For starters, in case you are wondering what The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) helps coordinate the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions, which are key technical services critical to the continued operations of the Internet’s underlying address book, the Domain Name System (DNS).
Secondly, I did all the courses and attended all the webinars for the ATLAS III participants; the courses were very informative about what the role of ICANN and At-Large is in the Internet eco-System, and finally I got selected through a very competitive process.
You might also want to know that, ‘Third At-Large Summit (ATLAS III) is an assembly of future At-Large Ambassadors, focused on developing and nurturing potential thought leaders and change agents who will implement what has resulted from the At-Large Review Process and more effective participation of At-Large members in the policy advice process.’
At the ICANN66 Annual General Meeting in Montreal, Canada.
During the highly informative and practical ATLAS III Webinar, I was introduced to Format and Content of Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) phase 1 to develop policy recommendations concerning the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data. A lot of the lessons from these informed what would later be known as Digital Literacy Initiative.
If you thought that was all, think again. There was another set of the Pre-ICANN 66 policy webinars which featured a series of seven webinars that prepared participants for the Annual General Meeting. With those, done and out of the way, we were declared ready.
The summit itself consisted of a series of plenary sessions and seven break-out groups which provided training and interactive, hands-on practice of key learning skills. To drive the point home, a case study on the EPDP Phase served as a focus for the training.
Our At-Large leaders served as our coaches during the break-out sessions. I was selected to be part of group six (6) and had the privilege of working with Mohamed El Bashir, Seun Ojedeji and Barrack Otieno who throughout the program provided my group guidance.
The EPDP group six position I was part of was the NCSG (the Non-Commercial stakeholder Group) whose mission is to protect and support non-commercial interests. Privacy was our main concern. We discussed issues such as Human rights, Freedom of Expression, Access to knowledge and security and our unanimous conclusion supported full compliance with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
On Tuesday 5th November 2019, each participant was joined to a different stakeholder group. This allowed us to have different points of views, including; business constituency, Intellectual property, registry and registrar stakeholder groups. The outcome from this discussion was, the need to identify; who is the trusted entity, what private and public information is, the protection of trademarks and investigation of the cost of implementation.
ICANN66 Annual General Meeting in Montreal, Canada – a space for networking!
The summit was crafted in a well-balanced manner, and also included networking events. I was privileged to interact with and make acquaintance with other At-Large members from around the globe as well as members of the ICANN community. More notably, I got the opportunity to meet Göran Marby, the ICANN President and Maarten Botterman the ICANN Board Chairman.
I am filled with gratefulness to all the ALAC and ICANN staff that facilitated this entire program and the ATLAS III Program working group. From me to whoever is reading this, I leave a high recommendation to join this program to be trained as a future leader. It is life-changing and it will greatly impact your destiny for the better.
By Joan katambi