The University of Southampton

Tim Berners-Lee receives inaugural Gorbachev Award

Published: 31 March 2011

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, was honoured last night at a special 80th birthday celebration for former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, held at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Mr Gorbachev had chosen Sir Tim Berners-Lee, along with Ted Turner and Evans Wadongo, as the first recipients of the Mikhail Gorbachev awards.

Sir Tim holds a Chair of Computer Science in ECS-Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton. He is 3COM Founders Professor of Engineering at Massachussetts Institute of Technology, and Director of the World Wide Web Consortium.

The Inaugural Gorbachev Awards were presented in three categories, intended to reflect the former Soviet leader's own achievements in the world. Mr Gorbachev, who turned 80 earlier this month, is widely credited with ending the Cold War and won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1992.

The three ‘Man Who Changed the World’ awards were:

‘Glasnost’, awarded to Ted Turner for his ‘contribution to the development of the culture of an open world’. Ted Turner is also a philanthropist who donated one billion dollars to the United Nations.

‘Uskorenie’ was awarded to Mr Wadongo for his "contribution to the development of modern science and technology". Mr Wadongo invented a solar-powered LED lantern at 18 and founded Sustainable Development for All-Kenya.

‘Perestroika’ was awarded to Sir Tim for his "contribution to the development of global civilisation". Sir Tim created the World Wide Web in 1990.

Mr Gorbachev said: "These three people have each, in their own way, changed the world for their fellow men and women in ways which affect all our lives. Each and every one possesses the ability to make a difference and the Gorbachev Awards have been established to those people who achieve this and to provide inspiration to all of us to try."

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