I had applied for a grant from the auDA Foundation to assist me with my expenses in attending the first meeting of the Internet Governance Forum in Athens in October and November. Today I received a letter refusing the application, and stating with regret that “the provision of funds for overseas travel expenses was not a funding priority”. Well, I can certainly understand that, given that auDA (which has four staff) spent only $154,000 on travel in 2004-2005, and has a paltry $180,000 budgeted for 2005-2006. auDA’s CEO Chris Disspain attended the IGF’s public consultations in Geneva in both February and May, and although he spoke 380 words at the first meeting, the public transcripts do not indicate that he spoke at the second. However, he was also appointed to the IGF’s Advisory Group in the obscure process referred to in my last post, and its first meeting in Geneva, held following the second public consultation, took place behind closed doors. Thankfully it seems likely that Murdoch University will provide a grant to cover my flight expenses for the first IGF meeting, but for no subsequent meetings, and accommodation won’t be covered. Of course, most people who might otherwise be interested in attending the inaugural IGF meeting won’t even be in such a fortunate position as I am. I wonder what the demographic composition of those attending will be?