Dear Members, Friends, and Colleagues,
The end of 2009 is here – and what a year it has been. The Internet Society continued to prosper in 2009, the results of our work reaching wider and deeper than ever before. So it is a pleasure to extend my sincere gratitude to all of you whose combined efforts, energy, and dedication have made this such a great year.
We often use the term “Internet community” and, looking back at the achievements of this year, it is clear that these are truly the result of a strong, committed community pulling together around shared values and principles.
It is impossible to list here all of the Internet Society’s achievements from such a busy and productive year, but I would like to single out a few highlights.
Within the Enabling Access Initiative, we worked closely with Chapters and other local and regional partners to significantly extend our technical and policy capacity building programmes, especially in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. These efforts were aided through a revitalized INET programme with specialized content developed in partnership with local communities, and which reached out successfully to hundreds of participants in each location. This work advanced our profile and strengthened our message in many high-level forums, such as the OECD, the World Bank, and the ITU. Access continues to be one of the major themes in many of the Chapter and other member projects supported by our grants programmes.
In our InterNetWorks Initiative, a number of new efforts contributed to helping to advance the health of the Internet. ISOC continues to project a strong voice for IPv6 deployment, so it has been pleasing to see in 2009 that IPv6 is gathering momentum around the world. In an exciting new development this year, ISOC launched a series of topical, lively panel discussions during IETF meetings. The first on IPv6 deployment attracted much international attention. Together with the subsequent panels on DNS security and bandwidth management issues, these events have set the scene for what will be an important ongoing activity, helping to advance the health of the Internet and promoting the role of the IETF.
ISOC’s Trust and Identity Initiative benefited from two important new staff additions in 2009, increasing our involvement in many important new initiatives and partnerships in both the Trust and Identity spaces. One of the most significant is the Kantara Initiative (formerly the Liberty Alliance), in which ISOC has developed a strong voice and leadership role.
Throughout all of our work in 2009, we strived to promote better understanding of the nature and importance of the Internet Model of development and the relationships of the many organizations and functions making up the Internet Ecosystem. These efforts have clearly paid off and we were very pleased to see many of our messages reflected in the words and actions of many others in regional, national, and global discussions. In 2009, ISOC’s key messages were more frequently cited in media reports and reflected in statements by policy makers around the world than ever before.
Additions to ISOC’s staff in 2009 helped us make big strides in producing better publications and communications resources, delivering important information and services in more languages, and providing much greater support for events where Chapters, Individual and Organization Members, and others come together in support of our common mission. The successful Sphere project continues to be an excellent process for enabling the full potential of the Chapter network. And we were very pleased to recently launch the first phase of our new Association Management System as a much improved tool for Chapter and member interaction.
This year was one of ISOC’s most significant ever in terms of global engagement. With highly visible roles in the EU, ITU, OECD, IGF, and many other major policy and technical forums, it is clear that ISOC’s reputation as a trusted and authoritative voice on critical Internet issues continues to grow stronger. We again were honoured to coordinate the participation of other organizations, especially in the Internet Technical Advisory Committee to the OECD and the Internet Pavilion at the ITU’s Telecom World 2009. At the latter event, ISOC announced the Next Generation Leaders programme, a new activity starting in 2010 to build on our past successes such as the Network Training Workshops (NTW’s), as well as our current work in Fellowships to the IETF, and Ambassadorships to the IGF and other forums, adding coursework and mentoring to help accelerate the careers of the young practitioners who will lead the Internet into its next generation.
Finally, the Internet Society is finishing the year on a high note, having just announced our support for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), to help it evolve as a more agile, inclusive, and flexible organization, as it creates and promotes open standards.
There is so much more I could mention here – it really has been an extraordinary year. As 2009 draws to a close, it is important to recognize and thank all those who contributed to such a successful year. So, thank you to all the Individual and Organization Members, the Chapters, and all our other supporters and partners for their efforts and support as we worked together in pursuit of our common goals. Thank you to our friends in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) without whose values and work, the Internet, as we know it, would not exist. And, of course, thank you to the ISOC staff, the ISOC Board of Trustees, the Organization Member Advisory Council and the Public Interest Registry (PIR), for their efforts and support. To all of you, your support is vital to helping the Internet improve the lives of people everywhere.
Finally, I’d like to extend my very best wishes to you and your families during the holiday season, as we couldn’t do what we do without their support. I look forward to working together with all of you for a prosperous and successful 2010.
President & CEO, Internet Society