The One Laptop Per Child program has a program where you can pay $399 and donate one XO computer for a program in Haiti, Cambodia, Afghanistan, or Rwanda and also receive one yourself. Give One Get One.
I was a donor on the first day, hence the badge at the left of the screen.
Gordon Moore, whose Law is so famous, was honored at tonight's Tech Award ceremony. He received the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award. In his acceptance speech he mentioned that he had helped cause some of the problems facing the earth, and through his philanthropy he hoped to help solve some of them. Environmental causes seem to be his foundation's major focus.
The winners of the $50,000 cash prizes in each category included:
Economic Development: blueEnergy San Francisco, California, is working on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua to install wind power systems to bring electricity to an area where 75% of the population has none. (Mathias Craig pictured at left.) Environment: Fundacion Terram, Santiago, Chile. Chile is a major exporter of farmed salmon, but the excess nitrogen is affecting other fish and abalone. This project uses kelp to absorb the wastes from aquaculture and gives indigenous communities a source of income as they raise and harvest the seaweed.
Health: Diagnostic Development Unit-Univ. of Cambridge & Diagnostics for the Real World. They invented technology to test for infectious diseases quickly and in conditions of extreme temperature. For instance, there are dual litmus tests for both Hepatitis B and HIV. Education: TakingITGlobal, Toronto, Canada. The team used open source tools and designed an online platform to involve youth for social change. At present they have 150,000 members in 192 countries. Because many young people in other countries share computers in cybercafes and school, news about the site traveled by word of mouth.
Equality: Devendra Raj Mehta in Jaipur, India, engineers low-cost prosthetic limbs for amputees. These are provided at no cost, and most are able to return to work in a couple of days and have the ability to run, ride a bicycle, or drive a car. The Jaipur Foot project has been replicated in other countries as well.
This morning the Tech Award Laureates had a showcase at the San Jose Convention Center. Attending were 150 journalists, funders, supporters, and others wanting more information on the individual projects. I spent some time speaking with several laureates.
Lúcia Araújo is with Canal Futura in Brazil. It is an educational channel using UHF/VHF, satellite, and cable to reach most of the young people in Brazil. They work with the Pontos de Cultura where teams of youth produce their own programming. I put her in contact with a local arts organization: MACLA/ Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana which is also doing programming with youth here in San Jose.
Marc Andre Ledoux is a Canadian living in Senegal where, among other things, he does electronic publishing of Senegalese legal documents. However, for the Tech Awards he organized a consortium, Consortium SudEco Industrie to address the problem of invasive plants clogging the rivers in Senegal. Though there is not web site, here's an image of the problem. A Canadian engineer designed a machine to process the dried plants and extrude them into fuel pellets used for cooking. This addresses some of the deforestation problems in Senegal which has a shortage of imported gas, as well as diesel to drive the generators in the electrical grid.
Anil Chitrakar showed the Solar Tuki project, one of many for Environmental Projects for Conservation Awareness, based in Kathmandu, Nepal. A small solar powered LED light can be assembled by villagers, and besides providing a cost effective replacement for kerosene or candle light, the battery can charge a cell phone, radio, and they have added other devices for cleaning water (UV treatment and bleach). He has a sensible economic model that is relatively easy to explain to low income customers.
Tonight is the awards ceremony where each category winner receives $50,000.
The Center for Science, Technology, and Society where I work handles the judging for the annual Tech Awards. Yesterday the 25 finalists or Laureates arrived for the kickoff event, a welcoming meeting at the Tech Museum of Innovation. I sat in on the introductions and then introduced myself. I had written email to all of them, corresponded with some, spoke on the phone with others, and knew a couple of them from other meetings. My goal is to interest them in helping to design the KnowledeX network that will support them after they return home.
Their projects are very diverse, and after dinner for each of the five domains (environment, equality, econmic development, health, and education) nine of the laureates came over to the hotel for a short taped interview with me. We asked three questions: 1. who are you and what do you do? 2. tell us a great story that illustrates your work. 3. Looking ahead ten years what is your hope for the world (or your project?)
Today I attended the presentation by the PR firm Ogilvy which is helping the laureates with connections to journalists and bloggers, some of whom will attend the showcase tomorrow, Wednesday, and perhaps the big ceremony at night. This event will be webcast. I will post the URL when it is made public. Ogilvy has started a group on Facebook for the laureates.