[discuss] NetMundial Initiative - My initial thoughts (As at mid August 2014)

Nnenna Nwakanma nnenna75 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 15 06:32:07 UTC 2014

 I would like to raise thoughts that are going on in my head:

   1. About  the invitation list not being balanced.  I think it might be
   worth the effort asking who was invited and not who confirmed. There are
   invited folks whose names are not on that leaked list and there are folks
   whose names are on the leaked list who will not be there. And maybe clearly
   ask; Is there someone who wants an invite?
   2. On WEF as  the platform. I do not think that NMI has said it is not
   open to other  platforms. The only other one  that has been raised so far
   is the IGF. I do not see anywhere where the NMI has speciically stated that
   it is anti-IGF. I rather see the contrary
   3. About NMI being elitist:  It is not clear what the contrary will be.
   People who have no knowledge and no expertise? No understanding of IG4D
   issues and who were absent at NetMundial?  Even at that, I have already
   seen mails on both sides; one side saying "these are not the real Internet
   guys", and  the other saying "it is the same old folks".
   4. On Openness and transparency. The method being used by Fadi and ICANN
   in NMI is not too different from the one  used in NM itself, if we analyse
   it clearly. This time, it is just that the partner/platform is different.
   Brazil convened NM in their way and WEF is convening NMI their way.
    Granted, Brazil is more open and more participatory than WEF.
   5. On the rush: As at October 2013, most of what we knew about NM was
   either rumors or unverified. The only consistent information was "nothing
   is consistent and we are are still scoping". But NM was pulled off.
   6. On the process. I do not expect a NetMundial Initiative to begin to
   crowdsource as NetMundial did. Why? Because the Initiative already has the
   NM outcome document.
   7. On Consultations. It is not clear whether people expect an "enhanced
   cooperation"-type of working group after NetMundial. This model where we
   spend months clarifying representation, and another series of months going
   round the issue.. only to finally  end at a deadlock. And future months...
   trying to revive the discussion.
   8. On the IGF: We are 9 years down the "discussions" in IGF. If NM and
   IGF are to be actionable, it just means that we need another instance. Why?
   Because IGF is not action-oriented. It has not been and will probably not
   be. It is probably because of this that NM itself was welcome, because it
   put down what can be and needs to be DONE.
   9. On ICANN's non-buttom-up strategy. This is traditional to ICANN. It
   has not changed and probably will not. ICANN does not seek communities that
   are not active.. it draws from active ones. The philosophy is the same
   here: "do you want to join in the action?", if yes, "Welcome". The UN  (as
   mirrored in the IGF) does not use this method. It seeks to balance
   representation, to be as inclusive as possible, to be conciliatory, to find
   consensus, to terms that will  satisfy all...
   10. About Fadi. Certainly edgy, more action oriented, risk-taking and
   brave in innovation. For now, we cannot deny the fact that he has been one
   of the pillars of NetMundial. He kicked it off in the same way.. and
   everyone seems to be building on it.

All of the above is neither FOR nor AGAINST the NetMundial Initiative.
Having followed this process since 2000, my personal  conclusion is that I
would rather have movement forward than movement in circles. I'd rather
begin with with a willing and active group and amend it on the way.

NMI will certainly not satisfy all the wishes of all the stakeholders. I do
not even see it as being one of its objectives. It just wants to  take the
NM document and begin to do things that it set out.

The WEF may not be the best place to host this, but it has its advantages.
I did time at the Digital Solidarity Fund and the bitter experiences there
make me want to believe that the WEF may even be a good place. Better
places may exist, let us suggest them between now and the 6 months that

DISCLAIMER: My name is first on the leaked list on Civil Society.  I
received an invitation on my personal @opensource  account. I will not be
in Geneva. First because I do not have the time and energy to go through
the humiliating 10-weeks Schengen visa process and secondly because I am
already booked elsewhere. My reply to the invite  was "I will  be absent
but I will contribute"
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