Best Bits: Agenda Organization Options

michael gurstein gurstein at
Tue Sep 11 06:18:54 EDT 2012

Rather than starting with the inputs to the event (the agenda, the background concepts, the expectations of the participants) it might be more useful to have a clear idea (consensus?) on the desired outcome. 


I personally would opt for the outcome identified by Parminder below i.e. "basic global civil society coherences of vision and possibilities of common action" but go beyond that to having as an outcome not only a shared vision but at least the framework and initial commitments towards a broad coalition within civil society to move forward with some coherence and common strategy in this area (to match as Parminder goes on, similar such coalitions in other areas such as human rights and climate change…


If we can agree on the desired outcome then how we best optimize the use of our time together should follow fairly straightforwardly.




From: bestbits-request at [mailto:bestbits-request at] On Behalf Of parminder
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2012 1:05 PM
To: bestbits at
Subject: Re: Best Bits: Agenda Organization Options


Jeremy and All

I suggest that the meeting principally focusses on listening to different civil society perspectives on key IG issues and looking for areas of possible convergences and common/collaborative action in future - both the process of it (like possible common platforms) and substance (specific key issues identified at the meeting). As was the flavour of the initial concept note, trying to listen to and bridge perspectives across North and South (apologies to those who think these categories are  superfluous) and across other possible divides, and seek such  basic global civil society coherences of vision and possibilities of common action as do obtain in many other areas of global governance like trade, IP, climate change, development and social justice, human rights etc....

Meanwhile, recognising the urgent topicality of the WCIT issue, a subsidiary but still key focus could be to bring out some kind of common position on this matter, and strategise on how to employ it for practical results. I think attempting a process of drawing out global IG principles at the meeting may not be very fruitful. But yes, we must discuss this possibility and how to do it etc. We can have a session on the subject.

my 2 cents.


On Monday 10 September 2012 10:47 AM, Norbert Bollow wrote:

Parminder  <mailto:parminder at> <parminder at> wrote:

I also think than in trying to focus just on two tracks of IG
principles and WCIT meeting, the proposed best bits meeting is
loosing its initial focus - on which understanding the groups
participating/ supporting it came together. Let me quote from the
initial concept note circulated by Jeremy
"We therefore propose an inclusive gathering of key civil society 
organisations from across the world, at which they would have the 
opportunity to highlight their various initiatives, and provide the 
opportunity for mutual learning and broader engagement. The gathering
is to be called “Best Bits” because it does not aim to present a
single solution for ratification by the assembled groups, but rather
to offer an open space where each group can present and advocate for
the initiatives that they believe offer the best positive agenda for 
advancing broadly shared civil society interests in Internet
I think this initial focus needs to be maintained, while we must 
certainly see how much we can work towards specific outcomes. In this 
regard, I am not very sure we can achieve a statement of IG
principles from the meeting. A possible common position on WCIT is
however much more doable. Even such a position however should be
first discussed and debated enough - preferably on this list, and on
the IGC list, to get an fully informed view on what should be done
and how.

I strongly agree. The main focus of Best Bits needs to remain on
movement-building. This must not be sacrificed for a focus on drafting
I am also not totally sure about the wisdom of splitting
up for two parallel streams of drafting groups. Maybe an alternative to
doing that would be to change the Sunday morning programme so that
instead of splitting up, we would have, for each of the topics that need
drafting work, an introductory explanation of the thoughts that went
into each of the zero drafts, followed by an initial group discussion,
and then just *organizing* how the drafting work will be taken forward
using internet-based collaboration during the weeks following the IGF?


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