This was the first time the gala was held at the Santa Clara Convention Center and was the largest attendance ever at 1,800 guests. Many attendees were legends in Silicon Valley’s tech community. Everyone had come to find out who the five winners would be and also to hear Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan.Queen Rania, this years’ James C. Morgan Humanitarian Award honouree, spoke purposefully, passionately and eloquently about the importance of education. She encouraged everyone to ‘dream the undreamt’ and to ‘imagine the unimaginable’.
After dinner the award winners were announced from a field of three finalists laureates in five categories:
• Intel Environment Award – Peer Water Exchange, a project of Blue Planet Network – Worldwide
• BD Biosciences Economic Development Award – Alexis T. Belonio, Center for Rice Husk Energy Technology
• Microsoft Education Award – BBC World Service Trust, BBC Janala
• The Katherine M. Swanson Equality Award – A Single Drop for Safe Water
• Nokia Health Award – Venkatesh Mannar, Micronutrient Initiative
In this year’s education category I was delighted that one of our partners, the BBC World Service Trust, won for their English language mobile phone programming in Bangladesh.
The Tech Awards have grown over the years into the world’s premiere awards for technology benefitting humanity and it will always be our honour to have been the very first winner. The iconic Lifeline radio – which is now retired and has been replaced by the Prime – is a featured display at the Tech Museum in Silicon Valley.
by Kristine Pearson in Santa Clara