May 16, 2008

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is celebrating its 10th anniversary this week at its Berkman@10 Conference entitled “The Future of the Internet.” The two-day event features discussions celebrating the work the Berkman Center has done over the past decade, as well as looking ahead to what it hopes to accomplish in the future.

At the beginning of the conference on Thursday, Dean Elena Kagan ’86 announced that the Berkman Center has been elevated to a Harvard University-wide, interfaculty initiative. “By becoming an interfaculty initiative at Harvard, the Berkman Center will expand its reach into other disciplines and take advantage of synergies across the University, all while retaining its home and roots at the Law School,” she said.

After the announcement, Visiting Professor Jonathan Zittrain ’95, co-founder and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center, kicked off the day’s plenary sessions with a presentation based on his newly published book, “The Future of the Internet—And How to Stop It.” Zittrain forsees troubled times for the Internet – in particular, for the open ethos so fundamental to its success.

Faculty co-directors John Palfrey ’01, Yochai Benkler ’94, Charles Nesson ’63, and Terry Fisher ’82, also participated in the first day of plenary sessions.

The Conference gathered together a range of Internet experts on panel discussions and breakout sessions, to take place today, including: Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, Michael Fricklas, executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary for Viacom, Reed Hundt, former FCC chairman, and Joshua Micah Marshall, who maintains the blog Talking Points Memo.

The week’s activities will conclude on Friday evening with a dinner celebration and the presentation of the first-ever Berkman Awards to people or institutions that have made significant contributions to the Internet over the past decade.