Byron Holland is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). View bio
On Tuesday, we hosted Canadians Connected 2012, CIRA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Internet symposium. This was the first AGM we’ve held in Ottawa in CIRA’s 11 year history, and with the reception we received, it won’t be the last.
We heard from a couple of great speakers. Scott Stratten, author of UnMarketing and The Book of Business Awesome, is a very engaging presenter. He left the audience in awe at his high energy style and innovative opinions on marketing in the new digital age. Scott is a friend of ours at CIRA – he has spoken at a couple of events that we held for our Registrars.
Biz Stone, the co-creator of Twitter, closed the day with a fascinating keynote presentation. By linking a series of stories and anecdotes of his career, I think most of us were inspired to take risks and push the limits of creativity.
Biz also spoke about altruism and the future of business. He believes that altruism isn’t just good for the community, it’s good for business. The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, according to Biz, you can do better by doing ‘good’ for the community. He said that consumers are attracted to meaning, and as a result, the future of marketing is philanthropy. It is through doing ‘good’ that a corporation creates value.
We live that at CIRA, as we try to play a role that is meaningful to Canadians. That’s why we support the development of the open source software called Bind10, the next generation of the software that essentially makes the domain name system work. It’s why we hold the Canadian Internet Forum, it’s why we recently started supporting techu.me, an organization dedicated to getting young people interesting in a career in technology, and it’s why we actively support the development of digital literacy in Canada through our work with MediaSmarts.
The two keynotes provided a good balance, and bookended what was a very successful AGM for CIRA.
While the AGM agenda included the usual items, a Member update on CIRA activities and financial reports, at this AGM we called on CIRA Members to vote on some changes to our governance structure and processes. These changes are the result of many months of work on behalf of the CIRA staff and Board of Directors, and have been the topic for a few blog posts.
I am happy to report that the changes were approved by a vote of the CIRA Membership at the AGM. As an organization, we are now ready for when the new federal legislation governing not-for-profits comes into force in 2014.