Hands-on youth driven internet initiatives

9 Dec 2016 10:00h - 11:00h

Event report

[Read more session reports and live updates from the 11th Internet Governance Forum]

Mr Mark Datysgeld, Researcher, Sao Paulo State University, referenced a project that he began after attending his first ICANN meeting which focused on explaining the basic of Internet governance. He encouraged all to get involved and work on addressing gaps and to not always rely on others to provide solutions.

Mr Lucas Moura, a member of the Brazilian CSIRT, shared a workshop he developed to teach children about the Internet and cybersecurity using games which his company sponsored. Next January he will have a workshop running in Bangladesh funded by an NGO. Moura encouraged all to think about open and resilient projects with funding sourced from different stakeholders.

Ms Agustina Callegari, Policy Analyst with the Centre for Data Protection in Argentina her experience on being part of the Youth ISOC Observatory. She explained her participation in the ICANN Next Gen program which led to her current involvement in the Internet governance ecosystem. She described her biggest challenge in explaining why Internet governance matters to other young persons and members of government. Callegari said she is working on increasing the involvement of more women within the ecosystem.

Mr Ivan Martinez of Wikimedia Mexico shared his experience in the social movement behind Wikipedia. Wikimedia Mexico which operates on a volunteer bases in Mexico City. They are also working to close the gender gap and increase women’s involvement in the wiki media movement. They faced an initial challenge in explaining who they were and their role in the ecosystem to the Mexican government and encouraged all to be bold and work for change.

Ms Sarah Kiden, a member of the Youth SIG explained their emphasis on training of young people in the ecosystem. The Youth SIG received approval from ISOC shortly after formation and currently has 80 members active in various working groups. Kiden also talked about the Youth LAC IGF which was attended by more than 100 young people and their efforts to ensure the multi-stakeholder process is not under-represented. With ISOC and ICANN’s support they were able to offer scholarships.

Ms June Okal of ISOC Kenya described a capacity building Internet governance project for Anglo and Francophone Africa. They recently conducted an IGF in Chad and they are working on greater collaboration amongst African youth.

Ms Manuela Peralta of the Dominican Republic Youth IGF spoke on an Internet Ambassador’s program in Spanish for Latin American youth. Ms Maureen Hernandez, a System Engineer from Venezuela advocated for giving back to the Wikipedia community through support and to be ambassadors and protectors of the Internet in our communities.  Moura endorsed her comments and encouraged the youth to push past resistance. Martinez explained that in the Wikipedia movement most of the donations came from individuals who would donate $20 or $30. Moura also spoke on funding issues and called for more transparency, documentation of best practices and greater networking. Mr Juan Pedro of Portugal echoed the sentiments on youth taking advantage of networking opportunities. Martinez highlighted the lack of a long term vision which is a challenge that youth face in establishing good ideas versus looking for short-term successes.

by Andre Edwards, Trinidad and Tobago