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CPSR's 2003 Norbert Wiener Award

Working Groups
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility honors Mitch Kapor, internet pioneer and philanthropist, with its 2003 Norbert Wiener Award
October 25, 2003
Seattle, WA

CPSR's new President, Nathaniel Borenstein, notes "Mitch has long been a role model for anyone seeking to succeed in the cut-throat world of high tech business without sacrificing integrity and conscience. There are too few people who even attempt to combine these two kinds of contribution, and even fewer who succeed. Mitch Kapor is the best role model I know of for bright young engineers and scientists seeking to make a positive difference in the world".

When notified about winning the award, Mitch Kapor's reaction was , "Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility has long provided both a public voice and personal inspiration on the responsible use of information technology, and I'm very honored to be receiving the 2003 Norbert Wiener Award from CPSR."

Kapor founded Lotus Development Corporation in 1982 and designed Lotus 1-2-3, the "killer application" which made the personal computer ubiquitous in the business world in the 1980’s. He served as the President (later Chairman) and Chief Executive Officer of Lotus from 1982 to 1986 and as a Director until 1987. For more than 20 years, Mr. Kapor has been an investor in high-technology start-up companies (through Kapor Enterprises, Inc.) and an advisor to entrepreneurs. He was a founding investor of UUNET, Real Networks, and Groove Networks. From 1999 to 2001, Mr. Kapor was a partner at Accel Partners, a leading venture capital firm based in Palo Alto, California. Mr. Kapor has written articles, columns, and op-ed pieces on information infrastructure policy, intellectual property issues, and antitrust in the digital era to publications such as Scientific American, The New York Times, Forbes, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and Communications of the ACM.

In 1990 with John Perry Barlow, he co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and served as its chairman until 1994. Beginning in 1997, he created and endowed the Mitchell Kapor Foundation, a private foundation focused on environmental health, education, and the social impact of information technology.  Most recently, he founded the Open Source Applications Foundation. OSAF's mission is "to create and gain wide adoption of Open Source application software of uncompromising quality." Kapor has also been a behind the scenes supporters of several worthy groups including CPSR.

For more information on Mitch Kapor and his work, see his web site,

In honoring Kapor, CPSR celebrates 22 years of advocacy by its members to address social issues in computing. CPSR's mission is to share the knowledge of technology professionals to assist society in understanding the power, promise, and limitations of that technology. The Norbert Wiener Award was established in 1987 by CPSR in memory of the originator of the field of cybernetics, Norbert Wiener (1894-1964), whose pioneering work was one of the pillars on which modern computing technology was created. Wiener was among the first to examine the social and political consequences of computing technology. He devoted much of his energy to writing articles and books that would make the technology understandable to a wide audience. His books, The Human Use of Human Beings and God and Golem, Inc., were among the earliest works that opened a public discussion of computers and what they could do.

CPSR-- -- is an international public-interest alliance of computer scientists and others interested in the impact of information technology on society. CPSR attempts to direct public attention to difficult choices concerning the applications of computing and how those choices affect society. CPSR was founded in 1981 by computer professionals in the Silicon Valley concerned about the use of computers in nuclear weapons systems. CPSR has working groups and chapters throughout the world and is based in Palo Alto, CA.

The Norbert Wiener Award for Professional and Social Responsibility will be presented to Mitch Kapor at an awards dinner

7:00-9:00 p.m.
October 25, 2003
Daybreak Star Cultural Center
Discovery Park
Seattle, WA

in conjunction with CPSR's 2003 annual conference,
"Getting The Technology You Deserve: Community Participation In Regional Cable Franchise Policy."

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
Contact: Susan Evoy
Telephone: 650-322-3778

Learn about the Norbert Wiener Award and

Past Winners

The dinner registration form


Metro Trip Planning at . You will be able to select times and get trip info.

Map from Daybreak Star Center

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I care about the issues that CPSR concerns itself, and I don't have the resources or time to address them personally.