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

Heidi Ullrich Heidi.Ullrich at icann.org
Mon Apr 8 17:02:21 UTC 2019

Thanks very much, Alfredo. Great report.

I’ve posted it to the RALO Discretionary Funding workspace at: https://community.icann.org/display/CRALO/RALO+Requests+for+Funding+to+support+an+Outreach+Activity.

Kind regards,

From: Alfredo Calderon <calderon.alfredo at gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, April 8, 2019 7:22 AM
To: Silvia Vivanco <silvia.vivanco at icann.org>; Heidi Ullrich <Heidi.Ullrich at icann.org>
Cc: Eduardo Diaz <eduardodiazrivera at gmail.com>; NA Discuss <na-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
Subject: [Ext] NARALO Discretionary Funds Report: Net Inclusion 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 - https://www.digitalinclusion.org/netinclusion2019/ [digitalinclusion.org]<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.digitalinclusion.org_netinclusion2019_&d=DwMFaQ&c=FmY1u3PJp6wrcrwll3mSVzgfkbPSS6sJms7xcl4I5cM&r=PF9VKOo4nYMGLTtWcHZZreauv03rE96xienOw4tThw4&m=U-ZMYQYf9t9DUnGBj-uMckyUvgR8cPmFfRreiBvKzDI&s=3aVUqSrogmdJZ9BaoW3nHFQrLjfy1gw_ckCO5LqYFHo&e=>

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 constituencies.

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 - https://netinclusion2019.sched.com/alfredocalderon/print.

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 and ICANN
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.


Alfredo Calderon
eLearning Consultant

calderon.alfredo at gmail.com<mailto:calderon.alfredo at gmail.com>

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