As we celebrate the 25th year of the World Wide Web, what will the next 25 years have in store?

The World Wide Web turned 25 this year. Few innovations have had such an incredible impact on global society, ushering in a new era of information, communication, commerce, news reporting, and deeply influencing global culture, social interaction, economies and government. The Internet has made it possible for new business and new industries to thrive, and has made the world a smaller and more intimate place. We now live in a truly global society; where ideas, conversations and business transactions are shared instantaneously shared across geographic boundaries.

“There are a few principles which allowed the web, as a platform, to support such growth,” said Tim Berners-Lee, Web inventor, W3C Director, and Founder of the World Wide Web Foundation. “By design, the Web is universal, royalty-free, open and decentralised. Thousands of people worked together to build the early Web in an amazing, non-national spirit of collaboration; tens of thousands more invented the applications and services that make it so useful to us today, and there is still room for each one of us to create new things on and through the Web.”

Looking toward the next 25 years of the Internet, Berners-Lee identified the following as some of the top issues to address:

  • How do we connect the nearly two-thirds of the planet who can’t yet access the Web?
  • Who has the right to collect and use our personal data, for what purpose and under what rules?
  • How do we create a high-performance open architecture that will run on any device, rather than fall back into proprietary alternatives?

What started as a side project for Berners-Lee has become a global collaboration, and you are invited to help address and solve these issues. We hope in 2014 you will wish the Web happy birthday using the hashtag #web25 in your social networks. We also invite you to engage as an OpenStand supporter as we help preserve the open principles and build the future standards that will keep the Web an open and powerful platform for global innovation. We invite you to Stand With Us on behalf of the OpenStand Principles. Let’s keep the internet free, open and available to all.