If you attended the ICANN49 meeting in Singapore, you may have noticed people in lime green shirts buzzing around the different sessions. These were participants of an extremely successful initiative led by a network of dedicated individuals, NetMission Ambassadors, and supported by DotAsia Organisation, called 'NextGen@ICANN'. NextGen@ICANN Singapore Meeting brought 25 members of the next generation of Internet users and stakeholders between 18 and 30 years old to the ICANN49 meeting in order to introduce them to the world of ICANN in an inclusive, supportive, and tailored program.
Stemming from the work of the Strategy Panel on the Public Responsibility Framework, ICANN has begun work to operationalize the Panel's recommendations to support the global public interest in relation to ICANN's work- that is to say- ICANN's responsibility to build trust in the Internet and its governance ecosystem, and to ensure that it becomes, and continues to be, stable, inclusive, and accessible across the globe so that all may enjoy the benefits of a single and open Internet.
As part of this work, ICANN has defined the need to engage what it called the "next generation" in the Internet ecosystem to ensure that ICANN and the Internet more broadly are accessible and relevant to their needs. ICANN looks to continue this work by raising the next generation's awareness of ICANN activities and Internet governance while supporting participation in these areas where applicable.
Thanks to the dedicated team at NetMission who initiated NextGen@ICANN in Singapore, and who worked hand in hand with ICANN staff, this program was a huge success in connecting the next generation of Internet users, stakeholders, and leaders to the ICANN community. In an effort to replicate and build on this success, we at ICANN have decided to adopt this initiative and replicate it at each ICANN meeting. We will of course customize it to reflect the uniqueness of each region and in collaboration with local entities.
Like many community driven initiatives, this effort has led the way for solid programs, by the community, for the community. In the upcoming ICANN meeting in London we will be working alongside another regional partner, the University of Greenwich, to bring together a group of individuals looking to learn more and engage with us. You can find more information and the application for the London program here.