Father of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee Draws 1,100 People to Siteimprove-hosted Event
Jun 01, 2017
COPENHAGEN, DK – June 1, 2017 – Nearly 800 developers, 200 students, their professors, and other curious tech enthusiasts turned up to hear the inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, speak at the historic Danish Royal Theatre in Copenhagen on May 18.
Berners-Lee was in a talkative mood when he met the Scandinavian tech and development community at the free Siteimprove-hosted event. Berners-Lee, who received the prestigious Turing Award in April—often referred to as “the Nobel Prize of computing"—spoke about what he referred to as the "re-decentralization" of the web.
When Berners-Lee created the web in 1989, it was a truly decentralized platform; anyone could create a website and link it to any other site. As the web grew from a basic knowledge-sharing tool used primarily by scientists into a global platform for commerce, communication, news, and entertainment, everything changed. Today, large companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon control much of the web, because they influence what people see and do online and have access to users’ private data.
During his keynote, Berners-Lee described how he is working against this trend as part of the Decentralized Information Group at MIT’s Laboratory for Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence (CSAIL). He envisions a future web where users have regained control of where their data is stored and how it is accessed. This work is done through an open-source project named "Solid" that aims to change the course of the internet’s development towards more decentralization and user control using new technology standards.
Solid encourages the network of small, individually isolated servers that was present during the internet's early years. During his speech, Berners-Lee explained some of the technicalities of the way he would like to see the web develop.
Berners-Lee was in Copenhagen to take part in the annual not-for-profit Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) hosted by Siteimprove during a major open-air event earlier that day. Digital accessibility for all, especially those with different disabilities and impairments, is widely recognized as the key to digital inclusion and has been a longstanding item on the European Union's agenda since the early 1990’s. Despite a range of policies, guidelines, and initiatives launched by countries, regions, and global alliances, the overall score card on web accessibility remains mixed at best—and highly insufficient at worst. This calls for action since people with disabilities are currently estimated to exceed one billion in the world.
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