ICANN62 marks the conclusion of the ICANN Community Onboarding Pilot Program (COP). In Panama City, Panama, 20 individuals from eight community groups came together on 24 June to take stock of the progress to date and discuss plans for how each individual community group will carry its own “onboarding” for new participants, moving forward.
For those less familiar with the COP, here are some details. The program aimed to improve ICANN community newcomer engagement and retention rates through mentorship, knowledge, and experience-sharing.
The pilot followed a two-pronged approach to accomplish this goal; first, agreeing on the need to create, update and refine onboarding materials as needed to ensure that newcomers would have access to information that is easily understood and can guide them through ICANN processes. We then paired one or two newcomers from each participating community with more experienced ICANN community members. The exchanges between these groups proved invaluable in helping to identify key challenges and approaches.
Participants from ICANN's Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs) worked collaboratively to create new materials and tools to enable a supportive environment for newcomers. One of the agreed-upon outcomes while at the ICANN61 COP meeting was the cross-organizational sharing of perspectives about the different needs each group has when “onboarding” newcomers. Many communities enhanced and strengthened existing initiatives with an onboarding focus, while others created new materials that not only support their newcomers, but are also used to inform the broader community about their priorities.
ICANN62 participants noted the important role the program played providing an opportunity for individual communities to better structure their onboarding efforts. A solid baseline of onboarding materials has been prepared; individual communities are now better positioned to carry on with the task of maintaining and updating their onboarding materials.
We encourage you to explore these additional materials created by each COP group here.
To view the list of COP participants and the program activities, please visit the COP Wiki space here.
Thank you to everyone who participated and contributed to the development of materials and the advancement of dialogue both within and across different community groups.