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Countdown to ICANN 49!

17 March 2014

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by the APAC Team

It’s one week before ICANN 49 in Singapore and the APAC hub office is buzzing with preparation to welcome the world that will descend upon us!

We’ve come a long way (with much more to go) since establishing the APAC Hub in August, and we’re super excited to host the ICANN 49 meeting 7 months after setting up shop. For many of us, it’s also our first ICANN meeting, so we’ll be welcoming everyone while being newcomers ourselves!

Today, we have 8 staff in the Singapore office and a total of 14 staff in the region. This demonstrates ICANN’s commitment to the region. So you can expect a different ICANN meeting this year, with more engagement from us and hopefully more community participation from the region too!

For a start, here are some key events we’ve put together to watch out for in conjunction with the ICANN 49 meeting:

  • Pre-ICANN49 DNSSEC Training (19-21 Mar)
  • SME Business Conference, “The Internet & Your Business” (21 Mar)
  • DNS Forum Session (23 Mar)
  • ISIF (Information Society Innovation Fund) Asia Presentation on IT Projects for development in the Asia Pacific region (25 Mar)
  • ICANN’s engagement in Asia Pacific – a report on the engagement strategy and activities of the APAC Hub (27 Mar)

Another exciting program is the partnership with DotAsia’s NetMission, to roll out a new initiative called the NextGen@ICANN.

NextGen@ICANN is a week-long pilot program that has been incorporated into ICANN 49. It aims to train the next generation of leaders in Internet policy and governance, and draw fresh ideas into ICANN’s processes. We hope that this will help to groom future leaders who can contribute to the industry, and to the development of the wonderful world of the Internet!

Meet budding youth leaders from tertiary institutions from the region and hear their views on what the Internet can do for them and vice versa. For a week, they will learn how ICANN works, ‘shadow’ mentors from the ICANN Community across our Supporting Organizations/Advisory Committees and have closed group sharing with senior ICANN executives. Finally they will role play an ICANN Board meeting and share their experiences from the week-long program.

The 30 brave young adult delegates from around the region will be supported by a number of ambassadors from NetMission. Will they survive the week? Will they be consumed by the insatiable appetite of the web? Come join us on Thursday 27 March at 10am for the Model Board Meeting and Presentation in Bencoolen Room.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, our admin team has been kept busy with numerous requests for options pertaining to food, transport and vendors. Food is an important concern and we have been sharing recommendations from simple, no-fuss eating joints to posh restaurants to special menus. Transportation and special performances are also key asks.

We also provided advice regarding restrictions on the amount of cigarettes and alcohol that visitors can bring into the country.

Lastly, a note of caution on the haze situation. We have been experiencing severe smoke haze due to forest fires in our neighboring countries for years but this year, it’s coming a little earlier than usual. In addition, it’s one of our driest spells ever – February was the driest month since 1869 and windiest month in 30 years!

What does this mean for you? Well, if you are indoors at the meetings, you’ll be fine. In fact, be armed with a jacket or cardigan as it could get cold. But if you’re venturing outdoors, then watch the PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) and PM 2.5 readings measuring particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns. When these reach critical levels, masks will be recommended and there may be advisories for elderly, pregnant women and children, and those with chronic heart or lung conditions. We will definitely keep a lookout and alert when necessary.

So, we’re all ready to welcome you. Have a safe and good flight here and we’ll see you soon!

*Update: Good news! We had much needed rain and thunderstorm past 2 days which has cooled down temperatures and also helped to ease the haze.