The Internet Society’s Mission and Vision define what we do. They tell us to ensure the Internet is open, globally-connected, secure, and trustworthy for everyone. This is our enduring goal—it is our “why”—and it serves as the organizing principle for not only what we do, but also how we work. That goal determines what we must do in 2019.
The 2019 Action Plan builds on what we did in 2018. It takes for granted that the basic aims of 2018, which were in keeping with the Internet Society’s goals throughout its history, are broadly correct. But this plan applies the lessons from 2018. To begin with, this plan makes a distinction between what we do and how we do it. Second, it refines the campaign-led approach, which helped break down internal barriers, by defining the criteria for success or completion. Finally, this plan contemplates some changes to the organization of the Internet Society to address functional gaps that became clear in 2018.
What we do will see us continue to focus on connecting the world, on improving the technical security foundations of the Internet, and on building trust in those core Internet functions. These interrelated areas encompass the most important issues of access and trust facing the Internet today, and they provide the framework for organizing our work. Of course we must anticipate upcoming challenges and opportunities, so we also will work to understand and thereby be prepared to shape the Internet’s future.
How we approach our work is just as important as what we do. We seek collaboration with all who share our central goal; we also support and build our community, so that we work together to extend our influence and reach around the world. And we will continue to invest in strengthening our global voice so that we speak consistently, clearly, and courageously on the issues that are most important to us.
We believe an open, globally-connected, secure, and trustworthy Internet produces a positive impact in the lives of people. It is already an important part of the lives of more than 3.5 billion people around the world, but a nearly equal number remain unconnected. This gap denies people opportunity and fails to develop a large amount of human potential. This plan serves as our roadmap for our work in the year ahead to close this gap between the world of today and our vision for the future.