I like to publicize here Nicholas Negroponte and Walter Bender's response to one blog, a particularly bad documented one by Alanna Shaikh on a UN Foundation-sponsored site (http://www.undispatch.com/node/8859):
First NN response:
''The dream is not over. When OLPC started there were no low cost laptops. We created the category less than four years ago and it now represents almost one third of the world production of latops. I am not aware of too many technologies that have gone from “impossible” to such wide adoption.
The million laptops, our little green ones, that are in the hands of children, are currently in 19 languages and 31 countries. Another million are on their way. Not bad. But even better, these countries include Afghanistan, Haiti, Ethiopia, as well as places like the West Bank (and next month Gaza). Even better, eh?
I suggest you look more carefully at Uruguay, Peru and Rwanda. In the case of Uruguay, every child has one. That is pretty amazing. Peru is headed there. Rwanda too. In fact, we have moved our learning group (as of early June) to Kigali perminently, to be in the field and get the kind of feedback you claim we ignore.
Anyway. I do not normally answer press and blogs, because we would spend all our time with words, not actions in the field But you are on a UN site and the UN is our partner. Check out Kofi Annan’s words -- they have been fulfilled. Has it been harder than I expected? Yes. But do you know why? It is not due to what I had anticipated, things like corruption and logistics. It has been due to commercial interests and press, stories like yours.
As a small non-profit, humanitarian organization, it is hard to battle giants who view children as a market, not a mission, and have other agendas. In spite of all that, the change is huge. I no longer hear people arguing against “one laptop per child” as a concept. The issue is purely a matter of funding and there are many ways to do that. Wait and see.
And Walter's one:
''I am writing in response to Alanna Shaikh’s 9/9/09 article, “One Laptop Per Child – The Dream is Over”.
Not only is the dream not over, the OLPC project has created an opportunity for the pursuit of more dreams by many more people.
I was Nicholas Negroponte’s partner in founding One Laptop per Child. As Nicholas has elegantly stated in his response to Ms. Shaikh’s blog, we spawned the netbook market, which is bringing the price of computing within reach of millions more people. In addition, we launch a free software initiative, Sugar Labs, that is putting educational software into the hands of children.
Sugar Labs (www.sugarlabs.org) is an independent outgrowth of OLPC. We are a global community of volunteers—teachers and software developers—whose mission is to bring the advantages of the Sugar learning platform to children everywhere, on any computer. Sugar was designed specially for children and offers a better alternative for young learners than traditional “office-desktop” software. Indeed, nothing in our children’s future has anything to do with office work from 30 years ago.
Ms. Shaikh is mistaken in her assertion that OLPC has abandoned “the special child-friendly OS.” More than 99% of the OLPC laptops in the hands of children run Sugar. Governments prefer Sugar because of its superior quality, openness, built-in collaboration, easy internationalization and localization to indigenous languages, and unbeatable price (free).
Sugar on a Stick, our latest initiative, allows children fortunate enough to have access to a computer at school, in the community, at home (or only the occasional access to a computer in an Internet café) to benefit from Sugar with a simple USB stick, which costs less than US $5. Sugar on a Stick runs on netbooks, but it also runs on hand-me-down computers, typical of those found in schools, that can only limp along running Windows.
We invite you to contact as we will be pleased to answer any of your questions about Sugar, the free learning platform used in schools every day in countries around the world.''
There are ideas that change the world, we see that as we apply them, these kinds of ideas never sleep.