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MIT Technology Review

35 Innovators Under 35

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  • Ethan Zuckerman

    28

    When Ethan Zuckerman went to Ghana in 1993 as a Fulbright scholar in percussion, he immediately tried to get online; he was a Usenet junkie and eager to e-mail his girlfriend (now his wife). But in bustling Accra, he found only one temperamental Net connection. Zuckerman later became vice president of R&D at Web-hosting company Tripod, which made him a dot-com millionaire, but he never forgot Ghanas inadequate communications. In July 1999 he left Tripod and in February 2000 cofounded Geekcorps in North Adams, MA. Geekcorps sends volunteers with information technology expertise to underdeveloped countries for four-month stints, where they help businesses-from furniture factories to radio stations-get online, expand sales and thus create jobs.One volunteer even helped launch the Ghanaian parliaments Web sites. Funded by foundations, aid agencies and private donors, Geekcorps has sent 35 tutors to Ghana and several other countries.A recent merger with the International Executive Service Corps gives Zuckerman the support to expand much further. Theres no shortage of volunteers; more than 1,100 people are on Geekcorpss waiting list.