Board meeting: Friday, 2 November.
Thanks and personal comments to Vint Cerf.
The following is a partial transcript of the ICANN Board meeting at its 30th meeting in Los Angeles on Friday, 2 November 2007. It begins with CEO Paul Twomey reading out the Board resolution covering Vint Cerf’s step-down from chairman after eight years.
After the resolution was adopted, each Board member provided a brief personal message to Vint Cerf thanking him for his work. You can jump to each Board member’s comment by clicking the link below.
We would like to invite members of the community to add to the tribute by writing their observations, comments or memories of Vint Cerf as comments under this post.
- Rita Rodin
- Roberto Gaetano
- Steve Crocker
- Vittorio Bertola
- Janis Karklins
- Steve Goldstein
- Susan Crawford
- Joichi Ito
- Thomas Narten
- Peter Dengate-Thrush
- Njeri Rionge
- Vanda Scartezini
- Raimundo Beca
- Rajashekar Ramaraj
- Demi Getschko
- Francisco Da Silva
- Bruce Tonkin
- Paul Twomey
- Vint Cerf
Whereas Vinton Cerf was appointed to the ICANN board and began his term in November 1999.
Whereas he was selected by the Nominating Committee to serve two additional terms on the board.
Whereas Vint has served the board with superhuman energy and unique skill.
Whereas he has served as chairman of the ICANN board since November 2000, served as chairman of the compensation committee, served as a member of the executive committee, the executive search committee of the board in November ’99 to January 2001, and the discussion group for geographic and geopolitical names in dot info and has provided excellent insight, leadership and expertise in these roles.
Whereas Vint as dedicated tens of thousands of hours to supporting the board, including many in the early morning, in whatever city, town, hamlet or cave in the desert that has had any form of Internet access.
Whereas he has logged over a million miles in air support to ICANN, its community, and constituents.
Whereas, most of this travel has been financially supported by MCI and Google as Vint has married his day job with his ICANN role, and the board particularly appreciates this support by MCI and Google.
Whereas Vint’s family has supported him with years of loving patience and encouragement for his patient support and encouragement of others.
Whereas Vint has chaired over 70 global teleconference board meetings with extraordinarily aplomb and coordination, which is impressive considering he is a self-proclaimed “deaf guy.”
Whereas Vint has provided broad-spectrum leadership through sartorial elegance, humor, laser-like curiosity, charm, athleticism, decades of technical knowledge, personal networks, media savvy, business acumen, dancing, and advanced fluency in Kinglon.
[ Laughter ]
PAUL TWOMEY: Whereas Vint has, through his agenda-setting and management of accountability, shown a fundamental personal commitment to the founding principles supporting ICANN’s mission, namely ensuring the security and stability of the DNS, allowing market mechanisms to support the management of the DNS in a manner that promotes competition and choice for users and registrants, facilitating the bottom-up, transparent policy development process, and engaging the participation of the global stakeholder community in the ICANN process.
Whereas the ICANN community came together to celebrate Vint’s eight years of service on the board at a gala ceremony here at ICANN’s 30th international public meeting in Los Angeles, the same city in which Vint grew up, studied, and operated IMP 1 at the dawn of the ARPANet, a precursor of the Internet.
Whereas Dr. Vinton Cerf has concluded his term as director of the ICANN board at the Los Angeles meeting, the ICANN board resolves that Vint has earned the appreciation of the board on the scale of the totality of IPv6 address space for his terms of service, and the board wishes Dr. Cerf well in all future endeavors. The board sincerely hopes that Vint will continue to be available to ICANN for advice and counsel in all matters of common interest in the future, but it does recognize that he has earned at least a 12-month holiday from formal ICANN participation.
Rather than calling for a second, Mr. Cerf — or Dr. Cerf, we can inform you that the entire board seconds this resolution. And individual board members may wish to make their seconding status clearer through intervention.
We might perhaps start with Rita Rodin on the telephone who does wish to say some words.
RITA RODIN: Thanks, Paul.I hope that you can all hear me. There is suddenly a garbage truck that has appeared outside.I’m going to keep this short, but I didn’t feel as though I could let Vint step down without a few words of admiration.I first met Vint in 1997 as a young lawyer at Skadden Arps. The firm had been hired by Don Heath at the Internet society and I was sent to a meeting in Geneva to sit with, among others, Vint Cerf. You can imagine my thrill.ISOC was trying to obtain a federal registration for the Internet society in the U.S., but the application was being opposed by a party that had previously been awarded a trademark for the word “internet.”Well, you can imagine how Vint felt about that.
It was interesting for me to hear the debate that ensued as Vint discussed his views on how the Internet was intended to be a global resource, to be accessed and used freely by all.
Thus the notion of a particular person or entity controlling the term was unacceptable.
I was really struck at the time by the passion with which Vint truly believed in the Internet and its amazing potential to touch and change the world.
Fast forward nine years, and I’m getting seated as an ICANN board member.
From the moment I stepped into the board work room, I was struck by the way Vint navigated the board through some very difficult discussions.
During my all-too-short tenure on the board with Vint, I found him to be a great leader and teacher.
I feel as though I owe him a great deal of personal thanks for his patience and willingness to discuss, and sometimes argue, issues with me, and for his example in the ways of diplomacy.
I’m also continually amazed at Vint’s particularly ability to review the board list and offer elegant and articulate response, literally within minutes, no matter where he is in the world.
You know, he tells us he’s the deaf guy and that the little things in his ears are hearing aids, but I personally think they are some kind of super fast transmitter to always keep him online and one step ahead of everyone else.
Finally, can’t think enough for his kindness and support these last months. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for sharing yourself with the ICANN community all these past years. We will miss you terribly and wish you lots of luck, health and happiness.
[ Applause ]
VINT CERF: Thank you so much, Rita. I couldn’t ask for a kinder sendoff. For you, personally, I hope much health and rapid recovery from all that you’ve been through in the last few months. Thank you so much for joining us today. It means a great deal to me personally.
RITA RODIN: My pleasure.
PAUL TWOMEY: Thank you, Rita. The second process is continuing, and I think Roberto would like to say some words.
ROBERTO GAETANO: Yeah. I would like just to remember the moment when I first met Vint in person. It was at the Cairo meeting. I’m sure that Vint doesn’t remember this one.VINT CERF: I remember the Cairo meeting.ROBERTO GAETANO: The Cairo meeting is unforgettable. But this detail.
I was talking to Theresa, and — that was — the Cairo meeting was when I came back into the ICANN process after having left for a couple of years.And I came back as — in the general assembly of the DNSO, then becoming the chairman.And I was talking to Theresa. And then John Klensin came and said, “Oh, we are late for lunch. We have” — and Theresa said, “Come with us.”And the fourth person at that table was Vint Cerf.
So when I realized that — you know, I was very embarrassed, because, you know, I was not meant to be in that company in the first place. And was really feeling a lot of emotion for being close to this person that I knew was the father of the Internet and all these nice things that we have been reminded in these last days. And, to be honest, I thought that that was going to be the first and last time that I was going to have lunch with him, in fact.
It was, indeed, the first, but not the last.
I was so moved by the emotion that — in fact, at that lunch, I could barely eat. And I couldn’t figure out what to do, where to put my hands. And if I had to say something or just be silent. Because, you know, if you — sometimes if you stay silent, you don’t make it so obvious that you don’t know exactly what to say.
But, anyway, I was really full with emotion. I tasted a little bit of wine, because — and I realized exactly from that first experience that when you have a meal with Vint, the wines are excellent.
And I have to say that then in my third come-back to ICANN, first as a liaison, and then as a board member, I had other occasions to sit at the table with him and to talk. But I have to admit that still, with some of the emotional involvement of that first day, that I’m continuing, when I sit at the same table and I exchange opinions, I’m still feeling the same emotion that I had at that time. I still feel that it’s so — how lucky I am that I can relate to Vint and spend some time with him. And I’ll stop it here, because I’ll start crying otherwise.
[ Applause ]
PAUL TWOMEY: So we’ll proceed around the table. Those who wish to, in a little or a greater way, in groups or together, individually, who wishes to make contributions, please do so.
STEVE CROCKER: Well, since we’re recalling the — how we managed to get engaged in this venture, I’ve known Vint for a while, he called me up and said, well, we have this little Security and Stability Advisory Committee, would you come and chair it. It’ll just take you a few months to get it going and everything will be okay. I was reflecting back on. And I think the image that comes to mind is from Laurel and Hardy, a fine mess you’ve gotten us into, Ollie.
VITTORIO BERTOLA: Thank you. I do have a couple of observations that I want to make personally.
The first one is that I have been addressing you for seven years, first from the public microphone, and then your mailing list, and then in board. And I’ve seen lots of people addressing you in several occasions.Something that was not immediately obvious but I realize now is that you were always — I mean, when someone is talking to you, you were always reasonable and patient and understanding and constructive, which is exactly what allows us addressing you to be at times rude and destructive and angry and unreasonable.And that’s very important to keep the community together.So that’s my first thing to you.And the second one is, well, the thing I have really admired about you, is that I have seen you for three ICANN meetings nearer than before, and it must be extremely rewarding to be Vint Cerf, but it must also be extremely hard. I mean, everyone is stopping you and wants to be introduced to you and talk to you. And the way you can turn that into positive energy is astonishing.I mean, it’s so easy in that situation just to enjoy the appreciation of the others or even to exploit them or manipulate them, and this is something you never did. You reflect the positive feeling and so encourage people to be good-willing and constructive. And that’s really exceptional. Thank you.
[ Applause ]
JANIS KARKLINS: I was already paying tribute to Vinton Cerf in the GAC communique. I just want to share with you one secret. Vint this morning sent me an e-mail saying that he accepted our invitation, and he is becoming a lifelong advisor to the GAC.So thank you, Vint, for what you are doing. Thank you for your support to Government Advisory Committee and to the spread of the Internet all over the world. And I wish you all well to do so. And maybe you can think and change your title from just evangelist to the Pope. Thank you.[ Applause ]
STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Well, I first met Vint in 1989 at Bear Lake, which was the University of California Los Angeles’s mountain retreat, which I hope hasn’t burned down.VINT CERF: I don’t think so. But it came close.STEVE GOLDSTEIN: And there was a small group of people there. And, as a matter of fact, the two folks who started Cisco probably in another local garage were there at the time. Gosh, I forget their names. Do you remember their names?VINT CERF: Started Cisco?STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Yeah.VINT CERF: Glen Bosack.
STEVE GOLDSTEIN: And his wife?
VINT CERF: I don’t know whether they were married or not. But in California, it’s sort of not relevant.
[ Laughter ]
VINT CERF: I’m sorry. I don’t remember — it’s Sandra something.
STEVE GOLDSTEIN: Loyal employee of Cisco now. Thank you.
There were a small group of people there, no more than 50, and I had just joined the National Science Foundation to work in the networking group there, but I was really a tie-row to the field. But I do remember that meeting, the theme of that meeting, and Vint was leading the theme. I can’t remember the exact measure we were talking about, but Vint said, “Let’s plan ahead for the Internet in case it ever reaches something like” — it was a million users or a million addresses. And that was 1989.
So things have grown since then, as has my respect for Vint.
Thank you, Vint.
[ Applause ]
SUZANNE WOOLF: I suppose it’s my turn.Just real quick. But I do remember at the Rio ICANN meeting, it was the first ICANN meeting I had been to in a long time. And several of us have been invited by, I believe, it was the GAC to talk about those mysterious root servers and who are we, anyway.And I was — remember being at the reception, and there you were, among all these very serious-looking people, and you wanted to know how anycast worked.Thank you for always being about making it work and for your inspiration to keep making it work for the people of the world.[ Applause ]
SUSAN CRAWFORD: So we’ve had all these speeches about TCP/IP and the leadership of the Internet. And Vint’s balletic grace is apparent to us as he gives a gift to a departing board member, as he bangs foreheads with the Maori tribesmen. It’s very impressive. But what you may not see and what we are privileged to see here on the board is Vint relaxed.Vint relaxed is a raconteur. He tells stories about tales of adventure, high society, wine, Internet personalities, don’t forget that Vint and Sigrid greeted the arrival of the IMP 1 on the loading dock at UCLA with a grass of champagne. That’s Vint for you. He is a charmer, interested in what everyone has to say, generous, and friendly. We treasure the relaxed Vint as we treasure the leader Vint, and we will miss him extraordinarily.[ Applause ]
JOICHI ITO: I don’t have a whole lot to add to all of the things that everybody’s been saying, but I will say that Vint’s a really good sport. Whether it’s, you know, posing for my photos or whether it’s taking silly jokes and laughing at them for us or whether it’s having patience for a lot of things that he didn’t need to have patience for.And telling me when I asked him about the dress code, whether we needed to wear three-piece suits for ICANN, tell me that I could wear a tee shirt if I wanted to.So I think I really appreciate Vint’s inclusiveness and tolerance that he’s shown for board members and the community. And thank you for everything.[ Applause ]
THOMAS NARTEN: Yeah, thanks, Vint. I guess what I would just say is, you know, like everyone else says, for me, I think the summary has been the infectious enthusiasm you have for making the Internet work better and grow. And I have sort of a couple of stories along those lines.My experience with you goes back to about 1984 or ’85 when you were, I think, chair of the IAB or at an IAB meeting and I was at that time a graduate student and I got into the scribe program where I was able to sit in the room and take notes and type them all up and report them later. And hear all the discussions that were going on and all the things that were issued and discussed.And even then, at that point, I felt like I was a part of something and there was this enthusiasm for making things work, you know, trying to solve problems that were potentially really big, having a real impact on the world. And at the same time, having fun doing that.And as a sort of more recent example, this sort of typifies that, I believe it was in Morocco, I believe there was a group of the techies that were talking about IDNs, and somehow, Vint was, like, we caught him in the hallway, and it turns out he didn’t have dinner plans, which is pretty amazing in and of itself, and the next thing I knew, there was about six or seven of us in his suite, ordering dinner, and we were discussing the problem of the month with IDNs.And having a great time at it. And I think we actually made some, again, a small amount of progress at that meeting that cascaded and has helped us get to where we are today.So thanks, Vint.
[ Applause ]
PETER DENGATE THRUSH: Vint, it’s sort of difficult to think of what to say under these circumstances, there are so many aspects of your contribution that one can focus on. So I decided I’d select institution-building, one could have commented about your inventions and the rewards of governments. But what you’ve always recognized is the need to have a structure around the invention and the technology, which a lot of inventors, which I have some experience of, have never recognized or been unable to do.You recognize that for all this technology to proceed and be as effective as it can be, it needs structure.
And so I want to just note your formation in 1979, which is a long time ago, of the ICCB, the Internet Configuration Control Board. And then your migration of that through in 1993 to the Internet Activities Board. And then in 1992, the conversion of that into the Internet Architecture Board, and then the formation of ISOC in 1992. And then your role through MCI in supporting the next sort of range of developments, the internationalizational developments, the IAHC. And then in 1997, your involvement with the green and the white papers. And all of which brings you inexorably, of course, to the formation of ICANN in 1998. And here you are today and have been the chair and the leader and the inspiration of that.So I’d like to thank you for that contribution to these institutions. Having played a small role myself, I know how difficult it is to get anything off the ground in this area. And all of your institutions have been substantial and contributed enormously and long lasting.So these will live behind you. These are contributions that are now embedded in the infrastructure as much as the technology itself.So I thank you for that.[ Applause ]
NJERI RIONGE: Vint, it’s June 2003 in Montreal. I think, I believe second woman on the board after Linda, who was professional, articulate, and had done a fantastic job, and I had to follow in her footsteps.And you find — and you ask me if I am an entrepreneur, and I said yes, and you understand finance and audits, I say yes, and you say, well, you’re going to be the chair of the audit committee. Is that okay?I say, yes.Then a board retreat. And I had understood very clearly from the whole process of the NomCom that the one thing that was such an eye sore for ICANN at the time was what I called marketing, with all the four “P’s.” And I make this distinctive decision to raise the issue of marketing in one of our retreats. And I’m sure all of you engineers know the relationship between marketers and engineers.And there lies a conflict between me and Vint.But I insisted. And Paul candidly called me aside over tea break and said, “Njeri, I think we can actually deal with this by calling this communication.” And I said, “Okay. Well served. Thank you very much. I will call it communication.”
I am so grateful today to announce that after those conversations and those opportunities of challenge between me and Vint, we are now at least well served with good communication material. Thank you, Vint. And thank you so much for your ability to understand cultural diversity, cultural complexes in the way that we communicate, which is not always easy, because we are all coming from different perspectives, different perceptions. And you do that magnificently well. Thank you so much.
I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this team with you as chair. Thanks.
[ Applause ]
VANDA SCARTEZINI: Okay, Vint, a lot of things have been said, and I believe all colleagues have said a lot.I would like to make just one small point. In that part last night, in the tribute, you allowed us to be part of the history. And I thank you so much for that.[ Applause ]
RAIMUNDO BECA: I met Vint for the first time in June 2004 in Kuala Lumpur. Of course I knew from many, many years ago who was Vint Cerf. But he didn’t know who was Raimundo Beca.I was on the board for one month, so we had the opportunity to chat and to be on phone calls. And we were in the board room, and he was chatting with me, discussing. He didn’t realize that I was sitting in the place, absolutely, like me and Vanda now, we are chatting.Well, you know, we can talk about this — “Oh, you are Raimundo Beca.”Well, today, I have the opportunity to make something almost exactly the same on the chatting.Vint sent this morning to the board list a document that he called legacy document, which is a fantastic document, really, really, it’s a document I think that he is going to make that public, I don’t know if it’s today or later or whatever.And besides the content, which is extraordinary, maybe the devil is always –
VANDA SCARTEZINI: In the details.
RAIMUNDO BECA: Not — but, well, –
You know, in the — the reference of the document is — was or is, or was, I don’t know, ICANN look in future, version 4.
So I sent an e-mail saying, “May I have a contribution to that document? Could you change it to version 6?”
[ Laughter ]
Thank you very much.
[ Applause ]
RAJASHEKAR RAMARAJ: Vint, looks like I’ve had the shortest introduction with you on this board. And I’m really sorry about that.I really would like to thank you for being a great mentor during — to a rookie board member, and for making this last one year wonderful.Thank you very much again, Vint.[ Applause ]
DEMI GETSCHKO: I’ll begin with this information and comment. I saw Vint in tee shirt, wearing tee shirts in a CCI ARIN meeting in Hawaii, I suppose it was in ’93. And on the tee shirt was written “I.P. everywhere.”It has been an honor for me to share this board with Vint and be chaired by Vint.It’s really an honorand a great pleasure.And for a last thank you, I will say, long live and prosper.[ Applause ]
FRANCISCO DA SILVA: Now it’s my turn.I saw Vint the first time in person in Stockholm 2001, in a room of this type, and the stage was a bit higher than this one.And I have seen him jumping. And I said, oh, we have a man! Because I like very much sport. This is the first condition to be a good chairman.This I have never forgotten.And the second impression was in Lisbon this year when we went together to a Fadov house, and about the wine, so I know what Roberto was referring to.And, really, the most expensive wine was not the best wine. And these were Portuguese wines. But Vint was already advising me on these issues. And I began to make a mistake, and he had to correct, and we changed to the good, and it was a cheaper wine, but we corrected. And this is another facet that I think it is important for us to understand these matters.
The other issue, that it is — when we have begun with this discussion of the IDNs in Rio, there was still Katoh-San that chaired this committee.
And Vint was taking this as — it was expected — very seriously. And also, he said, “Oh, we could speak about these issues at breakfast,” because it was difficult to advance, and we were already discussing these details in those days. And I — it was very interesting for me, because I also like the topic, even if I am operationally outside, I like it.
Anyhow, what Rita said, that Vint is always on, and all the details, it is true not only for the subjects of the ICANN, but if we have other subjects and we have other proposals, he’s always available. And four of these issues I have had examples in the last month. And this is a very specific matter. It is always with his energy, always available. And as he said once in our board when he was asked, when do you sleep? He answered just, HUH — you remember this? — it is losing our time, we have to be always — this was in Tunis, in Carthage, because we were connected all the day, all the night.
There is something here I would like to say in front of everybody, because he has not yet cooked.
As you know, I am a liaison, gTLD liaison, in particular, appointed by ETSI.
But in all these years, I couldn’t yet make him synchronize to be with us in ETSI. This is something that, in particular, all of our colleagues in the telecom community on the ETSI board would like to have there Vint in a kind of “Hell’s Kitchen” to have a kind of a free discussion. And I hope this can be.
There is only one problem with Vint. He cannot speak Portuguese. I don’t know why such a person with all these qualities cannot speak Portuguese.
Thank you, Vint.
[ Applause ]
BRUCE TONKIN: Okay. It’s hard coming at the end of the table to be able to say anything new actually, but I’ll try.I think rather than giving a history of when I first met Vint, I think I will make some observations about what I think some of Vint’s strengths are and hopefully we can learn from that in terms of the leadership of the organization.First of all, I think one of Vint’s great strengths is he is open to change and encourages people at ICANN to propose new ideas and new proposals.But it’s also recognizing that he, himself, has such deep knowledge and experience on the evolution of the Internet, and it would be very tempting for someone like Vint to basically say, “You’re wrong, I know this better than you do, and this is what you should do.” And Vint has never done that and I think that’s really one of the great strengths of a leader.And rather than trying to tell you what you should do, Vint’s very careful at managing it by asking the right question.So he will ask a very straight question or give advice and say, “Here are some things you might want to think about when you are trying to solve that problem,” or to enhance your idea.
And I think that’s very important, that Vint has shown that style of leadership, both within ICANN but really it’s the strength of the Internet itself. Because it would be tempting for the early founders, the developers of the I.P. protocol, of which Vint is one of them, to try to patent that, to try to control it from there going forward, control what the changes are, but Vint decided from the very beginning it would be an open protocol, it would be an open standard, anyone could use it and evolve from it.
And I think it must be very amusing for Vint to sort of sit back at this meeting today and hear us at ICANN, which is responsible for assigned names and numbers, we don’t seem to be talking about names and numbers much. We are talking about geographic regions of the world and how they should be defined, we have been talking about language scripts in this meeting and the equivalents between different character sets. We have been talking about who is it that is actually using this Internet, and we have this thing called WHOIS.
But that really shows you how important the Internet is to the world, that we actually are having those discussions. Because it wasn’t important and if it was just a narrow protocol from just one company or one individual, we would probably still be arguing about the bits and bytes. But the very fact that we are arguing about these very complex problems, and to my left here, Paul Twomey, always brings a historical perspective. But I think what you are seeing here, and it’s your legacy, both in terms of your leadership that you have allowed something to be able to be created and evolved, and you have also been able to help us along the way by asking the right questions.
So I really thank you for your great leadership, Vint.
[ Applause ]
PAUL TWOMEY: Vint, I have already said a number of things about you, some of which are true, some of which are not.
[ Laughter ]PAUL TWOMEY: I would just like to say one that’s true, in the last eight years, and in particularly the last four and a half, it has been one of the highlights of my life to work so closely with you, and I thank you for that.There’s a further resolution we will put on the table which we have been keeping in reserve.And then we’ll ask you to say a few words, and then we’ll share a gift with you.And the resolution reads as following, and I think it’s now on the screen.Whereas Vinton serve has served the ICANN community with extraordinary skill and goodwill from his appointment to the board in 1999 to the end of his term here at the Los Angeles meeting.
And whereas the IANA maintenance the IANA Special People Numbers Registry, the SPNR, and to read from that registry, which was last updated on the 26th of June, 2003, for those who have worked for the benefit of the Internet into the wee hours too often, for too little compensation, and with too little public appreciation, although I’m not certain about that last bit, thank you for your dedication.
And you will see there are a number of people here who have been granted this — who have been put on this particular registry, in particular, Jon Postel, Joyce Reynolds, Bob Braden, Louis Touton, Daniel Karrenberg, Steve Crocker, Scott Bradner and Stephen Wolff, It is resolved the board requests the IANA to enroll Vinton Cerf as entry number 9 on the IANA Special People Numbers Registry.
Do I have a second for the resolution?
[ Applause ]
PAUL TWOMEY: I will also take that acclamation as the initial approval of the previous resolution and would ask Vint if he wants to say a few words.
VINT CERF: I will, Paul. I will not say a lot of words. I had an opportunity to say some Tuesday night with great thanks to my colleagues, family and friends for the support they have given me over the past eight years on this board.What I would like to do, however, is enter into the record officially a document which I call “looking towards the future.” It has been submitted or sent around to the board. I think the staff have it available.
It’s a moderately long paper, and I don’t intend to go through all the points of it at all.I do ask that you look at it, because it’s my attempt to summarize largely in the near term the challenges that will face ICANN and the Internet.But I would like to, if you will forgive me for reading, I would like to read the last couple of paragraphs because they are called the collective goal, and I hope that we here in this room and those who are online and on the rest of the Internet will share them.As of this writing, there are only about 1.2 billion Internet users around the world.Over the course of the next decade, that number could conceivably quintuple to 6 billion, and they will be depending on ICANN, among many others, to do its part to make the Internet a productive infrastructure that invites and facilitates innovation and serves as a platform for egalitarian access to information. It should be a platform that amplifies voices that might not otherwise never be heard and creates equal opportunities for increasing the wealth of nations and their citizens.
ICANN’s foundation has been well and truly fashioned. It is the work of many heads and hands.
It represents a long and sometimes hard journey that has called for personal sacrifices from many colleagues and bravery from others.
It has demanded long-term commitments, long hours, days, months and years. It has called upon many to transform passion and zeal into constructive and lasting compromises.
ICANN has earned its place in the Internet universe. To those who now guide its path into the future comes the challenge to fashion an enduring institution on this solid foundation.
I am confident that this goal is not only attainable. It is now also necessary.
The opportunity is there: Make it so.
[ Applause ]