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Thursday, December 21 • 09:00 - 10:30
Synthesis Document - A Collective Output Shaping the Future of IGF & NRIs: An Experience from APrIGF (WS290)

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Proposer's Name: Ms. Yannis Li
Proposer's Organization: DotAsia Organisation (Secretariat of APrIGF)
Co-Proposer's Name: Ms. Jennifer Chung
Co-Proposer's Organization: DotAsia Organisation (Secretariat of APrIGF)
Mr. Paul WILSON, Technical Community, APNIC (Chair of APrIGF MSG)
Mr. Edmon CHUNG, Technical Community, DotAsia Organisation (Secretariat of APrIGF)

Session Format: Round Table - 90 Min

Country: China
Stakeholder Group: Technical Community

Country: China
Stakeholder Group: Technical Community

Speaker: Paul Wilson
Speaker: Chat Garcia Ramilo
Speaker: Maureen Hilyard
Speaker: Winston Roberts
Speaker: Jianne Soriano

Content of the Session:
The IGF and the NRIs (National & Regional Initiatives) have been criticized for lacking more concrete “outputs”. While it is a successful feature (not a bug) of IGF (and NRIs) to avoid binding outcomes, and therefore be able to bring together different stakeholders to collaborate and deliberate on emerging issues related to Internet Governance, there is also continuing interest for more substantive outputs beyond simply reporting on workshops convened.

Is it possible to develop a more tangible “output” from IGF (and NRIs) that could better shape the shared global digital future? How can a process to develop such an output be inclusive, non-interruptive to the IGF (and NRI) proceedings themselves and help strengthen the IGF movement?

Since 2015 a Synthesis Document has been produced from the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) (2015: [http://2015.rigf.asia/synthesis-document/] and 2016: [http://igf.asia/syndoc2016]). The documents were developed openly using a participatory document review platform to compile contributions and comments. This process attracted a large number of contributions from many volunteers, and no record of objection to the goal of producing the document, or to the process itself. This roundtable session will explain the process, outputs and thinking of the APrIGF Synthesis Document, from which to consider the prospect and value for similar undertakings at other IGF related meetings.

- APrIGF & the APrIGF Synthesis Document Development Process (~15min)
- Roundtable Discussion:
a. Value & Objectives of an “Output” Document (~20min)
b. Process & Logistical Challenges (~20min)
c. Applicability of Experience for IGF and NRIs (~20min)
- Wrap Up & Summary (~10 min)

Relevance of the Session:
This session is about shaping the future of IGF and NRIs.

Started out as an experiment in APrIGF 2015, the Synthesis Document has become an important part of APrIGF.

The APrIGF Synthesis Document was first raised and discussed at the APrIGF New Delhi 2014 Multi-Stakeholder Steering Group (MSG) meetings, and further refined over the course of MSG deliberations throughout the year. The Synthesis Document aims to identify items of common interest and relevance to Internet governance within the Asia Pacific region. The MSG decided to implement this experimental approach for the first time for the APrIGF Macao 2015 and it became an integral part of the programming for APrIGF from 2016 onwards.

The APrIGF Synthesis Document aims to document the input from participants at the APrIGF (as well as the broader APrIGF community through remote participation and dissemination on the mailing list) and is not intended to be representative of the diverse Asia Pacific region. Nevertheless, it is anticipated by the APrIGF MSG that the development of this Synthesis Document can help drive active participation in the movement, as well as to allow for a platform to voices, views and thoughts in the Asia Pacific region as contribution to relevant global, national, local and international forums on Internet Governance.

This session will share the experience from APrIGF about the development of the Synthesis Document and explore the applicability for similar undertakings at other NRIs and the IGF. While the IGF movement has been successful by avoiding binding outcomes, there is genuine interest from the community for more concrete outputs coming out of IGF (and NRI) meetings. The Synthesis Document is an effort to reshape IGF (and NRI) meetings with a potential to deliver a more tangible output without interrupting the open nature of the IGF movement.

Tag 1: NRIs
Tag 2: Internet & ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals
Tag 3: Multistakeholder Cooperation

The session is intended to be a roundtable discussion.

Additional discussants, especially from organizers of NRIs and IGF Mag will be sought to engage in a meaningful discussion of the possibility and value of a Synthesis Document like initiative at the respective meetings.

The identified speakers are intended to serve more as discussants to spark the discussion by first describing their experience at APrIGF of the development of the Synthesis Document, and will engage the audience in feedback, discussion and reflection on whether such an undertaking would be useful at their respective IGF meetings.

The initiating group of speakers will include people from different stakeholder groups, including from the industry, technical community, academia, civil society and government. Youth participants will also be included from the Youth IGF Camp organized alongside the APrIGF.

In addition, organizers of NRIs and IGF Mag members will be invited to participate in the roundtable, from which additional geographical diversity and policy perspectives will be integrated into the discussion.

Onsite Moderator: Edmon Chung, DotAsia Organisation
Online Moderator: Yannis Li, Secretariat of APrIGF
Rapporteur: Jennifer Chung, Secretariat of APrIGF

Online Participation:
Online participation will be supported and given the same treatment as participants in the room. Online participants will be able to indicate their interest to speak the same way as participants in the room, and the moderator will manage one integrated queue for speaking.

In addition, chat will be especially encouraged and the remote moderator along with moderators of the session will be prepared to proactively engage in conversations with remote participants.

Furthermore, the development of the APrIGF Synthesis Document itself encourages online and remote participation throughout the development cycle, including multiple public comment periods as well as user-friendly ways to comment on specific language and topics. We therefore believe that many of the participants, especially remote participants would be encouraged to participate in this session.

Discussion facilitation:
In addition to general comments and Q&A, the session intends to be a highly interactive one where discussants proactively engage participants in a dialogue on the three key discussion topics:
a. Value & Objectives of an “Output” Document
b. Process & Logistical Challenges
c. Applicability of Experience for IGF and NRIs

Specific questions will be prepared to invite concrete responses and thoughts from participants, e.g.:
- Do you think something like the APrIGF Synthesis Document will help drive participation at your NRI?
- Do you think the processes developed at APrIGF provides a good framework for engaging broader participation on IG?
- Do you think the processes developed at APrIGF can address issues of competing time and attention at IGF meetings?

Organizers from NRIs will be invited to the session to spark the discussion and provide diverse perspectives. We believe this is a topic of high relevance to all IGF related meetings, and therefore will proactively seek participants' contribution on the issues of applicability, feasibility and potential challenges of implementing a Synthesis Document process at their NRI.

Conducted a Workshop in IGF before?: No
Link to Report: 


Session Organizers

Thursday December 21, 2017 09:00 - 10:30 CET
Room XXII - E United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)