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Among the 21 individuals inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame this week, there is one whose induction is a genuine source of pride and celebration for the entire APC community: Carlos Afonso, who was one of the original founders of APC over 30 years ago and has continued to play an active and invaluable role in the network up until today.

The Internet Hall of Fame was established by the Internet Society (ISOC) in 2012 to publicly recognise “pioneering individuals who fundamentally changed the world through their work building and developing the global internet.”

A life dedicated to advancing internet development and democratising access

As highlighted by ISOC, Afonso has advanced internet development and democratised access in Brazil and other Latin American countries by co-founding and co-leading several key organisations. The first of these was the Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analyses (Ibase), which he co-founded in 1981.

In 1989, with Afonso in charge, Ibase launched Alternex, a free service for civil society organisations and individuals in Brazil for the exchange of information by email and electronic conferences. Alternex was an example of a startup incubator for the internet in Brazil, notes ISOC, as it functioned as an internet gateway for hundreds of bulletin board systems, many of which became some of the largest internet service providers in the country.

And in 1990, Ibase was one of the seven organisations from around the world that joined together to found APC – with Afonso as its first executive director.

Among his many other accomplishments, Afonso also influenced the growth of the Brazilian internet and made an impact on global internet governance as a founding board member of the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee.

Currently, Afonso is the executive director of APC member organisation Instituto Nupef, and is also a member of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group of the UN Internet Governance Forum.

When contacted by APCNews to comment on this recognition of his many contributions to the development of the global internet, Carlos responded, “I take this honour in representation of all the people and entities – especially APC, Ibase and Nupef – who were involved as collectives with me in so many activities which ended up justifying this induction.”

Watch a video message recorded by Afonso, on behalf of Nupef, to mark APC’s 30th anniversary in 2020.

Read a short biography of Carlos Afonso here.

Read about Afonso’s life milestones here.

And stay tuned for an in-depth interview with Afonso about his Hall of Fame induction and much more, in January.

Photo: Carlos Afonso during the celebration of APC's 25th anniversary, in 2015.