An opportunity to explore and interact – Samik Kharel

Participating in APIGA 2019 as a NetMission Ambassador was an exciting endeavor.  The title served two purposes at the same time- as a participant and a facilitator. As a participant, I got an opportunity to explore deep into Internet governance issues and its new ramifications. While as a facilitator, I was sharing my knowledge with fellows from all of the Asia Pacific region- at the same time learning specific regional and economic contexts concerning the Internet.

Along with three other ambassadors, we were deployed by the NetMission Academy to research, set topics and host ICANN mock conference. We started working remotely at least three months prior to APIGA and met in Seoul to facilitate the sessions for NetMission.  I had the privilege to research on issues concerning new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) and how they could be fairly distributed among applicants. The rigorous amount of effort and time invested in learning and analyzing nitty-gritty about gTLDs, its history, and current status, helped me build a robust idea on relevant issues to be discussed at APIGA both informally and formally to fellows and mentors.

As an appointed moderator for the ICANN mock conference, I proposed the discussion question- “Is auction the fairest way to settle the ownership top contested new gTLDs among multiple applications? “ under the larger topic concerning gTLDs and inequality. Here, the opportunity was granted to make statements, discuss and come to a consensus to the fellows who were assigned to represent various stakeholder groups.

Prior to the mock conference, representing NetMission, we were also conducting multiple sessions as part of the pre-mock conference. This was to prepare the fellows to understand and inform relevant issues concerning the domain disputes and inequality concerning domains. These sessions proved to be very fruitful as numbers of participants were active discussants during the session. The pre-mock conference also included my presentation on the (dot) amazon story- how the Internet giant amazon acquired the controversial (dot) amazon, despite protests from eight South American countries. Also, an interactive game was designed for the fellows in groups to suggest some names if they were to register for new gTLDs. Some other interesting sessions for me included the sessions on Artificial Intelligence, as it has been one of my research areas. The fascination for Internet governance to track itself towards Internet of things (IoT) and touch the realms of AI sounds ever more challenging. Overall as an ambassador of NetMission, it was exciting opportunities to participate together with facilitate sessions and mentor young people on Internet governance issues.

About the Writer

Samik Kharel, NetMission Ambassador of Class 2018/19, Kathmandu (Nepal)
Master’s Degree in Media Arts