The 40th ICANN Public meeting marked the 12th round of the ICANN Fellowship Program.
Successful participants came from 20 countries, representing each of the ICANN regions, coming from 20 countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Bolivia, Congo, Egypt, Gambia, India, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kyrgyz Republic, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Marshall Islands, Uganda, Ukraine, and Yemen.
Statistics regarding the Fellowship application and selection process, as well as the diversity of regions and sectors represented in the program at ICANN meetings, can be found at https://charts.icann.org/public/index-gp-fellowship.html. Some highlights are:
Of the 96 applications received, 23 applicants met the program minimum requirements. Seventeen individuals were then joined by 10 previously selected candidates who had been deferred from ICANN 39, for a total of 27 participants selected for the Silicon Valley meeting. Twenty-four candidates successfully completed the program in San Francisco, including 11 individuals who had never been to an ICANN meeting, 3 who had attended at least 1 ICANN meeting but not as a fellow, and 10 alumni of the program. All sectors of the ICANN community were represented, including 13 from Gov't, 9 from Civil Society, 5 from the ccTLD community and 1 each from the Business and Academic world.
An enhancement to ICANN 40 Fellowship program was the inclusion of Remote Participation for all morning meetings. This benefited individuals who were not selected for this round but wanted to learn more about ICANN, as well as past fellows who were able to contribute their experience to the morning presentations. Any of the available presentations were transcribed and posted on the ICANN meeting website.
As the Fellowship program continues to mature and grow, the alumni are challenged to “step up” and take on more roles within the ICANN community. When filling out the online application, alumni who are looking for inclusion in the program and travel support are required to select and explain their interest in a constituency or stakeholder group that they feel would build on their previous experience and bring value to their current role. ICANN helps to match these individuals with a member of the community or staff who has agreed to the role. A relationship is established prior to the meeting via email, where a course of action is developed for the meeting week. ICANN 40 was our second experience with the mentor program, and positive outcomes have already been realized. The following community members are to be thanked for performing as mentors during this program: Jayantha Fernando, Avri Doria, Fahd Batayneh, Tijani Ben Jemaa, J. Scott Evans, Oscar Robles, Sylvia Herlein Leite, Richard Lamb, Francisco Arias, and Tim Cole.
All alumni present at an ICANN meeting are asked to assist with the program during the meeting week. For some, it is providing presentations to the Fellows at the morning meeting, as was the case with Amr Elsadr (Uprising in Egypt and the role of the Internet) and Naveed Ul-Haq (Overview of Personal and Professional growth as Alum).
For others, it is engaging with the new Fellows as mentors during the week – Naveed, Sarmad Hussain and Fouad Bajwa, among others, performed that role during this round.
In San Francisco, Filiz Yilmaz, ICANN's Sr. Director of Participation, worked with the Fellowship program to implement a Newcomer Lounge to greet and guide new members to the ICANN community. We asked for volunteers to staff this area for the week and were not surprised to get the positive reaction from alumni wanting to give back and pay forward. Tatiana Chirev, alum and member of the Fellowship Selection committee, was the lead for this area and provided the guidance and feedback to make this 1 st time program a success. Working alongside Tatiana were Raquel Gatto, Jennifer Anson, Sarmad Hussain, Amr Elsadr, Naveed Ul-Haq, Pastor Peters Omoragbon, Fahd Batayneh, Shefqet Meda and several others who stopped by when possible.
Other contributors and presenters to be thanked for their support and guidance are: Sebastian Bachollet (Board member), Dr. Olivier Crepin-Leblond (Chair, ALAC), Lesley Crowley (Chair ccNSO), Adam Peake (Chair NomCom), Marilyn Cade and Chris Chaplow (gNSO/Business Constituency), Wendy Seltzer and Avri Doria (gNSO NCSG), Glen de Saint Géry (gNSO Secretariat), Joette Youkhanna (NomCom), Naela Sarras, (IDN), Kim Davies (IANA), Richard Lamb (IANA), Baher Esmat (ICANN Regional Manager), John Crain (Security & Stability) and Patrick Jones (Security & Stability). All of these individuals helped to extend the experience beyond the fellowship "classroom" to ensure that these new voices in our community understand the importance of their role in ICANN's future.
We look forward to seeing many of these fellows at future ICANN meetings, contributing to decision-making processes, working as members of the supporting organizations, advisory committees, stakeholder and working groups, making their voices heard in public comment and forum, and even perhaps as members of the ICANN Board.
Coming Up: The next opportunity to apply online for possible selection to attend ICANN 42 in Dakar, Senegal will start 27 May 2011. The application round will remain open for 6 weeks following that announcement on the ICANN home page.
To see the final participants' names and photo, and to learn more about the Fellowships Program, please visit http://www.icann.org/en/fellowships/. You may also write to the Fellowship office at email@example.com.