The Internet Age: Founders to Future

June 11, 2015

The Internet Age: Founders to Future




A Global Summit

Presented by the Internet Society and the National Museum of American History

The Internet is among the most powerful and influential “inventions” ever created. But where did it come from? Who were the people who first imagined it, and what are the inventive technologies that enable the Internet to exist? The evolution of the Internet continues as new innovations propel this global network of networks into seemingly impossible realities. Please join the National Museum of American History, the Internet Society, Internet pioneers, and digital natives for a lively conversation about the continuum of the Internet, from how it was imagined to where the Internet is taking us in the future.


The National Museum of American History and The Internet Society have partnered together to organize this Global Innovation Summit which will examine the people and events that led to the creation of the Internet. Prominent contributors to the rich history of the Internet will conduct a conversation about the diverse elements that contributed to the creation of innovations and inventions that led to the Internet Age. This event will take place on June 11, 2015 at 2:30 pm in the Museum’s Warner Bros. Theater, and will also be webcasted live. An edited version will be repackaged for educational use by the museum’s Education Outreach team and ISOC.

This summit is a part of the larger Raise It Up! American Innovates programming occurring on June 11 that includes a morning Naturalization Ceremony, the presentation of the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal to Sebastian Thrun and the Places of Invention Festival taking place from 1:30-4pm in Flag Hall, these activities are a part of the larger America Now! Series in partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and the American Art Museum.


Vint Cerf, widely known as one of the "Fathers of the Internet," is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet.  He has served as vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google since October 2005. Mr. Cerf was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2012.

Mitchell Baker is Executive Chairwoman of the Mozilla Foundation and the leader of the Mozilla Project. She is responsible for organizing and motivating a massive, worldwide, collective of employees and volunteers who are breathing new life into the Internet with the Firefox Web browser and other products. Ms. Baker was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2012.

David Farber played a key role in many systems that converged into today's Internet. He is an Internet Hall of Fame inductee and the Alfred Fitler Moore Professor Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania and Adjunct Professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

Sebastian Thrun is a scientist, educator, researcher, inventor, and entrepreneur.  Today, he is the founder and CEO of Udacity, a company dedicated to democratizing learning for everyone.  Udacity has almost 4 million students in over 190 countries.



Eric Hintz is a historian with the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History.  He serves as a curator for the Places of Invention exhibition and coordinates the Center’s fellowship program.  Eric’s research explores science, technology, and American business history; he specializes in the history of invention and R&D.