On the 30th of June 2015, the NETmundial’s Coordination Council held its inaugural meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The meeting served as a platform for the adoption of key documents, discussion of the Initiative’s progress thus far as well as serving as a platform to discuss the next steps for the Initiative.
The key outcome of the meeting was the official adoption of the Initiative’s Terms of Reference (TOR). This adoption follows a four-month process where continuous consultation between the global Internet Community and the Council has been occurring. The positive outcome to the meeting was the TOR document that aimed to continue the cooperative spirit of the NETmundial Sao Paulo meeting which took place in April 2014. Netmundial 2014, established a reference for governments, private sector, civil society, the technical community and academia from all over the world, to address Internet government challenges. The TOR document also points out the rationale and commitment of the Initiative, whilst highlighting the scope and role of the Initiative within the broader Internet Governance system.
The Council emphasised the role the Initiative will take in this broader Internet Governance system by stating that it will provide practical support to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), advocating for the continuation of the IGF. The Council also expressed the Initiative’s commitment to collaboration with all stakeholders in in fulfilling the objective of the World Summit on the Information Society for a “people-centered, inclusive and development oriented information society post 2015”.
The current scope of the Initiative comprises of 6 main activities, namely; (i) furthering the implementation of the NETmundial principles; (ii) they serve as an impartial clearinghouse; (iii) provide a platform for collaboration; (iv) enable communities of expertise; (v) facilitate participation in Internet Governance; and (vi) enable capacity development efforts. This scope of activities further emphasizes that the NETmundial Initiative is not a policy-setting body.
During this meeting, two activities of the Initiative were reviewed and endorsed. These are:
- The beta version of the NETmundial’s Solutions Map. This is a tool designed to support the sharing and collaboration across all Internet governance issues. The Map came about following nine months of engagement and the development of a strategy that would ensure that it is reflective of input emanating from a diverse set of global stakeholders. The Map is currently open for content contributions; and
- The beta version of the NETmundial’s Collaboration Platform. The platform is intended to enable collaboration, cooperation and solicitation of Internet Governance proposals.
A third proposal activity was presented and is up for further discussion. This is the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee’s plan for the enabling of a space for the sharing of best practices on local multistakeholder Internet Governance structures. The aim of this activity is to support capacity development efforts for the communities based in the developing country communities, governments and underserved stakeholders.
The inaugural year for the Initiative ends in June 2016 and marks an important phase in the development of the Initiative, which always seeks to ensure an inclusive goal-fostering environment, effective and innovative engagement and participation through out all activities. During this inaugural period the Initiative receives it’s funding from the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee, ICANN and the World Economic Forum.
The Co-Chairs selected at this meeting have been tasked with examining suitable dates and venues for the next meetings which will be publicised as soon as they are established as one of the main goals of this the NETmundial Initiative is to obtain input and involvement from the global Internet community in moving the Initiative forward.