Showing posts from February, 2006
Davos retrospective I'm looking back at my visit to Davos a few weeks ago, and pulling together some of the highlights. I've also had the benefit of getting some great photos sent by other people that I can use (thanks, Marketa!). The big one was taking my son, Jimmy, with me. We had a great time, and seeing things through Jimmy's eyes was quite helpful. People have asked if I've made any big scores as a result of attending the WEF this year. The answer is, I don't know yet! I made a bunch of new connections and strengthened many old relationships. I learned new things, especially from my social entrepreneur peers and other nontraditional attendees like the Young Global Leaders and the Tech Pioneers (the Forum invites a handful of new tech company founders to attend). Social change depends on people, and the best thing about the WEF is getting to connect with people who have greatly above average ability to influence social change, through their corporations

Foundation names Larry Brilliant chief

Big news from The most anticipated hire in social entrepreneurship for years has been made. Larry Brilliant is joining Google to run their foundation, according to this article from the SF Chronicle. And Larry's background with founding the Well and Seva Foundation is especially notable. Seva sent my buddy, David Green, to work with the Aravind Eye Hospital to some great results! The next year or two should be very interesting as sets forth on its path. Turns 4 One Book at a Time On February 21, 2002, we publicly launched our first Benetech initiative,,, an accessible online digital library with just over 6,000 titles for print-disabled individuals, persons who are either blind or otherwise visually-impaired, have learning disabilities such as dyslexia, or have other physical impairments that preclude their access to the printed word. While the cornerstone of the initiative (a website composed of member-contributed content) was not new, the intent and audience were revolutionary: provide a centralized clearing house for legally sharing the thousands of books that print-disabled individuals across the country were scanning, OCRing and converting into accessible formats at home for themselves. With currently over 25,750 books, has become the national repository of member-contributed scanned accessible books. Scanned books? Accessible books? What's the difference here? If yo
Counting the Human Cost in East Timor Our Human Rights Group just released the statistical report detailing widespread and systematic violations in Timor-Leste during the period 1974-1999. This report provides additional detail to the Timorese truth commission's recently released report "Chega!" ("Enough!") . Benetech's statistical analysis establishes that at least 102,800 (+/- 11,000) Timorese died as a result of the conflict. Approximately 18,600 (+/- 1000) Timorese were killed or disappeared, while the remainder died due to hunger and illness in excess of what would be expected due to peacetime mortality. This is core Benetech work: using science and technology to measure human rights abuse and provide careful analysis of the scale of such violations. For more information, check these links: Benetech's press release. Benetech Report. The data.


New Benetech Website, thanks to Skoll Foundation Thanks to the miracle of data, you're now able to see the new Benetech website, live at! This new site is the culmination of several months work from our staff and our web development partner, Mile7. It's our first complete overhaul of the site in more than four years, and we needed to reflect the maturity and breadth of Benetech's initiatives. We're also working to articulate the passion behind Benetech, so that people who invest the time to check us out on the web get an inkling of why we're so excited about what we do. We look forward to hearing your feedback, so we can build and improve on this new foundation for Benetech's web face! I want to specifically thank the Skoll Foundation for providing the capacity building grant that made it possible for us to get the help we needed to make this happen!