'APIGA Insights' is a collection of insights from APIGA attendees. These thoughts reveal how they have been touched and inspired by the Internet.
Kyung Won Kim
APIGA 2018 Participant (South Korea)
"Life without the Internet? That’s hard. I’ve learnt a lot from the Internet. When I was 16, my father allowed me to build my own personal computer. I remember reading lots of comments and suggestions on forums online. People with similar interests would often form a community and share their experiences on building computers. That helped me to choose the best parts to use.
In school, they also taught us how to code and build applications, but I always went back to online forums for more information and guidance.
I am now waiting to graduate from Chonnam National University with a degree in Computer Engineering. Although I am still thinking about what to do in the future, at least for now, I know what I can do. The Internet helped me to realize that.”
Kyung Won will soon be graduating from Chonnam National University with a degree in Computer Engineering.
APIGA 2017 Alumni (South Korea)
“A few years ago, I travelled to Cuba during my stay in Mexico to learn Spanish. I met some incredibly friendly locals, but I’ve not been able to keep in touch with as some of them didn’t have phones or access to the Internet. They were really interested in getting to know more about the Korean culture but they can’t get that information freely like us. It was a heartwarming and moving experience.
My generation lives on the Internet, and I can’t really keep up with my friends from all over the world without it. It is important to be able to communicate with them, as they have become part of who I am.
The Internet gave us a whole new world to live in, and I hope that we can have better accessibility so that we can get more connected with each other.”
Sophie will be starting her Master's program at Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies soon.
APIGA 2017 Alumni (Hong Kong)
"With the world’s information almost always a few clicks away, it has become clearer to me what really matters in life. So I try to spend more time on what makes us human, like appreciating what makes us creative, poetic, humorous, loving, caring, and beautiful.
Having been involved in technology policy development over the past few years, I have learnt to appreciate the importance of Internet governance in ensuring that communities are better served with the free flow of data across borders. I feel strongly about a non-discriminatory and open Internet which allows for competition and consumer choice.
I believe policies like these are vital to the development of the society and the economy so that more of us can make use of the Internet to do what we should do best: being wonderfully human."
Adrian is a graduate of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.
Thoughts from the outstanding participants on APIGA and their next steps.
APIGA 2018 Participant (South Korea)
“Although I studied international development and cooperation, I didn’t come across the topic of Internet governance (IG) until I did further research on the digital economy and broadband development in some countries. That was my first glimpse of IG.
One of my key takeaways from the IG sessions over the past few days is the importance of the multistakeholder policy development process. The people who develop policies may not fully understand the technical side of the Internet, and the technical groups may not understand the policies fully as well. We need a group to bridge the gap so we can understand each other. And I would like to be in that group to help make that happen.
Moving forward, I’m thinking of applying for the ICANN64 fellowship, and being involved in other IG-related events as well. I’d also like to share my learnings from APIGA with my peers, as I know that everyone has a part to play in IG, and the first step to getting involved is by being aware.”
Jaewon will soon be graduating from the Korea University with a Master of the Arts in International Studies (International Development and Cooperation).
APIGA 2018 Participant (India)
“Where I’m from, while the community uses the Internet or social media frequently, nobody really thinks about the politics behind decisions when it comes to managing the Internet.
Through APIGA, I have a better understanding of how Internet governance (IG) works now. More importantly, I also know how we can move forward in helping to manage the Internet as an end user or civil society.
I don’t have a long-term plan yet, but I have started to take the first few steps by spreading the word about the upcoming first youth Internet Governance Forum in India amongst my peers. I also plan to start a society to discuss Internet issues in my university as an alumni. Currently, I am involved in building a new university in India, and I hope to include some parts of IG in its curriculum.
I believe that the Internet offers us the hope of efficiently solving socio-political issues globally, and we must take charge of it to ensure that it’s used in a responsible and equitable manner.”
Samridh has recently graduated from Ashoka University with a Bachelor of Computer Science and Political Science.
APIGA 2018 Participant (Australia)
“In the early 2000s, when I was growing up in Papua New Guinea, I saw how technology was able to make lives better in developing countries. Back then, my parents worked in radio communications and helped coordinate crisis relief. When it came to choosing a career, I was drawn to technology because it has the potential to have a widespread social impact.
Internet governance (IG) is important to me because it encourages the inclusive use of the Internet. Different stakeholders, including minorities and citizens in developing countries, can voice their opinions in making the Internet more accessible globally.
Youths are currently underrepresented in the IG community, so I’d like to start sharing IG concepts with Australian youths and bring them into the community. I hope that through a local IG program, youths will be equipped to think critically about Internet issues and be empowered to make a positive impact as digital citizens.”
Bronwyn is currently pursuing a degree in Information Technology in the University of Sydney.
APIGA 2018 Participant (South Korea)
"As a Computer Science major, I had a narrow programmer’s perspective when it comes to the Internet as I was always focusing on the technical side. Back then, I wasn’t able to see the bigger picture on how the Internet works, or how it mirrors the society we live in.
The first time I was introduced to Internet governance (IG) was when I got to know about the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. In APIGA, I learnt the potential dangers of unregulated technological development and why we need to listen to all the related stakeholders when deciding how we can make the Internet safe, open and accessible to everyone.
Having my perspectives on the Internet widened through APIGA, I’d like to do the same for my peers by letting them understand the importance of IG. I will also continue to participate in future IG-related events, so that I can meet people from different backgrounds and understand their struggles and perspectives on IG. I hope we can all work together in shaping lasting values to help manage today’s rapidly-changing Internet ecosystem."
Heeyeon is currently studying Computer Science at Korea University.