Explaining Internet Governance to Friends & Family 101: How to Improve Our Communication?

20 December 2017 - A Workshop on Other in Geneva, Switzerland

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Full Session Transcript

>> Good afternoon, everybody.  Hi.  Thank you so much for joining us.  I really have to FIRST of all other than welcoming all of you, I have to say, you know, thank you for joining.  My colleague and co‑organized this session along with one of our very dear friend who unfortunately couldn't make it.  That is Christina Calagare.  We wanted to give an overview of what this is going to be.  I don't know how many of you filled out the survey that we circulated earlier for the past couple months.  But basically we, you know, whenever ‑‑ what it amounts to is I don't know about you, but I'm really tired of having to struggle every time somebody asks you what do you do with your life.  To this day, every time I talk to him, he says what do you do again?  And, you know, we always have to come up with the craziest analogies just to try and let him understand, wrap his head about what I do.  So, um, well, I guess the FIRST thing is:  Can you go ahead and move to the next slide?  Thank you.



So this is going to be the FIRST one.  We just really wanted to thank Agustina.  She couldn't make it, but she was go this session of this entire idea.  She was the one that approached us and said let's talk about how to talk about Internet Governance because it is something that we think is severely lacking and we don't think that enough actual support is being given to describe what it is that we do.  So, go to the next slide.  So whenever we were framing this discussion, the FIRST thing we want to do is we wanted to give an overview of what we found in the questionnaire.  We were really lucky.  We had 171 people fill out the questionnaire and it was incredible.  And one of the responses that we got was that I wish there were more ridiculous questionnaires in this world because one of the questions at the end was feedback about the survey itself.  And then ‑‑ Marco?  But then at the same time, your questions focus on the challenges and it does not provide a good way to provide or generate solutions.  Well, the fact is and the whole reason why we're doing this is this is meant to be a starting point.  We think that this discussion is something that should be community ledge and bottom‑up and we really wanted ‑‑ we did the questionnaire to begin with.  We created the survey to help us structure the discussion.  The fact is anybody can come here and say yes it's hard to talk about internet governance or maybe it's not.  Wed to know exactly what to build off of and we wanted to know what the community said.  It's not meant to be formal research.  We will not publish it in a journal.  But we wanted to understand a little bit more of the challenges so that way we can come to this room now and discuss a little bit more of the way forward and how to address.  I kind of addressed the solutions or start building solutions.  It is not meant to solve all the problems.  We hope this is a starting point for a larger conversation that our multi‑stakeholder in nature that will ultimately help us create ways to better engage and to better communication about what it is that we all do.  So with that is a, I'm going to hand it over to my wonderful colleague who is going to take over.



>> Good afternoon, everybody.  Can everybody hear me well?  My name is Ellen.  I work in marketing and I'm trying to do that, but it is quite uncomfortable.  Yeah.  I'm working in marketing and working in national domain name.  So I'm practically facing the same challenges as Michael is and as probably the majority of you here.  And actually, my mom gave me the inspiration for one of the questions here because her regular comment about what I do, she does something with the internet and that will be her responsibility about knowing what her daughter likes and doesn't like.  So 171 people faced same challenges and took five minutes of their lives and gave it to us and responded to this ridiculous questionnaire.  And here's what they said.  Next side.  People who are mostly involved in IGF, ISOC, ITF, ITU, rites con are the ones that respond to this questionnaire and all of the stakeholder groups responded.  51%f them were male.  44% of them were female.  30% of the responders are involved in Internet Governance between 3 and 5 years.  90% is active from 1 to 2 and 2 years and night of% for more than 10 years, which is wonderful.  It means that we practically engaged a lot of users who are quite, quite experienced in internet governance are facing the challenges for quite a long time.  When we asked them about how difficult it is for them to communicate and to explain to their friends and family what it is they do, 60% of them responded, agreed or strongly agreed that they have difficulties explaining what internet governance is.  76% agreed or strongly agreed they have strongly difficult explaining to friends and family.  Yeah.  76.6% agreed with the statement that they often have trouble describing Internet Governance in ways that people will understand.  And actually 60.4 agreed when talking to friends.  My mom says that I do something with the Internet.  That was one of the common statements.  I often use an analogy to simplify what internet governance is.  I work in telecommunications or I work in social media.  51.5% of you told that.  When I write ICANN, people think it's a typo.  17 %, but I found it very, very interesting.  9% of you marked that when they say ISOC, their friends think it's for I love soccer.  That was also an interesting input.  One of the interesting comments is I have a short answer to friends and family about what I'm doing.  I'm about to rescue the internet.  If they are interested, I go into details.  I think it's for all of us which is absolute perfect to start a conversation like this.  78.4% agrees that Internet Governance oceans and initiatives are creating explanatory content, but that content is not promoted enough.  74.5, 75.5 agrees that Internet Governance organizations and initiative are doing a great job and attracting new comers, but that process needs improvement and that's why we're here.  A lot of the free comments when we asked open questions within the questionnaire has been divided into these four groups.  And most of the people who responded think that they're quite challenges and some of the solutions and directions where we can go to is within the FIRST group as you may see on the slide called creating analogies and using simple language which means we should do it simply.  We should outreach to the broader communities and we should use the language that people are speaking in on a daily BASIS.  We should use the DNS is like the telephone book analogy.  That's a starter.  Use it simply explaining from the basics.  Second common most present was that there is a need to tailor communications within different target groups.  Use different types much communications for different types of target groups and that group also had a lot of comments about diversity, how to improve inclusion and how to talk to news day holder especially within the local communities and using local languages.  The third one took comments that went into direction about how to better engage with academian schools.  Some of the comments had great suggestion about putting the internet governance in the curricular, but that's a wonderful direction to think about.  And the fourth one agreed mostly that the efforts that are ongoing are quite good, that there are needs for the improvement for the promotion within the Internet Governance topics, but the biggest effort we should put in is how to enter newcomers and how to turn additional attention to them, how to tailor some additional educational programs is that would be tailored for the different types of newcomers and Internet governance communities.  For example, different mentorship program for the newcomers and example ICANN.  And the different track for the newcomers IGF.  So that would be practically can you give back to the previous slide.  Yes.  Those were the four groups that we're going to use to break out into small groups today.  So I hope that you will find that more interesting because this is foot a usual panel and we won't be speaking to you from this style, which is nice for a photo to show to my mom, but it is quite boring and not productive.  We will break out into groups and we have four excellent moderators here.  Michael has something to say.



>> Michael:  Before I introduce the facilitators, I want to make a couple points.  I'm really happy to see there are a few people in the audience that work in communications with a few of the internet bodies.  The fact is it was really great to see the issue with the survey itself that the survey seemed to indicate is that it's not that there's any issue in itself with the content that's being created.  It's not necessarily being promoted or shared enough.  Aside from that, one reason why we wanted to really break out into the small group discussions is not just to add a bit of quality in terms of qualitative results to the survey findings that we already had, but it was a way to help really breach the subject and see how it's going to be.  The way that it's going to work ‑‑ do you mind if I take this real quick?  All of these ‑‑ thank you.  All of these results, by the way, will be made available and we will write a report that creates that puts all of that together and that will be available hopefully if not in January, by February latest.  But the point is what we did was we so wonderfully cut up all the results.  She organized the results.  So there's a few open ended questions at the end of the questionnaire and she basically cut up and put up all of these into four different envelopes meaning four different categories that are reflected here.  And each of these points was a different point that somebody had raised.  So the idea with the small group discussions is that these will be a point and a starting point for everybody to go about and then with that said, we can go ahead and introduce this.



>> (speaking low)



>> Okay.  Fair enough.  So, um, so actually before I introduce those facilitators, since I talked about this as well.  We were overwhelmed about how many people were ‑‑ we were excited about what we were doing and appreciate that.  We have a sign up sheet if you would like to learn more about this and keep up with this initiative.  If you're interested in taking part later or if you're interested in that kind of thing.  We ask you to opt.  We will not spam you or anything like that.  We will take it from here.  Do you want to add anything?



>> Yeah.  We won't spam you.  We'll just send few videos of cute kittens playing around, just a few of them.  I would encourage you to ‑‑ when you break out into groups, really think of this as non‑formal work and give your creation and imagination a thrive because it's a good way to do that after a few days of some intense sessions and topics.  Use your humor to think proactively on what might be the solutions of this issue of ours.  So I was wanting to ask you does fan festive or communicating Internet government sound ridiculous enough?  If it does, please opt and we will continue communication and we will really love if you would involve writing a recommendation sheet and something we will make a structured way to really motivate us to think about and talk about this in the future.  We also think to recommend about maybe thinking about the possibilities of a coalition that will deal is with issues and the challenges and the ways to improve communication so that might be the continuation of our future work.



>> So without further adieu, our FIRST facilitator will be small groups, which I know the room is not perfect for that, but basically our FIRST facilitator will be Jennifer.  She's over here and she's with Asia and she's going to be leading the discussion about creating analogies and using ‑‑



>> And target groups.



>> Forgive me.  She's going to be leading the discussion about tailoring to target groups including talking about friends diversity and new steak holders.  She can be in that corner over there.  Yeah.  If anybody that is ‑‑ wants to talk about how to create new analogies and use simple language, please join her over here.  I'm so sorry.  Tailored to target groups.  We split it up.  Why don't you do this because I think you're a little bit better with the introductions.



>> Thank you.  So anybody who wants to talk about how to tailor target groups and how to speak locally can join Jen on the left corner.  Dan, please.  Wave.  Heying be moderating the group who will talk about the engaging with academia in schools.  So you may choose whatever type a part of the room you want.  Just follow Dan if you to speak about how to reach academia.  Creating analogies and using simple language.  Denise here.  Wave.  We're doing this so bad.  We need coffee.  Okay.  Yes.  He is moderating the group about the academia in schools.  So go there if you want to talk about that.  Dan is doing the analogies.  And I will try to speak about mentoring newcomers, but just give me five minutes.  I might be confused about my topic.  I will be in that corner of the room.  So I would also encourage you to switch groups in case you're totally confused about what are the groups here.  We will keep the slide.  If you want to switch groups, if you want to maybe participate in two or three of them, you are absolutely free to stand up and to change the group.  And I would also motivate to you use the printed comments and to think about them and reflect about them.  What do you think about them?  Are they useful enough and can they be used in future communications?  So with that, I will give us 5, 6 minutes to divide into groups and we have up to 60 minutes working in the groups.  Afterwards, we will share the outcomes of the working groups.  We'll have the reps for each much the groups.  But some of you wants to volunteer and to take the notes in the group, I encourage you to also do that and share the notes with us.  We will assemble that in one report.  Five minutes to break out into groups.  If somebody is managing to repeat the groups has coffee for me.  Yeah.



>> Mentoring academian schools tailoring to target groups and back there is analogies.  Yeah.






(Discussion breakout Groups)









>> Michael:  Okay, everyone.  I know you're having incredible discussions, but we're unfortunately running out of time.  If you'd like to stay where you are, that's completely fine because there's microphones everywhere.  But if you want to come back to the front and if you really could just take about two minutes to just give ‑‑ I know it's been a lot of time to speak.  If you can take ‑‑ if the facilitators or the people that were taking notes could just give about a 2‑minute overview of what you discussed, that way we can move forward.  So ‑‑ do we have any volunteers of who would like to speak FIRST?  Who would like to speak FIRST on behalf of the group, I mean?  Don't everybody volunteer at once.



>> We'll go FIRST.



>> And when you're giving an overview, please just a give a brief methodology of how you frame the discussion just so we know.



>> JENNIFER:  My name is Jennifer and I was facilitating the second group which is tailoring to target groups.  Quick note about our methodology.  We actually had a smaller group.  So we kind of tried to sort the comments or the responses into categories.  We came up with six categories and I'll just read them really briefly for you.  First is relevance.  The second one is local content.  Third one is regional and global collaboration.  Fourth one is capacity building.  The fifth one is diversity and the sixth one, which is the last one is new channels and ways.  We then kind of just sorted it out the different comments and we came out with a few that we really liked the text of and I'm just going to go through those really quickly.  Do we have enough time for that?



>> Michael:  Could you just maybe pick out a few that you really, really enjoy?  I'm sorry.  We're cutting across close.



>> So the first find is to relevance is target audience.  The Sunday one is we need to involve more people from the global society and not just enclosed circles.  So to include new comers.  A third one was to use practical examples.  So less abstraction and use something more relevant of the targeted person or targeted person in the daily lives.  Fourth one is language.  So local content is local language to really speak to you.  The and last one is multi‑lingualism and diversity to have people create content.  I think just did talk about this one.  So maybe I'll just stop here and let the other groups summarize.



>> Michael:  In case anybody else wants to come at the end of it, please do.  Do you mind ‑‑ can I also volunteer you as well?



>> Sure.  So I was facilitating the group that was talking about analogies and simple ways to explain Internet Governance.  And the methodology that we use is we used the comments from the survey as a starting point.  So we read some of them, but then we engaged in a discussion of the challenges that we face in our different jobs and the different types of communities that we're trying to communicate with.  It was actually really helpful for me.  And I just want to list since we were ray group about analogies, I want to list analogies that came up in our group.  The internet is like water.  So if you get poison in the water, things go bad.  Another one was kind of an urban planning analogy of if the streets broken, you call the mayor.  So if the Internet is broken, who do you call?  You're thinking about the city as data flow.  Specifically to block chain, there is like the analogy of using it as counting.  We weren't convinced it was an effective one, but that came up.  Architecture is similar to the urban planning one.  The structure and building and the fact that architecture is still being built and that's one of the analogies describing the way the internet governance is evolving.  And the other was similar in terms of governance was kind of thinking about global warming as another big topic that has global implications but local ramifications as a way to talk about global governance.  One thing is there's this tension between breaking it Dun into really small bits of like, for example, trying to explain neutrality with analogy versus recognizing that the Internet is interconnected and if you make one change one place, it's going to affect order things as well.  Other times you really need to maintain a holistic perspective.  A key was always making sure it's relatable to the people you're talking about and often times that is done through talking about one examples from people that they know or people that they can imagine.  And also Connecting it to basic human rights or other values that they share.  We actually talked about a lot, but I'll just leave it at that.



>> Michael:  Thank you very much.  Can we go ahead ‑‑ you want to do it?  Can we go straight to you?  Yeah.



>> So, I was facilitating group 3 on how to engage with schools and academia.  We basically covered a lot of things and luckily all the comments were pointing towards the same issue, which is whether there should be internet governance courses in the structure or in the curriculum of primary high schools and universities.  And unsurprisingly, there was a consensus that Internet Governance should be part of the curriculum of all the courses, but then we ran into or covered different issues that might arise.  Starting with schools, the third thing that we kind of talked about was whether it should be mandatory or it should be an optional course.  If it should be part of the primary school or high school, how specific that should be and then all the challenges of when we think of internet governance of course Internet Governance, what are we talking?  Whether it should be integrated or a separate course and who are the implications of having that decision into the curriculum of a kid or a person who can already make decision when they're in high school.  And other issues that came up was when we were talking about a course in internet governance and we were talking about this is something we should be implementing globally.  What are the issues when there's a not a lot of access to the Internet and whether there should be priority instead of just itching people about Internet.  But then one thing that came up is that when you teach this course to make people more aware of the importance of the Internet and that can foster a more campaigns about having more access.  Another issue that came up was how to train the trainers.  So depending on the content how you can be of capacity for peel who are going to teach these courses and then when we moved on to talk about universities, issues that came up was how to reach out to university professors, how to convince them that Internet Governance is important and if it's important in which courses it should be taught.  If it's more general and broad subject of every person in a university should be aware of or whether it is specific to discipline and courses.  And we also talked about the role of governments and creating side programs not only in the curriculum of schools, but also online courses and so on and also the importance of bringing other steak holders into these efforts such as the courses of the Internet Society and these other stakeholders that can contribute to these debates.  So that's ‑‑



>> Michael:  Thank you very much.  Last Leona.



>> Leona:  Great intro because the things that we've been talking about are actually starting with online courses that are already existing over the internet.  So we pointed out to few recommendations that practically the community should start from the basics and from the online courses that are already available.  Such as ISOC learn course, I can learn courses and other available resources online.  We all know there's plenty of them.  Maybe we should think about the directions to think about better promotions so they're more visible to the interest of communities.  There is also conclusion that simply there are different types of new comers and different types much communities that need different types of mentorship.  Not all of the new comers need the same approach, not all of the new comers have the same needs and the communities they're wanting to participate are different by their purpose, by their work and by their size.  So we should have that in mind.  And there is no one magic solution for all of it.  What came as a conclusion that basic 1 to 1 communication and the work where more experienced members of the communities are communicating with the ones who are just entering is the key that creates friendship that creates personal connection between them, that creates that very learning concept and learning connection between people.  From that point, mentorship programs should be tailored to meet the needs of regions and the local needs also and they should face from starting from 1 to 1 communication to practically motivating people who are being mentored to talk with their friends, talk with their little groups and their communities and then there's local regions.  So that would be like few points about the mentorship.  Thank you.



>> Michael:  Thank all of you so much for being a part of this and for taking this time.  I really can't stress enough about how ‑‑ how, you know, this is ‑‑ this whole thing is volunteer work.  We're doing this on our own time because we care about this topic and we really appreciate how much you're willing to help us with this and help us to help advance this as well.  Hopefully maybe by the time, you know, more work is done in this particular field, we won't have to tell our parents or friends that we just do that thing on the Internet.  Don't worry about it.  Just be happy.  Don't worry.  I can pay rent.  Basically aside from that, I thinks sign up sheet if you'd like to know the responses and all that sort of thing.  If you'd like to get our final report, it's over there.  I really cannot think Jen and Dan and obviously (?) enough.  Thank you so much for being a part of this session.  Thank you to my coordinators and on‑organizers.  Agustina who couldn't make it and thank you to Mark who is our repetitor and Krishna agree to be remote Mod righter.  Also I always like to thank the person that's transcripting because that's going to be really helpful to us later.  Thank you very much person that's transcripting.  Can you write your name.



>> Yes.  My name is Monica.



>> Michael:  So thank you all very much.  Thank you, Monica.  We'll be in touch with and you hopefully we'll do more work in the future on this.  Thank you again so much.