In March 1989, while working at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (known as CERN), British engineer and computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal entitled 'Information Management'.
His idea proved to be the birth of the World Wide Web, and the catalyst for one of the greatest periods of change in human history, transforming not only how we communicate, but how we create, and even how we conceive of ourselves as humans.
Our Anyone//Anywhere season celebrates the 30th anniversary of the web and takes a look at its past, present and future – where it’s come from, what state it’s in now and, most importantly, where it’s going. The impact of the web has been huge. In 2014 its invention topped the British Council’s own list of 80 moments that shaped the world, beating out the invention of penicillin, the Second World War, and the terrorist attacks of 11 September.
To say that the web has revolutionised every element of our lives has become something of a cliche, but it is difficult to think of an aspect that has not been affected. News, business, politics, health, education, culture, entertainment, shopping – all have undergone radical transformations.
Though the web’s future is uncertain, one thing is for sure: we are at a crossroads. If we want a web that is truly available to anyone, anywhere, then we face difficult choices about who has the power to use it, shape it, and ultimately control it. But these challenges also present a whole host of exciting opportunities.
Our Anyone//Anywhere season seeks to start this conversation, to ask questions, and to present a range of views from UK and international experts about what these challenges and opportunities might be.
Explore the season’s five themes through the content on our Anyone//Anywhere microsite, check out the projects we’re supporting, and join in with the conversation online under the hashtag #AnyoneAnywhere.
- The dark side of the web: who can we trust?
- Digital identities: how can we be responsible internet citizens?
- The web for all: how can we make the web inclusive?
- Digital creativity: how is the web changing our culture?
- Communities and connections: is the web improving our societies?