Times of Change

Last Friday, my six-year term on the Internet Society’s Board of Trustees came to an end. For three of those six years, I was Chair of this Board.

I took on this task with great passion and attempted to contribute to a mission in which I believe and to which I am committed. In turn, it brought me many rewards. It gave me the chance to work with excellent colleagues who have enriched me both on a professional as well as on a personal level. I can only hope that I’ve been able to leave a small footprint as well.

Last Friday was undoubtedly a very important day in my life. However, because I am going through several other changes, it has gone by somewhat unnoticed even by myself.

Yesterday was my last day of work at LACNIC, a job to which I devoted myself completely during the past 14 years, starting in July, 2000, when the colleagues with whom we had been working on creating an organization that would later be called LACNIC assigned me my first responsibilities. In 2002, the same group of colleagues appointed me as CEO.

What can I say about all this time and experiences?

The first thing that comes to mind is a deep feeling of gratitude. Gratitude for the confidence bestowed on me, for having had the opportunity to work on something so interesting, so gratifying, so unique. Gratitude for the people I’ve had the chance to meet, for the people with whom I’ve had the opportunity to work with, the places I’ve visited, the friends I’ve made, the experiences I’ve lived, the feeling that I’ve been able to contribute to the growth of the Internet, for contributing to make our region’s voice heard, for having created synergies, and for thinking about the Internet we would like and how the Internet can contribute to improving the world we live in.

Could anyone ask for more? I feel I am among the world’s most privileged 1%. Or perhaps even part of the most privileged 0.01% or even less.

Let me say this very clearly: thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thanks to those who supported me, walked with me, tolerated me; thanks to those who let me walk with them, support them and challenged me to tolerate them.

Learning opportunities have been endless. I’ve learned that it is possible to build upon the search for consensus, that differences enrich debates, that discussions make us stronger, that respect for people’s rights is not negotiable, and that fulfilling our obligations is an unconditional commitment.

I’ve learned that when a job is done with passion it contributes to our happiness.

I’ve learned that openness, transparency and understanding are easier and more productive than confrontation and that, when there is no choice left but to fight, we must fight with strength and conviction, regardless of the risks.

I feel very proud of what we’ve accomplished at LACNIC – not for any personal achievements but for having been part of this constructive energy, of this collective creation in which so many people have participated, some of whom still here while others are no longer with the organization.

The value of teamwork makes collective achievements more valuable than individual achievements.

I’m leaving, yet I feel happy. Not because I am going away, but happy for what I am leaving behind: a solid, vigorous, innovative, dependable organization, one with a great deal of energy that stems from the values at the core of its organizational culture. An organization that has become a reference, whose greatest achievement has been the construction of a unique space where the different regional Internet stakeholders can meet, cooperate, create, and defend and promote their ideas.

Long live LACNIC!

I will now take a few days off to rest before embarking on the next step of my professional career. On August 1st, I will be joining the Internet Society as Vice President for Global Engagement and Relations.

When I decided to leave my position at LACNIC, I was fortunate enough to be presented with several options to further my career. The decision was easy. I’ve been involved with the Internet Society for 18 years, at first taking part in various member activities, then through joint projects and activities with LACNIC, as part of the Board and even as its Chair. ISOC plays a key role in the Internet ecosystem; it upholds values I share and towards which I have worked for many years. Above all, it is an excellent place to continue projecting and building my dreams.

I am proud to be joining the great team at the Internet Society and embarking on this new adventure.

These are times of change. For these changes I feel increasingly privileged and grateful.

See you on the Internet!

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