inSIG 2016: An initiative to engage the community in Internet Governance discussions

By on 21 Nov 2016

Category: Community

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44 participants from nine countries participated at the first Indian School on Internet Governance. Photo Credit: Glenn McKnight

The first Indian School of Internet Governance (inSIG 2016) was held in Hyderabad, India, from 31 October to 2 November 2016.

It coincided with the 57th meeting of ICANN in Hyderabad and aimed to build awareness among community members on Internet Governance (IG) issues that were to be discussed at ICANN 57. It also had a goal to equip attendees with the necessary skills to enable them to participate effectively in global IG platforms, processes and institutions, ultimately creating champions in society.

Overall, we had 44 participants including 16 international participants from eight countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Nepal, Pakistan, South Korea and Sri Lanka. Care was taken to ensure there was a good representation of gender, age and professional backgrounds, not all of whom were technically-minded.

The three-day program offered participants an overview of the history, context and principles of IG. It also provided an introduction to the various entities involved (social, cultural, technical and governmental) not only from the global perspective but also from the Asia Pacific and India.

Topics included the IANA transition, key discussion points of ICANN accountability post-transition, and issues of the post-transition ecosystem such as accountability, governance and diversity.

To help those from non-technical backgrounds, Srinivas Chendi from APNIC explained the technical and engineering perspective of IG with an interactive role-playing game, something that many participants greatly appreciated.

As the program was aimed at building a better understanding of IG issues among potential future community leaders of the Asia Pacific region, the 22 speakers from both within the country and overseas ensured that they not only highlighted issues at a broader perspective but also discussed specific regional and national issues.

What was most pleasing was the participants’ enthusiasm to share their diverse perspectives, which is a key component to the multistakeholder model that IG draws from. Speakers encouraged participants to continue to share these perspectives and get involved in the various multistakeholder IG organizations in the region.

Based on the overwhelming feedback we have from everyone involved, we are already looking at holding a second inSIG in 2017.

inSIG 2016 was organized by the ISOC Delhi and Trivandrum Chapters, and supported by the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI); the Ministry of Communication and IT, Government of India (MeitY); ICANN; the Internet Society; the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H); APNIC; and the Asia-Pacific School of Internet Governance (APSIG).

Amrita Choudhury is an organizer of inSIG, Director of CCAOI and Treasurer of the ISOC Delhi Chapter.

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The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.

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