Photos with Vint Cerf

Photos with Vint Cerf

Chapter Member Anna Loup was awarded a Fellowship to the Cyber South School on Internet Governance (SSIG), which took place in Washington D.C., April 30 – May 2. She give a brief overview of her experience in this blog post.

Photos with Vint Cerf

The power of personality in Internet Governance: Highlighting the importance of history in memory and education 

The power of history and memory is in full effect at the 10th anniversary of the South School on Internet Governance (SSIG). With 180-200 fellows, the 2018 Cyber SSIG was host to the largest ever class of fellows so far. Over 2,500 fellows have come, in-person, to the SSIG and over  50,000 remote participants have participated in its 10 years of existence.

With representatives from telecommunication, NGOs, economists, cyber crime investigators, state and federal representative, engineers, university researchers and students, and human rights organizers, this event is not only diverse in interests and expertise, but in gender, region, and scope. It should be noted that the person spearheading this, Olga Cavalli, has led by example and has prioritized diversity and inclusion in all her work in the Internet Governance community.

But a diversity in attendees and presenters is no match for what it means to participants to attend a regional Internet school. I have had the privilege to attend and teach at four different regional Internet governance schools in my short 5 years in the Internet Governance community. The power of these schools is tangible, the excited energy of the fellows anticipating meeting key leaders and figures in the present and past of Internet governance.

I titled this short blog post ‘Photos with Vint Cerf’ because, as I watched fellows line up to take photos with the ever gracious Dr. Cerf, I saw the spark that is necessary to thrive in the constantly changing environment of Internet Governance, a spark that ignites the future leaders of the Internet Governance community.

To this day I still meet people who I have crossed paths with at other regional Internet schools. While we may have not met at the school itself, we have an immediate point of connection which leads to the evolution of the community.

On a beautiful day in early May, the Cyber SSIG came to an end, but its impact will continue well beyond its closing ceremonies. These schools are a critical spark needed to ignite the future leaders within Internet Governance, they are spaces not only for education, but where history is lived and made. We must give these schools the appreciation they deserve because they continue to engage new Internet Governance actors and leaders. As I watched the nearly 200 fellows walk down the steps of the OAS back to their many, many areas of expertise, I knew that the future of the Internet was in good hands.

Anna is an active member of the SF Bay Area Internet Society Chapter, and is a second year PhD student of Communication at The University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School.

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