Meanwhile, Back in the US, We Are Elevating America!

                  China isn’t the only country during these troubled times that is looking for creative solutions for how to prepare its workforce for modern, technology-enabled jobs. At the US National Governor’s Association meeting this past Sunday in Washington DC, my colleague Pamela Passman (above) announced a new…

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iCafés in China

I spent the last week in China learning more about Internet Cafés (or iCafés) , which are becoming a key area of focus for the Unlimited Potential Group. This is part of our “shared access”strategy, where we are developing solutions for computers that are shared by a large number of people throughout the course of…

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“Phone First” in Boston

Last month I had the opportunity to attend NextLab 2008: Designing Mobile Technologies for the Next Billion Users. It was a one-day conference at the MIT Media Lab involving projects from an interdisciplinary class there focused on how to apply cell phone technology to help create social and economic opportunity for poor people throughout the…

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Paul Polak and the Art of Listening

Paul Polak is a hero of mine. He created a nonprofit organization called International Development Enterprises (IDE) and spent 25 years there developing creative ways to make poor people in Asia and Africa less poor. His specialty is developing sustainable tools that rural farmers earning $2/day actually buy in order to increase the amount of…

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ICT4D Explained

ICT4D, or "Information and Communication Technologies for Development" is the name for the multidisciplinary academic approach involving the application of high tech to address international development problems. Kentaro Toyama – who leads Microsoft Research’s Technology for Emerging Markets (TEM) group in India – just forwarded around some pointers to a series of papers that appeared…

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Western China Project

A group of people from Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential team are heading out to Western China next week to raise awareness on a firsthand basis around issues involving the digital divide for rural communities in emerging market countries. You can learn more about the project on the UP home page. The team will be evangelizing existing…

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Look! Windows on the OLPC XO!

Today Microsoft and the OLPC are announcing support for Windows on the OLPC XO computer. The two organizations will work together on several pilot programs in emerging market countries starting next month, and the offering will RTM in August or September. Initially it will only be available in emerging market countries where governments or NGOs…

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We Have a Name: "Creative Capitalism"

Bill Gates gave a great speech at Davos this week around the concept of Creative Capitalism, an approach where governments, businesses, and non-profits work together to stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit, or gain recognition, doing work that eases the world’s inequities. It is an important and…

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OLPC in the News (Part 2)

Well, I will be flying out to Cambridge next week for my first meeting with some of the people at the OLPC, and I have to say I am looking forward to it. Some of my UPG co-workers from Microsoft have been meeting with the OLPC team for about a year now, but since I…

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OLPC in the News ...

Well, it seems like the OLPC organization is in the news a lot lately, even more so than usual. Stories that caught my eye over the last  week included a CNN report, a BBC story from Monday, and of course the Wall Street Journal page A1 story that came out this last Saturday. Microsoft’s approach…

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