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Happy New Year!  Along with the excitement and expectations each new year brings, 2017 marks a significant milestone for the Internet Society. This year, we celebrate 25 years of dedication to an open, secure Internet that benefits all people throughout the world.

We all know how far the Internet has come since the early 1990’s, but today our work has never been more important. As the Internet ecosystem becomes increasingly complex, so too do the issues it faces. We have an important role to play in highlighting the challenges that need attention and in mapping out a path forward to safeguard and protect the Internet we believe in.

In 2017 we will continue to promote the life-changing benefits that access to an open Internet can bring as we work to extend its reach to those who are not yet connected. We will also continue to reinforce and address the many issues around trust in the Internet, focusing on security for its users as a priority.  No other set of issues affects our mission more today than the existential threat posed by a growing range of security challenges and the erosion of trust amongst users.  There is much at stake for the Internet, and this year we must recommit ourselves to our core mission and maximize the collective power of our global community. 

As part of our 25 year commemoration, we have exciting plans that include:

  • A global awareness campaign and new tools for our community to enhance the visibility of the Internet Society and to help us have more impact around the world; 
  • The launch of our Future Internet Scenarios, based on insights from our global community, along with a series of roundtables to discuss the challenges facing the Internet today and in the next 5-10 years;
  • A special edition of our global membership meeting, InterCommunity, with a new focus, streamlined format, and name to highlight our milestone year – ISOC@25;
  • A new class of Internet Hall of Fame inductees with a ceremony held in conjunction with ISOC@25; and
  • A new program called 25 under 25 designed to recognize the next generation of Internet leaders as we look to the next quarter of a century.

The year ahead will be busy with opportunities to reflect on past achievements, to dig even deeper to address the issues of access and trust, and to reinforce the founding principles that we cherish.  To read a brief historical account of the Internet Society, visit: https://www.internetsociety.org/internet-society-founding.

I thank all of our Internet Society community and those who support our work for your steadfast commitment to the Internet and to our mission. 

It will take all of us working together to keep the Internet open and secure for future generations.

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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