Tadao Takahashi: Thank you Internet Society for hav­ing me here. It’s real­ly a great hon­or. And I want to take the chance to thank many peo­ple who are not here, and some peo­ple who are here.

First my sis­ter Laura who came all the way from Barcelona where she lives. My broth­er in arms Demi Getschko. You know him; he’s around and he came from São Paulo. My best friend and col­league Claudine de Oliveira, who is cer­tain­ly watch­ing the cer­e­mo­ny from Rio de Janeiro. And through Claudine and Demi, I wish to acknowl­edge the par­tic­i­pa­tion of hun­dreds of peo­ple. My idea is that it was more than 300 peo­ple for sure, whom I could recall indi­vid­u­al­ly and with whom I worked for ten to twelve years deploy­ing the Brazilian Internet.

On the oth­er hand I want to thank in the per­son of Glenn Ricart. A whole region of peo­ple abroad here in the US, Europe, and Japan who helped the Brazilian Internet ini­tia­tive take off. And those peo­ple helped oth­ers in so many anony­mous and gen­er­ous ways.

To name a few let me cite Steve Goldstein who’s not here. Larry Landweber, who’s here. Saul Hahn was men­tioned by Pietrosemoli. Andrew McLaughlin, Daniel Karrenberg, etc.

Now, let me take the chance to make a few com­ments regard­ing the sit­u­a­tion in Brazil when we start­ed to deploy the Internet and com­pare it with the sit­u­a­tion today, thir­ty years lat­er. Thirty years ago when we start­ed to think about active­ly con­nect­ing the coun­try to the then-academic Internet which was tak­ing off in the world, the sit­u­a­tion in Brazil was pret­ty much as you see today on the news. Inflation rates pret­ty high, a total­ly dis­cred­it­ed polit­i­cal par­ty in pow­er, a sig­nif­i­cant par­cel of the pop­u­la­tion strug­gling to bare­ly main­tain a [modus operan­di?] to the next day and so on.

Even in that sit­u­a­tion, we were able to get start­ed and we were able to get the sup­port of all those peo­ple I men­tioned and I did­n’t men­tion, so that the Brazilian ini­tia­tive for the Internet took off with ener­gy. And through­out the ear­ly 90s the result start­ed to show that the bet on the future was real­ly the cor­rect thing to do.

Now, look­ing at Brazil again thir­ty years lat­er, we see the very same sit­u­a­tion. And the ques­tion is what to do. The whole coun­try has been wait­ing to see when and how recov­ery will begin, polit­i­cal, eco­nom­ic and so on. Meanwhile, you see sev­er­al ini­tia­tives relat­ed to ICTs and to Internet in Brazil have been advanced by the gov­ern­ment and by the pri­vate sec­tor because life goes on and you can­not just sit there wait­ing for some­thing to hap­pen. And I would say that even the Brazilian gov­ern­ment and par­tic­u­lar­ly the sec­re­tari­at for ICT poli­cies in Brazil, they have been car­ry­ing their duties with com­pe­tence under very dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances.

So, what to do? We have been watch­ing these ini­tia­tive with great sym­pa­thy. Because in times of cri­sis, even those run-of-the-mill activ­i­ties are impor­tant in order to pre­pare the coun­try to restart func­tion­ing prop­er­ly in bet­ter times which we expect are going to come from next year on.

On the oth­er hand, since at least two years ago my group has been par­tic­i­pat­ing in sev­er­al dis­cus­sions regard­ing what to do to take ICTs and the Internet to Brazil to a real­ly strate­gic next lev­el as a super-governmental ini­tia­tive (not to depend too much on gov­ern­ments) in order to struc­ture the basis for a strong, sus­tain­able cycle of eco­nom­ic and social devel­op­ment aim­ing at the year 2030 as the year where we’re going to cross the water­mark again, so to say.

So, the short stay at this ISOC event has been very impor­tant for me. Because it has allowed me to get updat­ed on cur­rent issues and ideas. It has allowed me to renew old and always-precious con­tacts (there are many peo­ple here who I have not seen for the last twen­ty years or so), so that I can real­ly get to reen­er­gized and anx­ious to get back to Brazil.

And a final com­ment is that I was watch­ing the talks and ideas of those under-25s here, and it gets clear in my mind and in the mind of every­body, I think (as if it could be for­got­ten which is impos­si­ble) why and how we have to face our trou­bled times with renewed con­fi­dence. It is that in any coun­try there are count­less under-25s at this ripe moment, look­ing for ways to con­tribute to the future of the coun­try through ICT ini­tia­tives. So, in each coun­try and in each trou­bled time, it is time to reartic­u­late the future, to pass the baton on, and to rest assured that an eager and enthu­si­as­tic gen­er­a­tion will take on. And that’s basi­cal­ly what we are doing.

Thank you again for the oppor­tu­ni­ty to be here. I’m real­ly hum­bled and hon­ored. Thank you.


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