September 30, 2011 - 14:30 PM
The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Sixth Meeting of the IGF, in Nairobi, Kenya. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> OLGA CAVALLI: Hello. Good afternoon. I'm Olga Cavalli from Argentina, the Director of The South School of Internet Governance. And we are here to talk about the experience of the schools of Internet Governance. I know we're crossing with one big, big, big, interesting session, so we will try to be concise. And some of our speakers will have to leave to go to that session.
But, for those who came here interested in the school and for other speakers, and were willing to be with us today, we will hope to have an interesting conversation with you.
I have with me Avri Doria, the mentor, creator of this idea, and who has been holding this school for five years so far, from Lulea University. And Avri Doria is also a university teacher and very active in ICANN. And to my left I have Ricardo Pedraza Barrios, a teacher in The South School of Internet Governance.
And my friend Pedro Less Andrade. He is from Google and he also is a teacher from The South School of Internet Governance.
And I have Sandra Hoferichter. Sandra is the angel behind the European School of Internet Governance. She is relevant in all the organizing of the programme, all the logistics, everything. She does everything there.
And I have somewhere my colleague Adrian Carballo. He is my angel in Latin America, because he is in charge of all the logistics and doing all the administrative issues. So he is extremely helpful.
I'll give the floor to Wolfgang, so he can present and talk about the European experience and this concept he created years ago. And the floor is yours, Wolfgang, so you can go to the main session.
>> WOLFGANG KLEINWACHTER: The whole idea came out from the United Nations work in Internet Governance, which was established between the two world summits and appointed by Kofi Annan. There was many people in the group, myself and others. And we always were asked by other members of the group, governmental representatives, biotech representatives, where we can get more knowledge about Internet Governance? Because nobody had a definition of what Internet Governance is. It was like a beast elsewhere in the world and speaking about it and nobody knew what it was. And a member of the working group was to define Internet Governance.
So the conclusion was then, okay, it's indeed no place in the world where you can study Internet Governance. You have to study law, political science, infomatics, social science or what else, cultural science, a bit here and a bit there, you know, because this is a multi-disciplinary phenomenon and you can't do it in one course at a regular University. The idea was okay, then we have to create something new. And together with Bill, Avri and others, we had a workshop in 2006 in Germany, in Rottenberg. And a summer school is probably the best concept, one week, 40 hours. So it was a high level, master level, where we can bring together people who need the knowledge to understand better what Internet Governance is. In particular, then, go to meetings like ICANN or IGF. So our slogan was from the very beginning to say, okay, we want to prepare people to have then an input into the political processes on Internet Governance.
Probably you can go next slide.
And so we started and -- it was the first pilot project in Germany in 2007. It was successful, so we were encouraged to continue with the second summer school. By the way it was totally financed by the private sector, but we got support from members of the Internet community. It was CCTOD registries. So we had -- in Germany, we have RIP NCC, the original Internet registry. We have other private sector members, and in particular, Denny, the main sponsor in Germany. So we built this in a bottom-up way.
And with the second successful summer school, then we had the idea -- and it was Olga and my idea when we were sitting together -- we thought wow, there are two summers, one in the north and south. That means why not do it also in the summers, because we had got around 140 applications for the first course for 30 students. This is really not a lot. But, we are looking more for quality and not so much for quantity. And so we could broaden our scope. I encouraged Olga to start the process for the south summer school and it started in 2009 in Buenos Aires and continued in 2010 in Sao Paolo and this year in Mexico. We had also a plan to do an Arabic summer school. It was done together with people in the national telecommunication authority, under Tharek's ministry.
It was before the Sharm El Sheikh IGF. It was a successful one, but then we could not continue because of lack of sponsorship.
And we are now in the discussion publicly to move forward towards an African summer school. And also here the key issue is certainly funding. We had just in the lunch break, a meeting with Nepart, with Afrinic, and discussion with the European Commission whether we could create a funding scheme to help the African summer school.
Let me explain a bit the concept behind this mechanism. We have developed a basic course. It's a 40-hour master level. It's on three layers. We have more or less a theoretical layer, where we teach on transdisciplinary issues: History, policies, theory, law, technology, and some other key issues, which are mainly delivered by academic professors. Very recognized academics.
Then we have a so-called policy layer. Policymakers from various stakeholder groups present their experiences. These are more the practical people, members of the government, advisory committees, or members from the CNSO council who present their practical experiences, so that you get the various views from the stakeholders, private sector, Civil Society, technical community, and the Government.
And the third layer is the more or less technical layer, where students get specific knowledge about ccTLD managers, IP address management, root server, Internet protocols and things like that. So this altogether brings knowledge which was distributed in the world together. So we have called this "networking of knowledge," because it appears that with specific technical knowledge, you can get more specific policy knowledge and a person with technical knowledge can get more policy knowledge.
This was successful. We have always good responses. And we use always from the concept here, it's 50 hours academic course, five days and nights. Because next to the academic programme of 40 hours, we have also ten hours for student intercommunications. So each evening is full of presentations from students. Because we have very experienced students and we make use of the knowledge the fellows bring to the summer school, so that we have very nice night sessions with presentations from China or Russia or the Fiji Island or Nepal where the fellows are coming from. And this is very exciting, because, you know, it has all the knowledge. And to learn from each other among the fellows is very helpful also for networking. And this continues.
And we have more or less two slogans, one is "learning in a multi-stakeholder environment." And the other one is "teaching the Internet Governance leaders of tomorrow."
Learning in a multi-stakeholder environment means that we have both in the faculty and in the fellow groups people from various stakeholder groups. That means when we select the students, we want to have some people with governmental experience and some people with private sector experience and some with Civil Society engagement and some technical people, so that you have the right mix of knowledge among the fellows. And I explained already how the faculty is constituted.
So this learning in a multi-stakeholder environment really enables the fellows to come to the meetings and to understand much quicker what is going on, and then to have an input. And this qualifies them to take leadership positions in the bodies. The last I read in Singapore, I have not really -- not really surprised, but I took note with certain satisfaction that in the Governmental Advisory Committee, there were seven people who went through the process at the town we were doing it. It was called Myson. And it was two faculty members and five former fellows were sitting on the Intergovernmental Committee for Myson. If you go to the GSO council, you'll see that people with this knowledge are well qualified to serve in these positions. I'm happy to see in the IGF in Kenya around 20 or 25 former fellows and faculty members are here.
That means it was a successful programme, and we hope that we will continue.
And the -- I stop here, because Sandra will present more slides and Olga will speak in more detail about the school.
One of the other concepts is that it's a decentralized system. It's not a centralized body. So each regional summer school has its own responsibility. We communicate with each other and learn from each other. But it's open source or free software. That means we have the model and then the model is adjusted according to the local needs. That means while IP management is done by RCC in Europe, ccTLD is done by the European. And so this makes the beauty of the system. That means that you have the global knowledge and you can link it to the local needs.
And with this, I can only -- my final word is that I encourage private sector members who are in the room to recognize this as a good initiative and to help to make this more sustainable by either continuing funding or by considering, you know, to help with further funding.
Thank you very much.
>> OLGA CAVALLI: Avri, do you want to say something?
>> AVRI DORIA: Sure. My name is -- my name is Avri Doria. I've been one of the faculty there. I always feel a little uneasy saying "faculty," since some of the students are as expert or more expert in some of the things that we teach, granted that we tend to have a broader set of experience.
I guess I'm one of those that's both an academic and practitioner, having spent years of being a development engineer and protocol designer and then active in governance itself. I come with two different perspectives. I think other than Wolfgang, I'm the only one who has been to all of these schools so far. I don't know if that record will continue, but I'm working on it. And partly because I enjoy them. As I said, everybody there knows something much better than I know it. And so I really do enjoy being there and listening to what the students have to say. And I find it a rich experience. I find those weeks to be, yes, work, but also very much a refreshing pause.
What I tend to teach there is or talk about is protocols, standards, standardization, and sometimes I also talk a bit about Human Rights, sometimes not. At the moment I've gotten just things I learned in the last year. I've actually found an interesting connection between the way the standardization process has been set up and Human Rights itself. And so actually the next time I rework my presentations or my classes, I'll try to find a way to actually include sort of the relationship between the standard process and the Human Rights process and see how that goes. It will be an experience, so anybody that comes next time will get to watch me flounder around with something that is somewhat experimental in terms of how the Internet process and how it's been created. Standards are actually something that feeds into and is very similar to Human Rights process.
I don't know if there is anything else I should go on about?
>> OLGA CAVALLI: How do you feel about the difference between the two ones, in Latin America and Europe?
>> AVRI DORIA: First, I have no language barrier in the one in Europe. And I keep promising to learn Spanish before I go back to the Latin America one, but then again I never do. So I'm not a really good student of language.
Certainly the one in Europe is different environmentally. In Europe we are in the -- I forgot what it's called in German.
>> OLGA CAVALLI: Monastery?
>> AVRI DORIA: I thought it was more -- there were no Monks. There were Monks? Well, it's a really nice placement. It's a small town --
>> Porcelain. And they go every year.
>> AVRI DORIA: Porcelain, and they go every year. But basically it's not that we're Cloistered, we can obviously leave and go around the town any time, but in a sense we are cloistered. And it's very intense, sort of everybody meeting at night and talking about Internet Governance and Internet Governance problems, and really, you know, getting involved in it.
It's really great how they have this all set with the generators and some stuff that is on battery. It's wonderful. I'm really impressed by how well they have got that balanced. That's great. I love the way they have that connected.
Whereas the South American one for me is more in a different place. Until I went to this school, I had not been to South America very often at all. There is a lot of people speaking Spanish, so while in the classroom I'm fine and I can sort of understand the Spanish, so I can answer, but I am getting braver at answering in English when I think I know what they are talking about.
I don't know if the student mix is slightly different in terms of balance between professional and student. I think it might be. But I've never done the statistics on it. So I don't know that in the European we get a few more people involved in doctoral study, and mixed in with the processionals, and I think the summer school is more seasoned professionals in their own area and fewer of the Ph.D. Students.
I keep going back to both of them, and it isn't just for the money. Because I think both of them are really quite worth doing. The perspectives of the student are obviously different, coming from one environment or the other. And I find them both worth it and I'm looking forward to the African one, too.
>> OLGA CAVALLI: Sandra, do you want to share more?
>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: I just want to give the audience some more facts and figures and background behind how the program is structured and the number and everything. It was mentioned already that it's a very intensive week, both in European and in the South American summer school. But still we are trying to get the people together in a socialized way. So that's why we start on the first evening with a dinner, the introductions, the time that they arrive so they can go on with each other from the beginning and have a nice week then.
The next morning, generally in the morning we start with joint lectures, which are always followed by question and answer sessions, so that the interaction keeps on going all day long.
In the afternoon, the workshop work is very -- (Technical difficulty)
And in the evening we try to offer some session events, like the wine factory or we do a boat trip or whatever. On the last day we hand over certificates, which are valued by the people themselves. At least they are all very happy and they keep it in their portfolio.
Well, I think I can speak for both summer schools about the numbers of applications and about the numbers of participants. From the very first beginning, we were really surprised, even if it was a pilot project, we had around 120 applications from all over the world. And actually we are now in the sixth year and it's still the same way. And it's very difficult to decide for 25 to 30 students among these, because all of the applications or at least 90 percent of the applications are very, very valuable. So it's geographical, gender, professional balance. I know that the South Summer School is more focused in South America regions. The European said we won't mirror the whole globe and so we always invite students from Africa, from Brazil and Asia and Europe of course.
And there is also a possibility to apply for the global fellowship programme. This is also sponsored by the Internet industry, and -- but it's restricted to people from developing countries only. We do it -- the way we make a preselection according to the need of the sponsor who wants to hand over a certain fellowship and then we send a short list to the sponsor for them to make the final choice. The other way around, they can send to somebody and say I have somebody here in my country I want to develop and get them more into the Internet Governance thing. And then they can just send them and pay for their flights, maybe, and also for the cost.
I just want to give you an idea about the statistics. This is statistics from 2010, but it's more or less every year the same. We have applications from all over the world, from the European. Of course we have a lot of students from Europe. We have not so many students from North America, and -- well, South America because -- not because there is a South Summer School going on.
And out of these applications, we have then to decide according to our criterias. I repeat, gender, geographical and professional for group balance. And then we have to decide on the group. And it's always very disappointing for some students if they applied already three or four times some of them, and are still not selected. And it's not up to their qualification. It's simply the case that there are some of them, and we always have to decide and -- well, that's difficult.
We created a community platform for all of them to meet, but I must be honest, Facebook is more successful. Anyway, the site still exists. Everybody's invited to have a look at the site. But, I think if you have a site like this, DiploFoundation is doing this very well, then you have to have somebody behind this who is taking care of blogging and stuff like this. I'm not doing this, so this is not working out very well.
Olga, I would do -- I think we should -- the film now?
>> OLGA CAVALLI: (Off microphone)
>> AVRI DORIA: I spoke for the summer school and I just left students to speak. Because we are unlucky because of the conflicting sessions, but what they say is actually the most valuation of the work we are doing, because we can tell you much more about this.
"This idea of the summer school comes out from the IGF. It was established in 2004.
The speakers are very good. They have a high profile and we are having fun here. We are sharing information and it's very intercultural. And I would strongly recommend everybody to participate in the summer school.
>> We are talking about new domain name extensions for generic Top Level Domain names, which will become available next year for cities and regions like dot Paris or dot Bavaria or dot California or dot Tokyo. It was a great development in the Internet name space. And I'm teaching here students. I give them an idea of what they can do with such Top Level Domain names, what impact it has to their local communities and how, let's say, governments might deal with it.
I encourage you to join this summer course, because this is important to acknowledge -- to encourage you to -- to enable you to understand the other side of the Internet Governance.
>> I think one of the particularly nice aspects of this summer school is that many of the faculty members are staying here during all the week, and they are available for discussions not only after their own classes, but also during lunch breaks and other times. So this is really a great chance to get to know people and to get to talk to them and to get firsthand information from people who are really knowledgeable about this.
>> It's very unusual in the world to find a course that focuses not just on the core issues of Internet Governance, but on the business concerns and the concerns of the multi-stakeholder community. But even more important than the academics are the social relations. I never met from someone from Fiji before.
>> We come to the summer school and to the IGF and ICANN with a firm belief in the multi-stakeholder approach to Internet Governance issues. And the summer school just reinforces that because we have a range of stakeholder groups represented in the students and the faculty. And this again brings the point home that these issues need to have multi-stakeholder interaction.
>> This is the best place in the world to get an introduction to Internet Governance. You have some of the world's leading scholars and practitioners coming together to, in a very relaxed and free atmosphere, to exchange ideas and talk about these things.
>> For me, as a technical person, it was the first time to engage with Internet politics and policymaking. I thought for the Internet there were sort of debates and progress could be achieved more easily. But as I saw it, like in our nation state, politics or the processes are replicating again and we still have the lengthy discussions about things which could be more easily achieved in the technical world.
>> It was a good experience for me to meet all the students and seeing the interested young people from different backgrounds, different countries. You cannot put monetary on how valuable the school has been. It's been incredible. And I would recommend that for whoever is interested in Internet Governance. Whoever is impressed to have so many people from different countries, parts of the world, and with different backgrounds, we have lawyers, engineers, journalists...
>> I encourage anyone who is interested in the subject and wants to get a broader perspective of what is going on and the latest events, to participate.
>> From my perspective, I think the possibilities of this event is very high, since we can bring together different opinions and opportunities to all the people joining the summer school.
>> It was a process that was the development of my Internet government competence, to meet at an international conference. Here it's a very special and intense atmosphere to work and to study this.
>> I think it's a good way to share ideas between experts and for people who are involved as to Internet Governance and ICT regulations. I believe it would be a good opportunity to have a summer school in Africa.
>> It's been a very interesting experience.
>> It's really good to be here. Thank you.
>> And we teach the Internet Governance leaders of tomorrow. This has been an incredibly useful experience from a business perspective.
>> They were kind of an eye opener.
>> I'm impressed and I'm very much looking forward to the last days of this wonderful event.
>> Thank you.
>> Thank you.
>> Thank you.
>> Thank you very much. (Images of the classrooms in the video.
>> We are so happy and it's my pleasure to provide this platform for interactive discussion for so many people from around the world. From Fiji to Brazil, Norway to South Africa, and we hope that we will continue the way we did for the next five years at least. "
(End of video)
>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Olga, I think now it's your turn.
>> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you, very much. Nice memories from Germany.
Could I show my presentation? Pedro, you have to go. Go ahead, Pedro.
(Loss of power.)
>> OLGA CAVALLI: I'm sorry, we're collapsing with the session. I didn't plan this.
>> PEDRO LESS ANDRADE: I would like to share my experience being one of the scorers of the South School of Internet Governance. And I have had the chance to participate three times. One as an observer and then as a faculty in a present mode and the third one in a remote mode. All of them were successful. The reason I appreciate the most is that I would love to have this southern school to dig in, into this Internet Governance arena. And I bet that many of you had to learn about this in the hard way, which is going to the meetings and learning the process. The first meeting usually is very, very complicated. You don't know -- you don't know many people. You don't know the process. You know that there are a lot of session going on. You don't know where to pay attention and also normally you don't know the language. So I found the school of Internet Governance a great resource and I would love to have that when I have to start with the Internet Governance issues. It's a great way to understand this. It saves you a lot of time, and you are ready to get into the issues. It's incredible how much time one spends in trying to understand the process and trying to understand the different narratives. So it takes a few years until you feel comfortable in the process. And this is super helpful.
From a private sector standpoint, why Google is supporting the school, I think that it's the best way to open the dialog. There is no way to have a good dialog if it's not well informed. And the key is stakeholders participate and they have the right tools to understand what is going on. It's not just sit in a meeting room and listen. You need some background here and it's difficult to get that background. We find that this is an incredible source to get that.
In addition, as a faculty our idea is to present to the student the standpoint of the private sector. And, basically, be in our shoes. What do we want to achieve when we are talking about Internet Governance? What are our positions? How do we deal with the different stakeholders? Which are the subjects that we care about the most? How is our interaction with the different sectors? This is usually the approach to our participation in the school. But then in my case I have particular knowledge in certain areas that I share with the students, privacy, copyrighting, copyright information. And the idea is to provide an overview of the issues in the different regions.
In my particular case my expertise is in Latin America. So I present to the students different trends, the different issues that we are facing, the challenges.
And the most rewarding of being a scholar, a faculty at the school, is feedback that I get from the students. I get really sharp questions that really makes me think what I'm saying. We are challenged. It's a way to keep you fresh. It's just a way for you to not get accustomed to your daily arguments. It's something that really challenges you. You know, fresh people that maybe analyze the Internet Governance issues from a totally fresh standpoint.
It also helps you to see the decision from a different angle. So I think that this is a win/win situation not only for the student but also for the faculty.
And we also identify great people, the faculty, that then would be interested to either hire, connect, work together. So it's also for us a very, very interesting venue.
>> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you, and thank you to Google and Verisign, who are one of the donors or sponsors, I don't know, sponsors of our programme.
And I think the -- for the students -- "students," it's not really correct. Because they are professionals. For me it's a challenge every year. Because they really are experienced in their fields. Not necessarily they are younger than us, some of them are people from our ages, and so that is very, for me, and I understand that it's for all of you as teachers, very enriching.
I know that you want to go to the other session, Bill, and perhaps Ricardo, so maybe you want to speak and then I'll do my presentation. Do you want to do that way? Bill, do you want to go ahead?
>> WILLIAM DRAKE: Sorry. Hi. I'm William Drake from University of Zurich and I was asked to say something in the main session, and they got held up by power outages and things like that. But I wanted to get up here before you cut it short, and at least show up, because I do this every year.
And I'm always happy to put in a word for the Summer School on Internet Governance which I think is a great initiative, which I've been a part of since the beginning, since the first year in Myson. I have done five years in Muyson and two years in Latin America, three, because the third time I unfortunately had to do it remotely due to illness.
But in any event, I've been involved as a core faculty member from the beginning. And I would say that aside from singing the praise of the programme, which I think is, you know, it's obvious that everybody loved, is very enthusiastic about it, maybe I could just highlight a couple other aspects real quick.
One is the point that was just made by Olga about people being professionals. It's really true. It's not like an undergraduate level kind of teaching experience, where we're taking complete newbies And saying hello, there is this thing called the Internet and then walking them through. I teach those kinds of courses at the University. And I know the difference between teaching an undergraduate University course and even teaching a graduate. Now I teach a graduate course in Europe on Internet Governance. My students are mostly first year master students. They are nowhere near being in the position of the people that we bring into the programme, simply because the people that we bring into the programme are often, if they are academic, they are writing their doctorates on the topic. If they are from NGOs, they are part of NGOs that have been working at the forefront of human rights and privacy and freedom of speech around the Internet issues. If they are business people, they are mid level managers and sometimes higher. Government people, often the same thing, et cetera. And indeed many of our students have ended up in the Internet Governance community in positions of authority.
Yesterday I had a meeting with Commissioner Kroes from the European Commission, and her assistant was a former student of ours. And many of our former students are representing their governments in the Government Advisory Committee, in ICANN, or you see them in the IGF doing other things. They're in senior positions now and so on.
So it's really not a sort of beginners. Think of it as it is a synthesis and a lifting the boats at a common level for people who perhaps in their professional careers have had time to focus on this aspect of IG, but not that aspect. And we're essentially creating a frame work that allows them to synthesize and integrate what they know already, what they work on, with a broader framework that allows them to make better sense of developments in areas that are related.
So, you get people who are privacy experts learning about intellectual property or learning about interconnection rates, et cetera, and seeing how all of that fits in within the broad rubric.
What I always do in the course is to do sort of first an analytical thing about the nature of Internet Governance and how the concept of it has been institutionalized in the international community, which is something that I've been -- I was involved in and I was a member of the Internet Governance. And I throw out the WSIS and a topographical overview, the distributed architecture of Internet Governance, and look at all the different institutional arrangements for Internet use, and Internet infrastructure are mapped against each other from a holistic perspective, and exercise the taking of a holistic approach. So that is challenging for students. But by the end of the day or the end of the week, they have that holistic view of how the parts fit together, and I think that's important.
People come from different backgrounds. Academics may be interested in theoretical kinds of questions. People coming from business and government have more, quote, practical kind of concerns. But then find that the analytical framework helps them to view those things in a new light and a more productive manner.
So I think that really there is a very unique kind of capacity building going on here that is not just learning some more details in a very narrowly bounded way. It's more a paradigm kind of learning. It's more of a kind of vision of -- a whole overarching framework. And I think that is something that people at all levels in their professional careers can always use; including me.
So I stop there and I thank you Olga for once again organising this workshop.
>> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you. It's a pleasure having you in this programme. I have Jorge over there. He was a faculty member and an expert in access and disability. So after I make a presentation, I'll give the floor to Riccardo and Jorge you can maybe say something.
I'd show a film and I want to stress the difference between the programmes.
Why we have this was interesting for Latin America. This is the country with less representation in the IGF space, ICANN, IGF, things like that. So it's not only teaching, but it's raising awareness, bringing people to a process that they don't have in mind and they don't belong. So it's a bit more -- perhaps -- the objective, it's a little more broader or deeper than what was the initial idea in Europe.
And it's different because we rotate among countries. We don't do it in the same country. Why? It's difficult to move around Latin America. It's not like Europe; you take a train and you go faster to everywhere and it's nice and the trains are easy going and sharp and on time.
In Latin America it's very nice, very diverse, very challenging. So we do it in a different city every year. We started in Buenos Aires, then Sao Paolo, and then we will be in Columbia in 2012. In each city we try to find a partner, NGO or others who try to help us with the logistics. We have many friends all over the regions, but we didn't know anything about the logistics.
These are some statistics from the Argentina one in 2009. We had 26 students from 150 applications. The difference also between the one in Europe and Latin America, we thought the fellowship for all the students. Students don't have to pay. We select them. They have to only pay their accessibility and their medical insurance. We pay the teaching, and accommodation and meals of the whole week. Why? Because if not, they would not come. It's a different reason. It's people that are not involved. Perhaps in the future we will think about good fees. But at the moment we have not gone it that way. This is thanks to all the organisations that help us also with funding for the students. So we have six from Argentina and the rest from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Ecuador and other places. At that time, we had 30 faculty members from Europe, United States and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Can we -- we have some pictures here, that is more fun. The first one was in one of the universities in which I teach. It was an engineering school. They gave us the space, Internet access, the coffee breaks and we stayed in a hotel. It a whole experience, but it went very well. And socializing, with the coffee.
That's the certificates, something very similar to the one in Germany.
And then we organised it in Sao Paolo. The countries participating were similar, but then there was more. We had more students from each country, and the 20 others were from the rest of the region, including one student from Spain and one student from Austria. And those were sponsored by the CCTLE from Austria. We had more faculty members, 37, also all over the year.
This is a big hotel. Sao Paolo is a very big city. It's complicated for you to move around. Latin America is like that. Big cities with traffic to move around. So it's easy to be in the same place. We were lucky to be in that area.
We had people from the Government of Mexico and other places, and we had a different mix of participants. We had 40 fellows, 20 from Mexico and the other 20 were from -- you see there are people from Guatemala and Costa Rica and Nigeria. It's in Spanish, but we have simultaneous translation. I know it's expensive, but why. Latin Americas, they say they speak English, but when they hear a lecture they cannot follow. So it's easier to have translation. And for the faculty members, that gives them the opportunity to hear the presentations by local faculty.
And we have some pictures from Mexico. It went very well. And also we have a nice venue in the hotel in Mexico. It's also the biggest city in the world, Mexico. And so it's complicated to move around, and so we were lucky to have a nice place in a nice area of Mexico. That is the group picture. We are altogether there. Very happy.
And I don't know if I have something -- I have -- now the next one is Colombia. The organisation interested in being our host is the Ministry of ICTs from Colombia. And we visited Bogata and some possible venues, so we are organising it in the second week of March, the week after the meeting in Costa Rica and ICANN.
So I'll stop there, and I would like to have Riccardo give some impressions about their experience of being faculty members.
One thing that Avri said, many students in Europe have Ph.Ds, even without working. I've seen that. They keep on studying and making -- engineering -- it's not very rare. People who go to the University also work. Because there is no way that you can support your studies unless you are very, very rich. And so it's student and participants, there are so many from Ph.D. programs, but more from people who work in the industry. And we have several people from regulator offices who work for the government as well. Young professionals or professionals not necessarily young.
I'll stop there. And, Riccardo, if you are so kind, give us your impression.
>> RICARDO PEDRAZA BARRIOS: Thank you. There are a lot of things to say, but I think more of the speakers, they covered the most important different issues. So I just want to concentrate on a few ones.
I work for Verisign. It's a private company. But before joining this company, I used to work for a university, Meissen, for 11 years. So I learned that -- what is really clear from the higher education perspective is that the best way to teach is by doing. Now, it's generally accepted everywhere. And Olga plays an excellent -- usually plays an excellent programme in terms of content and diversity. But also, and I found this interesting, she challenged the students to do some homework during the same week they are receiving, like say it was discussion of lectures, then to kind of prepare a presentation and sharing. So that is a way of by doing, by hearing, but by building. The innovation, as Bill Drake said, the building, the vision on how Internet governance is -- it's a personal view, but has some solid background as they heard the different people from different perspectives. So I think it's something that has a special value.
Something that has also been said is about the young profile. Somebody wants to offend the student from other regions, I still feel that I can just say that I was younger a couple years ago. I think it's a technology mindset. It's mostly people who were born and were really used to tweets and Facebook. And it was in fact said to be the best way of sharing their knowledge. It puts pressure on the speakers, the mentality of sharing things.
What I also like from the student a lot is the energy. Coupling this with their profiles, I'm sure the Africans will say that they are eager to learn and so they really -- they can go from really early in the morning until very late. And there is a huge demand on them during that week. but they really do know the mind. They are really happy doing that. I think we heard at the beginning how Avri was happy doing that, and I think it was the same for all of us.
I will say finally, if I could remember, I think most of them have said to be really challenged when they come to these meetings. And I want to do it -- the first thing is to listen to them, because they are the ones who will challenge you more. To listen to my other faculty member fellows. It's helpful to learn something new each time.
I had the opportunity to join the first Pacific Island IGF. Again, a completely different culture, languages, challenges from the Internet Governance perspective. I also attended the AP. And I know they are extreme when you try to think about the -- their needs. And this is my third IGF, global IGF. I tend to attend the ICANN meeting. And so that helped me also get more experience and share it again with my students.
So teaching again and sharing again, it's such a process of teaching and learning that goes through the students and back to the faculty members. It's really a great experience.
Finally, I would say that yes, it was mentioned by my friend Pedro from Google that, from the private sector, it's something that we really care about. We -- Verisign sponsored several organisations that had a similar focus on building experiences for different multi-stakeholders to get involved, to help them to participate more and more. We are convinced that this model, because it's a young model, needs more and more people with different perspectives from different countries, with different backgrounds. Is the best bet and it will sustain for a long time.
Thank you very much.
>> OLGA CAVALLI: Thanks very much. And thanks to Verisign for supporting this. Would you give us some impressions? Jorge is from Argentina. He is recognized in all the world for his expertise. And he is a teacher, and he has been present in other schools, right?
>> JORGE: Thank you, Olga. First, I'll introduce better myself for adding to your presentation. Because as I am -- so as can be listening to my opinion.
Because I was involved in Internet Governance because I was the advisor of the ISBA group in Argentina. So I was involved previous to the formation of ICANN, in the first years of ICANN, and then involved in the creation.
But then many years ago I discovered the field of accessibility and information technology and the Internet. So when I discovered that field, I took worked academically in this area. And at that particular time I put on myself the work to evangelize about accessibility. So I thank Olga for applying to participate in the schools.
The main thing with accessibility is invisibility. We have been organising workshops since -- well, since Rio, actually. Well, going to the school, the school for me seems like a wonderful experience. At the school, I think that for the student, they gain in a week years of experience to get the knowledge that they have after an intensive week of learning. If the school didn't exist, they must -- they -- it will be in a situation where they will need years of participating in events. You know, they get the acknowledgement that the school gives them. So the school gives -- well, I can say that about it.
The other members of the faculty really have a high standard. They are all people well-known and that have a -- that have made excellent presentations. I learned a lot also from the presentations. Because there there are different viewpoints. And each field in information and technology always has new things and new ideas and new perspectives.
Well, that was really the biggest experience.
So I think from -- I think that the experience of a week with the community that is organised during this week is a very interesting community, with exchanges with the faculty and students. Many different perspectives, clearly.
Only one suggestion. There are many monasteries in Latin America. Maybe you can choose one.
>> OLGA CAVALLI: We thought about it, but they are not close to the centre of the city. And taking people back and forth would sometimes be complicated, in a city like Bogata or others.
As was said, the outcome of all of their experiences was very well. Many of them got scholarships in ICANN. Some have relevant growth in RLOs, and so we have been tracking them since they did the school. And they have been doing very well.
We have a video perhaps we can show. It's not so nice like the one they did in Germany. It's mainly --
As you can see, many people trusted our idea and thanks to that we can grant the fellowships and we can pay the faculty members and the hotels, meals and all of that. So thanks to all of them for helping us and believing in this project.
And we have a short video. And if we have questions, then we will close this session.
It's mainly pictures. It has some music. But maybe we cannot hear it.
Maybe it's the Internet access. This is the one that was in YouTube. So...
It's short. Maybe we are competing with the other one.
Any questions? Applications for our school, and it's the same for Europe, you have to check the pages and sometimes we start receiving applications, and then you're selected.
The most difficult thing of the whole school is selection. Because I would have 200 of them, and it's extremely complicated. Because you read all of the profiles and you like them, they are eager to present their files and they are thick.
We have a community, part of the faculty members. I think when they leave I think I lose somehow my children. They go away.
Okay. You can go to the Web page and see the video there. No problem. Any questions? Yes?
>> AUDIENCE: I noticed that -- there were no North American fellows in the South American -- in the South School.
>> There were also a few in Europe. I don't have an explanation.
>> AUDIENCE: Do they go to Europe more?
>> OLGA CAVALLI: Latin America and America -- well, there were some fellows from dot Cart. But they want people to speak Catalonian in Latin America, or that is not the way, so they bring one fellow from Catalonia. One from Austria, supported by (Technical difficulties.) However, we had more participation from America in the past in Europe, but it's going down.
I just wanted to announce the two dates for the upcoming schools, 4th south and 6th European. If you want more information, I have some. It's more general for both of the schools.
>> OLGA CAVALLI: Thank you for being with us. I hope to see you here or virtually. I hope you can come to the school. Thank you.
(End Of session)