Tuesday 13th November
It was still raining when we got up this morning, so we caught a taxi to the hotel the free shuttle bus left from.
At the IGF this morning, I went to a session without Jeremy, while he worked on his presentation for the Online Collaboration Dynamic Coalition meeting tomorrow. The topic was Best Practices using the Cybercrime Convention, where I found out all about the Council of Europe’s Cybercrime Convention, which is being adopted all over the world. The presentation telling me what the Council of Europe did was rather flat and boring, and I was tempted to leave, but the following presentation explained the Cybercrime Convention, which I previously had no knowledge of, and I was quite impressed.
I didn’t get to pay too much attention at the rest of the sessions today due to having to look after Doyle and being distracted by the Internet. However, aside from that, I can report that Doyle is very popular at the IGF, and some might say could be used as a tool to promote Jeremy’s PhD. He somehow managed to get what I assume is a UN employee trying to find some journalists to interview Jeremy. They were all busy at the time, so nothing eventuated from it today, but maybe something will happen in the next two days. More people took photos, and some Chinese people even filmed him. I think they liked him the most.
Highlights? Still more free food – morning and afternoon tea. Eating enough of it that we barely needed lunch and dinner. Figuring that we’ll skip lunch altogether tomorrow, because we don’t have any food left in our apartment to make sandwiches to bring, like we’ve been doing previously.
It also stopped raining by the time we caught the free shuttle back to Copacabana, so we were able to walk back to our apartment without getting rained on, unlike yesterday.
Wednesday 14th November
We had a very full on day today. We decided to skip the free bus in the morning in order to have a bit of a sleep in and so I could buy my souvenir lapel pin. Then we caught a taxi to the Windsor Barra in time to catch the last hour of of the StopSpamAlliance Dynamic Coalition meeting, where we learned some terrifying news about the future of spam and zombie computers.
It was yet another day where I didn’t get to pay too much attention in some of the sessions because of Doyle. I did get to listen to the entire session Jeremy lead for the Online Collaboration Dynamic Coalition, though. I felt his presentation had a bit of an agenda with regards to the IGF, but overall it was quite informational. The meeting itself was pretty informal, and very few people attended it. The majority of attendees, I think, were already members of the Dynamic Coalition. It left me with a lot to think about, and I later sent my thoughts to the mailing list.
The lady who tried to get an interview for Jeremy yesterday found us again, but alas, she never returned with a journalist, and Jeremy didn’t want to miss the Security session, so still nothing eventuated.
We left the last session Jeremy wanted to attend due to having to catch the free bus. This was probably a good thing, considering Doyle had just vomited all over the floor and his stroller. He fell asleep in Jeremy’s arms on the way home. I think he must be sick again. The poo he had in his nappy most of the day was quite sloppy. I’d thought it was because he had blackcurrent baby food for breakfast yesterday, but maybe not.
Thursday 15th November
Today was our final day at the IGF, and indeed Rio. We got up at 6am to finish packing our bags, hopped into a taxi and went to the hotel the free bus left from. Contrary to my thought that we’d have to put all our luggage into the top part of the bus with us, it was stowed in a luggage compartment underneath. This made for a much easier transition for the rest of the day, only having to stow the luggage in the hotel until we catch the free shuttle to the airport tonight.
This final day of the IGF has proved far more interesting to pay attention to, largely because its focus followed more along the lines of what Jeremy’s thesis is about. Our first session in the morning was about Fulfilling the Mandate of the IGF, where upon the first panellist from the Brazillian Government touched upon issues I’ve heard Jeremy agree with. When it came to questions and comments from the audience, Jeremy spoke up and relayed his thoughts about how and why the IGF needs reform, and the Brazillian Government panellist was nodding a fair bit to everything Jeremy said, which made me pleased.
We left a little early so we could go to the Reporting Back session, and waited ages until Jeremy was able to report in about the OCDC meeting that was held yesterday. I think it was important for him to do so as it made a public record of what they have tried to achieve, and the difficulties that have occurred when the Secretariat rejected what could’ve been a big leap in the way of online collaboration. This session ran about 40 minutes overtime, which meant “The Way Forward” session was a little short, but it was still a very valuable session. Many comments from the panel and the floor highlighted concerns that I would agree with, such as the lack of time for lunch and networking, that there should be more focus on the workshops and dynamic coalition meetings and less on the main sessions, but that the main sessions could instead be used for the reporting back. There was so much more discussed, but I’ll leave Jeremy to share his thoughts on igfwatch.org instead.
After this session finished on time, there was finally an hour break between it and anything else – a longer break than has been allowed for anything else yet at the IGF.
The “Emerging Issues” session was probably the most interesting session over the last week. The format was different and far better structured than any of the other sessions I’ve been to. I would like to see this structure continue in the future of the IGF meetings. The discussion it generated was very engaging, and a lot more informal than other sessions, and I encourage others to read the transcript when it is posted to intgovforum.org. One of the issues raised that interested me most included inviting the youth to the IGF meeting. I found the second speaker to be rather controversial when it came to discussing social issues and trying to make the Internet less anonymous, but it generated a lot of discussion that I found quite engaging to listen to. I also really liked the chair person, as he really helped to keep the conversation on topic.
Now a quick statement in regards to bringing Doyle to the IGF. I think that, even though I wasn’t really able to pay attention in a number of the sessions, this meeting has been a very valuable experience to take someone so young to. It has enabled Doyle to engage with people of all different races and cultures that we don’t ordinarily encounter in our everyday life, despite Australia being quite a multi-cultural nation. It’s been great to see him interacting them and not worrying about whatever language others speak to him. Oh to be a baby again when communication is limited and without speech. It’s such a beautiful experience to watch him engage with all these people and not be concerned with outside influences telling him what he should think, what he can and cannot do, and who he can and cannot talk to.
I’m going to leave today’s commentary here so I can post this now rather than wait until I’ve finished talking about today, because this is the last chance I’ve got to post until I don’t know when.