P.S: Allow sometime for the Gif to Load :)
It was not Singapore, It was not London but it was Los Angeles!
And for Coordinating and managing all our travel trips!
Oh Yes, This is Impressive!
HERE WE GO, ONE MORE TIME!
From Left to Right: Marilia, Carlton, Osama, Sarah, Krishna, Aida and Random Penguin.
12. And on the last day I was like,
Naah, I am not emotional.
(Moving on to some serious stuff) Having been a beneficiary of the open internet, My primary motive to attend an ICANN Fellowship meeting was because I believe in the concept of one Internet and wanted to get a firsthand experience on how the medium I love functions with its unique Multistakeholder model. To me, the Multistakeholder model is the logical enhancement to any democratic society. I see it as the next step to evolve from the age-old top-down decision making process that has consciously kept people away while making key decisions that affect everyone. Looking back, the first thing I remember is the Ice breaker mail from Janice and warm wishes from the ICANN returning fellows into the community which I found very welcoming. I got free consultation from alumnus Edwin (ICANN 50) and Zakir (ICANN 49) on what to expect and how to prepare for the fellowship. When I had no clue on filling the bank forms and other details, Kwasi immediately sent a mail and helped me with it. Once I got introduced to my mentor and team, there was no looking back. We were able to collaborate via mail and discuss on issues and our expectations from the ICANN meet. Our Mentor Sarah constantly sent us mails with links to study materials to ensure we weren’t getting laid back in our approach.
When I had to figure out my stay for the additional day, Valentina pitched in with airbnb suggestions and Seun with his own room. However, I landed 8 hours earlier than Seun and still had to find a place to hangout. I met Sonam when he was going through the Hotel address in Super Shuttle and that was enough for us to get acquainted. He offered me his room for the time being, which I accepted with no second thoughts. Here I am talking about people with whom I had no previous interaction and had no time to build any form of trust but the fact that I have been chosen for this fellowship was sufficient enough for them to trust and help me. It was a reflection of trust that they have on ICANN, more than me, which I found beautiful.
Over the week, right from the Hotel staff who helped me find my way each time I was lost to Steve Crocker, who was kind enough to answer our questions and pose multiple times to our photo requests, I met humble people who were willing to spend time and share their knowledge with the community. I was left overwhelmed by the amount of effort that every member has put in from their free time to participate and keep the Internet together, Very much in line with the ethos of Internet that has fueled its growth so far. I feel the ICANN Fellowship is an opportunity that was presented to me at the right time that has not only broadened my understanding on how the Internet functions but has also helped me figure out on where I would fit in and how I can contribute back to the community.
To sum it up, my first ICANN meeting was all about the wonderful people I got to meet from all around the world. Be it the long walk to Beverly Hills or drinking Pumpkin beer and uttering sentence that made no sense or the wonderful book that I got as gift or Visiting Bj’s frequently and nagging their staff for a separate bill for everyone or the secret lunch that was arranged by our anonymous friend or winning the Foosball game during Music night or the random moment when I ended up throwing Ice cubes on a bowl of fire, There was never a second I regretted during the ICANN meet. We bonded and made wonderful memories together, hence I stand firm with my heading – ICANN is a family. Like every family, ICANN too is not perfect, it is complicated. However, it has people who understand Internet, who love Internet, who have worked for Internet all their lives and people who will pass on that knowledge to us to Keep the Internet as One and that is what I believe powers the whole Multistakeholder model which I am proud to be a part of.
Note: I did attend the scheduled sessions based on my interest from 7 AM – 6 PM, details of which are still being processed inside my head and kept confidential ;)
Thank you so much for taking care of us and this wonderful Experience!