Best Bits: Agenda Organization Options

parminder parminder at
Sun Sep 9 22:22:20 EDT 2012

Hi All

I prefer that we keep to the existing draft schedule, although Bills 
suggestion of doing away with panels etc can be considered. I am also 
unsure about the practicality of bringing out some kind of a draft on IG 
principles from the meeting. I have always been a big votary of global 
principles for IG but the proposed exercise seems rather rushed, and in 
my view, may not bear the expected fruits. One would also like to know 
what is wrong with the principles put together by the IRP group which 
took about 2 years to work on. I am not in favour of any minimalistic 
statement that says the most banal stuff (which too however can be used 
for partisan purposes) because, inter alia I am against politics of 

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 

"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 governance."

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.

      If we're not drafting on enhanced cooperation, why spend two hours
    talking about it?  (Bill)

Firstly, I when it was first suggested I did not take this gathering to 
be focussed basically on specific draftings. I am a great fan of such 
focussed effort, but that was not how the meeting was propositioned. It 
was more of bringing diversity from across CS to one place and to 
explore what we can do from and with it as perhaps the name best bits 

Secondly, enhanced cooperation has everything to do both with any global 
principle making for IG and the WCIT discussions.


On Sunday 09 September 2012 07:11 PM, William Drake wrote:
> Hi Jeremy
> Thanks for moving this forward.  Your message to the governance list 
> today prompted me to have a non-cursory second look at the draft 
> schedule, and I'm wondering if we might not want to consider others 
> options before locking in on the present version, which is:
> Day 1 - Saturday
> 09:00 - 10:45 - Internet governance history and review
> 11:00 - 12:45 - The ITU and the International Telecommunications 
> Regulations
> 14:00 - 15:45 - Declarations of Internet rights and Internet 
> governance principles
> 16:00 - 17:45 - Process towards enhanced cooperation on Internet 
> public policy issues
> Day 2 - Sunday
> 09:00 - 12:45 (stream 1) - Drafting a civil society statement to WCIT
> 09:00 - 12:45 (stream 2) - Drafting civil society IG principles for 
> the IGF
> 14:00 - 15:00 - Streams return together, present and discuss draft 
> texts from morning
> 15:15 - 17:00 - Next steps
> 17:00 - 17:30 - Press conference and close
> Thoughts:
> 1.  We all have lots of experience with splitting meetings into 
> break-out drafting groups and views on its utility.  I'm in the camp 
> that thinks that in a setting like this, the costs would significantly 
> outweigh the benefits.  I strongly believe it'd much better if 
> everyone can be in on both conversations and approach all the 
> potential outputs holistically.
> 2.  I don't think it's optimal to devote day 1 to three big topic 
> areas and then return to two of them on day 2 and try to draft texts. 
>  I'd rather keep the flow of discussion and thinking on each piece all 
> together than break it.  Moreover,
>   a. If we're not drafting on enhanced cooperation, why spend two 
> hours talking about it?  As we all know, there is a full-day meeting 
> organized by APC, ISOC and ICC the day after Best Bits.  Enhanced 
> cooperation will also be taken up in a main session, an Euro 
> Commission Open Forum (oddly enough), etc.  So it's not clear to me 
> what the value added of loading this into an already heavy schedule 
> would be.
>   b.  I wonder about the efficacy of trying to write something 
> serious, in a group context, from a full stop, on WCIT and IG 
> principles in the time allotted.  If all we're shooting for is a page 
> and half of high-level generalities fine, but if we're trying to 
> actually influence governments and other stakeholders it could be more 
> demanding.
>   c.  I wonder about the need for panels and panelists.
>   d. For a two-day meeting that comes before another day of meetings 
> (enhanced cooperation, GigaNet symposium, ISOC, ministerial, etc etc) 
> and then four long days of IGF, I would suggest trying not to make 
> this feel like an endurance testing marathon.
> 3.  Hence, I would like to suggest what I believe would be an easier, 
> more focused, and ultimately more productive and enjoyable approach:
> Day 1 - Saturday
> 09:00 - 10:45 Group review and discussion of the state of play and our 
> goals regarding global IG principles
> 11:00 - 12:00   Organization and mapping of drafting exercise
> 13:30 - 17:45Drafting civil society IG principles for the IGF
> Day 2 - Sunday
> 09:00 - 10:45 Group review and discussion of the state of play and our 
> goals regarding WCIT
> 11:00 - 12:00   Organization and mapping of drafting exercise
> 13:30 - 17:45Drafting a civil society statement to WCIT
> Just my preference…others may have others, so how about let's discuss 
> and decide together?
> BTW, perhaps in a separate thread, we might want to discuss what's 
> supposed to be done with these statements.  How exactly do we see 
> "principles for the IGF" and a "statement to WCIT" feeding into the 
> respective processes, etc…
> Best,
> Bill
> ***************************************************
> William J. Drake
> International Fellow & Lecturer
> Media Change & Innovation Division, IPMZ
> University of Zurich, Switzerland
> william.drake at <mailto:william.drake at>
> <>
> ****************************************************

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