[discuss] NetMundial Initiative

Victor Ndonnang ndonnang at nvconsulting.biz
Thu Aug 14 21:52:43 UTC 2014

+1 Kathy,


Call for strengthening the IGF at the national, regional and global level was one of the most important outcome of the Netmundial…Let’s focus on turning that outcome into action rather than putting our energy on another initiative. The WEF can invest its available resources to strengthen the IGF and engage more participants from the economic world rather than trying to be the host itself... Too many initiatives for the same issue can be counterproductive at the end. Supporting and strengthening existing initiatives is more useful than starting new ones. 


It takes time and money to follow all those initiatives and this can exclude stakeholders from the developing world where financial resources are lacking…

Best regards,

Victor Ndonnang.


De : discuss-bounces at 1net.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org] De la part de Kathy Brown
Envoyé : Thursday, August 14, 2014 5:01 PM
À : karklinsj at gmail.com
Cc : discuss at 1net.org
Objet : Re: [discuss] NetMundial Initiative


Dear Colleagues, 

I wanted to comment on this list as I, too, have been invited to the upcoming launch event of the WEF initiative.  I appreciate the issues raised by Anriette and others. Janis, of course, gives good counsel to see how this evolves. We, too, are seeking information about the initiative, the composition of the steering committee, and the intended outcomes.  Having been actively involved in the NETmundial meeting earlier this year, ISOC is keenly aware that inclusiveness and transparency are at the heart of the NETmundial principles.  We join others in expressing a hope that the WEF initiative is carried out in a way that fully reflects those values. 

In the meantime, I want to reiterate the Internet Society's firm support for the IGF as a place for true global multistakeholder dialogue on Internet governance topics.  This year, we have an important opportunity to build on the success of the IGF and to show how this kind of process can result in meaningful progress on emerging Internet issues.  The Internet Society staff and community are deeply engaged in the preparations for the IGF because we believe that the IGF has made and continues to make a critical contribution to global understanding and consensus around Internet governance.  Let’s not lose sight of the important work that we collectively need to do in Istanbul to make the kinds of improvements that will strengthen and sustain the IGF going forward. For us, that is our primary focus in the coming weeks. 

Kathy Brown


On Aug 14, 2014, at 3:57 PM, "karklinsj at gmail.com" <karklinsj at gmail.com> wrote:

May I suggest to interpret NetMundial in the title of the WEF's NM initiative not in a direct but a figurative sense.

It seems to me that for many of us the Net Mundial has become a synonym for  multi-stakeholder participatory process that yielded  a result that equally satisfied (or unsatisfied) absolute majority of participants. 

I suspect that the promoters of the NMI had that in mind when they decided to use the term NetMundial in the title.

I agree that the transparency of preparation of the launch and initiative itself might have been better but if you recall many were uncomfortable with information flow also before the Net Mundial meeting. At the end all went well and Net Mundial has become a reference or even standard of multistakeholder participation.

Let's see how this initiative will evolve and let's use the IGF meeting to tease out as much information about the initiative as possible and insist on open, inclusive and transparent multi-stakeholder involvement in its execution.




Sent from Surface


From: joseph alhadeff <mailto:joseph.alhadeff at oracle.com> 
Sent: ‎Thursday‎, ‎August‎ ‎14‎, ‎2014 ‎8‎:‎52‎ ‎PM
To: discuss at 1net.org


I wanted to write to echo many of Anriette's sentiments.  I too am writing in my personal capacity as we are canvassing the ICC-BASIS membership on their views.

First, let me clarify that while business actively engaged in the Net Mundial meeting and supported it's outcomes, there were significant process and other shortcomings in the runup and operation of Net Mundial.  Business has not focused on these issues as we believed that it was more important to focus on achievements rather than shortcomings, but if there are attempts to institutionalize the concept of Net Mundial, then this line of inquiry will need to be explored in detail.

Second, Net Mundial played an important role at a point in time, where reflection and inflection was needed; it served that purpose well.  It is unclear to me that there is any permanent need for such and event.

Third, I would respectfully disagree with those most recent posts that justify the WEF initiative by the fumbling of IGF.  Can and should IGF be improved?  Yes, absolutely.  Does IGF play a useful role, even in its present role, I believe it does.  After these years of IGF we have begun to take the conversation it engenders for granted.  While these multistakeholder conversations don't yield immediate results they are the stepping stones to understanding and a foundation of consensus.  IGF remains one of the few places if not the place for such conversation to occur.  The frustration is that we don't build on the small victories in consensus, we don't properly capture the capacity building and we are not sufficiently innovative in considering how to approach these issues.  Net Mundial and the prep for this IGF has increased the focus on these topis and has generated some hope and anticipation for real improvements to be considered. These improvements  should not be made at the expense of the unique DNA of the organization - the avoidance of positions around negotiated text.  We have alphabets of three and four letter organizations already engaged in that trade and we need no more of those.

Fourth, The WEF NMI.  I would concur that this is an inauspicious way to launch a multistakeholder initiative.  The process we are all engaged in now, rooting out facts and chasing down rumors, is somewhat reminiscent of what we were doing in Bali related to what would become Net Mundial. While there may be some beneficial need for positive engagement from the top, mutlistakeholder must also have bottom up roots.  WEF may have a role to play, but to do so they must be more transparent as to motivation, outcomes, process and participation.  It is also important for the WEF NMI to reinforce, as Net Mundial did, the important role of IGF and highlight how they will support that role and function.  

I would also like to point out that this fact clearing-house function may do more to return active participation to the 1net discuss list than any topic since Net Mundial.


n 8/14/2014 11:10 AM, Stephanie Perrin wrote 

Thanks for this excellent post Anriette.  Obviously, I agree whole-heartedly.  I am very glad you are going, and I wish you all the luck in the world.  You will likely need it.
Best wishes.
Stephanie Perrin

On 14-08-14 8:00 AM, Anriette Esterhuysen wrote:

Dear all

Writing this in my personal capacity. My organisation, the Association for Progressive Communications, has not yet finalised its reaction to this discussion.

I have not been involved in the NETmundial initiative, but have been aware of it since ICANN 50 in London. I have been invited to the 28 August event.

Aside from those concerns already stated on this list, which I share, I want to add I am not convinced that this initiative, based at the WEF, and adopting a 'get all the great leaders into the room' approach is what is really needed to build on the substantial achievements of the NETmundial.

I have always been an admirer of initiative and risk taking in the service of the 'greater good' and I don't want to condemn the NETmundial initiative or its initiators.  I do believe it should be viewed critically however, as a lot is at stake.

Getting process right is never easy, but it is important to try hard to do so, particularly when building something that is intended to be long term.

The NETmundial process was not perfect, but it made a HUGE effort to be inclusive and transparent. The degree to which it succeeded contributed to its legitimacy and success.  The NETmundial Initiative needs to consider this very carefully.  Of course it makes sense to work with smaller groups of people to get any initiative going, but in the internet world, and probably in the world everywhere these days, not being transparent about how these smaller groups are constituted and how they operate is 1) a lost cause as leaking can be assumed, 2) not necessary and 3) probably somewhat foolish.

But assuming that the NETmundial Initiative process will become more transparent and inclusive in the next few weeks, I still have a fundamental concern about its format and location.  I am not convinced that it is tactically what is really needed to build on the substantial achievements of the NETmundial, the IGF before it, and the many people who have tried to make multi-stakeholder internet policy processes work in the real world over the last decade.

My reasons are (mostly) as follows:

1) Choice of 'location' in the context of power and politics in multi-stakeholder internet governance

Most of us consider the NETmundial a success and the NETmundial statement a strong, positive document that avoids the traps of 'cheap' consensus. 

By that I mean that the final statement reflects consensus, disagreement, and issues that need follow-up and further elaboration. That not all agreed on the pre-final draft (there were some last minute disagreements about text related to  intermediary liability and surveillance) with the final version reflecting these negotiations actually makes it an even stronger document, in my view, even if some of the text I would have liked to see in it was excluded. To me this represents that the stakeholders involved in the development of the text were able to work together, and disagree. The disagreement was resolved in favour of the more power and influential - not civil society of course. I don't mind this. It reflects reality. And I know that civil society did also gain hugely with most of our demands making it through. Over time these power arrangements might change, and those of us working for the public interested in these processes have to keep on contesting, and negotiating. Multi-stakeholder processes where this does not happen are not worth the time we spend on them.

Power and influence matters, and will continue to do so. In choosing a site for taking the NETmundial forward attention has to be given to ensuring that it is a platform where dynamics related to power and influence among stakeholders in IG is able to play themselves out on a relatively equal playing field, with that playing field becoming more equal as time goes on.

WEF does not provide this.  Yes, certain big name civil society leaders attend WEF meetings. Others are present. Developing country leaders also attend, and it is seen as a powerful pro-business, pro US and Europe forum for reaching business leaders, and facilitating networking among the prominent and powerful (with some being both).

But is it the right space to establish something sustained, inclusive and bottom up that can gradually lead the way in building the legitimacy and inclusiveness needed to operationalise the NETmundial outcomes at global, regional, and national levels? I don't think so.

I say this not to disrespect the staff of the WEF or people who participate in WEF forums, or of ICANN, or anyone else involved in the NETmundial initiative. But first and foremost as someone from a developing country who has experienced the ups and downs and highs and lows of multistakeholder IG for a long time and secondly as a member of civil society. To me WEF simply does not feel like a space where developing country people and civil society will ever have a equal power with powerful "northern" governments and global business.
2) What do we really need to operationalise and consolidate the NETmundial outcomes? 

Glamorous gatherings of the powerful and prominent in IG (be they government, from the north and the south, tech community, business or civil society) will help to keep networking going, create the opportunity for self-congratulation for those of us who were part of the NETmundial in some way (and I had the privilege to make submissions online, and to be involved in the co-chairing some of the drafting on site in Sao Paulo).

But is that what is really needed to integrate what the NETmundial stands for (public interested, democratic multistakeholder and human rights oriented internet governance) into the day to day running of the internet in ways that will be felt by existing and future users?

I don't think so.  

I think that what is needed is  building lasting (and they have to be very strong because they will be attacked) bridges between a process such as NETmundial, and its outcomes, and institutions and people that make governance and regulatory decisions on a day to day basis. I want to see, for example, freedom of expression online enshrined in the contitutions of very government of the world. I want governments (and where relevant, businesses) to be held accountable for making sure that all people everywhere can access the internet.

This means engaging those that are not yet part of the multi-stakeholder internet governance 'in-crowd'.  It requires working with national governments. Regional intergovernmental bodies as well as international onces, including those in the UN system. 

Will a NETmundial Initiative based at the WEF prevent the rejection of multi-stakeholder processes (and of women's rights for that matter) that was evident in the CSTD Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation?  Or efforts among ITU member states to increase governmental oversight over internet governance? Or tension between blocks of states with divides between the developed and the developing world?

I think that is the test it will need to pass with flying colours if it were to make the gains that are needed, and that are not already being made through processes such as the IGF, even if only in part. And a good starting point would be to identify how those governments that were at the NETmundial, but whom did not support the final statement publicly (some said publicly they did not support it, and others failed to show support simply by staying silent).  

How do they feel about this WEF-based NETmundial initiative? I see some of them are invited. I know of at least one, present in Sao Paulo and invited to the NETmundial Initiative, who does not support either.

Apologies for ranting and raving somewhat. The point I am trying to make is that for internet regulation across the ecosystem to comply with the principles in the NETmundial statement and get get the NETmundial roadmap used as a guide we don't need more expensive global gatherings.  We need existing governance institutions and processes, including those not yet on the multi-stakeholder bandwagon, to consider and adopt NETmundial principles and integrate those into their governance decisions and processes. And I am not convinced that a WEF based forum constituted in the way the NETmundial Initiative has been, is up to that task.

3) NETmundial Initiative and the IGF and the broader internet community

The NETmundial outcome documents mentions the IGF repeatedly. It recommends strengthening of the IGF, and asks the IGF to take the discussion of complex IG issues forward. This reflects both the inputs received prior to the Sao Paulo meeting, as well as deliberations in Sao Paulo.  It reflects the will of those from ALL stakeholder groups who participated in the NETmundial.

I therefore find completely inappropriate that an initiative which takes the name of the NETmundial, and which sets out to take the NETmundial outcomes forward, does not have a closer link to the IGF.  

In fact, at the very least it should have used the IGF as a platform for presenting itself and getting feedback from the broader community active in the internet governance ecosystem which has been using the IGF as its primary discussion space.

The IGF is an existing forum that is still linked to the UN system, and through that, to those parts of the internet governance ecosystem populated by governments. It is a bridge. It needs to be stronger, and used more, but it exists and many of us has put a lot of work into it over the last 8 years.

Without much capacity and resources, the IGF continues year after year, overwhelmed with a demand from the internet community it cannot come close to meet (e.g. no of workshop proposals that cannot be accommodated). Regional and national IGFs have their own trajectory too.. ups and downs there too.. but overall becoming more inclusive.  The IGF process has not even begun to fulfill its potential. Particularly not at the level of interacting with other institutions and capturing and communicating the outcomes from IGF discussions effectively.

1000s of people have been working in this IGF processes, people who are trying to create change on the ground by getting different stakeholder groups to listen to one another and work towards a more inclusive and fair internet. People who are trying to find constructive ways of challenging practices (be they driven by governments or business) that, for example. blocks affordable access, or free expression on the internet.  If you count all the IGFs around the world we are talking about 10s of thousands of people.  The lack of respect shown to all these people and organisations by NETmundial Initiative rings loud alarm bells in my ears. 

I might be overly sensitive.  I will really happy if my skepticism proves to be unfounded as I really do believe that we need democratic multi-stakeholder governance of the internet, and I believe that the NETmundial principles can help us get there.

I guess I am also somewhat saddened.. having invested so much in th NETmundial, that this, the first initiative after April 2014 to take its name, is doing such a bad job at living up to what the NETmundial process principles advocate.


On 14/08/2014 09:52, Chris Disspain wrote:m

I was told that the initiative is geared towards bringing to attention of the industry leaders and key government representatives Internet governance issues, emphasising the need of preservation and promotion of the multi-stakeholder model, as well as supporting the IGF as a multi-stakeholder discussion platform by enlarging participation in its work of those companies and governments that haven't been involved until kn


Yes, that is also my understanding. A particular emphasis was made of supporting the IGF but, I guess, time will tell.



Cheers, wha




On 14 Aug 2014, at 17:39 , Janis Karklins <karklinsj at gmail.com> wrote:


As being one of invited to the launch event of the WEF initiative I would like to share information that I possess.


The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation (statement on the website). WEF communities are various and more can be seen at http://www <http://www/> .weforum.org/communities. Organizationally the WEF is membership organization where big multinationals from all over the world are widely represented. The WEF invites representatives of governments, academia, civil society, world of arts participate in their meetings and engage with key industry leaders. This explains why the invitees list is one you see.


I was told that the initiative is geared towards bringing to attention of the industry leaders and key government representatives Internet governance issues, emphasising the need of preservation and promotion of the multi-stakeholder model, as well as supporting the IGF as a multi-stakeholder discussion platform by enlarging participation in its work of those companies and governments that haven't been involved until know.


I know that Alan Markus intends to present and discuss the initiative at the 2014 IGF meeting and there will be ample opportunity for the IG community to clarify details.


I hope that this information is useful.







On Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 10:11 AM, Joana Varon <joana at varonferraz.com> wrote:

Current status of IG debate: we need leaks to know what is going on! Pretty bad for a start.  


@jordan carter: "why a noted business centred forum is the place to launch an Internet governance initiative?" - a question to be echoed indeed.


It is a shame after the whole attempt of NETMudial to innovate in a meeting process, seeking some transparency, openness and inclusion, something like this comes up under the same "brand". Hello Brazil?!


@jeremy and members of the so called "evil cabal", if you go, you have an important role to feed people with the most important asset: information. I bet we will be always prompt for feedback. 


hoping for the best, though looking at... the worst?






Joana Varon Ferraz
PGP 0x016B8E73


On Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 1:30 AM, Seth Johnson <seth.p.johnson at gmail.com> wrote:

More that the IGF phase wasn't going to work.  IGF has always been in
a tough spot, not so much fumbling the ball -- as if that's anything
other than an endemic feature of any organization of a similar
institutional nature -- but not empowered and pining for standing.
But Netmundial wasn't executed well in that regard (they announced
sponsorship of IGF, but they also weren't quite able to make things
stick), so they need to patch he information society process up by a
more blunt move that steps past IGF rather than going through a
process of engaging folks in issues via IGF as per plan.  I think
they're figuring they'll be able to just brazen it out.

On Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 10:39 PM, Jeremy Malcolm <jmalcolm at eff.org> wrote:
> I think it's more the case that the IGF has so badly fumbled the ball that
> it falls to someone - anyone - else to pick it up. But that is not to
> discount the valid criticisms that others have expressed and that I agree
> with.
> Disclaimer: I'm a member of the evil cabal.
> --
> Jeremy Malcolm
> Senior Global Policy Analyst
> Electronic Frontier Foundation
> https://eff.org <https://eff.org/> 
> jmalcolm at eff.org
> Tel: 415.436.9333 ext 161 <tel:415.436.9333%20ext%20161> 
> :: Defending Your Rights in the Digital World ::
> On Aug 13, 2014, at 6:57 PM, Jordan Carter <jordan at internetnz.net.nz> wrote:
> Can someone explain why a noted business centred forum is the place to
> launch an Internet governance initiative?
> I genuinely don't understand that.
> I thought the whole lesson of netmundial was that genuine multi stakeholder
> approaches work well, not that it was a nice experiment to be ignored.
> It would be helpful if those who rule us, as it were, would rapidly disclose
> some authoritative information.
> Jordan
> On Thursday, 14 August 2014, Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell at cs.tcd.ie>
> wrote:
>> Gotta say... seems like elitist nonsense to me having looked
>> at the invite list and other docs. The elitist part should be
>> obvious. The nonsense part is due to  almost none of the list
>> of invitees being known for knowing about the Internet. It
>> seems much more an elite than an Internet-savvy list of folks
>> being asked to form a new cabal. That said, cabals aren't all
>> bad, and I've no reason to think very badly of this particular
>> subset of the elite and its I guess just more meaningless policy
>> stuff so I don't need to care very much.
>> That said, it seems a pity for this to be the next step after
>> the Brazil gig which seemed relatively open.
>> S.
>> On 14/08/14 02:36, William Drake wrote:
>> > Hi
>> >
>> > I proposed several times to the 1NET Co Com that 1NET explore serving as
>> > a more open multistakeholder vehicle for connecting people to the NETmundial
>> > Initiative.  Several members expressed support for that, but since how the
>> > NMI will evolve remains very unclear it’s hard to know ex ante how this
>> > could work.  I made the same suggestion to Fadi in London, didn’t get much
>> > reaction.
>> >
>> > As I understand the basic idea, NMI will have a six month launch managed
>> > by WEF but the hope would be that this leads to something broader and more
>> > inclusive in a second phase.  Not how I would have done it, but that said I
>> > wouldn’t assume before the fact that the second phase will not come.  We
>> > have to see for starters how the conversation goes 28 August and what is
>> > possible…
>> >
>> > Bill
>> >
>> > On Aug 13, 2014, at 10:00 PM, Avri Doria <avri at ACM.ORG> wrote:
>> >
>> >> Hi,
>> >>
>> >> Just wondering, is this a proper list for those who have been catching
>> >> bits and pieces of the ICANN/WEF 'NetMundial Initiaitve' to be
>> >> discussed.
>> >>
>> >> I think it might be, and have even suggested it to others, but figured
>> >> I
>> >> better check first.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> avri
>> >>
>> >> _______________________________________________
>> >> discuss mailing list
>> >> discuss at 1net.org
>> >> http://1net-mail.1net.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
>> >
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
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> --
> --
> Jordan Carter
> Chief Executive, InternetNZ
> +64-21-442-649 <tel:%2B64-21-442-649>  | jordan at internetnz.net.nz
> Sent on the run, apologies for brevity
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anriette esterhuysen
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