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IETF Remote Engagement Hub

The work of the IETF is critical to the open evolution of the Internet.  Three times a year, engineers come from around the world to meet and work on drafts that could eventually become RFCs.  Most of the engineers that attend an IETF are from more developed countries and regions.  However, the participation on the IETF mailing lists span beyond that to engineers from emerging and developing economies.  Because of the costs involved in traveling to an IETF meeting, many of these engineers don’t have the resources to attend in person.

The Internet Society has a fellowship programme that provides an opportunity for some of these engineers to attend an IETF meeting and participate face to face with their peers.  Each IETF meeting, ISOC sponsors approximately 12 individuals from emerging and developing economies to come to an IETF meeting.

Although this is a valuable programme and has achieved good results, it is difficult to scale without a significant investment of budget and support. 

Engineers from around that region can attend the Remote Engagement Hub and participate in the IETF meeting via remote participation technologies that are already in place.  They will also have the opportunity to interface with peers at this facility in an IETF-like setting.  This remote cluster setting will mimic the feel of attending an IETF meeting in person to encourage group interaction and strengthen the relationships between engineers in that region.

Each Hub will incorporate much more than an audio live feed of the IETF working group meetings:
 
  • Broadcasted plenary sessions, 
  • Onsite language translation facilities, 
  • An expert-facilitated Collaborative Leadership Exchange that will be participant-driven, with an emphasis on the topics that intersect at policy, technology, innovation, and research
  • Deep dive discussions for those who are familiar with the IETF and need to better understand the operational aspects of participating remotely to more fully engage on a regular basis, and
  • Onsite participation from former and locally based Internet Society Fellows to the IETF and Ambassadors to IGF who can lead discussions to demystify the processes of the open standards and multi-stakeholder approaches.

The Remote Engagement Hub will be located at a hotel or other location where facilities will be advantageous to the attending participant.  This will include ample Internet connectivity, food and beverage and reasonably priced lodging in the immediate vicinity.  The region that is selected will align with the timezone of the IETF as much as it’s able to, to ensure that the hub’s remote participation will have impact at the IETF meeting.