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NextGen@ICANN is an outreach initiative created by ICANN. The initiative began at ICANN 49, and featured participants between the ages of 18 and 30. It is regionally based and meant to engage undergraduate and graduate students.

The program recognizes the crucial role young professionals and students play in shaping the future of the Internet. This multifaceted initiative aims to bridge the knowledge gap in Internet governance, empower future leaders, and amplify youth voices within the global Internet ecosystem. The program leverages a three-pronged approach: (i) immersive exposure, (ii) capacity building, and (iii) a platform for action. In this sense, participants attend ICANN Public Meetings, gaining firsthand experience with Internet governance processes, policy debates, and stakeholder engagement, providing insights into multistakeholder decision-making. NextGen@ICANN facilitates mentorship opportunities with experienced professionals and specialized training sessions, equipping participants with the knowledge and skills to become active contributors. Participants also develop and present projects addressing Internet governance challenges, showcasing their findings and proposed solutions to the ICANN community, fostering dialogue and potential collaborations.

Through this approach, the program provides a comprehensive understanding of its principles, policies, and stakeholders. It cultivates future leaders, equipping them with tools and networks to advocate for an open, inclusive, and secure Internet. A key aspect of the program is its commitment to promoting inclusivity by integrating youth voices into ICANN's multistakeholder model. This ensures equitable representation and consideration of future generations' needs in Internet governance processes.

ICANN offers financial assistance to encourage participation, covering travel, accommodation, and daily expenses associated with attending the ICANN Meeting.


NextGen at ICANN grew from the work of ICANN's Strategy Panel on the Public Responsibility Framework as a way to build trust and communication within the Internet community. The panel's report, released in May 2014, emphasized ICANN's responsibility to maintain a "stable, inclusive, and accessible Internet across the globe", ensuring universal access to the benefits of a single, open Internet. Recognizing the need to engage future generations in Internet governance, the panel specifically recommended prioritizing outreach and engagement with young people, recognizing them as crucial stakeholders in the Internet's future.

This focus on the "next generation" led to the development of NextGen@ICANN, concretizing the panel's vision. Further demonstrating a commitment to this initiative, ICANN acknowledged the instrumental role of NetMission, a non-profit organization, in a blog post.


For an complete list of participating members from NextGen@ICANN, please refer and edit the article NextGen@ICANN Cohorts.