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About Internet Society 6 December 2018

A New Voice Joins the Chorus: Welcome to the Colombia Chapter!

By Nancy QuirosSenior Manager, Community Engagement - Latin America

A new Internet Society Chapter has been founded within the Regional Bureau in Latin America & Caribbean. The creation of the Colombia Chapter is today officially announced at Universidad del Rosario, in Bogotá.

Our desire is to extend a gracious and inclusive welcome to all the 67 founding members that have been active members of the Internet Society for several years, and to the ones that have recently joined the community to be part of the Chapter.

The Chapter invites you to join the live broadcasting starting at 8:00 AM (UTC-5) with eminent guests speakers such as Juanita Rodriguez Kattah, Former Vice Minister of Digital Economy, Hugo Sin Triana, Director of Innovation in Info Projects, Valérie Gauthier, Director of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science (MACC) at the University of Rosario, Nancy Quiros, the Internet Society’s Chapter Development Manager for Latin America and Caribbean Region, and Javier Pinzon, Member of the Colombian Internet Governance Forum.

The large attendance (approximately 120 participants) at the launching event, speaks to the need for a Chapter to join the Colombian community’s efforts to ensure an open, globally connected, trustworthy and secure Internet for everyone.

The Chapter will encourage the need to generate programs, projects, and initiatives for social development in Colombia supported in the massive access and use of the Internet. The team has a great multistakeholder set-up, including the public and private sector, the technical community, academics, students, civil society, and Internet users.

A community of like-minded individuals and entities will collaborate on the development of different projects in several key interest areas: Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), IPv6, cybersecurity, youth, the gender divide, connecting the unconnected, public policy, and especially the implementation of Community Networks and Internet of Things (IoT), currently fostered by the Internet Society through comprehensive campaigns offering a wide range of activities.

“Currently the Colombia Chapter has more than 450 members nationally and internationally,” says Martha Liliana Sanchez Lozano, president of the new Colombia Chapter. “Our Chapter will be always made up of individuals and multiple stakeholders, who share an interest and belief in the principles and values of the Internet Society for the benefit of all citizens and residents of Colombia.”

What are the main objectives?
Our objectives are guided by the “Drivers of Change” and critical areas of impact for the Internet of the future that have been identified in the Internet Society’s 2017 Global Internet Report  and the Internet Society 2019 Action Plan adapted to the Colombian context.

  • Generate and promote spaces for dialogue, meeting, participation, and collaboration on issues that affect the evolution of the Internet
  • Join efforts, complement, and work collaboratively with the Colombian Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and other actors to encourage the development, evolution, and use of the Internet.
  • Promote the development and strengthening of the Internet infrastructure in Colombia.
  • Promote the adoption of all types of measures aimed at increasing the confidence and security of people in accessing and using the Internet for the healthy development of the digital economy in Colombia.
  • Support the identification and search of solutions and cyber security measures that improve the protection of individuals and enterprises that access and use the Internet in Colombia.
  • Encourage the development of expertise, know-how, and skill to face the Internet of the future.

During the next few months, you will be also learning about our initiatives to help Colombian women and youngsters on reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.

What are your plans in terms of membership and self sustainability?
Initially we will use a management model where no annual fees will be charged to the Chapter members and we will focus on consolidating a model of self-financing and financial autonomy in which donations that can be obtained from allies and organizations associated with the Chapter will be an important income, but not the only one of its kind. The General Assembly that will be conformed with participation of all Chapter members, may determine the future financing schemes aimed at strengthening the Chapter financially for the development of its corporate purpose and the execution of the planned activities. These schemes can be of two types: annual membership dues and donations.

We encourage people to be part of the Internet Society and the Colombia Chapter, as well as to mobilize volunteers who wish to participate in the development of the different activities of the new Chapter. All Internet Society members in Colombia and beyond are invited to join the Colombia Chapter via the Internet Society’s Member Portal  > My Account > My Chapters > Join a Chapter.

The future of the Internet depends upon people!

Our mandate is to sing for everyone. This is everybody’s chorus.

Wishing the new Colombia Chapter all the very best!

Read more about this event and watch the livestream

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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