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Internet Society 2015 Action Plan

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© iStockPhoto / Internet Society

In the next year, the billions of people that use the Internet today will face opportunities and challenges that promise to decide whether this global network of networks continues to foster innovation, promote collaboration, and support social progress for themselves, and the billions more that have yet to connect. If we, together, are able to respond to these challenges and opportunities with sufficient force and urgency, the children of today will benefit from the same kind of Internet we have enjoyed for the past three decades. If we fail to respond, however, we — and they — could lose the essence of the Internet today and the unimaginable innovations it would spark tomorrow.

The Internet Society can and must take the lead in responding. We take on this task, not just because the Internet Society is for the open Internet, but also because we are of the open Internet. We were founded by Internet pioneers. Our culture embraces the openness that pervades the Internet itself. Our community spans the diversity of Internet users and uses around the globe.

And, we work to build the Internet while clearly focused on a larger purpose — to ensure that it continues to support innovation, economic development, and social progress. We will continue to build and sharpen our position on the interaction between the Internet and fundamental human rights. Ensuring the “Internet is for everyone” is not just an organizational slogan, it is intrinsic to our organizational genes.

Even as we build on this tradition, we will take a step up to match the growing importance and increased attention the Internet garners today. We also know that success requires focus. In the coming year the Internet Society will be turning its attention to the most urgent issues, imparting the greatest impact, and keeping our aim on an Internet that is open, secure, resilient, and growing. To that end, and as detailed in the plan that follows, we have identified four key areas of action in the coming year. 

Our Strategic Objectives are to:

  • Facilitate and promote global, regional, and local policy environments that enable the continuing evolution of an open Internet.
  • Increase the global relevance and recognition of collaborative, bottom-up,technical, consensus-based open standards development in order to protect permissionless innovation for the availability of the open Internet for current and future users; and increase development and use of security and resiliency technologies and best practices, shape the evolution of online identity infrastructures, and improve choice and consent in the handling of user data.
  • Provide equal development opportunities for all people by promoting the relevance, deployment, and adoption of the open Internet.
  • Increase the visibility and influence of the Internet Society as the recognized, trusted source on Internet issues" 

To effectively accomplish these Strategic Objectives, we must at the same time continue to improve and develop the Internet Society organization and community themselves. Internally-focused Operational Objectives provide important complements to our outwardly-oriented Strategic Objectives and action plans.

Through our Operational Objectives, we aim to ensure that the Internet Society organization and community have the tools, energy, and culture necessary to most effectively advance our mission. 

They are to:

  • Create an environment that allows ISOC to use the Internet to gather real data and experiences, capitalizes on our diverse communities, and delivers messages and tools to our audiences
  • Mobilize and energize our staff, emerging leaders, past and present ISOC Members, and other identified ISOC stakeholders to leverage and expand our outreach on an inclusive local, regional, and global scale to advance our mission.
  • Nurture a culture that mirrors the Internet attributes we wish to emulate—a team-oriented culture that values openness/inclusivity, global and cultural diversity, honesty, trust and collaboration. We look to be focused, forward thinking, flexible and dynamic within an environment where decision-making is transparent and accountability is maintained " 

This document provides the broad thrusts and key initiatives we propose to accomplish these objectives. But this plan is not a plan just for the Internet Society organization. It is a plan that anticipates and depends on mobilizing the entire Internet Society community, engaging the organizations around the world that depend on the Internet, and raising awareness among those billions of people who use the Internet every day.

Read Our 2015 Action Plan