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Shaping Future of the Internet 1 February 2023

Your Chance to Be the Changemaker

By Alejandra PrietoGuest AuthorDirector, Fellowships, Internet Society Foundation

It’s not every day a fellowship program changes lives. But that’s exactly what we see when our alumni set out into the world, eager and ready to make a difference.

Pay It Forward

Nojus Saad was an educated but fresh-faced 21-year-old when he came to the Internet Society in 2020 as an IGF Youth Ambassador. He was motivated to act. He knew entire communities needed him. After participating in our program, he launched digital literacy training in Iraq. Through this training, he has coached five heads of local civil society organizations on how to inform and reform national digital policies and equipped more than 80 young people with the necessary skills to help close the digital divide in their underserved communities. The pure definition of a positive ripple effect. 

Ibrahim Ola Garba of Nigeria, a 2021 early career alum, built a community-owned telecommunication infrastructure (known as a community network) for the people of Kakuri to lower the community’s cost to access the Internet. In doing so, he created opportunities through the Internet, allowing entrepreneurs to start businesses, children to have access to education, and families to connect.

And then there’s Esther Mwema from Zambia, a Youth@IGF fellow from the class of 2017, an artist, and a digital inequalities expert. During her fellowship, she collaborated with peers to launch Digital Grassroots, an organization working to increase engagement in Internet governance and bolster digital rights among youth from underrepresented communities globally. Through leadership, community engagement programs, and mentorships, they promote youth involvement in shaping the Internet ecosystem.

These are the people forging the Internet of the future. And they’re not alone.

Each and every one of our alumni has a success story to tell, and all continue to work tirelessly to make people’s lives better through the Internet.

The Tools You Need To Succeed

Our programs transform a passionate Internet user into an active Internet champion, providing the tools, knowledge, and network needed to take the next step toward change.

The program expanded my horizons […] It brought this broad concept [of Internet Governance] to life for me, understanding what it means, why it’s relevant, and the debates behind it. It also [introduced me to] incredible colleagues advancing the Internet throughout the world, in truly different contexts and cultures. I now have a deeper knowledge on the area and also a group of amazing friends to foster the discussions and keep learning.”
Ariel Riera, former IGF Youth Ambassador

Could This Be You?

I am excited to announce that from 1 February 2023, we are opening applications to our new Youth Ambassador Program.

Based on years of success and feedback on our IGF Youth Ambassador Program, we are expanding the program to provide more opportunities for Internet champions to engage in and grow their visibility on the global Internet governance stage.

This 10-month program brings the opportunity to:

  • Attend one of several key Internet events (not just the global Internet Governance Forum (IGF).
  • Deepen your subject expertise through specific Internet governance online training.
  • Broaden your advocacy, diplomacy, communications, project management, and leadership skills.
  • Be mentored by key Internet leaders and experts.

Learn more about the program, check if you meet the criteria, and apply now.
Applications close on 22 February 2023, so be sure to act quickly!

In case the Youth Ambassador Program isn’t the one for you, you can check out the other fellowship programs we offer.

Interested in sponsoring the program? Please reach out to [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you.

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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