Capacity development

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Touré, Hamadoun I.
Rieh, Frédéric
Kummer, Markus
Grabensee, Philipp
Miloshevic, Desiree Zeljka
Kurbalija, Jovan
Ahuma, Godfred
Hilyard, Maureen
Edet, Emmanuel
Rodriguez, Katitza
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In the following pages you will find stories about talented people likely to play an important role in future Internet governance. They have participated in Diplo’s 2008 Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme, which started with training on Internet governance (March June), moved to policy research (August-October), and culminated in complete policy immersion at the Internet Governance Forum in Hyderabad, India (December). During these busy nine months, from March to December 2008, most of the participants in this programme evolved from the novice level to become active in the field of Internet governance policy at national, regional, and global levels. Participants come from diverse professions, varying educa tional backgrounds, distant lands, and different personal experiences. What they have in common is their curiosity and courage to enter the field of Internet governance, which is yet to be fully developed and charted. In Internet governance there are no formal educational programmes. While doctors prepare for their careers by attending medical schools, and lawyers study law, people involved in Internet governance have to grasp this new subject on-the-go. This is probably why among our participants (and IG specialists in general) one can find a wide range of professions, starting from the expected ones – computer specialists – to less predictable ones such as lawyers, sociologists, economists, and artists. The capacity building programme draws on this diversity by facilitating the exchange of information and knowledge and fostering an educational environment in which participants gain knowledge and skills in Internet governance and, at the same time, contribute to this emerging field from their different backgrounds.This publication features the emerging leaders of the digital world. Their leadership potential is based on their knowledge, experience, dedication and professional integ rity. Some of them are already involved in ICANN and the Internet Governance Forum. Others play important roles at universities and in local communities. Some participate in grass-roots and volunteer activities. Like the Internet, leadership in Internet gov ernance is distributed and exercised on various policy levels and in various contexts. For Diplo, the Capacity Building Programme has been a fascinating experience. Every effort we made in preparing the course and the research phase was rewarded by the responses and creativity of the participants. In addition to dedication in their studies, participants have started new training programmes, policy initiatives and networks in their respective countries and regions. For example, a small group of participants started a remote participation project (hubs), which was tested during the Internet Governance Forum meeting in Hyderabad and will likely become a new empowering feature of the global Internet governance process. The Capacity Building Programme has been particularly fortunate to receive support from a wide variety of institutions. Switzerland has continually supported the training and research phases. Canada provided funds for the participation of the IGF Fellows at the Internet Governance Forum in Hyderabad. The International Telecommunication Union, which administered this fund, adopted a selection process based on the merits of the participants during the course and policy research phases. The ITU also encouraged the participation of other actors beyond government representatives. Afilias pro vided funds for a few participants at the Internet Governance Forum. The Internet Governance Forum Secretariat has been a strong supporter of this and other capacity development activities. In March 2009 the next capacity building cycle will start, leading towards its crowning activity - the Internet Governance Forum in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. We invite everyone in the Internet governance community to join in a dynamic exchange with the upcoming generation of Internet governance actors. Many powerful new stories are waiting to be written!