Michael Oghia

Michael Oghia

independent #netgov consultant & editor
Joined on September 27, 2015 – Serbia
Total Post Views: 23,760


Tweet him at: @mikeoghia.

Michael J. Oghia is a Belgrade-based Internet governance consultant & editor focusing on sustainable access, digital rights, media literacy, and development. He is a third culture kid (TCK) with professional experience in conflict resolution, journalism & media, civil society, and academia. Michael collaborates with DiploFoundation as assistant curator for the Digital Watch observatory, and was formerly the communications manager of iGmena, a program launched in 2012 by Hivos. He represented the Internet Society (ISOC) as a 2015 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) ambassador to IGF 10 in João Pessoa, Brazil, as well as a 2016 IGF returning ambassador to IGF 11 in Guadalajara, Mexico, and is actively involved in regional IGF initiatives, such as the Southeastern European Dialogue on Internet Governance (SEEDIG) and the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG). Michael is also a member of multiple Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) communities, including the Non-commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG), Noncommercial Users Constituency (NCUC), and Middle East and Adjoining Countries Strategy Working Group (MEAC-SWG), and participated in ICANN58 as a fellow. He has lectured on Internet governance at the Media and Digital Literacy Academy of Beirut (MDLAB), co-organized a youth seminar on cybersecurity and digital rights in Bosnia & Herzegovina with the Cooperation and Development Network of Eastern Europe (CDN), as well as attended various Internet governance and media policy-related training programs, including the 2016 EuroDIG New Media Summer School and the 2016 Annenberg-Oxford Media Policy Summer Institute. Michael holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the American University of Beirut and a Bachelor of Science in sociology from the University of Louisville. Michael also loathes referring to himself in third person.

Country experience: USA, Lebanon, India, Turkey, & Serbia

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Featured Blogs

Shedding Light on How Much Energy the Internet and ICTs Consume

Ever since I published an essay exploring the relationship between climate change and the Internet, I have endeavored to bring this subject to the fore as often as possible (and in relevant fora and discussions) since the responsibility of creating a more sustainable world falls on all communities and stakeholder groups. It is particularly pressing now -- at a time when international interest in curbing climate change is strengthening, while it is juxtaposed with the receding commitments of the United States government... more»

The Internet's Climate Quandary and the Inconvenience of Practicing What We Preach

It all started earlier this year in June. I was coding transcripts of the past global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) meetings as part of a data mining exercise for DiploFoundation's Geneva Internet Platform (GIP). Pouring over transcript after transcript, the work was tedious, but I was learning a great deal about the Internet governance community as well. My interest was piqued by the conversations, the familiar names I came across, and the multi-stakeholder manifestation of politics, perspectives, and positions. more»

WSIS, Development, and Internet Governance: A Plea for 'Star Trek' over 'Mad Max'

Humanity continues to find itself at a crossroads. Ahead of us lies an uncertain future filled with predictions of imminent doom and ominous prospects along with the wonders of science and technology. Behind us lies a century marked paradoxically by both devastating global conflicts and unparalleled global collaboration. As societies continue to globalize, we are increasingly becoming more connected - to the point where it is difficult, if not impossible, to divorce ourselves from the interconnectivity in contemporary systems of commerce, economics, politics, and culture. more»

Youth Aren't Just the Internet's Future, Youth Shape the Internet's Future

For the past 27 years, or at least as long as I can remember, I have heard one phrase on an endless loop: "youth are the future." It is a statement that always caused me to feel mild confusion. I thought, "How can I, for instance, be the future if I'm here now?" As I "grew up" and the term "youth" seem to expand in both meaning and breadth of inclusion, I quickly realized that when this statement is used by many it is platitudinous at best and disingenuous rhetoric at worst. What should actually be clarified is that, as no one is immune from the natural progression of the life course (at least not yet anyway), youth will one day constitute the key decision-makers in political, economic and social institutions. more»

A Billion Reasons Why the IGF Matters

I approach the mic. As the adrenalin kicks in, my hands begin to slightly tremble. Eyes dart at me, anticipating my imminent speech. I glance at the scribbled text in my notebook to review the key points I hastily made; breathe in, exhale. I look up; the total silence is punctured by my poised words: "My name is Michael Oghia, and I am an Internet Society Ambassador." more»