by Joe Catapano, Coordinator, ICANN Global Stakeholder Engagement for North America and Riccardo Ruffolo, Analyst, ICANN Global Stakeholder Engagement
In the first of many planned presentations to institutions of higher learning across North America, we paid a visit this week to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to meet with faculty and students to raise awareness about ICANN and discuss what will be an important year in Internet Governance beginning in January 2014. We were honored by the spirit with which CMU Human-Computer Interaction Institute Director Professor Justine Cassell and Computer Science Department Assistant Dean Catherine Copetas welcomed us and supported us in organizing the event.
We first engaged with key faculty members from CMU’s Computer Science School and Computing Services, discussing ICANN’s increased outreach to the academic community and opportunities for enhanced engagement between ICANN and CMU’s talented faculty and student body. CMU has the distinction of housing different programs at the graduate level that focus on the interaction between diverse fields such as computer science, engineering, public policy, and society, and is therefore a fertile environment for future participants in the work of ICANN.
When we sat down with students we found them to be a lively and well-informed group. Even with final exams looming, they joined us for a wide-ranging discussion on the new gTLD program, Internationalized Domain Names, and ways for students to become involved in the most important multistakeholder discussions happening at ICANN. Their level of awareness was demonstrated by intelligent questions that drove a thought-provoking discussion on topics as diverse as IPv6, DNS security, and even the latest Registrar Accreditation Agreement. Finally, a number of students had ideas on the upcoming Global Multistakeholder Meeting on Internet Governance in Brazil and were eager to brainstorm on broader Internet Governance topics.
CMU provided a great venue to kick-off a series of interactive discussions at academic institutions, as part of the North American Global Stakeholder Engagement team’s efforts to connect with this vital part of the ICANN community.