[IGFmaglist] Participation at IGF by MAG members

Wisdom Donkor wisdom.dk at gmail.com
Sat May 21 04:00:15 EDT 2016


Thank you Flavio, Marilyn, Virat, Petter and all for the clarification. I
am now clear in my mind and for this reason i agree on all points,
especially continuing the policy from 2015 on MAG member participation.

Cheers

*WISDOM DONKOR (S/N Eng.)*
E-government and Open Government Data Platforms Specialist
National Information Technology Agency (NITA)/
Ghana Open Data Initiative Project.
ICANN Fellow / Member, UN IGF MAG Member, ISOC Member,
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On Fri, May 20, 2016 at 11:41 PM, Marilyn Cade <marilynscade at hotmail.com>
wrote:

> I was the originator of the initial discussion that led to creating the
> 3+1 as a standing agreement when I came in as a MAG member, and many other
> MAG members agreed. That is what led to the '3+1'.
>
> I did this because as a non MAG member, I saw many workshops with MAG
> members submitting workshops, or using their affiliated entities to submit
> workshop proposals, and then having to select them and then being speakers,
> or moderators.  And the annual IGF was then  having the same co
> moderators over and over, year after year, for the main sessions.
>
> We need to remember that IGF and MAG has been evolving and in perhaps
> earlier years, this overwhelming role of the MAG was well intentioned,
> and well meaning, and we were perhaps struggling to find speakers, and co
> moderators, who could get funding to attend.
>
> However, in 2014, and 2015, we have made progress and in my personal view,
> I think that the 3+1 remains realistic, and pragmatic, and does not
> penalize MAG members too much. I realize that we each, as MAG members are
> doing a tremendous amount of work. But I continue to insist that MAG
> members not submit workshop proposals, and I hope that those on the MAG
> with affiliations will do their best to only be coaches
>
> I also understand the comment made about having to justify some kind of
> involvement if one is gaining support from a community, or an academic
> entity to spend the time necessary, but I think that we all need to realize
> and ensure support that MAG members are appointed by the UN SecGen and need
> to convince themselves, and their employer, whomever that is -- whether
> business, government, NGO/CS, or university -- that there is a need to be
> as independent as possible.
>
> I still think that MAG's purpose is to coach, and help outreach to new
> speakers for both main sessions and workshops.
>
> However, I am realistic that if we set an objective of no more than one
> main session as a speaker, or co moderator, this may be the most realistic,
> while sticking to the no workshops submitted by a MAG member.  I know that
> our job is really to encourage the development of workshops through
> reaching out to networks, but we can all commit to not rating workshops
> that we have direct relationships with, as a standard practice, and commit
> to the no more than one main session.
>
> Look, this is more work, frankly, than doing it ourselves.
>
> I realize that identifying and coaching is more work than being the
> experts we are, but we are on the MAG for only a short cycle, and the more
> we coach, and enrich participation, the more the IGF grows and is
> sustainable.
>
> So, here's to the no more than 3 speaking roles on workshops and no more
> than 1 main session per MAG member. Even at that and here is the math:
>
> 50 MAG members X 3 is 150 workshops with MAG speakers
> 50 MAG members X 1 for main sessions could be 50 of the slots in whatever
> the number of the main sessions turns out to be: 6 or 8: that would mean
> that if main sessions have 6-10 speakers, X 6 so 60 at max, up to 50
> speakers from MAG might be proposed. I know that we are not headed there,
> but we really should think about perhaps no more than 3-4 MAG members per
> main session, and showing cause why the MAG member is the best
> speaker,along the lines of the 'exception'.
>
> I have proposed a SDG consultation main session and am following up on
> that, but consistent with the WSIS+10 session, which I was privileged to co
> organize with Brazil, Lea, and others, we invited different moderators and
> took the role of rapporteurs.
>
> I am not suggesting that a MAG member is never the best moderator, or co
> facilitator, but I do urge that we as MAG members embrace the no more than
> 3 workshops [unless there is such fallout of a moderator or speaker at
> least minute that a MAG member is needed to support a workshop as an
> exception -- that does happen and if we are not 'full up' on 3 then we can
> be the angel that supports a workshop when travel or other situations lead
> to gaps that might lead to cancellation of a workshop.
>
> As I look ahead to the MAG after I leave it and that day will come soon, I
> am hoping that it is enriched by at least another 25 per year active
> participants per stakeholder group that I can cheerfully say: the MAG
> enhanced diversity in gender, geo representation, and issue diversity, so
> that we have at least 100 more experts each year who return to build on the
> IGF, both in our IGF annually, and also feed back into their national or
> sub regional or regional IGF.
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
> From: virat.bhatia at intl.att.com
> To: barrister at chambers.gen.nz; Igfmaglist at intgovforum.org
> Date: Fri, 20 May 2016 21:20:29 +0530
> Subject: Re: [IGFmaglist] Participation at IGF by MAG members
>
>
> Dear Members of the MAG,
>
>
>
> Sent this out 2 hours ago, but some didn’t get it. My apologies if it is
> resend for anyone.
>
>
>
> Regards,
>
> Virat Bhatia
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* Bhatia, Virat
> *Sent:* Friday, May 20, 2016 7:08 PM
> *To:* 'Peter Dengate Thrush' <barrister at chambers.gen.nz>; 'MAG-public' <
> Igfmaglist at intgovforum.org>
> *Subject:* RE: [IGFmaglist] Participation at IGF by MAG members
>
>
>
> Dear Peter,
>
> Many thanks for your email.
>
> This is an important issue and we must try and close it at the earliest
> and with the best possible way forward.
>
> Here is a brief description of the evolutionary perspective, and past
> discussions, followed by my submission on the issue.
>
> *1.      **Discussion started in 2014*
>
>
>
> (i)      Before 2014 IGF in Istanbul, some MAG members (not all) served
> as speakers and/or moderators in main sessions and workshops. There was no
> rule limiting or preventing such participation. In 2014, during my first
> year in the MAG, the MAG imposed a self-restraint, ahead of Istanbul IGF
> for the first time.  Some of the reasons are already well documented in
> your mail.  Pros and cons were argued (as you have) and on the balance, the
> rule of “3+1” was agreed upon (maximum of 3 workshops and 1 main session),
> where a MAG member could serve either as a speaker and/or as a moderator.
>
>
>
> (ii)    In part, the complete ban could not be  imposed in 2014, because,
> by the time the discussion on limiting MAG members participation as
> speakers and / or moderators gained ground, several MAG members had already
> committed to serve as speakers on approved workshops for IGF 2014.  Since
> MAG members were already committed, they could not withdraw at the last
> minute, leaving workshop organizers in a lurch.
>
>
>
> *2.      **In 2015*
>
>
>
> In 2015 the rule continued to remain, but it was generally understood that
> MAG members could serve as speakers and/or moderators at main sessions and
> workshops within the rule of 3+1, but only as an exception. (E.g. no other
> candidate available to serve as moderator / speaker or last minute
> cancellation, etc.) At least that is how I understood the position and
> acted upon it.  Admittedly the rule may not have been followed in its
> letter and spirit in 2015.  However my impression is, that for the most
> part there was tremendous self-restraint shown by MAG members in 2015.
>
> Several of us in the MAG who have been regular speakers and moderators,
> both for main sessions and workshops, have politely refused speaking
> opportunities, offered by workshop proposers and main session organizers in
> 2014 and 15.
>
> *3.      **Now for 2016 ( my submission)*
>
>
>
> For 2016, I would recommend that we go with option 3 that you have
> suggested:
>
> “*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)*.”
>
> If the MAG agrees, this can be implemented for both main sessions and
> workshops in 2016.
>
> *Main sessions*:  Main session written proposals have not been finalized
> (perhaps not even written yet), so no MAG member stands committed as a
> speaker and / or moderator. Sufficient time for co-facilitators to find
> good alternatives between now and November 2016.
>
> *Workshops*:  Since Workshop proposal evaluations have not begun yet, MAG
> members (if they agree) can recuse themselves, if a workshop proposer
> reaches out to them for serving as a moderator or speaker.
>
> However, as option 3 (above) implies,  if there are unavoidable
> circumstances, where the MAG member in his wisdom decides, and the MAG
> agrees that an exception needs to be made, for either a main session or
> workshop, then the same can be allowed.
>
> The above restraint (ban) is *only* for serving MAG members (during their
> tenure) as speakers and / or moderators at main sessions and workshops.
> Once they rotate off the list, they can and must accept moderator /speaker
> roles for both main sessions and workshops.  In fact in some cases, they
> may be the best suited candidates
>
> The restraint does not in any stop the MAG members from being
> co-facilitators or organizers of main sessions.  In fact quite the
> contrary.  The role of co-facilitators is completely different from that of
> moderators, as explained in the Working Group recommendations.
>
>
>
> Again, opting for restraint is my personal preference, and submitted for
> MAG’s consideration. Invite MAG members to weigh in.
>
> Regards,
>
> Virat Bhatia
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Igfmaglist [mailto:igfmaglist-bounces at intgovforum.org
> <igfmaglist-bounces at intgovforum.org>] On Behalf Of Peter Dengate Thrush
> Sent: Friday, May 20, 2016 6:08 AM
> To: MAG-public <Igfmaglist at intgovforum.org>
> Subject: [IGFmaglist] Participation at IGF by MAG members
>
>
>
> 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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