Monday, September 15, 2008

World Wide Web Foundation is Launched

"The Web is a platform, like a piece of paper. It does not determine what you will do with it, it challenges your imagination." - Tim Berners-Lee, at the inauguration of the World Wide Web Foundation last night.
Call me a techno-geek but this is REALLY exciting news. Last night, Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web (no it wasn't Al Gore), launched a foundation to:
  • advance One Web that is free and open;
  • expand the Web's capability and robustness;
  • and extend the Web's benefits to all people on the planet.

I encourage you to read the full transcript of his speech, but here is the part that got me excited.

"When you think about how the Web is today and dream about how it might be, you must, as always, consider both technology and people. Future technology should be smarter and more powerful, of course. But you cannot ethically turn your attention to developing it without also listening to those people who don't use the Web at all, or who could use it if only it were different in some way. (I have read that 80% of the world do not have access to the Web. ) The Web has been largely designed by the developed world for the developed world. But it must be much more inclusive in order to be of greater value to us all...

My colleagues and I have identified three avenues — technology innovation, Web Science, and the application of the Web for the benefit of underserved communities — that we believe lead to the next phase of the Web. However, these avenues require significant collaborative efforts, worldwide, by all those who seek to fulfill the original vision of the Web: humanity connected by technology."

Talk about a BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goal)! What would it mean to connect humanity across language, culture, ethnic identity, gender, religious belief, geography and class? What could we accomplish as a human race?