The Internet has become a mainstream media and a critical infrastructure for business. Adoption and development of the Internet has the potential to dramatically transform and improve people’s quality of life, bring new opportunities in education, employment and socio-economic development. However, the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” is widening rapidly. This digital divide problem is emerging as a major social development and poverty alleviation concern for modern society.
NetMission.Asia is an Ambassadors Program supported by DotAsia Organisation, which aims to bring together a network of dedicated young volunteers to get devoted to promoting digital inclusion, Internet governance as well as a respectable and harmonious Internet environment.
The program recruits a group of students from top local tertiary institutes and universities in Hong Kong every year. We train and sustain a network of volunteers to contribute to digital inclusion works. We are endeavoring to empower young minds, through training, exchange opportunities, international conferences and community projects, therefore to constructively contribute to the local, regional and global Internet governance discourse.
The NetMission Ambassadors Program has already received encouraging feedback from the community. The program was awarded the Hong Kong KCT Awards 2009 at Best Digital Inclusion Award (Service). With such encouragement, NetMission hopes to branch out its program to involve other regions in Asia.
We have always been supporting youth participation on Internet governance and the ambassadors themselves are actively participating in various international Internet conferences such as ICANN meetings, United Nations Internet Governance Forum (UNIGF) and Asia Pacific Next Generation Camp (APNG Camp). As NetMission is endeavored to empower and engage youth on Internet governance discussion, the ambassadors have been organizing the Youth Internet Governance Forum (yIGF) in different Asia Pacific countries since 2010 in Hong Kong. It has also been successfully held in Singapore, Tokyo, South Korea, India and Macao. The ambassadors have also initiated the NextGen@ICANN program in Singapore for tertiary students in the region in 2014, and it kicks off as a pilot to deploy the NextGen@ICANN initiative in ICANN meeting for youth engagement in actual Internet policy discussion and decision making process.