What a difference a month can make. We at PCI — along with everyone around the world – are making our adjustments, realizing that “BC” (“Before Covid”) will not return. The Internet has been an extraordinary tool during this time of social distancing, allowing remote work, online learning and family get-togethers, even dating over Zoom and Skype. Unfortunately, this time has also exacerbated the digital divide for those who are not connected, and illustrated the importance of continued efforts to close that gap.
This month, we celebrate our founding chairman, Vint Cerf’s, election to the National Academy of Science and are thankful for his recovery from COVID-19. As Vint recently described so well:
“We are in a perfect storm of necessity, technology and mindset….While I am reasonably confident that we will survive this crisis, I hope we will take into account how important preparation and foresight will be moving forward to protect against future pandemics. There is no question in my mind that another will come and we must be more ready for the next than we have been for this one.
Building the connected world that we all rely on requires vision, tenacity, humility and unwavering optimism.”
In this month’s newsletter, you will find many reasons for optimism, from an effort to embrace “Clean IT” at the Global Solutions Forumto Marci’s work to help Congress conduct remote proceedingsduring the pandemic. We also welcome the perspectives of people like Pete Forsyth, wholooks backon 20 years of work with Wikipedia and MIT Emeritus Professor, Ed Schein, who issues a call for social scientists to “step up“.
I am very pleased to share new additions to PCI: Kristin Littlejoins as our new Digital Cooperation and Diplomacy Fellow and Sarah Wrightbrings her talents in communications and policy to the team.
We express our deepest appreciation and gratitude to two terrific PCI Community members who have gone out of their way to help us: Eileen Clegg who stepped up to help us with the transition of the newsletter, and to Cory Strandberg who took care of the PCI Community Call scheduling and logistics.
At this volatile time, in which we face so many known unknowns and unknown unknowns, our involuntary “Worldwide Pause” provides an opportunity to reflect and to prepare for what is to come.
And, as Vint says, we’ll see you on the Internet!