Jonathan Schwartz Named President of the Board of the Sun Foundation
At a conference on the Participation Age held today at the United Nations, Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: SUNW) unveiled its Share the Opportunity global giving initiative designed to help eliminate the digital divide around the world. Jonathan Schwartz, president and chief operating officer of Sun Microsystems, also was named president of the board of the Sun Foundation, a separate non-profit foundation supported by contributions from Sun Microsystems. The Sun Foundation will be responsible for the direction and execution of Sun’s charitable activities in support of sharing and the Participation Age.
“For 25 years, Sun has believed that sharing – whether code, standards, or ideas – is the key to increasing competition, delivering new innovation, and growing markets,” said Scott McNealy, chairman, founder and chief executive officer at Sun Microsystems. “But right now, not everyone has the tools to participate. That’s why Sun is committed to improving network accessibility and eradicating the digital divide – because we believe that enabling a new wave of network participants will unlock and deliver untold economic and social value.”
The Participation Age
Sun believes the world is entering a new era – a Participation Age – where dramatically lowered barriers to entry, plummeting device prices, and near-universal connectivity are driving a new round of network participation. From blogs to Java, SMS messages to Web services, participants are forming communities to drive change, create new businesses, new social services, and new discoveries. This growth in the network economy is fueled by sharing and collaboration among communities interconnected by technology and driven by purpose. Sun also believes that sharing and collaboration in the Participation Age will stimulate innovation to help all participants from across the world grow and prosper.
Demonstrating its continuing commitment, Sun is aligning its philanthropic efforts to drive participation. In China, India, Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya alone, Sun has granted millions of dollars in Academic Excellence Grants and donations in the last two years. Tens of thousands of students in China have had free access to Web-based courses. These and other programs will continue under the Share the Opportunity umbrella and thrive as the overall philanthropic efforts of Sun begin to focus specifically on increasing participation.
Share the Opportunity Initiative
Share the Opportunity is a global giving initiative that will focus Sun’s worldwide philanthropic efforts on increasing network accessibility and providing opportunities for global economic growth and social progress. For instance, working with Gifts In Kind International, the world’s leading charity in the field of product philanthropy, Sun will provide the StarOffice Productivity Suite (www.sun.com/staroffice) to eligible non-profits and NGOs in the United States and around the world. (See related release: www.sun.com/news)
“Eliminating the digital divide is good policy, and good business,” said Jonathan Schwartz. “The next generation of engineers, scientists, diplomats, business leaders, journalists, artists, and consumers need the network to participate in global opportunity. We’re working hard to expand opportunities, and make those opportunities reachable for everyone irrespective of culture, nationality or economic means.”
Sun will continue to build additional campaigns as part of the Share the Opportunity initiative and work with organizations worldwide dedicated to the same mission. For example, the United Nations Youth Leadership Summits, a U.N. initiative to mobilize and train a new generation of leaders in the developing world, shares a similar vision.
“The United Nations Youth Leadership Summits are an effort to engage young people in working toward the achievement of the millennium development goals by 2015. We hope other organizations join Sun to further people-to-people connections and participation, especially with regards to the youth,” said Dr. Djibril Diallo, spokesperson for the president of the General Assembly of the United Nations and chair of the United Nations Youth Summits. “Credibility is shown, not just by attending conferences, but also by taking action.”
Connecting communities and fueling collaboration has been the core of Sun’s business since inception. Sun has contributed more code to the open source community than any other entity, and has opened up technologies such as NFS, TCP/IP, Java technology, OpenOffice.org and the OpenSolaris Operating System to stimulate network growth and opportunity for everyone. Sun’s employees exemplify the spirit of the Participation Age, and since 1995 they have donated more than 220,000 volunteer hours to a variety of projects worldwide. Since the inception of its Foundation, Sun has matched more than $15 million in employee gifts. Sun’s award-winning volunteer program continues to set an example for giving through employees’ generosity and sharing of time, expertise, knowledge and innovation.
Sun’s Participation Age Event at the United Nations
Today’s conference at the United Nations was the first in a series of interactive discussions sponsored by Sun Microsystems on how organizations can help accelerate the rise of the Participation Age. Moderating today’s event was David Kirkpatrick of Fortune, and the panel included John Gage, chief researcher at Sun and a member of the United Nations Information and Communications Technology Taskforce; Dr. Djibril Diallo, chair of the United Nations series of Youth Summits; Justin Shaffer, VP and chief architect at mlb.com; and Andrew Zolli, technologist and futurist-in-residence at National Public Radio and National Geographic.
Information on the Share the Opportunity initiative, the Participation Age and upcoming events can be found at www.sun.com/share.
About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — “The Network Is The Computer” — has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at http://sun.com
Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Solaris, Java, OpenSolaris, StarOffice and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.