IGF 2023 Day 0 Event #84 Agents of inclusion: Community networks & media meet-up

Sunday, 8th October, 2023 (05:00 UTC) - Sunday, 8th October, 2023 (07:00 UTC)
WS 2 – Room A

Digital Divides & Inclusion
Affordable Access
Digital, Media, and Information Literacy
Gender Digital Divide
Skills Building for Basic and Advanced Technologies (Meaningful Access)

Digital Divides & Inclusion

DW Akademie
Nils Brock, DW Akademie, Civil Society, Western European and other States; Daniela Bello, REDES A.C., Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean States; Sarbani Belur, ISEA, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific States.


Erick Huerta, REDES A.C., Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean States; Vivienne Gager, DW Akademie, Civil Society, Western European and other States; Elektra Wagenrad, Freifunk, Civil Society, Western European and other States; Michelle Nogales, Muy Waso, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean States; Eric Nitschke, Wakoma, Private Sector, Western European and other States; Débora Prado, APC, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean States; James Gondwe, CYD Malawi, Civil Society, African States; Kemly Camacho, Sulá Batsú, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean States; Mwendwa Kivuva, KictaNet, Civil Society, African States; Jenny S, DEF, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific States.

Onsite Moderator

Nils Brock

Online Moderator

Daniela Bello


Sarbani Belur


1. No Poverty
4. Quality Education
5. Gender Equality
7. Affordable and Clean Energy
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
10. Reduced Inequalities
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
17. Partnerships for the Goals

Targets: The speakers of the session will share first hand experiences and practical solutions from and for communities of the Global Majority. Community networks and media are catalysts of digital inclusion directly linked to the local livelihood. By offering connectivity and participatory media coverage to under-served area, new income opportunities and access to public services is granted(SDG1), by locally providing digitized content of school curricula, quality education is expanded to remote areas (SDG4), by putting into practice the Feminist Internet principles, gender equality is strengthened (SDG5), by showcasing the use of photovoltaic energy in many rural sites, the transition towards affordable and clean energy is encouraged (SDG7), by permitting the unconnected to connect themselves, meaningful connectivity based on local values is increased (SDG9), by extending online interactions, local and regional business models are strengthened (SDG8), by providing affordable access and creating more digital skills, inequalities are reduced (SDG10), by engaging with local youth and providing new spaces for online communication the sustainability of rural communities is strengthened (SD11) and by networking across all those mentioned work areas, partnerships for the goals fostered (SDG17).


The session consists of short presentations (lightning talk style) and Q&A rounds, followed by a hands-on workshop (for all online and on-site participants) with the open-source tool Colmena, that can be used during the IGF for participatory content creation and online sharing. Facilitation will be provided by a team of 4 persons, two on-site, two online. The general idea is to have alternating leads in the announcement and moderation of the contributions of the 10 speakers. The facilitators will each prepare some short background information and introduce the invitees to the on-site/online audience, so that they can focus on the sharing of specific innovations and best practices. The facilitator’s team will also curate questions from the participants and set the tone for a respectful and inclusive sharing. This includes eventual text to speech translations if some persons of the audience would prefer to ask questions other than English.


Going digital, consuming and creating online media is often taken for granted. However, in many places of the world it is a collective agency that creates access to the Internet, sustains local digital networks and provides relevant content. Worldwide, hundreds of community networks deliver access and content to under-served areas, especially in places where profit oriented access models are not sustainable. Their experiences and best practices are key, not only for what it takes to get the next billion people online but also to learn how meaningful connectivity can be created and sustained bottom-up. How is it possible to build resilient digital infrastructure that is low-tech, off-grid, run on solar energy, involving local resources, traditional knowledge, and based on the needs of the local population? Our meet-up will bring together local community champions eager to share their learnings and practical solutions for a truly inclusive digital world. Practitioners from ten community centered projects of the Global Majority – some of them on-site others joining virtually – will explore digital inclusion along the “4C Framework”: What does it mean to design computing, connectivity, content and (human) capacity with local community members in the driver's seat? What does it take to customize and sustain crucial hardware and software on a local level? How can offline networks and global access models be combined to serve community needs? Where does the platform economy end and reliable content creation start? What capacities and shared resources are key to live up digital rights? To keep asking those important questions, once the session is over, we will train all interested participants in the usage of open-source media creation tools to engage in a decentralized and participatory coverage of the 2023 IGF - putting into practice community funded content and networking.

The interaction between onsite and online speakers and attendees will be guaranteed by a team of two on-site and two online facilitators. The on-site facilitators will have a lead in steering the event and animating participation from persons in the session room while the online facilitators will constantly intervene to bring in comments and questions from the online participants or announce online speakers. To reinforce the hybrid format of the meet-up, the speakers line-up will switch back and forth between on-site and online contributes. The content shared on local network servers on-site will be made available on an online-repository to make available the same content to all participants and permit an active debate on its quality and relevance. In a similar way the open-source content creation tool (Colmena) will be available for online users as well and permit direct access to all recorded interviews or pictures shared during the IGF for republication. As an online platform we will use a Jitsi instance, tailor-made for the event. The screening of online participants in the session room would further strengthen the live interaction (if technically feasible).