Congratulations to Kristin Peterson, 2011 ITU World Telecommunication and Information Society Award Recipient
The International Telecommunications Union is marking the 146th anniversary of its establishment on 17 May this year by recognizing three eminent personalities who have contributed to the ongoing digital revolution, with the 2011 ITU World Telecommunication and Information Society Award in recognition of their dedication to promoting ICTs as a means of providing a better life for humanity, particularly in rural communities:
- President of Finland, Tarja Halonen,
- Telecommunication innovator, Sam Pitroda,
- CEO of Inveneo, Kristin Peterson
ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré lauded the work of the three eminent laureates:
“Information and communication technologies are constantly reshaping the way the world communicates while creating opportunities for a better life through long-term, sustainable development, not least among the most disadvantaged sections of our society,” Dr Touré said.
“As we focus on extending the reach of ICTs to the remotest rural communities in every corner of the world, it is my pleasure to honour those who have dedicated themselves to harnessing the full potential of ICTs so that we can all enjoy a more productive, peaceful and — in every way — a better life, particularly in rural areas.”
The Awards were presented on 17 May 2011 at a ceremony at ITU headquarters in Geneva on World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD).
This year’s theme for WTISD, “Better Life in Rural Communities with ICTs” brings attention to those who reside in rural districts and far flung communities — half the global population, or nearly 3.5 billion people — representing the poorer, less educated, and more deprived cousins of the world’s urban citizens. Among them are as many as 1.4 billion of the world’s extremely poor people, who are also among the least connected to the benefits of ICTs.
In accepting the World Telecommunication and Information Society Award, Kristin Peterson noted that delivering technology to rural communities can present many challenges, including environmental factors such as heat, dust and humidity as well as lack of power.
“At Inveneo we have made it our mission to find the right technologies that can help organizations in these communities — schools, clinics, relief camps — successfully use ICTs to deliver better vital services,” said Peterson.
“So we’ve been building an eco-system of certified in-country ICT entrepreneurs that we partner with around the world. Together, with these partners, we are implementing projects that range from solar-powered computer labs going in to hundreds of schools in Uganda and Tanzania, to building a rural broadband network in rural Haiti.”
Kristin Peterson is the co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Inveneo, a non-profit social enterprise focusing on information and communication technologies in rural areas throughout the developing world. She has led Inveneo’s efforts to provide ICT to deliver education, health care, economic development and relief projects in Haiti and in 25 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Inveneo has also worked in partnership with ITU in delivering training in low-cost rural wireless networking in developing countries, such as Kenya, Uganda and the Caribbean.