Thursday, October 02, 2008

Paul Newman, enabling GIS for disadvantaged communities

I had heard that Paul Newman had died this last weekend, and was reflecting on his vast career as an actor.  Many of you know how active he was as a philanthropist and an entrepreneur (Newman’s Own brand of whatever).  However this one surprised me because his generosity enabled those in my industry to help others around the world.

      Like drew Stephens, Director, The GIS Institute, Service at Sea I was also saddened this past week-end to hear about the passing of Paul Newman. What I wasn't aware of was how Newman reached so many people through his generosity, including the GIS Community. In a touching letter, Stephens described how in 2006, Newman's funding for The GIS Institute provided the seed capital to run our first proof-of-concept trip "Service for Africa", a six week project that delivered GIS training for over 100 people from 20 different conservation organizations in five African countries.

I didn’t always agree with what Paul Newman was about, but he stands as an example of what people in advantageous positions should be doing with their wealth.

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