The Internet Governance Forum has inspired members and interested parties alike to follow the various meetings, formal and informal. Not all of us are invited to or can attend every meeting, but there is much of interest to share and discuss. Therefore, the creation of remote hubs has been encouraged by the IGF.
IGF remote hubs have been organized among IGF participants and any group of interested people who share a more immediate community or geographical proximity. This should inspire interest among the local community at large, as well as the local press; the increased visibility will raise awareness and strengthen the regional connections.
As you know one of the mandates of the IGF is to facilitate discourse between bodies dealing with different cross-cutting international public policies regarding the Internet. Online gambling is an area which has become a hot topic as more and more online gambling affiliate related websites have sprung up on the WWW. Some countries band online gambling. Until recently the US made it very difficult for its peoples to be able to gamble online. In fact the US government passed in 2006 the UIGEA laws that limited options for US online casino players. Jump ahead 8 years and now finding an online casino on which to play is no longer as challenging for players based in the USA as it used to be. A Google search for online slots US results in dozens of sites affiliated with numerous online casinos offering not only slots, but all the favorite casino games found at land based casinos as well as games specifically design for internet players. And some site specialize even further providing listings of websites focused on particular games and aimed a a specific audience. For example, one affiliate specializes in listing the best bonuses for US slots players. There are many issues that still need to be ironed out regarding online gambling. Certain banks and credit card companies still refuse to allow monies to be used for online gambling purposes. There is still not an even world-wide field when it comes to this particular marketplace. One wonders if the IGF will be of any help sorting out all the issues surrounding this market place.
Each local group is free to organize their meetings in any way they choose. A suitable location (room, hall, auditorium) should be selected, but feel free to coordinate with any appropriate existing class or organization. A broadband Internet connection and videoconferencing technology should be available, ideally on a server. A moderator will be responsible for planning and leading the discussion; the moderator or anyone else may also choose to post invitations (via electronic media or otherwise) to anyone in the local community who may be interested in the issues of Information Society and Internet Governance.
Hub Moderators will ensure procedural and other appropriate considerations, and work with assigned technicians in a dress rehearsal beforehand to increase familiarity and minimize technical problems. During the actual webcast, the hub moderator will oversee the necessary chat messages to keep all participants connected with a minimum of disturbance of the necessary flow of the meeting at large.
A sense of personal and community connection to the IGF should be considerably more fulfilling and motivating than simply viewing a broadcast of faraway events. With this level of inspiration, the necessary next steps will be an increased community involvement and renewed commitment for improvement. Further partnerships and initiatives will undoubtedly follow, strengthening not only the IGF and the local community but the entire region.
The list of remote hubs is growing regularly, and Facebook has been utilized to provide a common location for communication and organization of hubs and hub activities.
** Update **
Many people being involved in a process such as this gives the best chances for success. For centuries man has brainstormed ideas within groups because the people feed off of one another. One idea leads to the next which leads to the next. It is one of the most productive ways to problem solve. The issue can arise when the dynamic of certain individuals are not aligned. There can be friction & all parties must be willing to work within the group for the common goal. Keep this in mind for future reference.