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25th Anniversary 24 May 2017

Help Shape the Future of the Internet

Constance Bommelaer de Leusse
By Constance Bommelaer de LeusseSenior Director, Global Internet Policy and International Organizations

This year, the Internet Society celebrates its 25th anniversary.  Our own history is inextricably tied to the history of the Internet. We were founded in 1992 by Internet pioneers who believed that “a society would emerge from the idea that is the Internet” – and they were right.

As part of the celebration, this September we will launch a comprehensive report that details the key forces that could impact the future of the Internet. The report will also offer recommendations for the Future and we need your input.

Our work on this started last year, when we engaged with a broad community of Members, Chapters, Internet experts and partners. We conducted two global surveys that generated more than 2,500 responses representing the business, public policy, civil society, Internet development, academic and technology communities from 160 countries and economies. Individuals from 94% of the Internet Society’s global chapters participated in the survey. We interviewed more than 130 Internet experts and hosted 15 virtual roundtables. My colleague Sally Wentworth has shared some thoughts on these conversations as she presented the project to UN trade experts in April, in Geneva.

Throughout the project, our community reaffirmed the importance of six “Drivers of Change” and identified three areas that will be significantly impacted in the future: Digital Divides; Personal Freedoms and Rights; and, Media, Culture and Society. These “Impact Areas” are core to the Internet Society’s focus on putting the user at the forefront when considering the future of the Internet.

This has been community-driven from the beginning to the end, and as we reach the final stage, we would like your input on recommendations for Internet leaders and policy makers to ensure the development of an open, trusted, accessible, and global Internet in the future.

We’ll discuss these recommendations in September at our global membership meeting, InterCommunity 2017.  It’s open to all.

Unleash your imagination. Tell us how we can address emerging issues while harnessing the opportunities that the future will bring.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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