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Youth@IGF Program

To build a better Internet, we need young people!

This program has ended. Starting from 2019, the Internet Society will combine the IGF Ambassadors program and Youth@IGF program into a single program called IGF Youth Ambassadors.

Many young people age 18-25 are the first generation of adults to grow up not knowing the world without the Internet. For those who do not have access, they are some of the people that are pushing hardest for it.

Young people are shaping online culture in so many ways. They use the Internet to meet people around the world, create the videos that go viral, create art that moves us, and start and stand behind online social movements that make us think.

They are building their dream Internet.

And yet, when it comes to policy discussions, most of them are not at the table.

The Internet Society, in collaboration with CGI.br, decided in 2015 to change that!

Together with our partners, NIC.MX, the Government of Mexico, Microsoft and Verizon, we have brought more than 160 youth to IGF 2015, 2016 and 2017, under the Youth@IGF program.

This was part of the Internet Society and partners’ commitment to ensure that the next generation of Internet leaders were primed to advance an Internet of opportunity for all. As a result of these efforts, many young people are now contributing to the Youth Special Interest Group and to regional meetings, such as the African Internet Summit, EuroDIG, and others. Also, some of the Youth@IGF Fellows have created Civil Society Organizations, such as Digital Grassroots.

About the program

Objectives

Based on the success in 2015, 2016 and 2017, the program in 2018 empowered next generation Internet leaders by:

  • Building regional and global capacity through training.
  • Building a new cadre of Internet leaders who are motivated to learn, engage and act within their region and beyond.
  • Mobilizing youth beyond IG-specific topics.
  • Partnering with more organizations to broaden the depth.

Program Design

The program had the following phases:

  1. Online course work
  2. Travel fellowship to IGF 2018
  3. Webinar lecture series
  4. Onsite Collaborative Leadership Exchange

Online Course

We first selected the best candidates for the online course. The course took 4 weeks to complete and included the following topics:

  • Introduction to Internet Governance
  • Internet Actors and Stakeholder Groups
  • Internet Infrastructure, Standards, and Protocols
  • Internet Policy Principles

Selected participants were grouped into classes, each with a dedicated expert moderator to facilitate the learning process. Classes were delivered in English, French and Spanish.

Travel Fellowship

Top participants in the online course were selected for the travel fellowship to the Internet Governance Forum 2018 in Paris, France, 10-14 November (including some pre-IGF events).

Webinar Lecture Series

All travel fellows then participated in Webinar Discussion Series led by global Internet Governance experts to deepen their knowledge and to prepare them for the IGF.

Onsite Collaborative Leadership Exchange

The Youth Fellows participated to an Onsite Collaborative Leadership Exchange meeting held one day before the IGF in Paris where they met Internet Society Ambassadors to IGF, Youth Fellows from other programs, and IGF attendees more generally.