NETmundial Initiative Governance & Operational Procedures

NOTE: This living document was adopted by the Inaugural Coordination Council on 29 June 2015 in São Paulo, Brazil. 



1. Purpose 

This document describes the Governance and Operational Procedures for the Coordination Council (“Council”) and Secretariat (“Secretariat”) of the NETmundial Initiative (“Initiative”), focusing primarily on specific roles and responsibilities, and on the decision-making processes. 

2. The Council

The responsibilities of the Council include:

  • Ensuring that all activities are in line with and reflect the Initiative’s Terms of Reference. 
  • Promoting global support for the Initiative through outreach activities and liaising with other relevant organizations, initiatives and processes. 
  • Establishing a framework for open, global participation in the Initiative’s work. 
  • Ensuring that all activities of the Initiative are transparent and accountable.
  • Overseeing the design and operation of the collaborative platform hosted at 
  • Facilitating the success of projects presented through the platform in accordance with the Project Support and Engagement guidelines.
  • Attracting new ideas and funding in order to support voluntary projects presented through the platform. 
  • Aiming to ensure the financial sustainability of the Initiative. 
  • Reviewing and approving Council-related documents for dissemination.
  • Establishing modalities for the selection of future Council Members, in consultation with the global multistakeholder community.
  • Directing the work of the Secretariat. 

3. Council Working Methods

The Council  is committed to an open, transparent and collaborative approach in carrying out its responsibilities. 

3.1 Composition

  • The Council consists of a diverse and balanced group of people from multiple stakeholder groups, including from academia, technical community and foundations; civil society; governments and intergovernmental organizations; and the private sector, with seats distributed across all sectors and geographies.     

3.2 Transparency

  • A commitment to transparency shall characterize the work of all Council Members.
  • All financial information related to the Initiative shall be made publicly available online.  
  • Agendas and remote participation information shall be made publicly available online in advance of each face-to-face meeting.
  • Unless otherwise noted (e.g., in matters related to individuals), Council face-to-face meetings shall be streamed live, with recordings and other materials to be publicly archived online. 
  • Minutes from Council meetings and any of its subgroups shall be made publicly available online.

3.3 Participation 

  • Council Members are expected to be active participants on Council mailing lists, teleconferences and face-to-face  meetings.
  • Quorum (a minimum of 50% of the Council membership or subgroup membership) is necessary to hold an official meeting.
  • Active participation in Council meetings is limited to Members of the Council. Any Member who is unable to participate in person in a meeting may designate a representative to act on their behalf at that meeting. 
  • The Council has the ability to invite guests to participate in its meetings, and to organize open meetings.
  • As a general rule, Council meetings shall be open to onsite observers, to the extent that the physical space permits, and generally accessible online. 
  • Calls for public comment shall be issued on a regular basis to ensure that all interested interlocutors have an opportunity to participate and contribute to the development and implementation of activities.

3.4 Decision-Making

  • The Council commits to providing an opportunity, where possible, for public comment on proposed key governance and operational issues before it reaches a final decision. 
  • As a general rule, decisions within the Council or any of its subgroups shall be made by “rough consensus,” by working through a process that attempts to address the views and interests expressed by all Council Members.
  • Dissenting opinion(s) concern(s) must be documented. 

3.5 Co-Chairs 

  • The Council shall elect five (5) Co-Chairs from among its Members. There shall be an open call for candidates, whose names shall be put to a vote by all Members; the five (5) candidates receiving the most votes shall serve as Co-Chairs. The Co-Chairs shall serve for the duration of the inaugural Council or until any of these resigns or is replaced. Diversity factors will be taken into account. 

3.6 Council Membership Tenure

  • The Inaugural Council shall serve until 30 June 2016.

4. The Secretariat

  • The Initiative is supported by a Secretariat, which receives instructions from, and reports to, the Council Co-Chairs. (During the inaugural period, the Secretariat is funded and supported by The Brazilian Internet Steering Committee, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and the World Economic Forum).


Diverse, global participation is a necessary component that embodies the NETmundial spirit and the multistakeholder, bottom-up approach endorsed as the way forward in improving the existing Internet governance framework. The global Internet community is invited to contribute proposals or ideas for distributed Internet governance. Contribute here.