10 Years Honoring Innovators Benefiting Humanity

10 Years Honoring Innovators Benefiting Humanity

During Saturday night’s presentation of the Tech Awards in Santa Clara, California, I experienced a range of emotions as innovators who are using technology to benefit humanity were honored for their accomplishments.

First, I felt proud to be associated with Applied Materials, the founding and presenting sponsor of the Tech Awards which is a program of the Tech Museum. The Awards, in their 10th year, focus the spotlight on 15 individuals and organizations that are applying technology to find solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. There are a number of programs that honor the funders of social entrepreneurs but few seek to honor the individuals and organizations who literally change people’s lives every day, like the Tech Awards.

This year’s class of Laureates included those working on renewable energy such as ToughStuff with their lightweight personal use solar system; clean water through the work of Peer Water Exchange that is a global online network that serves as a clearinghouse to share water solutions; and improved health care for underserved communities around the globe from innovators like Daniel Fletcher and CellScope that combines diagnostic microscopy with cell phone convenience.

I was awed by the creativity, impact and diversity of the projects recognized in the five award categories: Education, Environment, Equality, Economic Development, and Health. Some of my favorite projects included software that adapts educational content to individual students learning levels, a needle-free vaccination injection system, and a gasification technology that filters gas from rice husks to power generators that make electricity.

Having the opportunity to hear Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan speak after she received the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award for her advocacy on behalf of human rights and education for all was inspirational.

And, finally, I was humbled by the perseverance and dedication of the Laureates who are working tirelessly to find ways to tackle challenges of massive scope and magnitude … especially for the 2.5 billion people who live at the bottom of our world’s pyramid. My sincere gratitude to The Tech, Santa Clara University, and all corporate sponsors who make this exceptional experience possible.

To learn more about the 2010 Tech Award Laureates, please visit the Tech Awards web site.

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