One of the greatest pleasures - and privileges - of journalism is that you can, very occasionally, find yourself sitting in the middle of history while it is being made. The Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which will take place in less than two weeks in Athens, is, I believe, going to be one of those times.
People have hugely varying perspectives on the internet. But one thing that everyone from Washington to Windhoek can agree on is that this vast network of computers is going to have an enormous impact right around the globe.
The advantages it has brought - none more extraordinary than the ability to share almost any form of information with incredible ease - has seen those countries not linked to the network clamouring for connections.
It is clear, however, that the internet is at a crossroads. It has become so influential that it is no longer possible to ignore its problems by referring to technical underpinnings or historical precedents.
That’s why the IGF has been set up. It will be the place where the world meets to discuss the problems and issues that the internet is throwing up.
Admittedly, it’s been a long time coming - the first official meeting took place in Bamako in May 2002. After years of dialogue, at the 2005 World Summit on the Information Society, a surprising conclusion was reached: governments agreed that they were no longer best equipped to deal with the problems of the internet.
Let me explain. Because the internet is used by every sector and strata of society it has slowly become clear that the traditional way of deciding global issues - essentially by putting government representatives in a room - won’t work with the internet.
So an entirely new approach is being adopted in which ordinary people and businesses are given as much right to talk, and granted as much access to information, as anyone else: a so-called 'multi-stakeholder' approach. In other words, the internet's problems will be solved by those who use it.
But don't be fooled into thinking this is a comfortable concept: the IGF has confused, terrified and excited all participants in equal measure. No one knows if, over the four-day meeting, a new model not only for internet governance but also global governance will be formed - or if the whole thing will collapse and be dismissed as a noble but flawed experiment.
Governments have refused to pay for it, so has business. The advisory group convened to decide its ground rules has been a microcosm of conflicting cultures that has only been forced into action by a series of impending and unavoidable deadlines.
Even now, less than a fortnight before the conference is due to take place, the list of speakers remains undecided. The venue itself was only decided at the last minute and the organisers now fear it will not be big enough. And some of those involved are so uncomfortable with the new approach, they are willing it to fail.
And yet, despite the concerns and confusion, an enormous determination has grown up in an unlikely alliance of people from all backgrounds that the IGF is the way forward. If it does succeed, we will be witnessing the start of a new era of global decision-making.
Like I said, sometimes you know when history will happen, sometimes it suddenly happens in front of you, but most of the time the full impact only becomes clear months or years down the line. Either way, as journalists, we get to tell the rest of the world about it.