Argentina's first school on internet governance

This is a pioneering activity at the global level organized by the Training Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean (CCAT LAT), the South School on Internet Governance (SSIG) and Argentina's National Communications Agency (ENACOM), the Argentine Foreign Ministry and the Argentina Chapter of the Internet Society.

On 29-31 August 2017, the first School on Internet Governance of Argentina, ARGENSIG 2017, was organized in the Manuel Belgrano Auditorium. ARGENSIG 2017 builds on the successful experience of the SSIG, which has been organized by the CCAT LAT since 2009 in different countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and has trained over 1,900 professionals in person and free of charge, and thousands more that participated remotely in events open to the public at large.

The main goal of ARGENSIG, the Argentine School on Internet Governance, is to train future leaders in this field in Argentina, from a global perspective with a national, regional and international approach.

During three days of intensive training, participants learnt, in a multi-stakeholder environment, about the rules governing internet with a special focus on national, regional and international development, freedom of speech, cybersecurity, digital economy, the role of global organizations such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet Society (ISOC), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC), the Latin American and Caribbean TLD Association (LACTLD), the Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Internet Governance Forum (LAC IGF), and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), the legal aspects of Internet security and privacy, SMEs and electronic commerce, new business opportunities, new technological challenges, digital content challenges, the Internet of things, smart cities, artificial intelligence, the digital divide and its consequences, among other issues.

The activities featured a panel addressing what Internet Governance is and why it is important for Argentina to become involved in these discussions and participation fora. Nowadays, Internet is a major tool used in every activity and exerts a considerable impact not only on countries' economies but also on societies and the lives of individuals. In this regard, understanding the rules of Internet operation is extremely important, especially for developing economies, which can benefit from the advantages provided by technology to become stronger. The panel highlighted the importance of active participation by representatives from Argentina at the fora where these rules are established, given that the problems and needs of our country and Latin America are unique and different from those of other regions and countries. Active involvement by our representatives will ensure that these rules also reflect our needs and current and future issues.

This need for active and relevant participation is precisely in line with ARGENSIG's goal to impart knowledge and educate the future leaders of Argentina about Internet Governance. This is why the scholarships awarded by ARGENSIG are so important, as they allow the entire community to participate in activities both in person and virtually.

In its first edition, ARGENSIG awarded 140 scholarships to participants from around Argentina, out of whom 40 were granted full scholarships with accommodation. It was a well-attended event, with 250 participants including senior government officials as speakers.

ARGENSIG will be organized once a year in different Argentine cities. The city of General San Martín, in the Province of Mendoza, expressed its intention to host ARGENSIG 2018. More information on ARGENSIG 2017, including its schedule, faculty information, and a photo gallery, is available at www.argensig.org.

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