The Internet Governance Forum USA (IGF-USA) is an initiative that brings people across different fields and sectors together to dialogue about the future of the Internet and its governance. Each year, the IGF-USA hosts a conference to facilitate the discussion of a variety of major themes and issues surrounding the internet.
The conference planning is led by volunteers who use public input and surveys to determine the topics of highest priority for the community. Once the sessions have been selected, volunteers can then sign up to collaboratively build sessions that fall within their range of expertise or interests. Involvement in the IGF-USA conference planning is flexible and open to all, so people can join the process at any time during the planning cycle based on what works best for their availability and commitment level.
Below is a general overview of the IGF-USA planning procedure, although it may vary from year to year.
Join the Listserv
Call For Topics
In late January or early February, an open call for input is sent out to the community allowing participants to suggest and describe topics they would like discussed at the IGF-USA conference.
Subject Matter Survey:
The Call for Topics results are compiled into a survey where participants can vote on the suggested topics and themes.
The results of the Subject Matter Survey are analyzed and discussed by the Steering Committee in order to select the official sessions for the conference.
Anyone can sign up to help organize each of the selected conference sessions, even if they were not involved in the early planning phases.
After sign-ups close, session groups meet periodically up until the conference to develop the content and format of their session.
The conference is typically held in July, and is free and open to all.
The Steering Committee meets throughout the planning process, and plays a crucial role in interpreting the surveys and deciding on sessions and general conference logistics. Like all other aspects of the conference, Steering Committee meetings can be attended by anyone, regardless of their previous participation throughout the planning cycle.
ISOC-DC is the current secretariat of the IGF-USA. The tasks of the secretariat include scheduling calls and meetings, distributing documents, recording and displaying IGF-USA activities, assisting in event promotion, and other administrative duties. You can learn more about ISOC-DC’s role as the secretariat here.
Mailing Lists and Social Media
To stay up to date with planning opportunities, surveys, links, meetings, sign-ups and other important information surrounding the planning process as described above, you can use the following channels.