Community 18 December 2017

Beyond the Net – Impact Report 2016

"When people get access to the Internet amazing things can happen. We can do things like share ideas, build communities, make tools we haven’t even dreamed of, help kids stay in school, and the list goes on."
– Kathy Brown, President and CEO


At the Internet Society we truly believe in an open, global and secure Internet for everyone. We believe the Internet is a force for good. But it’s up to each of us to keep it that way. Only by working together can we catalyze change on a large scale and build the Internet of Opportunity. It is time to act.

With over 100,000 global members, 150 organization members, and 130 Chapters, we can make lasting change.

Our Chapters and the work they do with local communities on the ground are crucial to solving local issues and empowering communities. They are at the heart of what the Internet can be. They are vehicles of change.

The Chapter members are also just like you and me. They have a vision and a passion for what the Internet can bring, and together they are turning their ideas into action and helping us achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations and its members in 2015.

Through the Beyond the Net Funding Programme the Chapters are finding exciting and innovative ways to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. We have some great examples of how the Internet can have a positive impact. By building community networks in Africa and Europe, improving Internet connections in North America or ensuring people can trust their connection in Asia, we’re contributing to things like closing the gender gap, building partnerships, and helping kids stay in school.

In 2016, we took a huge step forward to consolidate the Beyond the Net Programme. When we see how the Internet can improve the life of hundreds of farmers in Latin America or how children can develop new skills by learning how to use the Internet in the Middle East,the aim of the program and of our organization becomes crystal clear. The numbers and the stories behind them are a good reminder that the Internet was built as a force for good.

The projects highlighted in this report serve as a critical reminder that as long as humanity is at the center of tomorrow’s Internet, its future is ours to shape for the next generation. However, as our 2017 Global Internet Report shows, there is still much more to do. We believe that the Beyond the Net Programme can play a part in making all the difference, but we can’t do it alone. Change on a large scale requires the efforts of all of us.

Join us. Apply for a Beyond the Net grant. Help shape a digital future that puts people first.

(by Raúl Echeberría, Vice President, Global Engagement)

Internet of Opportunity

There are many ways of tackling issues like ensuring inclusive and quality education for all, gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, sustainable economic growth, and fostering innovation through the development of infrastructure, and the Internet is a powerful tool for change. People from all around the globe are taking advantage of the opportunities that the Internet is giving them with the help of the Internet Society’s Beyond the Net Programme.

Opportunities for students, parents, and teachers
Students and teachers in Paraguay are now using new computers to access the Internet and in Senegal children have the chance to access a computer lab when classes are not running. In Yemen, students are using the Internet thanks to specially designed training booklets written in Arabic, and in Spain, parents and their children are being trained to navigate online safely.

Opportunities for communities in rural areas
In Nicaragua, farmers, villagers, and families living in isolated remote communities have the chance to sell their products online. In Nepal, local communities are now benefiting from the vast potential of the Internet, for example, by using e-government and e-commerce services. The availability of online content in Uganda’s most widely spoken local language creates something more than just local material: it creates a wealth of new opportunities. In the United States, a rural community’s mobile broadband is being tested and made more reliable, bringing new possibilities to farmers and precision agriculture.

Opportunities for connecting the unconnected
The Internet of Opportunity also means connecting those who are not connected. Senegal and South Africa have their own community networks in order to offer low-cost communication. In the United States, having community-owned networks are allowing more people to use the Internet in a city where prices are a huge barrier to access. In Europe, the creation of a set of “capacity building materials about community networking infrastructures” is giving authentic opportunities for people.

Opportunities for people ́s security
To take full advantage of these opportunities, it is key to build trust and security. In Kazakhstan, the Computer Security Incidents Response Team (CSIRT) is supporting people in case of breaches. By using drones to act as wireless relays and data aggregators in disaster zones in the Philippines, the Internet is a great way for workers and families to communicate with each other.

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