A New Perspective on the Stakeholder's Journey
Photo: Catching up with the Asia Pacific Internet Governance Academy (APIGA) alumni at the recent ICANN meeting in Copenhagen (From left to right: Mohammad Abdul Awal from Bangladesh, Haoran Huang from China, Adeel Sadiq from Pakistan, Donggi Lee from South Korea and Kelvin Wong from ICANN)
Last year, I posted a blog on the inaugural Asia Pacific Internet Governance Academy (APIGA) 2016, a five-day capacity building program to nurture Asia Pacific youth leaders to participate actively in the global multistakeholder Internet governance ecosystem.
After the program ended in August 2016, the APIGA alumni have been active in exchanging information about opportunities to participate in regional and global Internet governance events. Some of the alumni have gone on to participate and contribute in fora such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Global Internet Governance Forum (IGF), as well as ICANN.
For Haoran Huang – a postgraduate student from the Institute of Internet Governance and Law, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT), China – APIGA was his first foray into the world of Internet governance, and he has not stopped since. Over the short span of nine months since APIGA ended, Haoran has attended ICANN meetings, joined ICANN as a community member and participated in the last IGF and Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF).
APIGA can help kick off your Internet governance journey
According to APIGA alumnus Haoran, “It is important for youths like myself, who grew up with the Internet, to recognize that we form an important group in the global Internet community. Young adults will form the next generation of leaders in the Internet community. We need to voice out issues we’re concerned with, and contribute to Internet governance discussions to help shape the evolution of the Internet for the next generation.
APIGA 2016 gave me the opportunity to do that. Through its rigorous curriculum, the program provided me insights into the world of Internet governance. I was particularly interested in ICANN’s work, and the program helped me take further steps in participating in ICANN and Internet governance discussions.
Two months after APIGA, I attended ICANN57 and the Indian School of Internet Governance, which was held alongside ICANN57. As a newcomer to ICANN meetings, the experience widened my perspective on Internet governance and spurred me to join the Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC) in the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO). It also sparked my interest to join some of the ICANN working groups, including the Jurisdiction Subgroup in the Cross-Community Working Group-Accountability Work Stream 2. This was a good learning opportunity, which helped improve my knowledge through direct exposure.
Shortly after, I went on to participate in both regional and local IGFs. I was selected to be a Youth@IGF participant (a program organized by the Internet Society), and attended the IGF 2016 in Mexico. I took the initiative and joined the Multistakeholder Steering Group (MSG) at the regional APrIGF. Both are important platforms for the community to participate in discussions on significant Internet governance issues.
My Internet governance journey would not have started had it not been for APIGA. By participating in these Internet governance discussions, I have expanded my network significantly and met many students, who like me, are passionate about contributing towards global Internet governance discussions. I challenge all the young people around me to join in the discussions, to make our voices heard and make a difference to the Internet for the next generation.”
Apply for APIGA 2017 today
If you are like Haoran and want to make an impact to the Internet, I encourage you to apply for the 2nd run of APIGA in Seoul, Korea, taking place from 7 to 11 August 2017. The Fellowship applications window for APAC youths to apply for this program will open from 12 May to 8 June 2017. Find out more and apply now at go.icann.org/apiga.