PUBLIC AFFAIRS


ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD AND RACEPOINT GROUP BRIDGING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE SOON AFTER THE LAUNCH OF ONE LAPTOP PER CHILD (OLPC), A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION THAT MANUFACTURES AND DISTRIBUTES LOW-COST LAPTOPS TO CHILDREN IN DEVELOPING NATIONS, IT BECAME CLEAR THAT OLPC NEEDED A GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGN TO HELP INFLUENCE GOVERNMENTS TO COMMIT TO THE PROGRAM. IT ALSO NEEDED TO PREEMPT EFFORTS BY INDUSTRY GIANTS, SUCH AS INTEL, TO DISCREDIT THE ORGANIZATION AND SHUT IT DOWN. RACING TO FORM OBJECTIVES OLPC TEAMED UP WITH THE RACEPOINT GROUP AND HAMMERED OUT THREE MAIN GOALS FOR THE CAMPAIGN: HELP GET AT LEAST 10 GOVERNMENTS INTERESTED IN WORKING WITH THE OLPC; FIGHT BACK WHEN IT CAME TO INTEL'S DISPARAGEMENT OF OLPC TO GOVERNMENTS; AND, FUND THE DELIVERY OF 100,000 XO LAPTOPS TO CHILDREN IN SOME OF THE WORLD'S POOREST NATIONS. TO PROVE THAT OLPC COULD DELIVER A FIRST-RATE, LOW-COST LAPTOP, RACEPOINT FED THE MEDIA A SERIES OF BREAKING NEWS ANNOUNCEMENTS IN THE AREAS OF HARDWARE/SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT, MANUFACTURING AND DISTRIBUTION. THEN, TO SQUARE OFF AGAINST INTEL, OLPC FOUNDER AND MIT PROFESSOR NICHOLAS NEGROPONTE WAS INTERVIEWED ON CBS' 60 MINUTES, WHERE HE CONTROVERSIALLY SAID, "INTEL SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF ITSELF" FOR DISPARAGING THE GOODWILL EFFORT.

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