Archive for June 2010

Internet, Media, Responsibility in a Commencement Speech

I had the great pleasure of watching my daughter graduate from Dickinson College a few weeks ago (I could say much more about the emotional and financial aspects of this milestone). The commencement speaker was Jon Meacham, editor of Newsweek magazine and Pulitzer Prize-winning author — one of the most insightful, humorous and articulate speakers I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to.  Just one section of his speech gave me pause:

“Technology … has created the means by which voices, often anonymous, can be heard saying things they would not be brave enough to say with their lips. With power comes responsibility.  But too often the Internet has divorced the two. Now anyone can say anything with impunity. …  May your generation be the one to stand up to reflexive extremism and on-line hyperbole … and say enough — this will not stand”.

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Web-Empowered Education, Agriculture and More: World Economic Forum on Africa

The Web has the potential to increase access to educational materials in Africa, and make it easier for people in Africa to contribute new materials to the world.

This is a belated post on the World Economic Forum on Africa, held last month in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  First, this event has been in Cape Town, South Africa in past years, and it is critical that WEF moved it closer to the locus of matters of greatest importance to the continent.  Second, the gathering of leaders and practitioners from government, industry, and philanthropy provided the perfect mix for gaining feedback on the programs and plans of the World Wide Web Foundation.

I was invited to talk in the session, Higher Education in Africa, with a focus on the use of the Web to empower educators and students to access content from around the world, and, ultimately, to contribute educational materials for the benefit of the rest of the world.  The format of my talk, Web-Empowered Education in Africa — Read more