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The Internet2 Community's Exceptional Human Network

Apr 01, 2013, by Ana Hunsinger
Tags: Community, Community Driven, Community Engagement, Community-Driven Innovation, Executive Insights, External Relations, Governance, Internet2 Annual Meetings, Leadership, Member Relations and Programs, Member Update, Research & Education Networks

Ana HunsingerAna Hunsinger, Vice President, Community Engagement

Why do we build networks? We—technologists, researchers, and educators—build them to share data and information, to perform research, to educate, to create music, to collaborate across distances. Fundamentally, it is not just about the technology; we build all kinds of networks to forge connections between people.

Our Internet2 community is a fabric woven of these connections, between countries, regions, states, institutions and individuals. When we gather at the upcoming Internet2 Annual Meeting, we will share our most significant achievements and our greatest challenges. We will talk, we will debate, and we will connect with each other on the issues that face our organizations and our community. The meeting’s thematic focus is Transforming Global Research and Education, and we are pleased to feature excellent General Session speakers, who will each explore different facets of this theme.

  • For the first General Session, we welcome John DeGioia, President of Georgetown University, Father Peter Balleis, International Director of Jesuit Refugee Service, and Samia Melhem, Lead ICT Policy Specialist at the World Bank. They will discuss how universities, National Research & Education Networks, and other organizations are using emerging technologies and networks to help educate the marginalized masses worldwide.
  • Our second General Session features Wayne Clough, the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, who will talk about the Smithsonian's effort to digitize and share its collection with scholars, researchers, and others around the globe. This work is an example of the global impact that our community's technology and networks can make.
  • In our closing General Session, we welcome Dr. Alexander "Sandy" MacDonald, Director of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory. As the volume of data increases across all scientific disciplines, data transfer and management are key technology challenges. Dr. MacDonald will discuss how NOAA has addressed these issues, including multi-site collaboration and technical support for research.

This Annual Meeting marks a new approach to Internet2 events, and will set the tone for many changes to come. As we look forward, one thing is very clear: our community is expanding. We are steadily increasing global participation and exciting, new global challenges to face together. As our community changes, so too must Internet2 change. While we will always serve the needs of the research universities that created Internet2, we are also developing new ways to include even more community members in the conversation – which means thinking outside the traditional membership box. To that end, Member Relations and Communications, my area of responsibility at Internet2, is evolving to “Community Engagement.”

Community is the engine that drives Internet2. Just as we strive to provide the world’s premier R&E network, Internet2 also strives to connect global R&E participants. This new division name more accurately reflects our goals of enhanced engagement and dialogue with each of the distinct communities that comprise the broader Internet2 community.

Community Engagement is your personal guide through Internet2’s programs and services, a resource for you to draw upon, and a sounding board for your ideas and feedback. Please consider us your partner. This organization belongs to you, and we exist to ensure that you achieve your goals.

Together, we will continue to tackle new challenges and welcome additional disciplines, regions, and technologies into our ranks. Internet2 looks forward to deepening our relationships with all of our members and participants, particularly as our community grows.

We are here to help you make and nurture the connections that keep our community thriving. Please share this article with a colleague, bring someone new to an Internet2 meeting, or introduce your colleagues to the exceptional network, services, products and—most of all—people of our Internet2 community.