Bernardo Barbosa

Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I am currently an undergraduate student of International Relations at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), as well as a fellow of the Tutorial Education Program (PET), a scientific initiation program intended to provide students with tools for excellence in the academic field. I have been researching themes such as cybersecurity and internet governance during my undergraduate course, which resulted among other things in the presentation of my work at the 2021 Hague Conference on Cyber Norms organized by the Leiden University. I am also a listening fellow at ModeraLab and participate in the Youth Brasil program.


Fellow Report:

Participating in the 16th EuroSSIG was not only a personal achievement, but also a transformative learning experience. EuroSSIG should be comprehended as much more than a Summer School on Internet Governance: it is a rare opportunity for co-creating knowledge. As a junior researcher on Internet Governance and Cybersecurity, joining the discussions at Meissen at first seemed to be a challenge. A welcoming environment and a supportive faculty made sure that everyone was able to join the conversation and engage with the various themes that were discussed during the week.

The faculty’s expertise and openness were essential for creating an open channel for dialogue, which was also developed during coffee breaks, lunches, and dinners. EuroSSIG’s successful teaching model, however, is also influenced by “Meissen’s spirit”: the willingness to learn when immersed in a community whose members have different backgrounds but share the will to learn and to share.

My experience on EuroSSIG also began influenced by a former student: Louise Marie Hurel, who is now an expert on Cybersecurity, and Internet Governance and a PhD candidate at the London School of Economics. Multiplying the knowledge forward is one of EuroSSIG’s missions, as described by Wolfgang Kleinwächter, and I strive to do the same now that I had the opportunity of taking part in such a program.

As a student of International Relations, it was especially interesting being able to ask questions and establish a dialogue with high-level representatives such as Regine Grienberger, the Cyber Ambassador for the German Federal Foreign Office. Among the group of Fellows, composed of various stakeholders, the debates always portrayed different understandings of fundamental questions that permeate the Internet Governance ecosystem.

The program, structured around indispensable themes, such as the DNS System, is also able to explore some of the political and economic implications associated with them. There is also a meticulous balancing act promoted by the organization, which is intended to equilibrate the fundamentals of Int. Gov. with recent developments in the field. The discussions about cybersecurity and cybercrime, with a focus on the European scenario, go hand in hand with the prior introduction of why it is important to think about security on the Internet and how it is transformed by it.

My journey into the Internet Governance field started with my academic interest in cybersecurity and its intersection with International Relations. Before the 16th EuroSSIG, I took part in the Youth Brasil program, which is dedicated to educating a younger generation on the core values and questions that surround the Int. Gov. field. My experience in Meissen works towards strengthening my toolbox of theoretical and practical knowledge, needed for efficient performance in the area.

It is also important to note that my participation in the 16th EuroSSIG was enabled by the generous support of the program’s sponsors and organizers, especially Sandra and Wolfgang. I thoroughly believe that the present and the active participation of individuals from the Global South in these spaces is of utmost importance since it brings different perspectives to the table. It is also important because challenges in the Int. Gov. field are international, and global, by nature, so they need to encompass different understandings and deal with various needs.

The 16th EuroSSIG was a life-changing opportunity, not only in professional, and academic terms but also in the personal dimension. Establishing bonds and conversations among a diverse group of fellows and faculty is also representative of the general mission of Internet Governance: building bridges and making sure that they will continue to exist and function properly. Securing the future of these bridges also depends on the work of programs such as this, and people such as Wolfgang and Sandra.