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

Marilyn Cade marilynscade at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 15 15:23:02 UTC 2014

I want to be optimistic about any new initiative, such as the one that is now being made more visible entitled NETmundial Initiative.
I will offer two thoughts.My priority is strengthening and evolving the IGF as the forum that other initiatives related to IG feed into.
this initiative by its nature will be grass tops. As we can help to ensure that it contributes into the IGF, and that those who are now suddenly aware of the IG Ecosystem and key issues step up to funding of the IGF and to attending and contributing to the IGF, this is a welcomed initiative.
BUT, I am cautious that some will want to fix this initiative or change it, or debate it at the expense of our real work and program at the IGF. As this is ONE thing that is discussed, among the other critical activities, and doesn't overwhelm our program, I am quite supportive. 
I think that is the intent of some, but it is easy to blow such an initiative, which is after all, YET to be determined in its relevance and outputs, out of proportion. 
I look forward to more information. 
BUT, I remain focused on the IGF which is starting on Sept 1 with Day 0 events, and I ask that those who are launching this initiative fully respect that there is a program. I understand that Day 0 will have a couple of cameo appearances. 
All initiatives are not created equal, nor need they be. 
BUT, my measurement of all are that there is mutual support of the IGF.  
I do have a good understanding of WEF from some previous corporate work life.  It does not replace any of our more bottom engagement and initiatives. 
IF this initiative can recognize and support awareness of IG and the value of the IGF and support how we strengthen the IGF, all the better. I will remain optimistic, but quite focused on the IGF Istanbul.  
Let's not be diverted by too much focus on any particular initiative. let's remain focused on the program of the IGF and just assume that this, like other initiatives fits into and may contribute.

Marilyn Cade

> Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2014 14:41:29 +0200
> From: hhalpin at w3.org
> To: nnenna75 at gmail.com; discuss at 1net.org
> Subject: Re: [discuss] NetMundial Initiative - My initial thoughts (As at mid August 2014)
> Hash: SHA1
> In terms of other platforms, it would be good to get the World Social
> Forum involved:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Social_Forum
> Which was historically set up as a place where civil society and
> social movements meet, in contrast with the WEF. I believe the next
> one is in Tunis in 2015.
>  While the WSF has many of the issues (for example, professional civil
> society activists and rather a lot of organizational disarray than
> IGF), it is a very open forum that I think has a good deal of
> grassroot social movement support and was also initiated in Brazil. It
> is also not particularly focussed on Internet related issues (full
> disclosure, I've been giving Internet rights related workshops there
> for a few years).
> That being said, at WEF, here's what I'd like to see:
> * Netmundial Initiative's needs to strengthen the statement, in
> particular demanding that net neutrality be implemented (rather than
> say, removing it due to backroom politics at the last moment).
> * Develop a plan to "crowdsource" refinements of the statement and
> localized versions thereof. That's a hard software problem but one
> worth tackling.
> * Have Internet governance be accountable to the citizens of the
> world, not via the ITU, but perhaps by doing something radical like
> transforming the IGF or some other body into a oversight body for ICANN.
> * Develop an actual political programme to accomplish these goals with
> a realistic timeframe and determining key points of leverage over
> un-cooperative governments and corporations.
> * Realize that traditionally large-scale grassroots social movements
> have historically changed the world rather than small groups of people
> - - be they either the political/technical elite or jet-setting "civil
> society activists" that have no actual social movement behind them. So
> how can a small group of people help build a large-scale, open social
> movement with clear goals?
> Sadly, there is *no* strong and co-ordinated global grassroots
> movement around internet governance and internet rights today,
> although the local national-level efforts in places recently like
> Turkey and the Philippines have been amazing and demand our full
> support, and the SOPA/ACTA protests showed that global pressure is
> possible. Thus, strengthening and building a global internet rights
> movement is of utmost importance.
> Obviously, *any* organizational forum, regardless of place or
> attendance, can be a hot-air factory with negligible political or
> technical force - and this holds equally true of IGF, WEF, WSF, and
> the like.
> Likewise, if *any* organizational forum can help this situation and
> provide resources and co-ordination, then all power to the people. If
> this comes from the WEF (which does has some Internet pioneers as
> members such as Tim Berners-Lee as well as other visionaries) at this
> point I'm not going to be particularly bothered.
> However, what history will judge us not by what our goals are, but by
> if we accomplish them or not. That's the yardstick we should judge
> Netmundial by. Generally small groups producing an initial plan and
> then open consultations and movement-building is a fairly effective
> methodology for organizing social movements.
>    cheers,
>          harry
> On 08/15/2014 08:32 AM, Nnenna Nwakanma wrote:
> > 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 follow.
> > 
> > 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"
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > _______________________________________________ discuss mailing
> > list discuss at 1net.org 
> > http://1net-mail.1net.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
> > 
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