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11 November 2016

Internet Society’s 2017 Action Plan

Introduction

The Internet Society community around the world is united by the conviction that a ubiquitous and trusted Internet is a unique force for good. We are guided by the vision of an Internet of Opportunity that is open, globally connected, and governed by its users from “the bottom up”. The Internet of Opportunity allows us to tackle our most pressing challenges: ending poverty and hunger, improving healthcare, increasing access to education, and promoting innovation. And, we understand that our collective potential increases as more of us connect with each other.

Yet, even as half the people in the world are expected to have access to the Internet in the coming year, emerging challenges threaten progress towards an Internet for everyone. First among these is ensuring the Internet is a trusted platform for communication that people seek to use. At the same time, we must continue to extend the opportunity to connect to the half of the world who are not yet online.

Conversations about the Internet are increasingly focused on uncertainty, insecurity, and fear of online interaction. We believe that to ensure people take advantage of the capabilities Internet access provides, a multi-faceted effort to strengthen online trust is required. In 2016, the Internet Society set strong foundations for a coordinated approach to addressing the policy, technical, and operational aspects of this challenge. The increasing importance of this issue compels us to redouble our efforts in 2017.

People who want to connect must have the opportunity to do so. Therefore ensuring those yet unconnected gain access to the Internet becomes more important, yet more difficult as they often are in locations that present greater challenges. We know that providing infrastructure is required but insufficient. Building regional communities of technical and policy expertise is a key component of ensuring strong and sustained connectivity. This has been a core of the Internet Society’s work over the past 25 years, so we approach this effort with an understanding gained through past successes, and with an urgency imparted by its importance for addressing the broader challenges in the world.

Our accomplishments over the past 25 years provide knowledge and confidence. In 2017 we strive for even greater effectiveness, seeking to be a stronger force for change in the world. We aim to build and deepen engagement across our community and organization. We embrace our technical roots, planted in the Internet Engineering Task Force. We remain inspired by our mission, and look forward to setting the stage for the next 25 years of success.

You can read the 2017 Action Plan online here.

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