IGF 2016 New Session Formats


The Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) formed a working group on new session formats (WGSF) in mid-2016 to advocate for the introduction of more original session types at the IGF – namely lightning talks and unconference, which have become popular in other venues.

The group developed a strategy for integrating the sessions into the 2016 programme and with the Secretariat, reached out to presenters and publicized the new sessions. Lightning and unconference sessions were successfully held for the first time on an experimental basis at IGF 2016.

Feedback from the Lightning/Unconference participants and presenters was collected in January 2017 through a short survey posted on the IGF's website. The results of the survey are available HERE. 


Lightning Sessions

20-minute lighting sessions were intended as quicker, more informal versions of full-length workshops or presentations. A total of 23 lightning sessions took place during the lunch breaks on Days 1 through 4 of the IGF programme. In keeping with the informal and experimental nature of these sessions, they were held in a shaded outdoor plaza in front of the venue, which proved to be a natural gathering place for many IGF participants.

The sessions themselves were culled from IGF 2016 workshop proposals which received high scores during MAG evaluation but were ultimately not selected for the programme, and which showed compatibility with the lightning session format. Proposers were contacted by the MAG WGSF and Secretariat ahead of the meeting and were asked to adapt their proposals to a shorter, 20-minute slot.

The result was an engaging series of discussions on of-the-moment Internet governance issues and projects.

The programme below details the topics discussed, with presentations and reports hyperlinked. Photos of the sessions are available here.


Day 1 – Tuesday, 6 December

13.00-13.20       Are Tribunals re-inventing Global Internet Governance?

                   Presenters/Organizers: Hawley Johnson

13.25-13.45       Sharing research on tech-facilitated crimes against children

                                Presenters/Organizers: Marie-Laure Lemineur, Norma E. Negrete Aguayo

13.50-14.10       Digital Trade Policy: TPP as Minimum Standard or More?

                                Presenters/Organizers: Kenta Mochizuki

14.15-14.35       Finding the Balance: Access to Knowledge and Culture Online

                                Presenters/Organizers: Stuart Hamilton

14.40-15.00       Internet infrastructure, global technical standards and SDGs

                                Presenters/Organizers: Mehwish Ansari, Corinne Cath, Niels ten Over

15.05-15.25       Research and Policy Advocacy Tools for #WomensRightsOnline

                                Presenters/Organizers: Nanjira Sambuli


Day 2 – Wednesday, 7 December

13.00-13.20       Internet users’ data and their unlawful use       

                                Presenters/Organizers: Tijani ben Jemaa

13.25-13.45       Governance of Cyber Identity

                                Presenters/Organizers: Andy Smith

13.50-14.10       South School on Internet Governance SSIG

                                Presenters/Organizers: Olga Cavalli

14.15-14.35       Unveiling Surveillance Practices in Latin America

                                Presenters/Organizers: Joana Varon

14.40-15.00       Redefining Broadband Affordability for a more Inclusive Internet

                                Presenters/Organizers: Yacine Khelladi

15.05-15.25       Holding algorithms accountable to protect fundamental rights

                   Presenters/Organizers: Matthias Spielkamp     


Day 3 – Thursday, 8 December

13.00-13.20       Fostering local Internet Governance: Inclusion and Openness

                                Presenters/Organizers: Manuel Haces Aviña

13.25-13.45       Addressing Cybersecurity Risks & Challenges in Latin America

                                Presenters/Organizers: Leandro Ucciferri

13.50-14.10       Human Rights Online: Internet Access and minorities

                                Presenters/Organizers: Marianne Franklin, Minda Moreira

14.15-14.35       Challenges of Internet Governance in MENA region

                                Presenters/Organizers: Layal Bahnam

14.40-15.00       Internet Civil Society’s tools to monitor the Parliament

                                Presenters/Organizers: Kimberly Anastacio

15.05-15.25       Anonymity vs Hate speech?

                                Presenters/Organizers: Joana Varon


Day 4 – Friday, 9 December

13.25-13.45       Trademark Systems Enable Sustainable Growth on the Internet

                                Presenters/Organizers: Lori Schulman

13.50-14.10       Conflict Management & Human Rights on the Internet

                                Presenters/Organizers: Andrey Scherbovich

14.15-14.35       Electronic voting: Is not digital the future of democracy?

                                Presenters/Organizers: Carlos Guerrero

14.40-15.00       Practical Challenges in Tackling Online Hate Speech

                                Presenters/Organizers: Arjun Jayakumar

15.05-15.25       Connectivity models: community-based ISP

                                Presenters/Organizers: Laura Tresca



Unconference sessions are talks which are not pre-scheduled. Participants reserve a speaking slot by signing themselves up on a scheduling board on a first-come, first-serve basis on the day of the Unconference (more details in the infographic). Six such sessions were reserved and five took place on Day 3 of the IGF (Thursday, 8 December) from 16.00 to 18.00.

Please see the timetable below for the topics discussed. Video, transcripts and photos of the sessions are also available.


16.00 – Freedom of Expression and Religion in Asia: Desecrating Expression – Launch of a Report / Sheetal Kumar, Naumana Suleman

16.20 – #africaninternetrights - a best practice policy / Gbenga Sesan

17.00 – Derecho de videojuegos (videogames law) y Ciberseguridad: “El Nuevo Internet of Toys” [Super Lawyer Bros.] / David Alonso Santivánez Antunez

17.20 – Free Trade Agreements and IG in Latin America

17.40 – Violencia Digital in the World



If any information above is inaccurate, or as a lightning or unconference presenter, you wish to have any details changed, please contact the Secretariat at [email protected].