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About Internet Society 17 July 2020

Building a diverse and strong Internet Society Board of Trustees

By Gonzalo CamarilloFormer Member and Chair, Internet Society Board of Trustees

[Published on behalf of the Internet Society Board of Trustees.]

The Internet Society’s 2020 AGM (Annual General Meeting) is going to be held on the first weekend of August. While the meeting had originally been planned as a face-to-face meeting, the Board decided to turn it into an online meeting instead given the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The AGM is the meeting where we say goodbye to the outgoing trustees. We want to thank them for all their efforts during their terms and wish them good luck in their future endeavours. We are confident they will continue supporting the Internet Society down the road.

The AGM is also the meeting where we welcome the incoming trustees. This year is special because we will be welcoming five new trustees. This represents a significant Board turnover for a Board of twelve voting trustees. Therefore, we are currently running a comprehensive onboarding process to get our new trustees up to speed as efficiently as possible.

As you know, the Board is selected and elected by our community, with the IETF, Organizational Members, and Chapters each independently choosing a third of the Trustees. Next year, at the 2021 AGM, three trustees will be reaching their term limit and, thus, will be leaving the Board. Having recently concluded this year’s election, now is an optimum moment to think about how to make sure our community has a great set of candidates to choose from next year.

The Internet Society needs to be seen as valuable and relevant in order to attract and build up a broad and diverse talent pool that can produce candidate Trustees. Part of this comes down to our reputation. Our staff are working hard to set the world’s understanding of who we are, what we do, and why it matters. In addition, we also count on you, our member community, to do the same. To talk about the importance of our work (i.e., your work) and highlight our accomplishments. We can show the world how, by being united, we are a strong voice and an effective global champion for the Internet we believe in. By positioning the Internet Society as an organization that makes a tangible difference, we will inevitably entice more people who wish to be a part of that. So, please, reach out and tell our story.

On the elections web page, you can find material about the role of the Board and of trustees, and about the procedures used by the community to select and elect them.

Having a good set of diverse strong candidates is the best way to enable our community to elect and select a set of diverse strong trustees using their respective election and selection processes.

At the Internet Society, we believe that the Internet is for everyone. Inclusion and diversity sit at the heart of our beliefs and values, and are core to our mission. At this time, we believe it is more important than ever to ensure that all voices have a chance to be heard in shaping the future path of the Internet Society. Having a strong and diverse Board definitely is a great first step on this path.

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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