Intel chairman Craig Barrett kicked off the annual Intel Developer Forum by applauding developers for technology innovation, but then challenged them to do more in the areas of education, economic development, healthcare, and energy conservation. Putting his money where his mouth is, Barrett announced the Intel Inspire-Empower Challenge, a contest that rewards innovation by offering $100,000 to winners in each of the four categories.
"Technology is a tool to address some of the world's most pressing challenges related to health care, education, economic development and the environment," said Barrett, who also chairs a United Nations initiative on technology in the developing world. "No nations or individuals are untouched by these issues. Get involved. Be part of the solution."
Barrett said that education is the foundation for innovation and that 85 percent of the world's 15- to 24-year-old youth live in developing countries. He said that many of the 30-some countries he visits each year are investing in technology to create new, improved models for learning.
The Intel chairman also highlighted how technology is being used to create global entrepreneurs and drive economic development. He said numerous organizations are using technology to provide budding businesspeople with access to expertise, resources and funds.
In healthcare, Barrett said technology has the potential to transform health care in mature and developing economies. Barrett also described how technology can help address climate change. He said that the technology sector only accounts for 2 percent of the global carbon dioxide footprint. He said there are many ways to creatively use technology to reduce the remaining 98 percent of emissions. For example, UPS uses GPS technology and special scheduling software that saved delivery trucks 3 million miles in a single month.