Walter Bender on His Resignation From OLPC


Walter Bender has finally spoken on his resignation from One Laptop Per Child. In an email to me, he says he doesn't know about any plans for Windows XP on the XO laptop, so my fears of a Microsoft take-over of OLPC may be unfounded.

olpc walter bender
Looking in from afar

In his exit statement on Community News, Walter's thoughts are focused on Open Source software:

The OLPC Association is making headway getting laptops into the hands of children and it is encouraging to see that other non-profit and for-profit organizations are following suit.

My personal interest is in helping build a community of developers, educators, and learners dedicated to advancing the quality of free and open source software for learning and the sharing of pedagogical approaches in this community by adopting the spirit and methodology of the open-source movement.

In his goal, I think we all can welcome Walter to the vibrant one laptop per child volunteer community who strongly support an open education project.

At the same time, I hope OLPC realizes that Walter's leaving represents a major trauma to the formal organization. More than Mary Lou Jepsen or Ivan Krstić, Walter Bender was OLPC on a day-to-day basis. In addition, he was the keeper of the education mission and his loss is a major blow to the constructionism mission.

With this level of organizational pain, Nicholas Negroponte needs to show that OLPC's reorganization is really going to increase educational impact, and he's not just moving deck chairs on the Titanic.

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Have a little faith Wayan ... there are a lot of people itching to work on this project. It is larger than both you and I.

Walters shoes will be filled and the global humanitarian cause will continue.

It will be okay. :)

I think that the lack of real information causes many to assume the worst. As nothing other than a G1G1 participant, I to worry about a large company running XO into the ground out of fear. Thanks Walter for all the work you have done to motivate the individuals around you, and I hope that you will be keeping your finger(s) in the project.

I think that many would like the OLPC project to keep the software open sourced. Anytime I see the possibility of Microsoft getting control no matter what they claim, I worry that the bottom line will win out over a more noble cause.

The best predictor of future activity is past behavior.



It is very nice and good post and I like it.

all right, intel, you got your fun and all, could you please shut this down? I used to like your products but you are making me not want to buy an Intel computer anymore thanks to your MS like behavior on these regards.

Uh, above commenter, what the hell are you talking about?

I'm going to miss Walters weekly reports.

I hope the person filling his shoes will keep us updated with what the amazing developers are doing.

If anything, Walter brought some normality to the crazy pace of XO and Sugar development.

I hope OLPC doesn't go belly up. I donated to them, and I just don't want to see it go to waste. I like the spirit of the campaign, and the innovation on the laptops they're making, very durable & adaptable. I wish folks would put egos and personal interests aside and focus on the goal of helping the children (which is why I donated).

He's talking about who runs Follow the money.