IGF 2018 WS #224 The Past, the Present and the Future for Multi-stakeholderism

Salle X

Organizer 1: Yeseul Kim, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
Organizer 2: Olumuyiwa Caleb Ogundele, African Academic Network on Internet Policy
Organizer 3: Ayden Férdeline, Independent
Organizer 4: Sandra Hoferichter, EuroDIG

Speaker 1: Olumuyiwa Caleb Ogundele, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 2: Ayden Férdeline, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Sandra Hoferichter, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Yeseul Kim, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 5: Kuo Wu, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group

Additional Speakers

Markus Kummer, ICANN(Retired), WEOG


Kuo Wei Wu

Online Moderator

Caleb Olumuyiwa


Yeseul Kim


Round Table - 90 Min


Yeseul Kim will talk about the multistakeholder models in practice and how the model can be used to improve the democratic governance model in Asia Pacific region. Her talk and presentation will be built upon the multistakeholder model session (a session on National IGFs) which will be held in APrIGF this August. Onsite Moderator, Kuo Wei Wu, will host this National IGFs in APAC region in APrIGF and he will also give insights that he has gained throughout his long years of careers in Internet community both as a scientist and as a member of Internet Governance. His experience in building the network since the 1970s and his ongoing participation in the Internet Governance will help track the history of multistakeholderism. Ayden Férdeline and Sandra Hoferichter will provide experiences in European countries, which have different dynamics than other parts of the world with the presence of EU and its complicated relationship with each nation-state in Europe. While Ayden will talk more about principles and processes of each stakeholder engagement in enacting GDPR and other related issues, Sandra will talk about the dynamics of the institutional participation in EuroDIG. Caleb Olumuyiwa will talk about the experiences in African continents. As an active member of Internet Governance field in Africa, he will tell us the unique realities of IG in African continents. He will focus on how the multistakeholderism are reshaped in Africa and which unique dynamics are being unfolded to meet the initial promise of the multistakeholder model in African regions, and how multistakeholderism has contributed to keeping democratic values in the Africa continent.


Given the very nature of the multistakeholder model, the session will make sure diversity can be a priority when it comes to hosting the speakers. All the speakers and participants will come from all different regions - Africa, Asia, Europe and America - and the age of the participants will vary from youth experts to experienced senior experts for the Internet Governance. Gender diversity will surely be ascertained by including an equal number of female and male speakers for the session. We will also take into account the voices of the people with disabilities as we will be discussing the multistakeholder model.

1. The history of multistakeholderism 2. The realities of multistakeholderism 1) Brief introduction to the theories on multistkaeholderism 2) What's the real-world practices of multistakeholderism? : Theory vs. Reality. 3) Comparative studies on multistakeholderism regions by regions 3. The future of multistakeholderism 1) What can be done more to effectively engage more stakeholders? In which part? For What? 2) What can be reviewed about multistakeholderism from theoretical and practical perspectives? - Dispersion Model: How to make the general public aware of the Internet Governance: The Role of each pivotal stakeholder (e.g. Government organizations., etc) Review of regional IGFs 3) What can be included more in multistakeholder model? - Emerging Technologies: IoT, Cloud Computing and Blockchain Communities 4) What IGFcan do in the future for the global community? Asking the role of IGF itself. The session will focus on looking back upon multistakeholder model of the Internet Governance to give insights into current events and situations surrounding the Internet. By giving both theoretical and practical perspectives on multistakeholder model, the organizers are trying to clearly suggest some principles for the efficient multistakeholder mechanism to build the better Internet which remains to be open and democratic for all. This session has been intended to think deeply about the roles of each stakeholder so that people can look upon the roles of each stakeholder in making the Internet a democratic and open space in the era of escalating cybercrimes. The organizers thought this will be even more important as different jurisdictions are now enacting all different laws against the open Internet and the laws and other social dialogues are quite lagging compared to fast developing tech sectors with advancing IoT, Cloud computing, and so-called Big Data Era, which are all based upon the primary Internet Technologies.

All the participants - speakers, onsite participants, and online attendees will all have equal opportunity to be engaged in the discussion. While the onsite moderator will take care of onsite participants - making queues among the questioners so that they can be in line - the online moderator will prioritize the questions from online platforms. Both moderators and other participants will have time to think more about questions by using slido.com. We will try to secure 45 minutes for the discussion but given that our session will approach multistakeholderism from the more theoretical perspective, presentation time from the speakers might take up to 50-60 minutes.

This session will question whether the multistakeholder model, which is now taken to be a norm for the Internet governance, functions well and meets the expectation of its conceivers and the participants in the Internet governance in general. With exploding interest in the Internet governance, the number of participants has increased exponentially over the recent 1-2 years. The interest of the nation-governments in this topic have driven them to hold nation-led conferences on the Internet governance, but at the same time, a large number of people also see the diverging interests in the Internet governance as in the case of UN GGE. This has become even more troublesome as established international organizations, institutions and intergovernmental organizations started to convene all new conferences on the Internet governance which reflect only the interests of the hosting organizations. In this session, we will try to ask and answer the questions on the multistakeholder policies per se and would like to suggest policy principles for the fast-changing Internet Governance fora so that the Internet can stay open and can be the place of democracy for all.

Online Participation

The session will be on air on Adobe Connect (the platform is subject to change such as Facebook Live or Youtube Live, and will announce the online platform in advance of IGF to the public.) The questions from both online and offline will be received in slido.com so that the speakers can answer some most important questions - if the number of the questions exceed the given amount of time - from the participants all over the world. The Online moderator will actively intervene with the chats and questions so that he can actively engage the remote participants as an experienced online moderator for a number of IG events.


1. Evolution of the governance model of the Internet - reviewing the multistakeholder model of the Internet and gauging its future direction to make the place open and secure for all. 

2. Reviewing the newly emerging governmental models and related institutions regarding the Internet governance.  

Session Time
Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

- Session Type (Workshop, Open Forum, etc.):  Round Table


- Title: IGF 2018 WS #224 The Past, the Present and the Future for Multi-stakeholderism


- Date & Time: Monday, 12 November, 2018- 10:40 to 12:10


- Organizer(s): Yeseul Kim, Olumuyiwa Caleb Ogundele, Ayden Férdeline, Sandra Hoferichter


- Chair/Moderator: Yeseul Kim


- Rapporteur/Notetaker: Yeseul Kim


- List of speakers and their institutional affiliations (Indicate male/female/ transgender male/ transgender female/gender variant/prefer not to answer):

Speaker 1: Markus Kummer, M, ICANN
Speaker 2: Ayden Férdeline, M, Mozilla Foundation 
Speaker 3: Sandra Hoferichter, F, EuroDIG
Speaker 4: Yeseul Kim, F, ISOG-IGF Ambassador
Speaker 5: Kuo Wu, M, TWNIC


- Theme (as listed here): Evolution of Internet Governance


- Subtheme (as listed here): Multistakeholderism



- Please state no more than three (3) key messages of the discussion. [300-500 words]


Multistakekholder model has been first suggested in 2003 as a new methodology to embrace and enhance the participation from sectors outside business and governmental organizations. It was officially adopted to be the participation methods for Intergovernmental and International forums in WSIS 2005 in Tunis. Before that, most of the intergovernmental organizations have been run based on multilateral model, not multistaekholder model, which only permits conversations and dialogues among different governments, not including other private sectors. It was extremely hard for actors or stakeholders other than governmental organizations to voice their opinions especially in the intergovernmental conferences and forum which are run based upon multilateral model as they were only given 5 or so minutes at the end of meetings to speak up. It was only after the Internet Governance Forum that people outside business sectors or governmental sectors started to be actively engaged in policy making and agenda shaping. This is the very brief history of the adoption of the multistkaeholder mode in the Internet Governance Field. However, since WSIS and other orgs started to embrace multistakeholder model, people from civil society and technical community could also start to be actively involved in the policy making especially concerning the Internet.


Ayden Férdeline (Mozilla Fellow) especially said that multistakeholderism is desirable and something to be protected, but not necessarily necessary for the Internet to governed. He explained that there are two classical explanations for multistakeholderism: firstly, that it was a natural extension of the Enlightenment and Jeffersonian democratic principles, who noted that the exercise of political power without the consent of the governed is illegitimate. Multistakeholder governance thus means that representatives of parties other than governments – like public interest advocacy groups, business associations, and other interested parties –  can participate in governmental policy deliberations alongside governments. Therefore, Internet institutions like ICANN gain their legitimacy to govern in direct proportion to which they facilitate the participation of impacted stakeholders. The second explanation he put forward was that one can not have a global infrastructure whose interoperability is dependent upon dozens of different overlapping rules and frameworks that all must be checked to determine valid communications.


Overall, multistakeholder model is not a static, complete model but rather a dynamic, ever evolving model as we’ve seen over the past 13 years of IGF. As has been seen in IANA transition, the model has become more open to the civil society and has become much more stable over the years.


- Please elaborate on the discussion held, specifically on areas of agreement and divergence. [300 words] Examples: There was broad support for the view that…; Many [or some] indicated that…; Some supported XX, while others noted YY…; No agreement…


Panelists broadly agreed that multistakeholder model is the present and the future of the Internet governance, and the majority of the panleists also agreed that the model needs to be further supported by the Internet community at large. This was especially the viewpoints from the (comparatively) elder panellists, who have been making the multistkaholder model per se, and who have been working to disperse the model as much as possible. However, Ayden, who’s the youngest among the panellists, opined that with the rising nationalistic attempt to tame and govern the Internet on each nation’s whim, the multistkaeholder model is not being tested as the role of civil society seems to be not as powerful and effective as that of the governmental organizations. Thus, although there was a broad consensus on the fact that multistakeholder actually been functioning as it has been envisaged to be, as the strong regulation and other legal regimes started to dominate the discussions of the Internet Governance throughout the world, it seemed that panellists actually did not consent upon whether the model can be the leading example of the governance model for the future in the end.  


- Please describe any policy recommendations or suggestions regarding the way forward/potential next steps. [200 words]


Ayden Ferdeline explicitly expressed the following suggestions saying that to ensure that the Internet operates as a global common, these frameworks and policies needed to be established through open and transparent multistakeholder processes because the historical solution to this problem (global treaty organizations) can provide overall commonality of framework but fail to provide for open and equitable non-governmental participation. He expressed concern, however, that this may no longer be true, as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation has effectively validated states taking extraterritorial regulatory measures, and provides proof that state interests can be maintained via the creation of regulations with Internet-wide effects. In order for the multistakeholder model to remain effective, he suggested that improvements are required, such as better efforts to avoid capture by certain stakeholder groups, more effective dispute resolution processes, and a focus on measuring and improving performance.

Overall, systematic implementation of the model throughout the national, regional and international IGFs and some different additions can be thought of, and also can be added to the model with global resources and more decentralized, non-governmental efforts such as independent conflict resolution systems for the matters happening concerning the cyberspace.



- What ideas surfaced in the discussion with respect to how the IGF ecosystem might make progress on this issue? [150 words]


As the IGF is only celebrating its 13th birthday this year, we need to watch the model naturally grow further into its more mature form, and thus, it’s still early to say that the multistkaeholder model failed, or multisktaeholder model is destined to be overwhelmed by the governmental regulations which go against the very nature of the model per se. Sandra explicitly argued that for the model to be mature and to be fully developed, the community support from all the sector is necessary and required,


- Please estimate the total number of participants.

5 speakers (4 panellists and a moderator) and about 30 audience in the room.


- Please estimate the total number of women and gender-variant individuals present.

2 Female speakers including the moderator


- To what extent did the session discuss gender issues, and if to any extent, what was the discussion? [100 words]

Sandra Hofereichter assimilated the progressive development of multistakeholder model to that of women’s right movement (thus, the development of feminism). She also emphasized that the change never comes fast and without effort, and thus we need to see how the multisktaeholder model evolves in the future over time. However, aside from this, the session did not specifically deal with any gender issues and rather focused on the fundamental philosophy and history of multistakeholder model.


- Session outputs and other relevant links (URLs): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhieI61IJuo