The IGF is an outcome of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and aims to create a more inclusive and people-centred information society. It provides a unique opportunity for government, business, civil society, academic and technical experts to discuss − on a level playing field − critical Internet governance issues such as network security, infrastructure expansion, the free flow of information and data privacy. Last year’s IGF in Rio de Janeiro was attended by over 1 700 participants.
Looking towards the main sessions for the IGF in India, ICC BASIS members support the general evolution which has been proposed in the programme outline towards more interaction in all sessions. In its written contribution, BASIS has stressed that discussions should emphasize specific issues concerning developing country stakeholders, and human and institutional capacity building measures which are necessary to strengthen involvement of all stakeholders in Internet governance issues and processes at national, regional and international levels.
As part of the BASIS contribution, business representatives from across sectors and geographies have provided the following suggestions to ensure that these discussions take place.
- Focus the main session discussions on specific questions or issues, and best practices/lessons learned, instead of general presentations on high-level issues
- Vigilantly limit the number of panellists and their remarks, and increase the time allocated to interactive discussion with the participants
- Reduce or eliminate all other events running in parallel to the main sessions
- Ensure the main session topics are reflected in the workshops before and after the main sessions to create discussion threads that build on each other and are easily identifiable across multiple events
It has also been suggested that the discussions at the IGF in Hyderabad emphasize what it takes to promote innovation and sharing of practical experience, to build on the two previous IGF events in Rio de Janeiro and Athens.