The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during an IGF virtual call. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> Hello. Test for the scribes.
>> Hello? Hello?
>> Hello? Hi, everybody. I think, let's give everybody another two minutes. Well, sorry, my time is wrong now. Yeah, let's start in two minutes.
>> Hi, this is Vanin.
>> Hello. Can you hear me? Hello?
>> Yes, we can hear you.
>> Okay. Thanks.
>> Okay. . Good afternoon, evening, and morning to some of us. As you know, this is virtual mag meeting number 4. And for this session, we do have our transcription provided by the IGFSA. So, thank you, Markus. Since we do have transcription, I think everybody has to say their names before they start speaking or if Lynn says their name before the person starts speaking, I think the scribes can put in the names. And if you want to request the board, if you please put your name into the chat. We won't be using the handout system so just put your name in the chat and we'll call on you once you speak. Thank you.
And that's, I think I'll just hand it over to Lynn to start the meeting.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai and thank you everybody for supporting the rotation of these calls as well. I think it's important that we sort of share the burden of the less civilized call times, so just really want to recognize and appreciate the effort everyone is making to do so. These calls will be recorded, again, to aid broader participation across the meeting. The first item of business is the approval of the agenda. The agenda, again, was set out a couple weeks ago by the Secretariat. I simply expanded it with a little more detail underneath with one exception, I did actually add agenda item nub 7, shaping the IGF Program wanting to follow up specifically on some of the discussions last week and looking forward to the next step of the workshop approval process. So let me see if there are any requests for AOB or any other suggestions or comments on the agenda? So giving a slow count to six and not seeing any objections or hearing any other requests, we'll call the agenda approved and move to the first substantive item, which is miscellaneous updates from the Secretariat. Chengetai? If I can help on any of them as I'm here in New York, let me know as well. But give the floor to you.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Exactly. So, let me just start in reverse order. For the call of workshops, the secretariate published the call of work shops on Monday, and thank you very much for everybody who helped on the call. I think it made a bet, more understandable call. We already had some submissions. Started putting in the proposals so that's a very good start. I think it's seven that have come in, Luis, correct me if I'm wrong. And then, as far as the IGF venue is concerned, I think I will hand that over to Lynn since she is in New York.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thanks, Chengetai. Before we leave the call for workshops, I'd like to ask the MAG members if they think or are hearing from the community, is there anything more we need to do to sort of advise the participants of some of the changes to the process. And my second question is, are we doing enough to engage all the intersectional activities and the NRIs both in sort of understanding the improvements we're trying to make to the process and engaging activities. So let me see if there's anyone who wants to comment on that specifically.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: And also I hope that people have spread the word around that the call for workshop proposals has opened.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes, hello.
>> JI HAOJUN: Yeah, this is Ji Haojun, Lynn, thank you. If the maximum workshop for a speaker is five then we would have a problem on gender balance so either we have all females or a maximum of three females.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: I don't know if that holds, per se, but just to come to the macro level point, and maybe the Secretariat can help here, I don't think we closed on whether or not it was five including the moderator or five plus the moderator Secretariat, can you confirm?
>> JI HAOJUN: I'm a little worried because panels with less than three female speakers might be discriminated against. That's my concern.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Appreciate your bringing that up. Let me just see from the Secretariat if there was any agreement. Or Raquel, if you'd like the floor? Raquel?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: I don't think we made a hard limit on the number of panelists that people can put into the workshop proposals but we did make a suggestion that they not be
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Right, I agree there wasn't a hard number. I think we said that there was strong I forgot the exact words, but strong encouragement to minimize the number of panelists to encourage appropriate engagement with participants.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes and the moderator is listed separately so it's not counted but that evaluation is going to come after the close, so it's not done separately.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Right. Let's just say that the moderator is not included in the count and as you said is actually included separately in. I think I had Raquel Gatto, then Liesyl, then Sylvia. Raquel?
>> RAQUEL GATTO: Yes, thank you, everyone. I wanted to thank the Secretariat, especially Rasha for the work on putting this out, and regarding the number and gender balance, first, this is a suggestion we're making. Gender balance are not the only numbers. If we include all the genders we should be talking, it's not only women and men but also LGBT or LGBTI, depending on the track that you are following, but in any case, I do believe we need to consider beyond the numbers and really consider the concepts and what we are promoting here. What we want is that the workshop proposals came in with more concise approach and good speakers. The numbers are going to vary especially with the format they're going to take but also on the format. If you have 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes. We can have two, three. We can have five. We can have nine speakers but if we have quality, that's what the IGF needs. Thank you very much.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel. Liesyl Franz, you have the floor. Giving Liesyl a moment to unmute.
(audio breaking up)
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: You're breaking up a lot. Try again. Liesyl, we can't hear you now at all and you were breaking up an awful lot. Perhaps you can put it in the chat room or try again in a minute. Let me move on to Sylvia, Sylvia Cadena. You have the floor.
>> SYLVIA CADENA: Hi, Lynn. Sorry, I was trying to unmute myself but the platform wasn't responding. Thank you very much. Sylvia here. Look, I think there has been, I've been reading probably 30 or 40 comments that have not quite positive, let's say, about the conference proposal
>> I'm trying to unmute. Can you hear me?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Not sure. You're breaking up a little bit. Sylvia, if you can just pause for a moment
>> Can you hear me now?
>> LIESYL FRANZ: Yes.
>> SYLVIA CADENA: Sure. Why not.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Sorry, just because I think Liesyl is having more difficulty with her connection so if we have the connection.
>> SYLVIA CADENA: Absolutely.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Okay. Liesyl, go ahead. Liesyl?
>> LIESYL FRANZ: Can you hear me?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes.
>> LIESYL FRANZ: Can you hear me?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes, please go ahead.
>> LIESYL FRANZ: Okay. Sorry about my audio. I'll try to type it if you lose it. I just wanted to make the point that the diversity requirements are not only about gender, as important as that is. We also have to reflect the geography and stakeholder group as well, and of course, we can't reflect every single one in every single panel. Otherwise, we'd have 15 speakers per panel. But I think, just to reflect Raquel's comment that it's an overall goal and reflected throughout and, you know, it's going to be impossible to capture each element of diversity in each workshop proposal. However, I think we need to keep the requirement in there and reflect once we're in the evaluation process that we can adequately make a determination as evaluators on that so I also appreciate all the work that has gone into the call for proposals and as we move to evaluation stage that it's reflected in there in a way in which we can make that determination for that particular grade. Anyway, I just wanted to make the sort of dual point there.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: That was helpful. Thank you, Liesyl. And there was lots of support as well for Raquel's comment in the chat room. So, returning back to Sylvia. Sylvia, you have the floor.
>> SYLVIA CADENA: Thank you, Lynn. Well, I was saying that there has been a lot of comments on several mailing lists about the proposals, not all of them very positive. There is a lot of unrest from different communities about, you know, the uncertainties of this year so I'm sure your next points, hopefully, is good news and people will have the opportunity to kind of settle down. But, from my experience as someone applying and submitting workshop proposals in the past, please take into account, it's important that we all take into account that people, when one reads the call for workshops and we read the instructions, people take those instructions or those comments very literally because it is, in my experience from previous years, it is quite prescriptive how those guidelines are approved. So you could get a comment later on saying that you didn't apply gender balance to a workshop, which was one of the comments that we received on a workshop proposal we submitted last year, because we had an all women wore speakers on a panel. And we applied multistakeholder and regional diversity and the workshop was rejected because it didn't have gender balance.
So, I think it's important it make sure that you put yourself in the shoes of the community and see how they will interpret the guidelines there, and normally, people will interpret them very literally to be able to get their workshop proposals a best plan to be accepted.
So, we can discuss here how flexible those guidelines will be applied. In my experience, those guidelines have always been interpreted literally. So, just be mindful of that. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sylvia. Those are good comments and I'm actually hopeful that given subgroupings of MAG members looking at, you know, the workshop proposals that submitted under the themes that we'll be able to judge things such as diversity and maybe have different criteria because we're looking at the whole as opposed to each individual workshop. If there's anything specific that you think we need to address, we had actually mentioned perhaps doing a frequently asked questions section if that would help. Happy to hear that offline as well.
>> SYLVIA CADENA: Yes, I think that would be a good idea, Lynn, and also probably highlight on guidelines what is that flexibility and be very literally, again, about how that is applied because the comments about the five speakers has already circulated in like seven or eight of the lists that I'm subscribed. The comments about how the theme is circulated, quite a lot of people saying that doesn't correspond to other ways of managing that information. So, I think a lot of information around, or a little bit of information around how each one of the important bits and pieces of the workshop, call for workshops is structured, will help people to be a little bit more accepting and understanding of what it is. And if someone can please mute me, that would be great because the button doesn't work. Thanks.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Okay. Thank you, Sylvia. And let's, maybe we can work with the Secretariat to ask them to kick off a frequently asked questions section. And just whether or not we put that with the working group on the workshop evaluation process or keep it on the full MAG list. Maybe we can revisit that under accept 7. Sal, I do know you're in the queue but I think you're actually on the next topic, the IGF 2018 venue, so with your permission, I would go to Mary who also had her hand up. And I believe it's on this topic. Mary? You have the floor.
>> MARY UDUMA: Okay. Can you hear me?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: We can, yes.
>> MARY UDUMA: Okay. Thank you very much. Good evening from Nigeria. And I want to support the earlier speaker, the Liesyl and Raquel. I think inasmuch as we want to get the gender balance, we bear in mind that the ultimate, utmost goal was to make sure we have number. I've been in panels where some people were not about to speak because there were too many and at the end of the day, you apologize to them all who hadn't enough time for everybody to speak. So, we are targeting, with improvement, we are targeting leaving at least half of the period for interaction from the audience so I don't think we're too strong on it that it must be fully balanced. If we have a mix of gender, I think it should go. There are other criteria that we're looking at so I think we're on the right cause and I don't think that a proposal should be penalized because the gender balance is not good. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: I think those are good comments as well. Mary. Let me I'll go to Zeina and then see if we can close this out.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: I've been in the queue.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Do you want to talk on 2018 or do you want to speak on this topic?
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: No, I want to speak on this topic and I'd appreciate if you didn't assume what I wanted to speak on, thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Please speak on this topic, thank you.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you, Lynn. Just quickly, in relation to the criteria, I echo those comments but I'd just like to add in relation to 2018, one of the workshops was purported to have diversity but it was actually 75 percent so those are things that perhaps Rasha and her team and perhaps the Secretariat can look into. I know that the form has already gone out and kudos to the Secretariat for the call for workshop and the templates and Luis Bobo for the excellent I just wanted to speak on that. And I'll put a pause there until you're ready to talk on the IGF 2018. Thanks, Lynn.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, and I wasn't intending to assume what you were speaking about. You put a chat, a comment in the chat room that said you wanted to speak to IGF 2018. So, that's what I was taking my lead from. But thank you for your comments and we'll come back to that topic in just a minute. Zeina. You have the floor.
>> ZEINA BOU HARB: Yes, thank you, Lynn. I actually have one concern regarding restricting the speaking slots to three per speaker. Because if the speakers will have to choose what workshops to be present in, how can we I'm going to reevaluate other workshops that included the same speakers but in which the speakers decide not to participate. I mean, the speakers, the names of the speakers are very important in our evaluation. So, if they drop any of the workshops, I guess we'll need to reevaluate that workshop. Is there any procedure that we will be following for this? I'm not sure if you get my question, but
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes, no, I understand your question, Zeina, and I think it's something we'll need to think through carefully. I think the place to do that is in the Working Group on workshop evaluation. I mean, I understand the point completely. I'm also hopeful that we don't have a lot of speakers that are in many, many workshops. Everybody should exhibit some self control and not sign up to be a speaker and agree to be a speaker in ten different workshops but I think we can find a way to address that, and then be fairly thoughtful about it in the review process. Chengetai, were you trying to come in?
>> JI HAOJUN: Chair, can I follow up briefly on what Zeina had said?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes, go ahead, Ji. You have the floor.
>> JI HAOJUN: The point she just made is very important. I think we need to put some restrictions on how many workshops or other meetings one individual can participate or speak. For example, (audio breaking up). But if there are key speakers in many sessions or BPFs, that is another story. Would that be reasonable?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: You were breaking up quite a bit. I'm trying to read the chat.
>> JI HAOJUN: Okay. Let me repeat.
(audio breaking up)
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: I don't know if it's going to help if you're still
>> JI HAOJUN: Can you hear me?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: It's you're breaking up so maybe just try and speak up.
>> JI HAOJUN: Maybe the signal here is not good enough. I'm saying that maybe we can impose some restrictions saying that the same individual can only be speakers on two panels.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: So I think we have an agreement that we would not have speakers on more than three sessions. We had quite a long discussion on the last call and I'm not looking to reopen that here about whether or not we tried to put that restriction in place on the front end of the call or on the back end of the process. There were good arguments on both sides. There was no consensus and we opted to leave it at the MAG review process.
>> JI HAOJUN: Okay.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: I think we can think carefully about what that process might look like, but, again, I don't think it's appropriate to reopen that discussion just now, and the call has gone out. So let me just I don't know. Was there anybody else who was looking Renata. And we'll make you the last speaker on this particular topic and then go to the IGF 2018.
>> RENATA AQUINO RIBIERO: Thanks, Chair. Renata here. Quickly addressing the call, it's now time that MAG members reach out to their communities to take questions about the call. But I would note two very important points. I think the webinars about the calls or workshops would really beneficial. They don't need to be official. They could be Working Groups, new comers track would like to do them. For the fine tuning, I think, for example, in the case we have narrow views such as were described about workshop that didn't have men as speaker, the requirement to have a men in speaker. I think these are cases that we should refer to a smaller group for evaluation and probably have the MAG mentoring experience we had last year of a few workshops. Because there will be cases that will need fine tuning and that we can already start thinking from the reception we get from the call. That would be it. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Renata. And I think there's been a lot of interest in various components of this workshop session and I will point out that Rasha who is one of the co facilitators and I believe is looking for another co facilitator on the Working Group evaluation, I think that's a good place to continue these discussions and would encourage everyone to join this. Sign ups are available on the workshop and again, working Groups are open to MAG and non MAG members. Chengetai had also posted the frequently asked questions so I think we can ask the MAG members to review that and see if things are missing and honestly probably the right place for that review, I think, is in the Working Group on workshop evaluation as well. Since it seems as though that's what a lot of the questions are going to. So, if we're okay leaving that, of course, we have the mailing list behind us if there are any open questions still. But I'd like to get on to the next point and make sure we've got enough time for best practice CMB form, et cetera. So, with respect to the 2018 venue, there were some significant steps made in terms of getting some near final pieces of information from one of the countries, in particular the one in Asia. The one in western Europe is still progressing quite well as well but again, we're waiting for some of the final estimates. They have to do, frankly, just just with the cost estimates before we can go for formal closure with them so the two efforts are as strong as they were last week on the call and I'm actually in New York this week and we're kicking up the pressure in terms of getting some of those cost estimates in and getting the host country support properly lined up so that we can make an announcement quite soon. Everybody here is well aware of the timing and the pressure. If people are getting questions from the community, or if there's anything, I'm on a number list but obviously I'm not on all lists nor, I suspect, is Chengetai. If there are some discussions or questions coming up with some lists that you think require an answer or response, then don't hesitate to kick them over to us offline.
So, I don't have anything else to add on that at the moment. If there aren't any Arnold has his hand up. Arnold, you have the floor. While Arnold is unmuting, the dates are still as they were, Rudolph, and maybe I can ask the Secretariat just to put them in the chat room. So, Arnold, you have the floor.
>> ARNOLD VAN RHIJN: Hello? Hello?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: We can hear you.
>> ARNOLD VAN RHIJN: Do you hear me?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes, hear you very well.
>> ARNOLD VAN RHIJN: Great. Good evening from the Netherlands. Thank you, Lynn, for this update and I really appreciate the hard work you are doing and Secretariat to inform us about this important decision to be made. Of course the UNDESA is heavily involved as well. But, as soon as we know the location and the timing, can we expect a press release from the UN concerning the new MAG because that's still missing. And if the location is publicly known, of course, like previous press releases, we can say that this new highly qualified MAG is now working very hard to prepare the IGF 2018 wherever it will be held. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Arnold and I appreciate your keeping the focus on the announcement as well. That was one of the points of discussion here and we are still working it. There's obviously not an objection to doing it. There's just a lot of transition with a couple of the key organizations here and the process is evidently changing which is complicating it but I will continue to press that as well and Chengetai and I spoke about that earlier as well. Right now I have Sylvia on the floor and then Michael. Sylvia, you have the floor.
>> SYLVIA CADENA: Just a small comment that I think will be important that it's the Secretariat of the Chair that prepares the text about the information that is allowed let's say to be shared with the rest of the community in terms of the venue and dates because interpretations from many of us might cause for confusion.
So, it would be good if we could just refer to something that the Secretariat and the Chair has published and then we all use that to calm the press list that is perceived in the community by many of us.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: That's an excellent point, Sylvia. I'll work with Chengetai and we'll get that out. Excellent point.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Think think we can put something in the summary of the meeting so you can say, in the summary of the meeting, it states these are the dates.
>> SYLVIA CADENA: Perfect, Chengetai. That will help.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Michael, you have the floor. Michael Ilishebo. Can the Secretariat help unmute if Michael? Michael, we're having difficulty hearing you. I'll ask the Secretariat to work in the background to unmute you and you can come in when that's fixed. Or put a comment in the chat room. Well, if we move then on to the third agenda item, which is finalizing the selection of the best practice forums. Just to recap a little bit, we have the capacity to support four efforts across the BPFs and the major intersessional policy initiative which currently there's a proposal for Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion phase 4. We obviously have the option not to renew, go forward, and support the other BPFs. The other option, of course, is to support 3BPFs and the Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion. That was discussed on a call earlier today.
It put a comment in the email earlier today and just given the timing of the meeting some of you may not have had had chance to see this yet but I'm assuming that a significant portion of the MAG sees value in all of the BPF proposals and suggestions and therefore would like some work to be done to help advance those topics. We're in the unfortunate position of, we have sort of two choices in front of us. We either find a way to advance the topics outside of either a BPF or a Connecting and enabling the Next Billion project or we decide not to pour swoon of those four. My preference would clearly be that we find a way to advance the topics and still significantly advance the work.
I had made a proposal that said perhaps given the breadth of the artificial intelligence, internet of things and big data in the Cloud environment proposal, and given what was proposed for the first year of that BPF that perhaps we try and advance that through some of the work that would be done in the Working Group on multiyear strategic work program which could help identify the topics the community thinks are important, help identify ways to advance them and various structures, whether that's a BPF or Dynamic Coalition or MAG Working Groups, you know, whatever is the vehicle of choice from the MAG which would allow us to begin collecting some of the data on those efforts as well as perhaps some refined the whole BPF a little bit more. It's an extremely broad set of topics. I had also posted the note that I sent to the MAG to the working group on the multiyear strategic work program just in full transparency and there was a couple of comments that were called, and in fact, there is a Dynamic Coalition on the internet of things which actually had some commonality with some of the tasks that were outlined in the BPF proposal and there was another suggestion that said perhaps some of these other topics could also be advanced through a Dynamic Coalition or another structure.
So, I put that out there literally just as food for thought. Again, my working assumptions were that the MAG sees value in all those topics and if there was a way to support all the BPFs plus the major intersessional policy initiative, I think that's a win win. So, let me open the floor up. First, I think I'd ask Suman or Concettina if they'd like to come in or have any comments since they were the proposal of the BPF on big data and AI and given my comments just now. Again, I'm not let me just stop there. Suman or Concettina.
>> SUMON AHMED SABIR: Can you hear me? It's true, the starting of the discussion, it can be you all mentioned that they have multiyear strategy discussion, these things would come up. So it doesn't have to be within this year. Maybe next jeer as well but it's an important point to discuss and BPFs can come up with only IOT or big data or combining the three so it's up to the MAG to decide which will go but I'm very much happy with discussing in BPF or discussing in other intersessional activities or maybe some workshops we can see on this topic. So, it's not that it has to be this year but next year. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Suman. Let me see if Concettina, if you have any comments then we'll open the floor up to the other MAG members as well.
>> CONCETTINA CASSA: Hi, Lynn. Hi, everybody. Can you hear me?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: We can, yes.
>> CONCETTINA CASSA: So I think it would be a good idea to put some of these topics in the Working Group body here, strategic plan. It is no problem for me so I think it's a good idea. So, let's as someone said before, I think the best is to let the MAG decide the best option. Okay? Thanks.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you. And again, I really want to thank yourself and Suman for all the work you did on the individual proposals and enforcement willingness to try and merge them as well. So, let me just open the floor up then to the other MAG members for kind of any comments in general, any new ideas? I saw some comments saying we need to support 3BPFs which I'm assuming means that there's or the an assumed support for Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion but that will be the next. Anyone else?
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Sala here.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Okay. You have the floor.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you. First of all, I echo what you said. Congratulations to those who submitted proposals for new BPFs but one of the comments I want to make particularly is in relation to new BPFs last year. Now I know that the BPF on gender filed the report in April when the call for BPFs came through, which I feel is prejudicial to other BPFs given that all BPFs have two co chairs and regardless of whether you have a consultant or not, the Chairs are fully capable of submitting reports and I note that one of the co chairs had a medical emergency and that sort of thing, that's fine, but which falls back to the core team within the BPF to actually produce that particular report. Now, I won't touch on the Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion, which is the next one. But I do want to say that if we look at the public policy issues that were prescribed more or less by the working group way back in 2005 and notably up for revision and renewal, and given our constrained resources, it would be important to note that a lot of the issues coming through are public policy issues and the community, we've decided that we have the other issues aside from other intersessional.
To have a specific subpolicy initiative and to put that, you know, into us as MAG whether we want to have that or all of the other BPFs I feel is prejudicial to the global community. So I would conclude by saying that my preference, only because I've got to travel soon, the three BPFs that I want to go on record for supporting are cybersecurity, local content, and artificial intelligence, IoT and big data. Thank you, Lynn.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sala. Just one comment. I'm not quite sure what you said something about the relationship between the policy issues being prejudicial to the community. Can you just expand on that a little bit? I'm not sure I understand your point.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Basically what I'm saying is the whole purpose of having an IGF is to identify emerging policy issues that the global community feel is relevant and obviously over time, this escalates to BPFs, to Best practice forums and Dynamic Coalitions. With the sole objective well, I shouldn't say sole, but with the clear objective of garnering global support from diverse constituencies as was clearly articulated in say, take for example, Suman's proposal for the AI IoT, and Big Data. Proposers were looking to bring diverse play to that field to develop best practice guidelines.
So, we already have existing initiatives, so I feel that that in itself is an additional initiative. Not saying it's a bad initiative but I'm saying that we should look at streamlining it into the existing process. Because what's being proposed is (volume very low for audio). But going back to what I meant by prejudicial. I mentioned the word prejudice twice. First in the context of it would be prejudicial to take one specific public policy issue and to hold it up against the other three, or in this case four BPFs. That's one. The other time that I mentioned prejudicial is in relation to the gender BPF's proposal. In my view, it shouldn't have even come to the MAG for consideration because a report was not given between December and February. It was given in April when the the calls for BPFs had already done out and that, to me, is prejudicial to other BPF folks. If we're thinking about conserving our resources and cutting back on BPFs, then that's what I feel shouldn't make the cut.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Okay. Thank you.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: No, thank you. And just a couple comments. We're not cutting back on BPFs. We had the same resource comporting four component pieces, three BPFs and the major intersessional policy initiative last year and we are doing the same thing this year. I think the MAG should take up specifically for the future what the clear expectation is and what the kind of penalties are, if you will, of noncompliance with respect to reports. As I said before, as far as I can tell through discussions with various individuals and the Secretariat, there was an expectation about the timing of reports being published but I don't think it was ever clearly stated that if a report was not filed in a timely time that it would not be considered going forward and of course all of this is somewhat hurt by the fact that the MAG is appointed so late as well because we would have been in a position to follow up earlier in the year with the lateness of reports and by virtue of kicking this process off earlier.
So, we've got a couple of different issues on the go here. I saw Jutta had her hand up. Let me see if we can pull in another supportive position but let me go to Jutta and then we can go to Rasha with her hand up. Jutta, you had the floor.
>> JUTTA CROLL: Hello, Jutta speaking here. I just wanted to point out from, I think that all four BPFs are all relevant. I still do think that the new suggestion for the artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and Big Data is the one that is most straightforward and it will become more and more relevant so I think it would be a good statement to the community if we take that Best Practice Forum therefore I strongly advocate for having this Best Practice Forum. And I'm not sure whether we can drop one of the other three but I still think it's very important to have the Artificial Intelligence Best Practice Forum.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: And by Artificial Intelligence, you're saying Artificial Intelligence, big data and Internet of Things, rights, because that's the proposal in the floor?
>> JUTTA CROLL: Yes, that's what I meant.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Okay. Thank you, Rasha, you have the floor.
>> RASHA ABDULLA: Hello, can you hear me?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes, I can hear you.
>> RASHA ABDULLA: I just wanted to make the point regarding the gender. I'm not sure we should be penalizing the BPF for being submitted late. I understand that it was submitted late, but given the circumstances which Jack explained in a rather lengthy email today, I think we should focus more on the content of what the BPF has provided rather than the logistics of deadlines. Not to say that the deadlines are not important, again, but I think we should be a bit more flexible with that, especially when there were sort of unusual circumstances within the group that was handling the BPF. Having said that, I'm not sure if there's some way of merging gender within, I saw some suggestions on merging it with content but, is there a way of merging it as well within Enabling the Next Billion as an access, I'm just putting out an idea. Not particularly advocating any of these points. And alternatively, is there a way of merging cybersecurity with access. With maybe Enabling the Next Billion. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Rasha. I saw Wisdom. I will give Wisdom the floor and maybe see if Raquel or somebody wants to talk on some of the CEMB questions in the chat room. Wisdom, you have the floor and there's a lot of background noise so.
>> WISDOM DONKOR: Sorry, think the environment is noisy. I think you can hear me.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: We can hear you, yes.
>> WISDOM DONKOR: Hello. Okay. Thank you. (audio breaking up). I think strategy, approach. I'm looking at this merging gender, in a sense that, we are living in the that I think each and every day, it, access to information is one of the most vital principles in the merging global information economy. And (audio breaking up). So in subSaharan Africa, in addition to the more traditional forms of poverty, a new concept, information poverty has emerged that better explains the true nature of in a world increasingly around information and communication technologies, which is ICTs. So, going forward, I think exploring the need (audio breaking up). For information, for industrialized nations to take a more active role in international collaboration for information poverty in the world. So, I'm thinking that imagine these true BPFs will be something that we work with moving forward. So, that is my pick.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Wisdom, I'm sorry, you were breaking up. You were breaking up a lot. Do you think you could just say which two BPFs you're suggesting be merged. I think we managed to get enough of the rationale but I just wanted to make sure we got the two BPFs clearly.
>> WISDOM DONKOR: I'm thinking we should merge local content and gender.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Okay. So your suggestion was we merge local content and gender and access. Okay. Thank you. If you feel we didn't hear that well enough, perhaps you could type it in the chat room but I think we understood enough of the rationale and suggestion. Thank you. Raquel, if you can come in and CENB and then I have Miguel.
>> RAQUEL GATTO: Thanks, Lynn. Hi, everyone, again. So, I'm happy, first, based on the chat conversations we are having, just to give some clarity on the differences between the both tracks when we are talking about BPFs or CENB. They are both intersessional work because they happen between one IGF and another and they are both grounded on looking into the community and bringing more of the bottom up process in a sense but they have different methodologies and different approaches. The BPFs, correct me if I'm wrong, I know there are some other people involved in the guideline setting but the BPFs are more into the community building and arriving on the outcome document as part of ongoing discussions and calls and constant dialogue. The CNB is made more first, it's now related to the SDGs so it has, I'm going to comment on the value of that later but the methodology itself is more on collecting these examples and feeding them into the policy options so it's a slightly different effort and I think we need to consider that, too. Regarding last year, also, work, I think we need to be clear that we used the consultant also but most of the hard labor was done by the co facilitators buzz honestly from Christopher Yew and his team, and so I really, really confer with Jack's efforts and by saying that we also need to have more of this responsibility not only from the co facilitators but from the MAG taking up on the responsibility on the deliverables. But, now, finally, on this year's CNB and why it is important to do this evaluation on connecting the next billion and the policy, one, given the work that the IGF does and streamlining with the other forum we are discussing with, all the intergovernmental mechanisms that we go, they are tied to the WSIS, which is also the birth of the and the discussions on how can we bring this change and how can we accomplish these really ambitious goals.
And if you think about the internet, it's not only the infrastructure and the 9SDG, it's crossing all the SDGs and how it really brings its change and empower to get us there in fulfilling those. So, when you go to the community or government, they are sometimes much more worried on, for example, one of the suggestions on SDG 7, sorry, 8, related to the future technology work, how are the investments going to impact my job, my workforce, how we are going to tackle that and still achieve what we committed to.
So, I mean, I don't want to do this very theoretical, but I do believe that we need to consider when we are delivering these tangible outcomes from the IGF, we need to think about our audience and how we are going to streamline. Otherwise, we are going to talk to ourselves in some of those issues. So, I hope that makes more clear and I'm happy to detail any further.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel. Mary Uduma, you have the floor.
>> MARY UDUMA: Thank you. Can you hear me?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: We can. Yes.
>> MARY UDUMA: This is Mary Uduma. Sincerely, if we have the resources to support the four BPFs, please let's not drag base so that we can go to other issues. Let's let it progress. Let us not forward because they are all, the logic, the rationale are all logical. They are, they produce good outcome, and again, the truth is that where the world is going is AI, IoT, and Big Data. We can't shy away from it.
And again, when you talk about local content, local content is critical. More, especially, for developing country. No, the logics are very, very clear. So, for me, let's take the four. If we have the resources to support it, please.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary. Just to be clear, we have the resources to support four activities from a possible list of five. Four BPFs and Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion. So, if there are no further opportunities for merger or opportunities to move one of those topics or some piece of that work to another place in the IGF ecosystem, we will have to take one off. I have in the queue Miguel.
>> MARY UDUMA: Sorry, Mary again. Are you saying that we are limited to three only for the BPFs?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Only if the MAG members want to keep Connecting and Enabling the Next Billions. Yes. Across four BPFs and Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion, those are five activities. They all draw from the same consultant resources and we can only support four efforts.
>> MARY UDUMA: Okay. Now it's clearer to me so we can support three. So, for that reason, if we are to support three, I'm there. One of them that we can advance in other activities of the IGF so we move one and go on to other issues that we have on our plates. Anybody that is proposing any BPF can defend the property and try to find resources. If we think that the last one, the AI and IoT and Big Data, so be it and we can move forward. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary. Maybe just one comment before I give Miguel the floor. I think we have similar opportunities for the other BPF. I think the CNB really is a little bit different, to look at other places in the IGF ecosystem to drive those. One of the things that's supported the rationale for starting the Working Group is that for successive years they request that the MAG actually take a longer term view of a small number of critical issues recognizing that the critical issues obviously take time to understand and to advance and to the extent we could lay out a multiyear path for them would help them advance them kind of more holistically and more robustly. At the same time, it would give us enough run way where we could actually invite other organizations, other partners, other supporters into the work. So, that was part of the rationale of identifying a couple of, you know, major streams of critical strategic work that we could say the MAG was behind. Before any of this could go forward out of the Working Group, it obviously needs MAG approval and it clearly needs community input and community approval and that's a process we would be working on within the multiyear work program.
So, I offer that just to, that might be a logical place to put one of these pieces of work. That said, some of the other suggestions that I saw were to put some of the work into Dynamic Coalition, building on the Dynamic Coalitions we have. You know, in many cases, the outputs don't need to look different. They just, the BPFs actually benefit from having a consultant help pull the report and the findings together. If there was a way to resource some of those activities from the community then we can get like results but just fully supported by the community rather than through a consultant. Let me go I had Miguel in the queue and I'll see if there's anyone else and then as Mary said, we should probably try and find a way to wrap on this. Miguel, you have the floor. Miguel Estrada.
>> MIGUEL ESTRADA: Okay. Just wanted to stress out for the ones on the BPFs for gender, please, again, look at our proposal. It has nothing to do with gender. It's a totally different approach. It can include a gender specific perspective but I think it's not possible to merge it. So, please go through the proposal again and maybe you will change your view. Just that, and on, is there a chance, Chair, to go forward if some other board has a consultant or not?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Sorry, Miguel. You were breaking up. Can you just ask your question again?
>> MIGUEL ESTRADA: Is there a way to go forward with the four BPFs, the four proposals, and choose a way where the four facilitators are willing to continue without a consultant.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Well, if what you're saying is if one of the BPFs would agree to go forward without relying on a consultant, I'll look to the Secretariat, but I would guess that the MAG could then approve that. If your suggestion is that we, and I guess by saying that, you're assuming as a number of people in the chat room are that we are going forward with the CENB, which I didn't say that very clearly. I don't think we can leave this meeting supporting a CENB, four BPFs and expecting one of the BPFs to say, we will proceed without a consultant. I think that is a slippery road.
>> MIGUEL ESTRADA: Just a clarification because I saw some comments in the chat. I'm not suggest the at all that we merge BPF and gender and BPF and local content. They are two completely different proposals.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Right. Let me ask you the question. Is there room and I think this has been answered in the chat room as well but there are so many chats flying by. Is there room to merge either local content and the gender and access proposal in with the CENB?
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Sala here. I'd like to support Miguel's comments. First of all, I'd like to say that gender and local content are two very different things and I've already made my point in regard to dropping the BPF on gender and they could apply again next year but just in terms of sending a signal to the community that you expect, you know, reports and that sort of thing. There are certain expectations and they don't necessarily have to be prescribed. Now, in terms of local content, they've done a fantastic job last year particularly with Miguel there. In relation to the need for consultants within Best Practice Forums, my view is you have a whole bunch of experts within the global community so there really is no need for consultant if you have a chair, two co chairs to draw from the diverse experience. (inaudible).
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Okay. Thank you, Sala. I'm going to think the folks that have driven the BPFs would probably disagree quite strongly on the need for a consultant but let me just, we do need to close this soon. I agree with those comments in the chat room here. I have Renata in the queue but let me just take, I think we've been clear in the chat room that people do not think that merging gender and local access is appropriate. I think there are two open questions that I've seen come by in the chat room, although one was mine, I guess, is, is it possible to merge either gender and access BPF or the local content BPF into the CENB work. The second suggestion I heard was whether or not it was possible for CENB to move forward without requiring the use of a consultant given some of Raquel's comments earlier so right now in the queue, I have Renata and Raquel. And then let's see again if we can move forward. Renata, you had the floor.
>> RENATA AQUINO RIBIERO: Thank you, Chair. Renata here. Yes, I was co facilitator in 2016 of the BPF gender. In 2017, this BPF had two MAG members who were in their third term as facilitators and I will get back to what listen said about the reappointment of MAG members. That takes its toll on the continuation of the intersessional work because who is going to continue the intersessional work as the new MAG is coming. They are drawn to proposals of BPFs that are already existing but other than that, I think that the difference weight we should give to BPFs without the consultant. If the BPF local content wants to continue without the consultant, I think they should be given this opportunity and upon handing the report to be considered as BPF then that's another way to go with the BPF. I do not think gender and local content can be merged. It's completely different proposals. If, one thing local content could be under CENB an as well under the new format, since there are local content, why not have new session formats in local content on the IGF and I really don't understand how the BPF gender is not seen as center to the IGF. We just had a big discussion on MAG workshops and gender balance. This is the biggest community in the BPFs and the only those partnerships had partnerships with ITU and other organizations, so all of these partnerships that the IGF has achieved would be halted if this BPF doesn't continue.
So I would support having the CNB, the cybersecurity, and the gender BPF and AI. Thank you.
>> MIGUEL ESTRADA: Lynn, sorry to interrupt. Just to clarify. I did not say the BPF on local content wants to go without a consultant.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: No, I saw your note in the chat room. I also saw Raquel's note where she said she also didn't say that the CENB did not require consultant also.
>> MIGUEL ESTRADA: And on the new formats, they have a completely different procedure on changing that for just one upset. I did not support what Renata just said.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Right. No. Thank you. I'm going to give Raquel the floor and then honestly at this point, I'm not sure how to close this. There is no on merging amongst BPFs. There's no agreement on merging any of the BPFs into the CENB, and there is probably no clear consensus coming when we look at all five. There was fairly significant support for continuing with CENB but that means we would have to drop one BPF and again, there is no support for that either. So, at this point, we're looking at a fair road block here with respect to being able to close on this and progress with them. I will give the floor to Raquel, as I said a moment ago, and see if we can find inspiration somewhere in the background. Raquel?
>> RAQUEL GATTO: And I'm really happy when I can contribute more creatively, but this time, I really, I mean, I'm struggling with the idea of merging the CNB and the BPF on gender and let me explain why. First, as I was trying to say the previous time I pick up the mic, the CNB and BPFs have different approach and different methodologies. The BPF on gender has already community mobilized that meets permanently or very often and that goes deep into the issues. The CNB will look into the policy options for Connecting the Next Billion and more specifically how the internet can bring us closer to the achievements of the sustainable development goals. And then because we have a limited resource pull, we need to select just a few. Last year, we did the CNB on the SDG 4, which is education. We did the SDG 5, which is gender, and we did the SDG 9 which is infrastructure and has a specific call for the internet development infrastructure. We work closely with jack, but those are different approaches. We were looking at different ways of including these topics so that's where I'm struggling. I mean, of course we can do SDG 5 again and also to clarify, the current psychos on the table, the initial proposal brought SDG 8 which is about, I'm going to read here, work and SDG 9, innovation and infrastructure which has particular linkage with internet access. SDG 17, which is about partnership for goals.
And it was really, really hard last year to decide between leaving SDG. And Wisdom has suggested ensure access to sustainable and reliable energy for all. And Ji had suggested at the last meeting on SDG 1 and poverty in all its forms everywhere. So, that's where we are also on the CNB. And I hope it makes more clear, I couldn't read the chat where I was speaking, but I'm here to take any other questions as needed.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: So, thank you, Raquel and thank you to everybody for the comments in the chat room, the comments here on the call and all the work done on the various proposals. I want to put forward a Chair proposal to see if we can close and move here. I started the discussion by saying, certainly to me all these topics are extremely important and extremely interesting and I think that's very clearly the same situation for the MAG or they wouldn't have advanced this far. We all want work to be done on them. I didn't really see any suggestions gaining any sort of support for just completely topping. It was all about mergers or trying do the work without consultants so I think everybody was trying to problem solve in a way that would actually have the work continue. With the note I put out to the MAG list and some of the comments that came in specifically from Concettina and Suman who are the proposers of the BPF, and I have to admit to having a deep concern over the breadth of the BPF on AI, IoT, and Big Data in a Cloud Environment and given that those topics are very critical topics in front of the world at large, certainly in front of the United Nations as well. And again, this process is convened by the United Nations, I'd like to see if there was support for going forward with the BPF on cybersecurity, gender and local content and going forward with the CENB as those are proposed and that we take the BPF on AI, IoT, and Big Data in a Cloud Environment, pull that into the strategic Working Group of the MAG and try and advance some of that work either by work it into some of the other intersessional activities, perhaps being a little more clear on what we want to accomplish with that and trying to find some additional resources, support or funds which might allow us to bring in a consultant to support it but in other words, not that we would in other words, trying to find a path to support all of the work in a way that I think makes sense for the work.
So, let me just see if there's support, let me just start for a moment and we'll do it in two. Is there support for going forward I'm just going to state it again and I'll ask for where there's support and not support so everybody will get their chance. Support for going forward with the BPF on cybersecurity, gender and local content. And the CENB all as proposed in that we take the BPF on Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and Big Data and absolutely not shy away from addressing that but find a way to advance is in a really thoughtful, multiyear manner. So, let me see if there's support at the moment, just looking for support and it will go to the opposition. Okay. So there's a fair showing of support there from the MAG members or a no objection, which is appreciated as well. There are a couple of people saying no support. I'd like you to come on quickly and tell me why you think that isn't a reasonable proposal. Rudolph, just sort of working back. We haven't heard from you. You have the floor.
>> RUDOLPH GRIDL: Yes. Hello. I didn't want to prolong the discussion so that's why I did all my comments in the chat. I really think that in AI, IoT, Big Data, this whole concept is very, very important and if we do not cover this in a prominent and thoughtful way at a Best Practice Forum at the IGF 2018, people will ask, what are you doing at the IGF? Does it really matter to the community? Does it really matter to their lives or to the experiences that we are having in our constituencies. Whereas, I think that gender is a very important issue but it is so closely linked to access and Connecting the Next Billion, I think that's the point where we should do a merger and where we get the four out of the five. I really do think if you cut off this, that's the issue. I don't know about the others but I can tell about our country and constituency, we are talking 80 percent of our times about AI, IoT and Big Data all the time. I really do not think we should cut it off even if you just put it in a multiyear strategy, it will not be seen very prominently. It will be somewhere under the radar and that's why I don't think it's a good idea not to have a BPF on that.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: So let me just comment quickly on that, Rudolph. I'm not suggesting a lesser prominence. In fact, what I'm suggesting by pulling it into the MAG and MAG Working Group is in fact more focus on the MAG to build a strategic multiyear program around whatever components we think are important. Obviously all three of those, IoT, AI, Big Data are all just very topical and very critical issues at the moment.
So, I am not subjugating them. In fact, I want to bring them into more prominence and be more thoughtful about how we advance them and I think BPFs, frankly, have a really key role in the work that we do but I'm not sure I'd say they are one of the more prominent op a daily basis pieces of work so I just want to be clear on that. I wasn't suggesting that we kind of down grade that. Jutta and Sala are, I think, the only other two people I see in the chat room not supporting, and I guess Heiki as well, not supporting the proposal, and Sylvia.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes, hello.
>> JI HAOJUN: Yes, chair. Ji Haojun speaking again. I really think that we as MAG and IGF should not lose touch with times. Gender is an issue existing for more than millions of years and I have no intention to deny its importance but indeed we get in touch with the time and to look into the new emerging issue that's will change the way that human beings live. And that really is very important so in that sense, I don't support your proposal you have made. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ji. Well, I'm not, really not sure what to do here. There is no consensus.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Hey, Lynn? Can you hear me? Sala here.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes, hello, Sala. You have the floor.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Right. Thank you. I'm trying not to sound like a broken record. Again, the three BPFs that have support going forward are cybersecurity, local content, AI, IoT, and Big Data. In terms of if you're still insistent on carrying through with the CNB given that it's diversifying into a plethora of issues, and access is an issue, there's no doubt about it. I would suggest that it be converted into a BPF. I'm not sure that's a conversation we should have now or later but I thought I'd just put that out there. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Converting one of the options in front of us into just another name in the same bucket is not helping to solve anything. It's also clear that if the proposers of these activities do not support a merger of their activities, then I don't think it's appropriate for the MAG to force that to happen, either. Sylvia has her hand up and Mary, let's see where we go from there. Sylvia, you have the floor.
>> SYLVIA CADENA: Thank you. Well, as I said before, I think that part of the problem in this discussion is that we are discussing to approve four BPFs and the CENB bade on the resources available. I don't think anyone has expressed their, that they don't agree with the topics being proposed to discuss or the importance on those topics but the issue is if we have support for only four activities as you said, Lynn, then I really don't think we should discuss the CENB separately because then it gives an advantage to the CENB, Best Practice Forum
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Agree, and I don't think we are discussing it separately.
>> SYLVIA CADENA: so, yeah. In that respect, my comment would be that I support the cybersecurity, gender, and IoT and Big Data in Best Practice Forums. I would love to support the local content. In reality, I would prefer to support the 4 best practice forums and drop the CENB. If it is about consultants and all of that. The spirit of the CENB should actually guide the rest of how the program is shaped and it's all about Connecting the Next Billion and what other policy options. But the problem that I see is that the outcome documents that have come out of the CENB are actually not about policy options. They are list of best practices. So, if there is no analysis of policy and regulation and how that happens, for example, at the cybersecurity, the gender, and the local IoT, I think it lacks things are not linked together so I really would like to maybe ask for people to go back and think a little bit more about what is in front of them, not only the titles, but the actual proposals that have been submitted and the work that has been done because if you look at the outcome documents you see references quoted in different places that those spaces generate a lot of community engagement and they are really, really valued by the community so I really want to emphasize support for all four of the Best Practice Forums. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sylvia. Mary, you have the floor. Mary Uduma.
>> MARY UDUMA: Thank you, can you hear me?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: We can, yes.
>> MARY UDUMA: Okay. All right. First, I want to debunk the idea that Connecting the Next Billion is not as important as the BPFs because that is the one that is at the heart of the community. The government of each country want to achieve the million recommendation goal and if we are raising on sharing policies that would help government reach their sustainable development goals, I mean, that would be the best thing that will happen. There's no way the IGF would be, will be discussing or putting up on initiative that will not drawback to the sustainable development goals. So, let's bear that in minds, whatever we're doing. Coming to the BPFs, the last one, AI, IoT and Big Data is not being thrown away. It's just that for the 2018 let it be at the working group stage because by the time we finish 2018, another initiative could come out or another technology, another process that would also affect the internet, the public policies that relate to internet or internet governance so if we started from where the share has proposed to the working group is the Working Group of the MAG, the MAG will have absolute. And it will even be that the MAG is very, very serious and is taking it up at its own working group to shape it against next year's BPF. Maybe by next year, 2019, one of those ones will have concluded like gender or cybersecurity or local content. Then, we'll move at the AI, IoT, and Big Data into the BPFs.
So, I don't think that is a difficult thing for us to take. Let's take cybersecurity, gender, and local content. Maybe one of the them will be concluding for 2018, then by 2019, we'll have the space to bring back that one that the MAG has taken to the Working Group but has not been dropped. It's not that it's being canceled. It's not being dropped. It's saying, let's it be taken care of in another section of the work of the MAG and its intersessional work as well so I don't see anything difficult about it. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Mary. Helani has her hand up so I'm going to give her the floor and then suggest something else. Helani, you have the floor.
>> HELANI GALPAYA: Thank you. I strongly support Rudolph's point that if we don't discuss the emerging issues like AI and IoT, we have a problem and I say this because IGF brings by definition all actors from different sectors together and in many fora these issues are discussed by the community separately or by government separately. And the other criteria applies, is a multistakeholder venue important for the BPF, for the CENB, and is this a topic we should take up? And can it be done elsewhere? Plus, is there funding? It seems, my impression is that the CENB is reasonably well funded in terms of either consultant support so in that sense, could we not take that off the table and how we continue all the other Best Practice Forums that have been proposed which are quite important.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Helani. That's a lot to think about there as well. Let me go quickly to Rudolph and Raquel and see if we can agree next steps on this. We have to finish this at the top of the hour so we have 25 minutes to get through this and a couple of other critical points. Rudolph, you had the floor.
>> RUDOLPH GRIDL: Thank you, Chair. It does not seem to be any divergence. If we had the money, we would take all the 5 BPFs and the CENB. So, that's not the question. Perhaps it's possible to have one consultant dealing with two issues. Not formally merging them but to say, okay, can somebody as a consultant advise as the CENB and also the gender issue because there are some overlaps between these two or any other. Is that something we could perhaps get out of this?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: I'll ask the Secretariat to come in. One of the things I was going to suggest was that we go away and work with the Secretariat to understand if there was any flexibility in terms of pulling them in but let me see if Chengetai has any quick comments, then I'll go to Raquel.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, so at the moment, each consultant supports two, either two Best Practice Forums or a Best Practice Forum and the CENB, or the Connecting the Next Billion. Sorry. So, if we have five, that means we will either have one consultant that will support 3 or we'll have to have three consultants. But, as I said, I think I mentioned this earlier., we can work and see whether or not we can get more resources but then of course it will take away from another sorry. So, if you're sure that this is the part where we want to concentrate most of our resources then sure. We can go away. I can talk to New York and we can get the support for it. Also the other thing I was thinking about at the very beginning, I didn't know it was going to take this long to come to a conclusion, is also that the venue that we're looking at may not be, may be slightly smaller than we're used to so this will have an effect of we're increasing one section and have to decrease another. It's all resource management, essentially. So if you're sure this is the place, we can concentrate on this place.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: If I can add, if we can get beyond this, we can actually get to chartering the Working Group on fundraising which might actually get started some work to pull in.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, as I said, I think none of us expected that this impasse would be like this. So, yes, I mean, we can go back and take a look at it and then come back to it.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: So, let me just give Raquel the chance and then there are three or four things I think we might be able to advance on. Raquel, you have the floor.
>> RAQUEL GATTO: Yes, thank you, Lynn. And I would like just to start with reacting with one of Chengetai's notes on the venue being smaller. I think that's not an issue and we can work in some programs to fit. Let's not confuse the fact that we have the intersessional work and necessarily, we have a session. Last year we merged the BPF local content with one of the workshops at the same topic so just to give a positive look into the venue being smaller. So, in terms of the feeding the agenda. But then my comments would be first, I mean, the ideal scenario is that we can approve the five intersessional works, work tracks, and then we can work around the consultant and being flexible. For me, that's the idea, one. What I wrote in the chat, I could and take home or take back to my co proponents in both. I'm not alone in seeing the merge is possible. I don't feel comfortable speaking on their behalf because I haven't really consulted on that one so either we reinvestigate this possible consultant investor we go back and please give me more time to see if I can get this period in merging. Thank you.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Sorry, I've also got one more point to make. I haven't consulted fully in my mind but also thinking ahead. What will we do next year as well when we come to the same discussion? I think we need to maybe sort of agree now instead of next year that, okay, if we have these five, what do we do next year? Do we say that one has to graduate or we park one and revisit it after the next year if something else comes along or do we stick with five and have six next year? These are things we have to think about as well and it may be best to think about it now when we don't have the pressure on it. Last year, we agreed this, let's do it, or something like that. I don't want to tell you what to do.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Chengetai, that is a good point and I think actually advancing some of the work on the strategic work program should help identify some of the things we would move forward with in a multi year basis. I agree we should work on this for next year. This is always an extremely painful part of the process.
So, I was going to suggest that I go away and work with the Secretariat to see if there are any this isn't just a matter of resources, it's also a matter of ensuring you've got the right skills to, when you pull in two people to support these activities but let me go away and see, we also do have internship as another possibility as well so I'll go away and work with the Secretariat to see whether or not it's appropriate to support appropriate and possible to support the five. If we do that I think people should be prepared that it may well come back to a slight reduction in support for probably all of the approved efforts unless we're able to add additional resources too. So another is there a way to take two consultants and get them to support five activities or can we get two and a half consultants or something like that. I really appreciated Raquel's sort of offer to go away and look at gender and CENB but I really didn't hear or see any support pour it those types of mergers. I don't think the gender BPF or proposals and those that have been a part of the working group support that either and I think that makes for a slightly lesser process if there's not agreement on the outset. I think the Working Group on multiyear program does need to think about what are some of the topics that we believe are appropriate to not only bring forward in a multiyear but this was also about maximizing all of the component pieces of the IGF ecosystem and to the extent we had a multiyear program that focused on, I'll just say topic X, and that was obviously arrived at with the support of the community, engagement of the community, all of our intersessional activities and our REIs, that would actually make for a very visible, very robust effort.
So, by pulling some of these into the Working Groups and the MAG, which I think Mary said very eloquently, it was not to diminish them at all. In fact, really quite the opposite.
But if people are okay leaving yet another call without having decided on the BPFs and give myself and the secretary sometime to work that through, we can come back to you hopefully in the next couple of days. Is that an appropriate way to move forward? I see lots of yeses in the chat room so Chengetai and I will go away and see how that might be structured. If I could just quickly come away to the MAG Working Group, there was a discussion when we were approving all the Working Groups, there was one we didn't quite approve and that was fundraising.
There was a suggestion that maybe that be merged with the multiyear strategic work program. I sent out a document that said while clearly our ability to fund raise is significantly dependent on some of the strategic activities we'd be addressing in the multiyear working program that I thought the Working Group on fundraising was really quite distinct, frankly more tactical and critical to start up now. And that is actually in the terms of reference for all MAG members so it's something that should be kept I think fully in front of the MAG. There was significant support on the well, I think there were about seven or eight responses that came in. All of them were supportive of keeping it separate so I'd like to see if there's support from the MAG members to charter the Working Group on fundraising as a distinctly separate group and keep the multiyear working program as it is.
>> SALANIETA TAMANIKAIWAIMARO: Hi, Lynn. Sala here. Fully support the chartering of the Working Group on fundraising. It's quite distinct from planning as you mentioned and should be kept separate. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sala. Sylvia has her hands up. Sylvia. And Mary.
>> SYLVIA CADENA: Thank you, Lynn. Look, I understand and appreciate the analysis that you made to keep both groups separately. However, when I look at the document that was shared about the fundraising group, the goal of the funds raising activity is to secure resources and I think there is this group the activities are actually to go and do the fundraising. It's not about this strategy around it so I think there is a step before maybe that has happened before my joining the MAG. If that is the case, it would be great if there is other background documents on how that fundraising strategy has been thought but the document shared was very practical about identifying what specific donors or support in fundraising activities can be, then. To be honest, as it is chartered in my personal capacity for example, this would be a very clear conflict of interest with my personal work. So I can support or join a group that is about the strategy of a fundraising campaign that someone else takes on. I cannot go and do fundraising directly for the IGF without a clear mandate from the UN and negotiations with my employer. It is in my contract and I cannot do any fundraising outside of my job because that implies, advocating for issues and agendas that I'm not allowed.
And I understand that I am on the MAG in my personal capacity but at the same time, I have a duty I need to respect. I'm also working on other Working Groups that are on fundraising and that distinction for conflict of interest has been raised several times and it's very important that if the MAG mandate is about shaping the program, giving MAG members the authority or the leeway to go and approach donors and governments, corporates to negotiate funding on behalf of this process needs to be done in a way that the strategy allows. And I'm very sorry if this has been done before. But as I said, this onboarding process as a MAG member feels like trying to get on a moving train so I don't know if the strategy has been done before. If it has, please help me to understand and I'll see what I can do. But, as these chartered and with the specific activities proposed, I think it would be very difficult, for example, for me to put my name outland I have quite a lot to give on that strategy and part of my suggestion to a merger with the multiyear work was to try to balance out how fundraising is done with the strategy in place so that's where that comment came from. But, yeah, I understand and I'll see how I can help. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, certainly understand situation and obviously don't want to put you in an awkward position at all. With respect to strategy, I think that's what this group would do. I do think there's a fairly practical approach we could start quickly on the basis of work done in past years although none of this is documented. If you're able to and can suggest ways to advance charter, that would be fine. The charter has been out in front of people for five or six weeks. I really would like to move it or not. You're free to vote no against it if you like but I would like to, again, complete the request to a profit group on fundraising and with all these working groups the charters can be adjusted and reprioritized so if there's something you feel that's critically missing please put a note on the list and it will be taken up. Mary, you had your hand up, I think when I moved for approval for the working group.
>> MARY UDUMA: Hello?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes. We can hear you, Mary.
>> MARY UDUMA: Okay. Before I make my comment, may I ask for this clarification. In previous years, has this Working Group been chartered before?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: There's somebody typing in the background. If they could mute themselves, and if that's Sylvia, the Secretariat, could you mute her, please? It's difficult to hear Mary.
>> MARY UDUMA: Yeah, I'm asking whether in previous years the market had the number of Working Groups that have been proposed for this year. It seems to me there are too many Working Groups. Most of MAG members have their day to day job to do. Will we be able to effectively manage the number we're creating, the number of Working Groups we're creating? That's my first question. First, whether these Working Groups have existed before since I am new to the MAG, were they existing in 2017?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: That's a good question, Mary. The number of Working Groups we have in front of us are, I think the same as last year. They all made significant progress, possibly with the exception of the communications one which just had a tremendously broad remit. But the Working Group on IGF improvements, new session formats, multi year working program I think all did quite a reasonable amount of work, again, in a compressed year because we, the MAG was also chartered late. We started late. So I do think it's possible to support the number we have in front of us.
>> MARY UDUMA: Okay. So we'll be able to get through, okay, we can get, we can effectively manage the number we have right now because I think for me, there is intersessional work to be done and I'm not sure that MAG members are not going to be involved. They're all going to be involved. We have BPFs. We have Dynamic Coalition, we have Connecting the Next Billion, and then the Working Groups. So, all this within the short period of time before the IGF takes place, will we effectively manage them. If not, can we merge some? Those are my questions.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: No, it's an excellent, excellent question. You know, at the same time, this is a situation we've been in for many years. Probably close to every year it's been in existence. I think one of the biggest things we could do is got a timely appointment of the MAG so we weren't trying to frantically shove four or five months worth of work into one so I think we can address that but I think that's maybe a question to keep working as we go forward and again, I'd like to come back in the last few minutes here and just close on is there support for the Working Group on fundraising to go forward.
>> MARY UDUMA: Thank you, Lynn, for answering my question. I'm not holding back from your question. But I'm just trying to say, if we think about these, if there are too many, let's merge. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yeah, no, fully, fully support your comment, question, and concern. It is a tremendous workload. Well, I saw significant support for supporting the group in the chat room. I think one or two comments is looking for sort of further clarification on what the work is of the group and we can take that on. It has varied over the years. But I think maybe the right place to advance that work would be within this Working Group and if we need to come back to the MAG because there's a significant change to the charter we can do that but I would like to get started within that Working Group. So, given the support on the list, I'm just reading Sylvia's last comment here, and she doesn't actually support working on it, but I do think it's also important, obviously, to address any conflict of interest and guidelines so the Working Group on fundraising is approved, then. We literally have about three minutes. I really don't want to keep people late. I, myself, have a train to catch. I think we can hit some of the key points with respect to item 7 on studying and shaping the IGF program online. We had some of that discussion earlier this morning. Or, sorry, earlier today on this particular call. Let me just see if there's anything specific on the newcomers and youth track that we feel important to update on just now or keep that to the next meeting.
>> ANJA GENGO: Sorry, this is Anja from the Secretariat. Asked me to just give a brief update on the Newcomers track but I do see we are approaching the end of the meeting so maybe I would suggest to send a written proposal that's already developed to the MAG list to be reviewed because there are some critically important updates to the Newcomers Track given that some senior stakeholders last year are very expressive in sharing complaints and suggestions how the track should be improved that obviously was seen as valuable. So if you agree, I would then send a written proposal to the list.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: That would be excellent, Anja. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: So we have two minutes left. Our next call is actually scheduled in two weeks. I this we can, as I said, advance item number seven, shaping the IGF, on the MAG list. There is some activity already in response to Rasha as one of the co facilitators putting out a call for participants and outlining the work. If you have passion in following that work, I suggest you join the Working Group. I think it would be beneficial for the Working Group to put out very regular updates to the full MAG so that we keep everybody abreast of the work we're actually driving towards sense since that has a tight timeframe as well. We will work to schedule a demo and introductory process to the workshop review process. I'd really like to understand from the Working Group on eval when they think there would be an appropriate time to do that.
So, we'll try and get an assessment from them quickly on that so we can get that call or webinar scheduled. I think another question in front of the Working Group was whether or not we should do something similar for the community or for some of the intersessional activities as well. We continue to say that we need to ensure that we are involving the intersessional activities and the NRIs in the shaping the IGF program and that everybody is clear on the expectations but we've yet to have a substantive discussion on how that happens and I think that's also something we need to determine how we can take up also. Again, in the next few weeks such that it's ready for the MAG workshop review process. Just checking my other notes. I had had a discussion with the MAG on whether or not it was helpful to continue the outline that was posted some time ago. I personally feel it's helpful as a document although as our work progresses, the document gets behind. Maybe what we can do is try to keep that document up to date in the sense of make it a process description document and just keep evolving as we actually get clarity on these individual pieces. The next call, I'm not sure unless the Secretariat knows quickly.
It is in two weeks' time on a Wednesday on a rotation. The Secretariat had sent out a and with all the calls so if not perhaps we can just get that reminder out quickly to everybody. Chengetai, do you, off the top of your head remember when the next call is or?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: I'm going to take a I'm sorry, I'm going to take a guess and just say that it's in the morning. Sorry, the morning doesn't matter because we are all in different places.
16th May, and it's at 1:00 UTC.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Okay. Excellent. Thank you, everybody. Thank you again, for supporting the rotation of the calls and for all the excellent discussion. Really appreciate the cooperative environment here as we try and power through an awful lot of work. Thank you and we'll see everybody online.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Lynn.