Working For An Internet That Works For People
People-Centered Internet (PCI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization working to ensure that the Internet is a positive force for good, improving the lives and well-being of people around the world. This includes promoting connectivity, fighting disinformation, contributing to the discussion about technology ethics, supporting the development of people-centered applications and initiatives, advising policymakers, and leveraging 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.”
“The recognition is an honor, and this time more so, because I share it with my good friend, Geoffrey Blackwell,” Rantanen said. “The greatest benefit is bringing more focus to the work we do in Indian Country.”
Today digital technology brings perils as well as promise. Connecting the schools safely means regulators have to assure that technologies Do No Harm. I commend the ITU for #Reg4Covid and in 2019 WSIS, Regulators on the digital frontier spoke about the importance of “share and learn” together in Regional (cross border) networks. National implementations can be improved by sharing breakthroughs and building on lessons learned by neighbors. Regulatory learning networks are needed to keep up with rapid change and the constant cyber attacks. Regional networks are also key to designing regional infrastructure built on common digital building blocks (Appendix 1) This can decrease by ten-fold the cost of health, education, social support systems. I know because I am from Singapore where this strategy has been underway for 2 decades with huge cost savings. Singapore is also the home of the DQ Institute – Digital Quotient – recognized by OECD, IEEE and others for assessing child and adult digital literacy.
As we come to understand that our interactions with each other will continue to be primarily “virtual” for many months ahead, I find myself returning to the idea that friendship and empathy fueled the start and the success of the early Internet. I recently had the privilege of addressing the World Summit on the Information Society, where I emphasized that the future of the Internet must follow a similar path, with leaders prioritizing equity and “do no harm” policies in their shaping and design of new and old systems.
The “PCI Community” consists of those around the world who share ideas together and support PCI’s goals.Members of the PCI Community share ideas in a community listserv and are invited to participate in video calls in which members or invited guests 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.