World-Changing Ideas 2012, my letter to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Last week, Bill Gates previewed his fourth annual letter and invites students around the world to submit their own letters addressing what they think is the world's most pressing issue. Students can submit their letters to [email protected] through February 2nd, 2012.

I'd like for us to set the Microsoft talk aside and focus on this. I'm taking his message seriously, so here's my letter to the foundation.

Dear Bill and Melinda Gates foundation,
my name is Federico Pistono, I'm a computer scientist, author, and social activist.

I think the issues that need to be addressed swiftly are: access to clean water, food sovereignty, and education. All of them are enabled by access to the Internet. Here's a very brief overview of my plan:

  1. Millions of OLPC ($80 each, and Raspberry Pi ($25 each, to developing countries, with OSS software, Khan Academy, Wikipedia, and other educational resources preinstalled/preconfigured.
  2. Finance Open Source Ecology (, improve it and fine-tune it according to different locations and resource availability. Scale it and apply worldwide.
  3. Cost-effective water purification and desalinisation through fresnel lenses and other cheap DIY technology (I'm working on it as we speak). Open Source all designs.
  4. Free and unrestricted access to the Internet to developing countries through projects such as Buy This Satellite ( and WiMAX high-power antennas.
  5. Study, develop, and educate people about permaculture and hydroponics/aquaponics systems. Use each according to resource availability to achieve maximum efficiency. The goal is food sovereignty with as little labour as possible.

These five points require an in-depth thorough examination, which I am happy to explore if I have the chance to. There are also many more ideas that I would like to develop, as I study and learn more about the world.

Thank you for the attention and the work you do, I hope you consider the ideas presented in this letter to make the world a better place.
Federico Pistono

Open message to Salman Khan and the Nobel committee

The most awesome school in the world:

Help with translations and subtitles:

Music: WEEKENDS!!! (feat. Sirah) - Skrillex


theshow with zefrank closes down, ze, I will miss you!

Good-morning sports racers.

God, I love the sound of that.

I'll miss it.


I've been watching your show for a long time, ze. You have been of great inspiration to me. Unfortunately I recently had some problems watching your show, since I don't have internet access at my home anymore, and I'm preparing three exams at the university.

So what do I find out? You're closing out. I guess that makes sense. You were a vulcano of ideas and creativity. You've inspired me and many others, created a real community, a warm, spending community of people. After a while everybody runs out of ideas, and if you're not feeling it anymore I think it's right you stop, take a break.

If you haven't seen theshow you could not understand. These words may sound completely meaningless, unless you lived the ze experience.

I have been there. Twice. I have lots of unfinished-unpublished projects that I wanted to give you, ze, but I guess now it's too late.

Anyway, thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for the earth sandwitch, the songs, the ORG, the fun winter, the duckies. Thank you. (I wrote all the thank you, didn't copy-paste them).

This is so touching.

Syndicate content