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Someone asked for impressions of Baku and the IGF, so here are mine -
Baku – olive trees full of olives lining the streets, a city of fountains, friendly faces, nearly everyone blessedly able to speak English, a feeling of shame for my pitiful, poorly pronounced Azeri vocabulary, black (and coloured) London taxis - find a taxi with a meter or establish the price first same as Lima, same all over the world? Roses blooming in November. Empty roads on Saturday morning at sunrise, a draconian one way system, very impressive 4 lane traffic jams during the working week. Huge wide streets, tall elegant buildings, an atmosphere of the 1920s art deco. Warm honey coloured stone. Amazing displays of lights in the night time city. Our hotel looms like the prow of a ship in blue and white lights at the top of the hill in the evening.
Still within the IGF the need for collaboration, the need to surrender the concept of territoriality, to open our conceptual spaces. Another sort of freedom into an area where there are truly no boundaries, where the governance and the balance are maintained by mutual respect.
The words I heard – balance, accountability, responsibility, respect. Anonymity – a very important value creating a space in which people are obliged to listen without working out beforehand what the speaker will be saying. End users, ordinary people – I’ve added those words to this week’s discourse several times myself but also heard them from others. Older people and their place within the Internet Governance context – I’ve heard that too. Publicise. That word has been a problem for a long time. How to move beyond the almost incestuous embrace of the IGF to the people who are being decided about and for.
Perhaps the most important of all the words and all the messages – only connect!