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A Global Dialogue around WSIS Prepcom 3

Milton Mueller

As a contribution to the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the Internet Governance Project, led by Professor Derrick L. Cogburn, is supporting a web-based Global Deliberative Dialogue on Internet Governance, from 19-30 September 2005. For more information, and to register, go to: http://www.webdialogues.net/igp.

The purpose of this Global Dialogue is to raise awareness of Internet Governance, to broaden participation in the policy debate, and to provide concrete input into the final deliberations during the Third Preparatory Meeting for the WSIS, taking place concurrently with the Global Dialogue in Geneva.

Additionally, the web-based structure of the dialogue will allow diverse voices from around the world to contribute to these important deliberations without traveling to Geneva. The Global Dialogue explores the findings and recommendations of the official report of the UN Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG), and will address:

(1) The WGIG itself, and lessons learned from its processes;
(2) The working consensus definition of Internet Governance;
(3) The public policy issues identified in the WGIG report;
(4) The roles and responsibilities outlined by the report; and
(5) The four governance models proposed by the report.

Each of the four main sections of the dialogue will be introduced by an optional real-time "synchronous" webconference that will feature updates from participants on the ground in Geneva. At the heart of the Global Dialogue are the daily "asynchronous" web-based deliberations on the public policy issues and governance models proposed for Internet Governance. For each discussion topic, panels of experts and active participants in the WSIS processes will be available. The digital library includes extensive and searchable background information. Daily summaries will capture the main discussion points and questions raised. Periodic polls will capture the viewpoints of participants and may aid in the development of consensus positions.

This dialogue is hosted by the Internet Governance Project, in conjunction with the Collaboratory on Technology Enhanced Learning Communities (Cotelco) at the School of information Studies, the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs at the Maxwell School, the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), and WestEd.

Your participation in this Global Deliberative Dialogue is critical. We want to be as inclusive as possible to broaden and increase global participation in and awareness of the issues of Internet Governance. The ideas discussed in the dialogue will be fed into the decision-making processes in Geneva, and may help to serve as model for global deliberative policy dialogues in general.

Please share this announcement with other individuals, groups and countries. The dialogue website is publicly available. To learn more about the Dialogue and to register to participate, please visit the dialogue Web site: www.webdialogues.net/igp.

By Milton Mueller, Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology School of Public Policy
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