Nicholas Negroponte

Cofounder, MIT MediaLab.
Founder, One Laptop per Child (OLPC).
Visionary technology futurist and the driving force behind One Laptop per Child.

Highlights
Nicholas Negroponte is one of the foremost futurists of our time, a fine speaker with a distinguished history of valuable insights on innovation, technology and their impact on business that few can match.

Professor Negroponte was the first to predict and describe how digitalization would affect every industry in every part of the world. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Being Digital”.

He has continued to understand the directions that technology is taking business and society and to effectively forecast the transformations that are defining our future.
He is the founding chairman of MIT’s Media Lab, one of the world’s leading interdisciplinary research centers.

Negroponte is the driving force behind One Laptop per Child, a project to bring durable, affordable and innovative computers to children worldwide. As a computer, OLPC is a conceptual and technological breakthrough that is destined to revolutionize computing.

As a nonprofit, OLPC is also a conceptual breakthrough that is destined to transform global education and economic development.

Nicolas Negroponte was cofounding Chairman of MIT’s MediaLab and is now Chairman Emeritus.

One Laptop per Child (OLPC)

It’s an education project, not a laptop project.

Nicholas Negroponte’s non-profit One Laptop per Child seeks to provide children around the world with new opportunities to explore, experiment and express themselves.

Most of the nearly two billion children in the developing world receive inadequate education or no education at all. At the same time, their governments struggle to complete in a rapidly evolving, global information economy, hobbled by an under-educated population that lacks the tools to contribute. Negroponte’s answer to these challenges is the XO laptop, “a children’s machine for ‘learning learning.’”

Any nation’s most precious natural resource is its children. The XO gives children a window on the world and a highly programmable tool for exploring it. It allows children to ‘think about thinking’ in ways that are otherwise impossible. OLPC is not, at heart, a technology program. It is a revolutionary new way to promote learning.
Capabilities. The laptops include a human power system for use where there is no electricity. They fold different ways, are encased in rubber and plastic for durability and display in two modes, both a normal color LCD and a sunlight readable B&W screen at 3X resolution. They will have three USB ports, will be wi-fi capable and mesh network capable, so that, for example, a thousand kids can share one internet back haul very inexpensively.

Origins. The Negropontes have built five schools in rural villages in Cambodia that do not have electricity, telephone or television—but some kids now have broadband wireless, and their first English word is Google. The idea for the XO follows from Nicholas’s experience with these schools, more recent experience in the State of Maine (which passed one laptop per child legislation in 2002) and many earlier activities.

The OLPC project has become the most asked-for topic in his long speaking career.

Credentials

  • Co-Founder, Chairman Emeritus, MIT Media Lab, 1984
  • General Partner in four Venture Capital Funds
  • Board of Directors, Motorola, since 1995
  • Technical Advisory Committee to the FCC
  • Advisor to the European Commission
  • Founder and chairman, the 2B1 Foundation
  • Founder, Architecture Machine Group, MIT, 1968
  • Founding chairman, International Federation of Information Processing Societies’
  • Computers in Everyday Life program, Amsterdam, 1980
  • First executive director, World Center for Personal Computation and Human
  • Development, France, 1982
  • Taught at MIT, Yale, Michigan and the University of California at Berkeley