The Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) wrapped up its second, three-day Open Consultation today, making important headway in planning the 2015 IGF, which will be held November 10-13 in João Pessoa, Brazil. Barbara Wanner, USCIB’s vice president for information, communications and technology policy, reports from Geneva.
The MAG approved two USCIB-proposed workshops – from among the more than 250 proposals submitted by stakeholders from business, government, civil society, and the technical community. The group also made preliminary decisions concerning the substantive focus of the main IGF plenary sessions, which support the overarching theme of “Evolution of Internet Governance: Empowering Sustainable Development.” Finally, the Brazilian organizers announced the launch of the IGF 2015 website, which will be continually updated in the coming months with important information about the program and logistics.
The two workshops put forward by USCIB will showcase industry expertise on 1) the intersection of trade, inclusion and trust, and 2) using ICTs to address disabilities. In addition to Wanner, panelists will include Eric Loeb (AT&T), chair of USCIB’s ICT Policy Committee, and Jacquelynn Ruff (Verizon). The MAG also approved three workshops championed by USCIB and the International Chamber of Commerce on extending the IGF’s mandate, jobs and the digital economy, and ICTs and sustainable development.
According to Wanner, the MAG consultations made progress in numerous other aspects of planning for the 2015 IGF. “In sum, it was a productive meeting that produced agreement on 100 workshops and stimulated discussions that ultimately will produce a substantively rich conference,” she said.