Working For An Internet That Works For People
People-Centered Internet works to make sure that the Internet is a positive force for good, improving the lives and well-being of people around the world. Through our global initiatives, we promote connectivity, fight disinformation, add to the discussion about technology ethics, support the development of people-centered applications and initiatives, advise policymakers, and leverage technology to help communities be more resilient.
A Message from the founders
“The People-Centered Internet (PCI) was founded in the belief that computers and networking could be the foundation for significant enhancement of the utility of the Internet for everyone. That the Internet and its applications have the innate ability to be powerful tools for progress has been demonstrated repeatedly ever since the operational beginning of the Internet and especially after the arrival of the World Wide Web. At the same time, we have learned from experience that this powerful platform can be and is being abused by people who do not have society’s best interests at heart. In the tussle between beneficial and harmful behaviors, our challenge is to preserve and encourage the former and discourage the latter. This should be a concern for all Internauts everywhere and is a key pillar of PCI focus from its founding. PCI welcomes all who feel a sense of mission aligned with the goal of making the Internet useful for everyone.”
“When we organized the 40th anniversary of the TCP/IP spec in 2014 I realized the global spread of the Internet was not a national or corporate or religious or political phenomenon but a rare and infinitely unique gift of people all over the world who wanted to bring it to their communities. We now face serious challenges as one of the most powerful tools in the hands of half of humankind, like fire, can be harnessed for good or bad. The People Centered Internet is just a short name for those who believe in an Internet by the people of the people and with the people of the world.”
People-Centered Internet (“PCI”), a California-based 501(c)3 organization with a mission to “put humanity at the center of the Internet,” today announced the launch of the Global Help Desk (“GHD”). Applying the same principles that guided the Internet’s decentralized growth, the GHD will serve as an online network to connect people with a web of goods and services that are proven to address problems that span geographies and communities, acting as a coordinated, accessible and scalable toolkit for solutions-based digital capacity building.
I have some exciting news to share this month, but first, I want to take a trip back in time: Just over 50 years ago in 1969, the first two nodes of the Internet were connected. This would begin a long series of innovations, like the TCP/IP specification developed by our PCI co-founder, Vint Cerf and the vision of Douglas Engelbart’s “Mother of all Demos.” People-Centered Internet was founded in 2015 in the same spirit of “participation by all” to ensure the Internet continues to be “a force for good in the world.”
Last year’s Internet Governance Forum in Berlin catalyzed a new area of focus for PCI on “Digital Cooperation and Diplomacy,” supporting the recommendations of the United Nations’ High Level Panel. Fabrizio Hochschild, Doreen Bogdan, Vint Cerf, Hinrich Thoelken, and I envisioned an informal network of those working to augment traditional diplomacy with the connections that technology enables and building on the spirit that energized the original spread of the Internet in the 1980s and ’90s.
Palo Alto, CA, Sept. 23, 2020 — People-Centered Internet, a California-based 501(c)3 organization with a mission to “put humanity at the center of the Internet,” is co-hosting [email protected], and Mei Lin Fung is Chairing the Opening Day. Our Founding Chair, Vint Cerf will be part of the event from 8 to 10 a.m. and make closing remarks at 9:45 am Eastern.
The event is free to attend and kicks off with Digital Cooperation and Diplomacy Day on Thursday, Sept. 24 and closes on Oct. 2. As part of the celebration of the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary, speakers from across the globe will usher in a new era for a personal commitment to acting on science, technology, and art in an interconnected and interdependent way.
The goal of the dialogues is to shift the culture of science to be more human, and to share our hopes and inspiration so that each of our actions on the micro scale will lead to a macro effect.
The Digital Cooperation and Diplomacy Day session is divided into three acts: The Art of Learning, The Art of Health, and The Science of Thriving. Dozens of leaders from across the public and private sector will present their perspectives on how to bring art and humanity to the center of progress. Their expertise and priorities will help guide forward the vision and priorities for executing on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
People-Centered Internet is uniquely positioned to co-host this event by leveraging changemakers and resources from across sectors and nations — all while keeping our people-centered vision at the heart of the conversation.
The culmination of the event is a call to action for volunteers to “Connect to Thrive” and bring expertise and resources to this momentous effort. PCI encourages attendees to use the hashtag #Connect2Thrive to tune into updates and conversation.
The “PCI Community” is a group of people from around the world who share ideas together and support PCI’s goals. Members of the PCI Community gather in a community listserv and hold video calls for members or invited guests to present new projects, ideas, or host in-depth discussions.
PCI Cofounder, Mei Lin Fung leads an international delegation and members of the PCI Community on a tour of Sonoma County that included an introduction to library connectivity programs at Sonoma County Library and a discussion of agricultural tech at Iron Horse Vineyards.
How PCI Works
As a volunteer-led organization, PCI supports mission-aligned projects by convening experts and stakeholders, producing papers and recommendations, and through project advising and fiscal sponsorship.