So I was privileged to be a mentor for two newcomers, One from Venezuela and another from West Bank. Not because I know anything really, but because I had attended ICANN47 in Durban.
We exchanged emails for a month prior to the meeting, sharing important PowerPoint presentations from the different ICANN constituencies, and exchanged tit-bits from the new and improved ICANN learn. http://learn.icann.org/
Unfortunately, the West bank fellow was not able to make it to London. Not withstanding, I hope to meet him in future, probably in LA. His dream is still valid.
“No matter where you come from, your dreams are valid.” – Lupita Nyong’o.
As for Jesus, he was very informed and focused, and knew many participants especially from Latin American region. His interest was more on GAC where he understood most issues especially because of his past engagement with ITU. This was puzzling because his background is ccTLD management. My thinking was he would have found ccNSO a natural home. We are still in contact via email, so let’s see how it turns out.
Thoughts on mentorships
What gets measured gets done. This is just a beginning of a good thing, and the programme is superb.
- Timing of Guidelines to Mentors: A month is perfect, and the timing for initial engagement, 19th May was good.
- Guideline Package itself: It would be great if we can develop a mentorship guide, that new mentors can follow. In a matrix form, or something like that.
- One vs Two mentees: Two mentees are better. They can share with each other thoughts on the information given to them.
- Response and reaction from mentees: My mentee was very positive and eager to learn. He responded promptly to emails.
- Pre Meeting: I had a small meeting with my mentee where we exchanged expectations, and modes of participation at ICANN. I advised him to make a checklist of all sessions he wants to attend, and also make short notes, probably a paragraph on key takeaways for the meeting. This was to aid in report writing.
- At Meeting: We met in between sessions and evaluated effectiveness and relevance of the session.
- Post Meeting: We are still communicating via email, and finding the best ways for future participation in ICANN policy making activities.
- Does this need to be regional or based on compatible sectors: Compatible sector is better. It’s easier to engage on a professional level if you are from the same professional background.
Apart from the officially assigned mentors, I was able to interact and learn with many newcomers. Questions like “Are you are a member of ATLAS constituency?” were not uncommon but were met with fine answers on ICANN structures.
The fellows were lively and very eager to learn, from the knowledgeable Nabil of Morrocco, the young and intelligent Xiaohui of China, the friendly Martin Pablo of Argentina, the reflective Muchene of Kenya, Amparo of Dominican who insisted I should pronounce her name with Latin romance accent – Ampaarooo, Oarabile of Botswana who was oozing with life, to Adrian the key mobilizer. This is the perfect fraternity.
The leads Jeannie, Karel and Gao conducted the fellowship meeting very professionally, and the alumnae were quick to interject when called upon.
The ever smiling and warm Selina and Sarah (SS) were the perfect team for the ICANN newcomers booth. How Mama Janice picked two lovely people with extraordinary likable characters amazed me. No wonder visitors kept on going back to the ICANN booth.