Building Internet expertise and regional capacity
The importance of connecting with regional Internet communities has never been greater. Local conditions require local solutions, assisted and informed by the technical expertise and policy experience of leading Internet community experts. Since 1994, the Internet Society has organized INET conferences around the world. Originally staged as annual global conferences, over time we have refined their focus, targetting the specific needs of previously underserved regions.
Today, the Internet Society holds multiple INETS each year, each with a unique regional focus and a selection of topics most relevant to the communities involved. The mutual benefits of this approach are clear. Local Internet communities get exposure to Internet issues of global and regional importance and access to world-class technology and policy experts. In return, the experience of each unique INET enriches The Internet Society’s presence on the global stage.
INETs are characterized by:
Engagement of multiple Internet stakeholders: Consistent with the Internet Model of development, INETs encourage diverse participation from multiple stakeholder groups. In particular, INETs provide an excellent platform to network our Chapters, Organizational and Individual members, with other partners from the technical community, government, and civil society.
Strategic locations: We hold INETs at the regional locations where they are most needed. This reduces barriers such as travel time and cost, which are critical considerations in the developing world. Also, where possible, we hold INETs alongside other relevant meetings to increase participation.
Agendas tailored to regional needs: INET meetings are more than just a narrow policy seminar or educational workshop. Each INET agenda is developed in consultation with local representatives to address a range of topics which meet their specific needs.
The INET meetings continue a longstanding tradition of extending the benefits of the Internet to communities in all parts of the world. Like the Internet itself, INETs continue to evolve and grow in importance, changing to suit local environments, refined and re-defined by the needs of Internet users themselves.