The IGF schedule is online
As you may notice the DC3 session will be on Day 1 - Monday 12 November, from11:10 to
The draft description of our session, as discussed in June, is available here
You will also notice that, unfortunately, the MAG has decided to maintain a reduced
time-slot for DC sessions, allowing only 60 minutes for all DC session, as it did last
year. This decision imposes some adjustments in the session organization, in order to fir
in the reduced time-slot. Fortunately, we still have almost 2 months to make such
adjustments in the most efficient way.
Let me share my concern as regards the MAG decision to keep on limiting DC session to 60
minutes, which is of course a very shortsighted decision , as it is extraordinary hard to
present the work of the DC, have a constructive debate and request feedback in only 60
I have formally voiced my disapproval of the MAG decision, stressing that this is not only
counterproductive but also very discriminatorily applied (only to DC sessions and not to
Best Practice Fora that, of course, are organized by MAG members) through a very opaque
and unaccountable process (as, on the IGF website, there is no trace of when this decision
was taken and what was its motivation) and totally disregards the many contributions sent
during the stocktaking consultation, early this year, which praised the work of the DCs
and requested to restore a 90 minute slot.
I attach below the message I shared yesterday on the DC coordinators list to stress my
Here is the full list of MAG members, in case you want to reconsider your support
(assuming that anyone here supports them)
Here is the publicly available email address of the Secretariat in case you want to voice
your concern email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
Needless to say, it would be good to voice your concern during the next stocktaking
consultation that, hopefully, will be not disregarded by the MAG again.
Luca Belli, PhD
Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation
21 3799 5763 t
Botafogo, 190 13º andar
Botafogo - Rio de Janeiro, RJ - CEP: 22250-900
You are raising some legitimate points and I think many of us would agree with several
concerns you are voicing.
However, your account seems a little incomplete and this line of thinking seems to be very
subjectively implemented by the MAG. Moreover although the MAG, as the IGF programme
committee, has the authority to take decisions regarding the IGF programme, there is no
trace of such decision and its motivation in any part of the IGF website, besides the IGF
draft schedule, which of course is already the implementation of the decision.
Let me briefly elaborate on each of these points, for the sake of clarity.
Of course there are some DCs that have been more "dynamic" than others and,
personally, I am on record in at least three occasions arguing that DC time slots should
be based on a differentiated approach considering what outcome each DC plans to develop
for the upcoming IGF (60 minutes are sufficient for discussing the update of a previously
initiated outcome but largely insufficient when you have to present and request feedback
on a completely new and large outcome such as a 200+ page report with 30+ co-authors).
NOTE that the application of such differentiated approach, using clearly specified
criteria, would not be a way to punish DCs but rather a strategy to stimulate outcome
production and foster appropriate schedule planning (objectives that one would assume
should orientate the MAG's activities).
However, let me point that this critical approach equally applies to BPFs. There is no
reason to limit it to DCs. It is quite easy to check the IGF webstie and realise that,
exactly as DCs, some BPF are cleraly more innovative/ productive than others.
Moreover, your narrative fails to acknowledge that the large majority of DCs have acted
not only in the public interest but in the collective IGF community interest,
demonstrating with solid achievements that DCs (and IGF in general) are not mere talking
shops but can promote research, concretely suggest policy and being heard, and be
incredible vectors of stakeholder engagement and coordination. If you wanted to adopt a
case-by-case differentiated evaluation, than you would have to give 120 minutes to those
DCs who concretely produce outcomes that are utilisable and utilised by stakeholders.
Here we come to the discriminatory implementation of what may otherwise be a very
legitimate critique. The critique you raise is only applied to DC sessions and it seems
quite evident that the only reason for this "special" treatment is that BPFs are
organised by MAG members.
Furthermore, although the reduction of time-slots may be in line with reduced-time
optimisation, it seems quite incompatible with the fact that the MAG started reducing DC
slots last year, when both time and space where quite abundant. Last year, on the
afternoon of 14 December (which means less than 2 working days before the beginning of the
IGF 2017) I personally received - together with many other session organisers - an
invitation to organise a 30 minute-long flash session as there were 20 free slots! This
means that, when the MAG started cutting 30 minutes per DC session, they even forgot to
reallocate the time-slots that had been cut, which were available and unused until 2 days
before IGF 2017!!!
This brings me to a final consideration to reply to the fact that the MAG, as IGF
programme committee, has the power to reduce session length. Of course it has this power
and no-one has ever contested this, but could anyone share a publicly available document
(i) relating when such decision was taken, (ii) providing a motivation for the decision
and (iii) stressing why the time-slot reduction is applied only to specific intersessional
activities rather than all? I have been asking for this explanation for almost a year.
Either I have been ignored or there is no such document. In both cases I would not really
qualify this as the most transparent and accountable scenario.
Unfortunately, this looks like one of those situations in which some stakeholders are more
equal than others and very short-sighted choices have been made for the sole purpose of
demonstrating that the MAG has the power to define the programme. Fine, it has it and
quite honestly no-one has ever questioned it. What is in question is the WAY it is used.
IMHO, the purpose of the MAG should be to facilitate the work of those who are producing
useful outcomes, debating them at IGF and allowing IGF participants to provide their
feedback. This looks very unlikely to happen in 60 minutes.
Although the original considerations you raise may be absolutely legitimate, their
discriminatory and short-sighted application simply undermines the credibility of the
MAG's decisions. And it is not really reassuring to see that MAG members are taking
more than two years to understand these quite elementary considerations.
With my best regards,
Luca Belli, PhD
Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation, FGV Rio de Janeiro Law School
Chercheur Associé, Centre de Droit Public Comparé, Université Paris 2
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