On this first day of June, with only weeks away to the global launch of Respect Network and Meeco, it seemed apt to pause and hit the reset button.
My dear friend and great support Stephen Turner recently shared this great Shakespeare quote with me, as one of his supporters had shared it with him on the eve of an important venture.
“There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.”
~ Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
Since the dawn of time humankind has been reaching for greater freedom. Sometimes this is made possible by the dismantling of existing structures.
Citizens rising up against dictators, rebuilding cities on the foundations of old regimes, together with the personal triumphs of reinventing new lives, further evidences this resilience and determination.
Now it’s our turn to do that for to the Internet.
Now is that time!
- The time for personal sovereignty and our right to privacy
- The time for respect and the right to reclaim our digital citizenship
- The time to recognize that these are the civil rights of our time
If indeed our time has come, it is because of visionaries like Drummond Reed, Peter Vander Auwera, Ann Cavoukian, Andy Dale and Markus Sabadello, Phil Windley, Doc Searls, Dan Blum, John Kelly and Les Chasen along with the team at Neustar, Liz Brandt and the founding Cloud Service Providers. They together with 50 other founding partner organisations have dedicated their imagination and talent to join with Respect Network and make it a reality.
Privacy is the zeitgeist. However the courage, insight and dedication it takes to take such a monumental risk and set out and (actually) build the first global private cloud network is significant!
What is being birthed is a scalable private network, which will be raised to maturity with your help.
Together our goal is to co-create a global community of people who care about digital sovereignty and wish to be = in a peer-to-peer network built on respect.
Respect Network and the Founding Partner organisations didn’t happen overnight. Behind each of these Founders are decades of hard earned apprenticeships. The collective wisdom and experience comprises hundreds of years working across technology, commerce and social ventures.
I am sure Drummond and the other Founders would describe the formulation and foundation along the same trajectory = time + focus + perseverance. It also helps if you can smile when people tell you things are impossible.
When I think about Meeco, it was conceived over a decade ago. For the first five years it was hard to engage anyone in a conversation about the concept. Five years ago there was marginal interest. Three years ago people began to concede that privacy & identity would emerge alongside big data as a big problem.
The events of the past two years, the Summer of Snowden, and the rise of the surveillance economy provide the evidence that what we are co-creating will play an important part in changing the digital world we live in.
So now the fun begins…change of this significance attracts criticism, comparison and courage.
Criticism will come from those who don’t want to see and are threatened by the possibilities of a future where privacy, sovereignty and new business models threaten the status quo.
Comparison comes from those who want to first see the strength of the network before committing. This is Catch 22 … we need you. Sure, hedge your bets, but $25 it not a lot to risk if your participation creates the necessary stability, strength and security to change the future for you and generations to come. Think of it as paying forward a small investment which may reap great rewards for your grandchildren.
Courage comes from those who now see the opportunity and want to seize it. You are the early adopters and will help spread the word, create momentum and inspire other to come. Thank you, we couldn’t do this without you.
Together we want to transact, engage, shop, browse, surf, save, research and connect. We understand that data can energize life and create opportunity, and we also understand that right now we are paying too big a price for these basic freedoms.
We are not the product! (watch our video)
We want to engage but we also want respect through a network we trust. We want transparency with utility. We want personal power and privacy by design.
The months ahead require focus. There will be distractions and challenges. Some of our harshest critics will come from our closest allies.
What will set us apart will be how we work together. The quality of our collaboration, and the investment we have in each other’s success, the speed at which adapt and the value we create.
However for now we have one task; that is to capture the hearts and minds of 1 million people and take them on a wonderful journey towards a new world of innovation and opportunity.
While the world debates, let’s just deliver… history will take care of the rest.
For Stephen, who has never given up on me.