Sylvia Cadena

Head of Programs, APNIC Foundation, Australia

Sylvia has been working for over two decades on strategic use of the Internet for development, since her early years as a UN Volunteer working on south-to-south farmer’s information exchange in 1993.

She joined COLNODO in 1994, where she worked to build a strong and consistent Internet presence from civil society around the LAC region, which provided technical training on web design, usability and accessibility, and coordinating the first Latin-American telecenter network which providing access for marginalized communities. At the same time, offering input to the National Connectivity Agenda in Colombia and similar initiatives that flourished throughout the region during the mid-late 90s, as well as supporting over 400 NGOs to establish their first Internet presence, share research data and establish collaborative initiatives around human rights and the peace process, gender, biodiversity, climate change, among others.

In 2000, she joined the Tropical Whitefly IPM Project, a global research initiative on integrated pest management from the CGIAR Consortium to develop an online content management system based at the Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT). In July 2003, her work was recognized with the "Annual Award for Young Professionals" by the International Development Research Center (IDRC) where she supported ICAmericas to start-up a variety of initiatives such as OSILAC, FRIDA, WiLAC & TRICALCAR, the World Dialogue on Regulation, among others.

She worked as a consultant from 2005 to 2008, mainly on community wireless initiatives, focusing on collaboration platforms to provide training, localized materials, such as the Wireless Networking for the Developing World book series, as well as sourcing equipment to support network deployment.

In 2008, she moved to Australia and joined the Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC) to coordinate the design and implementation of funding partnerships among the Internet technical community that support social and economic development in the Asia Pacific region.
She worked to design and established the Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF Asia), a program that allocates grants and awards to innovators working on Internet technologies for development as well as capacity building opportunities to scale. She also supported the establishment of the Seed Alliance, an umbrella initiative were ISIF Asia actively collaborates with other two grants programs covering the global south -FRIDA, covering Latin America and the Caribbean and FIRE, covering Africa-.

As Head of Programs for the APNIC Foundation, Sylvia is now working on the design and implementation of collaborative programs to expand APNIC’s capacity building efforts that support the development and growth of a global, open, stable, and secure internet that serves the entire Asia Pacific community. The programs cover Training, Technical Assistance, Fellowships, Community Development, Grants and Awards, and Research.