World Wide Web Foundation

The World Wide Web Foundation (Web Foundation) is a Swiss public charity (foundation) focusing on the use of ICT for Social Development. It has been announced in September 2008, and formally incorporated in 2009. Founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web and director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Web Foundation has been established by a task force of W3C, and its technical staff is coming from the W3C. The Web Foundation has three programs focusing on three specific challenges:

  • Web in Society Program: Creation of locally-relevant content on the Web is impeded for many people by the lack of knowledge and technology. Life-critical information and services are in limited supply, especially for those who need help the most. A first step toward filling the content gap, the Web Foundation works directly in the field to provide grass roots organizations, governments, NGOs and entrepreneurs with the knowledge, training and tools to share locally-relevant information more effectively.
  • Web Standard Program: More than one billion people who read poorly, read only languages not well-supported on the Web, or have disabilities are blocked from creating and exploring Web content because of inadequate Web technology and practice. To ensure that Web technologies fill identified gaps, and that technologies work together, the Foundation works with the World Wide Web Consortium, which develops free and open technical specifications and guidelines. Particularly important is accelerating standards work that removes barriers to Web use for those people now blocked because of literacy, language and ability.
  • Web Research Program: The Web is not just technology, but "humanity connected by technology". Even experts do not fully comprehend the complexity and potential of this evolving system of people, information and links. This is a risk to the creative, yet responsible, evolution of the Web. To address the knowledge gap, the Web Foundation collaborates with the Web Science Trust and its development of a new field of study: Web Science. Web Science seeks to educate the next generation of scientists who will improve our understanding of the Web's complex nature, and explore new technologies that could ultimately make the Web even more powerful for all people on the planet. The Foundation is also developing a Web Index, designed to measure growth and usage of the Web, and guide future investment in the Web.

Web Foundation will coordinate the technical and scientific aspects of the project, and will be in charge of the Mobile training lab WP (WP6). Web Foundation will also take part of the implementation of the pilot in the Sahel region.