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Speeches 1 September 2014

Capacity Building for Economic Development

“Capacity Building for Economic Development”
1 September 2014, Istanbul

Remarks from Kathy Brown

I would like to thank the Republic of Turkey for the invitation to IGF Istanbul.  It is energizing to be in this magnificent city; a city that lies at the crossroads of cultures; serving as a hub of commerce, customs and trade. It is fitting therefore that it host the 2014 IGF, this great global marketplace of Ideas; a gathering of people from around the world who share with each other how to secure the benefits of the Internet for everyone.

I understand that more than 3000 people have registered for the IGF. This past year, as a diverse Internet community, we have given much thought and energy on how to best “govern” ourselves. In the next days, we will have an opportunity, with our colleagues from around the world, to, once again, demonstrate the power of collective collaboration and action. As we know, collaboration is essential to ensure the future of the Internet.  If decisions related to the Internet and its future are not in the hands of the many, they will only be in the hands of the few.

We know that the open Internet is an unparalleled positive force for economic and social progress. Access to the Internet not only empowers individuals to make their lives better, but, in the 21st Century, it is necessary to develop their countries’ economies.

Therefore, any consideration of “governance” must ensure that we finish the job of connecting the 2/3 of our world’s people who are not yet connected, and second, that we preserve the essential nature of the Internet that allows permission-less innovation not only today but into the future.

At the Internet Society, we are committed to doing our part to expand the growth of the Internet worldwide.  We are busy developing toolkits for Internet Exchange points and combating spam; our regional offices hold INETs throughout the world to demonstrate and teach technical skills so that communities can build and sustain local networks; our Leadership program creates and administers online courses and sponsors Internet leadership seminars, ambassadorships and internships; we take active leadership in policy development for governance issues; our ISOC Chapters have actively supported Regional and National IGFs around the globe, while our staff has worked tirelessly to support the best practices workshops at IGF Istanbul.

This week, here at IGF, we must harness the collective power of this powerful Internet community to make sure that the Internet is a reality for everyone. Empowering every individual with the ability to access and to participate equally on the Internet will generate new innovations, efficiencies, and opportunities to fuel the next wave of Internet growth, investment, and prosperity for all.

Thank you.

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