An intensive programme had been prepared, packed with presentations, breakout sessions, a practical and various social events.
The presentations were made by 'faculties' and covered a wide range of internet governance-related topics. Naturally, ccTLDs and gTLDs were considered, along with subjects such as IP addresses, root servers and internet exchange points. The IANA transition, ICANN and the future of the internet were on the agenda as well. 'Multi-stakeholder' and 'consensus' were the terms most frequently heard.
I found that the breakout sessions provided the best opportunity for asking follow-up questions on particular subjects. In the context of the small breakout groups, fellows were able to put their questions to faculties with appropriate expertise. Nothing was dismissed as too trivial; all our questions received proper answers.
As well as all the theory work, there was a practical, in which a cybersecurity incident involving two fictional countries was played out. We were asked to put ourselves in the place of UN Security Council members and to come up with a solution to the international dispute. With various countries and stakeholders represented, all with their own interests and viewpoints, it was no easy task to find a way forward.
Finally, I'm pleased to report that there were also opportunities to relax. We went on a river cruise along the Elbe, visited the city's famous porcelain factory and attended an organ recital put on especially for us at the cathedral.
Anyone who would like to see the full programme or read more about EuroSSIG will find details at https://eurossig.eu/eurossig/
I enjoyed learning more about a range of interesting subjects, but what I found most rewarding about EuroSSIG was meeting people of all nationalities, from a wide variety of backgrounds (technical, legal and policy) and different types of organisation (companies, government bodies and academic institutes), and spending a week working closely with them.
One moment that will always stay with me was when a representative of Georgia's State Security Service spontaneously played a piece on the piano, accompanied by an American of Chinese extract singing in Russian. It's hard to think of anything more multicultural and united in these turbulent times.
SIDN has been one of EuroSSIG's numerous sponsors for the last ten years. At each summer school, SIDN funds the participation of two fellows, who would otherwise be unable to attend.
The Summer School on Internet Governance is a unique opportunity for people from all around the world to take a good look at the various subjects at play in the field of internet governance. As such, the school contributes to better-informed debate and provides what SIDN regards as a very valuable service to the internet community.
This year's EuroSSIG programme included an extra day to celebrate the summer school's tenth anniversary. Steve Crocker, Chairman of the ICANN Board and a member or the Internet Hall of Fame, came over from the US especially to mark the occasion.
The final day concluded with a celebratory dinner and the traditional multicultural song party, at which everyone had to sing something in his or her own language. Fortunately, I wasn't the only Dutch person and therefore had three compatriots to share a rendition of Doe Maar's De Bom. :-)