Pacific ICANN-LEARN Project – APRIL 2020

PICISOC – ICANN collaboration

In January 2020, the Chairs of ICANN’s Advisory Committees (ALAC, SSAC and RSSAC) and Supporting Organisations (GNSO, CCNSO and ASO) met with the ICANN Board Chair – Maarten Botterman – and ICANN’s President and CEO, Goran Marby.   The meeting was for the Constituency Leaders to convey to the Board and ICANN Org what their priorities were for 2020.

This meeting followed on from a successful ATLAS III (our third At-Large Summit meeting) in Montreal in November, so that most of our planning was based on achieving follow-up activities which were established at the meeting of over 40 members of the ALS organisations who had completed a policy learning programme which was a pre-requisite to applying to be one of the team to attend the ATLAS meeting at ICANN66.  This included a report on the programme based on the survey and reports by the ATLAS participants , as well as further policy development, outreach and engagement activities and capacity-building development within the regions to grow further understanding of the work that At-Large does in ICANN, as well as to hopefully engage more participants in our activities within ICANN as well as in our own communities.

One of the proposals that I raised was a project specifically for the Pacific.

ICANN Learn has been working hard to develop courses that are aimed at building knowledge about the key interest areas of learning based around the domain name system which is the responsibility of ICANN.

In April 2020, a call was made to PICISOC and the Pacific ALSes to identify interest in learning more about ICANN. Within a week we had 14 participants who had put their names forward to participate in a learning programme that focuses on key areas of concern to end-users. Ten of the participants are from Fiji and currently three are from Papua New Guinea.

The first course that they are undertaking is “Registrant Basics” to give some context to why ICANN is important to those who are using the Internet, particularly those who have their own domain name. Following the start of this course, the group will meet on a monthly basis on a zoom call (sponsored by the PICISOC Board Chair) to discuss any issues related to the studies that they have taken, but also to discuss any questions that they may have about getting engaged in ICANN-related activities. These will initially involve APRALO (the Asian, Australasian and Pacific Islands Regional At-Large Organisation) as well as the wider At-Large community and ALAC (the At-Large Advisory Council) meetings and activities.

It is planned that over the next few months, the group will study Cybersecurity, an Introduction to ICANN, DNS Fundamentals, as well as introductions to different sections of the ICANN community, before moving to Policy Fundamentals and Policy Development within At-Large. In the middle of all this, will be another virtual conference in June (22-25) which will provide a practical online learning experience for students about what ICANN does.  Progress updates from the students themselves will also be encouraged on the PICISOC notices.

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