Our second training, which took place in Berlin, focused on the so called Multi-stakeholder Approach. It was linked to questions like who is part of that process and what role youth plays in there. Typical for a multi-stakeholder process is, that everyone who is affected by the topic can take part in it. There are no requirements to do so.
The training started on Saturday. Before dinner we all split and explored the city on our own. Some went to the city and have a look around, some cooked some excellent Chili, others took a nap. After dinner we all went to the city to get familiar with Berlin’s nightlife.
The next day, Sunday, the actual work had to start. First we looked at the actual terms “Policy and Politics”. What do they mean? Policy are the actual rules, laws or legislation created, it is the outcome of politics. Politics is the process of making policies. It looks at motivations, incentives and reasoning of decision makers. To understand the policy making process understanding politics is important.
We were introduced to what a policy cycle is and the five main stages: agenda setting, policy formation, policy implementation, policy monitoring and policy review. To have a deeper understanding of the stages we went through the steps starting with agenda setting.
- Agenda setting basically describes the process of how topics come to being discussed
- Policy formation is how from a problem you come to propose legal solutions
- Policy implementation means, once the law is made, to use and enforce it
- Policy monitoring is checking how you are doing with the implementation and if there are any problems
- Policy review checks if the law needs to be changed or amended, if so the cycle starts from the top again
Learning about the EU policy process was important because identifying a problem is only the first step. Finding a way to get into the process and change the outcome is a logical next step. As youth our approach should be much easier but definitely not less important. Getting our voice heard in the IGF as youth, so proposing issues as youth, having our voice heard as panelists and active participants, commenting on the outcome documents of IGF, letting the governments and private sector know our stance on certain topics and following the policy developments was the outline four our policy process. It was a great time to start planning since the IGF would launch their call for issues in one or two months’ time!
The next step was listing the topics we thought would be hot in 2016, some of them were: copyright, privacy, mass surveillance, fragmentation of the internet and ethical issues dealing with the expansion/growth of Internet of Things. It was very beneficial since once you know you want to make an impact on a certain topic and now we knew which routes to take in order to make an actual change. We tested our knowledge in Internet Governace on Christian, one of the chairpersons of the Austrian Youth Council, introducing him to the topic and its stakeholders.
Later we met our fellow project member Florian in a Skype call, he could not join us in Berlin because of unforeseen illness. Together we checked the youth IGF structures but the biggest youth structure we’re a part of YCIG, doesn’t have much structure at the moment. However, we’re all part of the teams creating a structure for YCIG, so it is a work in progress.
During our visits with the different stakeholders throughout the week we visited Philippe Gröschel, a policy advocate of Telefonica/O2 who deals mainly with government relationships and regulation. He explained how Telefonica/O2 deals with conflicts of interest and explained their agenda for upcoming policy and their motivations. It helped to put them on our stakeholder map and see how they interact with other stakeholders.
Also that day we had a Skype call with Lee Hibbard of the Democracy Department of the Council of Europe. That was quite inspiring for us; he addressed the complexity of internet governance and the fact that it is important to choose your niche both stakeholders as topics. It was great advise since motivation and perseverance is what makes the real change. It was great to hear from a stakeholder that youth can make a difference.
We grabbed lunch at the Microsoft “digital eatery”, where all hipsters were working on their MacBooks and playing with their iPhones. We wondered what Microsoft thought of this 🙂
After meeting a few stakeholders it was our turn to make our own stakeholder map. We made the map showing out of our youth perspective the most important stakeholders. For example human rights activists may engage to safeguard the privacy and security of activist working undercover in a totalitarian regime. They don’t want the internet as a tool for surveillance and control, but a tool for free speech. These activists will stand up for different values than the regime they are contesting. In such a country a private telecommunication company may care mostly about profit and business models. They would fear more regulation and influence of governments. This could lead to them either agreeing with the governments attacks on the activists or them standing up for privacy and security to ensure customer loyalty.
Even when organisations are in the same stakeholder group, they can have different aims and motivations. So the freedom of speech activists clash with other civil society groups which have their focus more on child-protection or hate speech, when we discuss the question, if authorities should be allowed to delete content or restrict access to the internet.
While staying in Berlin you also have to see a little of the city of course, so we took a city tour. This time not an ordinary tour, visiting Brandenburg Gate, Bundestag and TV tower. But visiting places normally tourist would never see. It was a street art tour, seeing all kids of sights at the streets and hearing their stories and messages.
One evening we took part in the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) talk with Bill Drake on “Internet Fragmentation”. Internet Fragmentation can be any number of things that create divisions on the public internet, starting from local area networks with shared IPs to large scale state interventions to limit access to the internet or ban contents. The study presented seeks to give an overview of the different forms of fragmentation and starts a dialogue on further regulation/deregulation of the internet. Internet Fragmentation was not presented as inherently bad but as a starting point for discussion. More information can be found in this keynote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ3CbJthq_o
On our last day we met Christina Dinar from the Amadeu Antonio Foundation. She works with the foundation to combat hate speech online. Their work focuses mainly on grass roots activism and she shared stories from their campaigns and how to deal with potential community backlash.
Bill Drake is such a nice guy and he explains things very simply
When we first met Lorena she very nice and very pregnant.
The halal boy clicked some serious cookies but there are more cookies than anyone can click in a lifetime.
Sonia couldn’t find any good bratwurst.
Auke is officially from the Balkan .
Stop sleeping David!
Club Mate has a special place in our hearts.