The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. 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.
DC COORDINATION MEETING #61
26 April 2022
(Meeting joined in progress at approximately 11:30 A.M. CT)
…another point about how dynamic we are. That's also certain, or could be a bit concerning. As I was going through the meeting list where they were open in some cases, no activity whatsoever for several years and maybe that should be an indication of something. But I will stop here and as I said I will be writing to all coordinators with what I found and see how it went to fix things. Thank you.
>> Markus Kummer: Thank you, and maybe this is something we should have done much earlier to check whether the principles are respected. We just respected. And by assuming not doing was an oversight or technical glitch or these things to happen. I think it is important, as Adam said, we have these open principles, that they are adhered to. Sorina, could you answer that?
>> Let me go to the chat.
>> Markus Kummer: I was shocked in a way when Sorina mentioned that. I thought maybe here or there it might happen. But it was quite, I think a broad score of non-compliance. Be that as it may, we aren't in the process of naming and shaming. Sorina will get back to you, well won't get back to those in compliance. But those who have issues, there may be minor issues that could be fixed easily, it might be possible to fix that. A tight timeline for the deadline, to fix this and safely report back that all the dynamic coalitions actually adhere to the principles. The sanction obviously, if you don't adhere to it, [...]
If you want us to update the site we can direct the web master to pull information from the dynamic site, instead of us hunting down the report that we produced and upload it.
>> Markus Kummer: Sorina, can you take that question?
>> Sorina Teleanu: I'm not sure I understood the question.
>> Judith Hellerstein: The question, Sorina, is there a place on the site where we post the annual report. So that way web masters, we have a webmaster, he can just update our activities because when I was checking our site, we don't have our annual reports up there. And we could do that.
>> Sorina Teleanu: Yes, all the dynamic that are submitted have reports on the website and I think this is the case for your dynamic one as well.
>> Judith Hellerstein: Yeah, it just hasn't been updated on our website, mostly because we haven't, we have forgotten to tell our webmaster to put it up there.
>> Sorina Teleanu: You will find it on the detailed IGFSA website.
>> Markus Summer: Any other questions? We can leave it in the able hands of the secretariat. Also as Adam suggested if a dynamic coalition has problems they can also ask to turn and ask for the help or suggestions. This is also something we might also consider going forward. It might well be in the interest of dynamic coalitions to engage more with the Merc on the issues or be substantive to have a dialogue. A MAG member who is a co-facilitator, the MAG liaison is the go-to person for this to happen. Mark, you had your hand up?
>> Mark Carvell: Yes, thank you very much. This reminds me about Denatres, my colleague on IS3C wasn't able to attend today.
He had suggested a working group joint entry with the MAG. That can look at how, as Adam very encouragingly described, how the MAG can assist dynamic coalitions. Particularly those that are struggling. You know, we've talked about the issue of funding in our coalition. We've got three research proposals on the stocks waiting to go forward. We are scrambling around trying to get some funding support to be able to pay for researchers and cover some of those kinds of costs that crop up when you do fairly extensive research project. So had suggested and Markus, you may remember in more detail than I, actually, a working group perhaps being established. Jointly with the MAG and the secretariat and DCG participation. I'm not sure exactly the construct, that might be the most successful. But that might provide the means of focus. The MAG has a -- is a big group. And it has pressure with program development to call for workshops and so on. So maybe a working group is the way to define an agenda for support and working their way through some of these problems. Those dynamic coalitions are really dynamic and want to be truly adhering to all the IGF principles of work. In order, ultimately, for their outputs to be recognized as having been developed through accountable transparent and diverse consensus-based processes within the coalition. Something we are very conscious of. We want our outputs to be rightly recognized as having been the product of inclusive diverse and fully open process of development. Otherwise they're not worth anything. They will all be at risk of complaints about capture, or whatever kind of thing you mentioned, Markus. So the working group idea is something that could be considered as a mechanism to help here, thanks.
>> Markus Summer: Well, thank you. I'm not sure, I mean speaking just off the top of my head whether a working group is the answer at this stage, I think, increased communication and, you know, the role Adam has as a liaison, my suggestion would be to keep the mechanism light. But we already have too many MAG working groups at this stage. But this may also be worthwhile discussing in the over haul of the MAG. Right now we have, for instance, a MAG strategy working group that seems to do the high-level thinking, which I would have thought was the work of the MAG. The MAG does a lot of nitty-gritty workshop assessments but doesn't seem to have the time to do the more sort of strategic thinking. The relationship between dynamic coalitions and the MAG, I think, I would, before jumping to forming a working group, I would rather see as a process that's started and let's take baby steps and make it work. But Adam, I am encroaching on your territory here. I would welcome your opinion on this.
>> Adam Peake: I think a working group would be difficult for the MAG, at this time.
This is going to be a different workload this summer. My experience on the MAG this time, it's different, it's changed. And that's one of the things that the E.G.M. spoke about as a review of the MAG's terms of reference. I think we would be getting ahead of ourselves. And you're right, Markus, it's a different type of MAG, it's not doing the strategic issues it used to and there are probably many reasons for that. They need to rethink, I don't think another working group would be helpful. We wouldn't get the participation from the MAG members. And the MAG members are going to be busier, we are trying to give them more work to do, IE, me, over the summer. I don't think we will get it.
And you know, the strategy working group is like an advisory committee, in a way. It's an advisory group to the advisors who has many people who have been around the IGF for many reasons, many former MAG members. So it's a very experienced group, in many ways. It's more experienced in the MAG itself. But we have three-year terms and this is our way of keeping our knowledge. I don't think we would cope with another working group.
>> Markus Summer: I saw June in the chat who tends to agree, too many working groups. Problem is communication needs to be increased inviting MAG's DC to meetings. Also be proactive when it comes to the substantive issues on the program agenda. Hey, we have something to contribute. This is, maybe we have to slightly shift our thinking there. The MAG will not necessarily reach out to the D.C.'s, hey there's a D.C. that might contribute. If a D.C. is more proactive and say we have something to add to this or that issue, that may have more impact. At the other item you mentioned was related to the funding. There, I think, as the whole IGFS has been under funded for us since its inception, I think the most efforts to get funding will be to fund, shall we say the central operation. But that does not mean that the D.C.'s cannot look out for funding themselves. I mean, the D.C.'s are very focused and whereas the IGF agenda is very broad. It may also be very shallow. For us, the D.C.'s agenda is much more focused and also more deep. So you might be able to get funding from funding sources that might not consider funding the overall budget of the IGF, be that there are many foundations for the U.S.-based participants on this call. You know that more than I do in the U.S., who have very particular interests and may be funding sources you never have thought of. But there again there may be need for actually, to do funding -- fundraising is actually qualified and full-time job. There may be need for having some advice where to look for funding. And that is something we may sort of consider. Now I'm speaking with another hat on. I'm currently the chair of the IGF support association. Our objective is to support the IGF and the broad IGF ecosystem and this could be something the IGFSA could consider funding if you need assistance with looking for very targeted funding for DC activities. That's just thinking aloud. I don't think you get much help from the MAG for funding your activities as such. I think you have to look elsewhere. You might have -- questions, Mark? I'm not sure we've been helpful. You were highly skeptical, I see that.
>> Mark Carvell: Yeah, I don't feel very optimistic, to be honest. You've got dynamic coalitions involving very dedicated people spending large amounts of volunteer time. Not all coalitions, I think it's fair to say want to demonstrate how the IGF could have material impact. Because as you say they are focused on specific problems, issues, new opportunities. And they are motivated by the opportunity to deliver. That means I think demonstration of material support is justifiable. Unless the EDM has looked at how integration of some specific thematic dynamic coalition activities into IGF activity, more broadly. Then that infers, you know, whether there should be some material support, I would have thought.
>> Adam Peake: But, Mark, how? There are 24. How do you develop a process where you decide whether or not one of 24 or five of 24, you know, what's the process for that? Without even considering whether or not there's money. And we know there's not money, because there's not money in the trust fund. And there's not enough money for the N.R.A.'s. This is me personally speaking. I've been involved in this, both of us have been involved in this since 2006. I have great sympathy with what you are saying but I can't see how it would work. This is my personal comment. Not IGF, not iCANN. Maybe opportunities in the future because the leadership panel has one of the items in its terms of reference is fundraising. There was an opportunity that seems to have disappear forward a fundraising promoting position within the secretariat or associate secretariat. We are sympathetic to it, but I cannot see how. I'm sorry for that. There's 24 of them. How would we set up a mechanism who gets what and why. I just can't see it, given the multistakeholder dynamic, you know, sort of processes that we are talking about. So anyway, my slightly emotional response ends. But I'm very sympathetic.
>> Markus Summer: Thank you for that. I see Jutta has her hand up. We commented there may be various categories may not be cast in stone. You may move from one category to another. May be a best practice for tomorrow and you are approved by the MAG and then you benefit from secretariat support or policy network for instance. We have the other way around. There was a policy network. There may be a sort of fluid boundaries between the various components of the IGF ecosystem. And once, but then you are not a dynamic coalition in a sense, as you would be autonomous any more, you would clearly be under the authority of the MAG, and there the funding would come with it. But Jutta, I don't want to prevent you from speaking. You had your hand up.
>> Jutta Roll: Thank you, Markus, perfect segue to what I was going to say. First of all, I would like to support Adam and his precision map for funding for dynamic coalitions would be very difficult. I also, I'm not able to imagine how that could be worked out. Second, funding is very low for anything around the IGF, so I don't know where the money would be coming from. But my most important point is that, I think funding for dynamic coalitions would change the very nature of dynamic coalitions. It would make it a different kind of working group whatsoever if dynamic coalitions could apply for funding. And they are all different in their work and the type of members and their construction but they would be changed definitely and there would be kind of an application process for dynamic coalitions to say yes, you can go for funding some Euros or dollars per year. From my perspective that would be a complete change of the nature of dynamic coalitions. And therefore, I could follow what Markus had said before, that maybe there could be kind of pathways from dynamic coalitions to becoming a best practice or network or something else that could get support from the IGF for a certain type of task. But the issues that dynamic coalitions are dealing with, that is kind of the permanent work and that is related to the organizations that our members are dynamic coalitions. Specific society, I know how civil society and NGO's are struggling to get funding for the quantitative work they are doing. But still, I do think it's not compatible with funding, funding is not compatible with the nature of dynamic coalitions.
>> Markus Kummer: Thank you, Jutta. Mark?
>> Mark Carvell: Yes, I will quickly come back in on funding. I mentioned we got ISBC research projects. These are tightly time lined exercises to collect work and do some analysis and produce the basics fundamentals on which a recommendation can be made. That's all I'm talking about in terms of material assistance, you know. You know, we have defined these three research projects and we're ready to go. We just have to cover some costs. Not talking about huge monies, it's not permanent funding for dynamic coalitions. But it's the ability to say to some quarter in the eye community and say look, we want to do this work and this is going to make change. It's going to lead to positive result under the auspices of the RGF, we just have to cover some costs here. Pay a researcher.
Not talking about a model that all dynamic coalitions get, brown envelopes of money and go off and do whatever they want to do. I'm not talking about that. My government experience you can't work that way.
That's what I'm saying. There are leadership -- I think we need the opportunity to talk to them and say look, in terms of advocacy of IGF outputs, there's a lot of very good stuff coming out of dynamic coalitions and we need the help of the leadership panel to promote awareness of those outcomes and encourage decision makers policy makers to pick up the guidelines or what the dynamic coalition has produced and implement them. That's what we are in the business of doing. I have spoken enough and taken up a lot of time. I'm sorry.
>> Markus Kummer: To have a comment already by Jutta, there are lots of funding resources in the research but not the IGF ecosystem.
>> Avri Doria: Yes, quickly. I see there's a contradiction between dynamic coalitions are bottom up and dynamic coalitions want you to support them.
But I think therefore it may actually fall more on us as a coordinating group and sort of say bottom up, we have created this structure now we will do something and I have no idea what, I'm not a fundraiser. But we will do something to help the D.C.'s obtain funding, find funding. Talk to the IGFSA perhaps about a direct route to DC's that avoids the morass of the MAG and what it can and can't do and what its leadership Council will or will not allow it to do, but based on that bottom-up notion that we say we have, that we self-organize to try to help ourselves in fundraising and start thinking about it that way. Instead of constantly going to the MAG and Dessa and all them cup in hand saying we need money. We have declared ourselves in this sense, we are losing it, but we declared ourselves in a sense to be bottom-up self-organized dynamic, motivated, productive and all that stuff. So if they can't do it or they won't do it isn't that an indication we have to figure out how to do it ourselves? Thanks.
>> Markus Kummer: I think that sounds like a very good suggestion. I think it's also very much in a way I try to say we may be able to help in one way or another. But I would suggest to delete morass of the MAG from the minutes. (Laughter)
>> I thought it was a nice phrase!
>> Adam Peake: Anyway, speaking as a representative of the great morass, anyway -- no, I'm just saying, Avri, thank you. I was wondering how to make a connection to the leadership panel. We don't know what the leadership panel is exactly going to do and we don't know exactly what its relationship is going to be etc., etc.. But one can imagine taking what you just said and say this group, the coordinating group could easily go to the leadership panel because you are representing not just one or two, which they have to understand, you are representing the whole, which is much easier to understand and say we recommend that XY&Z needs something. It could be, you know, it could be tea and cakes for a session. It could be some money to allow somebody to go somewhere. But the least you have some kind of body to talk to another body or entity that talks to another entity. That's always a helpful thing to have. We are getting helpful suggestions here. Not wishing to kick the can down the road or whatever we say in iCANN, we can take that from the minutes and suggest, you know we do have some opportunities here and it can be something that the leadership panel can be made aware of early. That they get a clarity about what the dynamic coalitions are. And there's a coordinating body and at some point the coordinating body may come to them with certain asks. And that's a reasonable thing to think about, I think.
>> Markus Kummer: Thank you, I think that's all very helpful. Mark mentioned there are three concrete research projects. We, as a coordination group, we could -- there may be other dynamic coalitions that ask and say look, we have these projects that need funding. Can you help us get the funding. That would be the beginning, maybe of a beautiful friendship between that and the coordination group and the leadership panel.
But I mean, this is, it's very much work in progress. And it's very fluid. We don't know yet exactly how it will work. But clearly we notice the needs for funding clearly are here. But at the same time, Jutta and myself pointed out, there are also certain boundaries between overall funding principle. We may be also look at great new ways for looking for funding. I think also between the categories, why not, does a dynamic coalition propose, hey, we could be a policy network for the next 2-3 years. We have a project in place but it does need funding. This is something, which would make also the whole IGF ecosystem more dynamic. That they are not everyone cast in a silo, that we are more fluid, we interact, we move from one area to another. And we can move from one stage to another. These are all ideas bubbling around. But I think they are worth exploring.
Now I realize we are two minutes short of the end of our meeting and we have not even started with the other agenda item, which was developing common criteria for assessing D.C.'s. But before the call, we had just a brief pre-call with, between the co-facilitators and we all agreed that the common criteria for assessing, it's much easier to come up with quantitative criteria than qualitative criteria. Who would assess the quality?
And the quantitative criteria may be easier to assess. As we mentioned it before, are there other active lists? Yes, we all agree they could also be fake calls. You can easily do that.
But I'm not going to open the discussion on that. But I will leave that for your consideration. Give it thought. It's also part in the paper we produced last year. You know, work for future work. Ideas, suggestions for future work. Go through the paper again.
And again, the first expert group meeting we had in 2016, they said the three principles are great. Huge step forward. Make sure they are respected. So let's make sure they are adhered to. Then they also said there's need for a next step. This is something that I think collectively we have to work out what are the next steps. What makes sense. Do we develop criteria which are easier to take the box. You need to at least have 2-3 calls. We need to have active members participating on their mailing list. Whatever these criteria are. The quantitative criteria are definitely easier to check. Qualitative criteria tend to be more difficult. Who would assess the quality of the work produced by dynamic coalitions. Is it the MAG. Okay, now we have the leadership panel. Would they have a competence to assess it anyway? These are open questions. I would invite you to think about it and we can revisit this before the next call.
Then Sorina will get in touch with those who have not adhered to all the principles and we will kindly ask you to make sure you are in adherence with the principles. We have quite a lot of work. And I think, very good suggestions coming out of this call.
That is actually very great with this coordination group. It is dynamic. It is a good discussion.
You know, let's keep it that way. Our work is not done. And we have to continue. And there will be, I think, a constant tension between, I think that was also a notion that came up at the E.G.M. between top-down and bottom-up. Clearly the leadership panel is more top-down. With the dynamic coalitions are the most bottom-up part of the IGF ecosystem. So we need to find a way of bridging that gap and also reducing the tension. Those will be proactive. We don't know yet what the leadership panel will look like. But let's make sure we have an early contact with them once they are appointed and right now I think let's wait for the report from the E.G.M.
Let you read it. And let's see what the deadlines are for reacting to it. And maybe we can have a call where we actually look at it collectively and say whether there should be a collective response to the report and those have more proactive suggestions on the way forward.
These won't be right summing up today's call. But I would also like to invite my co-facilitators Jutta and Adam and Sorina guiding us through this as secretariat appointee adding their comments and questions and summing ups. Jutta?
>> Jutta Croll: There's nothing to add from my side. I'm pretty much looking forward to the E.G.M. report. And hopefully we can comment also on that. Thank you.
>> Markus: Thank you. Adam? Has he left?
Looks like it.
Well he said he was very busy.
>> Yeah, okay. Sorina?
>> Sorina Teleanu: No, I would say we will be following up with the dynamic coalitions and we will take it from there.
>> Markus Kummer: With that, thank you all very much for your active participation and great to be in touch with you guys. Thank you.
>> Thank you, Markus.
>> Thanks, bye-bye.