[governance] TIME-SENSITIVE: World Economic Forum and their Initiative with Internet Governance

ymshana2003 ymshana2003 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 2 05:07:07 EDT 2014

Thank you Mawaki for this update.

Indeed there is a need to cast the net wider in order to have a substantive representation. This is expecially in giving the Academics a special space in all processes. 

Kind regards


Sent from Samsung Mobile

-------- Original message --------
From: Mawaki Chango <kichango at gmail.com> 
Date:02/09/2014  10:30  (GMT+02:00) 
To: Internet Governance <governance at lists.igcaucus.org> 
Subject: [governance] TIME-SENSITIVE: World Economic Forum and their Initiative with Internet Governance 

Dear All,

This Tuesday morning, in Istanbul, the members of the Internet Governance Civil Society Coordination Group attending the IGF2014 (Deirdre Williams standing in for Mawaki Chango from the IGC, Jeremy Malcolm from Best Bits, Norbert Bollow from JNC, Chat Garcia from APC and YJ Park as an observer; the others could not make it) met with Alan Marcus, Danil Kerimi and Alexandra Shaw from the World Economic Forum about our potential role in nominating representatives to the transitional steering committee of what we had all known as the NETmundial Initiative.  This followed on from a phone call that the chair of our group, Ian Peter had had with them yesterday Istanbul time.
One of the first points that was made in the meeting was that at the WEF they do not regard "NETmundial Initiative" as the name of the initiative, although some of their early champions (notably ICANN of course) have been calling it this.  So it seems that they will be willing to call it by another name from now on, and suggested "Global Net" which is an anglicized version of NETmundial.  Presumably, many of us will warmly welcome this news.
Their description of their vision of the initiative was otherwise mostly consistent with earlier accounts, though they did stress that the formation of a new institution to house the initiative now seems unlikely since they have been listening to pushback about this.  They see the initiative as a platform for working groups to execute projects that the community has identified as important, and the first four projects that were unveiled at the Geneva meeting were merely intended as examples of four such projects that had been identified by the Ilves Panel, on which some "quick wins" might be achieved.
The value add of the WEF, they explained, is to bring in high-level participation from companies and governments that are otherwise not part of Internet governance discussions.  The steering committee would include all stakeholders to ensure that all perspectives have a voice about shaping the Initiative including its projects. They are looking for a committee maximum size of about 15 people. The other members would be 3-4 from each one of the following groups: business (including at least two representatives at CEO level), government, intergovernmental organizations, tech community (notably ISOC and ICANN) and academics. Please note: they confirmed their intention to treat academic community separately to Civil Society or technical community or any other grouping – as per NetMundial and 1net patterns.
The original conception of WEF was that they would appoint half of the civil society representatives on the transitional steering committee because they are project partners that WEF has worked with before.  Several members of our Coordination Group suggested that their constituencies would probably push back against this, and that if the purpose of the steering committee was in part to draw on the legitimacy that civil society participation provides, it would make sense that we be empowered to self-appoint all of our own representatives.  WEF seemed to accept this counsel, with the result that we would be asked to make four appointments.
They were unclear about exactly what the time commitment for transitional steering committee representatives would be, or exactly what the responsibilities would entail, though forming an accountable permanent steering committee structure for launch around the next Davos meeting (if possible) was one of the responsibilities envisaged.  They did assure us that if travel to meetings was required, expenses would be paid for those who required this.
Criteria for appointment are still to be discussed by the Coordination Group, but from WEF's perspective, they agreed that they would not insist on a previous working relationship with WEF as a criterion, but they would require that the participants are able to be constructive and can work towards the formation of consensus.  They said that they would value people who can be bridge makers between the culture of the WEF and that of our constituencies, because they acknowledged that they would probably make (more) mistakes and would need help in correcting these. 
WEF, after our request, have extended our deadline to submit names till September 21 – and there are still some details to finalize. The timetable CSCG is discussing would see us begin a call for nominations probably no later than Friday – the last day of IGF – to allow discussion and further clarification before we commence any such process.
I am posting this to begin such a discussion – others present at the meeting may want to add comments of their own and discussions will also occur on other lists.
Examples of previous multi-stakeholder initiatives that they pointed to as being analogous to The-Initiative-Formerly-Known-as-NETmundial included Grow Africa (http://growafrica.com/) and their climate change work (http://www.weforum.org/issues/climate-change-and-green-growth). The News Release from the live event launching the initiative can be found here: http://www.weforum.org/news/new-initiative-internet-governance-live-event?news=page
Warm regards,

IGC Co-coordinator
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