W3C re-launched as a public-interest non-profit organization
https://www.w3.org/ — 31 January 2023 — The World Wide Web Consortium began the year 2023 by forming a new public-interest non-profit organization. The new entity preserves our member-driven approach, existing worldwide outreach and cooperation while allowing for additional partners around the world beyond Europe and Asia. The new organization also preserves the core process and mission of the Consortium to shepherd the web, by developing open web standards as a single global organization with contributions from W3C Members, staff, and the international community.
The Web Consortium builds on 28 years of expertise
Since its founding almost three decades ago by Web Inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has developed the foundational technical standards upon which the web has flourished.
The Web Consortium has a track record of delivering globally recognized standards, including HTML and CSS upon which the web is built. W3C and its Members have made advances of important social and economic value: nearly five hundred open standards have powered the creation of 2 billion websites. The Consortium has also been fundamental in the emergence of transformative phenomena like social media, e-commerce, video on the web, video conferencing, which have transformed all our lives. W3C’s work empowers people with disabilities to access the web, supports websites in languages and cultures all around the world, and improves web security through strong authentication. These successes are possible because W3C standards may be used by anyone, and at no cost thanks to the royalty-free W3C Patent Policy.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s Consortium
"In 1994, the decision to form the World Wide Web Consortium came at the urging of many companies investing increasing resources into the web. I started leading the essential work of the Web Consortium team to foster a consistent architecture accommodating the rapid pace of progress in web standards for building websites, browsers, devices to experience all that the web has to offer. Today, I am proud of the profound impact W3C has had, its many achievements accomplished with our Members and the public, and I look forward to the continued empowering enhancements W3C enables as it launches its own public-interest non-profit organization, building on 28 years of experience."
Sir Tim Berners-Lee has long promoted the Consortium as a neutral forum where organizations around the world come together to create the technologies to most fully realize the potential of the web.
When the Consortium was established and running well Sir Tim was able to put his focus elsewhere and founded other organizations like the World Wide Web Foundation, the Open Data Institute London and his newest layer of the web, the Solid Protocol, and the company Inrupt bringing it to fruition. Sir Tim has gradually stepped away from being directly involved with most W3C decisions. Today, to ensure that Sir Tim’s vision continues, he retains a permanent seat on the Board of Directors and has been actively advocating and supporting the evolution of the organization he founded.
Greater means, stronger governance are fueling the need for change
Going beyond the incremental changes that over the years enabled the Web Consortium to keep pace with the web's evolving technologies and uses, the newly adopted structure affords increased transparency and accountability, and greater responsiveness to fast moving changes.
The new structure will allow continuity as well as further development of the Consortium. It also puts governance at the fore. A Board of Directors with W3C Member majority will guide the operations and strategic direction, aiming for clearer reporting, greater transparency and continued global cooperation, including with new international Partners from the former Hosts.
As required of all 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, our bylaws and a number of documents will be public, such as tax documents as well as specific financial statements disclosing our operating activities, balance sheets, statement of cash flows, and income statement. Our financial statements will be annually audited by an independent external auditor.
Preserving our world-class standards development process
We will continue to use our proven standards development process.
W3C processes promote fairness and enable progress. Our standards work will still be accomplished in the open, under the W3C Process Document and royalty-free W3C Patent Policy, with input from the broader community. Decisions will still be taken by consensus. Technical direction and Recommendations will continue to require review by W3C Members – large and small. The Advisory Board will still guide the community-driven Process Document enhancement. The Technical Architecture Group will continue as the highest authority on technical matters.
Vision for the future
Our vision for the future is a web that is truly a force for good. A World Wide Web that is truly international and more inclusive, more respectful of its users. A web that supports truth better than falsehood, people more than profits, humanity rather than hate. A web that works for everyone, because of everyone.
About the World Wide Web Consortium
The mission of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is to lead the Web to its full potential by creating technical standards and guidelines to ensure that the Web remains open, accessible, and interoperable for everyone around the globe. W3C well-known standards HTML and CSS are the foundational technologies upon which websites are built. W3C works on ensuring that all foundational Web technologies meet the needs of civil society, in areas such as accessibility, internationalization, security, and privacy. W3C also provides the standards that undergird the infrastructure for modern businesses leveraging the Web, in areas such as entertainment, communications, digital publishing, and financial services. That work is created in the open, provided for free and under the groundbreaking W3C Patent Policy.
W3C's vision for "One Web" brings together thousands of dedicated technologists representing more than 400 Member organizations and dozens of industry sectors. W3C is a public-interest non-profit organization incorporated in the United States of America, led by a Board of Directors and employing a global staff across the globe. For more information see https://www.w3.org/.
End Press Release
Amy van der Hiel, W3C Media Relations Coordinator <firstname.lastname@example.org>
+1.617.453.8943 (US, Eastern Time)
Testimonials from W3C members
Accessibility Foundation • Center for Democracy & Technology • ConsenSys • Deque Systems, Inc. • eyeo • Fondazione LIA • Huawei Corporation • koodos labs • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory • Ministry of Digital Affairs, Taiwan • Oracle • Tetralogical • TPGi
"Accessibility Foundation, member of W3C since 2001, congratulates W3C Inc with the successful transition from a hosted model to a public-interest non-profit organization. Our Foundation will continue to support W3C and W3C/WAI activities with regards to digital inclusion for persons with disabilities. W3C has a crucial role in the harmonization of accessibility in web standards, supporting materials and tools. Accessibility Foundation uses the W3C/WAI accessibility resources in their daily work and actively works together on new and revised WAI resources that support the European Accessibility Act."Eric Velleman, Founder, Accessibility Foundation
Center for Democracy & Technology
"As a long-time civil society member of the World Wide Web Consortium, CDT is encouraged by the successful transition of W3C to a public-interest non-profit organization. Internet governance is most effective and legitimate when it is genuinely multistakeholder. To that end, CDT is committed to participating in the development of Web standards, advocating for technical designs that support privacy and other human rights, and including more of the community in the standard-setting process. There is much work to be done, by the new W3C Inc. and by the wider community, to make standard-setting inclusive and to fulfill the potential of the Web."Alexandra Reeve Givens, President & CEO, Center for Democracy & Technology
"W3C has led the evolution of the basic Web platform for almost three decades. It pioneered some of the principles of decentralisation that are central to our own vision, enabling multiple stakeholders to support and participate in the governance of a critical technology that is a public good. An early decision of ConsenSys was to be a member and participate in shaping the web as part of W3C. We are committed to extending the Internet with new mechanisms for trust, a fairer model of ownership, and more transparent and democratic economic rewards to build the digital economy of tomorrow. We welcome the transition of W3C to an independent organisation founded on strong values to continue its leadership of an open technology platform that will remain fundamental to the transformation we are working to see."Charles Nevile, Lead Standards Architect, ConsenSys
Deque Systems, Inc.
"We're excited to see W3C evolve and continue to drive vitally important web standards forward. Myself and my colleagues at Deque have been working with W3C for 16 years on WCAG in an effort to drive digital equality across the web. As the web changes and grows, we're excited to defend the W3C vision together, building a web that works for everyone."Glenda Sims, Chief Information Accessibility Officer, Deque Systems, Inc.
"Eyeo is delighted to witness the establishment of W3C Inc. as a new legal entity with non-profit status. As the web needs to continuously evolve, we are facing big challenges and require sustainable standards to keep the web open, accessible and secure for everyone. eyeo will continue to actively participate in various working groups to keep the web balanced for users, content creators and advertisers."Gertrud Kolb, Chief Technology and Product Officer (CTPO), eyeo
“As a European organization, we fully support W3C and their efforts to create a more open, interoperable and accessible digital world. The new version of the EPUB Accessibility specification is an important step towards meeting the requirements of the European Accessibility Act for publishers. It is essential for different voices from different regions to be represented in this process and we demonstrate that organizations of all sizes can contribute to this cause. Accessibility is a critical and rapidly growing issue: we will continue to support W3C and their efforts to make the digital world more accessible for all.”Cristina Mussinelli, Secretary General, Fondazione LIA
"We applaud W3C successfully transformation as an independent, non-profit and member-driven legal entity after three decades of diligent operations leading to the thriving of global Web technologies, and we strongly believe W3C will take the great opportunity to continue championing standardization principles such as openness, fairness and transparency, serving W3C’s outstanding vision of ‘Web for All’. We look forward to W3C leveraging this crucial chance to unify more members, talents and sponsors, effectively addressing standards challenges triggered by emerging technologies, with the support of the Web infrastructure, as the mature, credible and evolving foundation.”Thomas Li, President of Corporate Standards, Huawei Corporation
"For nearly three decades, W3C has stood at the forefront of the web's evolution, promoting standards and guidelines that have helped shape the internet as we know it today. At koodos labs, we're excited to be on the frontlines supporting the W3C's tireless efforts to advance the web and ensure its accessibility, interoperability, and neutrality. As the web enters an important juncture, we have no doubt that W3C Inc. will remain a key player in shaping its future."Jad Esber, Co-founder, CEO, Koodos Labs
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
"Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory congratulates W3C on the creation of W3C Inc. as an independent legal entity. We gratefully acknowledge the work of the host institutions to manage the consortium over the past several decades. Those years have been crucial to the development of scientific data sharing and knowledge dissemination. With the Consortium's guidance, the Web has become an indispensable tool for research, not only in publishing results but also in making data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable. Web standards also enable tools for scientific computing, analysis, and collaboration, all fundamental aspects of modern scientific research. We look forward to addressing the challenges of the present day and building a still brighter future."Wahid Bhimji, Data Department Head, National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Ministry of Digital Affairs, Taiwan
"As a new member to W3C, we are committed to work with all stakeholders, especially around decentralized identifiers, accessibility, privacy and security standards. We look forward to engaging in inclusive co-creation that leads to digital resilience for all — overcoming online harms through digital competence."Audrey Tang, Minister of Digital Affairs, Ministry of Digital Affairs, Taiwan
"W3C provides a unique and valuable opportunity for W3C members, staff, and the international community to collaborate on creating open standards in a transparent manner. As W3C transitions from a hosted model to a member-driven non-profit organization, we are excited for the potential to be more agile and accountable while adhering to the same standards processes and licenses that have been successful over the past 28 years. As a member of W3C since 1995, Oracle has been privileged to have helped in W3C’s mission to lead the web to its full potential by creating open standards. Oracle will continue its contributions and participation in W3C including its leadership in the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AGWG). Oracle values the benefits that the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) have provided to improve access to the Web by anyone, regardless of their abilities, to everyone around the world."Luke Kowalski, VP, Corporate Architecture Group, Oracle
"TetraLogical welcomes this new era of the World Wide Web Consortium. The web platform has evolved and changed since W3C was first established, and now more than ever, there is a need for the community to come together to work on open and royalty-free web standards that uphold the principles of accessibility, security, privacy, and internationalisation. We are excited by the possibilities and look forward to our continuing involvement."Léonie Watson, Founder and Director, Tetralogical
"W3C has a long tradition of working to provide a web that supports participation by disabled people. This extends to participation by disabled people within W3C to develop the specifications and guidelines which improve accessibility. TPGi have been actively engaged for the past 15 years as Specification Editors, Working Group participants and Chairs, and we are committed and excited to actively participate in the W3C of the future."Steve Faulkner, Chief Accessibility Officer, TPGi