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Nicholas Negroponte, founder of OLPC

Nicholas Negroponte is the driving force behind the project One Laptop Per Child; founder of the Media Laboratory (MIT); founder of Wired Magazine.

Born in 1943, Nicholas Negroponte entered a powerful family as the son of a rich Greek magnate and the brother of the controversial John Negroponte (one of the most controversial diplomats in U.S. history, along with the also conservative Henry Kissinger), who was named by George W. Bush as director of the U.S. National Security Agency and at present, as the National Director of Intelligence. John Negroponte is also the one mainly responsible for the controversial phone tapping of thousands of U.S. citizens after the 9/11 attacks.

Returning to Nicholas, his brother: this American scientist is the founder of one of the most prestigious technological centers of investigation in the world, the Media Lab affiliated with the educational institution with the most registered patents in history, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT.

His stellar scientific career, as a specialist in computing and a renowned speaker, has made him one of the most influential Internet personalities.

His book Being Digital, published in 1995, has been extensively quoted, and in it he predicted some of the technological tendencies that we are now witnessing, like the increasingly important role of the Internet and the connection to the Web of all kinds of devices, from electrical appliances to toys.

He is, also, the main investor and one of the founders, in 1992, of the technology news magazine Wired, in which he contributed a monthly column from 1993 until 1998.

As a tireless speaker, he has periodically warned the public of one of the challenges facing the world in the 21st century: the fight against a new type of inequality based on knowledge, technological literacy and Internet access.

At the celebration in Tunisia at the World Summit for the Information Society, in November of 2005, Negroponte confirmed the creation of a cheap laptop computer, with a price of around 100 dollars, that would bring computing to all the poor children of the world in a reasonable amount of time.

Seven businesses announced that they would help to finance the project: Google, News Corporation, AMD, Red Hat, Brightstar and Nortel.

Updated (2009): Negroponte initiated the creation of the NGO that runs the program, One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), responsible of the computer XO-1 and its imminent second version.

  • More information on Nicholas Negroponte, in Wikipedia.