Sir Tim Berners-Lee changed the world: he invented the World Wide Web. He then gave the web to all of us for free – a move that sparked a global wave of creativity, collaboration and innovation never seen before. The web has changed the world, but that free and open web is today under threat.
Sir Tim created a web for everyone, a level playing field where anyone, anywhere who could access the internet could also use the web to learn, earn, create and dream without asking for permission. But he knew this vision needed to be protected, so he founded the World Wide Web Foundation to defend and advance the open web as a public good and a basic right.
At the Web Foundation, we measure the impact of the web in the hundreds of millions of lives it touches every day. We work to improve cultures and societies by making internet access and web freedom our central focus. Almost half the world is now online. But for the other half, that vision of the web as a basic right and a tool for empowerment is a distant dream. And even for those who are connected, there are real challenges:
- 65% live in countries where the government, military, or ruling family are censoring content online
- The digital divide is entrenching offline inequalities: urban and poor women are 50% less likely to be online than men
- Less than 30% of countries outside Europe have adopted comprehensive data protection legislation, undermining citizens’ privacy
- Fewer than 1 in 10 government datasets are fully open and available to the public online
Together we can change these trends and build the web we want.
“It’s time to recognise the internet as a basic human right. This means guaranteeing affordable access for all, ensuring internet packets are delivered without commercial or political discrimination, and protecting the privacy and freedom of web users regardless of where they live.” – Sir Tim Berners-Lee
The Web Foundation works on the front lines of change with 160 partner organizations in 70 countries – who all agree the digital divide is a central issue in combating global inequality. The Web Foundation works with governments, corporations and ordinary citizens to realize a world where everyone has the same rights and opportunities online — a world of digital equality.
Our vision and initiatives are grounded in proven research and real outcomes:
- Making the internet affordable. We’ve set a new, ambitious benchmark for internet affordability that’s been endorsed by regional groupings, country governments and business experts alike. Dubbed “1 for 2”, this target states that 1GB of mobile data should cost no more than 2% of average monthly income — a price point that would allow all levels of income earners to afford to connect.
- Keeping the internet neutral. We’ve helped win victories for net neutrality in the EU, India and the USA – where we’re now fighting to protect that hard-won gain.
- Advocating for accountable AI & algorithms. We’re working to ensure transparency and accountability regarding how personal data is used in the digital age. From research on political social media ads to high-level advocacy on designing algorithms for diversity to in-depth knowledge of government data management practices, we help take back control of people’s personal data and make sure there is true accountability for the decisions of machines.
- Opening up government data. We shed new light on government transparency through our annual Open Data Barometer, and have used the results to press governments in more than 15 countries to open up their data.
- Closing the digital gender gap. We’ve conducted groundbreaking research exploring the extent and causes of the digital gender divide, and now work with local organisations in around 20 countries to design gender-responsive policies for information and communication technologies.
Together with our partners, the Web Foundation has led tangible change, including:
- Driving down the cost of mobile internet in Ghana
- Sponsoring the world’s first “bill of rights for the internet” in Brazil
- Enabling community groups to use digital tools to audit and improve school performance in Indonesia
- Creating groundbreaking new ways to use the web to make governments more accountable
Today we are at a “50/50 moment” – we are halfway towards connecting everyone. We have to commit to getting everyone connected, and we must choose the kind of web the rest of humanity will connect to when they come online.
The Web Foundation provides high-level, individual, corporate and foundation support for several key institutional priorities related to our core objectives:
Support for the Web Foundation is dynamic, as we work directly with donors and funders to find creative and appropriate ways to provide resources for all levels of the work we do to better lives each and every day.
Please consider joining our growing list of supporters and respected organizations and individuals passionate about global digital equality – with everyone’s support we can build a more equal web and a more equitable world.
The Web Foundation relies on donations to further our fight for internet access and ensure an open web for all of the people, all of the time. We are deeply grateful to the individuals, foundations, governments and companies whose support allows the Web Foundation to fulfill our mission and maintain fiscal responsibility. We want to build on that core of support, to help tackle challenges at the frontier of technology and society — and prepare for those challenges we don’t yet know exist.
For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org