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From the Global Voices 2015 Summit, Moving Onward and Upward

Perhaps we weren't visible from space, like the Great Wall of China. But fortunately the drone-mounted camera that filmed us in front of Cebu City’s grand Provincial Capitol building on the afternoon of January 25, 2015 hovered only a few hundred feet above us, a fraction of the Global Voices community assembled into a very respectable-looking—considering how quickly we did it—column-and-circle formation representing the 10 years of our existence.

We turned 10 in December, so the sixth Global Media Citizen Summit in January in Cebu City, Philippines, was another moment to celebrate, our only regret being that we weren’t able to do it with the entire 800-plus active members of the community present. 

As the only times our virtual community gets to meet face to face, our biennial Summits are extremely important for the development of the organisation. The 2015 Summit included four days of internal meetings, and culminated in a public conference at the Cebu Provincial Capitol on the theme of The Open Internet: Local Perspectives, Global Rights. The proceedings opened, movingly and appropriately, with a statement read by Global Voices members calling for the release of jailed online media workers and activists. Also announced at the Summit were the winners of the essay competition supported by Google.

We have many to thank for helping making our 2015 Summit such a success:

Our speakers, for generously sharing your expertise during the Summit sessions (see reports and videos on the Summit site).

Our attendees, who came from near and far within the Philippines, and from other parts of the world, to be part of the event.

 Our international sponsors: Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Google, Open Society Foundations, Knight Foundation, Yahoo! and Automattic.

 And the Summit would not have been the success it was without the tremendous support we received from our host location. Our heartfelt gratitude to our media sponsor SunStar Publishing, and our tech sponsors Globe Telecom and Smart Communications. To the Province of Cebu for letting us have the run of their grand Provincial Capitol Building for two whole days. To the Philippine Department of Tourism for the warm Filipino welcome and the epic closing party at the Museo Sugbo. And to Doris Isubal-Mongaya and her team at PRWorks for their extraordinary organisational skills and expert touches that made our time in Cebu special in so many ways—and for the gift of the drone video.

 And onward and upward we go.

Our work building bridges across cultures, languages and perspectives is more urgent than ever before.

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