Rodrigo Arboleda honored as 2012 “100 Colombians” Photo: Kien&Ke
Rodrigo Arboleda, Chairman and CEO of One Laptop per Child
Association) was honored last Wednesday December 5, in a ceremony presided over by President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia as a 2012 recipient of the “100 Colombians”.
President Juan Manuel Santos
The award annually recognizes Colombian-born individuals living outside Colombia for their exceptional contribution to the country and the world. Arboleda was recognized for his leadership of OLPC and for his thirty year effort to introduce IT technology in the schools in Colombia, his birthplace.
Arboleda’s first project in IT technology for Colombian children began in 1982 when he convinced then President Belisario Betancur to introduce an online learning platform developed by his classmate Nicholas Negroponte and the French government.
In 2008 Arboleda worked with then Minister of Defense Santos to launch an OLPC 1:1 learning project in a previously FARC guerrilla controlled part of Colombia. Today through his efforts there are over 30,000 OLPC laptops in use by children across Colombia, most
recently in the town of Itagui, Antioquia, and new projects with government, non-profit
and private sector organizations are being added monthly. Itagüi
Arboleda is also a founding member of the Give To Colombia Foundation, and an active member of their Board of Directors. He was, for 6 years, a member of the board of Trustees of Save The Children Foundation, one of the largest charities in the world.
“I have worked tirelessly for my native Colombia to improve the quality of children’s
education and the support of so many organizations has been instrumental to this
success” said Arboleda. “I am honored to be recognized for my efforts and for President
Santos’s involvement in this event. I look forward to giving back to my native Colombia
for many more years to come”, said Arboleda.