Douglas Van Houweling: Like all of my col­leagues, I’m extra­or­di­nar­i­ly hon­ored to be with you tonight to share this hon­or. I want to thank the Internet Society and all of you who have worked togeth­er to make the Internet possible. 

I also want to thank you for rec­og­niz­ing the work of my col­leagues at Merit, at Internet2, the glob­al high­er edu­ca­tion research com­mu­ni­ty that has giv­en us so much of what we now know as the Internet. You’re real­ly rec­og­niz­ing their effort as you rec­og­nize all of us here tonight.

I want to say a few words about the Internet, where it’s I think going to con­tin­ue to make a dif­fer­ence. I think of the Internet going for­ward as real­ly the inter­per­son­al Internet. One of the things that we have dis­cov­ered over and over again, as we build net­works that move elec­trons around and pho­tons around, is that human beings use those to con­nect with one anoth­er. We think we’re con­nect­ing com­put­ers togeth­er, it turns out we’re con­nect­ing human beings together.

The Internet allows us to diver­si­fy our rela­tion­ships. Witness tonight. To deep­en our affil­i­a­tions. And to increase glob­al pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. There’s now some­thing else hap­pen­ing. It’s the Internet of Things, which I believe is going to make us able to man­age our plan­et more effec­tive­ly and to con­cen­trate our efforts on the things that real­ly mat­ter rather than spend­ing our time hold­ing a steer­ing wheel and dri­ving our car, increas­ing safe­ty and allow­ing us to focus on more cre­ative and non-routine work.

But you know both the inter­per­son­al Internet and the Internet of Things offer oppor­tu­ni­ties for cor­po­rate and gov­ern­ment intru­sion into our lives. For solu­tions that are based pri­mar­i­ly on pri­vate as opposed to pub­lic ben­e­fit. As we think about our future togeth­er, we need to think about the way we can cre­ate solu­tions, both to advanc­ing in the face of the oppor­tu­ni­ty that we’re offered, and also deal­ing with the threats that are inher­ent in those advances.

I am per­son­al­ly con­vinced that strength­en­ing orga­ni­za­tions like ISoc, ICANN, IETF, the World Wide Web Consortium, the nation­al research and edu­ca­tion net­works that have led to so much of the advance, and to the high­er edu­ca­tion and research com­mu­ni­ty from which so many of us sprung, are key to see­ing both those advances and deal­ing with the chal­lenges. We have togeth­er led inno­va­tion in gov­er­nance in the past. We must lead into the future. As Mike says, our job is to sus­tain the envi­ron­ment that we’ve helped cre­ate and move it for­ward. I look for­ward to work­ing with all of you and want to thank the Internet Society for giv­ing us all the oppor­tu­ni­ty to accom­plish these very worth­while goals. Thank you very much. 

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