6Sense: Generating New Possibilities in the New Internet.
Produced by: IPv6 Summit, Inc.

The Other Next Generation Aspect of IPv6:
New Leaders in Industry and Government Step Up and Swing for the Fences

by Alex Lightman, CEO, IPv6 Summit, Inc.

John Maxwell, in his best-selling book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, says that the 20th law is The Law of Explosive Growth: To add growth, lead followers - to multiply, lead leaders. In August 2004 we are seeing the emergence of new leaders in IPv6, in government and industry, even in the midst of what looks like a very quiet month. We in the IPv6 community will succeed to the extent that we create and support successful, flexible leaders. Here are my picks for people worthy of widespread support. Who would you add to this? Feel free to write and tell me at alex@usipv6.com and I'll summarize in the Sept. 6Sense.

August starts off with a productive week for IPv6, with several sessions at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) just completed at the Sheraton near San Diego Airport. The rest of the month will be the quiet before the storm, as key players in industry, military, and homeland security take vacations, knowing that when they return the transition to IPv6 will get seriously underway in the USA and its Coalition Partners. The DISA IPv6 Transition Office has developed a great logo, which we hope to get authorization to show in the next 6Sense, as well as a logo for the 6Star Partner Program that will recognize the many and diverse contributions of companies, universities, and nonprofits to the further development and diffusion of IPv6.

While the DoD has tracked IPv6 internally and has not needed outside prompting, and as the work of the IETF moves forward in defining the IPv6 standard, the IPv6 Forum starts to wind down. Credited with bringing IPv6's existence to the attention of large companies and to civilian government agencies, the receding IPv6 Forum makes way for a new generation of IPv6 leaders to emerge. The initial leaders of IPv6 worked inside companies adding IPv6 to their hardware, especially routers, and, to a lesser extent, software and communications offerings. The original pioneers have done their work cheerleading and briefing less technical officials with "big picture" advantages for America and other countries. Now the next generation of IPv6 leadership will turn to those who will define and design the vast networks for IPv6. These new IPv6 leaders include:

Dr. Charles (Chuck) Lynch, Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) IPv6 Transition Office and the one of the first (perhaps only) person in the US government funded and authorized to focus on the broader DoD IPv6 transition - and the co-author (with his Eagle Scout son) of the proposal to the Boy Scouts of America to add a merit badge for Internet skill(!).

Dr. Osama Mowafi, CTO of SI International (Nasdaq: SINT), leader of the team that received the first US government contract for IPv6 and, as one of the invisible visionaries of the future transition to ubiquitous IPv6 deployment, one of the few people to have to crunch the numbers on how many trillions of v6 addresses will be needed for all imaginable government and other needs.

John Crain, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, who will be managing ICANN's upgrading of the root servers for IPv6 over the next six months (I asked if he would do it sooner - he said things were working fine now and it was important not to "tear" anything, and that adding v6 carefully was essential).

Leigh Huang, Program Manager, Program Manager in Windows Networking and Device Technologies Group at Microsoft, who is leading both the internal and external IPv6 initiatives at the company - let's face it - that will have the greatest single impact on the quality, quantity, and velocity of IPv6 implementations related to PC users. As 6Wi-Fi comes to market, Leigh's experience as an 802.11 entrepreneur and her MIT network will also serve her well.

Some of the original IPv6 pioneers are still leading the community into the future while balancing commercial challenges, while opening the door for new leaders. Nokia deserves special kudos for supporting highly dedicated professionals, like IETF IPv6 Working Group co-chair Robert Hinden; IPv6 ad hoc networking guru Charles Perkins; and mobile phone innovator and Research Manager John Loughney, all of whom share their hard won experience with the IPv6 community. Nokia's Head of International Cooperation, Dr. Mikko Uusitalo is, by stroke of good fortune, chairman of the World Wireless Research Forum, as well as a supporter of IPv6 and the only WWRF official to present at an IPv6 Summit.

Wish these eight the best of luck: on their shoulders (and that of their colleagues) rides the success of IPv6 in the US. If they ask for help, give it to them if you want to accelerate the IPv6 transition. A sneak peek into 6Star possibilities: start thinking about viral applications that will get IPv6 addresses out there, and see if you can do better than Microsoft's http://www.threedegrees.com. And again, feel free to write me at alex@usipv6.com and tell me who you think the emerging leaders of IPv6 are, and why you admire them.