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Kristine Pearson to Receive James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award

Press Release Date 
Thursday, November 3, 2005
The Tech Museum Awards today announced that Kristine Pearson, Executive Director of the Freeplay Foundation, will receive the 2005 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, Sponsored by Applied Materials, Inc., at its annual black-tie gala on November 9. Kristine Pearson has implemented revolutionary technology solutions that are having a profound impact on millions of people in Africa and around the world.

The Freeplay Foundation conducts humanitarian relief efforts by distributing wind-up and solar-powered radios. Freeplay's Lifeline radio was originally launched in Tanzania thanks to prize money Freeplay received as a 2001 Tech Awards Laureate. To date, almost 100,000 Lifelines are being used by an estimated 2 million villagers in 20 countries, mostly in Africa.

Lifeline radios provide information access to the poorest people in the world – many of whom don't know how to read a newspaper and have never even seen a light bulb. Freeplay Foundation's Lifeline radios are often the only way these villagers learn how to prevent AIDS and malaria, grow their crops more productively, take care of their animals, and learn about what their governments are doing.

"Kristine Pearson's broad vision and leadership, coupled with Freeplay's innovative technology, its creative application and the potential for replication in other countries, is changing millions of lives and solving critical challenges facing global society," said Mike Splinter, president and chief executive officer of Applied Materials. "It is fitting that Kristine receive this prestigious award for her outstanding work in South Africa and around the world."

"I am humbled to receive the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award. The self-powered Lifeline radio offers vulnerable populations a constant connection to the outside world," said Ms. Pearson. "I am grateful that access to information – a basic human right – also is being recognized today."

Pearson will be honored at a black tie gala at the Tech Museum, which will be attended and supported by Silicon Valley leaders and representatives from partners at the United Nations, The World Bank Institute, and Santa Clara University. Additionally, 25 laureates from 9 countries will be recognized for their pioneering work in developing technology for the benefit of humanity. Five of these Laureates will share a $250,000 cash prize.

For more information on the awards and this year's Laureates, visit

About The Tech Museum Awards
Annually, The Tech Museum Awards honor individuals, for-profit, public and not-for-profit organizations from around the world who apply technology to profoundly improve the human condition in the areas of environment, economic development, education, equality and health. The concept for The Tech Museum Awards and its five categories was inspired in part by The State of the Future report of The Millennium Project of the American Council for the United Nations University, which finds that award recognition is an effective way to accelerate scientific breakthroughs and technological applications to improve the human condition. The Tech Museum Awards were inaugurated in 2001. To date, $1 million in prize money has been disbursed and 100 Laureates recognized for their pioneering work to benefit society through the use and/or development of new technologies.

About the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award
The James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award was inspired by Jim's belief that technology transcends business and can be a tool to tap the potential in each of us, to turn ideas into solutions for a better world. The Award honors an individual or organization whose broad vision and leadership on a global scale are helping society find solutions to some of humanity's greatest challenges.

The Tech Museum Awards Partners
The Tech Museum Awards represent a collaborative effort among educational institutions and business. Silicon Valley leaders supporting The Tech Awards include presenting sponsor Applied Materials, Inc. and Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology, and Society. Category sponsors include Intel, Accenture, Microsoft, Agilent Technologies Foundation, Knight Ridder, and Applied Materials.

About The Tech Museum of Innovation
Located in the heart of downtown San Jose, Silicon Valley, Calif., The Tech is a non-profit organization that engages people of all ages and backgrounds in exploring and experiencing the technologies affecting their lives and aims to inspire the innovator in everyone. For more information, visit or call (408) 294-TECH.