Overcoming the fear of speaking up at APrIGF 2019 – Mandy Chan

Organizing the yIGF 2019 and participating in the APrIGF were great challenges for a beginner like me in internet governance, who came across with a lot of new issues related to IG there. Still, I have no regret in doing so because I had a wonderful experience there.

Understanding how the synthesis document works and contributing to it was one of my biggest achievements. Before, I had only a little knowledge about it. It wasn’t until the synthesis document townhall session when I finally got to understand the significance of it and how the whole thing worked. Looking around, seeing how other participants enthusiastically raised up their hands and sharing their unique opinions during the session made me realize that expressing own feeling and thoughts was never just meant for the capable only, but for all. Understanding that, I stopped waiting silently and put up my hand, attempting to share my own thoughts on internet governance. Being nervous, my body and my voice were shaking during my whole speech. I know that I didn’t make a good speech there, but I am proud of myself for trying even until now.

Internet governance requires contributions from all stakeholders, even sharing one single comment of own feelings will help the whole community to better understand more, for example, on the influences of certain internet policy. There’ll never be bad comments because every comment matters. I am glad that I did speak up on that day not only because I have understood this important message, but also because I successfully used my own experience to motivate and encourage other youths to do so and contribute on the day after. I am so grateful for being able to take part in the APrIGF and helped organized the yIGF this year, which allowed me to learn a lot and make new friends. I hope that I can continue my learning on IG and keep contributing to it in the future.

About the writer

Mandy Chan, NetMission Ambassador of Class 2018/2019, Hong Kong
Year 1, Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences, The University of Hong Kong
Co-organizer of HKyIGF 2019
Co-organizer of Asia Pacific YIGF 2019 Vladivostok

Photo credits: Photography team of cctld.ru and Volunteers from FEFU