IGF 2021 Newsletter: August 2021

Default user picture


IGF 2021 Newsletter: August 2021

In this Newsletter 

Message from the MAG Chair

A few changes to look out for in 2021

In 2020, once it became evident that we would not be able to have a face-to-face IGF as planned, the idea of a virtual IGF quickly took hold with everyone involved inspired by the IGF 2021 theme, “Virtually together for an Internet for human resilience and solidarity”. It was not easy, and it was not perfect, but vIGF 2020 succeeded in being large (6150 registered participants from 173 countries and more than 15,000 live viewers of the high level sessions on UN Web TV), more gender-equal than any previous IGF (50% of session organisers and 47% of all participants were women) and more inclusive of new people, with 59% of all attendees being at their first global IGF.

vIGF2020 was a truly collective effort by the MAG, the Secretariat, the UN (many UN agencies contributed), the original host country, Poland, past host countries, IGF donors, and thousands of individuals and organisations from across the stakeholder spectrum.

It also produced a set of digestible and reusable outputs, like its predecessors, which resulted in the 2019 Berlin IGF messages (building on a tradition which started with the Geneva IGF messages in 2017 and continued with the Paris IGF messages in 2018). And, for the first time, the IGF reflected participation statistics not just based on region but also on the basis of high, middle and low-income countries. 40% of IGF participants in 2020 were from low and middle-income countries, presenting a clear target for the IGF to address as it aims to be more inclusive.

But responding effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic has not been the IGF's only recent challenge. [...]

Continue Reading on the MAG Chair’s Blog

Register for IGF 2021

All stakeholders wishing to participate in IGF 2021, including its preparatory and engagement phase, as well as the 16th IGF in Katowice, are required to register through the IGF website.

:: :: REGISTER FOR IGF 2021 :: ::

IGF 2021 Programme

The  IGF 2021 process is composed of a preparatory and engagement phase and the 16th annual IGF, hosted by the Government of Poland in Katowice from 6 to 10 December 2021 under the overarching theme ‘Internet United’. 

The  issue-focused programme of the 16th IGF in Katowice features different types of sessions organized by various stakeholders from different regions. Visit the IGF website, learn which sessions are selected through a competitive evaluation process, and start building your own personal IGF 2021 schedule.

See the IGF 2021 Programme 

IGF 2021 Preparatory and Engagement Phase

The preparatory and engagement phase is underway until November and includes several engagement opportunities linked to IGF 2021 issue areas, as well as to intersessional work and NRIs. A diverse offering of capacity development sessions will help you prepare for Katowice and maximise your participation. All IGF stakeholders registered for the annual meeting are strongly encouraged to join.

See the IGF 2021 Preparatory & Engagement Schedule

A Hybrid 2021 IGF

IGF 2021 will take place in a hybrid format. "Hybrid" means blending participation in the IGF so participants in all sessions will be able to contribute equally as peers whether they are online or onsite. The objective is to make participation in the IGF meaningful and inclusive for all participants. The MAG, IGF Secretariat and the host country are fully committed with the goal of having a global event that is open and inclusive and able to connect stakeholders from across regions no matter the current health challenges and travel restrictions that they may confront given the ongoing pandemic. In the next weeks, a document detailing clarifications on frequently asked questions will be shared with the community.

You can learn more about the Hybrid 2021 IGF at our Town Hall on 20 September, exchange ideas, and give us suggestions. We are eager to hear from you.

Register for Town Hall on Hybrid Format

IGF 2021 Music Night 

The IGF’s popular Music Night is making a comeback in Katowice, and you’re invited to perform! If you play a musical instrument and/or sing, fill out our sign-up sheet until 15 September.

Learn More

Host Country Competition “My Internet of the Future”

The UN IGF 2021 Host Country Poland has opened the global youth competition, "My Internet of the Future"!

Anyone age 18 - 28 can take part. The competition is aimed at young people from all over the world. There are 3 entry categories: poster, film or essay, which can be submitted from 1st September to 8th October, 2021. 

Visit the competition website to submit your work! More information is available on Facebook, Facebook Event, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok.

Intersessional Activities

Policy Network on Meaningful Access (PNMA)

What does meaningful and universal Internet access mean to you? Share your experience to build sound recommendations for achieving meaningful access, aligned with the Secretary-General's Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and the Sustainable Development Goals. Join the mailing list!

Policy Network on Environment (PNE)

The Multistakeholder Working Group will review progress on the PNE report at its upcoming meeting on 8 September. All report workstreams are still welcoming co-authors. Interested community members should contact workstreams leads listed on the PNE page. The 15 September PNE meeting will be joined by Jacob Malthouse (Foresight Cleantech Accelerator). Register to join!

Best Practice Forum Cybersecurity (BPF) on the use of norms to foster trust and security

The work streams of the BPF Cybersecurity on the use of norms to foster trust and security focus on the drivers of cyber norms; testing norms concepts against Internet events and BPF outreach (WS3). To get involved in preparatory work, participate in the 16 October meeting and join the mailing list.

Best Practice Forum (BPF) on Gender and Digital Rights

The BPF Gender and Digital Rights has published its Summary of the BPF Learning sessions on the concept of gendered disinformation, a series of exchanges with experts and guest speakers. At its next call on 16 September, BPF coordinators will present the draft outline for the report on gendered disinformation. More information is available on the BPF webpage; join the mailing list here

Dynamic Coalitions (DCs)

At their upcoming coordination meeting on 2 September, DCs will start planning their IGF 2021 main session. Several coalitions will also actively contribute to the Preparatory and Engagement Phase. In parallel, work continues on the paper exploring DCs' role within the IGF ecosystem. Stay up to date with news from individual DCs and the DC Coordination Group.

National, Regional and Youth IGF initiatives (NRIs)

137 NRIs continue to plan their sessions at IGF 2021 and explore ways to support the engagement of parliamentarians in their IGF-like processes. A brochure on the matter is available in 7 different languages.

IGF Capacity Development

The IGF is continuing to implement capacity development activities, including recent support to 21 NRIs selected to receive grants toward their meetings. Next up, on 8 September, is a capacity development workshop, organized in the context of the Preparatory & Engagement Phase and as part of ‘Our Digital Future’ series, addressing digital transformation and cybersecurity. The IGF BPF Cybersecurity, IGF DC on Internet Standards, Security and Safety, and Microsoft, are co-facilitators. To join this and other upcoming capacity development sessions, check out the IGF 2021 pre-programme.

We’re supporting schools on Internet governance (SIGs)! The IGF Secretariat is cooperating with SIGs and the Dynamic Coalition on Schools on Internet Governance (DC-SIG) on an international SIGs syllabus. 

3rd Open Consultations and MAG Meeting

The Third IGF 2021 Open Consultations and MAG Meeting will take place on 29 September - 1 October 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland, in a hybrid format. Details & Registration

IGF 2022 MAG Renewal

Nominations from all stakeholder and regional groups for the 2022 Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG), as well as for the 2022 MAG Chair, are now being accepted until 10 September.  

How to Nominate

For Your Action!

Coming to Katowice for the 16th annual IGF?

Make sure to register as soon as possible.

Register your remote hub

Organize your network’s participation from your city, home or office. Register remote hubs until 20 September.

Key dates and deadlines

2 September, 13:00 UTC

7 September, 11:00 UTC

8 September, 07:30 UTC

8 September, 12:30 UTC

16 September, 10:00 UTC

16 September, 14:00 UTC

20 September, 13:00 UTC

20 September, 23:59 UTC


DC Coordination Meeting

MAG Virtual Meeting XVII

PNE Meeting

“Our Digital Future” Capacity Development Workshop

PNMA Meeting

BPF Gender & Digital Rights Meeting

IGF 2021 Town Hall: Hybrid Format in Practice

Register Remote Hubs




See also: Full IGF calendar

Please feel free to share this newsletter with others.


Follow us