IGF 2018 WS #77 How to fund an open and free internet and who is funding it?


Sub-theme description: How to fund an open and free internet and who is funding it?

Organizer 1: Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 2: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Speaker 1: Jenny Toomey, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Osama Manzar, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Joyce Dogniez, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Panel - 90 Min


The speakers all represent different founding organizations with different objectives. But every organization focuses on an open, free and strong internet. These speakers also represent different parts of the world, so that different perspectives and different approaches are highlighted. During the session, the speakers will each explain from their own perspective how their organizations contribute to an open, free and strong internet. The blind spots will also be addressed. Subjects and problems that need financing but do not receive it at this moment - with the idea to create a joint basis and a joint responsibility for for tackling these problems. In addition, many funds and financiers will also be represented in the room. Finally, we will call on existing funds and financiers to come up with ideas and plans on how we can work well and better together in the future.


As part of this panel, we have confirmed panelists from India, Western Europe and North America. We anticipate the panel will be at least gender equal, which at this point holds true for our confirmed panelists. Representation exists from civil society, private sector and technical community. Currently each of the speakers listed has been confirmed. If we do need to make replacements closer to the date, we will continue to maintain the same stakeholder group/gender balance to the degree possible.

During the session we want to briefly formulate what an open, free and strong internet is. In doing so, we take back on the basis laid by Next Generation Internet (https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/policies/next-generation-…): "The Internet of the future should provide better services, more intelligence, greater involvement and participation. It needs to reflect social and ethical values: free, open and more interoperable. An open and free internet is powerful, open, data-driven, user-centric, interoperable platform ecosystem. Goals of the workshop: • the entire group of organizing and participating partners clearly understands who finances an open, free and strong internet internationally and whom to cooperate with; • on the other hand, this also attracts new financiers who feel responsible for an open, free and strong internet; • important themes can be named that require the attention of the financiers; • blind spots can be determined, blind spots can be detected in the funding • new partnerships can arise; • meet and greet of projects with the funds;

The following agenda will be followed:

- Panel introduction by the moderator
- The panelists will each refelect from their perspective on the theme of the session: How to fund an open and free internet and who is funding it?
- Moderator will challenge remote different, non-present funders and financiers to do the same. We will inform these people and organizations about the session in the weeks before the IGF.
- Then the moderator will invite the local and remote panelist to discuss which domains still need financing and how that could be realized.
- Thereafter the moderator will give room to local and remote attendees the opportunity to ask questions. (30 minutes)
- The last 15 minutes of the session will be an informal meet & greet between funders and financiers.

An open and freely accessible internet is very important for the proper functioning of our societies. These values are supported by many different organizations. Many of the funding organisations are not aware of all initiatives/funds/companies/ scientific fund etc in the funding field, and are not aware that a lot of the funded projects are thematically overlapping. On the other hand there are some critical blind spots that are underfunded. 
In the context of IGF it would be very interesting to join all initiatives/funds/ companies/scientific fund etc, - funding an free and open internet- in different ways and from different perspectives. From a digital rights perspective, technical funders, national and European funding, scientific funding, etc. By bringing all funding organisations together - the funding field will also become visible for projects that need support. 

Online Participation

During the session, we will ensure online participation in the following ways: - A moderator is assigned to the online question queue whom is similar in background and technical expertise as the in-room moderator. - In the run-up to the conference, we will point out a lot of funds and financiers to this session during the IGF and also ask them to be available online during the session. We will prediscuss this with a number of funds and financiers - to sollicit participation by remote attendees. - In addition, we ask these funds and financiers to also communicate this session to their beneficients, so that they can also respond and respond to the questions during the session. - We will immediately relay questions as the "next up" question from the audience when one is flagged by a remote participant, to avoid unnecessary waiting for the remote participant. If the number of remote questions and comments overwhelms the number originating from the in-person group, we will switch to granting an opportunity to speak to someone remote, and then to someone attending in-person next; - We plan to specifically advertise the session through relevant forums and mailing lists - During the session closing, we will do a specific call to get closing remarks from a small number of remote (2-3) participants. We will announce this at the beginning of the session to ensure remote attendees can prepare their thoughts throughout the session.