Saturday, October 13, 2007

Following the announcement of this years Nobel Peace Prize; Renny had an interesting post here - Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore or Vint Cerf? I like the line of thinking and would like to extend this nomination for 2008 to also include Robert Kahn (Cerf's co-inventor) and 3 others:

(1) Sir Tim Berners-Lee -- for taking the TCP/IP and layering a powerful "human interface" on it with the sole purpose of sharing information and driving the rapid evolution we experience. But what I think is even more noble (no pun intendend) is his choice to make his invention open and free -- notable if one considers the potential for commercial gain through intellectual property rights. I think CERN his employer at the time, also deserves credit.

(2) Linus Torvalds for almost single-handedly making Open Source a model, not just for software technology innovation, but for inspiring and driving societal innovation and grass-roots development.

(3) Dr Nicholas Negroponte for his $100 computer initiative -- also known as the One Laptop Per Child project. The success of such an initiative is crucial for bridging the digital divide and helping education become a fundamental human right. The Give 1 Get 1 move could open the floodgates.

What appeals is the vision, selflessness and humanness of these individuals in creating an infrastructure needed for a grass-roots knowledge ecosystem that the world needs. These individuals also represent courage and strength in taking on the commercial giants on their own turf -- and driving change. Like Dr Negroponte convincing Intel to collaborate on the OLPC.

As an aside:
The much publicized "During my service in the United States Congress I took the initiative in creating the Internet." statement from Al Gore during the presidential election drew much fire from the media. I believe the media put a different twist causing misunderstanding and ridicule that "Al Gore claimed he invented the Internet". However, as Internet pioneers Vint Cerf & Bob Kahn set the record straight in this little known article, Al Gore does deserve some credit for making the Internet a global success.

I look forward to hearing Cerf at this years Norwegian Computer Society's annual awards event.

1 comment:

RennyBA said...

Thanks for plugging me Francis and I'm glad you liked the idea. The other guys you mentioned is worthy too, but lets not list too many.

The only thing we need to do now is to find some parliamentarian to adopt the idea. Lets join our efforts and do it!