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Mark Shuttleworth dialog?

Last post 10-03-2006, 7:10 PM by adastra. 0 replies.
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  •  10-03-2006, 7:10 PM 10178

    Hmm [^o)] Mark Shuttleworth dialog?

    'If we are to lift Africa from her current circumstances, we will need a generation of learners that are gifted with curiosity about the world in which they live, and the tools to understand and shape that world'

    - Mark Shuttleworth

    I'd love to see Mark Shuttleworth do a dialog on Integral Naked.  He started the Ubuntu project to make a free, poweful operating system available to everyone in the world in their own language - donating $10 million of his own money to that cause.  He founded the Shuttleworth Foundation to promote social innovation, especially in education, and to top it all off, he's one of the few civilians (so far) who have been in space!  This guy is cool...and sounds kinda integral to me.  If he's so keen on the Linux O/S, I wonder how he'd feel about the Integral O/S?


    Mark studied finance and information technology at the University of Cape Town, and went on to found Thawte, a company specialising in digital certificates and internet privacy. He sold Thawte to US company VeriSign in 1999, and founded HBD Venture Capital and The Shuttleworth Foundation. He moved to London in 2001, and began preparing for the First African in Space mission, training in Star City and Khazakstan. In April 2002 Mark flew in space, as a cosmonaut member of the crew of Soyuz mission TM34 to the International Space Station. In early 2004 he founded the Ubuntu project, which aims to produce a free, high quality desktop OS for everybody.

    Mark at home

    The Long Version

    Mark Shuttleworth is an African entrepreneur with a love of technology, innovation and space flight.

    He funds HBD Venture Capital, an investment company based in South Africa, along with The Shuttleworth Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to social innovation in Africa with a particular focus on education. He currently lives in London, where he is an active member of the Ubuntu community - working to create a universal, freely available high quality desktop software environment for everyone.

    Mark was born in the dusty gold-mining town of Welkom in South Africa, and grew up in beautiful Cape Town. His passion for technology first showed up as a love of computer games. While studying towards a Business Science degree in Finance and Information Systems at the University of Cape Town (UCT) he first encountered the Internet, and quickly became intrigued by the changes it would bring in business and society.

    In 1995, his final year at UCT, Mark founded Thawte, as an Internet consulting business. The focus of the company quickly shifted to Internet security for electronic commerce. Thawte became the first company to produce a full-security e-commerce web server that was commercially available outside the United States. This brought Thawte to the world of public key infrastructure, which is the basis for all encrypted and authenticated Internet transactions. Thawte was one of the first companies to be recognized by both Netscape and Microsoft as a trusted third party for web site certification, and it quickly established a leadership position helping businesses around the world accept secure transactions over the web. By 1999 Thawte was fastest-growing internet certificate authority, and was the leading certificate authority outside of the USA. Mark sold Thawte to VeriSign in December 1999 and began to look for new challenges.

    Believing that entrepreneurs in South Africa have the potential to start businesses with global impact, Mark formed a new venture capital team called HBD. The name is a reference to the phrase “Here Be Dragons”, which legend has it was used to describe uncharted territory on early maps. HBD seeks to invest in innovative companies that are based in South Africa but that have the potential to serve a global marketplace. HBD has invested in several South African companies in a variety of sectors, such as software, pharmaceutical services, electronics and mobile phone services.

    In the hope that risk capital can be as important for social development as it is for the economy, Mark has also created a non-profit organisation that supports social innovation in education in Africa. The Shuttleworth Foundation funds projects that have the potential to bring about dramatic improvements to some aspect of the education system and hopes to improve both the quality and the reach of education in Africa. The Foundation has worked in all 9 provinces of South Africa, funding initiatives from teachers, small businesses and private individuals. The Foundation is also an advocate of the role of open-source software in education and in developing countries.

    In April 2002 Mark realised a lifelong dream to fly in space. He spent a year working on the project, including seven months of formal training at Star City in Russia, and almost as much time in medical testing, science program development and negotiations. The First African in Space project was without doubt the most challenging and exciting project any geek could wish for. He was a member of the crew of Soyuz TM-34, launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan and docked with the International Space Station two days later. The mission included 8 days working on the ISS, conducting a program of South African science experiments and enjoying the extraordinary environment of weightlessness before coming back to earth with a bump. Since then, he has worked on a roadshow to share that experience as well as his excitement about science, mathematics and technology with pupils across South Africa. The science and maths show has been seen by more than 100,000 pupils from nearly 2,000 schools. It has spawned a plethora of initiatives under the Hip2BSquare brand, which aim to make mathematics and science sexy to pupils who are choosing their subjects for high school.

    In between projects Mark tends to focus on catching up with the world of technology, particularly software and the web, in the search for new ideas and opportunities.

    In early 2004, Mark founded the Ubuntu project, which aims to produce a high quality desktop software environment that is freely available all over the world. The project brings together the very best of the free software stack, and has resulted in the creation of a number of unique tools for free software developers, such as the Bazaar version control system and Sub-projects include specialised desktop environments for schools, and for the needs of people in specific countries or industries, such as Edubuntu and Kubuntu.

    Likes: spring, cesaria evora, slashdot, chelsea, finally seeing something obvious for the first time, daydreaming, coming home, sinatra, sundowners, durbanville, flirting, string theory, particle physics, linux, python, mp3s, reincarnation, snow, mig-29s, travel, lime marmalade, mozilla, body shots, leopards, the african bush, rajhastan, russian saunas, weightlessness, broadband, iain m banks, skinny-dipping, fancy dress, flashes of insight, inexplicable happinesses, post-adrenaline euphoria, fast convertibles on country roads, clifton, the international space station, artificial intelligence.

    Dislikes: admin, legalese, running, wet grey winters, salary negotiations, public speaking.

    "All you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people." -Eugene Pallette as Alexander Bullock in MY MAN GODFREY
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