[NA-Discuss] NARALO Discretionary Funds Report: Net Inclusion 2019

Alfredo Calderon calderon.alfredo at gmail.com
Mon Apr 8 14:22:23 UTC 2019


*My experience at Net Inclusion 2019.*

Discretionary FUND

At NET Inclusion 2019, 369 total registrants this year.  Video recordings
of all plenaries and the break-out sessions on the Livestream stage are
available on the Net Inclusion 2019 page. Many of the speakers uploaded
their slides to Sched  Some sessions did not use slides.

The fourth Annual National Digital Inclusion Alliance (better known as Net
Inclusion) was held April 1 - 3 in Charlotte, North Carolina with an
attendance of individuals from 32 states in the USA, and representation
from Canada, Washington, DC and for the first time from Puerto Rico and
Belgium. A detailed agenda is available at -

The NDIA is an alliance among leaders of local government, community
organizations, public libraries, housing authorities and other institutions
committed to reducing digital disparities among its community members.  To
improve the daily lives of all community members, the organization calls
for widespread and actionable digital inclusion public policies that
reflect what experience has taught.

The intention of distributing pamphlets of NARALO among individuals that
when approached seem interested in the mission and activities were
accomplished. However, it is recommended to have active participation in
this type of event to continue engaging more end-users and policymakers in
ICANN's' mission.

I had the opportunity to engage with technical and professional
organizations with a complete ignorance of ICANN and the work done  Some,
showed great interest in getting involved as 'individual members' These
will need some follow-up which is now ongoing through social media and
direct email messages  Some representatives of non-profit organizations
will seek engaging, as expected, with a special focus in NCUC or NPOC

Special outreach was done to native Americans (tribal organizations) in
Arizona, Texas, and Kentucky and to organizations that were aligned to the
ICANN mission. Including Library systems in under-served regions with a
special interest in understanding the multistakeholder model, as an
approach to better engage more partners in their decision-making process.
However, it was made clear that for their type of organization, timely
manner decisions are very important, and the multistakeholder model might
not fit all.

As part of the Conference, I participated in a Pre-Conference full-day of
events. A detailed agenda followed is available at - h

In the morning I attended the pre-conference workshop on ' Federal Policy's
Impact on Local Digital Inclusion: Current and Potential Agency Policies
and Legislation'. This 3-hour workshop covered topics related to dealing
with Broadband and the Digital Divide in the context of 1) increasing
access, 2) local, state and national government awareness of the lack of
broadband in specific communities, 3) how to better train individuals in
the importance and usage of broadband, 4) how to become the 'voice' of the
under-served and under-represented communities (indigenous and/or native
Americans), 4) opportunities through coalitions to increase adoption, among
others. I had active participation in this workshop using Puerto Rico's
recovery process after the hurricane's Irma and Maria, and the resilient
plan to increase engagement and adoption of a secure and renovated
Broadband infrastructure.

During this pre-conference workshop, I had the opportunity to get a grasp
of what different states in the USA are doing to deal with 'Net Neutrality'
This is not within the mission of ICANN but impacts the future adoption of
broadband if appropriate actions in the USA are not taken. Most of the
participants in this workshop were not aware of what ICANN is and how they
could get involved in Policy through there organizations or as individuals
Thus, I could sense the need to do more outreach and engagement through ALs
to increase awareness of the work NARALO and ICANN does.

In the afternoon of the pre-Conference activities, I had the opportunity to
visit a Public Housing complex, where the community has designed and
implemented: 1) a Connect Home program where after a six-week, (2 hours per
week) literacy training an individual is given a laptop and a hotspot with
a limited data plan to access Broadband Internet, 2) a Digital Inclusion
Institute at a High School where digital literacy classes for six weeks,
and upon graduation parents earn a laptop refurbished by scholars, and an
unlimited  untethered hotspot, and 3) a program that trains and employs up
to 12 high school students as computer technicians to refurbish and
re-image decommissioned corporate laptops through the E2D (Eliminate the
Digital Divide) Technology Academy (for Workforce Development and Digital
Literacy Education) giving the school population with direct exposure to
all sectors of the IT Industry through extensive digital literacy education.
My main observation after the day is the lack of information on the
organizations that deal with policy development from the end-user
perspective Most individuals that I exchange information with see only the
Governmental Branch as policymakers.

The Conference started on April 2 with close to 300 participants from the
350 affiliates in 41 states and the US Virgin Islands, and as previously
mentioned participants from Belgium and Puerto Rico. The morning started
off with a representative of the North Carolina Department of Information
Technology providing a status of how North Carolina is dealing with Digital
Inclusion. The 'Digital Inclusion for People with disabilities' session
provided an up-to-date on the assistance to the differently abled that need
to acquire knowledge of accessibility hardware and software in addition to
training strategies  The main focus theme was: What resources are available
to support increasing digital access and skills of the differently abled?
This session brought to mind the efforts that ICANN and NARALO should
engage in to meet the needs of end-users with certain limitations when
Policy Advice is provided.

'How Broadband Adoption Affects Community Prosperity and Opportunity' was
pertinent to the work ongoing in a group of volunteers ongoing in Puerto
Rico - Puerto Rico Broadband Task Force (PRBT). This group seeks to
increase broadband adoption with affordable access to all.  In conjunction
with the Internet Society Puerto Rico Chapter (an ALS affiliated to NARALO)
we seek partnerships to increase awareness of the strong links of Broadband
adoption to economic outcomes for community residents as well as
businesses. Emphasis was given on the fact that 'disparities in broadband
adoption widen the inequalities that have become apparent across regions
and communities in the U.S. and all over the World. It is clear that
digital inclusion is a necessary part of policy solutions for narrowing
place - based gaps in economic opportunities. The role of NARALO is obvious
when engaging end-users in better understanding the scope of policy advice
when the Supporting Organizations work identify issues that need attention.
A session on 'New Tools and Materials for Digital Literacy Training and
Assessment' followed by a session on 'Infrastructure Projects that Include
Affordability, Digital Literacy, and Public Access' raised in my mind How
is ICANN and NARALO increasing its' educational resources to reach those
end-users that do not understand their rights and important 'voice in
policy advice' within the Internet ecosystem and its' multistakeholder
model It is obvious that some sectors are not represented.  In the case of
the USA and Canada the 'Indigenous and Native Americans' and the low-income
population as well as 'under-served communities' around the World.

On April 3, the 'Advocating for Smart Cities that Benefit Everyone' focused
on the efforts to address the barriers disadvantaged community members have
to participate in smart city projects
This day was focused on updates to various advocacy on a policy that the
NDIA is promoting, especially the 'Digital Equity Act' that would promote
and encourage states to create digital equity plans for the competitive
implementation grants.

Lighting rounds where done during both days and in 4-minute interventions
(7 individuals per session) presented their initiatives.  Most were based
on 1) refurbishing donated laptops, 2) digital literacy training, and 3)
increasing broadband adoption through more awareness of various
government-funded programs.
As part of the follow-up strategy, invitations to NARALO monthly calls will
be sent.  This will give interested parties an idea of the issues
discussed.  Having had a conversation with individuals I have an idea of
the content that might be pertinent to them and serve as an engagement tool.
As a new affiliate individual member of NDIA I will use its communication
platform to engage with its members sharing relevant resources from NARALO
Some of the participants of the 4th NDIA conference are also volunteers in
some SO/AC constituencies and we had a chance to share some ideas.

The fact that I am bilingual gave me an additional advantage since some
affiliate members and organizations represent Latinos within their
respective communities.

It is worth sending someone to continue engaging with this organization on
an annual basis. The event will take place in Portland, Oregon, April 7 -
9, 2020.

I take this opportunity to thank NARALO for approving my proposal to
participate in this Net Inclusion 2019 Conference and covering with NARALO
Discretionary Funds the Registration Fee and the CROP Fund for travel and
Hotel expenses.

[image: photo]
*Alfredo Calderon*
eLearning Consultant

calderon.alfredo at gmail.com

http://aprendizajedistancia.blogspot.com | Skype: Alfredo_1212 <#>
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