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One Laptop per Child scheme at Sibos

One of the highlights of Sibos in Boston last year was the breakfast speech given by Nicholas Negroponte, founder and chairman of the One Laptop per Child non-profit association.

Swift says Negroponte's presentation last year "triggered a lot of enthusiasm and emotion in the industry" and so the OLPC foundation was invited to set up shop at this year's event in Vienna.

Carla Gonmez Monroy, learning consultant at OLPC Europe is manning the booth where delegates can see the new  XO2 laptop, which is compatible with open source Linux as well as the Microsoft operating system.

Monroy says she has been surprised by the reaction of Sibos delegates to the project. As well as inquiring about corporate responsibilty programmes, people have been making individual donations and some delegates from developing countries have been asking about partnership schemes that they can get involved with.

In his speech at the afternoon plenary on Monday, Swift CEO Lazaro Campos said the Swift board approved a donation of EUR3 million to the OLPC project last December. Monroy says this donation has enabled the foundation to ship out over 20,000 laptops to children in Nepal, Cambodia, Brazil, Rwanda and Paraguay.

Campossaid Swift had also committed a further EUR1 million this year and have provided office space for the OLPC Europe team at its offices in La Hulpe, Belgium.

Swift has also pledged to match donations made to the project through to the end of the year.

Last year Negroponte also told delegates of the 'Give 1 Get 1' scheme which enabled people in North America to purchase two XO laptops - one that will be sent to a child to learn in a developing nation and one that is received by the buyer. 

Following the success of that initative, the foundation is teaming with online retailer Amazon US to run the scheme again this year.

One Laptop per Child

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Comments: (1)

Nicholas Hacking
Nicholas Hacking - ERI Bancaire SA - Geneva 19 September, 2008, 12:47Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The actions of SWIFT are great, and I'm sure show the way forward. But it's a pity that several of the promises made at the 2007 SIBOS have not come to pass (e.g. being able to buy a laptop in Europe or UK and have a matching one sent to needy children). The volumes of machines disztributed don't match the earlier promises either.

In addition, why did they not try to sell machines at SIBOS itself? There are a lot of people with plenty of credit cards at SIBOS! Many could surely have been persuaded to buy a laptop (smaller than some give aways in terms of luggage space going hime) and in turn donate money or another laptop to a worthwhile cause.