Ivan Kristic quit OLPC in March due to an internal restructure. The details are not fully explained in his blog but there is enough there to be worrying:
"Not long ago, OLPC undertook a drastic internal restructuring coupled with what, despite official claims to the contrary, is a radical change in its goals and vision from those that were shared with me when I was invited to join the project."Today I discovered that Walter Bender has also quit, issuing this polite explanation:
After more than two years without a break at One Laptop per Child, I have decided to take some time to reflect on how I can best contribute going forward to the goal of giving children around the world opportunities for a quality learning experience. The OLPC Association is making headway getting laptops into the hands of children and it is encouraging to see that other non-profit and for-profit organizations are following suit. My personal interest is in helping build a community of developers, educators, and learners dedicated to advancing the quality of free and open source software for learning and the sharing of pedagogical approaches in this community by adopting the spirit and methodology of the open-source movement.So why is it that Walter can't help "build a community of developers, educators, and learners dedicated to advancing the quality of free and open source software for learning and the sharing of pedagogical approaches in this community by adopting the spirit and methodology of the open-source movement" from within the OLPC organisation?
While my goal is to create a complementary effort to broaden the reach of the software and pedagogy--a free and open framework in support of "learning learning", I hope to continue working with the great team at OLPC as well as the various groups that have formed around the world in support of one-laptop-per-child deployments.
Thank you for all of your support over the past two years and for all the feedback and encouragement you have given me.
- Where is Walter?
I don't see much point in speculating. But the OLPC does rely enormously on winning the hearts and minds of its supporters. Unless the top leadership are more open about what is happening inside then that support will surely erode? Supporters need to know what it is they are supporting.