In July 2009, I helped start an organization called The Awesome Foundation in Boston. The basic idea is 10 “trustees” get together every month to pick the most awesome project submitted. That project then receives $100 from each trustee to create a $1,000 grant with no strings attached. We see this as filling a gap in philanthropy in which it’s nearly impossible to find small amounts of money for inspiring ideas that fail to fit into established categories of social good.
While we deliberately maintain no specific criteria for awesome projects, we have come to appreciate certain qualities that recur in the projects we fund. The following are five key qualities of awesome that I rely on, and how they are reflected in one of our earliest grants to Lee Altman’s “Eco-pod Armada” project involving easy-to-assemble aquatic phytoremediation devices to clean New York City’s East River.
For my RIT International Studies Thesis, I looked at four examples of political ICT use in Estonia in the context of contemporary egovernment terminology and European “information society” initiatives as a case study in egovernment innovation.
This undergraduate thesis seeks to provide an overview of the successful adoption of information and communication technologies by the Post-Soviet government of Estonia—i.e. the successful promotion of an information society via e-Government. Furthermore, the paper argues that the consistent and proactive endorsement of these activities by enforceable legislative means is the most significant factor leading to the successful utilization of new technologies; a point which has led to Estonia boasting better than average and trendsetting regional and world rankings for e-Government performance. To these ends the terms of Information Society, e-Government, e-Democracy, e-Gov Databases, e-voting, and e-Gov web portals have been workably defined; and the correlating policies and information and communication technology end products (currently in use by the Estonian citizenry) have been detailed.