Over the last 12 months my perspective of the world has changed.
Not only did I learn about the beauty of diversity, but the 107 Chapter Leaders that attended our 6 regional Chapter Leaders workshops have shown me that magic really exists and happens.
Magic happens in every one of our Chapters through the passion and the dedication that each of the Chapter Leaders has for the Internet. Whether in developed countries or in regions where connectivity is still on its way I am amazed by the energy and the dedication to make a difference in people’s lives.
Each and every one of our Chapter Leaders really want to leave an imprint and mostly to leave a legacy of an Internet that is (and I quote one of our Leaders) “ . . .still open, accessible and simple there for the children of our children.”
Through those Chapter workshops I learned about the challenges of a volunteer driven Chapter, whether it’s to recruit and motivate new volunteers, or to find enough funding to bring the next project to life.Through sharing experiences and best practices or just sharing some personal stories (thank you for that!) we got to know each other and not only made new friends but also came away with some concrete projects that carry across chapters. Our Latin American and Caribbean Chapters have committed to work on no less than three projects together, our European Chapter Leaders are working on an Internet Governance timeline, and those are only a few examples of what came out of those groups.
Now, my wish for 2015 is that this magic continues to grow, but what I’d REALLY like is for mostly that more people see and hear about that magic!
To support this we will revise the Chapter Community Grants and develop a Chapter specific funding programme to support the chapter projects. Based on your feedback we will also develop some new tools and resources and improve the existing ones, including the regional Chapter Workshops. (more details to follow)
But we need your help too… we need you to continue to tell your stories, to share the magic, to share success stories amongst yourselves.
If you are a Chapter Leader or volunteer reading this blog, I want to thank you for your trust and for your passion!
If you are not a Chapter Leader or volunteer yet, I would really encourage you to join this group of people… they will show you magic!