How to get involved

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Introduction

Even though there are numerous Internet governance-related events and processes happening all around the world, a commonly recurring point raised by individuals who participate in capacity building events within the Internet policy ecosystem is that there are no clear instructions or set of guidelines and recommends for how to get involved in the various Internet governance (IG) debates and processes. Given the myriad stakeholders involved, the amount of topics Internet governance encompasses, and the fora available to discuss them, how does one get engaged? This led Michael J. Oghia to put together a guide to help someone interested in getting involved and participating more, especially within Europe.

It should be said, however, that if anyone between the age of 18-30 wants to get involved in Internet governance in Europe, the easiest way is to apply to the Youth Dialogue on Internet Governance (YOUthDIG). This is EuroDIG's youth programme, which features a two-day, pre-event track full of discussion, learning, networking, and fun that prepares youth participants (between the ages of 18-30) for their participation in the EuroDIG process. For more information, see the wiki.

Aside from YOUthDIG, there are many more ways to get involved as well. Although this list of resources is not meant to be exhaustive, below are some more ways to get engaged in Internet governance (see the original guide here).

Youth-focused resources

  • The Youth Coalition on Internet Governance (YCIG) – A registered Dynamic Coalition of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which is an open group for organizations and individuals, representing all stakeholder groups, willing to collaborate together in order to encourage and enrich youth participation in local, regional, and international Internet governance discussions and processes. Also check out their IGF ABC's guide here.
  • Apply for the SEEDIG youth school – link
  • Apply for the NextGen@ICANN program (if you're studying) – link
  • Apply for the European Summer School on Internet Governance (EuroSSIG)

Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

The IGF is an annual, multistakeholder event held each year under the auspices of the United Nations. The IGF also hosts IGFs at the country, subregional, and regional levels, which feed into the global IGF.

  • Join a Dynamic Coalition (DC) – They range from the YCIG, one focusing on the Internet of Things (IoT), or one focusing on community connectivity (DC3)
  • Join the DC mailing list – link
  • Participate in the Best Practice Forums (BPFs), such as the one on Gender and Access or Cybersecurity
  • Contribute to the Policy Options for Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion(s) (CENB) initiative
  • Attend the global meeting or participate remotely – link
  • Join one of the local, national, subregional, or regional IGF initiatives (NRIs)
  • Join the IGF's newcomers track and corresponding mailing list

European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG)

EuroDIG is the regional IGF for Europe, and addresses various policy, content, and development-related issues.

  • How to get involved – link
  • Join the EuroDIG consultation process and join an organizing team – link
  • Check out other IG-related events in Europe – link

Southeastern European Dialogue on Internet Governance (SEEDIG)

SEEDIG is the subregional IGF initiative connected to EuroDIG, this event focuses on Southeastern Europe – including the Balkans and Caucasus.

  • Participate in the annual consultation process, and join an organizing team – link
  • Check out the monthly SEE summary of IG events/news – link
  • Apply for the SEEDIG fellowship program – link
  • Join the SEEHub monthly briefing – link
  • Join the SEEDIG mailing list – link

The RIPE community

The Réseaux IP Européens (RIPE) is the community of the regional Internet registry (RIR) for Europe, which is coordinated by the RIPE Network Coordination Center (RIPE NCC).

  • Get involved in the RIPE community – link
  • Join a RIPE mailing list – link
  • Host a RIPE Atlas probe – link
  • Read articles on RIPE Labs – link
  • For academics and researchers looking to get involved in the RIPE community, you can also apply for the RIPE Academic Cooperation Initiative (RACI)

Internet Society (ISOC)

ISOC is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet-related standards, education, access, and policy. It features chapters all over the world, and ISOC members are involved in every aspect of Internet governance.

  • Become a global member (for free) – link
  • Join a chapter – link
  • Join the ISOC Policy or other mailing lists – link
  • Apply for an ambassadorship to the IGF (when the call opens each summer) – link
  • Apply for ISOC's Youth@IGF programme – link
  • Apply for a fellowship to attend one of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meetings – link
  • Participate in an e-learning course as part of the Next Generation Leaders program (NGL) – link
  • ISOC's online course "Shaping the Internet: History and Futures" – link
  • ISOC's guide to the Internet ecosystem – link
  • ISOC's guide to why the multistakeholder model works – link

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

(ICANN) is the organization responsible for operating the Domain Name System (DNS), which is essentially the equivalent of the Internet's phone book – holding the registry of all Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and domain names. It is governed by an international, multistakeholder community.

  • Check out the beginners guide – link
  • Visit ICANN Learn and take a free course – link
  • Submit a public comment – link
  • Join a group or constituency – link

Constituencies geared toward civil society and academia

Constituencies for end users

  • At-large Advisory Committee – link

Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)

The NCSG and NCUC are part of the GNSO, which has many resources available as well. These include:

  • A list of stakeholder groups and constituencies – link
  • The GNSO Projects List: a compilation of all active and/or open projects within the GNSO – link
  • The GNSO document archive – link

Additional ICANN resources

  • Learn about how to write policy via the NCUC's Policy Writing Course – link
  • Especially for human rights defenders, academics, privacy advocates, and other members of civil society, see the NCSG’s archive of public comments – link
  • Join a working group (the Middle East and Adjoining Countries Strategy Working Group (MEAC-SWG), for instance)
  • Apply for the ICANN Fellowship program (if you'd like to be introduced to ICANN and want to take part in its work) – link
  • If you're a member of the government, join the Government Advisory Committee (GAC)
  • Participate in meetings remotely – link
  • Check out ICANNWiki

DiploFoundation & Geneva Internet Platform (GIP) Digital Watch observatory

The GIP Digital Watch observatory, an initiative of DiploFoundation, is a comprehensive Internet governance and digital policy observatory that provides monthly updates about digital policy as well as tracks issues and policy developments.

  • See how to get involved – link
  • Take part in the monthly briefings – link
  • Stay updated with upcoming events – link
  • Subscribe to the newsletter – link
  • Sign up for one of their online courses, such as the Introduction to Internet Governance – link
  • Join their team of Digital Watch assistant curators – link
  • Contribute to the DiploFoundation blog – link
  • Read the Introduction to Internet Governance (7th edition) e-book for free – link
  • DiploFoundation's IG acronym glossary – link

Asia Pacific resources

These resources are specific to those living and working in the Asia-Pacific region, which also includes some members of the EuroDIG community, such as those in Russia, the Caucuses, and Turkey.

  • Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) – link
  • Be part of the Multistakeholder Steering Group (MSG) and help organize the annual meetings – link
  • Join the Asia Pacific community to discuss Internet Governance issues – link
  • Join the APrIGF sessions remotely – link
  • Apply for the Asia Pacific Internet Governance Academy (APIGA) – link
  • If you are interested in establishing a national, regional, or subregional IGF within the Asia Pacific region, join the community for information sharing at: email

Additional mailing lists to join

  • Best Bits – link
  • Internet Governance Caucus – link
  • Information and Communications Technology for Sustainability (ICT4S) – link
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) email list – subscribe
  • Media Development Forum (FoME) email list – link

Other ways to get involved

  • Join the IG Hub on Facebook – link
  • Join a network operators group (NOG) – see link and this Wikipedia list
  • If you're an academic, join the Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet)

Other conferences, events, & opportunities

  • RightsCon Summit Series – link
  • Attend a meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
  • Peering (Internet exchange point) conferences, such as the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) Peering Days
  • World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum – link
  • Internet Freedom Festival (IFF)
  • Digital-Born Media Carnival (SHARE Foundation) – link
  • Host a CryptoParty – link
  • Apply to the Annenberg-Oxford Summer Media Policy Institute (AnOx)
  • Apply to the Media and Digital Literacy Academy of Beirut (MDLAB)
  • Apply to the Balkan School on Internet Governance (BSIG)

Additional resources

  • "Explaining Internet Governance to Friends and Family: How to Improve Our Communication" report – link
  • European Digital Rights Initiative's (EDRi) "How The Internet Works" guide – link
  • Media Development in the Digital Age: Five Ways to Engage in Internet Governance (Center for International Media Assistance – CIMA) – link
  • Global Internet Policy Observatory (GIPO)
  • Internet Governance Project (IGP)
  • The IGP guide to Internet governance – link
  • Framework for multistakeholder cyber policy development (Global Partners Digital) – link
  • "What if we all governed the Internet? Advancing multistakeholder participation in Internet governance" (UNESCO report)
  • Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) newsletter – link
  • Association for Progressive Communications (APC) publications – link
  • APC's Global Information Society Watch (GIS Watch)
  • Feminist Principles of the Internet – link
  • CircleID – link
  • Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network – link
  • The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
  • WSIS Tunis Agenda for the Information Society – link
  • United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD)
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)