The year’s most important meeting on the future of Internet is gathering this month. Here is why you should take part.

From the “Black Death” epidemics of old, to the Spanish Flu of the early 20th century, humanity has experienced several pandemics in the past. However, COVID-19 is the first global pandemic to visit our “global village” – a world interconnected by the Internet.

Anyone who has been able to video-call their loved ones in lockdown, keep their job while working from home or continue their studies from a different continent will appreciate just how much the Internet has changed the way we connect and interact with each other.

But the past two years have also exposed further the darker side of the global network. The spread of the infodemic, the scant access to basic services for the unconnected or those lacking digital skills, and the increasing polarization and digital violence have led many befuddled Internet users to take to their social media with clarion calls for “somebody to do something about it.”

That somebody may be you and the best time to act is now. This month, over 3,000 people will convene – in person and virtually – in Katowice, Poland for the most important Internet discussion of the year, the 16th Internet Governance Forum (IGF). You could be one of them.

The beauty of the Internet lies in its decentralized nature, which means there is no single entity or organization that sets the rules. The Internet belongs to all of us, and we all have a say in how it is governed. The IGF is the place where your say can be heard and taken seriously.

Whether you are a minister in your government or a concerned denizen, at the IGF you will get a chance to share your point of view on some of the most burning issues for the Internet. Even your tweet or YouTube comment could end up in the final outcome of the Forum and inform the world’s future policies.

From urgently and meaningfully connecting the third of the global population that’s still locked out of the “global village” to mitigating the climate and environmental impacts of the Internet, and from protecting human rights and privacy online to preventing cybercrime and cyberbullying, your ideas could help to shape an open, free and secure digital future for all.

Take your digital fate in your own hands and sign up now for the Internet Governance Forum:

https://www.intgovforum.org/en/content/igf-2021-guide-to-issues-and-policy-questions

Register here: https://www.intgovforum.org/en/content/igf-2021-registration