Have you ever been to New York City's Grand Central Station? The Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo? Driven around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris? These locations are fast-paced, filled with people and can be confusing to the uninitiated. Whichever scenario is familiar to you, an ICANN meeting can sometimes make you feel that way, especially if you are heading into it alone and unprepared for the hectic pace. But don't despair! We have remedies for this - the ICANN Newcomer and Fellowship Programs.
Lost and confused feelings are normal! Look at it as a baptism by fire, as we like to call it here at ICANN.
The Newcomer Program is built for first-timers like you, who need basic information. The program provides an understanding of the current topics and sessions to attend, along with opening up opportunities to meet other newcomers from different regions and sectors, who all share the desire to engage in the ICANN experience.
The Sunday Newcomer session (in the physical or virtual room) is the best way to start your week, as its lays the groundwork for what ICANN is about, what we mean by the Multistakeholder Model and provides information about the work of this diverse community. It is an interactive session led by staff and community, and is a safe haven to ask anything amongst like-minded participants and alumni of the ICANN Fellowship Program.
You will also learn about the ICANN Booth/Newcomers Welcome Area, where you can visit anytime to get answers, guidance and support from those who have been Newcomers once themselves. These individuals are our Fellowship alumni and part of their "give back" for participating in this travel-funded program, is to volunteer at the ICANN (information) Booth and be of assistance to you.
We welcome all Newcomers to join the Fellows, Monday through Thursday from 0700-0900, where ICANN Multistakeholder community chairs will share knowledge in small group settings, making it easy to ask questions.
Most importantly, we want you to meet people, share your knowledge and have fun! I'm excited to see you all in Los Angeles later this week.
ICANN – YouCANN – WeCANN!