Ceremony, impassioned workshop exchanges, stupefying speeches all culminating into a gala dinner are a befitting account of the first day of the 7th Internet Governance Forum (IGF).
Stakeholders gathered at the backdrop of the Baku expo to attend the opening ceremony. Speaker after speaker stressed the multi-stakeholderism and inclusivity of the IGF. Whether some of the speakers champion this model of Internet governance is a moot point and indeed some delegates will be at odds to justify their positions during the course of the meeting. If you managed to endure this session and sit through twenty four five minute speeches (some were longer!), well done!
Nonetheless, the vocality of some speakers didn’t go unnoticed. Swedish Pirate Party MEP, Amelia Andersotter concluded her address by swearing using the F-word; an IGF first. In relation to her distaste for telecom operators and copyright holders she uttered “f*** you, this is my culture!”
Next was lunch that turned out to be a real ordeal requiring the forbearance only a Zen master could muster. The crowd told it all; We were hungry, queues were long and the food racks were empty. This author ran out of luck and had to solicit lunch from the nearby Bakutel exhibition (a gracious fellow ambassador led me to this venue and I owe her my gratitude).
During the afternoon going through my tweets, it was evident vehement passions were drawn from Workshop 140 entitled The International Telecommunication Regulations and Internet Goverance: multistakeholder. The World Conference on International Communications (WCIT) and its accompanying revision of the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR) is combustive fodder inflaming many who oppose overt government intervention and regulation of communicaiton in cyberspace. This author decided instead to attend to a more sober, staid and undramatic workshop because of its more technical slant; DNSSEC for ccTLDs. In spite of its name which would put off a less technically inclined audience, the discussions were quite interactive and I managed to get tangible gold nuggets of earned wisdom on successful approaches to securing the domain space.
The climax of day one was the gala dinner where the entire IGF mob congregated at the Buta palace for a banquet of exquisite food and drink. As ambassadors we regaled ourselves and had a very enjoyable time.