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Busy March sees at ICANN and UNHCR

March has been a busy one for AMGlobal Principal Andrew Mack. Mack attended the 55th ICANN meeting in Marrakech, Morocco where he again led outreach activities for the ICANN Business Constituency. He also spoke at the 4th Africa DNS Forum — his third consecutive time addressing the annual meeting of African internet leaders. Mack’s talk discussed strategies for new Top Level Domains as they attempt to enter the African market and ways the African DNS community can attract them.

During the action-packed meeting, Mack also attended the farewell ceremonies for outgoing ICANN President Fadi Chehadi and even had time to play congas and blues harmonica with a band made up of local Gnawa musicians and ICANN community members.

From Marrakech, Mack flew to Geneva for meetings with UNHCR and other UN agencies. There he presented the results of AMGlobal’s paper on “telework” as a way of providing tech-enabled jobs to refugees fleeing conflicts in countries like Syria and Somalia. In a dynamic two-hour session, participants discussed how a telework approach could help build skills and create income, including opportunities for women. Mack urged near term focus on creating a “telework template” — perhaps building blocks of 100 workers — making it much easier for potential sponsors to “decide to buy 10 units” and helping achieve scale as quickly as possible given the urgency of the situation. Importantly, rather than being aid-based, the UNHCR-AMG model would be contract-based, working with telework groups to provide outsource services in activities from photo tagging to digitization of content and other areas, depending on the skill set of the refugee populations.

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