ICANN60 marked the beginning of the second year of the ICANN Community Onboarding Pilot Program (COP). In our two pre-ICANN60 meetings with participants of the COP, we agreed to use our face-to-face meeting in Abu Dhabi to take stock of progress to date and to identify future opportunities.
Before getting into the details, here is a bit of background about what the program is and what it aims to accomplish. The COP seeks to improve ICANN community newcomer engagement and retention rates. Representatives from ICANN's Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs) work collaboratively to create the materials and tools to enable a supportive environment for newcomers. Participating SOs and ACs are represented by a mentor and one or two mentees. They engage in capacity development activities and knowledge and experience sharing.
In Abu Dhabi, the group recognized the need for the COP to continue trying to bridge the gap that currently exists between newcomers and those who actively contribute to ICANN's advice and policymaking activities. The materials developed in the program will help newcomers better navigate the ICANN environment by providing a roadmap within different communities. The materials can also serve as a resource for those who are currently participating in ICANN and who wish to develop more in-depth knowledge about specific communities.
We also agreed to improve overall communication and the process for selecting program participants. To this end, we will help maintain a robust Wiki space and increase the frequency of blogs and other materials published. Moving forward, both the process and the decisions concerning the selection of program participants will be determined by each respective community.
Over the coming weeks, the COP participants will work collectively to identify and set both individual and common objectives, with the end goals of building additional structure around program activities, and promoting mechanisms to foster the effective engagement of newcomers.
To view the list of ICANN60 participants, the activities within the program, and the onboarding materials created, please visit the program Wiki space here.