Earlier this month, 19 representatives from 14 local Chapters in Asia-Pacific gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for a two-day workshop to boost their capability in implementing the Internet Society 2019 Action Plan collaboratively and in a coordinated manner, and to maximize impact across the vast and fast-developing region.
Chapter leaders from Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and the Pacific Islands, among other places, spent a weekend together. They learned from each other and planned the collective implementation of the Action Plan that has four focus areas: connecting the world, improving technical security, building trust, and shaping the future of the Internet.
Run by members across the world who support the Internet Society’s mission, Chapters are central to our work. They give us unique local perspectives on emerging Internet issues. The Regional Chapters Workshop, which is held yearly, is an important event that lets us strategize with Chapters on a wave of impactful local actions to amplify our regional voice and promote the organization’s mission – the Internet is for Everyone.
To help the Chapters carry out their work, the workshop focused on training and leadership in the focus areas, including IoT security, routing security, community networks, and Internet Governance. Participants discussed the eventful policy, regulatory, technical, and sociopolitical landscape in the region and explored local opportunities for Chapters.
In a special session on encryption, Paul Brooks, Chair of the Australian Chapter, provided a detailed overview of their experiences around Australia’s encryption legislation, which was passed into law late last year. The session triggered a lively discussion on the wider implications of such legislation and got the participants reflecting on what they could do if similar legislation was passed in their home countries.
The workshop sessions were moderated by staff including: Rajnesh D. Singh, Regional Bureau Director for Asia-Pacific; Naveed Haq, Regional Development Manager for Asia-Pacific; Nancy Quiros, Regional Community Engagement Manager for Latin America and Caribbean Region; and Joyce Dogniez, Vice President Community Engagement and Development.
The workshop concluded with sessions on the Internet Society’s action plans, the planning process underway to come up with a longer-term strategy, and what local chapters could do to take part in the process.