OLPC Will Remain a Non-Profit

A letter to the editor from Rodrigo Arboleda, Chairman of the OLPC Association:

The story in today’s Boston Business Journal about One Laptop per Child requires certain clarification:

1.     OLPC will continue as a non-profit organization in order to carry out its traditional role advocating for 1:1 computing in developing countries as a means to provide a modern education to children.

2.     OLPC will continue as a non-profit organization in its activities to arrange and manage laptop deployments around the world.

3.     OLPC continues to believe that non-profit status enables it to more effectively communicate on the issues of children and education without the possible taint of commercial self-interest.

OLPC is exploring many avenues for the further development of its educational software on new operating systems and computing platforms.  If such activities are pursued, it may require capital from traditional capital markets such as venture capitalists.  These funding sources may prefer to invest in a new type of vehicle labeled “Profitable Social Enterprises”, which would be a subsidiary of OLPC, but would have no effect on the traditional mission, methods or objectives of OLPC. This new subsidiary may develop its products for the U.S. market for a fee, but it is expected that the software would be made available in the developing world for free. This is all part of a new breed of philanthropy being developed that does not contradict the OLPC spirit or mission.

Rodrigo Arboleda

Chairman and CEO

One Laptop per Child Association