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Greetings folks

This is the running update from the Executive Director. Have questions or comments? Suggest some added information or edits? Contact the ED colin@kantarainitiative.org

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January is 'planning month' both in our personal and business lives as we wrestle with how to enact those New Year's resolutions and reset business plans to reflect the out-turn of the previous year.  

That is certainly the case at Kantara.  

While some minor refinements are already operational like the form-before-download of our frequently accessed Recommendations and Reports, the much more profound changes are yet to come.

In 2017, Kantara will pivot around a refinement of the existing Mission Statement and sharpen its focus on conformity assessment of its frameworks and specifications, with a closer orchestration and re-alignment of WG and DG outputs towards its programs. While Kantara's existing strap-line 'Join, Innovate, Trust' will remain close to our hearts, you'll see and hear more of 'Invent, Innovate, Implement' which talks directly to our outputs.   

Those outputs are the world leading and thought leading specifications, frameworks, conformity assessment programs, contributions to ISO SC27, OECD via ITAC, Reports, Recommendations and more.  Those outputs are your outputs because they were proposed by members, non member participants, directed-funds organizations and Liaison organizations as things you wanted to see Kantara do in order to improve the digital economy in the areas of identity and personal data, consistent with our Mission that seeks to build a better, safer, more private and equitable online experience for people.    

The band of member volunteers that consistently step up to deliver Kantara artefacts such as the Consent Receipt v1.0 and very soon, UMA v2.0, are often the same folks who assist the Board and staff with strategic and operational re-alignments.

We need more of you!  Please take that next step and send me an email at the address above, and let's discuss how you and/or your organization can help Kantara reach its goals - not for its own sake - but for your organization's customers, consumers and users of its online services.         

We are receiving a lot of interest in Consent Receipt and UMA as tools in the GDPR compliance arsenal right now. And interest in our conformity assessment program for Identity Assurance that is currently deployed just in the public sector but has so much potential in the private sector. There are not many open platforms to develop industry specifications and frameworks and none as accessible as Kantara's.  That is at the center essence of Kantara's value to the industries and communities it serves.     

Our industry is stacked full of observers, commentators, bloggers, researchers, report writers, tweeters and re-tweeters.  Nothing wrong in that.  They all contribute in their own way.  

But there are precious few organizations in the industry that actually develop things, build things and deploy things - developed, built and deployed by the community in the interests of humanity and ethics that tangibly help to put tools into the hands of users to make their online activities safer, more private and under their control.

Kantara is one of those precious few in the world.  I hope that is why you are here reading this, identifying yourself with the pivotal role that this organization plays and all that it has to offer.

Often without public accolade or recognition, Kantara's member volunteers  - drawn from the Directors, the Assurance Review Board, the Leadership Council, the approved CSPs, the accredited assessors, the organizational and individual members, liaison organizations, plus a long tail of non member participants - put to work their great minds to collaboratively conceive and develop real tools that 'walk' all that 'talk'.  

We have UMA - the only profile in the world for distributed authorization and delegation built for the modern, lightweight mobile world - gaining attention and rapid adoption, not only from the tech sector, but increasingly from the legal and health professions, as we do with the Blockchain Smart Contracts DG.  We have the Consent Receipt specification about to go to public review - another world first.  We are recognised experts in conformity assessment with our experience in operating the Identity Assurance program for the US Federal government's FICAM initiative, with a clutch of partners looking at us to potentially extend it to assess and assure their trust frameworks. And we have the other Working Groups and Discussion Groups building towards their goals, such as but not limited to the new paradiym that IRM portends and the ID Pro Discussion Group's efforts to build a home for digital identity professionals.

Governments and policy-makers are attracted to Kantara by what they see at the grass-roots level and want it in the room in other fora - like ITAC in its role to support the OECD and in Vienna earlier this year to observe UNCITRAL - we welcome their interest.

What we strive to do and the egalitarian consensus driven culture in which we do it, is not for everyone however.  While some folks have not renewed their membership in 2016, many more have chosen to join us.  December's New Members are OneWorldIdentity, Collective Underwriters,Inc and John Macaulay (of whom you will see much more in the Health Identity Assurance Working Group). A very warm welcome folks. We welcome your interest and your investment in time and money. We need all of it and more besides, if we are to do more of what we do. With more money and more volunteer effort, the more we can do - it's that simple (smile).

Your leadership has been working harder than ever this last quarter of the year to align the organization's positioning in 2017 with the work actually happening.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to publically thank my hard working dedicated staff - Ruth for all things Identity Assurance and KIPI - and Oliver for all things technical, web and visual, the super team at Virtual Managment Inc and those individuals across the Board of Directors and its sub committees, the Leadership Council and Working/Discussion groups who have worked harder than anyone can imagine to drive the organization forward. You know who you are and I salute each and every one of you!  

2017 will be a great year for Kantara. Of that I am certain. Enjoy the last hours of 2016 and prepare yourself for the great ride that 2017 is sure to be (smile).

Cheers!

Colin  

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