Message to Members and Biography

Good Day Members,

My name is Niran Beharry, present Vice Chair, and  I humbly accept your nomination for the position of Chair.

In 2017, when I accepted the nomination and became Vice Chair, the Chapter had stagnated for several years and was not active. As part of my drive to reinvigorate the chapter I was fortunate to have a dedicated fellow executive team working with me, and with their support, drive and passion to build and grow the Chapter. Under  my guidance, we were awarded the Certificate of Recognition by the Internet Society “in recognition of our exceptional performance and outstanding commitment to excellence in 2018”. This would not have been possible without their contribution and support, as well as the extended support of you our many members, some of whom took time from their jobs to attend our events and volunteer when a hand was necessary.  This award is an achievement that demonstrates what can be accomplished when we all work together and it is my intent to continue to foster this environment of inclusiveness.

In the Caribbean we continue to lead with regards to Internet related issues, not just locally but within the wider Latin American and Caribbean region. We are also recognized as one of the more prestigious sources of expertise and advice on internet related issues on Internet Policy, Governance and Technologies. This is in no small part to the work of distinguished members of the chapter inclusive of our past and present Chairs, and their contributions cannot be understated.

But as good as we got in the last two years, there was and is room to be so much better. I indeed one of the biggest barriers from the top leadership which I believe hindered growth, was the idea of “well this is how it has been done”. It is time we embrace new thinking and a fresh outlook. In order fulfill my vision of the society, as an environment of inclusion and mentorship and have our Chapter continue to grow and not relapse into stagnation as it had before, we need to move forward and embrace new ideas and concepts, while at the same time acknowledging the contributions of all our past executive members and retaining their knowledge and know how.

In my role as Chair I will facilitate the mentoring and guidance of newer and younger members under these wise past leaders, introducing them to the world of Internet governance, policy and technology. This will  create a new generation that will be able to not just continue to lead in these areas but exceed their predecessors in contributions to the regional and global community. This is the potential I see in our members for protecting and ensuring that a free and open internet is for everyone.

If elected some of the things I would like the chapter to achieve in 2019-2021 are:

– Directly expanding the interaction of the society with all members of society and age groups, including having smaller local quarterly meetings in different areas of Trinidad and Tobago to increase face to face interactions with our members.

– Increasing support to our members for applications for grant funding and fellowships.

– Expanding the funding for projects relevant to the Caribbean and other Developing countries with the establishment of a Special Interest Group to address issues such as Disaster Resilience, Community Networking and Humanitarian Technologies, as well as sponsor support.

-Working with other regional Chapters to establish a Caribbean Internet Hall of Fame to showcase the contributions of local pioneers and the stories of the Internet in their respective countries, inclusive of video interviews where possible, as a digital history for all.

– Increasing collaboration with other Societies who have objectives and goals that match those of the Chapter.

– Create a dedicated learning system that will guide members to sectors of the society that aligns with their particular interest, be it engineering, humanitarian or policy work, as well create a dedicated committee to support this initiative.

Chapter Achievements

While looking forward I have to also bring to your attention the achievements of this present executive and the work accomplished from 2017 to present, since as any good leader will tell you that there is no such thing as a one man band.

Some particular points of special mention I would like to make note of:

1) Local Chapter Membership increased officially by 15% and a larger amount unofficially. I want to give special mention to our Secretary Ms Talya Mohammed for spreading the message of the Chapter in all her interactions, she has almost single handedly increased the membership by the above amount.

2) Hosted additional Remote Hubs for the Caribbean Internet Governance-related events as well as a landmark local node for ISOC’s 25th Anniversary Intercommunity event with our Members (see photos at http://www.isoc.tt/events1016-2/ ).

  • For the hosting of the CIGF hub held at UWI I would like to give special thanks to our Assistant Secretary Denesh Baboolal for coming in extra early (before 7 am in some cases) to make sure everything was organized and ready, and by extension I would like to thank our present Chair Mr Tracy Hackshaw who was his then boss for allowing him to work remotely so he could do so.
  • For the ISOC’s 25th Anniversary Intercommunity event I would like to give thanks to our Treasurer Ms Lisa Ramnath for coordinating with the Restaurant for us to host the event.

3) The launch of both SAFE.TT and Stop Think Connect in October 2018, I would like to recognize Talya Mohammed, Lisa Ramnath , Gayatri Maraj.  They all went above and beyond to pull the event together.

Other Achievements of note:

1) ISOC-TT  as a member of the TTMAG, convened the 2017, 2018 and 2019 TTIGFs the first national Internet governance forum of its kind in the Caribbean.

2)ISOC-TT was awarded a Certificate of Recognition by the Internet Society “in recognition of our exceptional performance and outstanding commitment to excellence in 2018”

3) ISOC-TT was invited to participate as Internet standards experts in the newly established National Technical Committee for Information & Communication Technology

 

Biography

Niran Beharry is a Caribbean Technologist, Researcher, Project Manager and Engineer. He has 20 years experience having worked in a number of sectors within the Caribbean and Globally inclusive ICT, Finance, Civil Engineering,  Industrial Design, Logistics and Environmental Management.

He is also the CEO of a multidisciplinary consultancy company Proteus Technologies Limited, as well as sitting on the board of Trinidad and Tobago Animation Network, Kairos Capital Investments and KPN Global Resource Management.

He also gives guest lecturers in a number of topics inclusive of Entrepreneurship , Innovation, Blockchain, and other emerging technologies. And have spent many years mentoring and nurturing Caribbean startups.

His introduction to Internet Governance came with him becoming one of the founding members of the Internet Society Trinidad and Tobago Chapter in 2011 and serving on the Executive as the Assistant Secretary, until 2017 when he accepted the nomination to serve as Vice Chair.  He also assisted in drafting the ATLAS II statement in 2015 as a member of the ALAC. He is also a member of the Internet Society’s Blockchain SIG.