The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during an IGF virtual call. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Ladies and gentlemen, we will just give the traditional two minutes for the latecomers to join.
>> Okay. Good afternoon and evening and morning, ladies and gentlemen. Let's start our meeting. But before we start, I'd like to point out that we will be using the speaking queue today. We encourage everybody to try and use the speaking queue. If you cannot use the speaking queue you can put your name in the chat, and Luis will add your name to the speaking queue.
With that, I will just hand it over now to start the meeting. Thank you.
>> Lynn, are you there?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: I am, yes, I was having difficulty unmuting for some reason.
The first order of business, is a call for adoption of the agenda, which is posted there in the screen, and was sent out some time ago.
Are there any items for AOB or any other edits? Slow count to 6. All right. Not hearing or seeing anything, thank you, and I want to thank everybody for joining, particularly those where it's either very early or very late. I do think it's important that we rotate these calls, so that everybody gets to participate somewhat equally.
Let's go to the first item, which is miscellaneous updates from the Secretariat. Chengetai, you have the floor.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, Lynn. As you all know, we are going to Paris in November for the IGF 2018 meeting. The Secretariat myself and a colleague from DESA and also our technical person from UNON, we are all going to go to Paris on Friday, just to see the UNESCO venue and also talk to the French Government officials.
This is more or less just a formality, to make sure that we all understand each other, and we all understand the distribution of responsibilities and also to check out the venue, and this will also be very helpful when we allocate the workshops and other stations to the rooms.
Still outstanding is the Day Zero, which we hope to finalize the status of the Day Zero, where it's going to be held and which day it's going to be on Friday.
I don't know if there is anybody from the French Government on the call today? I'm just pausing to give them a chance.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: I don't see anyone.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay, yes. But I will give you a report after the planning mission which is scheduled on Friday, as I said.
I'll pause there to see if anybody has got any questions on that before we go to workshop evaluation update, which Eleonora is going to do for us, since she is the one who was, who did the statistics.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Before we go there, I want to underline the fact that we know that the French Government is looking at several solutions to accommodate a Day Zero, so you would ask everybody to hold, I think specifically on any formal plane reservations, until that is known, and we should have a much better idea at the end of this week, early next week as well.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yeah. There is not going to be a major change. There may be a day extra. But we will know, hopefully we will know on Friday.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: I see there is a question from Rudolf. You have the floor.
>> Thank you, Lynn. Just on the procedure, are we going to have a, or do we already have a French Co Chair of the MAG now or how is this going to function, this situation with France having made a proposal, everyone is assuming that is going to be accepted. But I understand formally it has not yet been accepted. Is this correct?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: So there will be a Host Country chair. I think we fully expect that to be David Martino, as Chengetai said, the final set of formalities are being taken care of, that will occur this Friday.
All the necessary letters have been sent, both to the other countries that were interested in hosting, but in the end, couldn't make it work for this year, and the French have also been notified, you know, of our intent to move forward.
So being really formal we can't say it's done yet. But there is really only a minor formality which occurs this Friday. And at that point then, we can announce formally the Host Country chair.
>> Okay, thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Um hmm. Sala had a quick comment. We have discussed this several times in the past, but yes, the IGF does overlap with the ITU plenipot. That is unfortunate. We do think there are some other benefits, if you will, to being in Paris at those days, certainly with other missions, some of the IGOs that are there, alignment against the Paris peace Forum, and also a very active private sector in France.
But yes, unfortunately, it does overlap and there is nothing more to be done with that.
I think if there are no more questions, we will move to the workshop evaluation update.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, Lynn. I will hand it over to Eleonora to give the update on the statistics. We did receive it, and we have enabled the workshop evaluation by MAG members. I sent the link out this morning. So I think you would all are going to have a try to see whether you can log in and you see the workshops. If you have any technical difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact Luis. He is ready to help. One or two people have already contacted Luis, and he has sorted them out very very quickly.
So please do that. So, just to underline again that the workshop evaluations by MAG members is from today, as of 13th of June to the 27th of June, that is 14 days. And please, I would urge you not to do it on the final weekend, but pace yourselves. You know, do a couple each day, or something like that. But don't rush and do it all at the last three days or the last weekend.
Okay. I'll hand it over now to Eleonora. Eleonora, are you there?
>> Yes, hi, everyone. Thanks, Chengetai. You can hear me well, right?
>> Okay, great. I think most of you will have seen or in any case it was sent to the MAG list, just a short statistical document that takes an initial look at all the proposals we have received, and on the first page that's displayed here in the Webex room, there is the full run down of the total number of proposals we have received, 462 forms created in our database, 359 finally submitted, and then the bottom line which is the most important, 348 which the MAG will actually evaluate after the Secretariat did its screening.
So this is the number of proposals we have received is really a marked increase from last year. Last year we had 281 submitted, and 268 that actually went to evaluation. So really, almost a hundred proposal difference between the number of proposals that the MAG will evaluate.
The screening was actually very quick, because the proposal forms themselves don't actually allow proposers to submit, if they haven't met certain criteria, like if you don't have three speakers listed then you can't actually submit the form. The screen was actually quite quick this year, with some technical adjustments made to the form.
So what was screened out were actually just duplicates or proposals withdrawn by the proposers themselves. And then moving on, Luis, if you can go to the next one, thank you, these are the most popular themes or rather just the themes, the breakdown of themes in descending order with Cybersecurity topping the list, and then we have the proportion of the themes, Cybersecurity, human rights and development, innovation and economic issues were the top three.
But otherwise, not a very bad distribution. I mean, there is some, you know, some evenness among the top themes. Then if you would go to the next one, Luis, these are taking a more detailed view. The sub themes that were selected by the proposers, and here you have the actual numbers, and on the next page those sub themes by proportion. So, thanks, Luis.
So these are the sub themes, separate from the themes, so even though it's interesting to take a look at this because even though Cybersecurity tops the list as a theme, the most popular sub theme was actually Internet for development and SDGs. So you see that there is actually some variety in where proposers' interests are. If we can go to the next one, this is how the sub themes actually stack up within their respective themes.
I think when MAG members get together and start evaluating, they will also get a sense of this, of where the most popular issues are within their assigned themes.
If we could move on, so next we have a list of the sub themes or issues which actually were not already listed in the form. It's what the issues spelled out by the proposers themselves, if they selected, if they selected other. And there are some interesting ones there. I mean, Child Online Protection we hadn't necessarily given for instance as a selection, but some proposers selected that as another theme, and a number of other interesting issues, but that still work well within actually the themes that we have, the eight major themes. Then we have a breakdown of the formats. This is very much in keeping with last year, panel and round table formats are the most popular, this just gives a quick glance of the kind of formats we can expect.
Then another, well, bit of good news here is that the distribution of co organizers by gender is very equal. It's really a 50/50 split between men and women, with 1 percent identifying as other. So, that's a little bit of progress. And just as a quick note of explanation because this may have caused some confusion, on all proposals in parentheses means that that proportion looks at all co organizers even if they are repeated, and the second one with unique in parentheses has just taken the individual co organizers, rather than all of them as they are repeated across the proposals, because as you will also see when you are evaluating, there are many repeated co organizers across proposals, as well as I mentioned the speakers.
Okay. Well, we had a regional breakdown before that, on the previous page, that is actually very similar to last year's. I think it was Renata maybe on the MAG list who made a comment about there being three quarters developing or rather developed country proposals. I don't think that these pie charts necessarily show that. They are just divided by region. And if maybe we consider that most developed countries are actually in WIOG it looks very much like the proportions we had last year, where there were about maybe actually a little more than half of the proposals coming in that were from developed countries versus developing countries. So this may represent a slight reduction, in developed country proposals versus developing country.
Here we have the breakdown of stakeholder groups. This is also very much in keeping with last year. In fact, the Civil Society portion has decreased ever so slightly, about between 63 and 65 percent of proposals last year were from Civil Society. So there has been a small decrease there, although the majority of clearly still from Civil Society.
And new this year, we actually can take a look at where the speakers are coming from, and here again we have a very nice even split between men and women in the speaker pools. And the regions that the speakers come from, and the stakeholder groups that the speakers come from are actually really mirror very closely where the co organizers are coming from. I think that's clear from the proportions that we have here.
I think that's all the stats we have.
>> Eleonora, it's Lynn. I have a question. I'm trying to figure out what is the right way to look at these statistics, because if we have three co organizers or two co organizers, and we count each one of them by a diversity whether it's a region or stakeholder group, I don't know the pie charts actually kind of accurately reflect that, if you know what I mean. If many of them, workshop organizers actually have for instance a Civil Society component because they want a Civil Society perspective, I'm not saying this very well, but because we have multiple (static) on each one.
There is a lot of scratchy noise in the background. I don't know where that is coming from, but if you are not speaking, if you could just mute. I think we need to think about this a little more. I'm not sure it's a accurate reflection to split these up across regions and stakeholders with multiple co organizers chosen. I don't know that it's kind of a fair metric to either assume that there is some sort of gap or not. I don't know if that means we need a finer breakdown and review, or but I just want to, if anybody can help me think that through, help me rephrase that better, I'd appreciate it (chuckles).
I think it was a fair metric when it was one organizer, when they were clearly one person from a region. But when you can have two, three or four co organizers which obviously could come from different regions and from different stakeholders, to capture all of those and just do a percentage across the total, I don't know that that is really reflecting the basis of the proposals.
>> ELEONORA: I think I sort of know what you are saying. But I would maybe like others to come in and see if, I don't know, maybe the Secretariat could get a little more guidance on what more is needed.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Maybe I can talk to Sala, to see whether or not there is a different analysis that would help. But it's more just a matter of us as we go forward in this process, as we think about that, to see if we have got the right analysis in front of us. But let me open it up to the floor, see if there are any questions on the stats that have been here, been shown here.
>> Renata, were you in the queue? I'm sorry. I just saw in the room there.
>> Yes, Renata here, thanks, Eleonora, very comprehensive analysis as always. As to what Lynn was just addressing, I understood that co organizers by regions are now proposed counts of free regions and so counts the first proposal, and then co organizers by region counts unique, so counts each proposer. Well, anyway, in other proposers we do have more than half of developing countries' submissions, if you join the blues and greens, the IGOs. I would really note again the importance of helping the proposers from developing countries to get to the IGF, and I wonder the high number of proposals discarded in the screening, and comment that some of them didn't have three speakers. So automatically, they were discarded.
Could it be that maybe we reach out to some of those proposers, and ask them to, I don't know, become other types of sessions, flush sessions or whatever and from the MAG, the MAG members, the commitment IGF should have to a balanced representation, so in our evaluation, we will be able to see those countries, and have in mind that for evaluation.
>> Thank you, Renata. And a balanced representation is of course really critical in everything we are doing.
I have Rasha in the queue next. You have the floor.
>> Thank you, Lynn. I hope everyone can hear me.
>> Thank you. I asked a question on the chat, and Eleonora just confirmed that these, all proposals' charts basically counts every co organizer's name that was listed on the workshop. I'm trying to think out loud here.
I think that was our point, when we decided to not make one person sort of in charge of the work shop and we decided to make it a multiple task. I'm just wondering what do we consider to be like a more normal distribution? I mean I obviously need to maybe look at figures from last year and maybe years before. But did we expect, equal participation by region? What exactly did we expect? What would we call a fairer representation, I guess is my question.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: My question isn't about the fairness. I think fairness would certainly be more equal across all the categories.
My point was really that I'm not entirely clear we can draw some of the conclusions we are sort of drawing in the pie charts that are there, if we are intending to use it, remember last year we used this analysis to identify where there were gaps, and that's only my point.
If somebody is a workshop organizer in one region, and they want to pull in individuals from other regions because they want help either fleshing out the idea or fleshing out the participants, the speakers or panelists, and they pull people in as a co organizer, I'm not saying this well at all (chuckles) I apologize. But I don't know that we can use it at this level for the gap analysis to draw conclusions that either says we need this area is overbalanced or underbalanced, and I think we probably need to do that by looking at the substance of the proposal, not the names that were on as organizers, because at the end of the day, the folks that participate in the IGF don't recognize or understand the co organizers' names. They will look at who is actually participating as a panelist, and they will look at the theme and the content to see if in fact it's a balanced program.
So I think it's just a matter of really understanding at a content level the material we are trying to cover, and not this high level set of statistics. But maybe we can even have a quick call or something, or I'm even happier if Rasha, you and Sala want to go away and look at this and figure out what are the right statistics we ought to be measuring against. Again, I think the diversity of the program is judged at one level by the content, and the speakers, not by a proposer or an organizer.
>> Come in again quickly.
>> Thank you, this is Rasha Abdulla. I think I agree with what you are saying. I don't think we need any more statistics. I think this kind of gives a clear idea of what the participants look like.
I think it's too early to judge, that was my first reaction when I saw the E mails. I think maybe after we do the evaluation process, we look at what we have, like the workshops that actually made it through, and then when we have our face to face meeting, we can assess if we feel that there is a region or a particular stakeholder group that we think is underrepresented.
But I think as it is right now, it's too early to tell if it's fair or balanced or not.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Largely I agree with you. Let me try one more time. I don't know that it matters if the proposer is from a developed country or developing country. I think what matters is that the program we put together has enough topics that address issues that are important in both those regions.
Simply because it's a developing country co organizer doesn't mean that it's not a developed country topic, if you follow what I mean there. I think we are sort of ascribing all sorts of things to both region and stakeholder that I don't think necessarily holds.
Let me go back to the queue. Sorry, Ben, thank you for your patience. Ben, you have the floor.
>> Thank you, Lynn. This isn't a comment about the statistics. So you might want to keep the floor open for that. It was, I know there has been some discussion on the list about whether or not late submissions will be accepted. I personally sympathize with those who said we should keep to the deadline. It's clear we have got plenty of proposals to consider, and that are two weeks for evaluating starts now.
But I wanted to get clarification on whether or not there was a potential to accept submissions, because I think there might still be some people working on them on the basis that they might get accepted at this stage. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: You are welcome. We will let Chengetai come in.
>> The answer there is a clear no.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: The exceptions that we allowed, and I know there is one case occurring on another list, the flexibility that the Secretariat and I agreed with were those who really were just having either a sort of technical trouble or just missed the deadline. It was not to provide sort of an extension or multi day flexibility. Though one example that a number of people pointed out in the list, I think the Secretariat and I agreed, that it's not a workshop submission process. That deadline has passed. It may be more appropriate as a Open Forum request or something like that.
I believe Chengetai put a note out that said there were very, very small number of exceptions that came in past and those were just those that had a genuine technical difficulty. So I think happily, and quite surprisingly, there weren't a lot of additional requests for flexibility.
Could I, Eleonora, there was a comment earlier about proposals that were discarded. Could you comment on, I think that is getting to the discrepancy between how many forms were started in the system and how many proposals the MAG are evaluating, was there a significant number discarded because it didn't meet criteria such as three speakers identified? Or were those just false starts if you will that weren't completed.
>> Sure, I'd be happy to answer that. I think that, yeah, there were some comments about the discrepancy between the first two numbers we see listed here, 462 forms created in the system and below that, 359 submitted. There is a big gap in that number, because there are many people who sort of created a lot of drafts, like draft proposal forms, and then didn't finish them, and went ahead and maybe just started a new one, and then wound up submitting that.
So it's like in the database pool that we have, we have like a huge number of rough drafts, and that number is higher than last year, because actually proposers were allowed to create as many drafts as they wanted, and they took advantage of that.
But there were no real submissions left out between the 462 and 359, I mean 359 were the proposals actually submitted. Then the 348 that the MAG will evaluate is the number that the Secretariat comes at after we have done the screening, and the screening is noted in little note in the bottom of the box, really just removed proposals that were clearly duplicates, where the content was identical, the proposer was identical, everything was the same, or just a couple of cases where the proposers actually contacted the Secretariat and said, I submitted this proposal, but I actually don't want it to be considered. I want to start all over again or for whatever reason.
So that's kind of how the process went. But go ahead, Chengetai.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: There was also a specific question about proposals being discarded because they had less than three speakers. But they were not discarded, you were physically unable to submit the proposal if it didn't meet that requirement. So it wasn't that the discarding as such.
>> You would have had error message and had the opportunity to fix it.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: That was one of the questions. Thank you, Chengetai and Eleonora.
There is also a question much higher than last year, can someone remind me what the equivalent number to the 348 is from last year?
>> Hi, it's Eleonora. Last year there were 268, that the MAG evaluated, versus this year's 348.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Excellent, thank you. Thank you, Eleonora. Chengetai, I think we are ready to I don't see anybody else looking for the floor. I think we are ready to move to the third agenda item which is the workshop evaluation system and process. You have the floor.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you. I was going to give it to Luis just to walk us through again, to make sure that everybody understands how to log on, and what to click and how the evaluations are made.
The groups have already been assigned. So those people who have logged in can actually see their workshops. As I said, if you don't see any workshops or if there is a problem and you can't log on, please contact Luis, and he will fix it in short order. Luis, please.
>> LUIS BOBO: Thank you, Chengetai. This is Luis. That is exactly correct. So I'm going to show you again the evaluation form. It's the same that we saw last time, simply it has the suggestions added, and as Chengetai said, I have created here a user who is for example assigned to the Cybersecurity theme.
If I open my list of proposers to evaluate here, I see that only the Cybersecurity themed proposals. As Chengetai has said, the MAG has been grouped in different groups, and if I show you the breakdown of themes, that Eleonora did here, you will see just making up numbers we have 55 MAG members and we need to evaluate at least 11 people per proposal, as last year.
In the rough number, every MAG member should evaluate around 70 proposals. As we are themed, two of the groups have been going with Cybersecurity and human rights gender, and these are two groups and the other three groups have been done assuming these elements, so there is one of these two with a small number, with one of these development or digital inclusion, but all the groups follow the required elements of having four experts in the theme. And they are well balanced in stakeholder group in gender and in regional group, meaning that each group has similar number of female and male with a difference of one maximum. And there is representation of all stakeholder groups and regional groups.
All the proposals should be evaluated fairly, and if I can come back to the evaluation form, this user for example has been assigned to the group for Cybersecurity. The list of proposals that they can see here are those of Cybersecurity. Here is the proposal that I'm going to evaluate, as we already saw in the last meeting. And to see the proposal you can click here and you will open the list of proposals, only those for Cybersecurity, if I click over here, you will see that it's a Cybersecurity proposal.
The only difference is that in your view, as we said in our last meeting, you also see information about the gender and the nationality of the organizer and the speaker. That is the only difference. But you can click on the person, for example, this person for this proposal, okay, and you should be able to see this person with a biography and the information, regional groups and stakeholder group and the organization for the speaker.
Nothing else, I mean you have the information of the proposer here, the public information if you want. So information about the moderator, Rapporteur, etcetera, is for the moment hidden to avoid to show information about the organizers. If there is some reference document or background paper, it will appear here. You can click there, and you will see it immediately.
What happens here is that, so you can access the list of proposal and also we have created this .pdf file as we do every year. You can work off line. This .pdf file has all the proposals, it's the same for everyone. It doesn't have this information about additional information about the nationality, etcetera. But it has all the proposals, because it could be distributed, so it is like the public view, okay.
And I'm going to show it to you, so it's basically the cover and all the proposals, so you can access every proposal from here directly. The proposal, okay, you see exactly the same content. Okay. But this is a document that you can print or work off line.
So you have the information of the proposals here, and here just like the proposal that you are going to evaluate, and as we studied you just put here this one is already filled, but you just put the grading for whatever of the elements and it automatically updates the average score as you see.
Once you have finished, well, you can write comments, as we said, for the proposer, these are recommends that can be feed back to the proposers. These are mandatory if the average score finishes with a 3 or less. But you can still put whatever comment for the proposer. This is their required box for the internal comments. This is just for you private, of course, the Secretariat can see the comments as well, if you say them here. But this is for you to help for evaluation.
So with this we have already evaluated these two proposals and you see that they are already here and that I can change them, and also as a suggestion, it was suggested for example that we can order the proposals by average score or whatever of the fields, this is possible now. So click like in any table. And it is reordered.
I'm going to evaluate one proposal, and you will see how it works. But there is nothing new about what we said. So nothing different from what we said in the last meeting. I for example select well, it is important to say that when you select a proposal here and you have already evaluated it, it appears here, and it disappears from here. So your objectives before the deadline is to make this drop down menu empty. Evaluate all the proposals, and then you can change the values. But give the score for all your proposals. And if you need to adjust, you can always do that.
If I evaluate for example, I don't know, this proposal, I said 2, I said in content, I set a 4, I said 5 here, also this text has been updated with this year's call, so I set a 3 here. The average, 2, 4, 5 and 3, is 2.75. 3.5, sorry. This comment is not mandatory. But I could put a comment in any case. I could put an internal comment here for me.
I save my proposal, my evaluation for this proposal, for proposal 258. So I click submit and it is saved. It appears here, immediately order by title and order by this it coincides but I could order now, and that's all. It has disappeared from here. Okay.
So it's not here anymore. You need to empty this list. Okay? And if you need to change whatever proposal, for example, the one that we have done now, I can click on change, and I can do exactly the same, I can just change the grade and resave and that's all. Simply I cannot change the name of the proposal now. That is the proposal, I mean updating, and for example I'm just this diversity grade, the average score is 2.75 and this becomes mandatory, but I can change it. Okay. I save the proposal. And I come back to the initial screen.
That's all. There is nothing else. Simply you have to log in with your IGF account, using the link that Chengetai sent to the list. But then after that, if you are logged in, you access directly to this form. This has been updated. Of course, this form is also, it's only available for MAG members, and remember that you will only see here the proposals assigned to you.
I think that's all. I can answer the questions now in the chat, and I have Renata in the queue. Renata?
>> Renata here. Thank you, Luis, also for the question in the chat. It's about the comment field, the internal comments. Can you please scroll down to the last part of the so I see we can change, I assume you can change up until we have until the 27th to evaluate, so I assume we can change until then, right? Our evaluation? But the internal comments now here are private comments, so I see they are only seen by me or are those comments the MAG may have access at some point? I don't know, of all the internal comments in the workshop. Thank you.
>> LUIS BOBO: No, thank you, Renata. The internal comments are only visible by you and of course the Secretariat. We can see everything, because this is extractible and we can see all the information.
But the Secretariat is the four of us, and only you. Only you see your evaluations. Nobody else. This is completely private, and I think we always when we extract the evaluations they are not linked to any names. So everyone sees only the final results.
And the additional comments, the only difference is that we use these comments, but Eleonora can correct me, but from whom they come, they are sent to proposers as feedback by the MAG, but not without specifying who is the person that gave the comment.
>> It's Eleonora. I want to confirm that is the case, the proposer receives the comments as they were written, but that does not know which MAG member made them.
>> LUIS BOBO: Okay. Thank you, Eleonora, for the confirmation. I have Raquel.
>> Thanks for the documents and for the presentations. That has been really helpful.
I do have two comments. One is regarding the question that was started, asking in the chat. My question is we usually refuse the ones that our organization or somehow have been involved with, but in the past, we exchange, simply exchange for another proposal.
Since now we are talking about the grouping, the thematic grouping, so consider for example if we had proposals under Cybersecurity, which are 77, if I have to refuse either this proposal would have one less reviewer, which might be fine, or I would be reallocated to another MAG grouping review with two other topics, I don't know. So just to see if you have thought about it, or we should consider.
My second comment is regarding, Luis, at some point information that the moderator was also excluded from the public view of the workshop proposers, proposals. Some of the proposals that I've been involved with, I think they were considering also the moderator, especially depending on the type of the, the format of the session, as part of the speaking diversity. It might be or it might be not. But in any case, just, I don't know if that's better to leave. I don't know if that's really indicative of the organizers that we should consider. I see that more as a grade of the speaking people.
>> LUIS BOBO: Thank you, Raquel. Indeed these are two very good questions.
For the last question, the moderator, indeed what was in the Forum was to specify who if the organizer will act as moderator or as Rapporteur, etcetera. This was a empty text. Usually they will have the name or they will have here more information, usually someone from the organizers. As we can still have hidden organizers, the name is hidden. But you have the information in the organizers here. Okay?
I hope that answers your question.
About the first question, the reassignment, again it is done contacting the Secretariat. We didn't have so many cases last year, maybe around 8, something like that in all the evaluations which are like 2,000 to 3,000. And basically you write to us and we assign, we reassign the expected evaluation, why, because we gave from last year I think we down grade the thinking and what we need is that all proposals have the same possibility to be evaluated. So they have at least the same number of evaluators.
However, if one MAG member evaluates 75, another 66 proposals, is more or less the same, we count on collaboration, and if for example you reject or you refuse to evaluate one of the Cybersecurity proposals, it's okay. We remove it from this list, so you don't evaluate it. And not necessarily, depends on if at the moment you do it, but you could receive another one from, doesn't matter, any other theme, I mean. You are not changes from the group, so you still have the other bunch of proposals to evaluate but you could just receive one proposal from other group and maybe for example has been refused to be evaluated by other person, something like that, or simply that proposal is not evaluated and we assign that evaluation from a person from, who has your stakeholder group and regional group, from other group, from other MAG, from other MAG member, of other group, yeah. I don't know how to explain that. Assign it to another group which is not yours, so which is not the people who were already evaluating this proposal.
I hope I have answered your question. Always keeping the balance and fairness of the evaluations for the proposal, and of course trying to keep the same number of evaluations per MAG member. Okay.
I have Rasha.
>> Thank you, Luis. Thank you for the wonderful effort and Eleonora for the presentation. I have a few comments, and again I'm just thinking out loud here, I've been looking at the workshops assigned to me as you speak. I'm seeing that we don't get to see the name of the organizers anymore. We just see Civil Society, Asia Pacific group, male from India. So we don't know who that is.
We don't see the name of the moderators as well. So I'm just thinking, if perhaps, and many of the workshops, at least a few of the ones I clicked right now, I didn't go through all of them, of course, but quite a few list only one organizer, so again in light of what Lynn was saying, I'm wondering if we should consider when we are grading if we should consider diversity based on speakers really more than anything, because that's what we have complete information on. That is one thing.
The other thing that's again related to diversity is, a few of the workshops that I just went through right now, lists maybe like three speakers from very similar backgrounds, and then in the point about diversity says where more speakers will be added later. And that leads me to think about a few things. Number one, for next year and I'm not going to be on the MAG next year, but I really hope that the speaker list gets to be confirmed and specified before the workshop proposal is submitted, because when people make a statement like that, we don't know what to do with it. We have no guarantee that they will actually add more speakers to the workshop. And if they do, we have no idea who these people are going to be.
So basically, I think for this year, we need to evaluate the workshops based on the list of speakers that is in front of us, that is listed, because I can't really give somebody a high score on diversity with a promise that they will add some speakers later. That's, that sounds like no concrete evidence that this will actually happen. So particularly given the very large number of submissions that we have, and given that we are probably going to be even more limited than last year, in terms of the numbers of workshops that we get to actually pass to the final program, I do think that diversity should be graded this year based on the list of speakers that is already presented to us, and just hope that these are concurrent because we have no idea if these are confirmed or not. But we stipulated at least three of them be confirmed but we hope these speakers will be confirmed, but I think particularly because we have a very large pool to choose from, that we should only choose the best in terms of the diversity of speakers. Thank you.
>> LUIS BOBO: Thank you, Rasha. I think that what you said last is completely correct. I could let Eleonora answer these questions because they are more practical. But this is the idea, just for you to know we received I guess three or four communications from speakers telling us that they couldn't be listed and they shouldn't be speakers in those workshops. This means that they are really aware of the listing, initially they pretend to be there, so as we have to trust to a high degree in the list of speakers for diversity that they are proposing, and act on that. Of course, they could be last minute refusal, rejects, and they could be also some additions, but we understand that these additions wouldn't be for the evaluation. They can use, as you said, you are not obliged to trust a note saying that more speakers will be added.
But again, I think that Eleonora can answer this better. The same for organizers. The organizer, the minimal number was not a requirement. It is for the MAG and you to decide how the diversity and organizers, if they present more organizers, for example, female and male and from different stakeholder groups, if this adds more diversity to the proposal or not, but simply technically the requirements were controlled and this is what we are presenting here.
Eleonora, maybe you want to say something? Or it's not necessary? (pause).
Okay. Eleonora, okay.
>> Hi, Luis. I'm sorry, I was struggling with my unmute button. No, I mean I wouldn't add very much at all, and in fact, I would say it's really, I wouldn't be the expert on this, and my answer would be that it's really MAG members' prerogative to score accordingly. If the speakers do not seem sufficiently diverse, then that's an evaluator's opportunity to give a lower score, because of that.
Scoring is still a subjective process, and the evaluator is not forced to take into consideration a proposer's promise that they will add more diversity in their speakers later on.
On the co organizers, I would agree with you, Luis, we didn't set a minimum limit. So it is unfortunate that there may be some proposers, some proposals, where there is only one co organizer, when we clearly stated that we would also be looking at diversity within the co organizing teams. But in that case, again, I think evaluators will have to be forced to score accordingly.
>> LUIS BOBO: So we don't have more questions, I guess, I don't know if there is something in the chat. The final number of proposals to achieve you have to make your proposal drop down menu empty. So you should have around 70 proposals to evaluate in all cases. I don't see more comments in the chat.
>> Renata, we can come to your question in a moment. I think she is looking to understand how many workshops, we will come to that in a moment, if we can continue the discussion on the evaluation. Mary had a question as well, and there will not be a revalidation or additional reviews by other reviewers against proposals. We had quite a long discussion on that last year. I think everybody thought that that was perhaps some unfairly balancing or even potentially unfairly biasing some of the proposals. So the proposals that each MAG member is assigned are the proposals each MAG member is expected to review. There will not be kind of cross reviews by others who just volunteer to review. I think that is true, but certainly Eleonora, or Chengetai or Luis, jump in if you think that is not true or if you think the question was addressing something different.
Dunka had a question, which I think is for you to address, Luis.
>> Making sure the procedure, so we open in one window the list of proposals, and then we find it in another table to go to the proposal itself. You can't click from the screen you have on now.
>> LUIS BOBO: That is absolutely correct. Yeah. Here you see the proposal and then evaluate here.
>> Okay, I'll probably prepare my remarks off line and paste them one by one.
>> LUIS BOBO: Thank you. Giacomo, you want to speak? Sorry, Giacomo, it seems we cannot hear you. So sorry. Maybe it can be done later.
I will try to help Giacomo off line, and maybe Lynn, Chengetai, you want to continue the meeting, if there are no other questions.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Sure, thank you, Luis.
Let me add my thanks to Luis and Eleonora and everyone in the Secretariat, Chengetai and Anja as well because it's a team effort, and for all the great work and timely turnaround over the last couple of days, very very good work. These systems have really come a long way in the last two years. Thank you.
Let me go and, I want to tag team this with Chengetai a little bit to get to the question of how many proposals we are apt to accept.
Last year in rough numbers, Chengetai and Eleonora, I'm sure you have more accurate numbers, we had roughly a hundred workshops, maybe 40 ish open forums, if Eleonora has that to hand and can put it in the chat room, that would be excellent. Nine NRI collaborative sessions and some Dynamic Coalition sessions and Best Practice Forum sessions, which to the outsider coming into the IGF of course, all these look like a part of the IGF program. The total number I think was about 200 in total, and in fact, Eleonora, you needn't go to any trouble. I don't think the split is of that much interest. But we certainly have less workshops slots available to us going forward, because, several reasons. One, there is one less day in the IGF. Two, the community and the MAG have been very clear that they wanted less parallel sessions and certainly less redundancy amongst the topics, which is related to this point.
So I don't know if Chengetai has kind of a number in mind yet, and I think Friday will help as well. Go ahead.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Just top of my head, we are going to be losing about 20 to 25 percent because we are missing, we are losing a day. So I mean that is a quarter, right.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: And that is again to just lose a day and keep the same proportion doesn't address the less parallel tracks which was
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Exactly.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Critical comment. I would say if there were roughly 200 sessions last year and if we just start with losing 25 percent, off the top, plus some additional slots, because of the less parallel sessions, I'm not sure what we think about the 40 open forums, but we will come to a sort of number in a moment. But one of the things I'd also like to suggest is that, and maybe this is a question for Chengetai, I think in the figure, 200 sessions in the IGF program, it doesn't include those what I call internal working sessions of a DC or NRI who might want sessions amongst themselves, simply taking advantage of the fact that everybody is there on site, to advance some activities. Is that true? 200 is sort of the substantive number of workshops slots in the program?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: I would ask, I'll double check with Eleonora, but I would think that the sessions are the ones that are take up a workshop room, not bilateral room or something like that.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: So I would suggest, and I'm going to throw this out, and unfortunately, Chengetai and I didn't get a chance to talk about this, I would have thought we were looking at something like 60 workshop slots. We would be down to a 150 total slots just with one less day and if in fact we want to reduce that by taking out one or two tracks rather than last year we had 10 or 11 tracks every hour, if we want to reduce that and frankly it's trimming, it's not even a huge reduction, that's obviously reducing 150 even further.
We are probably in the neighborhood of 60 or something. Does that math hold, Chengetai, with whatever you expect with respect to
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Roughly that amount, yes.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: So we will leave that with everybody for a moment, see if there are any comments. Renata, are you in the queue? Yes, that would be from 358 approximately 60 would actually make it through to the workshop session.
>> Yes, Lynn, I am on the queue, word about that. We had some sort of a mentoring scheme for some workshops last year. Would this be the case again this year, that is something we can use probably the comments to suggest things is the one. I also noted that probably if we want to assign there, we could, right, to suggest, I don't know, some additional research or something for proposers. Yeah. So this would be my comment for now. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Renata. Yeah, I think we can do some things to help some of the proposals, whether it's mentoring, I think there is also an opportunity to merge some proposals or suggest that two proposals come together, if they are reflecting opposite points of view, or many other reasons. Giacomo, you have the floor.
>> Can you hear me now?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes.
>> I wear the mic. Probably this could be the moment, because we are obliged by these slots, to test what is the real matter that we use at the EuroDIG, because what we are trying to do is, a way of what EuroDIG does usually and not deal at the end what the EuroDIG method is. The EuroDIG method is that when you have people that want to talk about the same topic, then in some cases we have here too many, okay, but we can cluster the topic around some angle. Then you ask people, all the people that made the proposal, the proponents, not all the speakers but the proponents, to gather together and to reshape a new workshop that is something that will fit within the original five, six, ideas that has been compiled together.
This is something that we leave directly at the EuroDIG the organizers, they discuss among themselves and come back with a proposal that is consistent and articulate, and multistakeholder and representative of the various things.
If we have now a constraint, this is a good time to test it.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Giacomo, it's Lynn. I think that, the suggested EuroDIG process as well as processes from Latin America and other regions, are what drove us to make some of the changes in this process. We might want to pilot something like that for a very small number of workshops. But I also understand that EuroDIG in particular uses a subject matter expert to try and drive those proposals and proposers together.
I also believe there is some advantage in having them from the same region, albeit a very important and very diverse region, it's also addressing a, in the end, a relatively small number of workshops. I think the discussion around the last MAG meeting is we weren't certain how that actually scaled for something the size of the IGF.
It might be something we pilot if there are some suggestions for a couple of key mergers, and then understand how that might work on a larger scale going forward. But I think the MAG, at least the subcommittee working on this felt that that was probably a very big step for both the community and the MAG to manage in this year. (pause).
Reading Renata's comment, sorry. If we can make a pilot or test these year even with suggested mergers might be a reasonable place to start. If you want to make a more concrete proposal of how we might pilot something this year, then by all means, do that. I think we have time for that.
Are there any Jutta, you have the floor.
>> Yes, thank you, Lynn for giving me the floor.
I was just wondering with regard to the overall number of workshops that we can accommodate during the three days, when I had a look at the section that I'm assigned to, I saw that there are very many which request for 90 minutes, and only a few that ask for flesh sessions are 60 minute sessions.
I was wondering whether we would also be able maybe to accommodate a little more, some more proposals if we ask them if they could do it in 60 minutes, instead of 90 minutes. I do think that many of the topics that I've already seen could also be quite good handled within 60 minutes and it's not necessary to have all these 90 minute slots in the program. Will that be a option for MAG members to suggest in the comments that the time is reduced from 90 minutes to 60 minutes?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: I personally think that is a very good comment, and absolutely. It may even help people really kind of get to a specific point more quickly. I think that's something you can comment on in the, in your reviews. What will happen as we get advanced in the process, the Secretariat can do a finer cut at the number of slots we actually have available, when we understand a little bit more about the rooms that are there, and also some portion of 60 minutes versus 90 minutes slots and they will usually come up with a couple of proposals or alternatives.
I think at the same time, we still have some discussions to go on how many open forums we are expecting, as well as other sessions that are required from the various intersessional activities, whether it's the Dynamic Coalition, best practice forums, CMRB or from the analysts themselves to see what requests they have.
Again some of them may be internal meetings which wouldn't necessarily be a part of the program but simply availing themselves of the space that are there.
The Secretariat will have, we can work on a finer cut there. My number of throwing out 60 was I think to frankly get the MAG to understand that this is not one every three or one out of every four proposals is going to be accepted, but that we are looking to have a tighter program, more cohesive, less redundancy, fewer tracks, and on top of that we have one less day. So it was to get kind of an order of magnitude number in front of everybody.
I hope that is actually enough to kind of keep in the back of your mind as you actually go through the proposals. Let me see if there are any more comments on that at the moment before we go to the next item. And at the same time, ask the Secretariat if there is anything else he would like to comment on, or bring forward on this particular item. (pause).
Okay. Actually, I'm trying to read back on the comments. I saw something go by from somebody, Miguel, what is it that you disagree with? You think that if in fact there is a move to push people towards 60 minute sessions, that that will reduce the sessions to panels? If you have a mic, that would help, rather than all the individual comments.
>> Can you hear me?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes. We can hear you.
>> Yes, I think that 60 minute sessions will be, 60 minutes will be little time to develop a new dynamic or a complete dynamic. It will reduce move to stakeholder dialogues, it will reduce, I don't know, new format, so I think it will be better format for that time is a panel, so everyone is going to end up doing a panel. That is my opinion.
I think that less sessions are better for the IGF relevance. I have seen that in lots and lots of sessions, it only brings, I don't know, it makes the IGF a mess, it's impossible to follow an event that way, so I think less sessions is better for the IGF.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Miguel. That is a good point and certainly ties with the strong feelings at the first MAG meeting. I don't think anybody is suggesting reductions as you are saying for all 90 minute sessions. I think we can take a careful look at them though. If we think that they would be better suited, this isn't about to my mind managing time to get more sessions in, it's if the topic is better suited in a more focused time slot, then I think we should indicate that.
I will point out that I was at EuroDIG last week, and they had what we probably would have called panel sessions before and they might have three or four people on the stage, but they had a moderator and quite often the moderator would turn to the audience first for some questions or engagement or dialogue, and then turn to the panelists, and the panelists of course were sometimes speaking from prepared remarks. But just as often, speaking to address some of the questions they heard.
I think there is a number of different ways to get engagement in from all the participants, not just the people that are on the stage, and would encourage people to think about that as well.
Renata, you have the floor.
>> Yes. Ben Wallis had a very interesting question in the chat. How do we put together all the suggestions of mergers? I think using the internal comments field would be a good first start and then the MAG members who propose mergers can discuss. Also I think the 90 minutes, 60 minutes, should be discussed. We do still have a big number of panels and round tables. So some of those, I don't see why series of talking heads for 90 minutes, it's a bit boring. So definitely we are arranging some of those sessions, and even maybe suggestions that we change the dynamic would be interesting.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: I think those are valid points. We will come to Ben's comment. Those are valid points. What I hear through everybody's comments in the chat room is I think everybody is really focused on getting sort of more focus, some concrete topics out and really looking at the relevance both of the overall topic that is being suggested, but also the format to the topic.
I think if, and I think reviewing by theme is going to help, because we will see whether or not there is a lot of very similar ideas, and hopefully choose the most relevant one, the one that we think is the most interesting or have the most impact. I'm looking forward to the face to face meeting, and progressing some of this. But I think if we all just keep focus on the high level priorities of MAG and we are so clear on in the first MAG meeting, I'm hoping we get a really solid set of reviews, and really impactful program.
I'm going to look to Luis now or Eleonora for a moment. Ben's question or suggestion was, if you want to suggest mergers, do you use a internal comments field, of course you need to suggest and indicate the number of all the proposals you are expecting to be merged, but is that the best way to do it? We need to make sure the comments are captured and fed back out to the MAG, so that the MAG can see that there were proposals for merging various of the sessions. I thought you said that that internal comment period was only going to be seen by the evaluator and the Secretariat. So can you pull those back out for us in a table for the full MAG, merger suggestions if they are done in the internal comment?
>> I would let Luis answer this. Go ahead.
>> LUIS BOBO: Yes, thank you. Indeed I had already thought that this internal comments can be also used to communicate with the Secretariat. So you can use them during evaluation, but you can just leave the final comments there, because we are going to see them, and you can just put your comments about the merge there in the internal comments field. We will extract that.
As it was said in previous meetings, this year it is systematic, so you should have more easiness in extracting what measures could be useful.
>> But just to be clear, these comments will not just be for the Secretariat. They will be shared with the proposer as well.
>> No, not the internal.
>> LUIS BOBO: Exactly.
>> Not internal.
>> LUIS BOBO: We are talking about the internal comments, which are different, yeah, exactly. The first one is for the feedback, and they are mandatory, if the average score is 3 or less, but you can add feedback in any case here, and the internal comments are just comment about this proposal. You can keep only you can see them, but also the Secretariat. So you can put your comments about mergers there in the internal comments.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Luis. To be clear, what the Secretariat will do then is extract any suggested mergers, and put them into a table, so that the MAG as a whole can review those suggestions. Right?
>> LUIS BOBO: Eleonora, you want to say maybe?
>> Hi, Luis, yes, that sounds like a perfectly good way to proceed, especially since you have just confirmed, Luis, that it's technically possible to do that kind of extraction.
The only thing I would suggest is that MAG members be clear, since this is just a text box, that they are indeed suggesting a merger, so basically it would be best to really just use the term merger, and to be clear that that is the suggestion, because originally this internal comment box, I mean I guess it still is, but was for any notes that you wanted to make on the proposal. But if you are using it to suggest one or more mergers, just be clear in your language.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Would it be better, Luis, to have a separate merger box, that again wasn't seen by the proposers, but could be seen by the Secretariat? Would that be a easier extraction for you?
>> LUIS BOBO: Thank you, Lynn. It will be the same. So I can add that field if you prefer, so as not to mix it with the internal comments. But I guess that the internal comments, sometimes or most of the times could be maybe merge with this one, I don't know. But maybe yes, it's a good idea, because otherwise, there could be internal comments that are not related to the merging. So
>> I would think so. It's a good idea because you have to sort out 70 times 11 comments which may be a bit
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Right. Apologies, I think Luis, if you can make a separate merger but I think that will reduce the work for the Secretariat downstream. I think if you want to suggest a particular format in that merger box, which is indicate this merger proposal number, or the proposals that you are proposing being merged, whatever, do that, so that it minimizes your work and also of course it gives the MAG a clear list of suggested mergers.
>> LUIS BOBO: Agree, we will do that. We will possibly present a box where you can just put separated three, five and seven. That's all, and we can just go on that, but only focusing on proposal mergers.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Luis, you are a star, thank you. This will also help support Giacomo's suggestion earlier as well. If there are no more comments, I'll give a moment to see if there are any further comments on this section. Chengetai, anything else you want to add on number of workshop slots or any of the other component pieces of the workshop before we move to the next item.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: No. I think we have said as much as we can say for today. Then at the end of the week, we can update you with more exact figures.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you. So the last item here was item 4, which was titled main/thematic/intersessional session discussion. Apologies again for missing our last meeting. I wasn't expected to miss it, but travel problems interfered with that.
I have gone back and listened to the recording, and read the notes and the transcript as well. So I'm up to speed on that conversation.
I think the one thing I would suggest was, last year, we had a process, we sort of deviated the last two years because we had this bottom up tag process from the previous way the MAG had approached main sessions. In the earlier years, the MAG would say we think we need a main session on this topic, this topic and this topic and a selection of MAG members would go away for each one of the topics and develop a proposal, which would come back to the MAG and a proposal would be refined.
If we had six slots, there were six proposals or six sub teams, if you will, that went away to develop proposals.
The last two years we did something different, and I think most people found it quite painful. We basically did a call for main session proposals, we had more proposals than we had slots, and honestly throughout that entire discussion, people get so vested in the proposal that there was little give and take, either on merging or on taking one of the main session proposals out of the debate.
I would like to see where the MAG is this year, in terms of, if we think we have X number of main session slots, whether those are thematic sessions, or titled something different, then one option is of course that we determine now what we think those thematic sessions should be, and we agree, have a small group of people go away and kick some ideas around, develop some proposals and bring them back to the MAG.
Or, of course, we always have the option to go back to the process we ran the last couple of years, but as I said, that was a fairly painful process. I'm not sure it actually gave us the result that was the most representative of the rest of the program.
Let me open that up for a moment, see if there are any further thoughts or any reflections. Is Mary looking for the floor? Mary, okay, I see your hand up in there. Mary, you have the floor.
>> Hello, can you hear me?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: We can, yes.
>> Okay. I'm sorry, I'm not responding to your question now, because I had some other issues I wanted to raise. Maybe I'll raise it, I'm a bit concerned about how [inaudible] 358 proposals to 60, is it because of space or is it because of reducing the sessions, or again [inaudible] new MAG member, normally feed back after the evaluation. Sorry that I'm taking you back.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: No, that's fine, Mary. The main reason we are doing it, and this was the extensive discussion we had at the first physical MAG meeting, was because the feedback we get from the community, whether it's to the stock taking process or through some of the various efforts to look at how we might improve the IGF, is that there are too many sessions, too many sessions in parallel, that people are looking for more cohesion in the process, hence the move to themes and reviewing by themes, and it was those series of discussions that said by definition, if you are going to reduce the number of tracks, are you going to reduce the number of sessions you have in parallel, there are less workshops that will be supported.
That is the main reason. There is a complicating factor this year in that we are losing one day in the IGF. So that does in fact take out a further 25 percent. But the main reason for me is community feedback and wanting a more cohesive, more focused IGF program. I hope that answered your question.
>> Yes, okay, I mean, hello, can you hear me?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes.
>> Thank you, Lynn, for the clarification. One other question I asked, whether last year did you, did the MAG get back to the proposers any feedback to them as to why their proposals were dropped or something like that? Or will it complicate it more if we do that, how do we explain to the I agree with you that it was the feedback from the community that made those two reviews and all of that was as you have stated. But as a proposer, and my proposal is not taken, is there any explanation from MAG to the proposer? Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: This is a good question too, Mary. I think we can continue communicating the fact that we are responding to many different suggestions for improvement on our process, as a general point. When every reviewer has the opportunity in the external comment box to indicate where you thought there were areas of improvement for the proposal, that is one way to give some feedback. I think those are the two points, one is with any process like this, there are only a certain number of proposals you can accept, so, and then second, if there is any specific advice you would give to those individuals that would have made their proposal even stronger, then I think that is a very useful point of feedback.
If we move now quickly, I'll come to Renata in a moment, back to the main sessions, there have been a number of suggestions from various bodies and various groups that in fact, something like 8 tracks is far too many. In fact there was a proposal by one organization, although I'm not certain that it was completely serious that we ought to have two tracks, and basically work those very aggressively and try and advance some issues substantively.
I say that only because it's not a given that we have the 8 tracks. We need to go through this evaluation to see what makes it. If we go back to some of the graphs that Eleonora had shown us, of course there are a number of themes that are, of course, of high interest as judged by the workshop proposals we have seen. We certainly should compare that with the so called heat map from the call from issues. But I'm not taking it as a given yet that there are 8 tracks.
We need to see what the quality of the proposals is, in some of those themes that actually had a relatively small number of proposals. For me, there is no measure of goodness in 8 versus 6. I think it really is what are the topics we think are of interest to the community, and we need to make sure that we are paying attention to all stakeholders and to all regions, that was some of the equity, equitable conversations we had earlier, while putting together a program that is actually going to help advance and make a difference in some of these issues.
So I don't think we need to start with there are 8 tracks, you know, and we need to find a way to have 8 thematic sessions. One possibility is we go away and do the comparison against the call for issues heat map and what we have seen for themes, in two weeks time we will have a view as to which workshops have made it through by theme, into the proposed, coming out of the MAG review. And maybe use that as the point to really begin identifying the main themes we would like to develop some thematic sessions around.
Then I think we also have the question on whether or not we think these sessions should be three hours versus splitting them up in some different format. I kind of hate to throw this out, but we could also look to see whether or not, what differentiates in quotes a main session of course is the fact that it took place in one of the larger rooms, and they had interpretation. We said this in past years of course, having more interpretation is just a matter of funding and having those costs covered.
If we think it's really appropriate that we actually have the thematic sessions ahead of whatever main themes we actually have, then we could certainly assess that both in terms of room availability and support for more interpretation. I think we have a little bit of flexibility here, and also I think we need to see a little bit more how we come out of the MAG review with respect to the themes and sub themes we have.
I'll go to Renata and then to Sala and looking for in the 15 minutes or so we have left, sort of any reflections on what I've just said or any other suggestions. Renata, you have the floor.
>> Thanks, Lynn. I made some comments already about the main sessions, about it not being so much main sessions by a group of MAG members but thematic sessions that all MAG members work in. We have this call for issues, we have the heat map.
And I think we have to start thinking about mini tracks, instead of main sessions. So probably have a two hours main session, that would actually be, for instance, for gender, would actually be different groups of gender presenting debates, or some other new format, as Sala put it very well, then traditional main session managed by a group of like owners of the session, and that left I think a lot of space for imbalance in the sessions last year.
So also, I think we spoke, we also speak very little about that. We should have spoken on the workshop evaluation system, but also the main sessions, the integration with intersessionals, I think it's extraordinary that we have sessions on topics that we have intersessional work all year, and they are not present.
So this should be clear no no for a main session that has no integration with an intersessional.
And again, it's not about micromanaging or about the MAG micromanaging the sessions, but presenting proposals for each one of these mini tracks. Thanks.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Renata. Let me go next to Sala, because she was on the floor and back up to Raquel and then Ben. Sala.
>> Thanks, Lynn. First of all, I'd like to commend the Secretariat for the tremendous job that they have done helping with this much more easy MAG, with relation to the current discussion on the main session, I think we should drop it down from the three hours to between 60 and 120 minutes, or 60 minutes between 90 and 120 minutes but not any longer than that, for attention span sake. But at the same time, that as a whole we could also determine whether we want to reduce the number of main sessions from we did last year and have more robust discussions on the main sessions, ensuring that there are strong linkages to the, ensuring also the inclusion of intersessional support, and with that, I think the rest of my comments I want to keep but I've already put on the chat. Thank you, Lynn.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Sala, those were good points. And certainly incorporating and including the intersessional activities, wherever possible in the program, is I think a very good goal.
One quick comment, there was a question which I'm not sure if we know the answer to yet, but there was a question as to what format we were going to use for the opening ceremony, whether or not there was the intent to repeat the format similar to what the Swiss did last year, which is actually meant to be more interactive with the other participants, and really ask the VIPs to speak to a small number of very specific subjects, rather than a series of 30, five minute individual speeches.
I believe that they would prefer to continue to innovate along the lines of what the Swiss did. But we need to wait and understand that once they are here fully with us.
So I have Raquel in the queue and then Ben. Raquel, you have the floor.
>> Thanks, Lynn. And that was precisely my question, the one I wrote in the chat. But let me put it that way. First I want to support what Renata and Sala were saying. One, about the time, this was also conversation in the chat, that whatever we choose, either main session, or thematic session, that it should be between 90 to, minutes to two hours. Three hours is too long. And we don't have that much time. Also regarding the intersessional work, that it doesn't mean automatic having a main session. It needs to be integrated, and I think Renata made this point very well.
Now, since you mention the question on the host, that is important to understand, because when the Swiss innovated, they also asked for this high level main session. It meant one last main session for us, or two, and that's something to consider the impact that we are discussing here.
It also changed if we can have a better picture, and I know Chengetai mentioned he is going to have a pleni meeting, but the hours we are going to have and the slots for those three days because if we just for example have only two parallel discussions rooms with this idea, if we have two tracks per day, like day one morning, Cybersecurity, day one afternoon, emerging technologies and I'm just picking the topics, it's not that I'm proposing to be those ones, and we do that based on let's say the heat map, etcetera, that is pretty much helpful to know how much time we really have, and how many, then the slots for the workshops, how we can accommodate and then we can put the main sessions or thematic sessions on the most popular ones.
I think that's where my head is going. I would love to have more of a visual, but I can't right now, so if we can have some of those confirmations, that would be great. Thank you very much.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Raquel. We will go to Ben and see if we can get couple directions from this discussion. Ben, you have the floor.
>> Thank you, Lynn. Yes, given that we are discussing the main sessions, I want to obviously recognize that Tim and I circulated a proposal for main session to the MAG list earlier today. We haven't discussed the main sessions yet, and so we were thinking on the basis that it would be done in the same ways as the last couple of years.
But I understand that is not necessarily the case. So we will obviously follow and engage with this discussion about the best way to do main sessions at IGF 2018.
In putting together the proposal for people to look at, we certainly did try and consider what the themes were for this year, and link to some of those. I think as it might have been Raquel who also mentioned it, we made an effort to incorporate some of the intersessional work as well. But yes, so I just wanted to recognize and bring into the discussion the fact that we circulated that, and we feel that the way we put it together, it provides the opportunity to involve all of the different stakeholder groups, and all of the regions.
So we will kind of follow the discussion about format so that we are able to put something back in which fits with the format which the MAG decides to go ahead with. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Ben. I did see the proposal come in. I actually think it will be a good template for other proposals, and that it obviously did take care to try and pull in all the various pieces.
What I'm taking away from the group is that there seems to be significant support for moving away from three hour main sessions to something less. I didn't hear anybody strongly arguing for a three hour session or that the three hour sessions were important. I put that out there just if anybody else has a contrary view, then we should continue the discussion.
But otherwise, again, just as a piece of advice as we kind of build this process underneath us here, it would seem as though we are looking at something less than three hour sessions, three hour main or thematic sessions.
I think there was also support for more kind of, if I can use these words, top/down MAG planning as a whole, with respect to what those main or thematic sessions should be, and that we will look at the heat map from the call for issues, look at what comes through the MAG evaluation process, and see how the overall program is shaping up, because I also believe there was support for trying to tie these main or thematic sessions to the specific themes of the program, which of course would seem to make sense if you were focused on more cohesive programs as well.
So I'm putting those things out there, just to say this is kind of the large take aways I'm getting from this discussion. We can see what happens at the end of the MAG evaluation process, and then we should be able to ahead of our physical MAG meeting maybe start to drill down on both the types of main sessions or thematic sessions we think would be appropriate, and helpful to plan the other good cohesive strong program and possibly also the number of them.
We also do need to go back to the French hosts as well, because the Swiss weren't looking for a second main session in particular, but as every other Host Country has had to face before, when you are trying to appeal to VIPs, many of them actually require or strongly desire a very visible speaking slot, and that used to be the purpose of the opening ceremony, and those 30, five minute speeches. The Swiss came up with an innovation which had a number of people up on the panel, and then a number of VIPs also being able to speak from the floor. I think we need to understand what the French's thoughts are on that process.
We also need to understand what some possibilities might be with respect to any kind of points of collaboration or integration between the Paris peace Forum and the IGF. Again, one of the benefits of having these two forums actually overlapping was that I think both would benefit from integration across the other efforts, and we were hopeful that we could pull in more VIPs and certainly support the increasing outreach goal of the IGF as well by engaging with that Forum and those VIPs.
I think we really need to see what is going to come out of both those two tangents.
Let me see if there are any is there anybody who wants to disagree to any of the kind of comments I made in summary? I mean, I will also say that this really is a journey, and frankly, we are building the process as we are trying to work our way through it. So I kind of captured that, just so that people were clear on what I think is kind of an emerging position, not calling consensus on those at all yet, but an emerging position so that we can continue to advance here.
Just doing a slow six, seeing a couple comments in the chat room. I agree, Renata, I think we have a lot to discuss on list and I think we can move a lot of these forward usefully on list. One thing that helps is that people are quite thoughtful about the subjects, so if you are going to start a new thread, put a new thread, put a title on it that is clear and that will help us advance them all.
Are there any other comments or any last minute AOB? Otherwise, I want to again thank the Secretariat for all the excellent work, and it's particularly late for everybody over there, in particular, so great job with driving the meeting here today.
The next two weeks I know are going to be busy weeks for all the MAG members. Let's focus on the evaluations, and move some of these other issues forward in parallel. Thank you, everybody. Thank you, everybody who participated early or late.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, Lynn.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai.
>> Chengetai, thank you, Lynn, thank you, thank you, Secretariat. Bye.
>> Thank you, bye bye.