At a conference on the Participation Age held today at the United Nations, Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW - News) unveiled its Share the Opportunity global giving initiative designed to help eliminate the digital divide around the world. Jonathan Schwartz, president and chief operating officer of Sun Microsystems, also was named president of the board of the Sun Foundation, a separate non-profit foundation supported by contributions from Sun Microsystems. The Sun Foundation will be responsible for the direction and execution of Sun's charitable activities in support of sharing and the Participation Age.
"For 25 years, Sun has believed that sharing -- whether code, standards, or ideas -- is the key to increasing competition, delivering new innovation, and growing markets," said Scott McNealy, chairman, founder and chief executive officer at Sun Microsystems. "But right now, not everyone has the tools to participate. That's why Sun is committed to improving network accessibility and eradicating the digital divide -- because we believe that enabling a new wave of network participants will unlock and deliver untold economic and social value."
The Participation Age
Sun believes the world is entering a new era -- a Participation Age -- where dramatically lowered barriers to entry, plummeting device prices, and near-universal connectivity are driving a new round of network participation. From blogs to Java, SMS messages to Web services, participants are forming communities to drive change, create new businesses, new social services, and new discoveries. This growth in the network economy is fueled by sharing and collaboration among communities interconnected by technology and driven by purpose. Sun also believes that sharing and collaboration in the Participation Age will stimulate innovation to help all participants from across the world grow and prosper.
Demonstrating its continuing commitment, Sun is aligning its philanthropic efforts to drive participation. In China, India, Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya alone, Sun has granted millions of dollars in Academic Excellence Grants and donations in the last two years. Tens of thousands of students in China have had free access to Web-based courses. These and other programs will continue under the Share the Opportunity umbrella and thrive as the overall philanthropic efforts of Sun begin to focus specifically on increasing participation.