Mujeres en Internet Interviews: Lilian Ivette De Luque Bruges


We reached out to women in Internet governance to see how they work and live. The following is an interview with Lilian Ivette De Luque Bruges, from Columbia.

Lilian Ivette De Luque Bruges is originally from Riohacha, La Guajira, Colombia. She is a social communicator – Journalist of the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in the city of Bogotá D.C.

She belongs to the WAYUU ethnic group that inhabit the peninsula of La Guajira on the north coast of Colombia and we are the most numerous indigenous group in the country.

She works as Director of communications and information technology (CIO) of the municipality of Manaure La Guajira since 2001, from this work she promotes the implementation of digital government and the work of technological inclusion of vulnerable communities especially indigenous.

She is co-owner of the computer security company Muusa Colombia S.A and I also work there as a consultant in digital government since 2016.

She is a member of the ISOC Global, Cybersecurity and SIG Women chapters.

Who are some women you look up to within our field? Who has mentored you? (If you’ve received little or no mentorship, can you describe why mentorship is important?)

There is something very positive in our field and it is the large number of admirable women who stand out, particularly I admire many but especially  to a young woman Shwetal Shan who does an amazing job to empower young women into technology, especially between the ages of 8 to 13 with digital skills. She works  as the Head of Outreach at Erase All Kittens, an award-winning startup company creating a game that inspires girls to code whilst teaching them real-world languages. Shwetal was included into Forbes 30 under 30 Class of 2018, among many other recognitions and awards. Regarding tutoring have received a lot of support from Renata Aquino Ribero more than a tutor she has been a guide. Tutoring is extremely important because it guides us to find our space in the immense ecosystem that forms the government of the internet.

What are you currently doing in your field? What other organizations inspire your work?

We are currently organizing a series of conferences on basic principles of internet governance for indigenous children and youth, but since 9 years ago my field of action is the work with vulnerable communities, especially indigenous people, focusing on actions for inclusion and shortening the digital divide through technology.  We have trained them in digital literacy and training for the use of ICT in productive environments. Provision of computers and Internet to rural schools, we have taken the Internet to remote areas and we have several Internet access centers. At this moment, we face a genocide of indigenous Wayuu children under 5 years of age who die of hunger from causes associated with malnutrition, teaching them to use the internet, social networks, emails and digital government programs, we have contributed not only to make this sad visible situation, but to save lives. Another important point is to promote electronic commerce of artisan products that contribute to the development and economy of this indigenous community, we have encouraged the creation of micro-businesses through web pages and various social networks to market their products that are reaching the entire world.

I am inspired by the work of ISOC, I am even a member of several chapters, for their work based on cooperation for the development of the Internet. And also the work on training in cybersecurity is being carried out by the OAS through CITEL, which is focusing a large part of its work on training on gender and cybersecurity.

What do you see as the greatest barriers for women in our field? How can we be better for women?

There are many barriers, the most important is education, we must awaken the passion and love for technology in women from an early age, motivate our young professionals to be enterprising and created your own tech bussiness. Another barrier to overcome is discrimination, the world of technology is dominated by men and for this reason, women have to work twice as hard to open a space, here an important role is played by the union through networks and support groups that allow you to fight together.

Why do you do what you do? What has kept you motivated to continue this work?

The main reason is because I love what I do, because I want to contribute through technology to the development of vulnerable communities and it keeps me firmly seeing the results achieved, especially since the technological community is becoming aware of the importance of inclusion of these communities in the digital ecosystem but there is still a long way to go.

What is something you’re most proud of in your work? (This could be a single event, happening, policy change that you helped influence, an impactful conversation or presentation)

Three events make me feel proud of the results achieved by the effort put into the various works carried out. The first is have managed  to take the fiber optic network to the municipality and with this connect it through broadband internet benefiting approximately one hundred thousand people and with this to have it approached the municipal government, in which I work, to the indigenous communities through a digital government policy, which made us deserving recognition for three consecutive years by the National government. The second is to successfully achieve an entrepreneurial project by being the co-owner of a computer security company called Muusa Colombia S.A. and third, having been chosen as a participant in the Global Indigenous Ambassador program for the meeting of ICANN 61 in Puerto Rico, an experience that allowed me to acquire a lot of knowledge which has been fundamental to continue developing my work with vulnerable communities, as well as at a business level.

Do you wish you knew more of something? Is there a subject you don’t know about but would like to learn? (This question is meant to inspire a network of women to potentially reach out to each other to enhance each other’s work)

I would like to strengthen the bonds of cooperation between women who work in the area of technology and internet governance and deepen the topic of human rights in the network.




Mujeres en Internet Interviews: Lia Patricia Hernández

We reached out to women in Internet governance to see how they work and live. The following is an interview with Lia Patricia Hernández, from Panama.

Lia is a lawyer from Panama and Spain. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Directress of IPANDETEC, a digital rights organization based in Panama City working in advocacy in Central America. She also helps startups and entrepreneurs in Panama City with their legal structure. She is member of ICANN At-Large, NCUC, Creative Commons, Open Knowledge, Global Forum Cyber Expertise.
Who are some women you look up to within our field? Who has mentored you? (If you’ve received little or no mentorship, can you describe why mentorship is important?)
In 2014, at the NetMundial event, I met Carolina Botero, Director of the Karisma Foundation, followed her work and the from many other digital rights organizations in Latin America. I told her the direction we wanted to give to IPANDETEC and from the minute 1, she was willing to help us, we had a coffee and she got involved in some initiatives that are currently part of our main areas of work.

What are you currently doing in your field? What other organizations inspire your work?

We are currently working in different areas such as Internet Governance, Data Protection and basic Digital Security workshops for digital Internet users in Panama. Our country is one of the countries in Latin America with the best structure and connectivity on the Internet, but our participation is very limited in spaces like ICANN and from IPANDETEC we are creating a community so that more and more Panamanian and Central American actors can participate.

What do you see as the greatest barriers for women in our field? How can we be better for women?

Our main challenge is to fight with the macho attitude of both women and men who try to discredit the work of women. The best way to be better is to continue working continuously and demonstrate with our work what we are worth and why we are here.

Why do you do what you do? What has kept you motivated to continue this work?

It all started as an idea to unite professionals from different areas who were motivated by the Law of New Technologies and now we are one of the most active digital rights organizations in influencing public policies in Central America. When you do what you like, you are happy and I am happy, with the work that I do every day, although sometimes the work is so much and the time so little that we can stretch ourselves. It keeps me motivated as being a small organization with little staff and funds, we have gained space and respect in the global Internet community.

What is something you’re most proud of in your work? (This could be a single event, happening, policy change that you helped influence, an impactful conversation or presentation)

What I am most proud of is how a year ago everything changed for us. We obtained the host of LACIGF 2017, very few people bet for us, we fulfilled and exceeded expectations and that has made new opportunities continue to open up for our organization and for the Internet community in Panama and Central America.

Do you wish you knew more of something? Is there a subject you don’t know about but would like to learn? (This question is meant to inspire a network of women to potentially reach out to each other to enhance each other’s work.)

I would love to develop my technical skills, learn to program, install a network and even hack (play) with a computer. I am inspired and loved by the women who do this work.


Mujeres en Internet Interviews: Verónica Arroyo

We reached out to women in Internet governance to see how they work and live. The following is an interview with Veronica Arroyo, from Peru.

Verónica Arroyo is a young digital rights activist from Peru. She is Vice Chair of the Youth Observatory, an Internet Society Special Group of Interest and co-founder of Embajadores de Internet, an educational project. Her main fight is to increase awareness on data protection and to empower youths in Latin America. Currently, she is writing her thesis on big data and digital markets to graduate as a lawyer. As a hobby, she studies languages, to date she is fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. @veroluiza

Who are some women you look up to within our field? Who has mentored you? (If you’ve received little or no mentorship, can you describe why mentorship is important?)

I can name two women that inspire me: Katitza Rodriguez, from EFF and Wafa Ben-Hassine, the policy council for MENA at Access Now. About mentorship, there are few women in Peru that work on internet governance; therefore, it is quite difficult to find a female mentor. Luckily, I ‘ve received some help and tips from a man. His name is Miguel Morachimo, he is the director of Hiperderecho, a local NGO. Since the moment I told him I was interested in technology and law, he started to send me information and invitations to learn more about the topic. I am very grateful for that.

I do believe that mentorship is very important not simply because the newbie needs an example to follow, but also because our field is new and it is in constant evolution, therefore you need some kind of guidance.

What are you currently doing in your field? What other organizations inspire your work?

Currently, I am the vice chair of the Youth Observatory, a Internet Society special group of interest. Our mission is to increase the participation of youth in internet governance activities. Then my work involves many things. Most of the time I send e-mails looking for new opportunities and coordinate activities within our group.

Even if the majority of our group is from Latin America, our group is diverse. I do like this aspect because you end up learning a lot. In that sense, I admire international organizations that embrace diversity as an asset to achieve its goals such as Access Now and Article 19. However, in the field of youth organizations making a global impact I feel inspired by AIESEC work.

What do you see as the greatest barriers for women in our field? How can we be better for women?

The greatest barrier is the lack of trust on what women can do. People sometimes believe we are not capable to do things men do. I personally experienced this, and I did not feel good.

We can change this situation. Let me repeat what I tweeted once: “Include women everywhere!!! Give us a voice and the power to decide things, you will not regret (…)” And please eliminate the idea that there is work for women and work for men, at least when we talk about technology and law.

Why do you do what you do? What has kept you motivated to continue this work?

My journey started in 2016, and in that year my main motivation was to learn. To date, I keep that motivation but I have one more. Through all this process I received a lot, I even found the topic for my thesis and the job I want to do in the future. Therefore, I believed it was time to give back. I found out since the very beginning that youth need to have a voice when we talk about Internet governance. When I looked back at my country I saw that few people and almost no youth were working on this topic. So, I decided to work on projects to increase youth participation, to promote digital literacy, and to do capacity building among youth. I have not achieved want I want yet, so I keep working.

What is something you’re most proud of in your work? (This could be a single event, happening, policy change that you helped influence, a impactful conversation or presentation)

I am very proud of what Embajadores de Internet accomplished in its first year, when I was the Director. Let me explain, on December 2016, a group of fellows from the Youth@IGF program created a project called “Embajadores de Internet”. We discovered that we basically navigate blindly on the Internet, just enjoying but not realizing the resourceful tool we have handy. Then, the project was created to encourage young people to be part of the decision-making process about the present and future of the internet. In our first year we conducted campaigns on digital privacy in phones, wrote an e-book to explain in simple words complex Internet governance topics and we streamed online meetings where we present and discuss internet related topics. Our work was presented to the 2017 Youth@IGF fellows to inspire them, and now they have their own project called “Digital Grassroots”.

Do you wish you knew more of something? Is there a subject you don’t know about but would like to learn? (This question is meant to inspire a network of women to potentially reach out to each other to enhance each other’s work.)      

I wish I could code. I plan to learn to code as soon as I finish my thesis. I believe it is the language we all need to know, because it is the core of everything we use in our daily life. If we want to understand our future I think we need to learn this new language.

ICANNWiki ICANN61 Wrap-Up!

Here’s a quick wrap-up of our activities at ICANN61. Thanks for reading!

Edit-a-thon and Reception Dinner
The event kicked off with a packed room and brief presentation from the ICANNWiki team on the project’s mission, values and benefits to the community, including the demystification of acronyms, introduction to the actors in the IG space and inspiration to create local initiatives back home.

Over 50 participants, including 15 newcomers to ICANNWiki, hovered over their laptops, digging into the site. We were impressed at our participants ability to utilize some of our newer functionality to develop new content with minimal assistance. Many participants worked on developing their personal articles and others chose to work on a variety of other topics, including:

NPOC (Updated membership table)
NextGen@ICANN (General corrections and updates)
Youth IGF in Canada (New article created)
Internet Governance Project (New article created)

We are excited that the session was full and that attendees were engaged and prepared for the challenge of building Internet Governance content. To honor everyone’s focus during the event we held a reception dinner at a local restaurant near the ocean. Amazon, our gracious sponsor, provided us with raffle prizes for attendees who made edits during the Edit-a-thon. Four people in total walked away with fun prizes for their hard work.

The editing doesn’t stop after our Edit-a-thons though. We encourage all to work to refine ICANNWiki, a resource driven by the community, for the community. If you haven’t already, request an account and hit that ‘edit’ button!

Public Forum Comment
ICANN’s funding has been instrumental to helping the project grow, significantly increasing our capacity development work, including the global outreach and translation initiatives made possible by expanding our team. You can read more about our work in our previous blog posts.

The budget was a major topic of concern for the ICANN community at ICANN61, and ICANNWiki was no exception. ICANNWiki received significant support during the Public Comment on the FY19 Budget. We captured this outpouring of support and presented it to the Board at the ICANN61 Public Forum on March 15.

Our Amazing Booth Volunteer
We want to draw special attention to the volunteer efforts of Crystyan Ortiz at our Booth in San Juan. He is a Communications and Technology student (with a focus on graphic design) at the University of Puerto Rico’s Humacao campus.

Right from the beginning, Crystyan sprung into action–learning about ICANN, ICANNWiki and how he could contribute in a meaningful way. Cry

styan helped the team significantly, by learning how to manage the site (approving accounts, editing pages), orient others within the site and onboarding new community members.

His friendly and peaceful demeanor made it easy for him to welcome all those curious about the project, and we believe ICANN61 would’ve been more difficult and not quite as fun without him. Thanks, Crystyan!


Amigos at NIC.PR

The team at NIC.PR truly embodied the spirit of Puerto Rican hospitality. From helping us identify the perfect location for our Edit-a-thon Reception, taking the time to provide us with an Interview for the ICANNWiki Quick Guide, and working with a local university to put us in touch with Crystyan, our ICANNWiki Booth Pro.



ICANNWiki Funding Update (Questions and Answers)

The following questions and answers are an update to our January 03, 2018 article on ICANNWiki’s funding.

For transparency’s sake and to provide some context, we’ve answered a few questions that have come up since the publication of our original blog post. Read below for more.

Question #1: Why does a wiki have a budget of $160,000?

ICANNWiki is much more than a wiki, it is an organization committed to empowering the ICANN and Internet governance community. Given the importance of ICANN, our primary focus is enhancing the community’s understanding of the processes, policies and fundamental concepts necessary for participation. Our belief is that everyone should have a voice in the future of the Internet and this has led us to develop a neutral, robust and globally-minded project.

In pursuing this mission, ICANNWiki travels to every ICANN meeting, providing an engaging booth presence that focuses on the onboarding of newcomers and the development of content for our website, as well as keeping the community engaged and informed.

In addition to our presence at ICANN meetings, we spend our time between conferences focused on capacity development in the community and continuing to develop our resource, including localized content in different languages.

We do all of this, while constantly finding ways to improve and innovate our platform. This is no small task and we employ two full-time directors, and a part-time graphic designer to make it all happen.

Question #2: What will happen to ICANNWiki if ICANN chooses to discontinue funding?

To understand what will happen to ICANNWiki, it is important to differentiate between the organization and our services, including the website. The website is a central part of our work and it will not immediately shut-down if ICANN cuts the funding to ICANNWiki

However, we would have to reduce the amount of time and energy our staff puts towards site maintenance and development of content. This includes facilitating the members of our community to add the valuable content that keeps ICANNWiki up-to-date.

ICANNWiki would also have to cut back on its attendance at ICANN meetings, which is where much of our outreach occurs and where we have the most impact.

ICANNWiki and its website are dependent upon an active core of users who regularly edit or translate the content. If ICANN decides to pull funding for ICANNWiki, our decreased capacity, will undoubtedly lead to a slow, but steady decline of our site’s quality. Additionally, the capacity development activities at ICANN Meetings and beyond would be severely limited.

What can I do to help ICANNWiki?

Share this article and help the community understand why this is important. Show your support for this resource that is committed to the ICANN community! Reach out to our team if you have any ideas or questions:

ICANNWiki’s Core Funding in Jeopardy

Update: In response to this announcement, we received a lot of questions from the community. We took this opportunity to answer a few of those questions here.

ICANNWiki was recently informed that ICANN might choose not to renew its contract, which accounts for 60% of our annual revenue. The contract began in 2015, with an initial three-year term, which enabled us to bring on two full-time co-directors to steward the project and improve its services. ICANN has stated, “At this time, while it is highly unlikely that ICANN will be renewing its contract with ICANNWiki, we have not come to a final determination.”

If ICANN chooses to withdraw this funding, we will face an unprecedented challenge in continuing to provide educational, capacity development and community building services.

Over the years, ICANNWiki has become associated with trust, goodwill and a little bit of fun. Our unique, engaging and reliable presence has benefitted ICANN for over a decade and will be extremely difficult to replace if it goes away. Unfortunately, this is a real possibility.

With over a decade of community work in limbo, there is a lot at stake. ICANNWiki owes its success to the tremendous support we have received from our sponsors and community over the years. With all of the time, money and resources you have all contributed to ICANNWiki, we feel it is only right to keep our stakeholders informed.

ICANNWiki benefits the community in many ways, including the following:

Keeping the Community Informed:
The website saves users valuable time, finding and understanding information about ICANN that would be very difficult and time-consuming to find otherwise. This is especially true of articles on the people and organizations. ICANNWiki provides a de facto directory service for the ICANN community that no other resource matches.

Providing Community Support and Recognition:
ICANNWiki also attends every ICANN meeting with informative and engaging giveaways. They contribute to a strong sense of community and provide well-deserved recognition for the volunteers that make ICANN’s work possible.

Helping Newcomers:
Additionally, ICANNWiki provides a track for newcomers, using content development on the website to improve skills, while simultaneously improving the resource for everyone. Beyond the conference, ICANNWiki works with different communities to develop content in their local languages.

How you can Help ICANNWiki:
If you support or have have benefitted from ICANNWiki, we are going to need your support now, more than ever.  You can help by spreading this message and making your voice heard about the value of ICANNWiki.

ICANNWiki Edit-a-thon at ICANN60 in Abu Dhabi

On October 30, 2017, ICANNWiki held another hour and half Edit-a-thon to share our project, its values and to teach a few wiki basics. We started by introducing the project and its values, highlighting the importance of a neutral point of view, transparency and being a builder.

After delving into some of the mechanics behind editing, including how to use the visual editor and how to use wiki mark-up, we then began by ensuring that everyone had an account. We streamlined this process by removing the 50 word bio requirement. Participants were able to create accounts with much more ease and were able to start contributing sooner as a result.

After this brief introduction to our project, our team chose to divide our time between helping those who wished to edit and update existing articles and those who wished to create new content. There was a higher number of participants who wished to focus on building articles on themselves, but unlike past Edit-a-thons, a few previous attendees felt compelled to dive right into building new content or editing articles that needed a makeover.

Susannah Gray created a much needed article on the San Francisco-Bay Area ISOC Chapter. The article outlines basic information about the chapter, but is a great introduction to a group that was previously unrepresented on our site. Aristide Zoungrana updated the ARCEP (the organization that operates the .bf CcTLD) logo, website and introduction statement. His intimate knowledge of the registry operator made these changes possible.

We concluded the event by encouraging participants to continue their hard work after the conference. 40 participants in all were then given t-shirts and a special invitation to our post-workshop Reception Dinner. Held at the conference center, the dinner was well attended and those who contributed to ICANNWiki during the Edit-a-thon were entered into a raffle. Four prizes, provided by Amazon, were given away.

Both of these fun events were followed up with a short survey to get a better understanding of our work with the ICANN community. A handful of participants responded. 80% had never attended an ICANNWiki event. All of the attendees understood the purpose of ICANNWiki after attending, and also felt that they received the help they needed from our team. The clarity of our presentations can improve and we will work towards communicating concepts in simple and easy to understand terms. All participants would attend and recommend an ICANNWiki event. Lastly, one participant suggested that we focus on building a French ICANNWiki. To that we say, we’re working on it!

Thanks to all those who attended. We look forward to seeing you and your friends at the next ICANNWiki Edit-a-thon and Reception Dinner in Puerto Rico this March!

Enhancing Engagement in ICANN in East Africa

It is our pleasure to present to you a summary of ICANNWiki’s program to enhance local content and engagement in East Africa. This work was accomplished in a few short months and has grown rapidly. It was with Amazon’s support that we were able to identify local needs, provide funding for general event expenses and develop a program that was educational, sustainable and scalable. Stakeholders in East Africa are now able to refine their connections to the Internet governance space and making it theirs. 

After ICANN 55 in Marrakech, a number of stakeholders from ICANN’s Fellow and NextGen programs expressed a desire to replicate the Edit-a-thon in their home countries. Specifically, Bonface Witaba (ICANN Fellow, Kenya), Oyewole Oginni (NextGen, Cameroon) and Matogoro Jabhera (NextGen, Tanzania) approached our team to build home-grown events that would incorporate local ICTs as well as ICANN with an aim to broaden awareness of relevant topics within the Internet governance space.

Internet Governance Youth Community Workshop – University of Dodoma

Much like the ICANNWiki Edit-a-thon itself, the events unfolded in a granular fashion. Two small events were held in Nairobi, Kenya, where Bonface Witaba explained the project and its goals. These two events had relatively small participation, but set the stage for our event at the University of Dodoma which had a fantastic turn-out. Event details are as follows:

Event Statistics:

  • Number of Participants: 40
  • Number of Active Editors: 22
  • Number of New Translated to Swahili: 138
  • Number of Articles Edited in Total: 145

Event Partners:

Nairobi Events

Held June 6 and 17, 2016 at the Paris Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. Full summary here.

The overarching aim was to translate and contribute articles through the one day Edit-a-thon session. The Edit-a-thon managed to attract 16 participants (most of whom had attended the previous ICANNWiki workshop that was held earlier on 6th June).

Participants worked on a minimum of at-least 5 articles each (a total of 100 article stubs for the day were completed).

June 17, 2016 

The aim of this workshop was to translate and contribute to articles through a one day Edit-a-thon session.
 The Edit-a-thon managed to attract 16 participants (most of whom had attended the previous ICANNWiki workshop that was held earlier on 6th June). Participants worked on a minimum of at-least 5 articles each (a total of 100 articles for the day were completed).However, following the technical hitch with the ICANNWiki Swahili server, only a few articles were uploaded. At the end of the Edit-a-thon, ICANNWiki Ambassadors Certificates were issued to the participants for their efforts. A group photo of the Edit-a-thon community was also taken.

June 06, 2016 

The aim of this workshop was to create a pool of ICANNWiki Swahili translators and contributors through capacity building in Kenya. The workshop managed to attract over 20 participants (mostly university students in the field of ICT and media). Participants watched ICANNWiki tutorials/videos as an introduction. The two facilitators showed how to navigate ICANNWiki, responsible ICANNWiki Publishing, Copyright issues, and benefits of getting involved in the ICANNWiki community. The feedback we got from the participants was that the Wiki provides them with a platform to learn about and participate in wider issues of Internet governance. Following an Internet outage at the event venue, the Edit-a-thon did not promptly take place forcing participants to resort to working offline on their articles for later uploading on the portal. Participants were able to request for accounts even from their mobile devices and expressed interest in being part of the Wiki.

12 participants expressed interest to get involved on the Swahili platform with the remaining 8 insisting on working on the English platform.


Strathmore University Event

Held September 16, 2016 Opened by: Mr. Chris Momanyi, ICANN Fellow and Strathmore University Lecturer

The primary objective of the workshop was to build a community of ICANNWiki Swahili translators and contributors. The workshop attracted 25 participants, all Strathmore university students. Students were taught how to navigate ICANNWiki platform; start new articles, edit articles, search for articles.

A total of 35 new articles were created on the platform, with the top two contributors (5 articles each) getting free .ke domains and 1 year hosting from KENIC.

Participants also received ICANNWiki merchandise (T-shirts) (see annex III – Event photos) KENIC presented branded .ke notebooks and pens to the participants. The workshop was officially closed by our host Mr. Chris Momanyi at 16:00.

Participant Feedback & Recommendations

At the end of the workshop, Mr. Chris Momanyi recommended that Strathmore university host ICANNWiki once a month for edit-a-thon sessions with the students (for up to a year) in the quest to help achieve the set 2000 articles target out of the total 10,000 milestone. Mr. Momanyi urged the students to strive to contribute 5 articles on average per edit-a-thon,and 1 article a week.

The students were delighted with the ICANNWiki ambassadors programme, the contributors reward plan, and vowed to meet the various set targets to be eligible for certificates, community manager/administrator status. Additionally, some students requested that ICANNWiki starts an “internship programme” that can contribute towards their academic credit, and or open up job opportunities within ICANN/ICANNWiki space. One student from Zambia (Brian Phiri) requested that ICANNWiki launch a project in Chichewa language for the benefit of the Zambian audience.

Once again, thank you for this opportunity to expand Internet governance in East Africa!