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As I begin to write my final Director's Corner as Kantara's Executive Director, after five and a half years leading the organization, I am certainly doing it with mixed emotions.  There is sadness because of the all the highs that I'll miss.  It is exhilarating when the organization reaches a milestone, or when its members achieve a breakthrough, or there are highly thought-provoking conversations with community friends and industry counterparts.  It has been such a blast!  But with the highs also come the lows, such as when the organization encounters a setback or when a member incurs the loss of a loved one.  There are also my regrets on leaving some projects unfinished as the clock ticks down.  Highs or lows regardless, I'll miss them all because Kantara has been my life (and a large part of my wife's life too as she has had to put up with Kantara/me!) for a chunk of years now.  Don't kid yourself.  Running a global non-profit - particularly with the ethics of equality, transparency and low/no barriers to participation that Kantara embraces in its mantra - is not easy street.  It   Alongside significant inter-organizational collaboration, it is a competitive and political environment that is demanding on one's time - sometimes exceptionally so - and on occasion can take you well outside your comfort zone.  So there is something kind of attractive in winding down to the more balanced life that most folks think typifies New Zealand - more relaxed, less deadline-driven and closer to nature.  However, I'll still be lurking!  So don't count me out too soon while I continue some activities in Kantara as well as for its members and the wider global digital identity community for some years yet.  I'll be writing to members to say my 'see you around' later this month, and to update them on the handover to my successor.

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Highlighting collaboration with other industry organizations segues nicely into my personal reflection of the this industry that I have been deeply involved in since 2005.  I guess my report card might finish with 'could do better'.  The fragmentation of industry consortia continues unabated, tho' the turning circle to realize that collaboration is better than competition is thankfully getting shorter.  Governments take some responsibility too, since the 'build it in a silo, burden it on the world' undercurrent to some public sector efforts over the years has added needless friction and complexity to interoperability.  How is digital identity doing vs say, the payment card industry?  My answer is that it is not maturing at the rate that it needs to.  Will the pandemic will serve to reset private-sector self interest/public-sector national interest over international interest?  I sincerely hope so.  As it stands to today ?  My my answer is as above - 'could do better'.          

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While I remain over-fully engaged through June, I sign off my last Director's Corner here, happy but also a bit sad that this is my last blog under this banner.  As I think back to the 10th Anniversary in 2019, and what has been achieved both before and since, I am proud of what this organization has achieved 's work these past 5+ years through the tireless efforts of its volunteer members, staff (who do a considerable amount of volunteering too!) and its reinvigorated Board.  There is lots more to come this year, including more 'industry firsts' to add to our virtual trophy cabinet.  My successor will share these with you via some means, if not this blog.   

Remember, if you are not a member, and don't receive our direct emails, sign up to receive KantaraNews or keep an eye on @KantaraNews on Twitter as well as Kantara on LinkedIn where we try to get news shared as it breaks.  

Kind regards,

'SignoffColinSigningOffColin

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