Nicholas Negroponte

Nicholas Negroponte ( born 1943 in New York City ) is an American computer scientist and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is co-founder of the MIT Media Lab and the figurehead of the nonprofit One Laptop Per Child initiative.

He is the younger brother of former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte.


Negroponte was the son of the Greek shipowner Dimitri John Negroponte and his wife Catherine Coumantaros in New York's Upper East Side.

He studied at MIT, where he specialized after his graduation on the topic of computer-aided design. In 1966 he joined the faculty of MIT. Then he held for several years in addition to the MIT professor and those at Yale University, the University of Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley.

In 1968 he was co-founder of the MIT Architecture Machine Group, a think tank that produced innovative thinking and new approaches to the interface problem in the context of human-computer interaction.

In 1985 Negroponte founded the MIT Media Lab.

Known for its innovative approaches, Negroponte worked as a director at Motorola, Partner was a venture capital firm in digital technologies for information and entertainment. He placed the funding for more than 40 start -up companies ready. His most famous is the financing of Wired Magazine.

From this risk - financing a fruitful collaboration developed. From 1993 to 1998, he wrote a monthly column in Wired, in which he also repeatedly brought his credo "Move bits, not atom ".

Nicholas Negroponte summed up later 18 of these columns together into a book. He published it in 1995 under the name of Being Digital ( German for Total Digital ). This book was a bestseller shortly after its publication. In it he carefully considers the recent history of information technology and are a now accomplished as correctly forecast that the interactive world, the world of entertainment and the world will merge the information eventually. The book Being Digital has been translated into more than 40 languages ​​and thus was a worldwide success.

On 23 October 1998, the Swatch Internet Time, developed Negroponte, was launched.

In 2000, Negroponte was appointed as part of the 01- Award of the University of the Arts Berlin Honorary Professor at the University of Arts Berlin. The jury's decision was unanimous. In the grounds for his honor was argued that it represents the most important figure in the field of new media and has made ​​an outstanding contribution to the cultural development of our media society and still does. Professor Lothar Romain, President of the Berlin University and chairman of the jury, Negroponte praised as a " scientist, author, mentor, professor and visionary of our society, who never lost with a high degree of social responsibility and competence of the ambivalence of global media development from view. In all his activities he acts as a catalyst bringing a special setting and creative power creative processes. "

In recent years Negroponte was increased by the One Laptop Per Child ( OLPC ) project much public attention. As chairman of this non-profit society, he managed along with other colleagues at MIT to develop a full-fledged laptop on GNU / Linux-based for use in schools ( e-learning). Thus, the project is intended to counteract the development of the digital divide between industrialized and emerging countries and facilitate each child's connection to the digital age.

In January 2005, Nicholas Negroponte presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos to the public the Hundred Dollar Laptop Project ( HDLP ). On 16 November 2005, Negroponte presented together with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at the World Summit on the Information Society first copies of the 100 dollar laptop. Originally Advised price of $ 100 but so far could not be reached. At the start of mass production he is 188 U.S. dollars.

Since 2006, Nicholas Negroponte has dedicated himself to the continuation of the $ 100 laptop project. He describes it as one of the most important projects of the digital age.


  • Being Digital. Knopf, New York 1995, ISBN 0-340-64930-5
  • Total Digital. The world between 0 and 1 or the future of communication. Munich 1997 ISBN. 3,570,122,018th