62 youths from 14 Asia Pacific (APAC) economies are being groomed as future leaders as they attend the inaugural Asia Pacific Internet Governance Academy. Held at Yonsei University in Seoul, the five-day workshop on Internet governance and Internet-related topics was officially launched by the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today.
The academy aims to improve participants’ understanding of how the Internet works, the “bottom-up consensus building” model of Internet governance, which has helped shape the Internet as we know it today, and how they can take part in shaping the evolution of the Internet for the next generation.
“The Internet is not controlled by any single person, organization, or government. For the Internet to develop and cater to the needs of our region – of which half of the world’s Internet users reside – we need to get involved in the various platforms that discuss, develop and evolve the Internet,” said Jia-Rong Low, Vice President and Managing Director of ICANN’s Asia Pacific Hub.
“I would like to thank KISA and Korea for their partnership and leadership during the development and launch of this program. The next billion Internet users will likely come from our region, and today’s students are the leaders of tomorrow. We hope that after this academy, they can participate in ICANN, and other relevant platforms, to shape the future of the Internet,” Low added.
The Academy will introduce participants to various Internet governance platforms, such as the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF), as well as organizations involved in Internet governance work. Speakers from these organizations, such as the Korea Internet Governance Alliance (KIGA), Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC) and Internet Society (ISOC), will share their experiences and work.
Yoonhong Cho, Vice President of KISA added, “I am very delighted to see the KISA-ICANN joint project on capacity building for the Asia Pacific region bear such fruitful results, in the form of APIGA. In partnering with ICANN and with the strong support and significant contribution from our 11 sponsor organizations, I believe that the inaugural Asia Pacific event will be fully utilized as an incubating platform for the next generation of global leaders for the future Internet.”
ICANN and KISA received more than 120 applications from all over the APAC region. Successful applicants are required to attend 25 hours of online learning prior to the five-day workshop in Seoul. After the Academy, they will be invited to participate in regional and global Internet governance events, such as the 57th ICANN public meeting, which is being held in Hyderabad, India, from 3-9 November 2016.
The academy is also an extension of ICANN’s youth engagement program, which aims to reach out to the next generation and groom future leaders. Another program is NextGen@ICANN, which is held on the sidelines of ICANN Public Meetings.