How APNIC is encouraging the next generation

By on 11 Sep 2014

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Anna Mulingbayan, APNIC Senior Internet Resource Analyst/ Liaison Officer, South East Asia recently addressed the Y4IT (Youth for IT) in Manila on who APNIC is encouraging the next generation.

“Good morning, everyone, my name is Anna, I’m from APNIC that is short for Asia Pacific Network information Centre. One of the main roles of our organisation is to distribute Internet resources in the Asia Pacific region.

But I’m not here today to talk about how to get these resources such as IP addresses and AS numbers. Normally when we attend conferences we would give an APNIC update where we  update everyone on the usage of these resources such as IPv4 exhaustion, IPv6 deployment, and we talk about APNIC policies and Internet governance, but today I’m going to talk about a topic that is close to my heart, in fact this is a project that has been sealed during our staff conference last year and it was our team who came up with the idea.

Today, I’m going to talk about APNIC youth programme. And I’m really thankful I have the liberty to talk about something different today. I remember one of my friends from the US, who is one of the pioneers of the world wide web, said one of the skills he’s most proud of is to stay awake during Internet meetings and conferences. And even myself, for the past 13 years I’ve been attending conferences, I do feel some things are done the same way over and over again, in fact sometimes I hear this running joke about “death by PowerPoint presentation” when attending a conference, that’s why today I decided not to use slides, hopefully I would get to communicate better with you.

Yes, technology has changed tremendously over the last decade or so, which is great, and I guess the reason why you’re here today is because you want to be part of it. And perhaps the right mindset now is to think that I will be part of the future who will be given the task to take over and shape this great technology – the youth, the next generation, basically you, the star of this show. So this is your chance to get involve, to participate, to voice your opinions, to make a difference.

Di ba nga sabi n gating Pambansang Bayani na si Gat Jose Rizal (Like what our national hero Gat Jose Rizal has said) , ‘the youth is the hope of our nation’, let’s start to think that the same idealism applies to the future of the Internet.

We at APNIC recognizes the importance of the youth, so we seek to encourage and engage young people in the Asia Pacific in its activities and events to achieve the following goals:

  1. To ensure greater participation by young people in important activities such as Internet policy development and Internet governance discussions. We find this challenging because policy discussion and Internet governance are where the rules and guidelines how the Internet should run is being discussed. There’s a lot of documents to read, more mailing-list discussions, so one way to start is by reading through it, join in the mailing-lists, watch the remote webcast when the actual discussions are being held, and once you have the full knowledge and understanding about the issues and developments, that’s when you can start to be involved, by writing and speaking your opinions. That’s the good thing about the Internet no one is too young or too old to have a say in it. And maybe you have something important to say that needs to be heard.
  2. To educate and build awareness among young people about APNIC and its work particularly the management of number resources. We do that by giving young people complementary seats during NOGs, discounts to students during APNIC conferences and other APNIC sponsored events  and encouraging them to present to showcase their skills.
  3. To develop the next generation in the Asia Pacific of Internet policy and technical community leaders. This upcoming APNIC conference we have sessions focusing on the youth. Hopefully we get to see those who can be the future technical community leaders.
  4. To expand the available pool of young technical people that APNIC could employ for its services. APNIC itself is looking for young talent we could employ, we have on the job training programs and internships- in fact our current infrastructure manager in our technical services team  started with as an intern.
  5. To provide an opportunity for young people to network with senior colleagues in the industry with similar technical interests. The idea is to get you exposed in the industry, meet the right contacts. You’ll never know, sometimes people who attend these events are also head-hunting employees or young talent for their companies, so our advice is whoever you meet and talk with in these conferences, always try to impress.
  6. To identify and foster the professional development of young potential members of the Asia Pacific Internet community from emerging and developing economies.  We outreach to youth from developing economies. This year we have allocated to chosen university students in some of these developing economies from our fellowship program. We encourage them to present the projects or thesis they are working on. We have this session called Lightning Talks where anyone can present ideas, and the committee will choose the best.
  7. To demonstrate APNIC’s commitment to fostering capacity building. Right now what we do is involve youth in any way we can, if there is a good opportunity in the events and activities that we do. But you don’t have to be involve in all of it, we understand that you have different interests.

What we would like to achieve here is to make you aware that there are plenty of things you can be involve with, and whatever piques your interest, feel free to join in the fun.

Today we would like to challenge you to think about the future, how you can be part of it and contribute into the growth and development of the Internet.

Especially here in the Philippines, we face many challenges so let’s take this as an opportunity to move forward, and always be brave to speak up, to share our opinions, show our ideas, and to be different- sometimes crazy ideas can be great ideas. I know this can be a challenge sometimes because our culture dictates to be polite and respectful to those who are more senior than us, so to our seniors let’s give them a chance, let’s encourage them to think and come up with ideas for themselves.

I hope you get something out of this talk and let’s hope for a better future of the Internet from the youth of today, it’s never too early to start.  And if you have any ideas you want to share, please fee free to email me (anna [at] or ask questions after this talk. Mabuhay po tayong lahat!”

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