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Shaping Future of the Internet 19 January 2023

From Internet User to Internet Champion

By Kamesh ShekarGuest Author

I’m Kamesh, a member of the Internet Society and a proud Early Career alum from the 2022 cohort. I am taking over this blog to share some exciting news and, hopefully, provide some inspiration for your 2023.

The Early Career Fellowship helps those just starting their career get the skills and knowledge needed to advocate for the Internet and shape its future. It played a crucial role in my professional growth in the technology policy space. 

My Experience

When I joined this fellowship, I was beginning my career as a novice technology and policy researcher. This fellowship helped me grow both my subject matter expertise and my research skills. It allowed me to deeply understand the Internet’s core architecture, trending Internet issues, and hone my advocacy and project management skills. 

Sessions by world-renowned academic institutions, such as the Diplo Foundation and the Oxford Internet Institute, equipped me with a new lens for analyzing upcoming technology regulations. It empowered many of my peers and me to take early steps toward implementing our fellowship projects in our communities.

That was the beauty of this fellowship for me. The project process. It helped me take my project from an idea to a fully-fledged plan, refining and shaping it into something more intellectually sound and credible. It helped set my project on the right path and put me on a journey toward implementation, which I am still actively immersed in today.

Prize Finalists

You can imagine how delighted I was to hear that the Internet Society’s Early Career Fellowship has been selected as a finalist for a prize. It was nominated for the final round of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Prize 2023. Given how much this program helped me, I would love to see it succeed.

And it wasn’t alone. It turns out that the Internet Society’s Designing and Deploying Computer Networks: Enhancing Women’s Employment in Tech training program is also a finalist. 

This in-person training course equips learners with practical, employable Internet-related skills that are in demand, especially in developing economies. The program has profoundly impacted learners’ lives in the six months since it launched, thanks to a combination of classroom instruction, hands-on practice through internship programs, and professional networking support. 

Winners will have a chance to present to a global audience of decision-makers and leaders at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum later this year. It’s a real opportunity to advocate for an Internet for everyone.

The Internet Champions of Tomorrow

Both programs have empowered Internet leaders in diverse ways. While one acts on the global stage and the other at a local level, they both upskill the Internet user into an Internet champion, equipping them with in-demand, hands-on knowledge and skills in the technology sector.

It’s about bridging the gap between academic education and the path to employment. Our programs equip participants with the skills to create opportunities through the Internet. We have seen our alumni enable entrepreneurs to set up their businesses, children to have access to education, villages gain access to health services and families connect. And some of them have even landed their dream job. Our programs create the Internet leaders of tomorrow.”
Joyce Dogniez, Vice President of Empowerment and Outreach, Internet Society Foundation

Vote Now

It’s all down to voting now–and that’s where you come in. Please vote and help these programs make it to the top spot.

The Internet Society offers a range of programs and training to equip members to shape the Internet of tomorrow. I encourage you to get involved in 2023. It might just transform your life and many others’ lives too.

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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