LONDON, England – Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most important and well-known speakers lined up for Nokia World in September is Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.
Famously, Sir Tim invented the Web as a side project while working at the CERN research facility near Geneva in 1989. He wrote the first Web client and server in 1990 and his specifications for web addresses and HTML formed the basis of what we still use today.
Nowadays, as well as holding professorships at both MIT and the University of Southampton, he’s Director of the W3C, the consortium that decides on interoperable web standards. He’s also Director of the World Wide Web Foundation, an organisation dedicated to finding ways to allow the Web to benefit humanity.
We haven’t had access to his notes, but both those roles will undoubtedly influence what Sir Tim has to say in his keynote speech. Mobile changes and challenges conceptions of what the Web is and can do, while the potential of Mobile Web applications to offer better chances for people in remote, deprived areas is still just starting to be tapped through the development of applications like Nokia Life Tools and Nokia Money.
Speaking back in 2007, Sir Tim called for universal access to the Web for the sake of global harmony:
… many of us are hoping that a low-cost open platform will have a much greater penetration in what we currently call the developing world. I personally believe that it is important to humanity to connect peoples across the world as widely as possible. I think we must preserve the diversity of cultures and ideas. But also I think we must connect people to give more global harmony. We should not add connectivity to the long list that the richer countries have and the poorer ones do not, a list which of course has clean water, health care and peace pretty near the top.
And here’s a video of Sir Tim calling for open, linked data for the benefit of humanity at the TED conference last year:
It’ll be really fascinating to see how Sir Tim draws together these themes at the conference.