't think it was a -- you know -- it certainly wasn't an easy process, and I'm not sure it was actually a quality output from it, either.
So, hopefully, this actually gives us a really kind of cohesive, threaded, focused, and that we are able to eliminate some of the redundancy and those sorts of things we've seen in the process in the past.
So we will move from there, unless there's anything else. Chengetai? Last call for whether or not there's any other questions or...
So we can move to main sessions now. Some of the good news is that the German government is actually going to use their own set of interpreters, which gives a little bit more flexibility on the time. So where under the U.N. system, you had three hours and three hours and no flexibility, we actually have a little bit of flexibility. So -- and I say that because three hours was always an awkward time. You couldn't actually get to two ninety-minute sessions because you need to leave time for the room to clear and the room to get set up. So you got two abbreviated sessions. This obviously leaves the possibility to do an hour and a half session, have a half-hour break to change the room over, and come back in and do another hour session or something, so we've got more flexibility with the main sessions. So I think that will be helpful when it comes to it.
Hartmut's looking very impressed, having done -- did something similar as well.
For the main sessions, we went through on the first day of the MAG meeting the fact that we had these formal opening ceremonies and closing ceremonies, roughly an hour, you know, where secretary-general and Chancellor Merkel and things would address us.
We have the option -- and I think we need to get as close as we can in this session, but until we know what the profile looks like of the workshops that have come in, which we'll know next week, it's a little bit hard to figure out whether or not we're okay with just kind of a main session and threaded tracks or not.
But if we wanted an introductory session or kick-starter session or something for each one of the main themes, we can make that a main session, which basically is full interpretation. That really is the difference.
We could have those kick-starter, introductory sessions look like any other workshop session and reserve the main session slot for something different, something new, something that we haven't addressed yet.
I'm going to ask Daniela if there's anything she wants to -- We still have the issue of what are we doing around the high-level -- the VIP -- the opening sessions. We have opening ceremony, which is the formal kind of U.N./host country protocol. And then we have typically had sort of one two-hour, sometimes sort of two-hour opening sessions. And that's where we make room for the VIPs and things.
So, Daniela, do you want to talk about whatever your thoughts are on that at the moment.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you, Lynn. Yes, indeed. We have no idea -- I wanted to hear from you what you would like to see. We thought about having, of course, a main session and translated session as an opening session and one at the end. And then as was already mentioned yesterday, we have the parliamentarians. It would be good to have interpretation there as well. So that could be a main session as well.
And as we have the three themes, could be an idea to have them for each of the themes kind of an opening session and a conclusive session or wrapping-up session or something like that. But that's I think up to be discussed now.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela.
Comments? Reflections? Chengetai, anything we should add in terms of kind of overall profile or logistics considerations?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: No. I mean, there's just a few considerations from the U.N. side. But, I mean, we are here to hear your ideas, and then we'll go back and then we'll discuss it. Yes, please, we're open to ideas.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Is there any -- what's the view of the room, the MAG, with respect to -- we have these three themes, having a -- is there interest in having a main session per theme? Do we want to use those main sessions for something else and still have an introductory or topping session that could look like a workshop session and sort of save the main session slot for something else? Any strong feeling?
Ben, you're waiting for it to refresh. Go ahead, Ben. You have the floor.
>>BEN WALLIS: Thanks. My name should appear on the screen shortly.
[ Laughter ]
So I wanted, first, to talk about the length of sessions. I wasn't able to get to Paris because I was at the plenipot. But I organized one of the main sessions, and I felt 80 minutes was too restrictive for something which is supposed to be given a bit more emphasis in the program. I appreciate that three hours felt quite long for people and you have to do a very good job of organizing a session to make three hours work.
But I'd hope we could still have, I would suggest, at least two hours so you can really get into a topic and find ways to maybe break it up and include plenty of discussion.
We heard from the several people yesterday in the open consultation that it shouldn't just be hearing, hearing, hearing from the panel and then there's two minutes left for comments from the floor or from online participants.
I understand, again, we have this luxury of time and it should be possible to have sessions of two hours' length. That was something about -- if you were just talking about 90 minutes and the people have been concerned about three hours, I'd go a little above 90.
It has to fit with the schedule, of course, as well. I know Chengetai and the secretariat have to fit that into programming. But I wanted to offer that thought about the length of the sessions.
On what topics they should cover, I think given that we've gone to this effort to find three themes, it would actually look strange if we didn't have main sessions on those three themes. And as you say, a number of people, including myself, were interested in the idea of topping and tailing the start and end of the week.
I actually thought, Lynn, something you said this morning about when we were talking about multidisciplinary of bringing in academics or researchers when we introduce a topic could be interesting so that -- well, possibly the MAG can provide ideas.
But, yeah, that's an area where we might look outside our normal kind of policy-making circles.
So I think there should be main sessions on the three themes, but there could also be some space for something a little different.
One of the things we risk losing, having got these three policy themes, is discussions around what was called last year the evolution of Internet governance. The idea that I started floating on Monday was this general idea of Internet governance and policy making that the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation is exploring, that the Secretary-General is calling for multidisciplinary and not working in silos. And I'd refer to the OECD where it's going digital. I think it's a toolkit they've just published. And Timea referred to the International Chamber of Commerce has also looked at a framework for ways you can help ensure more horizontal policy making that does include nontraditional digital departments and nontraditional, in our sense, stakeholders. So that would be something in addition to the main sessions that I would propose.
And I just want to apologize in advance that this is my last intervention, not that I've not made many interventions this week. But I need to leave in about half an hour to speak at a session. So if there are any calls for volunteers, I will look at the list and, of course, raise my hand as normal. I'm sure there will be an opportunity to do that after the meeting as well. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ben. And thank you for always being so willing to both jump in terms of volunteering and into the discussion as well.
So I think -- I do think everybody felt 90 minutes was probably a little bit too short for most sessions and at the same time that three hours was too long.
So maybe as a working principle at this point in time, again, until we have more specificity -- I don't know that we need to be more specific or lose a lot more time on discussion. But assume the kind of main sessions are roughly two hours in length. If we need two hours and 15 minutes for one or two and a half or something, we can work towards that but assume sort of two-hour main sessions.
So I would like to hear if anybody has any serious concerns with that come in.
And my other point -- and I'm doing this just so if we can again start to close on some of these things, I think actually an evolution of Internet governance as a main session is a nice way to carve out some space for an evolution of Internet governance discussion, whether that's centered on something that might come out of the HLPDC report, because we don't know what will happen with that. Secretary-General may decide to evaluate it for it, you know, quite a while and not do something with it. So I don't think we should structure a session specifically around that. But I do see one in general about the evolution of Internet governance is an interesting idea.
So, again, MAG members, as you take the floor, comment if you have other suggestions or views on that so we can figure out how we move it forward or not.
Susan Chalmers, you have the floor.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Chair. And just a quick question on the length of the sessions and the availability of the translators. I'm not -- do we have some flexibility there? Because I know that they -- I think in the past they had to work in a certain block.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That was the point. By not using U.N. interpreters where they did have solid three-hour blocks and no flexibility, the German government is actually using non-U.N. interpreters, so we have more flexibility.
Thank you. Thank you for the question. Raquel Gatto, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much, Lynn. I'm a bit confused because it's hard to discuss the length of the session without knowing exactly what we're going to discuss. I think it also comes down to the point if we're going to have these topping sessions at the beginning as main sessions and the ones at the end, it would make sense to, first of all, if possible, with the agenda, it will also depend on how many workshops we're going to locate and so on, but to have the main sessions with nothing conflicting with them so we make sure everybody is in the room.
I think this has been done in the past. And, I mean, the -- perhaps giving more time to the end of the -- the main sessions at the end because that's where we want to hear from the community their feedback and then at the beginning, this is more of the a -- you know, part of the discussions, fire chat, whatever you want to call. So that was a bit of my confusion here, how to express. And if we need to decide this now or if we can leave for...
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: This is not a firm or final decision. It was actually meant to be guidance as people go away and think about what's possible in structuring the main sessions. What everybody was saying, 90 minutes is too short. Three hours is too long. If people assume the two hours, can we work with that? Work with that. If people need less, great. If you need a little bit more, there's probably time to improve that. Given we have the flexibility of not three hours two-hour break, three hours, if we wanted additional time at the end of the day for longer sessions, I think we could accommodate that, too.
Really we're just trying to get the whole flexibility message out there so people had that as they thought through but definitely not stamping it now.
Timea, Timea Suto, you have the floor.
>>TIMEA SUTO: Thank you, Chair. I will try and cram in a couple of ideas into one because I have to leave for another session and then catch my train back home. So my apologies if this goes into tangential areas.
So on main session length, I want to second what you have just said here and what Ben has proposed. I think it was -- while everybody is making really good points on what was the purpose of the session, we really did feel last year that 80 -- it was practically 80 minutes because we had to stop and handing over the podiums -- was a bit too short. So maybe two hours, I could stand behind that.
I also like a couple of ideas that we heard in the past two days that I want to just lend support to, one of them being having a topping and tailing of the tracks. I think that's a very interesting, not-yet-tried format.
I'm wondering if we can pair that with another idea that we heard on Monday on breaking up the taking stock, the three-hour length open-mic session in a way that perhaps in the beginning have an opening plenary. We could even break out into the three tracks of parallel sessions, if we want to, for an hour and a half, two hours, and hear from the community what is it that they are proposing for the week ahead, what is it they want to see, what do they want to hear from, what they're looking at. And then do the same thing the last day as a taking stock that would be ended with a panel that would bring all of that together. Perhaps that would have a Tuesday morning-Friday evening configuration. In the meantime, in the middle, I do support having some main sessions that link into the theme. And if we're considering that, I also want to volunteer now, if it's necessary, to work on either of those. I have preference for the inclusion one if we do that.
And then the last point, I really want to just bring back what Ben was saying around discussing policy frameworks or a more holistic view on what we are trying to achieve because I think that would link up very nicely also with the panel, with also tying together the different tracks and really speak to what we're trying to do here, which is consider a variety of policy options and sort holistic approach to what the digital technologies and Internet governance are and where do those interact. So just a couple of points there. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: It was very helpful. Thank you. Thank you for commenting on some of the earlier proposals as well.
Paul Rowney, you have the floor.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you, Lynn. Firstly, I support everything that everybody said before me.
[ Laughter ]
And I just want to mention with regards to the timing -- and this is my thought, so I don't think we want the main sessions overshadowing the IGF and the workshops. So we want to make sure the people can attend the main sessions but also attend the workshops because that's where the more interesting stuff happens. Last year my experience was the main sessions were all over the place, so it was difficult to get any cohesion through the whole process. And I think that limited what people got out of it.
I think having the main sessions around 90 minutes or two hours is fine. I support that. Not three hours.
When we look at the three thematic main sessions, if we have them, I'm just wondering whether they should run in parallel rather than running after each other. Otherwise, people might hop between the main sessions and not actually get to the workshops. Just a thought. I don't know which way it would actually go. Because either they're going to be run consecutively or they're going to be run after each other. And if they are run after each other, that's a day plus the opening session. And then people are getting to less workshops. But that then forces people to select a thread or a theme to follow pretty much, which maybe is what we want to do. I don't know, but just putting it out there. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Paul. That's actually a really good point because, you're right. One of the other changes is likely that the opening ceremony and the opening session will be on the morning -- Tuesday morning, not Tuesday afternoon. So day one of the IGF, typically, all the opening formalities and the opening sessions have been in the afternoon. For various reasons they're going to be in the morning now.
So -- but even having said that, if we still do some opening sessions, VIP sessions -- I'm sorry, I'm getting tired. Struggling with "ceremony" and "sessions."
You are right, by the time we do -- if we do sequential main sessions for those tracks, it does start to move into the week a little bit, so we have to think about that.
Just to Raquel's earlier point, typically those main sessions have not been plenary sessions. There have been main sessions and workshops scheduled as well. Her suggestion was we not do that.
Yours might be a compromise where the only thing we have during that period of time are the three main sessions then.
The good news is it is forcing a kind of community view into those three sessions which is also nice, not having to make any harder trade-offs. I think it's something we'll keep in mind and keep thinking through.
Carlos, you have the floor.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Thank you. I'm looking at IGF Geneva and IGF Paris. IGF Geneva had 13 working themes, 13 tracks. And the main sessions, six main sessions, did not map the main themes. They were completely different in terms of titles. Of course, there was a treatment of the themes in the main sessions but not direct mapping of them.
In Paris, we had eight working themes and also several sessions. I think six or seven. Not necessarily mapping the themes, no? Curious. Interesting.
The main themes served basically as a reference for the workshops. We would certainly have more than three main sessions besides the opening and closing. Which ones would them be? Probably six because three days, one in the morning, one in the afternoon.
So we still have work to do in terms of defining the other ones besides the three ones related to the three main tracks, no?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So let me try to respond to that as much as I can and ask people to come in. I assume you meant "interesting" in the way that Ben didn't mean it earlier.
[ Laughter ]
[ Laughter ]
To answer the latter part of your question in terms of the number of main sessions, if we are going to two-hour sessions and we have flexibility with the interpreters, we can fit in more main sessions than we have in past years.
In the other main session slots, we also have a request from the national and regional youth IGF initiatives for a slot. We may or may not have a request from the dynamic coalitions for a slot as well. And the agreement -- the discussion was yesterday that those two efforts, in particular, and particularly the NRI, the interpretation is really helpful for them. They are a really global, diverse set of group at very local. So having a main session or a session in those rooms is critically important to them. So those are two of the other sorts of meetings that typically fill up a main slot.
And then with the opening session, last -- well, in Geneva, we actually had two main sessions turned over to the opening sessions because we didn't want, you know, what Chengetai calls the conveyer belt of speeches and instead we went to two high-level panels that each panel had a theme and they had a very small number of panelists and had some VIP people in the audience that they could call on and then it was opened up to the audience. So it was actually meant to get more of a discussion and a debate with some senior people around a theme rather than a conveyer belt of individual speeches. And we did that twice in Geneva.
And I think we only did it once in Paris. Maybe because of the shorter days. That's still something else we need to accommodate in the program as well.
And then we had the parliamentarian session which is one of the things that the German government is looking to support as well. Maybe we can say a few words on that at the appropriate time.
With that set of possibilities in front of us, including this evolution of Internet governance or policy frameworks or whatever Ben and Timea were -- that starts to fill it up pretty, pretty fully.
And I actually think in past years, the intent was that the main session did tie to the individual subthemes, so multiple subthemes might fit to the session. That's one year we had the technical, the business, kind of the policy, and I forgot what the fourth is. We had this kind of framework, and some of the subthemes fit up under each one. So there was -- there was meant to be a mapping, but it wasn't as clear and direct as we expect it to be this year. We had said earlier at this meeting that if our schedule doesn't have 13 different colors and tracks and has less, it's going to look, like, a little crazy, but people are going to feel that they can follow a subject matter or track and participate in that sense. And I think that will also be one of the other improvements people have been looking forward to.
Daniela, is there anything you want to add?
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you, Lynn.
Maybe on the question of having main sessions in parallel. In fact, I'm just trying to check that with Berlin. Because as far as I know so far, we had planned for having one room for main sessions, this room completely over the whole week from, say, 9:00 to 6:00 in the afternoon, with a lunch break. Right?
But then we have, of course, the effect that there will be workshops in parallel to the sessions; right? And I see the point you made that then that could be a problem for workshops to get people, because that work is done, and on the other hand, we want to have people in the main sessions; right?
So I'm trying to check to see if we can maybe switch that in a way.
Concerning the question on the parliamentarian session, I was reaching out with some of you already on the questions you had. And, in fact, I can't answer them all. But you have to know that it was basically our Parliament who was pushing very much the government to become host country for the IGF. That was very good, because it gave us the opportunity to have funding for the IGF. Right? And as you know, it's not cheap.
And that also, of course, raised a little bit of expectation that they have sort of rooms for their discussions as well.
And the other thing was that we have a committee on digital agenda issues in Germany, which is quite cross-cutting. And parliamentarians of that committee have been in Geneva and also in Paris. And in a way, they had the impression that, well, it's very interesting what's going on, but do we have the opportunity to exchange views with other parliamentarians from other regions? And I didn't really find a place to do that. And that brought up the idea of having such a session, then, in Berlin.
And I think due to the fact that while it was parliament who gave the money, we, as government, had the impression that of course we would have to support that. And I assume that we will need to have interpretation for that kind of session. That's why I think it will be good to reserve room for that session.
However, I can't tell you right now what exactly will be discussed there, because it will be organized by the parliamentarians, but it's meant to be a sort of a broad discussion on the future of Internet governance and the Internet, I assume a quite high-level, broad discussion, not very specific, and I would assume not even addressing the three themes we have -- we have for the MAG -- for the IGF now.
And concerning the rotation, maybe I come back to that point. I already mentioned that it will be probably the president of our Bundestag, Mr. Schauble, who will send out the invitation letters to other chiefs of parliaments. And I assume -- I don't know, but I assume our parliament has a kind of a diplomatic list of those people. And then, of course, it's up to every country and every parliament to decide who will come to Berlin; right? So in that sense, I also assume there could be a broad diversity of policymakers taking part in that session.
I hope that helps a little bit.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela.
I'll finish going through the queue, and then we can come back and see if there are any further questions on that.
So Jennifer, you have the floor.
>>JENNIFER CHUNG: Thank you, Chair.
I'm just trying to digest what Daniela told us about the parliamentarian session, which is very, very interesting to me. But I had a few points responding to colleagues earlier as well.
I would like to support also the topping and tailing of the sessions. I think it's very much -- I think we've been trying to do it for the past year and the year before, but due to some constraints, we weren't able to cohesively tie the whole program to the thematic direction that we are able to this year.
Raquel had a really good point about, you know, the -- you know, what are we hoping to achieve in each session? Therefore, then we can think of (indiscernible). I also take note of our colleagues who said 80 minutes is too short, three hours is too long, and two hours would be probably better.
Paul had a good point about trying to get the main sessions in parallel. I'm sure, Daniela, you're trying to find out if that's even possible.
I'm thinking -- and I'm just thinking out loud here, because I'm trying to digest how this would actually happen for people who are participating. We're kind of forcing them to choose their own adventure already. So you can't really pick and choose. If you're interested in two themes, well, tough luck, you have to choose one. But I don't know how this will play out.
What I really want to focus on is the tailing part, the wrapping up.
I guess I can only say, from personal experience, for the AP IGF, we have the opening plenary, and we do have a closing plenary where we do take from each theme kind of rapporteur-type wrapping up of the main issues and key themes that are talked about. I would caution us to not turn that into a reporting-out session. I don't know how -- I'm not really sure right now how this will look. I would like to volunteer to help us develop it. But in a way, I think having the different main sessions, both in Geneva and Paris, were very (indiscernible). If it turns into kind of just reports out of what happened this past week, it may not be as useful as a takeaway, and it might -- if we're doing it three times for each theme, that might be taking up a lot of the time and resources.
I'd like to support very much the -- the idea that Timea kind of tied up together, where we break up the taking stock from the end and also we have it in the beginning so we can know what people want to say. So I'd like to really support that. I think that's very important.
I think that's probably what it is. I'm still trying to react to the information that you were saying about the parliamentarians.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jennifer. And really look forward to any kind of advice or additional information you can give us with respect to what you've seen work well in terms of some of the closing sessions or wrapping up or rapporteur. So we'll just keep moving that forward. I know there are a lot of different models that have been used, and trying to find the one that works best for all of us.
Mary Uduma. Mary, you have the floor.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you for giving me the floor, Chair.
First, like Paul, I want to support all that has been said. And in addition, Jennifer has made a lot of positive and valuable comments. And I wanted to share as well that in our own NRI, we start with plenary. We do plenary, and we break out, because we don't have much funding, so we do one day, and we go to parallels. And at the end, we come back together to do plenary, and each lead of the -- of the breakout session comes, you know, summarizes what the recommendations are. If there are questions, then we take questions.
So I like the heading -- the heading and tailing. But maybe the tailing will be done the last day, not the -- not every day. That's the way I think we should look at it, so that they will not consume time. And also, it will not be boring for the participants. So I think that is it.
And, again, the question of straitjacketing them into three, it doesn't matter, because people would have had -- we've already said we are looking at three themes, and people would have understood that the participants would have read that on our Web site and know that that's where we're going and they would have made up their minds which one they want to go with if we run all of them parallel. If we segment them, that's fine by me.
But those are things that we have used and have worked for us.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's very interesting, Mary. And absolutely support your comment about making sure that the closing session is interesting. And I think some people have said not just a series of report read-outs. If we can actually get a dialogue and a debate and a discussion going in terms of, you know, what did we all learn and how did it help, what will we do next? Who else could we pull in? Where could some of this work go? Then that's a session that clearly would advance the work but everybody feels that they're contributing to and would support the outreach and sorts of activities that we've all said we want to foster. So I think we can keep it interesting. Another good point.
Markus Kummer, you have the floor.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you, Lynn.
And allow me to start with a linguistic flashback. The very first MAG in 2006 decided, let's call them main sessions "main sessions" and not plenaries, because "plenaries" sounds too much like a U.N. meeting.
And also, they said, we don't talk about audience, we talk about participants, because we want them to be active participants and not just there to sit and listen, as "audience" implies.
But I asked for the floor in my capacity as cofacilitator for the dynamic coalitions. Their main concern is that they are given a slot for each dynamic coalition. The traditional slot, they used to have 90 minutes. And that doesn't seem to be a problem as this time we don't seem to have room constraints in Berlin.
So if that can be guaranteed, then the second wish would be to have a main session -- and we have this (audio problem) that in the past immediately in Paris, even at the meeting, should the dynamic coalitions ask for a common thematic slot. But they have not come to a conclusion yet. The other option would be, as they did in Geneva, to have a main session where they each kind of presented their work. But it was done very cleverly, with a very dynamic moderator in Geneva, and it worked. But given the fact that they are increasing and have by now 18 sessions, this is actually quite difficult if we try to have a coherent session with each of their themes. So a common theme might be a better option. And also an option could be that they rally behind one of the main themes, where they have contributions to make.
So that is obviously up to the discretion of the MAG if there's room for a common -- common thematic sessions for the DCs. Another option could be to invite them proactively to contribute to the thematic sessions. When I think about inclusion, for instance, for the -- the DC for the people with accessibility would be able to make excellent contribution to that session. We have the dynamic coalition on IoT, for instance, could contribute to the data session. So there are various options.
But to conclude, also, it would be helpful for the dynamic coalition to have a session where they can have more internal-looking, their own housekeeping, compare notes, which obviously would not need interpretation, but just the usual audio, microphone facilities will be helpful for such a session.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Markus. And thank you for pointing out the "audience." I actually used it once or maybe twice this morning. And I hate the word, I didn't want to use it when I used it, but I could not get my mind wrapped around the "participants" word. I was just too tired. So thank you for reminding me of the word. I actually always try to be really careful about that.
One thing that just kind of -- probably a half-ASS thought, frankly, but with the dynamic coalitions, is there any opportunity to have them -- somebody made the comment this morning saying this whole IGF is a network of networks, when we talk about network of networks, what does that mean in terms of the HLPDC report, for instance. I wonder if there's an opportunity to do anything with the DCs who clearly are networks? And I think trying to be a network of networks. Certainly the NRIs are networks and working towards and are -- that's a (indiscernible) say again -- are a network of networks.
Whether or not there's something we could draw together in terms of what makes a successful network of networks or what are some of the success factors or -- I don't know. I mean, it was just -- as I said, it was kind of a half-ass thought. But maybe there's -- maybe that's kind of a common theme which starts to look at some of these new governance models or policy models or framework models, consistent with sort of something Ben said earlier.
>>MARKUS KUMMER: If I may, yes, I think that's an excellent suggestion, and I'm happy to take it back also to the dynamic coalition to see whether it is of interest to them, which would be an innovative contribution, I think, and which could actually work.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you.
Jennifer Chung. Jennifer, you have the floor.
>>JENNIFER CHUNG: Thank you, Chair. And sorry for taking the floor again so soon. I realize I forgot one idea that I wanted to share with the MAG.
In previous years, other colleagues, I think probably Miguel Ignacio, a former MAG member, has mentioned before, since this year we are very fortunate to have Germany as our host and also the increased resources, which means there could be more time and space for other ideas, I remember ideas were floated last year and probably previous years as well, about leaving some space for emerging issues and topics that may come up.
I don't know how this might look. I don't know if it's going to be a main session or track or just some space for people to be able to discuss this. Because looking at the timetable, you know, by June, we will have the schedule, we'll have scored all the workshops, the open forums, all of that would be pretty much set. But from June to November, that's a long time for the Internet to, you know -- there could be other issues that pop up, things that people want to talk about in this context, and I think it might be a really good idea to leave some space for this in whatever form it might appear.
And the second thing is, I know also, just reacting also from what Daniela said about the legislators, parliamentarians' roundtable, I know it's still under a lot of development and you don't really know what it looks like, but in the end, if it was possible to be an open one, I think a lot of people would be very, very interested to see this kind of discussion happen in whatever way, shape, or form it does.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jennifer. So I think emerging issues in terms of leaving some room, that was bringing back the ghost of Ignacio, which is an important idea, we also, kind of, again, in the group, were just kind of, you know, ad hoc'ing here around lunchtime, said maybe there's even an opportunity to leave some workshop rooms available for community meetings or other sorts of meetings.
Want to come back to two things. Want to come back to parliamentarians in a moment. And also the fact that we need to at some point very quickly decide on how many kind of concurrent workshop sessions we're going to run. Typically, we've had ten or 11 in past years. There's been, you know, one or two in the room here dissenters, but otherwise, really kind of a clear direction that that's too many, that we need to do less.
I think we need to figure out what less looks like. If people have thoughts on that, I don't know if that's sort of six, seven, or eight, or it's six, plus we expect that there's a combination of DC and NRI, which might be kind of under the community meetings or something, which is a seventh track. But we need to -- we need to determine that quite quickly, because that will determine the number of workshops we're actually looking for out of each one of the tracks.
And if you do the math in terms of the four days we used to have and ten or 11 tracks, we were probably looking at roughly 100 workshops that we were assigning. We could be looking at -- I don't know -- 70 or something now, which is a -- it's a different number. We're not going from 100 to 90 with reduced tracks.
So if there are any thoughts on that, we should come back to that in a moment.
And then with the parliamentarians, I personally very much like the idea of bringing the parliamentarians. As I said, earlier, I think also there was an approach by the (indiscernible) for European regulators to -- some of the regulators were interested in. I mean, these are some of the communities we wanted to get in. So we need to find a way that works for us and works for them. And if there's a little bit of kind of hand-holding up-front so they understand who we are as a community, how to interface with us and how to deal with us and talk amongst themselves, you know, personally, I think that's fine.
As I said yesterday, every one of the other stakeholder groups hold delegation meetings. Countries hold delegation meetings in the morning. The business community holds delegation meetings in the morning. The technical community doesn't that much. But there's nothing wrong about communities actually talking amongst themselves and holding meetings amongst themselves to get their own set of work done. This is meant to be of value and use to them.
So I think we need to find a way that kind of respects that and very much respects the IGF and the multistakeholder in the open. We wouldn't want somebody to come use the venues and leave. If they come and have meetings and participate robustly over the week in our sessions, I think that's great. We need to find a way to make that work.
I will also point out there's a fine difference between we make day zero premises available for free for an entire day to, for instance, GIGAnet which we all that was a really, important, useful, valuable thing to do. And some of them stay and attend the IGF, but I don't know that most of them or many of them do.
But it was a nice set of inputs into the IGF for those that did say and it was kind of a community service, if you will, for a group of people that do really good work, that this was a useful meeting point, venue for them.
And I know in lots of other communities, I know the technical community will sometimes meet around an ICANN meeting or meet around an IETF meeting. So, you know, we all travel a lot and they all try and take advantage of where there's some kind of constellation of people to do some other meetings that facilitate work.
So having said all that, I want to be really clear it needs to work for the IGF and fit in the IGF for sure. I don't think anybody is suggesting anything different. But I really do hope everybody is being flexible in terms of thinking about how we do that.
It might mean even in the front of the session -- front of the IGF meeting, there's a session with, in this case, the parliamentarian to maybe discussion one or two issues that they're interested in. Maybe poll them ahead of time. Maybe get a couple of experts in and talk to them about that so there's some linkage between. If you just kind of invite them and say disperse and go, I don't think we're creating any -- any real connection. So if we can get them connected, get them connected personally, get them connected to the topics, then I think they'll stay, they'll participate, they'll bring more people in.
In this instance, I would personally, just my own personal capacity, be really interested in trying to find something that was of use for them, worked for them, and fit within the IGF community and benefited the work of the IGF ecosystem. And the same thing with the regulators, if we can make something work there. There's been no real discussion. It was just an offer, and we said we'll come back after this week.
We have Danko on the floor. We will go to Danko. And if there is anything you want to say or add to this, Daniela.
>>DANKO JEVTOVIC: Thank you, Lynn. Just short comment. First of all, I would like to say I agree very much with what you have said just now.
I would like to step back for a moment. The IGF is overwhelming for new participants that come. So it is good to have less sessions in parallel. But I was also thinking while we were speaking here about the idea to have the main sessions in parallel because if you come and you are not really prepared to all this overwhelming majority of work groups, what are you going to do? You're going to go to the main sessions.
If all of them are happening at the same time, then you will have to choose which might be good. But, on the other hand, it might be bad because those newcomers will not have the overview of the main themes we are discussing.
So I see the value a bit in the way how it was done earlier to have the main sessions not in parallel but the opportunity for newcomers. So that's it. Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Danko.
Maybe we just start in on Wednesday, I guess, which would be day two of the IGF and we just have three sequentially. So don't know if we have them in plenary sessions or other workshops. But if we literally just had the three of them sequentially, that gets them all in on the first day. It means we're not looking for anything special with room requirements. And as you say, they're not having to choose between those initial sessions.
So I think there's lots of options and lots of flexibility and really appreciate all the suggestions. So keep them coming.
Daniela, did you have anything? And then I'll come to you, Roman.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Only to your question, Lynn, about how many sessions in parallel. There was a short discussion earlier and I think there was a very good suggestion because, I mean, when I came to the IGF, I was really overwhelmed by, like, I don't know, 20 -- I mean, I found 20 colors when looking at the timetable and I think that was very confusing.
So I think having now three themes, in my view, would help a lot, especially for newcomers if you would have only three colors. And that answers that question.
And then there was the suggestion that we could have maybe in parallel the three themes and for each theme two different sorts of sessions.
>>MARIA PAZ CANALES: I think Daniela was referring to my suggestion. Maria Paz Canales, civil society. I was suggesting that maybe there was a way to manage these in a way that will accommodate different type of participant and different level of engagement with the topic is to have maybe to have just two sessions in parallel but with different format. For example, the ones that are pointing out to, like, bring the discussion about the specific issue in one of the theme tracks, and the other one more devoted to a format, I don't know, panel or whatever format with a more deeper discussion that assumed that the participants in the session will have already like a little bit more of knowledge to bring to the conversation.
So in that way, it will keep the unity of the themes but at the same time accommodate different level of engagement or perspectives in the intended outcome of the sessions.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thanks, Maria, for the clarification.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that's a good suggestion too. Roman, you have the floor.
>>ROMAN CHUKOV: Dear colleagues, I would really like to support many ideas. And main sessions is a really good way from one point of view for newcomers to get involved. But at the same time, it would be great to plan them as a good kick start for workshop work. So, for instance -- so there are several models how we can operate during the main sessions.
First, we can invite really, really big stakeholders there. For instance, like founder of one of the largest social media in the world or one of the founders of the Internet, yes, and ask them to choose some really cool moderator to ask them provocative questions or to ask them questions from the workshops. So that's -- the attendees of the workshops can already not start from scratch but also comment on something they just heard from the really, really big and important players. So this is one of the questions.
What I really don't want to see is some sort of lecture instead of main session where people simply give presentation about the amazing organizations or simply tell us how the Internet functions, which is also really important for newcomers but there is a special session for newcomers, which I attended in 2010. It was very informative and very good.
Second aspect I wanted to mention is wrapping-up sessions which Daniela also mentioned before. I really would like to support this idea. And there I would already recommend to invite rapporteurs or moderators of our workshops so they can very briefly formulate what has been discussed and achieved there. And maybe this can be the basis for further, let's say, output document or, like, final call to action of the forum, depending on what our host country will decide to conclude and come forward with. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Roman. Good comments.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: Thank you. Nebojsa Regoje, Bosnia and Herzegovina government.
When it comes to the parallel workshop sessions, I find it really one of the values of IGF that I can choose really workshop that I want to listen. And if we have only five parallel sessions, I'm not sure that it will be the case.
Last year in Paris, even it happened that there were sometimes where I didn't really find workshop that would be my cup of tea, which was okay because I would have time to chat around, see the village and go around the booths.
And depending on the space which is not that limited but close to unlimited, I would suggest we really don't limit ourselves when it comes to the number of parallel workshop sessions. Of course, it's not likely to have 20 but I think ten would be an appropriate number.
When it comes to the main sessions, if we are not limited with this translation system, then why we wouldn't immediately kind of make a rough schedule to have each day, except maybe first and last -- maybe first day to have in the morning plenary, really plenary with an opening ceremony, and the one main maybe -- let's call it, high-level main session, opening session and then in the afternoon to have one main session and each other day to have three main sessions each lasting for two hours. And then the last day to have open mic and the closing session with the closing ceremony.
When it comes to the topics of these main sessions, I think there will be enough interest for that. We would have probably national and regional initiatives, dynamic coalitions. We will have these main three streams that we advocate. Probably there will be some other interest, if not from High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation, and why not, of course, suggest, not request, from German Bundestag to have one of the main sessions with the legislators also included in the main program of IGF.
And definitely I think when it comes to the main sessions, they should not go in parallel. And I'm not sure even that space would allow that. So I think we shouldn't bother to mention parallel main sessions anymore.
So I think once, when we see actually what would be the real interest for the main sessions theme-wise, we can see if maybe somebody would need not two hours but one and a half hours and somebody would need maybe three hours. I don't know. Dynamic coalitions, Mark, maybe you wanted to have three hours. I don't know.
And that's just to see if there is three slots of two hours to have or to distribute it in some other way. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Nebojsa. I think those are all good comments.
And the whole purpose of this discussion was to have people understand kind of the full frame and some of the possibilities within it but not to conclude now because we don't have enough information in front of us.
So I think whether or not we have parallel main sessions is still on the table. I think there's no reason to take it off at this point in time. And maybe they're sequential, as we say.
I think pretty much through much of the day we would be having main sessions, which is one of your points. So I think that's covered.
So I think that's fine. I think we need to come back to the number of tracks. So we heard really consistently for years now that 10 to 11 tracks is too many, that it disperses the interest.
We actually had already formally agreed last year from the MAG that there would be less tracks. We moved away from that when we lost day zero and we lost one of the days of the MAG meeting. So I think we need to come to conclusion on that. It would be great if we could do that today. If not, we can take it probably to the call we have in a week and a half time. But we need to close on that in the next week or two, not four weeks from now, because it affects the workshops.
I don't know if people -- we have a few more people in the queue to come to in just a moment. The things we want to get through, we wanted another discussion on the overall meeting title or theme. Daniela, Germany, has gone away and thought about some of the suggestions. Just kind of recap that here.
We probably only need maybe 15 or 20 minutes maybe for the briefing on the state of the preparations because some of it has been covered today.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: (off microphone).
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Chengetai says.
We have a little bit of extra time in the agenda in terms of the things we need to get through.
So let me go to the people in the queue. If you have an opinion on how many concurrent workshops we should have, it would be good if you could mention that at the same time so we keep these things moving along in parallel.
Chenai, you put your -- so I'll stay with the queue then, Chenai, if you don't mind.
So, Paul Rowney, you have the floor.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you, Lynn. Paul Rowney.
I just want to clarify when we're talking about running the main sessions in parallel, we only meant -- talking about the three themes, so topping them off at the same time basically and closing them down at the same time, but the other main sessions will happen throughout the whole three days.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: View on number of concurrent workshops so we can try to move that in parallel with these other comments?
Chenai, Chenai, you have the floor.
>>CHENAI CHAIR: Thank you very much, Chair. I'll start with your last question on view on number of concurrent workshops.
I think my experience attending IGFs is always that you actually are responsible for developing what session you're going to attend to and trying to figure out how best to either connect through the report on the other session that you missed out, if you really are interested in it.
Because my only concern, if we scaled back on parallel sessions, does that also mean we scale back on decisions that will be approved throughout the workshop? In my simple mind, it sounds like if we do six an hour, it also impacts on how many sessions are going to be slotted in a time, and I could be wrong. That's also the thing I was thinking about.
And then the point I wanted to add on to in the previous discussions were around the main sessions and to follow especially on the thematic sessions, the three themes. Assuming if the three themes are getting a full day, they'll probably get about two to two and a half hours or three hours. Also to avoid the idea of them being -- ended up being a lecture or a performance show for some people who have power through to actually then make sure there is maximum about 45 minutes or an hour, depending on what each session will be allocated, for a town hall discussion so that everyone can actually have their point raised. Because I think oftentimes moderators then save the last 30 minutes and then only two people get to speak because everybody wants to be an extra panelist on the floor.
So perhaps thinking about a town hall format in that regards of the thematic sessions. That's the one suggestion.
And then the other suggestion, I think Jennifer had raised a point around the topics that emerged three months after we've closed the window and then the next big thing happens.
So I was thinking would that -- if we open up that discussion of having time allocated or a slot allocated to emerging topics, would that then require a formal application process towards the end, if it means an organizer is just saying is there anything formal? Or do we set it up as the community that's already gathered there, if they have something they want to say, then we establish maybe at the end of the day or over lunch. And I think this was done in Mexico, Brazil, but I'm not quite sure how the process was.
But actually have a -- you take the MAG or a lightning talk or a fire chat -- a fire chat where literally someone has five minutes to pitch an idea and people who are interested and then they can come together and collaborate and talk about it more. Because I think sometimes with the emerging topics is actually about trying to find out -- to say what's happening and to find out if other people would be interested in working with you on that topic and then you can build it up from there. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chenai. A number of good points.
Let me try to hit them quickly before we go to Mary so we don't forget.
I think lightning talks is really interesting, and we have had them the last few years and I am assuming we are intending to have them this year as well. I think they have tended to be invited as a result of workshops that were interesting but maybe not fully thought out. So I assume we're still thinking of lightning sessions.
What was the one? I will have to go back and look at the transcript in a moment. There was something I wanted to come back to that is pretty much -- what I wrote down is "standard operating practice" but we're not documenting it anywhere but I can't remember what the topic was.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: How long were the sessions?
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I'll come back to that in a moment.
The birds of a feather that you were sort of describing at the end was one of the things -- so in addition to the less concurrent tracks, less concurrent workshops, the parallel discussion that as people have said it would be nice to have more free time around the margins of the IGF because there are other side meetings you want to have and people want to meet and we just don't have time or we end up meeting at 7:00 for breakfast or something, which means the week is fairly exhausting.
So one of the notions around -- we were even asked at some point not to schedule anything over the lunchtime because it was at least it was lunchtime and people could really be sure to be free to go set up meetings.
If, in fact, we had lesser concurrent workshop sessions, we would actually look at making some rooms available for community sessions,
kind of ad hoc, pickup community sessions which in some communities are called birds of a feather where they do just that. They make a facility available to say, I'm kind of interested in this topic or I'm interested in this problem or seeing this interesting thing emerge. If there is anybody who would like to kind of brainstorm around this, let's meet here. That would be a nice, I think, kind of community service and maybe an idea generator, just so everybody is aware.
One of your points was -- does that reduce the number of workshops obviously. And the answer is yes. We need to remember that last year -- and last year may have been a little bit different because it was slightly abbreviated. But in most years, we have roughly 200 meetings at an IGF meeting. Take the mic.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Just looking at the statistics for 2017 when we had a total program, we had a total of 260 sessions, where these 260 sessions are main sessions, lightning sessions which are shorter, 30-minute sessions but we had 99 workshops, 45 open forums, four individual best practice forum sessions and 15 individual DC sessions. Those are the main sessions.
Just to comment on whether or not we should have big breaks within the program for people to meet, one of the things that we do do when we go on the venues is that usage of the venue, because, remember, if we have a break, we are still paying for all the rooms. We're still paying for all the manpower, all the equipment, webcasting, the whole lot. So there is an assessment of the usage that we do of this equipment and to see whether or not we are being efficient with that usage. So we do have to balance that out as well.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai.
Chenai, one of your other questions was, I think the assumption is that with the three themes, they would not just get one day. There was a series of calculations, those three themes would be spread over the entire -- entire IGF.
And the town hall idea is interesting, and we can address that later.
I'll go back through and look. If you think there's something I didn't answer, then please remind me. I was just trying to follow and lost track.
Mary Uduma. Mary, you have the floor.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you. Mary Uduma, for the record.
Most of the things I wanted to say have by said. The only one I want to stress is that my first IGF was very enjoyable, because I had variety. And IGF will not be IGF if we try to constrain and limit it. We should allow people -- We have WSIS and so many workshops running parallel you can go. It doesn't matter whether the number is high or low, but what comes out of the session is the most important thing. The key message, the recommendation, what people take home.
So I think I want to say that at least as much as possible, and in language that Chengetai has said, I think we should not restrict -- now that we have facilities, why not make good use of them? That's one.
And I want to support Lynn on this primer or self-server plant spontaneous meeting and the (indiscernible) meeting. I think it will also occupy our resources and our spaces, and people can also enjoy that. And that's the IGF I know.
Inasmuch as we are trying to -- what we are trying to avoid is the same topic in several places, that's what we have...
But as for to have the parallels, I don't think we should restrict the parallels. I think we should do as much as we have been doing.
What happened last year is an aberration. Because last year was different from others. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Last year was the same as it's always been, but it wasn't what the MAG actually asked for. Last year, we had ten or 11 parallel sessions, where earlier in the year, the MAG had actually said they were moving to less parallel sessions. We chose not to because losing Day Zero and losing a day of the IGF meant we would have been -- we would have lost too much. But we had, actually, made the decision last year to have less -- less parallel sessions. And that's still in front of us, I guess.
I mean, one of the things we did here loud and clear from some parts of the community was that there were too many parallel sessions, that the participation was watered down and too much redundancy. So we're trying to find kind of a happy middle ground where we still have all the richness of the IGF, that we have a cohesive, focused agenda, which everybody said was needed and the MAG agreed on earlier this year, and a format that keeps, I guess, the maximum amount of people happy. So --
>>MARY UDUMA: I think the concern is redundancy, not necessarily the number of parallel sessions. I think that's what we should work against. Inasmuch as we said it last year and we're looking at, you know, repeat -- redundant topics, I think that should also be a concern.
I am not against our cutting the number of parallel tracks. If we have 3,000 attendees and we have ten and we don't have large rooms to contain the ten, because if you divide 300 by -- 3,000 by ten, you know the number of people that will have. So those are the things that -- do we have (indiscernible) rooms, like have ten that will contain 300 people and above? So those are things we should take into consideration.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary. And totally agree that one of the concerns about the number of tracks was the redundancy. Totally agree that was a key consideration.
Miguel, you have the floor.
>>MIGUEL CANDIA IBARRA: Thank you very much, Chair. Miguel Candia, for the record.
A lot of the topics I was going to touch, they were already just spoken in this back and forth you had with Mary, so I will just support Mary on the expressions of concerns about redundancy and the number.
It is true we decided last year to have less parallel tracks. And in this scenario, wouldn't the total number of proposals that are accepted play a role in deciding how many are going to be parallel?
And one other thing I wanted to say before forgetting is that, are we considering inviting or bringing high-level officials -- high-level U.N. officials into the high-level panels? For example, the ILO is turning 100 years now, and they have a strong work on -- Telework on eLabor. So maybe we have could have -- invite Guy Ryder, for example. I'm touching on this, because last year, when the Secretary-General of UNESCO -- or director-general, I'm not sure about the name -- but she was there, and it was a very interesting voice to hear. So maybe we could, you know, in every -- in every year have someone from a different or a specialized organization that we can say is interesting at the time invited.
So those are my comments.
Thank you, Lynn.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Miguel. They're very interesting comments.
I'll turn to Deniz and see if he has anything to add to your very first question. Normally, what happens is the number of workshops are determined by kind of the rooms available. But that's not necessarily -- again, that gave us some of the input we've had over the last few -- over the last few years.
Any -- any thoughts on...
>>DENIZ SUSAR: Of course. Yeah, yeah. I mean, IGF is open to everyone. So if you find a relevant -- and if you find their presence relevant, why not? It's up to you. And if you need our help to reach out to them, we are there.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Deniz.
Danko, you have the floor.
>>DANKO JEVTOVIC: I think that we discussed the number of parallel tracks before we knew what the venue would be in Paris, so we kind of went in that direction. So now we have this fantastic opportunity with the venue in Berlin. But still I think the reasons are there. So I would vote for reducing the number of sessions in parallel.
And I have a proposal: The number seven. Not only because there are "Game of Thrones" with seven religions, but also looking to Greek mythology, seven hills of Rome, seven daughters of Atlas. And so I'll end this reading of this line before I come to the seven sins. So thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Danko, that was great. And thank you for the concrete suggestion as well.
I don't know if there's anybody else who wants to comment on that specifically, the topic being views on the concurrent number of workshops.
We can, you know, let that discussion sit for a bit and see what we get in terms of workshop proposals and the number of submissions we get by theme. Or we can go for closure now on -- and move forward on Danko's proposal of seven. I'm not sure at the end of the day it would only be seven workshops that would be full at that point in time in any case. Because if we think six of those or seven of those are workshops per se, I don't know what that says for things such as the DC meetings or some of the other meetings that are there. So we're still, you know, taking advantage of the space, if you will. But I'm trying to think of what's actually in the program.
I don't know if Chengetai or Eleonora or anybody can help or add any additional insight into what's in those numbers or those tracks, that would be.
>>ELEONORA MAZZUCCHI: Thanks, Lynn. I think you had it right. I mean, the other sessions that could be happening outside of, let's say, the seven could be a DC session or maybe some sessions that we've also characterized as, quote, unquote, other, you know, book launches, awards ceremonies, events that don't have a specific thematic focus.
So those could be other sessions that are taking advantage of the space that is potentially being unused.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Eleonora.
Chengetai, is there something you want to -- I think what she's saying in the other sessions classified, we had, for instance, 24 lightening sessions, which aren't the sessions we typically count in terms of what we're responsible for in that sense. We make the rooms -- I think this is true -- we make the rooms available. There's an offer made to those people who had submitted some workshops that were thought interesting but not fully ready, and they can take them up or not take them up.
Is that what you were pointing towards?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yeah. That's it.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I don't know why you're not speaking.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: It's my leg room. I have to go back, and then I have to go forward. But it's okay.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: That's the only exercise any of us are getting these days.
[ Laughter ]
So, I mean, we have -- so, objectively speaking, I think we have on the table in front of us is an expectation from -- and I would have said a fairly significant number of MAG members, that we had less than ten concurrent workshop sessions, no matter kind of space consideration, et cetera, but more because of wanting to ensure that we had a focused program. One of the objections we had was people just said there are just too many sessions.
Is there support for going to seven? If it's not seven, is there a concrete proposal before?
And, again, I want to make sure -- I know we all appreciate having broad choice, but, honestly, I'm going to say this a little directly, we're not doing this for ourselves. We really need to listen to input we're getting from other parts of the community and community members and try and assess that as best we can.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: Just quickly, if we reduce by three to seven, and if we have four time slots per day, in four days, we are denying 50, approximately, workshops, reducing the number.
If that is not in the interest of broader community, okay. I mean, I don't mind having seven, as such. But just giving another illustration of what does it mean to reduce from ten to seven. That means 50 workshop proposals less for four days.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, basically, 30% less, yeah.
So -- But the problem always comes in June, when you want to draw that line, where do you draw that line. And then if we agree seven here, are you going to stick to it in June.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Yeah. I mean, that's -- most of those are an hour long or 90-minute-long sessions. Do we have a call for slightly more time in the sessions? Are people okay with --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, there are various session lengths. If you go to the workshop proposal form, from 30 minutes to 90 minutes, so...
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Do we have any kind of overriding sense of people would like instead of 30 minutes, 60 minutes, or instead of 60, 90, and that that would be a useful extension of time, or no, or no sense?
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: I -- based on my experience, it seems that most workshop proposers go for a 90-minute session. And I -- I would leave this to Eleonora or Chengetai to correct. But I think the flash sessions, for example, are 30 minutes.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: 90 minutes, I have to say, feels probably like the right length and it's a substantive topic and we want community engagement. So I -- I just wanted to make sure there wasn't some kind of unmet need for an extension in terms of time for the workshops.
All right. How do we close on this?
Do you want to try and go forward with some -- some direction? And I don't know if that's seven or eight maybe, if we're on that end.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: Maybe --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I have five people in the queue.
>>NEBOJSA REGOJE: Just briefly, maybe we wait until we see how many really good-quality proposals we have, and then we decide. If we need to have a bigger chunk of proposals accepted, we go for more parallels. If we judge that there is sufficient number with lesser number of parallel sessions, we go for lesser.
So let's think about that and leave it until Berlin.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. That's a proposal, one of a couple on the table here.
Maria, you have the floor.
>>MARIA PAZ CANALES: Thank you, Lynn.
Yeah, I was just trying to understand clearly, when we are saying this magic number of concurrent proposal, we are referring exclusively to the ones that will come out of the workshop proposal review. So we are not considering other -- for example, Jennifer proposed a while ago keep space for upcoming topics during the year or we have the other format, the DC, the different other format of work.
Because I think that it's very relevant if we think in of number of seven, I would that I it makes sense on the idea of not having more than two concurrent sessions in the same theme with two different formats, which is six, and keep all the time the alternative of leaving one space for other topic different that comes from these other buckets. And that sounds something that can be reasonable.
Although I also agree that we can see, after we review the proposal, how much we get of high quality and if there is an appetite for increasing that. But that could be a starting point that later could be reviewed, something like that.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Maria.
Miguel, you have the floor.
>>MIGUEL CANDIA: Thank you, Lynn. I forgot what I was going to say. Give me a second.
I favor seven workshops at the same time, I mean, because looking at what the program would look like, when you choose what you are going to do in that hour particularly, you will have more than seven choices. You will have the workshops and the other activities.
And so I say we can take seven and put it in pencil, not on a rock, and use it as a guideline.
I would go for that because, otherwise, the program is already hectic and for newcomers very hard to follow.
I remember the first time I attended the IGF, I was overwhelmed. Not so much anymore because I already know how it works. But first- or second-year attendees suffer a bit. And it's really hard to explain the agenda to others. Maybe we can take that into account.
Maybe one other small question, request to Daniela, is to keep in mind that aside from every single thing we put on the program, normally in this kind of scenarios that we have so many people together that you're going to have bilaterals.
So please take into account small rooms for bilaterals. That's it. Thank you, Lynn.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Miguel.
Mary, Mary Uduma.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you. Mary Uduma for the record. I want to support Nebojsa, what he has said.
Can we finalize this in June when we will know the quality and number of workshops we have? Because if we do it now, if we take a decision now, we're going to return it in Berlin in June. Can we just conclude that when we finish our evaluation, please? Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary. I will take the rest of the comments and then come to the floor.
Paul Rowney, you have the floor.
>>PAUL ROWNEY: Thank you, Lynn. Paul Rowney. I'm going to echo what has already been said.
I agree with Nebojsa. I apologize if I mispronounce the name. But we don't normally agree, but I agree with this.
[ Laughter ]
I don't think we have the information to make this decision right now.
I do like the idea that came from Maria about having two parallels per thematic track and not trying to get beyond that. Again, I'm saying we can't really make a call right now. And I do like the number seven.
[ Laughter ]
But, again, I don't think we have enough information. I think we need to defer this decision for the next meeting. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Paul.
Kenta, Kenta, you have the floor.
>>KENTA MOCHIZUKI: Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. Actually -- sorry, I'm Kenta Mochizuki, MAG member for business sector for the record. Thank you very much.
Regarding the discussion on parallel workshops, I agree with Nebojsa, Paul, and others.
My simple opinion is that the problem is not about the number of workshops but what kind of workshops are in parallel. So I would like to propose to discuss how to orchestrate selected workshops into parallel slots after workshop selection process and after the venue, like the number of rooms, is confirmed. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Kenta.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: Thank you, Chair. And so I'm sorry I was late on the draw with the floor request there.
But I appreciate all the questions that have been aired here and given Danko's explanation, number seven is almost unassailable.
[ Laughter ]
But I would like to -- just thinking about the three themes, though -- so number seven is an odd number. So if we have three themes that it might mean -- I guess I wonder if we want to have the same number of sessions for each theme per day is one consideration. I don't have an opinion. I'm just raising it.
And then another question that might be useful to think about before Berlin -- our Berlin meeting, is are we going to draw evenly from all of the workshop proposals across each theme? Or are the workshop proposals going to be assessed in relation to the volume and scored for other themes?
For example, if we get all -- you know, a significant number of workshop proposals, I'm just wondering if they will all be even. So I just wanted to put that out there for consideration. Thank you.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Susan. Good -- good questions.
I think, where the room was earlier -- and we have to wait until we actually see -- was that we certainly aren't just out of the box saying we're going to for a third, a third, a third; that we actually want to see what comes in for workshop proposals. That's one indication in terms of where the community's interest is.
And I think another one, of course, is kind of the relative quality of the track we can put together. We might have a lot of workshops in one and maybe they're all the same topic and we decide that we don't need five of that. There's one or so.
I think there's a qualitative assessment that the MAG needs to do. But I think probably the right way to say it is the opening principle is that it will look something roughly like the allocation of workshops we get in by theme. So if the security theme is heavily, heavily, heavily subscribed and there's a really good set of quality workshops and things, there's probably going to be more of those in the program than the other two. But I think, again, that needs to be kind of a qualitative.
And when everybody says "figure out what the ranking is," we sometimes have to go to the second decimal point to actually get to a difference in the ranking. I'm not sure the ranking -- if we have a lot of good ones, we will just put them all in. I'm not sure that's a difference. We have been mostly up in the 4s, I think, against a maximum of 5 for the ones that make it into the workshop proposals. Maybe it was 3.8 or 3.9, I'm not sure. But, you know, we're not going to the bottom half of the proposals to try and find some and pull them up. We do get a lot of good proposals.
I think we can -- and I want to make sure people aren't conflating things. When we say seven or eight tracks, we probably only had before seven or eight tracks or workshops specific and then the rest were open forums or a DC or a NRI session or something. And that's how we get to the 10 or 11 tracks.
So I think we need to maybe a little bit more thought or analysis with the secretariat in terms of if we wanted the total tracks to be something in, I don't know, a range of eight or something so we weren't overwhelming, then I think we're looking at six and two for everything else, which fits nicely with Maria's two tracks at any -- or two sessions at any point in time per theme if we really only have three major themes. Again, we need to wait and see what comes in.
And, you know, we can -- like I say, we had Danko's seven and one for the community or something if we all want to stay with the logic of seven.
It sounds like right now everybody's more comfortable waiting to see what comes in with the proposals and where they -- I do think we need to close on this in a week and a half's time because we want the individual workshop program teams to come in having said against my expectation that I have this many workshop slots, this is the program I'm putting together, these are the workshops I would put forward for that.
And if we're not giving them that direction or they don't have that direction when you are going into your work groups, I think we'll be having a more confused discussion in Berlin.
But, again, I think the working group on workshop evaluation can help us think through that timetable a little bit more. But I think the expectation was that we had a rough sense of how many workshop slots there were going to be against how many were in the various themes and that that would be direction that would be given to the teams when they went away to create their track having completed their evaluations.
Did I lose everybody? I didn't change the process that we kind of outlined earlier at a heavy, heavy -- my only point is I think it would be helpful if in a week and a half from now we have a sense of whether we are pulling in 70 workshops from what we see or 100. And it is that kind of level difference. It's not 90 versus 100. It's pretty substantive. And I think that makes a difference to how people would look at their collective workshop tracks.
Okay. So we're leaving that for a week and a half. We'll continue to get more kind of, I think, support or analysis from the secretariat. We'll have on Monday, Tuesday, early next week sometime a better view as to how many actually came in.
If we could move -- one quick comment on the newcomers, echoing Miguel again. Miguel was also somebody who really drove kind of the newcomers orientation and newcomers sort of sessions. And I think we need to make sure that's something we move forward. That's not critical for the evaluation phase here. It's just something I think we need to do in the latter months.
But I think we also might think about that if, in fact, we do have parliamentarians in or we do get a group of regulators in, is there something we want to do with them up front, whether it's open or close -- I haven't thought that much first. But this is the IGF. This is how we work. This is an introduction. This is some of the language. Here's the Tunis Agenda for reference. You know, our meetings are open. Everybody is an equal playing field. You know, that kind of general orientation.
And, frankly, we could even ask them ahead of time if there are one or two issues they were particularly interested in, if they wanted to the ability to talk to some knowledgeable people in terms of what the IGF has done in that space in the past or something. Something to kind of get them hooked a little bit so that they feel a little bit more comfortable, a little more able to go in and start participating in the discussions right away, which, of course, was the purpose of the newcomers orientation.
And maybe we just ought to think about whether or not we need to do that for any other kind of significant-sized groups that are coming in with kind of like -- Michael is here.
Yes, so I think maybe we can just think about that as we go forward.
Just a quick point, Helani has actually put a couple of comments in the chatroom. Plus one idea that we don't have enough information to decide how many sessions in parallel now. We feel quite comfortable with Maria, no more than two of the same theme at the same time.
So that's now read into the record, Helani, thank you.
I'm going to go, if we can, to the title.
And then, Michael, was trying to get in yesterday on the other related intergovernance organizations, and we had some difficulties with the connection. And then I think you were on a plane.
Michael, why don't we come to that right after we go to the meeting session and we will be sure just to get to you after that. Giving you a little bit of a heads-up.
Sorry I didn't see you earlier. I literally didn't see you until one of us moved.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you, Lynn. I think I can be rather brief because I explained already yesterday a little bit about what we have envisaged as a title: "One World, One Web, One Vision." And then with a subtitle.
In fact, after the discussion yesterday, we changed it now a little bit into "Shaping Tomorrow's Society." And maybe I use the chance here to explain a little bit about what we had in mind or what were our criteria when thinking about the motto or the title of the IGF this year.
First of all, we thought it should show we are inclusive and we want to be inclusive and we are talking about a multistakeholder approach because this is what in our view is really the unique selling point of the IGF. That should be reflected in the "One World, One Web, One Vision."
It should also show that we are looking to the future. I said yesterday we had also in mind the three -- the 30 years of Web. So we are having in mind the history, of course, but we should also show we are trying to do something for the future, making a better world for tomorrow in that sense.
Yesterday came up the discussion, I think it was Carlos who made the point, that maybe it should be "Internet" instead of "Web." Yes, we know that and we had that in mind. And that was, indeed, the fact why we had the "net" in the subtitle. But we would like to stick, in fact, to "Web." First, due to the historic 30 years' aspect but also because we think it's nice to have "One World, One Web, one Vision" and we have in French W-W-V.
And then I took into account what Lynn said yesterday about it would be good to have "society" as part of the title and to show this is not only a special community but that we are really talking about everybody. I think that was a very important point.
And Jutta, for example, also reached out to me yesterday afterwards and said she likes the title very much but, indeed, we should take up "society." And that's when we then came to "Shaping Tomorrow's Society."
We also wanted to catch the idea that the IGF is really the forum to discuss -- as yesterday "the forum" to discuss Internet issues. That's why also we should make clear that you should be there if you like to be one of that community that is shaping and influencing, discussing, and taking part in the community that is producing maybe recommendations of how we would like to see the Internet of tomorrow.
Yeah, basically, that was a little bit behind our thinking when brainstorming about the title and that's what then came out. And I'm now happy to hear about how you think about it, especially if you have any other ideas concerning the subtitle.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So the floor is open. Maria.
>>MARIA PAZ CANALES: I'm now totally confused about the idea of talking about tomorrow because it gives the sense that we are talking something that is not going on now. I think it will drive the attention to something that looks rather theoretical. Precisely what we heard from the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation yesterday. And we have talked now that this is affecting people's life today in a very dramatic way.
So, broadly, for appealing the use of the word "tomorrow," it's good but I'm not sure we want to signalize that. This is a quick reflection that came to my mind for consideration.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Maria.
>>SUSAN CHALMERS: I like what Maria just said. I also think that based on the original proposal -- and I cannot recall the specific wording. However, I think Carlos Afonso mentioned a nice alternative that based on the original idea. But I would like to agree with Maria.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Susan.
We can look back in the transcript because I can't quite recall that item. Carlos is out of the room. Maybe we can ask him then.
Any other comments, reflections?
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Maybe I can help. Referring to my notes, he said that basically there should be reflected the fact that the Internet is influenced. And he was not very happy with "shaping" and then came up with "influencing the net." So basically that would rechange back to not "society" but "Internet" in the subtitle and "influencing" instead of "shaping.
However, as I mentioned yesterday, "influencing" to my mind, then there are the Internet influencers coming to my mind. And that I think is a difficult topic.
So, basically, that would rechange now back to not "society," but "Internet" in the subtitle, and "influencing" instead of "shaping."
However, as I mentioned yesterday, "influencing," to my mind, there are -- the Internet influences are coming to my mind. Other than that, I think it's a difficult topic.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Danko.
>>DANKO JEVTOVIC: I very much liked the word "vision," because we also heard yesterday Jovan's presentation about all those areas where the discussion is and all sorts of topics, we kind of need a vision. But also I would say that tomorrow is bringing -- it's talking about something that we all foresee for the future. But we are really, I think, struggling at this point in time to shape things somehow and bring some common vision. So it's better.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Danko.
Any -- Ananda, you're in the queue.
>>RAJ ANANDA KHANAL: Thank you. I think we should have no objection in shaping tomorrow's society, because what decisions we make, what activities we make today by the stakeholders will shape tomorrow's society in the Internet. So I think that tomorrow is the right indication that what we do today, it will have implications in the future.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ananda.
>>JENNIFER CHUNG: Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. Jennifer Chung.
I'm sorry to press on the point -- I think Carlos raised it yesterday -- the Internet is not precisely the same as the Web. And I know maybe it sounds like it might be. But we are at the Internet Governance Forum. Not really exactly sure why, you know, the motto is picked that way. I mean, I understand very much the reasoning behind 30 years of the Web. But, you know, we're talking a bit more than that. And maybe -- Carlos has now entered the room again, and he could explain a little more about that part of it.
So I just wanted to, you know, just bring up that point again.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jennifer.
We have Miguel on the floor.
>>MIGUEL CANDIA IBARRA: Thank you, Lynn.
I -- hearing the arguments back and forth, it is very interesting. We already used "shape" two years ago, "shape the digital future."
I know that other than us here, probably nobody cares about what we used two years ago. But maybe trying not to repeat ourselves is a good idea.
But having said that, if I have to choose between "shaping" and "influencing," although I understand both ideas, "shaping" sounds better, because it puts in your hands the tools to change your future or, you know, having a vision.
And that -- but somehow, if we don't take "tomorrow" and "society" together in the sentence, we kind of -- I'm still with those words losing the feeling of the digital way of doing things. It's, of course, going to be below the "Internet Governance Forum." But I'm losing a bit of the intent when talking about "digital" or "Internet" not being in the title and in the subtitle.
It's more a preoccupation than an actual proposal, but let's try and look for a title that shows us that we are talking about digital policies and maybe policies that are related to the use of the Internet.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Miguel.
>>KENTA MOCHIZUKI: Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. Just my curiosity. So I have a question to Daniela.
So why didn't you attach information to society, like, you know, shaping tomorrow's information society? Because I often see, like, the definition of information society services in E.U. legislation, like GDPR, perhaps integration with some of that legislation. So I'd like to know your opinion.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Kenta.
Carlos, have you -- I mean, we're reviewing -- Yes.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Thank you.
The proposal I had yesterday read, "One world, one vision, one Internet, contributing to the future of society."
But it's too long.
[ Laughter ]
So if you remove "Web," and replace by "Internet." And remove "shaping" and replace by something else, that would be okay.
[ Laughter ]
"Shaping," no. No shaping.
[ Off mic ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. So you had a preference, but it was too long, and of the one that was on the table, you would suggest replacing "Web" with "Internet" or deleting "Web"? And deleting "shaping" or replacing "shaping" with "influencing" or --
Yeah, okay. Remove "shaping," replace --
So, I think -- just because you were actually very nicely entertaining when you actually suggested, Daniela is just trying to take notes. Your suggestion was to replace "Web" with "Internet" and replace "shaping" with something else. It's a long one.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: The suggestion -- it was a long one.
[ Laughter ]
>> Just for adding more to the confusion, but more alternatives, what about, "One Internet, a common vision for shaping (indiscernible) society"?
>> Too long.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: What about very briefly, without subtitle, but with the subtitle that Miguel proposed, like, one world, one Web, one vision, Internet Governance Forum 2019.
>> Could be.
No, "Web," I don't care.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So I think we'll take just a couple more comments, and then -- I mean, it's late, so we'll let Daniela go away and think about it and come by. So, Mary, you had the floor.
>>MARY UDUMA: Thank you, Chair, for giving me the floor. Mary.
I like the idea of "digital" that she is raising. And it en- -- "digital society." Digital, we are talking about digital inclusion, we are talking about digital -- data governance. We are talking about digital (indiscernible). So three tracks. I think we should do something that encapsulates the three tracks we are looking at. So I like the idea of "digital society," but it's not -- I have not (indiscernible) any.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary.
That's an interesting kind of track here.
Thank you, Maria.
>>ARSENE TUNGALI: So I will go for "one world, one Web, one future, Internet Governance Forum."
Sorry, "one world, one Web, one future, Internet Governance Forum 2019."
>>DANKO JEVTOVIC: Well, we are in short supply. So, first of all, I don't like to replace -- to put in "Web" instead of "Internet." For example, Facebook is platforming the Internet, but it's not Web. You can access it through the Web, but it's not -- Facebook is not Web. So we are taking out all the social networks and everything by focusing on the word "Web."
Second, I would very much like to talk about changing the "society," not "digital society," or not "Internet Society." So I think we are much past the discussion of -- that virtual and real are one and the same, so we shouldn't put those things in.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Danko. I don't think you could see, but Maria was shaking her head yes to moving kind of directly to society and away from digital society, information societal.
Any other final comments here? And then I suspect Daniela has got enough to think about and we'll go back and look at how it actually plays.
>>MARY UDUMA: Sorry that I'm coming back.
"One world, one Internet," is it not an ICANN motto?
>> Yes, it is.
>>MARY UDUMA: Are we going with ICANN motto?
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: It's close. I don't know if it's exact.
>>MARY UDUMA: It is.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Carlos.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: I'm looking at the other ones in the past. The longest one was in Joao Pessoa. "Evolution of Internet governance, empowering sustainable development." That's not bad.
[ Laughter ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Says a Brazilian.
Okay. Well, I think we've -- I mean, to me, what was helpful about the discussion is not just the alternative proposals, but kind of the -- you know, what works and what one word recalls and brings to mind and that sort of thing. So I suspect we've probably given Daniela something else to think about.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thanks.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I guess my takeaway would be that there's a, you know, sort of fair amount of discomfort in the room with "Web." A little bit of concern about -- and that was expressed earlier as well -- that it sounds a little bit like another organization's one. And, I don't know, I mean, "shaping" and "influencing," there were a couple of comments. But I don't know that that was hugely strong. Some interesting comments from Miguel in terms of shaping made it -- something more active.
And I personally, with no more weight than anybody else in the room, do like "society" rather than "digital society" or "information society," because much of what we talk is actually driven by, caused by, and, of course, supposed to be for the benefit of society at large. But, again, that's just my view. I haven't leant on the German government at all for that.
So if there are any -- I'll call Paul and then Raquel to the floor, and then we'll move to close this and move to the final two items.
Paul Charlton, you have the floor.
>>PAUL CHARLTON: Thanks, Lynn. I was just going to put in my voice for "Internet" instead of "Web." I think it's more accurate. And also where there's an active discussion now about the whole issue of Internet fragmentation, I think the message of "one Internet," is very timely.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Paul.
Raquel Gatto, you have the floor.
>>RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much. And very quickly, just to support precisely the idea that the concept of one Internet is very important and to be reminded now, as we talk about Internet of -- I don't know, Internet in Brazil, Internet, it's not -- there is no Internet of one country; it's the Internet that is in one country, the Internet is global, and it's one Internet, really. Apart from that, it's just networks. So...
>>CARLOS AFONSO: May I? Which is not mine, but sounds good. One world, multiple visions, developing the Internet, strengthening society.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: You said multiple visions.
So what he read out was one world, multiple visions, developing the Internet, strengthening society.
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Let me --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: How about "one Internet, strengthening society." Take out all the middle stuff.
[ Laughter ]
>>CARLOS AFONSO: Daniela, say it in German to see how it sounds.
[ Laughter ]
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: It doesn't matter how it sounds in German, it has to be good in English.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. I think -- that was probably more food for thought than Daniela was hoping for.
So, again, it is late. It's been a long three days. So I think we'll just leave that and can go away and reflect upon it.
I'm going to take a moment now and ask Michael -- again, Michael was scheduled to talk to us yesterday during the related Internet governance activities and organizations yet, but with some of the difficulties, we weren't able to make that.
So Michael, you have the floor.
>>MICHAEL OGHIA: Thank you. Can you hear me? Thank you very much, Chair. And for all those who don't know me, my name is Michael Oghia. I'm -- for the past year or so, I've been working with the Global Forum for Media Development. And I have to -- before I actually say anything, I feel like I have to address the fact that I do wear many hats. So I come to you today solely wearing the hat of my role as advocacy and engagement manager within the Global Forum for Media Development.
I don't know how much -- how much my colleague Elena Perotti, from WAN-IFRA, was able -- she briefed you all at one point, I think the last MAG meeting. And to kind of -- to kind of catch up a bit, you know, over the past two years -- so first of all, Global Forum for Media Development is an international network of around 200 journalism support and media development organizations. And for the past two years, we have worked with some of our members, including Center for International Media -- Center for International Media Assistance, WAN-IFRA, Article 19, and Deutsche Welle Akademie, to organize a symposium where we bring together media development and journalism support organizations, those interested in journalism at the IGF, because we often recognize that one of the key not necessarily stakeholders, but some of the key individuals missing from these discussions with journalists, and some of the -- it's problematic for multiple reasons, one of which is that digital policy has such massive impact on journalism and on news, and likewise, so many of the issues that we see within the information society are very much a lack of -- are influenced by a lack of strong and resilient and sustainable independent journalism.
So what I wanted to brief you on is I'm very, very happy to announce that a group of us, some of our members within GFMD, as well as us, within the secretariat, we officially submitted our documentation to create, launch a new dynamic coalition. And that has been approved by the secretariat. And so I'm very happy to announce the dynamic coalition on the sustainability of journalism and news media. We included both journalism and news media because within the sector, they are two separate things. Journalism is investigative, cross-border, et cetera, whereas news media often has a bit of a different focus. But they're still very closely connected.
And the idea of this dynamic coalition is twofold. One is to be a hub for journalists, news media practitioners, and media organizations within the IGF, so that we can really amplify these voices.
But the second is so that we can explicitly focus on issues that matter in terms of -- to the journalism community, to the media development community often revolving around issues like media markets, regulation, even, you know, the relationship between algorithms and platforms and news.
So this is something that we really want to push in the coming times. We are very keen to work in a multistakeholder fashion. We continue to get more and more individuals and organizations that are willing to join our coalition. And we obviously want to work across -- across the sector. And at GFMD, this has very much been one of our key points of advocacy. We hope that the DC can be, again, an organizing hub that we can work within the intersessional program as well as outside of the IGF ecosystem in the larger IG world. I will be -- for instance, will be organizing a session at rights con. We're organizing sessions or part of the organizing team at EuroDIG. And this is very much a way for us to add this perspective to the agenda. I appreciate that in the MAG report, I'm pretty sure, Lynn, that you added a line or two about the role of journalism. We very much appreciate that. And this is something we are keen to work with everyone on.
And so just the last point I'll say is I tend to talk about -- when I tend to talk about sustainability, most people assume that I'm going to be talking about energy or eWaste. But I will say that I'm expanding my world view, so to speak, and we are really looking forward to working more with you all. And we look forward to taking part very actively in the IGF this year.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Michael, thank you. I think it's a really interesting DC. And I think the whole topic is extremely interesting, very important, and equally concerning. So thank you very much. And thank you for making the effort to be here and come in.
And we did add the extra line. I mean, it was an oversight. And, again, it was important.
I think that brings us to the penultimate item, which is a briefing on the state of preparations from the IGF secretariat, where it was mainly an opportunity for Chengetai to update us on any of the kind of organizational logistics, any information we had on workshop submission figures and those things. We see those processes are still open, but it's just to -- everybody's always hungry for a sense of what's coming.
So, Chengetai, you have the floor.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Lynn.
For the first item, I mean, as I've said previously, these numbers aren't really indicative because 80% of the workshops do come in in the last 36 hours of the thing, just like university school term papers. They never come well in advance.
[ Laughter ]
But at the moment we have 130 workshop proposals that have started and 15 have been submitted. We have 12 open fora, 21 day zero sessions. So the day zero sessions are a little bit higher because one of the categories is first come, first serve if, you know, all sessions being equal. So, of course, we get earlier inputs for that. One DC session, and again, I say that's understandable because DC's do get a session in any case so they can wait as long as they want. And the other that is time dependent is the village booths, which we have 37 village booths applications at the moment.
So those are the figures. They are basically what we've seen in the last years as well. I mean, the figures just go shooting up the last hours. You know, I mean, it's a vertical curve of submissions.
For an update on the organizational and logistics, as I mentioned before, I think we have never been this far advanced in the preparations. We have the venue. The technical people are talking to each other. We're talking about all the -- all the different aspects. We're talking about protocol issues. The host country has advanced us the costs for the U.N. part of it. There's really nothing to be worried about here.
We're going to start registration -- we usually start registration three months before the event, but we're going to push it a bit forward and maybe start in July as well. So that should give everybody a chance to get their Visas before their travel for other things.
The host country agreement, I think there are no issues there, right, for the host country agreement? I mean? Yeah, everything is okay. There's no outstanding issues. There's nothing being contested in the host country agreement. So unfortunately, Hartmut, I think Germany has taken the cup away from Brazil.
[ Laughter ]
So if there's any questions, please, I can answer.
>> (Off microphone).
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Oh, for day zero we have 21 day zero sessions at the moment.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. Veni, you have the floor.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: But there are some people on the --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Those are old hands, I believe. They just didn't come down.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: Okay.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Paul, you're not looking for the floor again and Raquel? Yeah, right. They were old hands.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: Just making sure I'm not jumping again somewhere on the queue. And Chengetai, sorry if I -- if you have said it and I've missed it running around for other meetings, but is there any news about the 2020 host country?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: We don't have any official news yet. We hope to have some news for you in the next face-to-face meeting so that -- but that's the hope. I'm not promising, but we hope that everything will be made by then. Yeah.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: So I'll kick the -- the pace up a little bit here in that we're actually very much hoping, sort of in line to expecting, that the announcement would be in June, on the basis of the report that was actually made two days ago, and only because I think it's really important that we actually begin planning as far ahead as possible. So it set a good -- I'm just trying to keep a little bit of pressure on. And I guess we could say to Brazil that Brazil has a chance to win the cup back in other future year. Either yourself or another Latin American country. We're still looking for future hosts beyond -- well, obviously 2020 but obviously 2021 through 2025.
>> ( Speaker off microphone. )
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: I think that closes all the kind of formal business we needed to get through today. We have an AOB item on the agenda. In 15 minutes is there anything that anybody would like to bring up? Is there anything that we forgot to cover? Chengetai and I look at ourselves on about a two-hour basis saying did we get everything? Did we get everything? Veni.
>>VENI MARKOVSKI: Sorry for taking the floor, but there is something that we forgot to cover. Yeah, Chengetai is already raising his eyebrows. I saw that.
[ Laughter ]
That is to thank the secretariat and UN DESA for the organization of this meeting in particular and for the overall, I think, work of the MAG this year. Obviously it's -- it's easier when the MAG is appointed to there and the message that we heard today about the call for the MAG members coming in a few weeks is encouraging. So if we continue doing this -- I mean, sorry, not we. If UN DESA and the U.N. system continues to do this and the IGF secretariat, that would be always good for the IGF. And those of us who were here last year in the MAG probably most appreciate the time that we have this year and the fact that we have three meetings and a lot of work done during those meetings but also in between unlike last year when we were rushing to finish on time and to go through the proposals and the workshops, et cetera, et cetera. So thank you, guys. And I think you deserve a round of applause for that.
[ Applause ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Okay. So that was AOB. We actually need to come to closing comments, I guess, where we would actually invite Daniela and Deniz to make any sort of final reflections before we go through all the formal acknowledgments and thanks at the end. Sorry, who? Oh, Maria. Okay, Maria.
>>MARIA CANALES: Maria Paz, for the record. Sorry to move one step back again, but I'm not sure if this was covered in the previous day that I was not present. So just let me know if I have reiterated a topic that was already raised.
But regarding the high-level meetings for the zero day, I heard today some reference to the parliamentarian meeting, but I understood from our first in-person meeting that it will be like parallel meetings during that day for other constituency, and I don't know if you have something more that can report about the organization or how, for example, civil society can contribute to provide information about people that can be relevant to integrate to this zero meeting -- zero day meeting, sorry. Maybe it's something that you already covered, but I just want to be sure. And if not, like just give my availability to be a point of contact if that's useful. Whatever, it can be useful for organizing that or provide more information to other civil society members. I can be the channel for passing the information. Thank you.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: Thank you, Maria. This is Daniela, for the record. Maybe I'll give then also the closing note. In fact, yeah, we covered that earlier. Basically there has been, due to the fact that we began input on our ideas for the day zero, a little bit of a change. For now we are thinking about having a first plenary opening session and that not going into breakout groups for each of the stakeholders but rather for each of the themes. Mixing stakeholders and then as, for example, ministers expect to have sort of a room for themselves, then we would for lunch, having more stakeholders among themselves so that they then can reflect about what they have learned in the morning sessions. So basically that's the structure we have now.
And I appreciate very much your offer to be a point of contact. I said earlier during the meeting that in any case if there's anybody who have suggestions who to invite, we are very, very grateful. If you could just send us the names or email addresses to Rudolf Gridl who had to leave for today and, therefore, not here, or to me personally, we appreciate that very much. And we'll come back to you on the offer.
Thank you all for the very rich three days. Thank you for the comments. We will take that to heart concerning also the -- the title and everybody will come up for next time. And I'm very glad that you are coming to Berlin. I'm looking forward to discussing then in more detail the program. Yeah. Welcome to Berlin. I'm looking forward to seeing you there then. Thank you.
[ Applause ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Daniela. Deniz.
>>DENIZ SUSAR: Okay. Thank you. Thank you, everyone, for the rich discussions in the last three days. Also, thanks to MAG chair. I think you worked a lot in the last three days as well, and I hope that with the workshop proposals and in the third meeting we will make more progress. As we appreciate it so many times the host country. They are doing everything, so we have also -- we need to also deliver a good program and a good meeting in Berlin. And also let's thanks to Jovan, HLPDC. But also let's remember that we need to continue to prepare for the IGF meeting, regardless of what comes out from there. And I think it was expressed a few times, and I also shared that.
The three themes of the forum is very much related to many U.N. work. I don't want to list them here, but what I'll do is when we get back, and maybe to the point of Miguel, we can come up with a list of -- compilation of U.N. agencies working on those issues and you can refer to that in your preparations.
About strengthening the IGF secretariat, especially with this outreach and marketing, we take note of those. Maybe not with U.N. volunteers but with other means, and we will do our best. And thank you, again. Have a safe trip back home.
[ Applause ]
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Deniz. And we'd like to pass our appreciation on to DESA and the USG's office with respect to taking very seriously the importance a timely appointment of MAG and MAG chair. It obviously makes an enormous difference. We want to recognize that they went to great efforts last year and are clearly taking that on board this year. It's extremely important and much appreciated.
I want to remind everybody just how much fun Berlin can be. And I want to do that because I hope that means everybody will go through the workshop evaluations quite timely and you'll have your virtual meetings ahead of time, which means the meetings will be fun and flow well and we won't have to have a lot of ad hoc late night meetings to pull the program together. So I think the more we can do, you know, ahead of time there would be very, very good.
I want to thank the secretariat very much for everything they do. Obviously holding these meetings is a lot of work in advance, and certainly coming out of this one in particular they're staring at, I know, a mountain of work ahead. So very, very much appreciate that. And thank you for managing the AV issues, too.
Thank you to the ITU AV support. I really appreciate everything you did and, you know, yesterday as well. They said yesterday the stress (audio difficulties) can be for us if it's not working well. I'm sure it's much more stressful for yourself and Luis, so really appreciate everything you did to make it work well.
Thank you to everybody who participated online, MAG members and alike. You know, these meetings are long when you're in the room. They're probably ten times as long when you're sitting at home in front of your computer, alone or in your office in front of your computer. That's a -- that's a hard lift.
And thank you very much to the scribes. Without which honestly our work would be so much, much, I think, poorer in terms of our kind of memory and reflections.
And thank you very much to the MAG. I mean, I really do appreciate everybody's kind of openness and flexibility and really willingness to lean in to the work, to lean in to some potentially new models or to try some things that are different. For me, I like that anyway, just as kind of a -- an ongoing state. And certainly in the Internet space this is all about evolution, continued evolution. Much of what we're doing still has not really been done before, and we're still breaking new barriers, and we're still facing, you know, areas where it's not natural and there's not, you know, a lot of kind of openness and understanding about how valuable these types of processes can be and why it's important to participate in them. So I really appreciate everything you're doing here in the room and everything we're doing in our own networks behind.
So thank you very much. We will get the meeting summary out quite soon. We will send a reminder out for the MAG meeting agenda in a week and a half's time. And I think we should do the agenda beyond that as well so that everybody can put that in their -- in their calendars, too. And we will hopefully also have in a week and a half time the draft agenda for our face-to-face meeting so we can give a little bit more thought to that process then as well. So thank you very, very much. I actually have the luxury of returning 5 minutes to you, as on old friend of mine used to say.
[ Applause ]
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: As a co-chair, many thanks to you, Lynn, for guiding us in such a great --
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I'm sorry. Take that back. I actually forgot to thank Germany.
>>DANIELA BRONSTRUP: No, no, no. That's done already.
>>CHAIR ST. AMOUR: For all their support and work. And, Daniela, for being -- you wrote scribes down, you didn't write --
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you all.