IGF-USA 2021

The Internet Governance Forum USA (IGF-USA) 2021 planning cycle has officially commenced. We enter this year with uncertainty about the format of the forum. However, we will navigate the uncertainty with our continued commitment to facilitating multistakeholder dialogue on the issues and pressures facing the Internet and its governance. As always, the Steering Committee begins its planning process with an open Call for Topics. Please use this opportunity to help us in identifying the issues that should take priority. The Call for Topics is open to everyone and will remain open until February 19, 11:59 PM EST.

If you have questions, or would like to learn more about the process, please review this page. If you have additional questions reach out to [email protected].

About the IGF-USA Planning Process

The goal of the Call for Topics is to gather input on the topics that people care about and establish a basis for which subjects the IGF-USA should consider covering at this year’s conference.

After the Call for Topics closes, the submissions will be published on the IGF-USA Wiki (example from 2020) and the Steering Committee will discuss the subjects, trends and themes that emerged out of the process. The submissions and subsequent discussion will be used to develop our Subject Matter survey which is distributed widely and asks respondents to rank the session subjects. Based on the results of this survey, the Steering Committee will select the session subjects that will populate the IGF-USA 2021 Agenda.

Once the session are confirmed, each session will be organized and developed by independent teams, which are open to anyone to join. These teams will fine-tune the substance of the session, deciding on subject matter, format, speakers and other session details.

Important Dates

All of the processes described are open to anyone interested in contributing. Please note the following key dates. If you are not subscribed to the IGF-USA listserv, please subscribe here for updates: https://igfusa.us/mailman/listinfo/igf_usa_disc_igfusa.us

  • January 22 – February 19 – Call For Topics
  • February 25 – Steering Committee Meeting to discuss results from Call for Topics and the Subject Matter Survey process.
  • March 1 – March 12 – Subject Matter Survey Open Period
  • March 18 – Steering Committee Meeting to discuss Subject Matter Survey Results and confirm sessions for the IGF-USA 2021
  • March 22 – April 2 – Session Team Sign-ups


Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How does the Call for Topics factors into the selection process for IGF-USA session?

A: The Call for Topics is used to gather possible topics that the IGF-USA should consider covering in a particular year. The results are reviewed and discussed by the Steering Committee and used to create the Subject Matter Survey. However, it is important to note that the amount of times a particular topic is submitted does not necessarily impact the likelihood of that topic being selected for the IGF-USA 2021. In the past, there have been topics only submitted once that were selected over topics which more submissions based on their performance on the survey.

Q: How Many Submissions Can I Make?

a: Respondents are allowed to make multiple (up to 3) topic submissions. However, respondents that intend to submit multiple topics should create a separate submission for each topic.

Q: What sections of my submission will be published?

A: The IGF-USA is an open and collaborative process. As such, the submissions are published on the IGF-USA Wiki. However, parts of the submission are not published.

We DO publish: Submission Timestamp, Stakeholder Group, Topic Submitted, Additional Comments and relevant categories.

We DO NOT publish: Name, Email Address, or Interest in participating in the planning or speaking at a session.

If you indicate an interest in participating in planning, or speaking at a session, we will provide your information to the appropriate organizers.

Q. If I submit a topic, does this commit me to having to organize a session or speak at it?

A. No. The Steering Committee encourage topic submissions from everyone interested in the IGF-USA regardless of whether or not they want to commit to a larger role. Let us know what you want to hear about, so we know what sessions to organize!

Q. I have a proposed session I’d like to submit, can I do that?

A. Right now, the Steering Committee is only collecting topics. For now, submit the topic, and make sure you vote when the Subject Matter Survey is distributed. If the topic you are interested is selected for an IGF-USA Session, you can join the organizing team and bring your ideas to help collaboratively develop the session that you are interested in.

You can indicate on the submission form whether you’d like to help organize the session if it is selected and/or potentially be a speaker. These opportunities will be announced on the listserv and at Steering Committee meetings, but indicating your interest is the best way to ensure that you don’t miss any of these announcements.

Q. I’d like to speak at IGF-USA. Do I need to submit a topic?

A. No, but you may want to suggest the topic(s) on which you would like to speak to ensure they are considered. You can also indicate whether you would like to potentially be a speaker on the submission form.