27 Oct Leveling a top-heavy world, one laptop at a time
By now you’ve probably heard about the Amex Red Card and Apple’s Red iPod, both are a way to help give back to worthy causes while you spend on, well, “less worthy” causes.
If you’re taken by either of those socially responsible ways to spend, then I have a way for you to go much further and have far greater impact on the developing economies of the world.
The answer is in our laps
Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop per Child initiative is ready to launch. If you haven’t heard about this, check the link. The idea is simple: put a laptop in the hands of every child across the globe. Ambitious? You bet it is.
I’ve often spoken and written about the tremendous unlocked potential that exists in the world by pointing out that so few human beings have access to the technology we take for granted.
The most generous estimates tell us that about one billion people access the Internet. I believe it’s less. But no matter how you cut it, the reality is that that vast majority of the world’s population has yet to leverage the power of technology.
We are on the cusp of changing that in ways that will radically alter the nature of innovation, economics, and society. The OLPC initiative is a bold step in that direction.
Nicholas Negroponte talks about $100 laptop at TED.
So how can you help?
The OLPC initiative has just announced a Get One Give One program where you can buy a $100 laptop and also give one to a child in a developing nation. The total cost is actually closer to $400, but even at that I think this is a brilliant idea.
I’ve already got my order in, as much to support the OLPC cause as to get one in the hands of my own kids. Call it a teachable moment. I call it a lesson in innovation literacy.
The world is far too top heavy. Technology levels us by allowing us to leverage our creativity and intellect despite economic, social and, geographic boundaries. My kids and your kids need to know what that means and what that feels like.
I’m convinced the results are far beyond anything we can dream today.
Recent articles by Tom Koulopoulos
• Tom Koulopoulos: Innovative teams point the way to discovery
• Tom Koulopoulos: Flat world could make dotcom bubble look tame
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