I am writing to you inspired by the perspectives and experiences shared on a recent PCI community call in which participants shared their own experiences and work to respond to the global impacts of COVID-19.
While we don’t yet fully understand the changes to come in the next weeks and months, it is clear that during these periods of “social distancing,” the world is finding new ways to share information, conduct business, to comfort, and to connect with each other. As we watch Italians sing together from their balconies, Spaniards applaud medical workers every night at 10 PM, and “virtual” dance parties in New York, it is abundantly evident how important it is to maintain our connection to others, even in this time of “distance”.
Our PCI community clearly has much to offer as the world rallies to meet the challenges ahead. For those of you who could not join the “virtual fireside chat” with our founding chairman, Vint Cerf, and Ian Bremmer, I highly recommend a listen to the audio. As Ian and Vint note, our organizations and institutions must evolve to meet the challenges of our interconnected and interdependent world, as the coronavirus pandemic has made starkly clear.
One important component of this evolution of institutions is the need for “Digital Cooperation,” building upon the work of the United Nations’ High Level Panel, on which Vint served. The panel—chaired by Melinda Gates and Jack Ma from Sept 2018 to June 2019—produced a list of recommendations that are now being developed further by eight working groups. We will be sharing more in the coming months about our efforts to support this work and help connect good ideas to impact on the ground.
Stay well, friends. Your skills, experience and compassion have never been more needed.
And, as Vint says, we’ll see you on the Internet!