I attended two APIGAs so far as a NetMission ambassador, consecutively in 2017 and this year 2018. I was invited to be one of the ambassadors to help organise Model ICANN Meeting back in APIGA 2017 and I was overwhelmed by the intense knowledge and information as a first-timer. I did not feel I achieved the most out of the precious experience, so I decided I had to seize a second chance. I asked to join APIGA 2018 and it turned out I have achieved a lot as both moderator and participant this year.
Asia Pacific Internet Governance Academy (APIGA) is a youth engagement program in Korea led by KISA and ICANN. Participants were composed of local and regional students aged 18 – 35 and this made the dialogue more comprehensive and inspiring.
As a moderator of Model ICANN Meeting, I was very impressed by the diverse perspectives the participants brought into the discussion. We conducted a simulation of application and objection process of New gTLDs program. Participants proposed to apply for strings like .ent (a short form of entertainment proposed by Korean and Taiwanese participants), .kanoon (meaning lawyers in Nepalese proposed by a Nepalese), etc. During the Model ICANN Meeting, with the discussion topic of Community Objection and Closed Generics, the participants did a good job in bringing up many perspectives. The disputes over religious factor in qualifying a community objection were particularly vigorous.
Beside the moderating experience, I have enjoyed a lot in the more interactive sessions this year. The program this year expanded itself to broader adoption of Internet governance issues. This created a better linkage between ICANN’s function and the Internet ecosystem for participants’ knowledge. I would particularly shout out my fondness for the workshop simulating policy convening and the one simulating ICANN working group meeting during PDP development process. These two were very helpful in familiarising young people with how they can potentially participate in any of this process in the future.
A group of aspiring youth staying several days and nights together learning and exchanging ideas at APIGA– the ultimate goal of APIGA–instead of mere capacity building, I’d say it’s peer networking. It’s vital for youth to connect and inspire each other. By connection and mutual learning and support, youth community is empowered to drive changes and exert influence. After all, generations change and youth will be in charge one day.
About the writer
Sherry Shek, NetMission Ambassador of Class 2016-2017,
Fellows of ICANN 61, Puerto Rico (10-15 Mar 2018),
Year 5, Bachelor of English Language, The Chinese University of Hong Kong