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Posts Tagged ‘connectivity’

Hector Ruiz on TED Talks

Posted by ryancas on June 14, 2008

This video on TED Talks was really fantastic. Hector Ruiz is the CEO of AMD, who was born into a poor region in Mexico. His parents had no education, but they pushed for him and his four sisters to attend university so that they could better themselves. He gave that brief background of himself to put into context what his initiative was all about, and I think it really helped me wrap my head around the idea.

As head of one of the biggest companies in the world, the man has some power, and wants to use that power to improve our world as a whole. As such, his company has come up with a business plan to have half of the world’s population connected to the internet by 2015. It is a lofty goal to be sure, but steps are being taken through government bodies, companies, education systems, etc to achieve the goal.

Ruiz insists that in order for this goal to be possible, the technology needs to be useful, accessible and affordable to those that are needing it. What good are 10,000,000 educational laptops if the regions of the world that need them cannot come close to affording them?

That is when he brought up the fact that 50×15 is not a charity; it is a business venture through and through. He sees the potential to boost economies in regions souch as South Africa by housing the entire process inside their country. He argues that there is absolutely no point of just “parachuting technology” into foreign borders if the tenants of that country cannot grasp what has been given to them. By building software and hardware factories in countries such as these, where people can build the technology for their own people, the boost to the economy as well as the educational levels of the population would be tremendous.

The most endearing thing about his presentation, however,¬†was not his plans for a more connected world. What drew me to him was his passion for a better world…At the 4:50 mark he says something really empowering. One of the things his mother and father told him when he was young was that when he goes to bed at night, he should be able to look back on the day and honestly say that he contributed something to it. If every person could have this same outlook, can you imagine the benefits to society. He underscores this idea with an anecdote passed down from his father that is another gem to live by: In order for our world to make progress, each generation needs to do better than the previous generation. He meant this on an indvidual scale, not a societal scale because that is where the progress can truly be made. Ruiz’ father put pressure on him to be a better husband and father than he was himself, which would lead to being a better person overall… powerful stuff.


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