Judging the 2006 Rolex Awards

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

I’ve had the huge privilege over the past two days to be on the panel helping select this year’s Rolex Awards for Enterprise.

It’s inspiring to see the diversity of amazing projects that were shortlisted – on the one hand that made the debate all the more difficult, on the other hand I felt that each project had much to recommend itself. You’ll have to wait till October to find out the winners! Anyhow, for the record, it’s fantastic to see individuals with courage and vision getting the chance to pursue their dreams with the support of an award like that. If you know someone – anyone – doing original and visionary things with whatever time and resources they have to hand in the fields of exploration, heritage, the environment… urge them to apply for the next round.

Perhaps the best bit for me was the panel itself. Most often when I have the pleasure of meeting someone I really admire the meeting is necessarily short – we’ve both got to run to the next meeting, and the next time we’re likely to be able to coordinate a meeting in person is months away. Here we had long, intense discussions about the projects, which become a proxy for the challenges facing the world at large. And so you really get to see what people think are important, and why. A great two days. Tomorrow, I’m off to San Fran for the MySQL user conference, then NYC for the weekend and on home to London to get ready for The Drake.

2 Responses to “Judging the 2006 Rolex Awards”

  1. John Kotsaftis Says:

    Hi Mark,

    One of your old school comrades here 🙂 Ive been doing some thinking about Linux and esp. Ubuntu (which I think is a great product by the way – even though Im now on a mac). Ive been thinking about how you are going to keep the Ubuntu pump primed without having to fork out further investment and make it self-sustaining.

    One of the ideas I was working on was contextual advertising. You may have thought of it before, its not unique as a concept, of course, hence web 2.0 etc but…..imagine if there was a way one could easily integrate contextual advertising into the UI (AdSense for instance), the proceeds of which would go into the Ubuntu pot which would then be administered as a trust which would pay bounties, do marketing etc etc……it will give Ubuntu the impetus it needs, yet keep the product philanthropic and wont make one individual rich……

    The quid pro quo for the user is they get a great product, in exchange for some advertising real estate in their OS.

    Dumb idea?


  2. Rahcyan Says:

    i wish you will watch at this project…. it need help and I think it can interrest you…