ICANN welcomes Newcomers into its multi-stakeholder process through a special orientation program at ICANN Public meetings, held several times over the course of a calendar year in one of the five ICANN regions.
Main goals of the program are:
- Provide a starting point for Newcomers to understand what ICANN and the ICANN Community do
- Explain the structures and processes that are part of the Multi-stakeholder model
- Mentor, guide and provide satisfying information to Newcomers so they leave the ICANN meeting well informed and willing to come back.
- Provide the necessary tools to participate and engage after the ICANN meeting is over and the work of ICANN continues.
With the support from the Fellowship Program alumni and select ICANN staff, first-time attendees have their own ICANN Newcomers Booth at each ICANN meeting, to visit as many times as needed over the course of the week for information about ICANN and the ICANN meeting itself. These fellows and staff mentors provide hands-on support and guidance, as well as facilitate introductions to community and staff members as needed to answer any questions or provide direction on particular challenges in their current workplace or region related to the Internet and ICANN's mission. Advice is also provided on the sessions best suited for each individual who asks for assistance, so that the first time participation in this meeting can be effective and successful. The Booth is open from Saturday to Wednesday during ICANN Public meetings.
In addition to the Booth, special Sunday sessions for Newcomers offer overviews on: who and what is ICANN and how does it fit into the Global Internet Ecosystem; the 3 Pillars of ICANN which are Operation of the Domain Name System (DNS), the Security and Stability of the DNS, and the bottom up community driven Policy Making; ICANN's multi-stakeholder environment and the Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees, and Stakeholder Groups who make up that Model and potential policy and hot topic discussions for the upcoming week. These sessions are coordinated by ICANN's Outreach and Engagement Staff and conducted by various ICANN Staff and Community members.
Newcomers are encouraged to attend the Fellowship Morning meetings from Monday through Thursday at each ICANN meeting. These are open sessions and open discussions, with presenters from each of the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees coming to the morning sessions for a more intimate and personal discussion on what their particular community does within the ICANN model. It is a great opportunity to learn in a smaller setting, feel free to ask any questions, and network with the fellowship program participants for a more bonded experience overall.
Let's hear from several Newcomers from the Durban meeting about their first time experience:
If you have any questions about the Newcomer Program or would like assistance in connecting with staff or community, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.