On Monday 18th September 25 people Under 25 were awarded for their hard work and dedication using the Internet as a tool for good. Unfortunately for various reasons (including visa issues) three of our 25 could not physically join us in Los Angeles.
When I heard about this, I wanted to find a way for them to be able to still connect with us somehow and join us synchronously. I have been part of a community called Virtually Connecting for some time, and while I didn’t organise it in the same way they usually do to connect people who cannot attend conferences, I took its principles and repurposed them for our needs. I knew this would be a challenge when dealing with several time zones, but we found a perfect time to connect with Bidya in India. She was 12.5 hours ahead of us and it seemed like a good time to connect was during the Internet Hall of Fame dinner.
The dinner followed the induction of 14 inspiring people into the Internet Hall of Fame and the launch of Inter Community, a round the world relay where different chapters hosted different conversations around the future of the Internet.
The drinks were flowing and everyone was celebrating. But we took a moment to dial in and speak with Bidya! Spoken in different languages, we connected and shared the love over thousands of miles.
Most importantly afterwards Bidya messaged to say “Thanks to you all. I am so happy to see you all. Really feeling so happy.”
And that my friends, is the power of the Internet: to connect, to share, to inspire and to love. I’m just gutted we couldn’t connect with the others. 🙁