[discuss] FW: [governance] FW: Towards an Internet Social Forum

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Sat Jan 31 10:51:46 UTC 2015

On Sunday 25 January 2015 11:31 PM, Avri Doria wrote:
> Hi,
> There have been a lot of criticisms of NMI based on its lack of 
> transparency and top down decsion making. It appears to be trying to 
> fix itself, but does not seem to having great success at this point.  
> How will the ISF distinguish itself in this respect.


ISF (Internet Social Forum) submits to WSF thinking and processes - 
which one must say are quite demanding inter alia with regard to 
openness and transparency, since  right now I am responding to a 
question on these points. At the same time, as has happened with regard 
to many WSF linked initiatives, that may produce document outcomes etc, 
like the intended People's Internet Manifesto, the ISF process would 
also go beyond what is 'WSF proper' which is clearly not an outcome 
producing forum. How this will be done would, I understand, be figured 
out collectively by the actors who join in this initiative, but 
obviously it cannot do anything that goes against WSF thinking and its 
extreme accent on openness and transparency. ISF would build on similar 
initiatives that have earlier formed under the umbrella of the WSF - of 
which there happen to be a considerable number. We are already in touch 
with a number of such groups/ initiatives.

As to the key operative phrase above, about 'the actors who join in the 
initiative' ,  ISF will be working under WSF rules and criteria, which 
are listed on the WSF 2015 website on the unambiguously titled page 
'criteria of participation 
<https://fsm2015.org/en/criteria-participation>'. . As you will see, one 
of the criterion is adherence to the original Charter of Principles 
of the WSF.

Now, if some people consider these criteria too exclusionary well that 
is what the WSF is, and ISF is working under the WSF umbrella . It is 
possible, just to give an example and no offence intended, that some 
anti abortionists may find some women's rights groups too exclusionary, 
but that is how it is. In my experiences any serious political work 
requires some boundary laying.

> Also, I do hope the ISF takes more pains than the NMI has in terms of 
> appearing to challenge the existence of the IGF.

I responded on this to Wolfgang (whose response BTW I still await). 
Unlike NMI, the ISF has no claim to be multistakeholder. It is 
out-and-out a civil society initiative (Please see WSF criteria above) . 
In the circumstances, I do not understand what conflict it presents with 
the IGF, In fact I asked Wolfgang and I ask you Avri, why and how does a 
civil society initiative present questions about 'challenge to the 
existence of the IGF'?

And again, we welcome all progressive groups and individuals who 
subscribe to the WSF thinking to join us in the ISF initiative. And this 
is a public pledge that the group working on this initiative will always 
holds itself highly accountable to the public, and will always respond 
to questions that are posed to the group.

If this response is not found satisfactory with respect to the original 
question, please do not hesitate to ask again or if needed re-frame the 
question or get more specific. If we do not have an answer right now, 
that too we will tell you.


Disclaimer: Above are just my views about what the ISF should and is 
likely to , and there is still no definitive articulation of the issues 
and processes discussed above by the collectivity behind the ISF initiative.

> avri
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