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The Changing Face of the LACIGF

16 August 2016

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The Latin American and Caribbean regional preparatory meeting for the Internet Governance Forum (LACIGF) was held in San Jose, Costa Rica, from 26 to 29 July. It was the ninth edition of a process that started in 2008 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Eight years later, the process has gained a maturity that is illustrated by a growing and diverse participation.

This year's LACIGF was preceded by the YOUTH LACIGF, an initiative that received the support of the Internet Society and ICANN. And at LACIGF, we saw more young, new faces than ever before. The conference succeeded in organizing an agenda that was strong on Internet issues, and at the same time attracted a gender-diverse group of presenters and participants. This made me, a woman working in a male-dominated field, very proud. It also made me, as a person working in a region where gender equality remains a challenge, very optimistic. What I will remember from this year's LACIGF is: new faces, young voices, more women.

Another highlight from the meeting was the final session on how we, as a community, can improve the process. What should we keep doing? What should we change? Working as a communications manager, I know we can always do better. If we want to improve, we need to create a strategy for communicating the work of the Program Committee and the Secretariat – all year long and using multiple channels. That's how we can increase participation in the process so we can identify and address the challenges in our region. I strongly recommend that you read the presentation report for "Session 10: The future of LACIGF Governance" It will be published soon on the LACIGF9 website, and will be available in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

I'd like to close this blog post with a call to action – not a personal one, but one from the Secretariat of the LACIGF. Because the Latin American and Caribbean Address registry (LACNIC) acts in that capacity, I invited Ernesto Majo, Deputy CEO of LACNIC, to share his thoughts with the regional Internet community:

"I have the great satisfaction of having contributed to the construction and evolution of LACIGF throughout these nine conferences, working together with other important entities in the region. Each year, new contributors have joined us, enhancing the range and quality of discussions.

Together we've made it possible for the Internet community of Latin America and the Caribbean to have a strong space, open to participation, unrestricted and able to contribute to the debate and development of Internet governance in the region.

"As a founding entity and in our role as the Technical Secretariat, LACNIC is strongly committed to the growth and development of the LACIGF. We have come a long and valuable way, but we still have many challenges to address."

Let's continue this discussion in December in Guadalajara, Mexico, at the Internet Governance Forum.


Alex Dans

Alex Dans

Communications Director, the Americas