Great Idea; Fantastic Product. Thanks for your vision!
My Question to Dr. Negroponte --- I see browsing the Wiki that OLPC is rigid about the idea of ONLY selling to Govenments. Why?
Most developing countries have corrupt government systems. Even if Central governments may be relatively Clean, local govenrments and 'administrators' are corrupt. Dont forget about local Mafia's. The potential for abuse is wide open, use your imagination.
OLPC should Sell the laptop to interested NGO's and local/regional/International Charities, and develop a system of accountability for these organizations. OLPC could also demand project timelines and set goals for these organizations. Alternatively, or concurrently, You can also develop a system to match 'geographic regions' to 'interested charities'.
With NGO's There is a better chance that the $100 laptop remains the $100 laptop it was intended when it reaches the child's hand.
(I am not a member of an NGO, this is just my opinion about the matter)
I will look forward to your reply.
Dr. Ramesh Rao, MD email@example.com USA
How will the mission meet the challenges of electrical infrastructure?
Remember when cell phones were the privilege of those who could afford those brick-size (and weight!) status symbols? Now cell phones are a vital communication and safety tool, one which has enabled developing countries to “leap-frog” costly infrastructure.
The Mission Statement of Olpc is: To create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning.
However, "self-empowered learning" can also relate to recognizing energy issues and understanding the opportunity to implement renewable energy to create "self powered learning".
Envision Solar executives were recently in Mali and Cote D’Ivoire working with local governments on a demonstration project that will provide solar power to an entire village, called LifeVillage™ (press release coming soon), which is an entire village system—school, clinic, internet café—in a crate. Solar power and batteries with water treatment equipment in modular structures that assemble in hours will overcome the need for electrical infrastructure. And the last time I checked, these laptops have a 10 or 15 hour battery life, right? After that, they need to be recharged right? And, don't most developing countries still have the task of developing electrical grids on their "wish lists"?
Dr. Nicholas Negroponte says, “It's an education project, not a laptop project.” And isn't "renewable energy an CO2 reduction project, not a cool toy project". Even Dr. Alan Kay, President of Viewpoints Research Institute, Inc., mentioned in his TED talk that he or planners could get huge companies like Google on board with Olpc, but not educators (because of the rural conditions, shelter, electricity issues, etc). I mention this issue, because I was privileged enough to organize a very successful meeting between Micro Society and the CEO, Carolyn King Richmond and Envision Solar to ease the education issues, but what's great is that the project "itself" addresses the main concerns of the educators!
I also agree with Dr. Ramesh Rao, MD firstname.lastname@example.org USA
"OLPC should Sell the laptop to interested NGO's and local/regional/International Charities, and develop a system of accountability for these organizations. OLPC could also demand project timelines and set goals for these organizations. Alternatively, or concurrently, You can also develop a system to match 'geographic regions' to 'interested charities'.
With NGO's There is a better chance that the $100 laptop remains the $100 laptop it was intended when it reaches the child's hand."
These issues should take priority on the worldwide launch of this project, however if the project could use a Chief Green Officer to join the "think tank" for Olpc and focus on sustainability issues, I'm you're guy!
Yeves R. Perez, email@example.com USA