Closing Plenary/transcript

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>> SHANE TEWS: First of all, thank you to you all! I'm surprised on a Friday on July that there is more people here at the end of the day than at the beginning of the day. A huge compliment to all of the energy you have put in to today. You want to join me on stage? Are you? We have plans for these seats, guys. You can go! We love to have these participants, there is always fireworks. Do I have? We're changing this from previous years. So the reports on the breakout sessions, it will take place outside this room over cocktails, grab the person that was in a panel that you weren't in, talk to them.

We have a couple of things we want to go through, I like to manage people's expectations. Basically we are going to introduce you to a new person this year, Romella, the Wrangler that kept things going. I have Dustin who honestly did 299% of the work next to Romella. Ethan, thank you for being with us.

And then, as a note, we lost some friends this year who were really integral to the work we have done with IGF, we'll take a moment to have some people remember them. We're asking for 10, 15 minutes of your time. Then the other thing, we're going to close with, Dustin will give you a look at what IGF U.S.A. future, 2018 and beyond will look like with a look at some of the work he's done this year and what we're looking to do.

>> ROMELLA JANENE EL KHARZAZI: I want to talk about the multistakeholder process. I'm certain today you have probably heard that phrase millions of times or maybe it just feels like a million times. As Shane said, I'm fairly new to the IGF. This is my second year being involved. Last year, I had the poor taste of actually complaining about how messy the process felt to me. I felt that we should have been, you know, kind of further along than we actually were, and so Shane and her infinite wisdom said you complained last year, step up to help, I was crowned Wrangler. Thank you for that opportunity. Thank you.

My background is not in IT, I work with data, I do research, that's kind of my day job. Having been a victim of numerous data breaches, I think we got a little angry. I wanted to figure out how I could be involved. Besides being angry, I really do like the Internet, I love me some Twitter, and I like the Internet. I think it is cool. I kind of, you know, poked around, found my way in, and have had the opportunity to be involved and to really try and make a contribution. I think that's the strength of the multistakeholder process, that people who are not IT people can come and be heard. It is a place for business, regulators, consumers to come together and to think about things to try to find solutions.

Despite being slow and maybe messy, it works. You know, today I think it is an example of where it worked, a lot of different people from a lot of different sectors, including just individual contributors such as myself worked on developing this program you were here to enjoy today, I think IGF U.S.A. 2018 has been a success. The multistakeholder process can work and produce results. I think it provides an opportunity for business, again regulators, customers to come together to discuss solutions. I think that you can see that the program developed had input from all, and there were really great ideas shared. I was pushing hard at the beginning of the process, planning process this year, for a trust panel. I didn't get my trust panel, but I was heard and throughout the day I kind of smiled to myself when I heard trust mention in various different aspects of conversation. Even though there wasn't necessarily a trust panel I was influential in some way in the development of the program.

Third, I think the multistakeholder process, it really can educate people who are not in this room, people watching online today or later, they have the opportunity to kind of learn about emerging issues and maybe this will spur them to get involved and try and help improve how the Internet works.

We all know that the Internet is very important to day to day life. Internet governance, it is a thing that helps the government work better.

In closing in my comments, I want to say IGF is very important. IGF U.S.A. is very important. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your continued support and thank you for coming today. Thank you.

>> NILMINI RUBIN: I don't know if you can see me. I'm not a tall person.

I'm here to recognize a friend to many of us, a colleague to many of us, he was passionate about Internet access and connectivity, Manu Bhardwag and he passed away this month at 39. Manu worked, he was a lawyer, a telecom lawyer, he was really interested in how things how people could connect the dots. He worked with the State Department and he was the driving force of global connect, he was a sheer force of will that brought everybody together and he made it happen.

He was very engaged in our community, as you see here, this is Shane's picture from IGF2015. We went to many IGFs and he was he was always very active in all of them, very active here at IGF U.S.A. He was really ready to take it to the next level, with Marilyn Cade's support, he ran to be a part of the IGF selection Committee and we were able to help him deliver his speech. He was so excited about it. He was so excited to work with all of us. He was fun! It wasn't just about the work.

We all had just a great time. All of us can talk about a different story we have had, really just laughing with Manu.

He was a very avid Democrat. He was very political on that front and recognized how to work across the aisle. I was a republican staffer and we worked very closely together, when the new administration came in, we went to the White House together to talk about ways the next the new administration could take global connect forward and really build on it and really increase connectivity as part of the practice. He was a very practical political person.

I thought we could just take a moment to for those of us that were friend with Manu, let's take a moment to remember him. For those of us that didn't have a chance to meet Manu, to think about what we may be doing in our lives to really help take forward his passion for connectivity and for making the world better. So just a quick moment.

Thank you.

>> DUSTIN PHILLIPS: Hey, everyone.

So I also want to take a moment to remember a dear friend, a colleague that we have lost in the past year, David Vyorst. It is still very fresh, this year's IGF U.S.A. just didn't feel the same without having David here and his energy and passion. For those of you that didn't know David, he served as a cochair of the IGF U.S.A. for three years, 2014 to 2017, and during that time he brought a tremendous amount of passion, energy that he poured into this process that made for a better program and event each and every year. In many ways, this legacy that he created is living in today's event, David would have loved the program today. Ultimately, however, David's legacy in the Internet world is far greater than his impact on events like the IGF, U.S.A. It was all about the people he touched during his time with ISOC and with the IGF U.S.A., he was about the people, the community, he was dedicated to bringing in more voices to the discussion and a strong advocate for things like youth engagement. He had an amazing ability to make newcomers not only feel welcome, but like they belonged in the process.

I know that David had a tremendous impact on the journeys of many people here in this room, and I'm most definitely included in that group. I mean, I think my experience with him is a perfect example of just who he was. I met him on my first ever trip out to the East Coast a few years ago, and a few weeks later just talked with him on the phone said that I was thinking of getting more involved and he said come to D.C., I'll give you opportunities. Next thing I know, I'm in my car, driving from Washington state to Washington D.C. and sure enough, you know, he provided me with all of the opportunities that he said we would. You know, it may seem like putting a lot of faith in what was essentially a stranger at the time, but that's just who David was, somebody that made you feel welcomed, like you belonged, like you could contribute. You know, he just had this unique ability to do that.

You know, whether it is taking people out to the favorite taco place, just calling them to check in, I have been inspired to hear so many of these similar stories for the role that David played in being a rock of support for not so many of us individually but us as a larger community, it was this ability that, you know, made David such a powerful leader in the IGF U.S.A. and enabled him to bring so many people together to put on successful events like the one we had today. I'm definitely going to miss that inevitable call that I would have got tomorrow to discuss, you know, how the IFG2018 would have been but I know he would have been really proud of the show we put on this year.

If we could all just take a moment to remember David's contributions.


Before I transition, I just want to mention we have been working with the Internet Society to develop a memorial, fellowship in David's name to support youth engagement in the community and if you're interested in being a part of this, contributing to it, reach out to us.

Now, I also get to transition into discussing a new initiative that we started this year for the IGF U.S.A. It is part of our expansion and trying to grow the audience of the IGF U.S.A. beyond D.C. I think that this is actually, you know, a fitting transition because this road trip had David's influence written all over it, and it is very much in line with his approach to Internet governance and, you know, he was all about the people in community and that's what this initiative is all about. I'll take a moment to change the slide. Normally I do this for other people.

So, yeah. This year, in May, ahead of the main IGF U.S.A. event that we're all at right now, we had an initiative where basically I hopped in my car and much like I did a few weeks after I met David, I drove from Washington state to the Washington D.C. and we organized IGF U.S.A. on the road events all across the country. We had events in San Francisco on content moderation, platform liability. We had a roundtable with the community at Arizona state University law school in Phoenix. We visited Santa Ana Pablo in New Mexico to talk about the state of the Internet in the country and how we can engage in Indigenous voices and taking an active role in the evolution of the Internet and also stopped in in New York to talk about the different community network initiatives that are happening there and, you know, it was great to work with all of these new communities. I want to say thank you to a lot of the people that helped out with that. A lot of whom are in this room and if they're not in the room right now, they were part of some of the panels earlier, especially the connectivity panel which brought in an unprecedented number of new voices in the IGF U.S.A. and this is a type of thing that we're really emphasizing moving forward and making the IGF U.S.A. a truly national initiative that really engages and grows the audience outside of D.C. (Technical difficulties). Every place I stopped, every event I had, inevitably, there were several more meetings, events, roundtables, that grew out of it organically without any outreach ahead of time showing the amount of passion and the amount of untapped engagement that we have out there.

Just from the pictures here, you see our live streaming guru, we packed up all of the equipment in the car and drove him out to an event, and then but yeah. This is something that we hope to continue to grow and continue to engage people across the country. That's pretty much all I have. I do want to take exception with what Shane said of me doing 99% of the work, there is a lot of people in the room that did a lot of work, especially some new faces that it was great to have engaged and even leading panels. So there were a lot of people that contributed, you know, I would like to draw some attention to Rob and thank you for being some young, active contributors to the IGF U.S.A. .

Thank you to all the volunteers that helped today, helped to make today possible. I didn't see this coming, I happen to have an amazing volunteer that basically saved my life! Cedra, an intern for Access Now, thank you so much! I did put in a little bit of effort, it would not be possible without everybody in this room.

With that, I hand it back over to Shane and have her closeout the day.

>> SHANE TEWS: All right. So, 2018, this part is a wrap! As you just heard, we're hoping to do regional events, so be thinking about that. Even if you are based in D.C., you have somebody that may want to participate, we're going to look to take this dialogue and make it yearlong with the idea of making this the report in at the end of the year. Getting more people included. Please think about that. Join us in those conversations.

Now you have to go do your panel discussions out there with a cocktail! Thank you very much!

This text is being provided in a rough draft format.  Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.