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.
Today, our world is transformed and cracks in existing institutions and norms are exposed. The global pandemic has made our work to create a more open, inclusive, participatory, and trustworthy Internet more important than ever. This month, members of the PCI community are taking action to revive the deeply generative spirit of the Internet.
Matt is breaking down barriers and advocating relentlessly, S.J. is leading the fight against misinformation, and Karin and Brandon are bringing equity to tech. Also this month, Vint Cerf and I issued a call to action to address the more than 1 billion children whose learning has been disrupted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Sept. 24, PCI chaired Digital Cooperation and Diplomacy Day at the [email protected] Conference, organized by Declan Kirrane, to bring together 48 of the most humane, enlightened, caring, and innovative people in a three-act play — The Art of Learning, The Art of Health, and The Science of Thriving — to shift how we think about science.
Our community grows stronger as we link hands across silos and welcome new voices. If you are inspired by this, please consider signing up to be a volunteer to Connect to Thrive.
Just like the Internet emerged through a volunteer network that saw its promise and ran with it, we catalyze the next wave in the spirit of the original Internet. Thank you for being here with us.
Mei Lin Fung
Co-Founder and Chair