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IGF open consultations afternoon session
IGF Open Consultations
Tuesday, 15 May 2012, Afternoon
The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Open Consultations of the IGF, in Geneva. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>>JANIS KARKLINS: -- President Clinton says everyone who comes to this event must tell what they have done in concrete terms to help improve the state of the world. Drawing parallels from these differences, one can think whether IGF could not hear or compile -- Secretariat could not compile information what decisions had been made as a result of IGF, first of all, in five years of existence or six years of existence of IGF and to make it kind of an annual information of all participants of IGF, what has happened in between, what decisions have been made not at the IGF but in other organizations as a result of discussions which have taken place in IGF.
So I would suggest that maybe that is the way how to proceed, of course, with the understanding that would be very voluntary sort of information sharing. That wouldn't be reporting in the classical sense but information sharing. And Secretariat could then update or inform all the participants what has happened in between.
Just to give you an example, UNESCO has been involved in IGF since very beginning. We are reporting to our Member States about the discussions, what we learned, what we are doing there. And Member States asked us to produce a reflection paper on UNESCO and Internet.
And that is really the result of our interaction at the IGF with our Member States. And this report was adopted by the general conference of UNESCO and provides guidelines for Secretariat in its work in the areas of UNESCO competence and the Internet; namely, on the actual use of Internet, multilingualism, local content creation, freedom of expression, ethical dimension.
For instance, this is a practical outcome from debates at the IGF.
I will stop here, Chairman. Please excuse me if I will need to leave the room in a couple of minutes. Thank you.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Karklins, on your comments and your remarks.
Now I want to go back to Mr. Izumi again to complete --
>>IZUMI AIZU: I was completed. I just want to listen to your guys' opinions about how we can raise the quality on the workshops. I see many hands already there, so I stop here.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you. Council of Europe.
>>COUNCIL OF EUROPE: Thank you, Mr. Chairperson. My name is Elvana Thaci from the Council of Europe. I would like to go back to a point that was made earlier, a comment that was made earlier by ICC/BASIS. I would like to welcome that comment in respect of introduction to be a focal point for identifying speakers and experts.
It would be perhaps useful to also have a list of resource speakers or participants or focal points from other regions.
As regards the Council of Europe, we will continue to share our contribution and our expertise with stakeholders in the Internet Governance Forum with respect of issues of personal data protection, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, the protection of children and the fight against cybercrime.
So please feel free to contact us should you need any suggestions for experts in those areas. You can contact Lee Hibbard. He will be attending the MAG meeting tomorrow, or myself.
We have made a number of workshop proposals partnering with some other associations and other associations with the dynamic coalition on Internet rights and principles and the European Association of Internet Service Providers. And we look forward to discussing with other stakeholders during those discussions.
The last point about the Council of Europe's commitment to the multistakeholder dialogue, I would like to mention here the adoption by the Committee of Ministers recently of the Internet Governance (indiscernible) 2012-2015 and a recent decision of the Committee of Ministers whereby there was support for the multistakeholder dialogue or the participation of Council of Europe Member States in national, regional and global Internet governance dialogue.
This year the European dialogue on Internet Governance Forum will take place in Stockholm on the 14th and 15th of June. We would like to welcome in particular the European Commission's support for a pre-event on national IGF at that particular event. Thank you very much.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you. Yes, (saying name).
>> Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
My name is (saying name). (Dropped audio) -- stakeholders of the African Internet Governance Forum which will be held in September in Cairo.
I really support Mr. Izumi's proposal that you should look at the different workshop proposals and provide support. But I would like to go further on that because I think what we need really to do is to make sure that the workshops are co-organized by other key stakeholders from other regions and from other groups, not just the current provider but group organized. So I suggest that the Secretariat organize discussions among those workshop proposers to come for experts and other stakeholders, one, to partner with them to co-organize workshops.
Concerning Africa, also if you need any expertise, please feel free to contact us. We are working with all the stakeholders and we can provide you a resource person. Thank you.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Okay. Thank you.
>>JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: Thank you, Chair. Jeff Brueggeman for AT&T, also speaking for ICC/BASIS. I would like to support the comments made by Janis Karklins. I think that builds on the work that's already been done to try to capture the national and regional IGF experiences that are emerging throughout the year, and this would be taking a broader perspective of other types of multistakeholder dialogues and decisions and outcomes that we can point to that really are an outgrowth of the IGF process. I think it is a natural continuation of what's been an ongoing effort at the IGF.
Also wanted to make a comment about the workshop process -- (dropped audio) -- about the criteria for the workshop. That strikes me it could be sent out to the workshop organizers along with any specific feedback that has come from the review, whether it be from adding diversity to the panelists or that there may be a couple of workshops where there is a merged opportunity and give the workshop organizers a certain window of time to update their proposals and come back to see if they can get up to the higher criteria. I think there has probably been a mixture of people not having time and perhaps some confusion about the criteria of things, like the co-sponsor, allowing a window of opportunity to address would probably be a significant way to crystallize the workshop proposal.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you. Mr. Tijani.
>>TIJANI BEN JEMAA: Thank you, Mr. Chair. I don't disagree with you, Izumi. But what kind of quality you are to think about, if it is about be sure of the diversity, the diversity of the panelist, the gender balance, et cetera, yes, yes, yes, you are right.
But if you are speaking about the quality of the speeches, of the speakers, you need to ask for the papers to be presented. You need to constitute a huge scientific committee to go through them and to assess them, which is impossible.
I think the best way to ensure good quality is to assess each year the workshops, organized and to look at the attendance, activity, et cetera and from this information you decide on the next year about the workshops. Thank you.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you. Ana Neves, please.
>>ANA NEVES: Thank you very much. I think Janis is still here. I fully support what he said. And there is something in particular he mentioned that is to measure or to analyze the impact of what is being discussed for the last five years in IGF, in national policies or other public policies.
I think the impact was never really studied. And I'm not sure exactly what was the proposal from Janis Karklins, whether it was UNESCO that could do this study or not because I think that this impact is something that it would be very interesting for our job.
Regarding the point raised by Izumi, I think he has a point. Mr. Tijani has a point as well. But I think what Mr. Izumi wanted to raise was more that what quality support could mark, add or offer to the workshop. So I think these should be discussed or could be discussed this afternoon so that our job tomorrow will be easier. Thank you.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Okay. Thank you. Anriette, please.
>>ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you, Chair. Anriette Esterhuysen, APC. I support many of the comments that have been made. I think sending a reminder of criteria will be useful. I think perhaps accompanying that with a few very specific questions that we pose to workshop organizers, such as -- And I know this sounds very, very obvious. But such as: What is the purpose of your workshop? What do you want to achieve with this workshop? Some of the workshop proposals did not articulate very clearly what they really want to achieve. So maybe we can send some questions that help them to articulate that more effectively.
My second suggestion relates to a practice which I understand has been the way in which the MAG worked, and that is for the MAG to invite volunteers who are not MAG members to participate in the discussions of the workshops under the main themes.
I participated in such a process last year, and it was very useful because it gave us more multistakeholder participation and, also, more diversity and, therefore, more insight sometimes into what the background to these workshop proposals are.
So I'm hoping we can do that again this year in the way that we did last year. The process can still be facilitated by MAG members, but I think inclusion of other people from the IGF community can only enrich it.
And then in response to the remark that Izumi made and the responses from Tijani and from Ana, I do think that the MAG can take some responsibility for being supportive. I think it can happen in quite an informal and flexible way as we discuss the proposals and we look at the program and shaping the program of the IGF. We might identify that there is a workshop proposal that addresses the very topical issue but it is not particularly well-developed and then reach out to those organizers.
So I do think -- I don't think we need to be too formal about it, but I think taking some responsibility and providing some guidance can also be quite useful.
And then I just want to raise a longer-term project, which is the role of capacity-building in the IGF. And this was highlighted in the CSTD working group on IGF improvements, firstly, by recognizing the role that the IGF has played in building capacity but, secondly, by proposing it strengthens this role. One way that can be done in the future could possibly be by creating a capacity-building modality or track, in the way we have open forums, we have workshops, and roundtables. Actually, beginning to create a category of activities that are very specifically capacity-building focused. And I think that might help us in the future to capture certain events and organize them in a way that is more effective in achieving the goal of capacity-building than we're able to do currently by just using the workshop format. Thank you.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Okay. Thank you. Thank you for your comment.
And now I want to use my duty and interrupt these discussions for 15 minutes and use this opportunity to invite you to the coffee break and we invite you to the coffee break organized by the Azerbaijani site where you can taste our national, delicious sweets. After 15 minutes, we can continue our discussion. Please, now you can taste it. I invite all persons.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Okay. Honored colleagues, please sit and we'll start with our session.
Thank you. And I want to express our gratitude and thanks. You received our invitation and tasted our national delicious sweet. And I think you have the possibility to taste our national cuisine and sweets in Baku in November. Thank you.
And now we'll continue our discussions. According to our records, Greece, please.
Andrey. Where? Not here.
And when Andrey comes, we can return.
Any person. Another, please. Yeah.
>>MERVI KULTAMAA: Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. Since there was the opportunity, I go for it.
I wanted to address the issue of relevance of the IGF which Janis Karklins mentioned. I thought that it was a very pertinent question.
And I would second what he said.
One aspect of the relevance is to really prove that the IGF has had really value added, that it has created new activities and new partnerships. And that would also justify the support that donors give to the IGF, at least we would find that very useful when we try to process our donor application for the support to the IGF.
But other aspect is really to increase the relevance of the meetings itself. And I would like to support what Andrey said about enhancing the capacity-building aspect of the IGF. And this is something that Finland suggested in the CSTD Working Group for improvements, to have the -- strengthen the IGF's role as one-stop shop for all Internet governance information, so that there would be one track of workshops and other meetings which would provide basic information on Internet governance to newcomers and to those who are not that familiar with Internet governance. So we would very much support that.
And I wanted to just briefly discuss the choosing of workshops. We have the problem ahead of us in the MAG that we have too many workshop proposals.
And I think that we would need to work together in small groups and take into account a mixture of criteria which has been mentioned here, first of all, look at those people who have submitted proposals who have not reported from the earlier workshops, I think those people should be disqualified. I'm sorry to say this, but that should be the first priority.
And then maybe take into account that we had too many proposals under one specific theme, that the workshops should really express a diversity of views, not just from the organizer's part, but those who are in the panels, to see who there and if there is a sufficient amount of diversity in the panelists, and really look at also regions and those people who have never -- never conducted a workshop before. So it should be really a mixture of all aspects and all criteria which has been mentioned here. But that has to be done in a small group. So I look forward to doing that in a couple of -- two days ahead of us.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Okay. Thank you.
This is very concrete, the proposal, and the opinion about criteria which we can use for choosing some workshops. And maybe we can have such criteria for our advertisement of these workshops.
Okay. Andrey, please, please, please.
>>ANDREY SHCHERBOVICH: Thank you, Chair. And I'd like to (indiscernible) about this scientific commission or scientific group to assess, report which to be proposed on workshops. I think this is very difficult work for everyone who will be involved in this group. But I think that it's very important to assess the quality of reports themselves, not the workshops or proposals, but those reports which should be on those workshops.
But how, technically, this is for a response of what was done previously, but how technically could be performed, for example, which deadlines should be on this to submit those reports? And how and when and where. Maybe it will be -- need to conclude -- to make another meeting to prepare those reports. I don't know. But the idea is great, to raise the quality of workshops and reports on them.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you. Ayesha, please.
>>AYESHA HASSAN: Ayesha Hassan from ICC-BASIS. A couple of points to perhaps help us in reducing and consolidating the workshops that are selected. First of all, I just want to be clear that we do support having a schedule that is balanced. We have to remember, not only are there workshops and open forums, but there are also the main sessions, that we want to make sure what we hope will be a very strong participation in Baku will not be torn in too many directions at any one time. So we do also support the emphasis on capacity-building. We should keep that as a focus both in the workshops as well as the main session.
And then I also wanted to point out that in some workshop proposals, there's more reference to information and communication technologies and the emphasis seems to be on ICTs. And I think either the workshop proposers who focus on ICTs should be asked to focus on Internet governance angles, -- we're at the Internet Governance Forum -- and we should remain focused in that regard.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you.
Mr. Tijani, please.
>>TIJANI BEN JEMAA: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
First of all, I want to thank you about the baklava that I tasted there. It is very much similar to our baklava in Tunisia. Thank you very much.
[ Laughter ]
>>TIJANI BEN JEMAA: I wanted to comment on what said our colleague here about the assessment of the workshops.
I don't think that assessment of the report is a good way to assess a workshop. First of all, I think that we need a real template that everyone use to report on the workshop, so that all the things you need, you want to know, will be in this report. Because I can do a report, and I don't put things that you are expecting. So the best is to have a template that everyone fills in. And in this case, the reports will be similar.
But the assessment should be, in my point of view, on the attendance and the activity in the workshop. This is the -- how to say in English? -- the (Non-English word) -- the indicator that can show the success of the workshop, the interest of people in this subject, the interactivity, this is the way you will see that the workshop is successful or not.
I have heard someone saying that the workshops must be co-organized. I don't understand this notion. A workshop is organized by an organizer. And the workshop must be using speakers from all over the world, from all the stakeholders, balanced between men and women, et cetera. But the organizers don't have to be multiple.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Okay. Please, Robert.
>>ROBERT GUERRA: Robert Guerra from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto.
In talking about maybe some innovative ideas for the IGF, I want to maybe talk about a session that I didn't raise in February, which was kind of an ad hoc session that was organized in Nairobi. There was space for a session that had been canceled, I believe, because participants, there wasn't enough of a quorum. But people were in the room, and it was a very successful session. I don't remember the number off the top of my head. But the reports were very favorable. So I would say that in the IGF MAG, as it organizes the next session, maybe having some sort of innovation in regards to how sessions are facilitated and moderated, instead of having a set number of speakers and go around, maybe just having speakers on a particular topic and having a free-flowing conversation. It proved to work quite well in Nairobi. And I would maybe put that forward to do as a pilot again in Baku.
So thank you.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Izumi, please. Izumi, please. Izumi, if you want to have some comments, please.
>>IZUMI AIZU: Yeah, to perhaps counter or to add to my, well, question of the policy that Tijani mentioned earlier and just to follow up what you said, it's kind of funny to say. Many Asian countries I observe, where I'm from, don't really -- are not quite accustomed to the roundtable, free dialogue. Rather, sometimes they like very orderly, boring sessions. So there's not one sort of value standard to assess the workshops.
Similarly -- so if the keynote speaker give 30 minutes great speech that you learn, and little interaction, do you rate it very low or high is a different story.
So with some (indiscernible), I'd like to have more diversity of the views about measuring the workshops. That's one way to put it.
Another way is that could we do some kind of evaluation of the participants of the workshops, some questionnaire or customer satisfaction in various degrees. The same goes true that how do you put the measurement of these? That's a kind of difficult thing. For those very fluent in English may think it's very easy, because the breakout sessions, the workshops, we don't have the translations this time. So these are sort of the challenges. But I think we need to find some ways to still raise the quality, however you define.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you. We'll continue.
Vladimir Radunovic, please.
>>VLADIMIR RADUNOVIC: Thank you. Very good pronunciation. It's not easy for the Serbian names.
So Vladimir from DiploFoundation. A new member of MAG also. And I'm happy for the support.
I wanted to bring maybe a bit of my own view of, while reviewing a number of workshops, some of my impressions.
Most of them, most of the proposals, were really relevant to the IGF and the topics, so I didn't have almost any complaint on that. However, the things that could be improved with the current ones and in future, some of them are following.
Most of -- many of them miss details on the speakers. But that's not easy, because at this point, and I think within the next two months or three months, we are not going to know who will be in Baku. So it's not really easy to say the speakers at the beginning. And that's one of the challenges that we should consider whether people should really know who are the speakers or have the list of options. But most importantly, we -- in many of the workshops, we miss people from developing countries, especially from least-developed countries, especially from Pacific, Caribbean, small islands, and so on. That's really heavily missing. I think that can be improved, even with the current workshops, the organizers can improve on that.
We are missing the engagement of youth. There are a couple of workshops that are organized by youth. There are just a couple of workshops that involve youth, but not too many of them. So that's something that should be improved.
Some of the topics proposed are really relevant, but too broad, that we can spend hours and hours talking about what was proposed, but without really a sense.
We can't really judge for most of the workshops, whether there will be an interaction or not. That's not a problem with the proposals. That's maybe a problem of us putting down some kind of evaluation how we can estimate if the workshop will be interactive or not, to what extent the audience will be involved. As Izumi said, you can have good panelists, but you can't know if that's -- if you can involve people and so on.
We need more workshops with controversies. Even though I also like workshops where we have agreements, we need greater diversity of views and feeling of controversies within the proposed workshops.
And, finally, and some of the MAG members also mentioned that during the reviews, when we -- when it comes to the panelists, we have a lot of people that we keep seeing on the same panels, which are, of course, very relevant speakers, like Vint Cerf and the others, but there is a missing portion of people from small islands, Pacific, Caribbean, again, and so on. We have the resource presently. Unfortunately, many people probably hesitate to apply for the resource presently, because they're not sure whether they will be there in Baku or not, whether they will have support. We should encourage people to apply anyhow and energy the workshop organizers to pick up from that list. And even if people are not sure they will be able to come from the meeting. They might say, okay, option A from Pacific, option B from Pacific, option 3. Well, one of these three will hopefully show up.
For the next rounds, a couple of comments. We might introduce several types of workshops that we can suggest. For the new topics, we might wish to have experts presented, like as it was with Internet of things. We needed expert to present some new things.
For the topic that already emerged a little bit and we discussed it, we may need a fully open forum where everyone can say whatever they want.
For the topics that are more closed, like for instance child safety, we might need roundtables. We can come up with suggestions, recommendations at the ends. So the level of maturity of the topic can dictate the level of format of the event, and we can also discuss it in the proposals.
We need to ensure interactivity as much as possible. And I don't know how to -- but to ask the proposers to take that into consideration. Good moderators, as few panelists as possible without presentations, so on.
We can tag -- that's quite important -- we can tag the proposals, ask the organizers to tag the proposals with different tags. I can elaborate on that through the lists. I'm not going to go into details. But that way, we will not only be able to follow the proposals with tags, but it will enable easier reporting later on and picking up on certain topics and tags.
Lastly, when we get back to the assessment, how do we assess the quality of the workshop at the end, I think we should take into consideration the usage, the usability of the workshop. I don't know how many of you -- and I challenge you -- have read the work -- reports from the workshop on the Web site. I wouldn't bet many of you have read it after the IGF. I wouldn't bet many decision-makers and policymakers have really read the reports from the IGF. They -- I'm not sure they find it useful. It's a lot of text, a lot of quality, but it's not summarized in the right way. The usability of the reports and the outcomes of the workshops is the greatest assessment.
Tags and many other reorganization of the reporting can help. But that's, of course, a step for the next IGF.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Okay. Thank you. Please, Mark.
>>MARK CARVELL: Thank you, Chair. I agree with much of what -- Mr. Radunovic's points. I hope I got the pronunciation right. I remember having to practice that, actually, for a session we did together, which I was the -- moderating. And I hoped I cracked it in the end.
Anyway, I'm a new member to the MAG. And I had the opportunity to go through the workshop proposals. And I have to say I was very impressed with a large number of them. And that's a great credit to awareness of the opportunity of the IGF and the willingness of so many hard-working, dedicated people, so many experts, so many people who see the value of dialogue and interaction, it's a great credit to them that they have presented so many proposals.
I've heard a lot of points made today about how we might work on this process of selection. But I started to have a creeping feeling that maybe we were trying to overmanage this process, the beauty of the IGF is that it is an open and wide-ranging opportunity to look at existing issues and also to table some new issues, emerging issues. And that's, quite rightly, an important theme to preserve in the IGF's structure. And I do wonder if we might be going down the road of exercising too many eligibility criteria that might start to impact on the initiative of so many people if they feel they're not going to quite meet the criteria. And if they are looking at new issues and being experimental, it's going to be difficult to assess those proposals on criteria relating to track record or whatever, whereas we should be preserving the opportunity for something new to be tabled on the agenda of the IGF.
So I just sort of -- as I say, I slightly -- I get slightly worried that we might be cutting off some new elements into the IGF, some new thinking, if we try to overmanage the process of selecting workshops.
That said, I think there is an opportunity for us to lay out some of the key elements of what makes a successful workshop. The time available in the IGF is precious, and it's a terrible shame if there is a very valuable proposal, maybe something new, which goes wrong because the actual conduct of the workshop is ineffective or inefficient or cutting against the objective just through not really anticipating how the workshop should usefully roll out within the limited time available to it.
So I thought the idea of just sort of a session to look at what makes a successful workshop that was mentioned earlier, I think that's a good idea.
I thought some of the proposals did try to be overambitious, tried to cover too much ground. And at the same time, maybe they weren't clear in their objective and what they were seeking to achieve and advancing dialogue on a particular issue. And I thought Izumi's idea of some self-assessment is good in that respect, because then you get the attendees saying, "Well, you didn't quite cover this, but you should pick this up, and maybe that should be developed further as part of the scenario of the dialogue." And the feedback from those assessments will help the development of effective workshopping and avoiding the risk that the issue comes up again at the next IGF, and it's just sort of going over the same ground. You know, it's not moving the issue forward.
The IGF has got to keep going forward. It can't just keep going over the same ground again. I don't have any specific examples of where that has happened, but I think we're all aware that that is a real risk that workshop proposals are not moving things forward. And I think it's very important to avoid that.
I also spotted the absence, as Vladimir and others pointed out earlier, of stakeholders from developing countries and LDCs not really taking advantage of this opportunity. And it's not coming through in the workshop proposals that we see, the sort of -- the geographical emphasis is still away from so many parts of the developing world economy. And that's -- that's very unfortunate. And I wonder if perhaps there's something that the -- the regional IGFs, where there are concentrations of LDCs and developing countries, might help with that in promoting awareness. But this is great. You've got this issue in the regional IGF. It's global. It has ramifications for LDCs and developing countries in other parts of the world. Get it up onto the U.N. -- the global IGF and, you know, get the proposal moving forward in that way and bring in -- in the process, bring in a lot more stakeholders.
So I wonder if that's one possible way of addressing that deficiency that we're seeing in the lack of engagement of stakeholders from developing countries and, indeed, LDCs in particular.
Thanks very much.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you. Thank you, Mark.
And Vladimir, excuse me for the incorrect pronunciation of your name and surname. Please excuse me. I only read the note which made it in here.
Now we've corrected your name and surname. And in future, I will try to use your correct name.
Please, Mark, you again?
>>MARK CARVELL: Sorry to come back. Just to realize I didn't actually introduce myself, did I? Having deferred so much to Vladimir. My name is Mark Carvell. I'm from the U.K. government Department for Culture, Media, and Sport. As I said, I'm on the MAG and the Governmental Advisory Committee of ICANN.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Mark.
>>OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you, Chair.
I would like to agree with Mark from the U.K. that we shouldn't overmanage the selection of the workshops.
I've been a MAG member since 2007. Always the workshop has been a lot of work in the selection. And I think that there is beauty in some diverse outcome. Sometimes you organize a workshop, and it's full of people. Sometimes not many people attend. But that doesn't mean that it's not successful. Sometimes they conflict with other main sessions or other workshops.
So I would -- my recommendation, based on the experience of all these years, is not to overmanage that.
And about a comment that Vladimir made, it's difficult to be sure that all the panelists will attend. That is true, especially if you come from a region like Latin America or a country like Argentina that is always far away from everywhere, unless you organize the meeting in our region.
So what we have done in other workshops, and perhaps you can have this in mind, is having them participating remotely. And, in general, it was okay, especially in the last IGF in Nairobi. We had one panelist from Spain and one panelist from Brazil in the workshop about Latin languages. And it worked. They were quite okay. So you can count on panelists participating from remote. It's not the same like being there, but if you want them in the panel, you can do that if the Internet access is good.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Okay. Thank you.
>>KIEREN McCARTHY: Hello, Kieren McCarthy from .Nxt. I was just thinking about what Mark was saying, that an example of where this may work, an example of a totally different industry, is the open source software community often runs conferences. And they use open source software to allow the community themselves to rate workshops. So typically, what they have is they have a core agenda and schedule, and then they have slots available, and they allow people to put in their own recommendations. And then the community themselves votes on whether they think this is good or the community themselves can comment on particular recommendations.
So I know that that sounds like it might be a logistical nightmare, but it does work quite frequently with the open source community. So that's something that might be worth considering. Obviously, not for this IGF, but maybe for the next one.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you, Kieren.
>>FELIX SAMAKANDE: Thank you, Chairman. I have introduced myself, Felix. My stakeholder group is government. And being a new member of MAG, I have a new level of enthusiasm, so I prepared a statement. I'm just going to read through my statement, but some of the issues might have already been raised by others.
I feel honored taking the floor among you distinguished members of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group. I would like to thank the IGF Secretariat for making this possible and steering forward our work.
Collectively, we represent the interests of billions of netizens or Internet users out there. That is not all. We also represent the interest of billions more who will join the Internet in the future.
That is if we make it sustainable enough to stay viable that long.
After assessing the 2012 workshop proposals, I have a couple of observations that I wish to share with the group. My fervent hope is that some of you will support the incorporation of these observations into future workshops.
The first thematic group is managing critical Internet resources. This year's main theme for the annual IGF meeting is "Internet governance for sustainable human and social development." To achieve this lofty goal, the Internet infrastructure must continue to sustainably provide communication services between geographically separated computers, well into the future. The original Internet was designed, in quotes, so that communication signal should withstand nuclear war and serve military institutions worldwide, close quote.
Today there is enough scientific data to the effect that there is a threat level higher than a nuclear attack. Solar storms, which are bursts of energy released from the sun, have the capacity to wipe out a whole continent.
Scientific data says we are in the middle of a solar storm cycle of which the solar maximum will be in 2013.
One solar storm "with our name on it" could wipe out 12 Internet root servers in one geographical space. Therefore, our Internet infrastructure must survive beyond the demise of any single geographical space.
My take on this is that we should push for the even spreading of Internet infrastructure resources in such a way we avoid a single point of failure; in this case, a single space of failure.
In our debates, we could actively pursue the agenda of spreading the Internet root servers evenly in all quadrants of earth. There are several archeological digs that unearthed messages from past civilizations written on stone. I figure these civilizations were writing on stone because they knew magnetic memories are less eternal than stone.
Where is our civilization writing its important messages? We have imperative messages. The importance of leaving sustainably on this planet or how the Internet brings out the best in us as social beings.
With respect to that, I would suggest debate around such radical ideas of replicating all important software resources from the Internet storage onto storage media in outer space. Such a debate would require the multistakeholder space that Annual IGF adequately provides.
Second thematic item is taking stock and the way forward. One of the ideas of the annual IGF is to create opportunities to share good practices and experiences. I observed silence around certain experiences pertaining to human health issues resulting from the deployment of information and communication technologies, especially with wireless networks. I also casually looked back at previous IGFs and did not find any record of discussion around these issues. Electromagnetic radiation is one of the health pollutants that ICTs are deploying to all life forms on earth, through wireless network hubs, Bluetooth, smart devices, satellite antennas, et cetera, et cetera.
As a precautionary approach, could we at least use the annual IGF platform to elevate awareness of these adverse effects to health? Meanwhile, there are several civic advocacy groups out there campaigning against the erection of base stations in residential areas or WiFi networks around children. More so, there are research papers and documentaries on the Web whose producers would be happy to contribute in IGF forum debate.
There is also a whole host of other societal ills that ICTs have brought with them, besides a few: Internet addiction, acute compulsive shopping disorder, acute attention-span deficit disorder, cognitive dissonance to name a few.
I have caught myself wondering if everyone else has decided to pinch their noses and move forward. We could progress faster by conscientizing stakeholder and netizens so they embrace these technologies with sufficient caution.
Could we have some workshops aimed at increasing awareness around these health and social pollutants? In addition, the workshops will help to dispel fiction from fact.
The last thematic issue is emerging issues. The capacity-building program by DiploFoundation increased my affinity to surf the Web. What emerged from the several hours I'm spending on the Web is that the Internet is alive and kicking. It has a pulse, and it has mood swings. The Internet is singing a song about mankind. But who -- but my concern is who is listening to the lyrics?
Let me use examples of currently evolving trends on the Web that are centered around elevated human consciousness and trans-humanism.
If left unchecked, some such emerging trends could develop into actionable social traits like mass suicides. These kinds of powers lie within the reach of the Internet, and my concern is who is looking out against abuse of such powers?
I also have the distinct impression that the potential of the present Internet is not being fully exploited in terms of listening to people's collective voices. We are sitting on domains of knowledge, which if merged collaboratively will take our species through an technological evolutionary shift.
Compared to natural assistance, the current level of human technological development is primitive. Take the current energy crisis, for example. The earth uses an estimated 16 terawatts of energy per year, yet in the space of 88 minutes, the sun release into our atmosphere enough energy to last earth a whole year.
Such a global energy issue could benefit from IGF providing platforms for capturing the collective intelligence of netizens. Governments are politics driven while corporations are profit driven. And we appreciate they have bills to pay. Therefore, the IGF is well-placed to provide a conducive platform to complement other ongoing efforts. The IGF could brainstorm around the setting up of autonomous think-tanks to crowdsource from progressive thinkers on such critical issues. This level of collaborative techo-philanthropy had the potential to avert a techno-calypse or an energy tipping point on our watch.
Let me end on a positive note by encouraging all MAG members --
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Excuse me. If possible, very shortly. Yeah.
>>FELIX SAMAKANDE: -- especially the new ones, that the small trees we are taking care of today will some day be a forest. And our satisfaction is in knowing that future generation will be sitting in the shed.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will end there.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you, Felix. The final remarks, I think, are very hopeful and we will try together approve the situation. You rise many, many question, many aspects of implementation of ICT. But today we're discussing the issue related to our workshop, which we can discuss such issues which you rise up in here.
Firstly, we must appoint this workshop. And after, we can, yeah -- we can appoint some themes which we will discuss. Thank you for your remarks.
Other persons? Chris. Please.
>>CHRIS DISSPAIN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I just wanted to drag us, if I may, kicking and screaming back to dealing with workshop criteria. I have heard a lot of suggestions and stuff this morning about helping to make the workshops better and helping, et cetera. I think we need to be very careful about what we do. It strikes me that we simply need to make sure we have clear criteria which are easily understandable to the people who are proposing the workshops, clear dates by which things must be done. Therefore, by example, if it is acceptable to put forward a workshop with some panelists to be advised, that's fine, provided that there is a date by which the to-be-advised panelists are to be advised.
Individual MAG members can, and I suspect have in the past, contacted workshop proposers -- many of us know them anyway -- and perhaps given them advice or help. But I think the MAG as a whole should not do that. The MAG should only be producing general communication to all of the workshop proposers.
We currently have a situation where we have some workshops marked green, some workshops marked red, some workshops marked amber. And it is clear, I think, from some comments this morning that -- maybe Adam Peake was speaking about, maybe a lack of clarity around how to put the proposals in.
So it is clear that probably what we should do is send a general communication to everybody reiterating the criteria in a clear way so everybody understands what they need to do in order to get to their workshop up to the next stage, if instead we have time to do that.
We may not have time to do that, Chengetai.
But I would be very concerned about us as a group interfering or attempting to influence the way that the workshops are shaped in any way other than to provide general criteria. Thank you.
>> SANJA KELLY: Hello, my name is Sanja Kelly, and I work at Freedom House. I'm also a first-time MAG member. I will share the concerns of the previous speaker regarding interference with the workshop process in the sense of providing too much feedback. And I will mention a couple of reasons why this may not be the best approach.
As MAG members, we all represent different interests and different stakeholders, although, of course, we serve in private capacity. I would be very concerned that certain topics proposed by certain organizations or stakeholders would be diluted by too much interference. So, for example, if there are controversial subjects, let's say freedom of expression and development, I would be concerned, for example, that some members of MAG or generally some stakeholders would want to dilute some of the main messages and would, for example, recommend such workshop focuses, let's say, more on development and less on freedom of expression. That is just one example because I think it is a bit more relevant to the type of work I do.
So I think my main message is to be helpful but to communicate to all workshop organizers in a uniform way and make sure that for everyone, the guidelines are clear but really stay away from overmanaging individual workshops.
My second point actually has to do with multiple people -- or the same person serving and speaking at multiple panels. One of my observations from last year's IGF was that we had the same person, as other colleagues here have mentioned on, let's say, six, seven, sometimes eight workshops. And I think while that's great and they have been probably invited for objective reasons because they're specialists in the field, I really do think that it takes away from the ability of the IGF to represent multiple views.
So I would actually recommend limiting the number of workshops in which one speaker can contribute as a panelist. Thank you.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you, Sanja.
>>ROBERT GUERRA: I wanted to echo Sanja's comments and also add something that Vladimir alluded to as well, and that's the great value of remote hubs. I would add that sessions that very effectively engage remote participation maybe have a remote hub actually do some work substantially before and then link in at the end when they're doing their summing up would be particularly good to do because that engages the IGF community. But that requires a lot of advance preparation, both on behalf of the Secretariat making sure that the infrastructure and the Internet works and also the workshop organizer in Baku and abroad.
But I think that they could add a particular value, and I would just ask the MAG in their discussions over the next two days and in the weeks and months to come to Baku, that they try to really increase the level of remote participation and do one up to what happened in Kenya and maybe have one of the key panelists actually participate remotely.
And I talk about this from experience. In Toronto, we did a cybersecurity event in March where one of our remote participants was from London. He was able to see the room and actually told the panel in Toronto that there was a question from the floor. And that showed that remote participants are not only hearing but actually are engaging the room.
And I'll raise an issue that's come up for the remote participation today. I finally have been able to go online and have heard that several colleagues have actually wanted to make points earlier in the day and they were effectively listening remotely but not able to participate. And let's make sure that does not happen in Baku. Thank you.
>>JEFF BRUEGGEMAN: Jeff Brueggeman, again, AT&T. A couple of comments about the workshop readings. I think one point I wanted to mention is that there are also positive incentives that have been created for workshop organizers. One is being identified as a feeder workshop. I think the other can be looking at time slots.
I would say probably more comfortable focusing on how to reward the good workshops and make sure that they get the preferred good treatment rather than judging those and getting into the concerns that others have expressed. And, again, I also agree with the points that have been made, that focusing on the diversity and the participation is a safer area to be judging on as opposed to specific content or the perceived value of the workshop. Thank you.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Okay. Thank you. And reference to the remark of Robert, I now join to us our remote participant. Please.
>> BEN AKOH: my name is Hermann Brumm. I'm the remote participant moderator. I'm speaking on behalf of Ben Akoh from IISD. He states: The workshop proposal impact of the Internet on sustainable, social, and economic development is a proposal that was developed as a theme-setting plenary session, preferably to be held after the official opening session.
The workshop will draw connection between Internet governance and sustainable development. It is organized with the backing of the World Bank, IISD and the APC. The workshop is important because 2012 is the 20th year since the global community committed to a plan of action to move the world towards sustainable, social and economic development.
In June 2012, world leaders will have met to discuss progress on commitments made 20 years earlier on how the world was to meet the economic development needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. But during those 20 years, the Internet became the defining technology of our day, connecting us in an unprecedented way at unprecedented speeds. How has the evolution of the Internet, its infrastructure, technology and content impacted the world transition to sustainability for better or worse? How should the Internet be considered in a global sustainable development planning for the future?
This workshop will bring to the IGF two high-level keynote speakers to present on the outcomes of Rio+20, one representing UN DESA's view on progress and the second presenting a critical assessment of the outcomes of the event.
A report on how issues related to the development and deployment of the Internet were dealt with at Rio will be presented, based on IISD and APC's attendance at Rio.
Three to four panelists will then comment on a range of issues that could begin to define a new coherence between the Internet economy and a low-carbon responsible economy. Our request is for this workshop to be considered as a plenary scene-setting session. Thank you.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you. Izumi, please.
>>IZUMI AIZU: To clarify perhaps my earlier comments or questions about how to raise the quality of the workshops, I also asked you guys to make comments on these. I really note and share the same concerns you expressed about Chris' or Sanja's and Robert's, among others, not to attempt to influence the substantive part of the workshop. We can't really measure that way of the quality, and we should refrain from judging any values one way or the other.
And so being a new member of MAG, I will be very careful not to go into that area and respect all the different views and diversities.
So having said that, the areas we had in mind was the diversity areas or the regional balances. However, I also agree with Chris especially that MAG as a whole shouldn't go into that business. Some members of the MAG, especially we're going into -- breaking into these thematic areas, for example, we maybe are allowed to give advices or suggestions to but nothing to be sort of trying to dictate or sort of force them to go that direction. It's -- the final decision should be made very much by the organizers and not by the MAG members at all. That's what I want to make very clear. Thank you.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you. Other persons? Yeah, please, Felix.
>>FELIX SAMAKANDE: Thank you, Chairman. I just felt it necessary to respond to the interventions that were made in response to my statement. I just want to qualify my statement by clarifying that the suggestions I was making for the MAG and the Internet Governance Forum to provide a platform for discussion along those lines were meant not to fear or dictate debate but to provide a platform.
And I also mentioned yes that should future workshop proposals come along those lines, it is from this explanation that I made. Some of these discussions are missing.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you. Thank you, Felix.
Other persons? Okay, Chengetai, please.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: If there are no other comments, I just wanted to ask again if anybody has any comments on the number of workshops we should hold or how -- if anybody has any comments on how do we determine the number of workshops we should hold?
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Yes, please.
>>CHRIS DISSPAIN: How many can we hold?
[ Laughter ]
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: All of them.
>>CHRIS DISSPAIN: We can hold all of them?
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes.
>>CHRIS DISSPAIN: Well, now that's fascinating, isn't it?
>> ANDREY: Thank you, Chair. I think we could make all the best to have as much workshops as possible, to make wide range of topics to be discussed. Some people are coming to the IGF by large groups or delegation. It is a very positive experience. And I think that the delegation could be diverse to have as many interesting workshops as possible. Thank you.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you. Ms. Cade.
>> MARILYN CADE: I welcome the opportunity to comment about the number of workshops by noting with interest and appreciation some of the earlier comments have been made.
I am not a MAG member and I do notice that the MAG members, both old and new, have been very active today and I look forward to hearing more from them tomorrow.
But as a non-MAG member, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage others who aren't MAG members to look at the next 30 minutes as also an opportunity to provide more feedback on this particular topic.
My thought about this is, we will have a number of newcomers to the IGF in Azerbaijan as we have at all of the IGFs. And we've been talking about the importance of making workshops interactive and participatory.
I act as the chief catalyst of the IGF USA. And our workshops range from 120 people to 90 people to 15 people on purpose because 15 people can be very, very interactive. So the number, I would say, should be guided by as much as we can assess, not just trying to fill a room but by -- for a workshop but by trying to ensure that the format and the interaction around -- and the subject match each other.
Secondly, I will note again that actually once we add in open forums, I'm sure there will be some very interesting open forums that will be added by governments and IGOs, et cetera. I'm not so sure we can have all of the workshops, and we can't predict right now how many open forum applications we may get or submissions or nominations.
So I will wrap up by saying at each of the meetings, I speak in support of having as many sessions as possible to enable as many participants as possible and as much diversity. Thank you.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you. Please.
>>KIEREN McCARTHY: Kieren McCarthy from dot Nxt. I think you are answering the wrong sort of question. I have been to a lot of different conferences for a lot of different industries, and I have been a journalist for most of my adult life. And I found the issue is: How many concurrent sessions do you run at the same time?
I think as soon as you have more than five sessions running at the same time, a conference tends to feel a little bit out of control. So I would say you have -- or try and have a rule where you have no more than five sessions going on at any given time and from that figure out how many workshops, how many spaces you have.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you. Anriette, thanks.
>>AVRI DORIA: This is Avri Doria. I think you were pointing at me. I actually find myself in a happy situation of disagreeing with Kieren.
[ Laughter ]
I think that you should hold as many as qualify. So going back to what was said before is what are the qualifying conditions, that should be your determinant.
I think -- there's a lot of value in remembering that the workshops are recorded. They are transcribed. They are available for people to look at afterwards. They're available for people who didn't come. There is a lot to be gained from that.
So even if people can't attend all of them, many people can over time come to appreciate all of them. Thank you.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you, please, Chengetai.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: I just want to say as a reference figure, I think in Nairobi we held 77 workshops as such. So you can use that as a reference figure.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you.
>> HEATHER DRYDEN: Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Heather Dryden and I'm with the Canadian Department of Industry. I'm also a returning MAG member.
Just to the current topic under discussion, I think it really brings us back to the point of needing general and subjective criteria to look at the workshop. I agree with the comments to that point made by Chris Disspain.
Also, I think the ICC/BASIS also had a good point to make regarding focusing on Internet governance. So those things that are most closely related, the topic of Internet governance and the further you get away from that, the less relevant they are to the IGF and this should be a consideration.
I'm also very sympathetic to the comments made by Finland about capacity-building and perhaps looking at having a particular track that we set aside that we know is going to be dedicated to ensuring that newcomers or those less familiar with Internet governance issues can engage and participate in workshops that are more focused on that kind of discussion.
I also think that it's important to make linkages to other areas of expertise if we're wanting to draw in others into the work of the IGF and to keep it live and invigorated, then this is one of the things we can do.
We heard about a particular workshop that -- wanting to link sustainable development to Internet governance, and this is an area of work that we think is particularly interesting and there are likely others.
Also, I think for MAG members, when we are wanting to look at workshops or plenaries and trying to identify a broad range of speakers from various regions and various stakeholders that we not be too keen to have MAG members speaking on a lot of panels. I think we should hesitate, and I think it really comes back to the MAG having this role of offering general guidance and not getting too, too much into the details in particular with the workshop. So I hope that is helpful. Thank you.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Okay, thank you. Please.
(No audio to scribes.)
>> (Intervention in Spanish.)
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you.
>>NETHERLANDS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is Wim Rullens . I'm from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture, and Innovation of the Netherlands. I'm not a MAG member and have not participated in the group of the CSTD on improvements to the IGF, but I have been following six IGFs up till now, and the discussions also in the CSTD, improvements to the IGF.
And I think that we should also recognize the good work which has been done in that group and the suggestions which have been made in that group and take that on board for the further work also within the MAG.
As particular to the question about the number of workshops to be organized, it is a recurring question which has come up in every preparation for an IGF. There have been different approaches to this issue. But I think that, basically, it is -- the best way to move forward is to be as unprescriptive as possible and not to try to reduce the number of workshops, for instance, by stimulating organizers to organize the workshop together on a particular topic, because although it seems on the first glance that the topic is the same, the workshop might be diluted by too much co-organizers of a workshop. And I think that we should respect the proposals made by the organizers also for this year's IGF and try to accommodate as many as possible in as inclusive a way as possible.
Of course, there should be the possibility to engage with the organizers to try to suggest improvements to the proposal, but not in any way go into the content of that particular proposal. Just by advising them maybe on some of the resources they could also engage in their preparation or people they could ask for help in organizing their workshops. That would be, I think, already a good suggestion which the MAG might make. And so that would not lead to a decline of a proposal, but a suggestion to improve and to find a way forward.
And certainly when there is the possibility to have all these workshops, I would be in favor of trying to accommodate as many as possible. Thank you.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you.
>>MARK CARVELL: Thank you very much, Chair. And that is -- Mark Carvell, U.K. government. That is very much my inclination here.
We've had a large number of very impressive proposals, and I think we're all, here, loath to cut back. We'd have to be -- the MAG will have to be quite ruthless to get it under 100 workshop proposals.
Just coming back to Kieren's point, this is not a conference, really. It's a forum. It's a coming together of stakeholders. And it's -- it has some structure, feeder workshops and main sessions, that's true. And there is sort of a match there with a kind of conference approach. But it's also a platform for new issues and opportunities for stakeholders -- unprecedented opportunities for stakeholders -- to come together and explore an issue and start to move a dialogue forward. So it's not quite the same problem as one would have trying to manage a conference. But I think we're all agreed that, you know, we'd have -- we do have to cut back. I'm sympathetic to the points that Chengetai made earlier on, that having 12 in parallel is going to be very difficult.
I'm actually very -- Coming from a government perspective, we in government -- the reason why we come to the IGF is to hear stakeholders, to hear what's bugging people, what opportunities are coming up to inform our policy positions. We're at a time when government delegations are being cut back. And we'd be really stretched to cover an event where there are, you know, ten, 11 things happening all at the same time, where we've got a mandate, really, to try and cover as much as we can in an efficient way of navigating this event.
So I am sympathetic to the problem that, you know, having too many is going to create, for many of us -- not only government, but others, too. This is, you know, a very rich event, and it can be almost too rich. But it's just simply the practicalities and the logistics argue for reduction.
But I think we have to be fairly light touch, and at the MAG, explore how, actually, there may be opportunities to reduce.
I mean, obviously, there are, I think, some examples where proposals do overlap, and there might be an argument to present to the proposers, "Well, why don't you get together" or, "Why don't you work out a way of complementing your proposals, perhaps, in a single workshop," firstly.
Secondly, the MAG might take a view that a few proposals are perhaps just too narrow. And I think there was this point made about some of these proposals that are very much more on the ICT/technology side spectrum-related and so on, which is not really at the core of what the IGF was envisaged to do. And there may be ways of something to the proposals, "Look, that's a very valuable proposal, but is this the right place for it?" And maybe the MAG could sort of, through experts coming together in the MAG, could say to the proposers, "Well, not this time, but maybe another place, and we could support that in some other way," rather than actually guarantee a place in Baku.
Thirdly, maybe there are a few workshop proposals which are not really global in their objective. There may be more regionally focused. I think there are a few like that. And maybe the MAG could sort of again consider, well, maybe this is not for Baku, but get it on to a regional agenda, a regional IGF agenda, or some other regional forum. Maybe that's the better place for it.
Maybe, subsequently, you know, there could be a global angle that would come out of a regional discussion.
So there may be ways of reducing the number in a way which is constructive, not overmanaging, not deterring, but conditioning the proposers, advising the proposers, "Well, maybe not for Baku, but maybe it's more appropriate in some other forum," and, well, if it takes off on a global level, it's maybe for a subsequent IGF.
So I just wonder if there are some ideas there that will help the MAG approach this with a view to reducing the sheer number, but not in a way which is deemed to be, you know, unsympathetic.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you.
Okay. Thank you, Mark.
We have only -- yeah. One moment.
We have only six minutes before we must -- we can finish our work. At 6:00 p.m., our translators finish work. And during this, few hours work with together us. And please keep in mind at this moment, we have only six minutes, and in here indicated three persons. After these three persons, we are finished with our discussions.
And please now invite Olga. Please, Olga.
>>OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you, Mr. Chair. My name is Olga Cavalli. I'm from Argentina. In my modest opinion, I think that we have to hold as many workshops as qualify. And let me tell you why.
First, we have a very generous host that has the space and the facility to allow that. And that's very -- that's fantastic.
Second, there are translations, transcriptions. Many people come after you do a workshop, several months after, many also years, that they are investigating something, and they go to the transcript, and they get the concepts from there. So it's not only the people that are sitting in the room at that moment. Many people, few people -- you can't judge the success of an issue for that.
Also, you have remote participation that has been growing since we started two or three years ago, four, I don't recall exactly. And it's increasing and better and better every year. And you have remote panelists and remote participants. So I think that we have to be as much inclusive and diverse as we can.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you.
>>BERTRAND DE LA CHAPELLE: Thank you. My name is Bertrand de la Chapelle, from the international diplomatic academy. Of these.
Two points. One, I think there's a general trend and desire for all the comments that Olga, Mark, Avri, and others have put forward in favor of having as many workshops as possible, provided that they are appropriate in scope and appropriate along the criteria that have been set up.
I think the -- as far as I understand, the MAG members have done a tremendous job and a big amount of job in rating those proposals. So on that basis, and provided that there is a cutoff date for filling and making the modifications that may have been suggested, as much as possible is a goal.
However, there's a second dimension that I would like to put into the discussion, which is, it is important also that the IGF is not a succession of separate viewpoints that do not interact with one another. There are many conflicting topics, and one of the risks is that we have one very good workshop presenting viewpoint A and a very good workshop presenting viewpoint B, and people will not really hear what's happening in the other one.
So I would suggest that when the MAG works in the next two days, instead of trying this very difficult exercise of forcing people to merge, which has always been very difficult, identifying clusters of workshops that are actually dealing with similar topics and seeing whether it is possible to insert in the program at an appropriate moment four, five roundtables where the organizers of workshops that deal with similar issues from different angles would come together before, ideally, the plenary session. But even if it's afterwards, it doesn't matter.
The notion that if you have organized the workshop, you have the opportunity to go to one session where you will meet and interact with the organizers about the workshops dealing with the same topic, so that maybe heated debate will take place, but interaction will really be presenting all the different facets. I think this is the point that is missing at the moment in the format, and it could be a great improvement if it were put into action in Baku, given that we probably have some -- some space.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you. Thank you, Bertrand.
>>YULIYA MORENETS: My name is Yuliya Morenets. I'm from the organization, civil society organization, TaC, Together Against Cybercrime. And I'm also a new MAG member. So I'm very enthusiastic about the MAG meetings for these days.
Just quickly, I would like to say concerning the selection of workshops, I think we should really support the very innovative workshops with the regional ideas as well as the workshops coming from the people who applied for the first time. So, of course, if they respect the criteria and the rules set by IGF.
So very quick statement.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Okay. Thank you.
Now I will talk on our discussions.
During these hours we discussed many items related to our workshops which we are planning. And I am confident that our discussions today have demonstrated the wide variety of issues we face. And I am confident that the MAG meeting over the next two days will listen and take action on the comments made in today's meeting. And, ultimately, your inputs will feed into discussion in Baku.
I hope that each and every one of your comments will be able -- all of you will be able to join us there. Yeah.
And with this comment, I want to express our thanks to our translators and the persons which transcribed our discussions, and other persons who assisted in providing our meeting. And thanks for you, for your comments, for your actively participation in this discussion, and invite you tomorrow, (indiscernible) our discussion with MAG member. And I want -- for comment for your invitation.
>> Thank you, Chair.
I just wanted to remind the audience that the Internet Society is hosting a reception at the ILO Cafeteria. And you're all absolutely welcome to join. Thank you very much.
>>ELMIR VALIZADA: Thank you. Thanks to you.
>>CHENGETAI MASANGO: Tomorrow, 9:00, governing body room. Thank you very much, people.