The Internet Society Opens Fellowship For New Internet Champions

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The Internet Society is a global non-profit organization that promotes an open and secure global Internet. Part of its work recognizes that the Internet has developed from government science experiments to one of the most used platforms in life.

It has seen the transformation of commerce and created social and cultural networks for people and political organizations, to mention a few.

The Society has announced a new fellowship program that will see it develop a generation of Internet Champions.


These champions should recognize that the Internet is under threat from a variety of actors. For instance, governments are erecting barriers to the free flow of information to and from their states.

Even developed nations’ leaders do not always agree on the common content standards.

It should be noted that from the beginning, the Internet has been open and decentralized, meaning that its growth and development have been run by self-balancing and self-policing actors from both the private and public sectors.

However, the current world has seen many countries attempt to secure and control information flow across the internet. In other instances, we have seen some countries attempt to fragment and divide the internet so they could have sovereign power over it.

The actions are often motivated by the need to regulate political, social and economic activities on the net – and often, to suppress views perceived as threatening.

Internet Society believes that a truly open and global platform must not be undermined by small, state-based Internets.

Thus, The Society’s program looks forward to reenergizing its vision with its Early Career Fellowship that is developed to empower new, diverse generation of Internet Champions who will identify holed between technology and policy.

These people will also become advocates for an open, globally connected, secure and trustworthy Internet.

In a period of five months, Early Career Fellows will meet and learn from Internet luminaries, build professional networks, and take part in bespoke courses developed in partnership with leading universities, including the Oxford Internet Institute (OII).

They will learn about Internet policy, technology, project management and advocacy. 

First applicants should drop their requests to joint the Fellowship on March 22 to April 11. Eligibility criteria can be read here.

The fifteen initial fellows will be chosen by the Internet Society Fellowship Selection Committee.

The Early Careers Fellowship builds on the Internet Society’s previous leadership programs, including the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Youth Ambassadors Program. 

Quotes

The coronavirus pandemic has shown how vital the Internet is to billions of people around the world, allowing them to continue to work and study from home, communicate with friends and family, and access healthcare. But there are threats to the fundamental principles that underpinned its creation and development. This fellowship will create a new generation of advocates to respond to the challenges facing the future of the Internet.

Constance Bommelaer de Leusse, Area Vice President, Institutional Relations and Fellowships for the Internet Society

I learned about Internet governance, participated in discussions on cybersecurity, youth inclusion, and advocacy around diverse Internet issues which has set me on the career path I am currently pursuing in technology policy.


The Early Career Fellowship will be important because it bridges the gap between technical expertise and policy research. Though the fields are different neither of the two can work without the other in the ever-changing world of technology.

– Lily Edinam Botsyoe, an Internet Society fellowship alum from Ghana


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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]