As the year draws to a close – and many of us look forward to the end of year holiday period – the Foundation team would like to wish everyone good health, happiness, and quality connections with loved ones, be they near or far!
The end of year holiday season also gives us an opportunity to reflect on the year that’s passed. 2023 can perhaps be seen as the year when the Asia Pacific region was able to emerge from the effects of the pandemic more fully and we set about rebuilding, reshaping, and reconnecting with so much that had been put on hold earlier.
For me personally, I had much joy and pleasure in reconnecting with people from our community across the region (and beyond) in person. More so, learning what they had been doing the last couple of years, how they had kept on keeping on, and how the open Internet was a key enabler in all they did.
The Foundation also heard and learned much from our partners, project participants and grantees across the Asia Pacific.
We heard from Micronesian ISP Boom! as they grappled with skills shortages and the damage from a cyclone.
We heard from Ulrich Speidel, a researcher and ISIF Asia grantee, who needed to relocate aspects of his satellite research project from New Zealand to Kiribati to address administrative challenges.
We heard from NITK Surathkal campus in India as they adapted their IPv6 adoption plans to incorporate student-led IPv6 deployment, to help them gain new skills while also addressing skills shortages.
We heard from the operators of China’s National Research and Education Network as they worked with partners across 13 other economies to develop new border gateway protocol tools for the Asia Pacific.
We also heard from participants in our projects, such as Mohammad Kabir Ahmadi, who began studying IPv6 as part of the Afghanistan project – when he got hands on with IPv6 deployment, he discovered to his delight that he really enjoyed it. In a similar vein, Cambodian Switch! participant Morokot Cheat spoke at a conference for the first time in 2023 – and found she really enjoyed the experience.
These are but some slivers of the work of the Foundation in 2023, but they do demonstrate that Internet and digital development in the region come in many forms, and there is always more to do.
In 2024, the Foundation will continue pushing forward with its vision of a global, open, stable and secure Internet that is affordable and accessible to the entire Asia Pacific community.
In February, we will be engaging in Thailand as part of APNIC 57 and APRICOT 2024. Thailand is one of the economies of the Switch! Gender and Diversity project. Switch! will continue in 2024 and we look forward to supporting a bright and engaging new group of women and gender diverse people to help shape the future of Asia Pacific networks. If you are in Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste or Viet Nam, keep your eyes peeled for the announcement.
The ISIF Asia grants will also put out their call for applications early in the new year – Internet development projects supporting our three programs of Infrastructure, Inclusion and Knowledge will be able to put in their applications. The Foundation is particularly interested in applications for our Ian Peter Grants, which are for projects that explore or reduce the impacts of the Internet on the environment. We will also continue our strong support for IPv6 deployments in the region.
And that’s just the first three months of 2024 – there’s a lot more planned for the year and we will be providing a regular stream of updates, so stay tuned and keep engaged with the Foundation!
Have a wonderful end of year period and we look forward to connecting with you in 2024!
– Foundation CEO Raj Singh