You’ve heard of One Laptop Per Child, right? Have you seen the XO, the box in question?
So here’s the deal: Nicholas Negroponte cooks up a laptop for people in developing nations. Some people gripe about it and say that he should send food and basics first. His return argument? So you should stop educating people until they’re all fed? They’re not parallel?
I’m with Nick. (Don’t know the man, but I like his plan.)
So, here’s why this is the sexy:
- The boxes are inexpensive. Under $200 a box.
- They feature FIVE full programming environments (for geeks, read here).
- They come built with a mesh network right out of the box.
- They have collaboration built into almost every app. So two kids sit down somewhere, open their XOs, and they can write on the same doc.
- They have webcams, so places with literacy issues can suddenly open the conversation to parents, who’ve been excluded from a child’s school experience, until now.
- There are other sexy things, but I’m doing this off the top of my head, instead of re-copying the dogma.
I believe this organization and this opportunity will make vast changes on the shape of things in the world. Know why? I spoke with a former coworker, Ramesh, about what it was like being one of 50 guys in his village to borrow the SINGLE PAIR of shoes that all guys could borrow, to travel two hours by foot, bus, and train to Hyderabad to look for a job. His village? They had only rice worker jobs. Now? As broadband slowly slips across more and more of India, there are people looking to do more and bring more value to their families. Being already computer proficient (all the way down to developing in five languages) will blow the doors off this.
How You Can Help
The program is called Give One Get One, and you do this: give them $399 US, which buys two computers: one goes to a child in a developing nation; the other goes to the child (or you) in your life. You can deduct $200 off your taxes for this, plus T-Mobile is giving away free wifi in their hot spots for a year. FREE HOTSPOTS FOR A YEAR.
I’ll tell you personally, this is worth the price alone. I pay more than $200 a year on hotspot access. Don’t you?
So what do you think? $399 saves the world. Give One, Get One and make a difference this holiday season. Beats the hell out of buying someone an iPod, don’t you think?