Yesterday, the Internet Society (ISOC) was celebrating its 25th anniversary. The Internet Society is a non-profit organisation aimed at providing leadership in internet-related standards, education, access, and policy. It is an American initiative which over the years has established various Chapters throughout the world, Zimbabwe included.
So yesterday, all Chapters worldwide celebrated the anniversary by hosting their own individual events and eventually joining in the Facebook live stream from Los Angeles.
In Zimbabwe however, the ISOC Chapter has only been in existence since 2013. Even so, from what I picked from the ‘speeches’, there hasn’t been much activity since then. It’s only a few months back that the society had its first elections; so hopefully, the elected committee will indeed make some noise.
Now back to the event, the demographics of the crowds present was quite interesting. I literally did not expect that. I often associate the internet to the millennial generation and a few others before that, but contrary to my belief, the crowd was skewed towards ‘mature’ individuals. It doesn’t make it any better finding out that the event was mostly comprised of actual ISOC members.
Based on that, there are two things that can be inferred: it’s either it’s a classic case of ‘mature’ people side-lining the younger generation and calling themselves youths just so they reap all the benefits that come with being a member, or it’s actually a sign that they finally get it! I’m going with the latter, not because I’m being naïve but based on some evidence at least.
First thing to note is that joining the society is entirely free. Free in both monetary terms and access. In fact if you want, you can join it right here, right now. The second thing is …uhhh, I think I was too quick to say first because clearly that was my only evidence.
Anyway, if I’m right (which I think I am), then it’s great to see the older generation coming on board. Well, it was too small a crowd to make any conclusions but I’d say that’s good enough for now.
I remember at the Digital Future conference we hosted earlier this year, there was a concern raised on how senior management sabotages ideas from the ‘more tech savvy’ employees because often at times the people in senior management are literally senior and often do not understand the internet or any such related concepts. Therefore, if more of them comprehend or at least appreciate what’s happening, progress is certain!
If the ISOC Zimbabwean Chapter adheres to its mission of promoting open development; evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world, then I’d gladly recommend even more mature individuals to join it.
And yes, we do look forward to writing more about ISOC and its endeavours (no pressure new committee, no pressure…)