A global list celebrating “the people and organisations who are using digital technology to change the world for the better” has spotlighted a number of technological projects including Wikileaks, Bitcoin and Raspberry Pi.
The inaugural addition of the Nominet Trust 100 (NT100) admitted that whilst Wikileaks “may not be everyone’s cup of tea”, the site has created a “new model to combine investigative journalism and whistle blowing for the digital age, in the name of transparency, free speech and better government.”
Raspberry Pi, the hackable credit-card sized computer that has sold more than 1.2 million units, was recognised for “opening up basic programming to new generations as well as providing an ultra low cost computer in the developing world” whilst Bitcoin was the subject of tempered praise: “in time, Bitcoin might be seen as the innovation which opened up new approaches to money.”
These were only three of the projects recognised by the Nominet Trust, who noted that the UK was making its presence felt on the global stage, accounting for 20 per cent of the list’s socially responsible technologies.
As well as the Raspberry Pi project, UK-based entrants included Big White Wall, an anonymous online community for those suffering from mental health problems; Legislation.gov.uk, a ‘Magna Carta for the digital age’ that lists all the UK’s laws from the last 1,000 years; and Cell Slider, a crowd-sourced project backed by Cancer Research UK that lets citizens help scientists by analysing cell samples.
“Digital technology has already transformed how we communicate, how we work, how we buy and sell. But we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of ways that technology can be used to transform how we address complex social challenges,” said Annika Small, CEO of the Nominet Trust.
“In seeking people who are coming up with creative answers to the big issues of our times, we were bowled over by the scale of the response with hundreds of nominations from all over the world. But the NT 100 is not a definitive, final list – it’s the foundation for a dynamic resource that will inspire and inform other social entrepreneurs.”