This week, Max, Aman and I are attending ICTD2010, which is the biggest conference on ICT for Development. I will blog about what I get out of it next week, but just wanted to write few words about Tim Berners-Lee, our founder, and his keynote.
I don’t have yet the video of this talk, but this will come soon. The presentation was very good in my opinion. After an introduction of the history of Web, and the different organizations Tim is engaged in (W3C, Web Science Trust, the Web Foundation, he tackled a set of issues we are addressing in our programs, such as the importance of voice technologies, mobile entrepreneurship, open government data, etc.). He also address more general issues, including the importance of open data/open format/open standard or the fact that data connection is an enabler for lots of people to access and offer content, and therefore a minimal bandwidth should be available for everybody for free.
He also put emphasis on the importance of enabling people to put online information and share, rather than just considering that even the most underprivileged communities have only needs of information, but are not potential providers of information to others. His last words were for me the most inspiring one, about the fact that development cross-cuts different dimensions such as education, democracy, health, etc. and the Web could be a glue to all these dimensions which will reinforce each other in a virtuous circle.
Finally the questions were also very interesting and we were all on stage with Tim. Based on these questions, and the ones that I received after the session, it is obvious that the concept of open government data and how it applies to developing countries is of growing interest to many people.