remote participation working group draft proposal

IGF Remote Participation Draft Proposal — Sharm el-Sheikh, 2009


An aside: My eight year old daughter is looking over my shoulder wearing one of her many princess dress up outfits as I write about this page regarding remote participation. Her suggestion is that perhaps we should consider acquiring some magic wands and just transporting everyone to Sharm el-Sheikh. She is in a fairy princess stage where tiaras, princess dresses and magic wands all are real. Just this morning she was perusing an e commerce site with her mom that sells princess dresses and the necessary accessories such as crowns, tiaras, capes, gloves, shoes, jewelry, and of course, wands. It would make all our lives so much easier if there were magic wands available, but alas, reality intrudes and we will have to do with setting up remote participation as best as we technically can do.

As very little has changed aside from overall scale and the inevitable developments, I could do worse than to quote last year’s working group draft proposal:

“While we have differing but compatible motivations, we are principally concerned that many of those who should have the largest voice in these proceedings are those who do not or cannot attend for a wide variety of reasons.

We would like to address the possibility of remote participation that involves interaction and the possibility of approximating real participation, instead of just reading a summary or watching a Webcast after the fact.



  • To offer remote participation options to those unable to attend the IGF in person, in order to increase developing country involvement and input in the IGF process.
  • To offer a more flexible approach to full, part-time or topic specific participation and observation to the process.
  • To offer remote participation, observation and comments in the IGF process.
  • Other topics such as business & corporate gifts. This issue of corporate gifting poses problems in some situations which we need to address. In the US and other western countries it is common. Many businesses give corporate presents to all their major clients as recognition of their client’s contribution to the companies bottom line. Likewise business & corporate gifts are often a sincere and valuable sentiment of appreciation to vendors, employees, and partners, in addition to clients. However in other countries, corporate gifts have become a form of a bribe which is expected in order to expedite regular business.

Target groups:

  • Activists, civil society and parties interested in the IGF process who are unable to attend in person due to financial, time or other constraints.
  • Educators, students and researchers who would like to observe or participate in the IGF process who cannot justify incurring the costs involved in physical attendance.
  • Government officials who cannot take the time for in-person attendance, or full-time attendance, who would like to observe, attend or participate in the sessions their schedules permit.
  • Any other interested parties.



  • Maximum flexibility of options.
  • Cost-free software and setup.
  • Low bandwidth requirements.
  • Low learning and adaptation requirements for connection and use of tools.
  • Low equipment requirements.
  • Attendance possible from Internet cafes.
  • Participation and interaction, remote PARTICIPATION, not just remote OBSERVATION.
  • Inclusion of remote participation without pre-emption or interruption of on-site proceedings.

2012 IGF: Baku, Azerbaijan from 6 – 9 November 2012. The main theme for the meeting was: ‘Internet Governance for Sustainable Human, Economic and Social Development

Remote Participation has increased. Folks are able to follow the discussions from home or office. You can watch the webcast of the event or follow real-time closed captioning. And you can participate live.

Remote participants / hubs are now able to interact with the meeting by sending text questions and / or video / audio interventions using the remote participation platform (Webex). How far we have come since 2006!

2013 IGF: Bali, Indonesia. Pre-registration for the IGF 2013 meeting is now open.

** Please feel free to reach out to us for more updated information. We will respond at our earliest convenience.

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