By Paul Diaz, Vice President of Policy, Public Interest Registry
Our team at Public Interest Registry (PIR) is multi-faceted, with experts in the domain name system, technology, law, government policy, nongovernmental affairs and more. While we have different backgrounds, we all have one thing in common: a passion for how the internet serves as a connector of our global communities and is a powerful force for improving the world around us. The internet brings like-minded people together around shared goals and causes, and we’re all better for its power when it is used for good.
Yet the internet is ever-changing. This means that we and the rest of the internet community must continuously work to refine the principles and programs that shape the internet’s evolution. It also means we must cultivate a next generation of internet leaders who can bridge the gap between technology innovation and changing global needs.
Public Interest Registry takes seriously our role in this important work, which includes a variety of activities and advocacy efforts. But we don’t work alone. There are many regional internet governance organisations diligently contributing to internet policy and infrastructure education, and fostering leaders who will work to keep the internet open, safe and secure. We support these groups through annual sponsorships and by lending our expertise to their efforts alongside organisations like the Internet Society (ISOC) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Organisations we work with include:
- South School on Internet Governance (SSIG) – SSIG is focused on advocacy and on training new internet advocate leaders in Latin America and the Caribbean region.
- African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG) – The AfriSIG is a five-day course of study managed by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) to develop diverse leaders who can participate in the development of African internet structure. Our Public Interest Registry team works alongside the APC to support the program.
- Arab World Internet Institute (formerly Arab Web Academy) – The Middle-East & Adjoining Countries School on Internet Governance (MEAC SIG) aims to cultivate leaders who recognize the power of the internet in Arab society.
- Internet Governance Forum-USA (IGF-USA) – The IGF-USA is a U.S. organisation seeking to highlight and discuss issues around the future of the internet, encourage youth engagement, and create conversations and partnerships among governments, academia, industry, etc.
- Middle East DNS Forum – With a focus on the Middle Eastern region, the Middle East Forum brings together leaders to advocate for a strong domain name system (DNS) and digital presence in the region. Public Interest Registry works closely with ICANN and ISOC to support the forum.
- African DNS Forum – The African DNS Forum is an opportunity for African stakeholders to collectively discuss a strong DNS in the region and foster its growth at a globally competitive rate. Again, Public Interest Registry works alongside ICANN and ISOC to support the organisation, as well as with the Africa Top Level Domains (TLD) Organization.
- Latin American & Caribbean DNS Forum – This Latin American and Caribbean-based organisation provides opportunity for industry stakeholders to network and discuss DNS issues in an attempt to cross borders and unite regional players. The relationship between Public Interest Registry and the organisation is managed by ICANN, ISOC, and the Latin American TLD and the Latin American and Caribbean Network Information Centre.
The work of Public Interest Registry and these organisations on this front is a long-term effort to ensure that the internet continues to enable those who improve our world. I would argue that this is the most important work we do at Public Interest Registry, as no one organisation can take on this role alone. Given resources and cultural differences across the globe, it is critical to understand the needs that are driving policy shifts and technical advancements at the local level. I urge all my internet and domain industry peers to identify the talent and resources you or your organisation can offer and get involved on a regional level in work that will support a strong future for the internet.