A Technology Corps

Technology Review talks about an organization to let technologists put their skill to work in developing countries. Geekcorps fills in the gap left by the Peace Corps for volunteers with technological expertise. Launched by Ethan Zuckerman, who cofounded the successful Web service company Tripod, Geekcorps sends SWAT teams of technologists into the field to give the world's poorest people access to the Internet. The Geekcorps folk work with local communities to build the infrastructure needed to bootstrap local businesses. In an interesting echo of the Peace Corps, this outfit too began in Ghana. In fact, that's where the idea first came to Zuckerman: he went there on a Fulbright scholarship in 1993. Geekcorps volunteers spend four months on the ground in developing nations, working to help partner businesses on a technical level. This corps of people and backers is largely drawn from the pool of successful U.S. technocrats.