“We got the feeling bubbling up from our subcommittee chairs that there is a lack of engagement from the membership as a whole with ICANN,” says John McElwaine of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, Vice Chair of the Internet Committee. This is partly because members sometimes don’t know how to take the first step. “They get our call to action emails and say now what? What if my employer won’t pay?” adds Committee Chair, Fabricio Vayra of Perkins Coie.
Vayra and McElwaine have identified key people from Internet user organizations to address such questions and provide practical tips for making Internet advocacy fit in with one’s career. Making the time to engage with this issue is more important than ever as ICANN reviews its policies around new gTLDs and the U.S. government transitions its stewardship of the Internet Assigned Names and Numbers Authority (IANA) functions to ICANN.
Food and beverages will be served to encourage a laid back atmosphere. “We’re hoping everyone will feel comfortable enough to grab a glass and talk frankly,” says Vayra. INTA’s Senior Director, Internet Policy, Lori Schulman, adds: “The intention is to demystify Internet advocacy and the ICANN process. We will answer questions and encourage involvement from all INTA members.”