[discuss] NetMundial Initiative

William Drake wjdrake at gmail.com
Sat Aug 23 07:39:45 UTC 2014


On Aug 22, 2014, at 6:23 PM, Stephanie Perrin <stephanie.perrin at mail.utoronto.ca> wrote:

> Indeed, in response to Bill, I was not suggesting that the WEF would take over the role the IGF has played for the past ten years.  My fear is that, as Jeremy indicated, the IGF, despite all the rhetoric, in some quarters has been declared a dead parrot (in Pythonesque terms).  

There are always some quarters declaring something.   Meanwhile, there are a variety of discussions taking place in Istanbul about strengthening the IGF.  We will explore the issues at the Day 0 event and in several main sessions, particularly the one on the ecosystem and strengthening the IGF.   How to do it is a debate that’s been unfolding in multiple venues, including the MAG.  The Brazilians have made plain they would like to see a strengthened process toward the 2015 meeting.

> There is a risk in any new stakeholder gathering, that new movement will take place with new ideas, and exactly the scenario that Wolfgang describes could start to play itself out, in the new power structure forming at the WEF.  

Again, the WEF is providing a platform for six months to launch a process with hopefully support outside the usual IG circles, e.g. heads of state, ministries of finance, trade, etc, as well as businesses and CSOs not historically engaged in IG.  If it works, in six months a new and inclusive process independent of the WEF will be stood up.  At most, WEF would add IG sessions to its annual conference programs at Davos.  How, concretely, would this constitute a new power structure that determines anything?

> Every assembly is a new power structure....with new risks, particularly for a movement as weak as the IGF, that certainly appears to be past pining for the fiords....
> Apologies to those unfamiliar with the dead parrot sketch, it is available on utube.  Apologies also to those who think the IGF is alive and well...while I still profess profound ignorance of the inner workings of the IGF, I am in the camp that believes wishing will not make it so, we need money, staff, a structure, accountability, and an action plan, otherwise this is just busy work for civil society. I think we can get some of this at the upcoming IGF, as Marilyn C has indicated....and I would repeat.....please pass the hat while you are at WEF.  If that is Fadi's plan, I think it is a capital idea.  

There will be an effort to encourage founding partners to commit political and perhaps financial support for the above, yes.

> Speaking of capitals, though, which governments are going to the August 28th meeting, do we know?

Yes, this and other information is all on the WEF site.



> On 2014-08-22, 11:44, "Kleinwächter, Wolfgang" wrote:
>> My understanding is that NMI is aimed to strengthen the IGF. The IGF needs strong supporters. And it is good that next to the dozens of (old and new) IGF supporters we have now also the WEF as a supporter. If the renewal of the IGF is pulled into the (intergovernmental) WSIS 10+ process the risk is high that the IGF could enter troubled waters. There are proposals by some UN member states, to bring IGF and the WSIS Forum under one umbrella (to save costs and resources). The WSIS 10+ process and its negotiations in New York will be done by governments only.
>> Istanbul and the NMI process should be used to find out how the IGF could become more sustainable, stable, better financed, better staffed and how we can move to a process which generates concrete output in a multistakeholder environment where stakeholders "share" decision making (as proposed by the Tunis Agenda). There are ideas for concrete output: Best practice guidelines for various issues, IG observatory, IG clearinghouse, IG watchdog etc.
>>  However the NMI (as the IGF) has to proof that they are real multistakeholder processes (and not one- or two-stakeholder processes). With other words, it needs a strong and engaged civil society and academic community to counterbalance (intended or unintended) domination or capture by other stakeholder groups. As Bill says reading the NMI FAQ is useful. The door is open. What it needs is good ideas, reasonable actions and active engagement in the exploratory phase. And then lets see what we have end of February 2015.
>> Wolfgang
>> Hi
>> I don't think there is any intention or plausible scenario for the NMI to replace the IGF.
>> The FAQ is worth reading.
>> Best,
>> Bill
>> On Aug 21, 2014, at 8:03 PM, Stephanie Perrin <stephanie.perrin at mail.utoronto.ca> wrote:
>>> I don't know Jeremy, I don't think you are being cynical enough; I agree with your blog.  Where oh where is civil society on the WEF website?  I confess little or no expertise on the IGF, having last attended in person in 2006....but how does anyone think the IGF is going to get this issue back?  If civil society is prepared to admit that IGF is the walking dead, what does anyone realistically think government and industry are likely to say?
>>> Personally, I don't think a fair bargain has been struck for the first ten years of IGF.  No organization can survive with almost no funds, no staff, and no means off assisting its volunteers to attend and build initiatives.  This is what we need to push for. That and getting the WEC to restrict its activities to fundraising among its members, to fund IGF.
>>> Cheers Stephanie Perrin
>>> On 14-08-21 1:30 PM, Jeremy Malcolm wrote:
>>>> On 21/08/2014 10:18 am, Avri Doria wrote:
>>>>> Web site updated.
>>>>> http://www.weforum.org/issues/global-internet-governance
>>>> Before seeing this I blogged with my personal thoughts about the
>>>> Initiative at
>>>> http://igfwatch.org/discussion-board/the-netmundial-initiative-exposed,
>>>> being my usual cranky self.  Having now read the website update, I
>>>> wouldn't change much in what I had written, but I am pleased to read
>>>> that "there will be a six month period of
>>>> consultations with a broad range of stakeholders and experts regarding
>>>> whether and how to establish a dedicated organizational structure to
>>>> support these activities going forward, whether or not connected to the
>>>> Forum."
>>>> _______________________________________________
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>> ***********************************************
>> William J. Drake
>> International Fellow & Lecturer
>>   Media Change & Innovation Division, IPMZ
>>   University of Zurich, Switzerland
>> Chair, Noncommercial Users Constituency,
>>   ICANN, www.ncuc.org
>> william.drake at uzh.ch (direct), wjdrake at gmail.com (lists),
>>   www.williamdrake.org
>> ***********************************************

William J. Drake
International Fellow & Lecturer
  Media Change & Innovation Division, IPMZ
  University of Zurich, Switzerland
Chair, Noncommercial Users Constituency, 
  ICANN, www.ncuc.org
william.drake at uzh.ch (direct), wjdrake at gmail.com (lists),

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