Vicky Ruiz from Spain, Grace Githaiga from Kenya and Ricardo Cartin M. from Costa Rica share their first meeting experiences at ICANN 43.
ICANN welcomes Newcomers into its multi-stakeholder process through a special orientation program at ICANN meetings.
Main goals of the program are -
- Provide a starting point for Newcomers to understand what ICANN and the ICANN Community do, what the structures and processes are and how the system works, so they can engage in their first meeting as effectively as possible.
- Help Newcomers' engagement into the ICANN community
- Mentor, guide and provide satisfying information to Newcomers so they leave the ICANN meeting well informed and willing to come back.
Joining efforts with the Fellowship Program to help them feel more informed, welcomed and integrated, first-time attendees have their own Newcomers Lounge staffed by Fellowship Program alumni and ICANN Staff – our "Greetings Team". These mentors provide hands-on support, guidance and introductions to community members, the ICANN structure and process, as well as the sessions best suited for newcomers. It is all aimed at helping to alleviate any first time meeting anxiety. The Lounge is open from Saturday to Wednesday during ICANN international meetings.
In addition to the Lounge, special Sunday sessions for Newcomers offer overviews on various subjects such as an introduction to ICANN, ICANN's multi-stakeholder environment, SOs, ACs, SGs, potential policy discussions for the upcoming week, the role of the Ombudsman, Contractual Compliance, Registries and Registrars and more. These sessions are coordinated by Participation and Engagement Staff and conducted by various ICANN Staff depending on the expertise.