[bestbits] IGF - and the corporatisation scandal

Paul Wilson pwilson at apnic.net
Sat Jul 27 05:25:45 EDT 2013

Pardon me Parminder, but where exactly is the "scandal"?  It would help if you could explain what position you are taking.

This organising committee has been "delegated" the task of hosting the IGF, and simply cannot raise the funds through donations.  The Government has been unable to contribute (recently declining yet again, and proposing to cancel the event); and the UN, far from supporting the event financially, requires substantial costs to be paid for secure, staff, travel and other.

The Indonesian committee is a multistakeholder grouping, including industry and community.  They are unable to attract donations, so they are proposing, it seems, to attract funding by providing some traditional "value" back to contributors.  The deal is nothing new - it seems to be a rather standard sponsorship arrangement.

As far as I am aware there has been no clearance given from anyone for this particular approach; so I assume it is still a "proposal".  For a hard-working committee, which has been more-or-less cut adrift, this kind of additional fund-raising work was not expected, on top of the big job of making the event happen.  They are largely alone and trying to do their best, to support an event which is supposed to be inclusive and supportive of new modes of organisation, yet support seems to be sadly lacking.

Rather than cries of "scandal" I'm sure that constructive contributions would be far more welcomed, by those who are actually doing the work.


On 27/07/2013, at 5:42 PM, parminder <parminder at itforchange.net> wrote:

> Following up on the current IGF cancellation imbroglio, I happened to see what is called as the 'fund raising proposal' of the managing committee of Bali IGF..... Sorry to say, but it is a pure scandal....
> Against donations, it promises funders to be able to recommend speakers in the closing ceremony, organising of events, invitation to high level meeting, banners all around inside the venue (hundreds of them), special promotional feature in the IGF book, logos on the website, on the daily IGF bulletin, on various equipment in the venue and many other things..... Government can make donations and in return "may lead a session in the IGF and be responsible for opening, summary, and the closing of events....."
> Scandalous!! This is selling off the UN, selling off of global public policy spaces... The fact is, I dont want to go to such an IGF. I want to have nothing to do with it. 
> Who authorised all this? Can the MAG please respond. They certainly knew about the mentioned 'fund raising proposal' and about how the 2013 IGF was being organised. Why did they remain complicit, or is it that they actively promoted it?  (For a start the civil society members in the MAG who are on this list may please clarify.) Who authorised selling off the global IG policy dialogue space in this way... Does this correspond to the ground rules of a UN convened and run event which in my understanding the IGF continues to be. 
>  It was certainly never intended in the WSIS mandate of the IGF... At the WG on IGF improvements too we were quite clear that IGF is a government hosted UN event. How was such a big shift be accomplished. And done without people getting a whiff or it, what to say, a public discussion.. I have seen many problematic changes inside the MAG-IGF structure over the last year or so, which are aimed at a kind of capture, but this one simply takes the cake. 
> Does the civil society want to speak up on this issue.
> (As I said earlier, when, at the Baku IGF, the Indonesian government showed its unwillingness to host 21013 IGF, MAG, IGF secretariat, UNDESA or whoever, had no business to allocate it to a private group, even if under government’s weak tutelage. They should have offered it to other governments, one of which would  certainly have taken the offer. What has happened is a natural flow from what is euphemistically called as a multistakeholder convened/ funded IGF, largely free from UN and governmental linkages. And this is what so many - including on this list - have been promoting. It is basically a corporate controlled and run IGF  )
> parminder

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