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Internet Governance 15 July 2015

ISOC Internet Governance Event Toolkit: Bringing the discussions to the people

By Raquel GattoFormer Senior Manager, Policy

“Thinking global, acting local” has been the Internet Society’s (ISOC) mantra over the past 20 years. In a survey that attracted over 800 participants last March, our community reaffirmed that was the right approach in the particular field of Internet governance. This approach was also at the heart of last week’s InterCommunity event that gathered over 2500 people from over 100 countries.

You – our community – also told us that one of the key priorities for ISOC should be to step up in strengthening the Internet governance ecosystem: by convening dialogues where all stakeholders can share insights and best practices, and by taking these discussions to the people, at the local level.

Indeed, with the acceleration of Internet governance discussions this year (IANA, WSIS+10, etc.), many of the Internet Society chapters and members have expressed a specific request: How do we take critical Internet governance discussions to the people, at the local level?”

We decided to put all the orders into one plate: a Local IG Event toolkit!

As a disclaimer, by using the terminology of “Local IG event” we are not solely referring to local events similar to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) but to any form or shape of IG dialogue that brings together the multistakeholder and bottom up approaches.

The Local IG Event toolkit

After discussing with a few leaders of national and regional IG events, we decided to build resources that the community, and particularly our chapters can easily use in their local context. The draft toolkit is comprised of two parts: mapping the current events (see the current map) and providing guidance on key elements to plan your local IG event.

Whether this is your first experience in creating a local Internet governance event or if you have done one before, this toolkit offers concrete tips to get started.

There is no unique formula, one size fits all! But there are key ingredients to have a successful recipe of your local IG event and that`s all the toolkit is meant for. Making it happen is more important than trying to create a perfect event. Trust the process and empower your stakeholders to have the conversations.

  • Be persistent in creating this opportunity for open discussion;
  • Be creative to address the different challenges around the relevant local Internet governance issues;
  • Be inspired by the successful examples worldwide;
  • Be encouraged to make this the best event you can.

You are not alone in your journey and can count on the support of your Internet Society community and staff to make this a reality (learn more about ISOC’s grants programme here).

Also keep in mind that it is not at all about having one single event, it is all about a way of creating a bottom up internet ecosystem within the local community. The event can be a catalyst for ongoing local multistakeholder dialogue.


This draft toolkit is a starting document for an ongoing work, meaning you can contribute anytime! How? For example, let us know if you are planning to organize a local IG event so we can pin it down on the map.

Also, tell us your local IG event story, your experience, lessons learned and challenges while organizing an IG event for your community. Any suggestions can be sent to <> We will update the toolkit based on your feedback.

Last year, ISOC was involved in supporting 24 regional and local IGFs-like worldwide and we aim to have even higher numbers for this year! Help us spread the local IG multistakeholder and bottom up dialogue!

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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