Give a kid a firewall and you protect him for a day. Teach a kid to surf and you protect him for a lifetime
In so many places and in so many ways we have to stop the give-mode and move on to the teach-mode. In a completely different context, sometimes I think we get the whole concept of aid wrong as a result: how many studies do we have to read that tell us that a dollar of trade is worth a hundred dollars of aid?
Giving per se is not a bad thing. I tend to think of human beings as fundamentally altruistic rather than selfish, man is a social animal. But sometimes, the process of giving actually creates a dependency; instead, we should be concentrating on developing the people we give to, be it in the classroom or even in emerging nations.
Way back in 1974, I remember a maths teacher of mine telling the class, upon meeting them for the first time:
From today, you will impress me, not by the answers you give, but by the questions you ask
It’s all about education, access, empowerment and opportunity. Whether in education, enterprise or government, the answer’s the same. The web provides us immense opportunity to extend all this. Unless we continue to get it wrong in the context of Identity, Intellectual Property and the Internet (which we are wont to do).