[IGFmaglist] Participation at IGF by MAG members

Ginger Paque virginiap at diplomacy.edu
Fri May 20 08:39:10 EDT 2016

Thank you Flavio (and Peter), well-stated. I agree on all points,
especially continuing the policy from 2015 on MAG member participation
(including exceptions as necessary), and the clarification of terminology.

Best wishes,

Ginger (Virginia) Paque

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On Fri, May 20, 2016 at 7:31 AM, Flávio Rech Wagner <flavio at inf.ufrgs.br>

> Dear all
> Please remember that, as MAG members, we already have an extremely active
> role in the preparation of the IGF, taking a very large number of decisions
> regarding different aspects: main theme, main sessions, workshops,
> intersessional work, BPFs, etc. As Peter very well expressed, we should
> encourage, coach and facilitate new talent to emerge. These are our primary
> functions, for which we have been nominated, and I would not characterize
> this as "taking a low profile".
> Remember also that, in particular, we also already have a very active role
> in the preparation of the main sessions. We define their themes and
> formats, facilitate their organization, nominate speakers and moderators,
> etc. So we are already strongly influencing the main sessions.
> Because of these considerations, in my opinion we should keep the
> guidelines we already followed in 2015:
> 1) MAG members should refrain from active, public participation in the
> sessions during the IGF.
> 2) In particular, MAG members should not participate in the main sessions,
> and specially in the main sessions they organize / facilitate, not even as
> "moderators".
> I would not say that we should explicitly "ban" MAG members from actively
> taking part in sessions (option 3 from Peter's three options). Instead, we
> should accept exceptional situations that may arise, without trying to
> define a priori which are these situations.
> Regarding the terminology - I see no difference between "organizer" and
> "facilitator", at least from the point of view of MAG members' involvement.
> But this role is completely different from a "moderator", who is someone
> that actively participates in a session and may directly influence its
> outcome. As Liesyl correctly indicates, we should clear this up in our
> documents and use a uniform terminology.
> Best regards
> Flavio
> Peter,
>> Thanks for your note. In fact this was one area of question I had when
>> trying to compile the recommendations from last year's compilation and the
>> discussion, so thanks for raising the question.
>> At least in part it may be a function of terminology - the difference
>> between (1) organizer; (2) facilitator; and (3) moderator, which the
>> current version may not make clear...mainly that we may have been using
>> "organizer" and "facilitator" interchangeably in guidelines and haven't
>> cleared it up. It was my understanding that MAG members are the ones
>> pulling the sessions together - "organizing" them, as it were, and doing
>> the prep, planning, etc., with their volunteer groups.  I wasn't clear how
>> that is different from a "facilitator". I believe Virat may have some
>> experience/thoughts on a distinction perhaps he can share.
>> Regarding speaking on main session (part of the public role you refer
>> to), the recs from last year said that MAG members should speak on no more
>> than one main session and if they do, not on ones they organize.  So that's
>> how we included it, as you point out.   But I note there has been some
>> discussion about whether MAG members should refrain from speaking on main
>> sessions at all unless, as you note, they have dispensation to do so.
>> I hope this is helpful at least in some way of explanation about how we
>> got to this main session guidelines draft, and I welcome discussion to come
>> to clearer guidance.
>> Kind regards,
>> Liesyl
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> On May 20, 2016, at 3:39 AM, Peter Dengate Thrush <
>>> barrister at chambers.gen.nz> wrote:
>>> Fellow MAG members,
>>> With apologies for the delay, I’d like to return to a topic raised in
>>> our call last month - the public participation in events at IGF meetings by
>>> MAG members.
>>> It appears there was a time when MAG members played an active part in
>>> not only proposing sessions of various sorts at IGF meetings, but
>>> chairing/moderating, speaking ( on panels and other formats) and generally
>>> taking a very public role at IGF meetings.
>>> Over time, it has seemed more appropriate for MAG members to play a
>>> lesser public role. The possibility of a conflict of interest in proposing
>>> sessions which MAG members are involved in, even if they personally refrain
>>> from evaluating their own proposals, is one obvious reason for a reduced
>>> role.
>>> When I joined the MAG last year, there were various comments made to the
>>> effect that MAG members should not assume public roles, but should
>>> encourage, coach and facilitate new talent to  emerge.
>>> Last year, it appeared to me (entirely subjectively) that MAG members
>>> generally took a lower profile, but that was not uniform. Some MAG members
>>> appeared in a variety of public roles.
>>> It seems to me we should have a discussion then come to a quick
>>> conclusion about the parameters of the public performance by MAG members.
>>> The points on both sides of the issue are obvious: on the one hand MAG
>>> members are (typically) leaders in their communities, and have a good grasp
>>> of a wide range of topics, and serve well as speakers on topics they are
>>> familiar with, if not experts upon. One of the reasons for joining the MAG
>>> is to increase one’s involvement in these issues. For some if not many MAG
>>> members, active participation ( being in the published programme) is a
>>> pre-requisite for getting funding from employers or other parties. In other
>>> cases, it is the groups putting the sessions together that seek the
>>> participation of MAG members because of their high profile and expertise.
>>> On the other hand, MAG members are leaders in their communities, and
>>> don’t need to increase their profiles. They could be using their positions
>>> to bring on new talent.The conflict of interest point extends across all
>>> formats - many worthwhile and interesting sessions are not approved for
>>> inclusion, and it weakens the IGF to have any appearance of favouritism.
>>> MAG members should do other things to enhance the profile of the IGF.
>>> Doubtless there are more points, with many nuances around each one.
>>> I suggest, for the purposes of the discussion that I now invite, that we
>>> consider three broad options;
>>> (1) No Limits on MAG member involvement:
>>> (2) Some limit (TBD after debate, but probably along the lines of the
>>> “Rule of 3” some have cited ( as if it were a rule);
>>> (3) A complete limit (ban) on MAG member involvement ( probably with a
>>> let-out clause that would allow a MAG member to apply for dispensation in
>>> certain circumstance).
>>> I look forward to some discussion on this, and then a move to closure.
>>> I note that the Main Sessions draft produced by that WG takes the
>>> position that all Main Sessions need to be facilitated by MAG members ( a
>>> continuation of the same position taken in the 2015 paper.) I’d be
>>> interested in learning of the reasoning behind that.
>>> Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this.
>>> Regards
>>> Peter
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