On the outside, looking in: real-world solutions to effective participation in ICANN, IGF and ITU

30 September 2011 - A Workshop on Critical Internet Resources in Nairobi, Kenya

Also available in:
Full Session Transcript

September 30, 2011 - 09:00AM


The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Sixth Meeting of the IGF, in Nairobi, Kenya. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.


     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  I think we'll start.  We've been hit by a couple issues, room confusion, traffic is appalling in Nairobi today.  Also we need to finish on time or if not a little bit early because the resources session starts earlier and at least two people need to be on-stage talking, so we'll start now.  Hopefully more people will filter in as they turn up on their buses. 

     This is called "On the Outside, Looking In:  Real-World  Solutions to Effective Participation in ICANN, IGF and ITU," and the idea is to talk about the pragmatic ways to participate in these different organizations. 

     We have an expert panel who participate at the highest levels of each organizations.  The idea will be for them to give some reflections, for you to ask questions and by the end hopefully everyone will be a little bit wiser as to how to participate and what the issues are and the barriers are surrounding participation in these Internet organizations. 

     So let me briefly introduce the panelists and then go around one-by-one and ask them to introduce themselves, explain the level of experience they have in which organizations and ask the biggest issue in their eyes with regard to participation and actually influencing end results. 

     So we have Sebastien Bachollet who is an ICANN Board Member, also on the public participation committee of the ICANN board and he's also a France Board Member.  Sebastien?

     >> SEBASTIEN BACHOLLET:  You say everything.  I think my -- IGF and I have also some knowledge in there but, yeah, I know in the area now of the (Speaking off-mic) there are a lot of trials done in this area that would be useful. 

     >> Next to me I have Richard Baird, Senior Deputy Coordinator of Policy for the U.S. Department of State who is the U.S. main representative within the IT. 


     >> RICHARD BEAIRD:  Thank you very much and good morning to everyone.  It's a pleasure to be here with you.  My associations with international organizations go back a number of years.  I have seen the evolution, creation of ITU, OECD and other organizations intimately.  I think the challenge is they all share the same challenge and that is to broaden their participation in a way that reflects the reality of the Internet world in which we participate. 

     Each of them have their own mandates and cultures so that's the challenge they will face and I think that's the topic for this morning. 

     >> Thank you, Dick. 

     Next to him is Maarten Botterman, Chairman of PIR which runs the registry. 

     You've been involved in quite a few of these organizations over the years. 

     >> MAARTEN BOTTERMAN:  Yes.  Thank you.  I am impressed always by seeing how engaged people can be in participation and at the same time often we see that after a while the organizations get to be the same faces time and time again.  I think that it's very important we keep an open mind for opening up the participation actively inviting others in in that it's crucial we don't just focus on one of the parts of that network or that ecosystem to do that.  Everybody is leaning back and blaming one of the parties for not making it happen. 

     So the second part of that is I think transparency.  If people don't or can't follow anymore what's really happening, if they can't see what impacts really can be made, I think people go away or stay away or start doing the e-mail or don't even come anymore. 

     >> Thank you, Maarten. 

     To my right I have Chris Disspain.  Chris is an ICANN Board Member and CEO of auDA, Australian Top Level Domain.  He's on the IGF MAG and was a member of the review team, independent review team. 


     >> CHRIS DISSPAIN:  Thanks, Kieren.  Everything that has been said so far covers all the sort of overarching points.  Almost everything I've done since I became involved in aUDA seems to have been involved in organizations involved with -- need participation, need people to make them operate.  So I think, but I think Sebastien and Martin and Dick have covered the overarching problems we have. 

     It's just nice to see so many people participating in this participation workshop. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Just to be clear, if you are in this room and it's participation session, and you expect to not participate, you're going to have a hard time!


 And lastly, next to Chris is Ann-Rachel Inne, Manager of Regional Relations.  So I'll come to Jeanette next!


 For ICANN.  I'm just following down -- I missed you on the list.


 I see you sat there.  I'm not going to miss you, anyway I'm still going to Ann-Rachel, ICANN's regional relations manager for Africa. 

     >> ANN-RACHEL INNE:  Good morning, everybody.  My involvement with organizations goes far back to 1998 and, yes, I have participated to intergovernmental organizations but also worked with governments and now of course with ICANN and been part of the WSIS process in ITF and my take in participation is definitely what Maarten, Dick, and everybody said here, but I want to add anything dimension to it, which is that yeah it's good to be transparent, but one of the things that I say to people is that also to participate you absolutely have to do your home work also.  It's not a one-way road for me.  You can't be thinking you will participate in something when you really don't know the subject and you don't know the subject matter and you don't know how the organization functions and, you know, ins and out, it's probably because I come from the private sector for me, it's the basis is like negotiation.

Unless you know the entities and people you are working with, you can't really get something out of it.  So thank you. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Thanks.  Lastly, and most importantly --


 -- Jeanette Hofmann, senior researcher, MAG member and one of the main people I think in setting up the IGF. 

     >> JEANETTE HOFMANN:  Thank you.  That's very flattering but probably not true. 

     I have been involved in these processes first as a research are and political scientist and one of the questions I've been pursuing since the 1990s is how decisions concerning the Internet are actually made.  Who makes decisions, where are they made and how do we actually agree on anything?

I started with standard-setting and did extensive research on the ITF in the mid-'90s problems until 2000 and then switched to ICANN, became a candidate for at-large, and then I moved on to WSIS and the MAG. 

     The questions have remained the same.  But the venues are moving. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Thank you very much, Jeanette. 

     So how we'll break this up, I'm sure it will bleed over slightly since we're talking about a fairly big topic but I thought it makes sense to break this out into the ease of following these organizations in the sense of getting the information.  The ease of participating in these organizations, the he's of influencing end results and then what the bias is and the barriers are to effective participation and then finish up with a pragmatic sense of what we can do, what efforts there are to improve participation within these different organizations. 

     With that, I think I'd like to go to Sebastien and ask him: One of the complaints about ICANN in particular, you have a lot of experience, is that it's quite difficult to follow what is going on.  If you could talk to that and also if anyone feels it's not just ICANN, ITU also people say it's difficult to follow what is going on. 

     How do you follow what goes on? 

     >> SEBASTIEN BACHOLLET:  First it take me, I guess, two or three years to start to understand the ICANN ten years ago and I am not sure the tool we have today to follow what is happening in the organization and I will say both IGF and ICANN it's quite difficult if you are not in the right mailing list at the right time, if you don't look at the right page on the right website at the right time.  You don't know what is happening. 

     For the moment, there is no good solution for that.  I tried to find information even today on some subject and to be to have been unable to find it.  Even in the organization the part of the ICANN at-large where everything is supposed to be on the wiki but even with the search engine, there are things inaccessible. 

     And when I got this trouble, I imagine somebody who want to start to get involved in those organizations, it's quite impossible. 

     The only way today that I see to be really able to participate, it's to come to a meeting and to meet with people, to have the real life, not the virtual life.  If you don't have the real life, you will not be able to start to understand and that's why it's good to have program like ambassador program for the IGF, ICANN setting, program to people around the world to come to participate.  I know that there are some familiar for the next meeting in Dakar to have more people coming to the meeting and also a new program to help newcomers to understand what is happening. 

     That is good direction.  But still online, a lot, a lot, a lot left to do and I must say that there is sometime very good proposal and I have to say that Kieren when you produce a document at the beginning of the last ICANN meeting to help the people understand, it was much better than anything, any other document we could have. 

     Keep on doing that, if you can, and it's great for the newcomer.  But still it is real life, not online life.  For online we need to find new tools.  Thank you. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Chris. 

     >> CHRIS DISSPAIN:  Thanks, Kieren.  Sounds like you're sponsoring Sebastien.  He mentions .nxt, and I wanted to pick up on a couple things because there's a tendency to drop into this, well, I can't find it, therefore it's not there et cetera.  There is a degree of personal responsibility you have to take in following these, this sort of stuff.  Starting question is, if you just take ICANN it has to be possible to follow it.  The first question is: Is it possible to follow it?

     I would argue, no offense, it's impossible to follow the ITA  unless happen to be a sector member.  So therefore, sorry -- I apologize, sorry, very rare for me to be told to speak up!


 So I'm saying it would be very hard, it's not actually possible to follow the ITA unless you are a sector member.  Is it possible to follow ICANN?  Yes, it is.  Then you have to go to transparency because there has to be the level of transparency to ensure the stuff is there. 

     There needs to be a degree of personal responsibility, you can't expect to be spoon-Fed this stuff.  It's in tensely complicated and because there are so many interconnecting threads, to try to put it into simple, sometimes put it into simple, easy-to-understand is hard.  I think the organization for an organization like ICANN is to be transparent, make it possible to follow, give people a choice of ways to follow, but it's not enough just to put stuff up on a website.  Give people a choice of ways to follow and answer questions. 

     Because the bottom line is if you want to find something out and you can't figure out where it is on the website, there should be someone you can ask that will tell you.  That really should be enough. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  On that point, and I'd like to go to Dick to talk about the ITU, the question is:  Who is that person?

Is ICANN obliged to work harder to provide that information?  Are there different organizations within ICANN that had been obliged to spend more time making it clearer what's going on, what the information is or is it someone else?  Does it purely come down to personal responsibility?  Chris, you raised, I simply can't follow the ITU.  Dick, to my left, has been the U.S. government's main representative in the ITU.  How do you follow what goes on and do you accept what Chris says? 

     >> RICHARD BEAIRD:  I want to thank you, Kieren.  I think that Chris has made a valid point, but I would give an explanation to that point. 

     I will, let me make first a general observation.  Each of these organizations have been created for a purpose.  From that purpose has come a culture or perhaps the culture created the purpose and then afterwards solidified the culture but regardless, there is a culture.  In order for us to understand how all these organizations are relating to each other, and I think that's ultimately going to be one of our conclusions, we have to accept what they are.  Now, with respect to the ITU, the ITU is a union.  You join it.  You pay.  You pay to participate. 

     That's the first point. 

     Second part is it's part of the United Nations.  What does that mean?  It means it adheres to the fundamental charters of the United Nations which are embodied in the 1947 Human Rights Declarations, so there are founding documents and there are rules for participation.  That cannot be changed.  But within that, you have categories of membership and those categories of membership are, first, Member States because it's intergovernmental, United Nations but secondly it has sector members, academics and those exceed over 600 nonMember States. 

     So within that context, participation is understood but also it seems that the rules of participation are very explicit. 

     Which is to say there's a constitution, a convention, there are various resolutions that define how you participate.  But having said that, and perhaps we can come back on these points in further discussion, I fully agree with Sebastien, and it will be true of every organization, which is to say, you can't do it virtually.  You have got to be there and you have to know the participants.  In order then for you to be having a valuable participation in the organization.  But let me put those points out, those facts out and then we can go on in our discussion.  Thank you, Kieren. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Maarten and then Jeanette. 

     >> MAARTEN BOTTERMAN:  It's fundamental.  Obviously it is right that today there's a lot of information we can't find yet and if people who know what should be there and are able normally to find what they need can't find it, then how about the rest of the world? 

     Very true, and also, for instance, what you see is that participation is stimulated and sometimes sponsored.  I think that's an important part and I don't think it's enough.  I think also the rules for participation as Dick said, they're there, and sometimes they are clearer than at other times and they are set up in a time that was different than today where the stakes were different than today, where the stakeholders were different than today and we see a clear shift there, so I think one of the things that is crucial in that is continue to review that and see are we still on the ball?  Are we addressing the right people, et cetera. 

     Now, it is funny because when my career started with work, when technology became possible, and then I moved on to when the spacing got bigger to information security and now I find myself working on information -- Internet Governance issues and things like that.  Well, what we see is information to the people, and I don't mean to only the people participating in those organizations but people on the street, people in the rooms have been going from how do I get connected, why should I have a PC, stimulation of PC ownership, to later on and today I think a very good example of how in Taiwan a cartoon figure is helping to understand children primary schools what information security means and that kind of stuff. 

     I think that similarly, and we can use the online forums for that, reach out to many more to say, hey, how do I get involved in where the Internet is going and why should I care, how should I mind is a very important and basic concept that we haven't addressed yet today. 

     On that, I don't think that the responsibility is only with the ITU or only with the ICANN or IGF or even the three of those.  It is also with governments themselves, it's also with people and organizations who feel themselves responsible for that, like NGOs.  So I think that's a crucial point. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Thanks, Maarten.  Jeanette? 

     >> JEANETTE HOFMANN:  Thank you, Kieren.  I'd like to address two points.  First one concerns what you have just said that there are these rules how they work and cannot be changed.  If one looked at the ITU, has it has evolved we do see changes in the -- that's what I understood -- (Speaking off-mic) in the beginning it was purely intergovernmental and over the time the private sector got included.  And I think the ITU has started discussing how it could broaden participation and they simply don't come to any agreement which is unfortunate but we can help that over the next decade or so, the ITU is able to open itself to other stakeholder groups. 

     My second point concerns participation in other fora.  In terms of public interest groups and all diversity included and like for this year, where it's not only about public interests but also experts that we need in order to discuss issues properly. 

     What I noticed, for example, is we lack participation from network operators.  It would be really good if ISPs, for example, would attend these meetings because if you want to discuss issues like, say, net neutrality you need the people who do traffic management on a daily basis to understand how they look at things and how we sort of come to agreements with them. 

     There are lots of groups still missing but there are different resources involved that seems important, vital to get them included with ISPs for example it might be that some people say the profit margins are so minimal that they cannot afford to send people to participate here or they might not see the point, what sort of they would get out of participation here but that is a completely different issue than, say, marginalized groups or young people or people from poor countries or whatever. 

     I'm not sure we can sort of cover all that without differentiating between groups. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Thank you. 


     >> ANN-RACHEL INNE:  I want to throw in the participation of layman or participation of as Jeanette said, different interest groups. 

     So how do you get people to be there at the right moment and not be frustrated that in fact there are so much issues that they feel like if mine is not taken on right now, no need to come back or no need to stay. 

     So in terms of focus and participation it's also one of the things that I think organizations take into account.  At ITU it happens in a certain way where they are divided by sectors.  At ICANN we have SOs and ACs and you said yourself transparency.  So who does it or in terms of the information that we give out to people, so people can participate, who does it?  ICANN or the SOs or the people themselves? 

     So for me it's really all meshed.  You can't -- as Sebastien said today, if somebody on the street wants to come to ICANN and see what the CCNSO is about and how to participate, it will be pretty difficult for them to just read everything.  There is just so much information there, same for IGF.  Same for ITU. 

     So transparency is not putting that much information out there.  It's also I think having the information catering to the interest of certain people. 

     Audiences are to come thinking that I'm gonna get something out of it and in fact I do believe that like it's dawning in some of or part of the corporate world and some international organizations that two-pager that would come and say CCNSO, this is what it is and this is what you can get out of it and translated also in different languages because that dimension cannot be taken out. 

     Whether at the ITU, IGF or ICANN, if things are not said to people in their language, it confuses things or they think, since I can't get it, I don't come back. 

     So participation of people in the street or people in inside the organizations or imply being able by going to the let's say ITU, ICANN or IGF website to get something that would tell you this is what they're about and in fact having known that, then basically when you go participate to the other one, you don't say certain things because you know the other one is going to take care of that subject or you feel like your interests have been taken care of that in arena.  You know.  So there's just so much in terms of how you bring people to participate.  We must continue the discussion and somebody said it's about also bringing people.  How do you make sure that people are financially covered to be able to make it, civil society keeps crying that they can't go to all these places.  How do you make sure they are there and their voices are heard?

It's not enough to have their voices online, sure.

     >> Could you please introduce yourself.

     >> This is (Speaking off-mic) from the ICANN board.  I think the question is, you know, what kind of -- what label of understanding is really enough for your purpose?  Because it really depends on how much you really want to know.  For example, a general user.  He really is interested -- he needs to know the mechanism how to apply a -- how IPS address is to be allocated.  Maybe not? 

     So I think it's the same thing.  If you want to understand institution, it's a little like if you tried to understand the history of the nations, how long took.  And depends on what label and what purpose you want.  So I think it's really depending on what kind of participation you wanted and of course I agree, there is also a new and improved information available for different kind of participation.  But I like to -- figure out what kind of purpose you really want sxd what kind of object or what kind of issue you want to know.

     Some of the mechanisms and issues for most of the general user, they really don't care.  They just want to make sure when I get on Internet, it works.  I want to visit my website, it's there.  All the information is available.  So I think it is very difficult to answer your question in very short period of time because you were talking about a different participant, different purpose, different object here that you are looking for. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Thank you very much.  Quick thought I have.  Is the fact that the Internet is constantly changing, are we in a fairly unique situation?  Is that why we talk so much about participation or are there other -- is this happening around the world in a multitude of different organizations and are there organizations that do participation better that we should look at? 

     But with that, Dick, you had a comment. 

     >> RICHARD BEAIRD:  Thank you very much, Kieren, and I want to come back to Jeanette's point because it's often the case we are the victims of our own language. 

     What I meant to indicate was that all these organizations are based on a certain founding principles and those are the facts.  I wanted to put that out as a basis of the ITU the facts of its existence, constitution, convention, United Nations and that cannot be changed but Jeanette is absolutely right, within that there's evolution and we have watched that evolution.  But I want to make another point if I may which is that in a sense what we're saying is organizations that address various needs and what I've been observing and I've been to four of the six IGFs and been to the other meetings over a long period of time. 

     I think we are evolving to the point that we are understanding that the IGF is not an alternative to the ITU.  The ITU is not an alternate to ICANN.  ICANN is not an alternative to a number of other organizations, but, rather, they exist in the -- to use a term often used today in an ecosystem of organizations reflecting the diversity that is now the reality of the Internet environment. 

     That will mean that they will each influence the other and with still are evolving and where that evolution will lead we do not know but rather we are becoming more comfortable with the idea there is a coexistence among these organizations and these organizations actually complement one another in understanding that as in all things there will be change and that we'll be changing as we've already seen in the short period of time that they have been in existence together.

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Very interesting point. 


     >> CHRIS DISSPAIN:  Thanks.  Dick, I agree with you.  I think just to add on to that, no one says the model for participation has to be the same for each of those organizations.  I don't think you can take the ICANN model of participation and slap that over the top of the ITU.  It would be inappropriate.  Which brings me to my point which is I'm not entirely clear any of us know what success looks like in respect to participation.  Do we mean take ICANN as an example, do we mean anyone can come.  If that's what we mean we have already succeeded.  Do we mean anyone can come as long as someone pays for them.  That's a completely different problem.  Do we mean anyone can come and can in the space of one ICANN meeting pick up enough two-sided laminated bits of paper so they can walk away and come back at the next ICANN meeting fully understanding everything that there is to understand?

Because if that's what we mean that's a whole different game. 

     We need to get really clear about what we think success looks like with respect to participation. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  I'd like to put that question to the panelist.  What does success look like?  Is success different in these different organizations?  Maarten? 

     >> MAARTEN BOTTERMAN:  Yes.  Thank you.  Indeed, one important point is that we do understand it's not all wrong today.  There are a lot of good elements and whereas I don't think any organization has the perfect solution, I think there are very good elements in different organizations that make things work and I'd like to highlight some of them. 

     Overall it's important we realize that you shouldn't expect nobody who wants to have a say shows up in one or even all platforms, just not a sustainable model.  Internet today we see that we have one remote participant via WebEx, which is good, and I do think towards the future it's inevitable that online participation increases.  Either via listening in and even being able to ask questions or via polls and things like that.  Admittedly today we are still very happy if 2,000 people around the world participate in a poll which is seen as representatives.  How many people are in the world?


 At the same time I do believe these kind of polls will become more effective, maybe not next year or the year after but we should keep that in mind when we are building towards the new ways we organize and share participation. 

     Now, the examples that I would like to highlight is, for instance, that in terms of global participation, I am pretty much impressed by ISAC who managed to set up these regional chapters, some more active than others but new chapters come online every day and actively organize meetings themselves on the issues.  They do have a common newsletter and they are on the ball in many aspects.  That's an aspect I like a lot. 

     No way, no model will be able to bring everybody who has something to say to the meetings when they are in one location in the world. 

     Second example that I think is important, this has to do with transparency as well, impact.  People tend to be more motivated to participate if it's clear what the impact of their actions can be and very good example to work through your commission for five years, came up there for any communication by the European Commission that will have financial impact or regulatory impact, there is now the rule that there should be an impact study. 

     Impact study should reflect what inputs the commission used in coming to her decision.  It should reflect impact assessed with respect to the different stakeholders. 

     In one document you put all the information together that you think is relevant for taking the decision.  I think that's something that is for sure improved to ICANN procedures and maybe other places.  It's also successfully handled now by UNDP and I truly believe in that aspect as well. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Thank you, Maarten.  Just a thought from there, you were highlighting IISOC.  Looks like we're going that way with the ISFs, what an impact the regionals can have and how that may be more important than this annual meeting but Jeanette and then Ann-Rachel.

     >> JEANETTE HOFMANN:  Related question to what Chris asked, what the success criteria is the question.  What makes the IGF legitimate? 

     We tend to think about political legitimacy in terms of criteria we have developed for national democracy representation.  I think that simply does not apply to transnational processes.  We cannot be representative, we are not a body that makes binding decisions where it's important that you are representative in what you are doing.  Since we don't decide, we can think of new ways of creating legitimacy and I think low barriers for entry is an important element that we don't exclude people in unnecessary ways so to be open to new participants is for me an important criteria that makes a process or space like the IGF legitimate but to be representative is not possible.  I don't think we should expect that. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  I'd like to go to Dick on that.  We have a question online as well.  We're at the IGF and a lot of people of the perspective that everyone should be engaged but presumably there's a reason why the ITU exists, not simply because it has always existed.  What are the advantages to the ITU model? 

     >> RICHARD BEAIRD:  Well, let me try to be very direct in terms of quickly answering the question.  First, and perhaps increasingly, the origins of the ITU are becoming ever more the reason we understand for the ITUs existence, which is to say it is the global forum where spectrum is allocated and managed through regulation.  That was its original purpose and increasingly becomes necessary for that.  There is no other mechanism that is currently possible to exercise that function and as we see broadband deployment increasingly tied to wireless access, that activity will become increasingly important from the point of view of establishing essentially global access to the Internet through spectrum-based services so that's what the ITU as 1 of its activities but also seems to me is an enduring activity that there is done by no one else and will presumably not be done by another organization for the foreseeable future.

Secondly and I think importantly, it is responsible, and this comes not only the spectrum area but also in public telecommunications and standards, responsible or not solely certainly but as a major contributor to global connectivity and harmonization of standards.  Not the only organization that does it, quite obviously but an important function. 

     Thirdly is development.  We should never forget that as an important aspect of its activities as well as important aspect of what we are about.  And that is to find ways to effectively capacity-build, transfer technology and training as well as then build out infrastructure.  And through that activity, not the only place to do that but it is an important place for the ITU. 

     These three functions will continue into the future.  In an area of -- a world in which it is complementary to other organizations but the one thing it does perhaps solely is in the area of spectrum allocation and management through regulation globally. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Thank you, Dick.  Can I ask Emily:  The comment you have, is it immediately directly relevant?  Will we lose relevance if we go to Sebastien? 

     >> EMILY TAYLOR:  It's relevant to the issue of which organization people find most easy and difficult to participate in from the work we did in advance.  I think it feeds into this current discussion.  Perhaps to Dick's point about these institutions not being alternatives to each other, but in fact being complementary. 

     In advance of this meeting we had an online questionnaire and invited people to say which of the three they found easiest to participate in and by far the most found the IGF the easiest to participate in, liking its open format, consultations, trance parens si and active online participation. 

     It may be that this -- this is part of the IGF's role to orientate people about learning about the arcane processes of the ITU or ICANN through this process and the     complementarity (sic).

      Thank you.  

     I won't say this is a quantitative survey but I think the way you get just a handful of people responded so it won't make any statistical significance but there's a clear line of people coming through with that message.  Yes.  75% of people.  It's not statistically significant.

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Thank you.  Ann-Rachel. 

     >> ANN-RACHEL INNE:  Thank you.  This is good to hear and one of the things people see in IGF is the fact that because there is no -- because there is no resolutions to be taken, because this is not a place where you come to actually argue and get your way out with something, it's for a lot of people important to come to just be listened to.  They are here, they can be with people, they can say what they believe in without being judged and this is as good for governments as it is for civil society or private sector or academia.  I wanted to come back and throw in another dimension with Maarten and Jeanette and what they said which is.  How much do we count participation of people who actually don't come immediately, are not in ITU, IGF, not in ICANN, but because they are simply interested, work with this, and I know a lot of organizations and NGOs doing that and basically sending the message down because they simply just like the fact that you can come discuss and you can participate by educating people.

     Do we count that as participation?  Because the fact they can educate people and either young people or their own governments can afterwards make informed decisions, but we hardly see that. 

     The impact thing you're talking about is also one dimension to start looking at because there is a lot of that that we don't know here. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Thanks.  Sebastien. 

     >> SEBASTIEN BACHOLLET:  Thank you.  I wanted to come back to the question of Chris and success.  I think we are too much today focused on numbers and not on outcome.  If you say, for example, I will take on purpose ICANN the best meeting of ICANN was the one in San Francisco because there were 1700.  I can argue Paris meeting was almost the same.  Then is it the best because Bill Clinton came to talk?  Is it the best because we make a good decision?  Is it because we had a good discussion on one subject and we advanced some ideas?  Today it's numbers.  You are good if you have 100 more members, you are good because you have 100 more members in the -- so on and so forth. 

     It's good measures, but it is not measuring the success.  The success must be on what is the output and I will say for ICANN if the decision is not too much challenges that means we find a good compromise. 

     And at the IGF, it's as we didn't take...

(Lost audio)


     >> It's interesting that it was created at the worldwide level and now is spreading in regional and countries and that is interesting, this top-down about organizing and discussing.  Is it something we can apply in other organizations?  In fact that is something like that with a chapter.  But do we take enough feedback and did we leverage this local presence and participation at the broader level?  I am still not sure.  Both for IGT and.  ICANN it's almost another animal.  I'm not sure it can be very well organized and ICANN in one country, there is already the local community organized around the CCTLD generally but can we organize something else?  I'm not sure it's feasible but at the same time we don't need to apply the same recipe for every organization.  We need to take what is going well and could be useful to the other, to bring a nice thing, what is done in IGF with local herbs, it's a very, very good and powerful tool because it allows people to bring together to discuss, to listen and to participate through the discussion in some topics and to be able to discuss in their own language in the country about the same subject.

     That kind of debriefing could be very useful and that's all the different things and the success is not just figures.  Thank you. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Thank you. 

     I have a few more comments and then I'd like to move from this overview discussion to a pragmatic one.  Let's talk about the pragmatics of participating and that means that if you catch my eye, I might we will ask you to --

(Lost audio, Skype issue)


(Standing by, call got dropped, waiting for technical assistance)

     >> We know they have had strong differences of opinion, but how do you see getting the three organizations to work in more symbiotic relationship than they do today?  Thank you. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Question back there.  If you could introduce yourself.

     >> Thank you very much.  I'm Mohammid Borjan from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and this workshop is asking an important question, how to find real-world solutions, and I believe that a good answer for that would be an effective and active role in the WSIS review we are having and in that respect I would like to say that my country, Egypt, has been an active participant in the WSIS review process and we see the necessity for an intensive and serious review of each of the -- each of the parts of the Tunis agenda, and we also believe that this review has to happen in a multistakeholder approach and I'd like to ask the panelist what is their opinion on that.  Thank you very much. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Thank you very much.  Emily? 

     >> EMILY TAYLOR:  Thanks.  I've got a question from the remote participation from Dee Williams, up very early in St. Lucia in the West Indies and the question goes to Jeanette's point about decision-making in these processes or trance national processes being overrated and so the move to have the IGF make decisions or recommendations may be overrated, too. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  I think Jeanette wants to answer that. 

     >> JEANETTE HOFMANN:  Sounds like a consequence of what I said, but I wouldn't say that the discussion about output should be dropped as well.  I think it makes sense to talk about how we make the best use of the debates we have here, particularly because so far what we have achieved within the IGF doesn't travel really well to people who don't participate. 

     Most people simply don't get what is so good about the IGF. 

     So thinking about improving our representation of discussions makes a lot of sense.  In the IGF improvement workshop, Batan made the discussion that this is data completely underused not only because our website isn't really good but also because people might not even want to read transcripts or things like that. 

     So what we need to talk about is how we can better summarize or illustrating the debates we have here so they are accessible for nonparticipants but might be interested in certain elements of the discussions or certain topics.

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Sounds like a...

(Lost audio)

     >> Full relationship between the three organizations.  Not the success of each organization but just that relationship to improve it.  Thank you. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Yes, thank you.  So the -- ITU and ICANN make decisions.  Which is why you have ICANN participating in the IGF and --

(Lost audio)


(Standing by)

     >> The focus is on getting end results.  It's legally binding in terms of ICANN affects the domain name system and contracts so I'd like to go to the panelists and the room and talk about what do you actually do to get your hands dirty?  How do you actually get involved?  What's the most effective methods by which you can get involved, put in your input and try to influence things and then after that, I'd like to use the sort of huge knowledge of the people on the panel and ask them really how do you influence those results in a pragmatic term, not in terms of you send in a comment but in terms of how decisions really get made. 


(Lost audio)

     >> A youth forum that I was an active participant in three or two years ago where the ITU flew 300 people from around the world to the conference, we attended it in tandem.  ITU got absolutely nothing out of us except having us there, being able to show us things and they had to pay a lot of money for us, but that opened up the door for me. 

     The only way I found out about this entire thing.  From that I found out about the Internet Society and again their wonderful ambassadorship program where they brought me here.  This is my second IGF and I would have absolutely no idea about this.  Now, it isn't just about bringing people here or young people here following on to the point earlier.  You have to imagine the point of view from a young person, even my age coming in here and surrounding -- there are very few people my age here, less people my age here this year than less year which is incredible and walking in here and wondering do I even have the right to say something because clearly people here have a lot more experience than I do.  Does my opinion matter?  Do people want to hear my opinion?  I think in the pragmatic nature of actually fixing this, the programs I've talked about, like the UTU's youth forum needs to be given so much more focus, needs a lot more attention brought to it and other programs need to start like realistically introduce these programs or else the idea of talking about bringing new people in is just an idea.

It will never actually happen because somebody needs to give these people a foot some the door.

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  This is good.  I think we're edging into possible solutions to improve things.  I have Chris and then Emily. 

     >> CHRIS DISSPAIN:  What often happens is that our failure is not -- our failure is one of communication.  For example, a number of CCTLDs run youth programs.  There are six or seven 16-year-olds here from NOMINET who were brought along to learn.  ICANN runs a fellowship program for people to come to meetings and get sponsored.  This stuff is out there.  Oftentimes as I say the issue is you don't know about it unless you go to the first one so the question is how do you find out about it?

That's a really good question. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Thank you.  Emily? 

     >> EMILY TAYLOR:  I have a comment on the remote from Sam Dickinson.  She says remote participation is good but multiple options are necessary.  So taking this morning as a demonstration the Webcast is down, and so the WebEx and transcript were the next best options but when the sound is down, then the chat with the remote moderator becomes the backstop.  So despite multiple tech failures this morning, remote participation is still being possible because there are a number of streams going on. 

     If I may can I make a comment on my own behalf just to say that my observation is that a lot of the youth programs, IGF summer school as well, have had a lasting impact because the people who do get hooked on it then stay in this pace and filter through into various organizations and so there's a real long-term benefit for those. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  I have a quick observation.  I remember I was ICANN's general manager of participation and I had a long conversation with Vint Cerf, Chairman, and I was going on about all these plans and he said, look, there's only a very small group of people who will ever want to make policy and the key is to find those people, not to find and bring in everyone, which I think is a fair point. 

     I have Ann-Rachel. 

     >> ANN-RACHEL INNE:  I want to come back on what Kathy said what could be successful relationship basically between all these entities and as Dick said, they are all complementary.  None is doing with the other is really doing, so the best way for me is for everybody to work in tandem on their specialties.  They're all complementary.  We are all addressing the same people, trying to get the same people's attention.  We got to also think at some point they are tired of having all of us crying for participate.  So how do we make sure that they stay around in each forum and participate and make really the -- enlightened decisions we all need to progress?  Really for me it's cooperation, cooperation, cooperation, and then for the youth, I'm so with you really, godmother of a community radio where I go talk to young people, really young, your age or younger who want to -- really interested in the space, though they don't have the opportunity to come. 

     So again I'm coming back to this way of measuring the impact of those who actually are enlightened who can help some of their people on the ground make decisions and informed ones though we hardly see them here.  How do we count their participation and help them get there as she said I totally believe in helping youth get there.  Definitely.  And I wanted to say to the gentleman from Egypt, absolutely, WSIS review needs to be multistakeholder on discussion lists and all that and I have seen some of the papers that a few organizations, countries, NGOs have put in there.  And I think the major concern is please, keep it multistakeholder. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Thank you very much. 

     I have a couple questions but I'm going to ask specifically because I think we're running out of time and I want to get the answers so the rest of you in the room can hear it and then go to you in the room and also should warn Beheir and Edmond I'm going to make you talk about the issues of language and culture.  So this is enforced participation I'm afraid. 

     So I'm going to ask Chris and then Dick, decisions get made, important ones sometimes, so within ICANN do you have public comment periods, physical meetings, mailing lists, you have public forums, enormous wealth of participation but decisions still get made and despite all of it and people say I'm not sure I had an impact. 

     What actually truly is the best way to influence a decision, bearing in mind, taking into account the sort of you want to influence it in the right way?  Nothing malicious to it. 

     >> DICK:  I'm in danger of repeating the same point but what do you mean by "influencing the decision"?  That's often code for "I got my own way."  And if you truly mean -- for me it means I felt that I was heard because you're never gonna always get your own way and by definition consensus, decision making satisfies no one.  It's just the least worst option normally. 

     But so the question really is how do I -- do I feel heard?  How do I make sure I feel heard?  I think I've never had anybody in the ten years I've been going to ICANN meetings, never had a single person say to me, I was blocked, I couldn't get up.  People say I didn't get a chance at the microphone because Peter or whoever cut the crowd off but you have to manage it but there are so many ways of getting your voice heard because you can as I said lists and public forum, you don't have to go to the meetings, you can still be heard, get representation, ALAC and at-large, so the best way to influence is to use one of those mechanisms or more than one and input into that.  But the best way to influence above all of that is actually to be involved consistently because it is a group of people and one person turns up with a single issue, says their piece and goes, that's perfectly fine but if you want to influence the whole game rather than just be a single issue person you have to get involved in everything and you can't just push one particular thing the whole time.

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  I'll push you and Sebastien and do we have any other ICANN board members here to make it a little less vague than that.  For example, you have decisions in front of you, you form an opinion and then argue that within the board.  If someone gets up and starts ranting -- and people often do rant -- I'm assuming you're less likely to take that into account if you see someone who spends a long time on mailing lists and helps people come to some kind of consensus, I imagine that if they came to you and said well I think you need to look at it this way, that would have a greater influence on you.  You would think this person is someone who builds consensus so presumably they build consensus. 

     >> RICHARD BEAIRD:  I think that's an extraordinarily rational way.  Let me give you a real example.  Yes, somebody a rant is sometimes self-destructive perhaps and constant input is helpful.  But a real example is this: The fast track, IDN fast track started from one thing, it started the -- (unintelligible) -- being in Dubai at an APTLD meeting and started because for 20 minutes we sat on a panel while being completely overwhelmed by the passion of the people in that room saying no, we have to have this now, you do not understand!  We have to have this now.  It's not good enough for you to say to us our policy development process takes five years.  That's not good enough.  And we went out to the coffee break and effectively designed the fast track on the back of an envelope and then figured out how to make it happen.  If you want to influence, care about something and deliver that rather than just come for the purposes of hearing your own voice and manipulating.

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  I'd like to go to Dick on a specific point.  Kathy was talking about the -- there was very big fight going on about whether to even introduce the fact that these Internet organizations exist, whether ITU would acknowledge that and it went on for days and people were banging their heads against the table.  But then finally an agreement was reached.  Something happened and the United States was a key part of that, was pushing quite hard. 

     What happened?

How do you influence that process?  How do people influence you to influence that process? 

     >> RICHARD BEAIRD:  Let me start with the second part of the question, how do people influence us.  I'm always influenced by Kathy, for example.


 That may be.  Also a rational fear.


 Look, and I -- forgive me Jeanette I'm going to talk a little bit about political science.  We're all part of representative democracies so it begins ultimately and this gets to your question, United States has a delegation that delegation reflects a variety of interests. 

     And that as we prepare for meetings we try to reach out to the widest possible interests we can to get a position.  Kathy Hanley and others were appropriately insistent that we give recognition to this community and that became a U.S. position. 

     How did it happen?  I'm afraid that as always it's more art than science, and drinking a lot of coffee we just simply stayed with it, stuck to our position and ultimately as you remember, Kieren, in the last moments of the conference, that's usually around midnight, a compromise was reached.  How do compromises get reached in international fora?  It's from practice.  Everyone has a rational interest in ensuring success also this is the usual case, you need to take into account all interests in order for a compromise to be reached and the ITU has been remarkably successful over the years in doing that. 

     It is insistence, first recognizing a variety of interests, incorporating them into the national delegation, articulating those interests at the international forum, and then sticking with it and by the magic of international consensus, something comes out at the end and that's what happened. 

     But let me give you another example.  We want to be practical.  I searched because I have an example -- your first name, last name is Casey.  Maria, thank you. 

     Maria, you inspired me to try to find this example. 

     How do we get youth involved in IGF?  How do we get others involved?  I quite agree with you, my observation, there are fewer representatives of youth at this IGF than I can recall, and I recall very few instances where I have actually heard the youth on the microphone whereas in the past they were very prominent.  So how does this happen and how did Maria come here through the ITU process?  I get an e-mail from the ITU because I'm going to their council meeting.  ITU council begins on October 10th and runs to the end of October.  48 countries, 3 elected to the council.  They are the Board of Governors of the ITU.  I get a message from the ITU.  This is from a senior representative.  She says, as you may have noticed in the council documents, documents that are 59 documents to date coming in to the council for us to review.

We have a new proposal for world telecommunications information society day, 2012 from Serbia.  What's the proposal?  It's on ICT and girls.  I'm wondering if U.S. would agree to defer the driver safety theme to 2013. 

     What is that about?

     United States entered a resolution at last year's council on the importance of preventing or encouraging driver attention, driver preventing driver distraction because of these devices.  It's a UNwide initiative, so happens the United States, we have an executive order under our President Obama who made it a rule of government agencies to prevent driver distraction.  We brought it into the council.  It was adopted as a resolution, we then further said well let's have a world telecommunications society day that as a theme.  He's asking me to defer it for a theme which is ICTs and empowerment of girls, "girls" being a term universally used within the United Nations. 

     We will support that.  United States will support Serbia.  What will be the consequence?  In May of 2012, at that event, in Geneva with ITU flying representatives from around the world to attend that meeting, that will be the theme.  It will then further be translated into documents and into other -- by which the world is educated on the importance of using technology to advance the interests of a specific group, girls in this case, as to create opportunities for them. 

     So it seems to me that that's a very practical example of how we influence decisions, how we participate indecisions but it's within a structure. 

     The structure is one that is unique to the ITU.  I am not saying that is an example I would advocate for IGF or ICANN et cetera but that's the way that institution does it. 

     Last point, sorry, Kieren, but last point.  It then has implications for IGF.  Why?

I will guarantee you that Azerbaijan or wherever may be the host country, that theme will be taken up as a panel or as in the plenaries, et cetera, ICTs and creating opportunities for girls.  That shows the complementary we are dealing with and I think that's a success.  I think that's a success. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Thank you very much.  Sort of to neatly wraps things up.  I'll ask who has questions.  Throw in quick questions.  Maarten and the gentleman and then Steve.  Anyone else?  Last chance.  Last call.  Maarten. 

     >> MAARTEN BOTTERMAN:  Just to -- it's really about mobilizing the community.  I think that is the core issue here in whatever way to participate, whether they make it to meetings themselves or inform people that inform people, take the RAR meetings locally.  That is true as well. 

     It's also -- I want to emphasize in tickets not only about those three institutions.  It's about ecosystem that also includes other organizations like -- not a -- it's different ones but it does influence this all as well.  Then I think that the Internet has made this a time where policy decision making can be much more informed than it has been before and people have much more access to this information so again showing what has been part of taking the decision is an important part. 

     One of the things that pushes community away from participating is as relative outsider I've been experiencing that it looks like there's a lot of infighting going on that is unnecessarily defense fusing energy and focus on what is really about.  Like who has something to say there? 

     Who is the most -- who calls the shots?  This is both within the individual institutions as between and with this in my observation so far I exclude IGF as an institution.  I don't see it there. 

     How to stop -- what can we do, we all have a responsibility there in stopping that and energy gets diffused and infights within institutions as well. 

     >> -- (unintelligible) -- I'm from Nigeria and vice-chairman for WISA, world infrastructure technology and social alliance.  My question is to Dick.  I must confess that this workshop has been highly illuminating and I learned a lot.  I had a privilege of getting to know a number of people.  Just because it's ITU, International Telecommunication Union, they said it is just telecom and we have nothing to do with it and we'll not be involved in the event.  I'm not bringing, we know ITU has been -- has moved beyond just telecoms so to speak so the question is  can restructuring be on the table maybe to ICT, teleunion?  Wherein the approach can also be practice because we have -- one of the outcomes is this approach is good, wherein Maria can also be seated with everyone of us.  Can that be possible in view of the importance of ICT? 

     >> Thank you.  Steve? 

     >> Kieren, you have asked several times on the workshop a question you've asked several different ways, basically you are asking how do all of you -- what are your resources and methods for staying informed about threats and opportunities and then being effective at protecting or advancing your interests?  You keep asking it and not getting clear answers to it and I know why you want people to answer the question. 

     I'll try to answer it with respect to the IGF.  It does do an annual evaluation of how the Internet in the real world is doing at meeting values like the Tunis agenda, equality, openness, economic development.  And those evaluations are both threats and opportunities to the interests near and dear to every person in this room.  Either a threat because you're about to get criticized which could lead to further regulation or an opportunity so the answer is it's really hard to know when there will be a workshop proposed or panelist that will be critical of what you do or your industry or interests. 

     So staying informed is something you can never do alone, you need help from assets and allies and then reacting is something you can't do alone.  How do you react when you learn about a potential threat?  You have to propose a workshop, seek a panel slot, get research published, show up, be there to answer critiques or step into the opportunity to advance your agenda and none of us can do it alone.  The answer is you need assets and allies, Kieren you are one group, most of us work together but it takes a mix, a village to respond to opportunities and threats at IGF. 

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  Thank you, Steve.  That's a very useful end point. 

     Terrific.  I will give my own very quick summary and I need to present in the main session in a minute.  If anyone has an issue with this or thinks I've missed something, feel free to say, "You missed a point."

       I say we looked at how to participate in these three main organizations, ITU, IGF and ICANN, recognizing each are different and play different roles but do they all influence one another and they live in their own ecosystem and are all changing in their own ways?  How do you participate to people?  You talk to people, assets and allies I think that was a useful summary of it.  You come to meetings, you have passion for what you believe in and then people will ask you questions and pick up on that passion.  What is success in terms of participation?

Something that needs to be asked more than how many people do we get participating?

And you need to have what you can do is have an active role in WSIS which brings all these organizations together to discuss the same thing and issues like youth programs are very useful in that they pull people in that wouldn't otherwise be aware of this.  And that I would say is my broad summary. 

     If anyone else thinks I've missed something, come up to me afterwards. 

     What have I missed, Minao? 

     >> I think it's important also that we note the importance of expressing ourselves in native languages.  This definitely encourages people to participate, I mean, I thought this was going to be brought up.

     >> KIEREN McCARTHY:  I ran out of time. 

     Also another issue was the issue of the financial barrier to getting involved but I suppose that will are to be for another IGF. 

     With that, I'd like to thank you all for coming and participating.  In particular I'd like to thank my panelists for coming along and giving their insights.  I won't go through them one-by-one, so thank you very much and I hope you enjoy the remainder of the IGF. 



(Session concluded)