Innovation seldom depends on discovering obscure or subtle elements but in seeing the obvious with fresh eyes. Billions of tea drinkers observed the force of steam escaping from water boiling in a kettle before James Watt realized that this vapor could be converted into energy. --Richard Farson

MIT's Humanitarian of the Year

MIT's Humanitarian of the Year

Jun 5, 2008-- Innovations need not be as complex as they are made out to be; in fact, it is often the simple ideas that have the deepest impact. Tapan Parikh, MIT Technology Review's Humanitarian of the Year, is a living example of that notion. Whether it is helping fair-trade coffee farmers ensure compliance in Guatemala or streamline micro-finance processes in Africa, Parikh is creating useful technology that serves the world's rural entrepreneurs. "Tapan was among the very first to recognize that cell phones, used for data rather than voice, were the right information device for the developing world. He's a real Pied Piper," adviser Ed Lazowska notes. (3563 reads)

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