"Celebrating 35 years of the World Wide Web" written over an illustration of a world map

The World Wide Web’s 35th Anniversary

35 years after its invention, CEO John Bruce shares how Inrupt is helping fulfill Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s original vision for the web.
John Bruce, Inrupt CEO and Co-founder
March 12, 2024

On this day in 1989, my Inrupt co-founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. It changed society forever. How we access information, conduct business, form relationships, and continuously dream up new and novel ways to experience the world around us.

His original vision of the web was a tool to benefit humanity and empower individuals. But the web has veered further and further away from these core values. That’s why we founded Inrupt — to take Tim’s latest creation, the Solid protocol, and use it to move the web towards its founding principles. To enable the next version of the web, Web 3.0. To enable trusted, mutually beneficial relationships and data sharing among and between individuals and organizations.

Five years ago on the web’s 30th anniversary, I wrote that it was “an exciting challenge to imagine all the ways that Solid will change our world.” Well, it’s not such a challenge anymore. We’re beginning to see the first signs of the changes all around us.

In his letter marking today’s web’s anniversary, Tim applauds the work of fellow travelers who are building in the true spirit of the web, and here at Inrupt, we’re proud to be part of it. We’re  helping our partners put Solid to work in creative and inspiring ways using Enterprise Solid Server (ESS). Enabling enterprises to build Web 3.0 platforms focused on enhanced trust between end users and organizations and creating innovative ways for everyone to benefit. 

The tide is clearly turning. As Tim says:

"A new paradigm is emerging, one that places individuals’ intention rather than attention at the heart of business models, freeing us from the constraints of the established order and returning control over our data."

Five years ago, I shared the work ahead for Inrupt in creating a network of partners interested in building more trusted digital relationships. Five years later, we’ve worked with organizations in the U.S., Europe and the U.K. to pilot projects in industries like retail, energy and banking. And our work with governments is beginning to roll out. In various countries around the world, there are projects underway to make Solid available to citizens. Most notably, our ESS powers Athumi's Solid-based platform in Flanders, built to deliver social services and new user experiences. With exciting use cases already underway in recruitment, healthcare and media.

It gives me increasing confidence to see such trusted institutions put their momentum behind Solid. As Tim says, true change at scale requires both innovation and the cooperation of those who shape our world today:

“The future hinges on our ability to both reform the current system and create a new one that genuinely serves the best interests of humanity.”

By harnessing the web as a data platform for everyone, we’re transforming how organizations and users connect with each other: We can all benefit from new individualized services, delivered by organizations who can now create better products and services, driven by consented access to a greater variety of our personal data.

From the entire team at Inrupt, we thank you, Tim, for giving us the World Wide Web. We’re proud to be with you in shaping this next phase of how we use it to connect, share, and innovate.

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