September 15, 2008 Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web and from the beginning a strong advocate for keeping it free and open to everyone, has officially unveiled an organization designed to do just that. The World Wide Web Foundation states its goal as seeking "to advance One Web that is free and open, to expand the Web's capability and robustness, and to extend the Web's benefits to all people on the planet."
With a launch set for early 2009, the Foundation has received a kick-start to its funding in the form of a $5 million seed grant over five years from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
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"The Web is a tremendous platform for innovation, but we face a number of challenges to making it more useful, in particular to people in underserved communities," said Berners-Lee. "Through this new initiative, we hope to develop an international ecosystem that will help shape the future Web. A more inclusive Web will benefit us all."
The Foundation aims to advance the Web's advancement and growth through programs related to research, technology, and social development, the latter focussing initially on underserved populations and how the Web can benefit these communities at a grass-roots level.
"The Web Foundation will bring together business leaders, technology innovators, academia, government, NGOs, and experts in many fields to tackle challenges that, like the Web, are global in scale," said Berners-Lee. "The Web Foundation is in the unique position of being able to learn from the results of projects to accelerate the evolution of the Web."
A transcript of Sir Tim Berners-Lee's speech is available here.