CHM Launches Patrick J. McGovern Tech for Humanity Prize with $100K in Awards to Recognize Global Changemakers

Mountain View, California  |  January 14, 2021

The application process is now open for changemakers at the intersection of technology and social change who are meeting the challenges of our digital age to shape a better future.

Computer History Museum (CHM), with support from The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, unveils the inaugural Patrick J. McGovern Tech for Humanity Prize. The prize will be awarded to changemakers who are creating a better future by addressing the grand challenges of our digital age in areas such as environmental sustainability, economic development, and social justice. 
The selection committee includes remarkable individuals who have made notable contributions in technology, business, media and the arts, academia, and public service, including: social robotics innovator and MIT professor Cynthia Breazeal; historian and Museum software curator David C. Brock; Pixar cofounder and Oscar-winner Ed Catmull; media executive and DLD conference founder Steffi Czerny; tech media pioneer and health advocate Esther Dyson; political economist and international tech development advisor Marguerite Gong Hancock; Cofounder and Chair, McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, Lore Harp McGovern; Trustee and Chair of the Board, Patrick J. McGovern Foundation,  Patrick McGovern; ethernet coinventor and entrepreneur, University of Texas professor Bob Metcalfe; technology futurist, author and Stanford adjunct professor Paul Saffo; China venture finance pioneer and founding chair of IDG Capital Hugo Shong; and, award-winning journalist, media entrepreneur, cofounder OZY Media Carlos Watson.  

The award honors the legacy of visionary business leader and technology publisher Patrick J. McGovern (1937-2014), the founder of IDG, a global media company with more than 300 print publications including ComputerWorld, Macworld, and PC World. He was years ahead of his time in recognizing that technology can be used to democratize information, accelerate human achievement, and solve our greatest challenges.  

“Pat McGovern’s life’s work embodies the Museum’s vision of technology in service to humanity,” said Dan’l Lewin, CHM President and CEO. “As a pioneer in tech journalism, a successful entrepreneur, and a humanitarian, his unparalleled impact serves as an inspiring model for those of us seeking to meet today’s global challenges. Building on Pat’s involvement as an inaugural trustee of the Museum in 1982, we are proud this prize in his name will help fulfill CHM’s mission to harness technology to shape a better future for everyone.”

Anyone around the globe in any field pursuing creative and meaningful projects that examine, interpret, develop, or apply technology to shape a better future for humanity may apply. Changemakers will be selected for their past contributions, the potential impact of their proposed project, and their future potential to transform our world for the better. Projects chosen will be wide-ranging in their audience, medium, and target impact. For example: a pathbreaking publication on AI and ethics; a suite of online digital education resources for girls in developing countries to advance STEAM knowledge and skills; or, a documentary film on innovation in technology and sustainability. 

Two individuals will each be awarded a $50,000 honorarium and will be named as distinguished “Patrick J. McGovern Tech for Humanity Changemakers at CHM” for a residency of up to eight months (virtual or onsite, as conditions allow), from May through December 2021. They will receive special access to the

Museum’s unparalleled collection, in-house experts, and extensive network to help advance their work. In addition, one luminary will be honored for significant impact in creating a better future for humanity through technology. 

“Patrick J. McGovern inspired many with his optimism and vision for what is possible with technology,” said his son and selection committee member Patrick McGovern. “We’re excited to recognize both the luminaries and rising stars of tech for good in his name.” 

Prize applications will be accepted between January 15 and March 28, 2021. The Patrick J. McGovern Tech for Humanity Prize recipients will be announced on April 28, 2021. Learn more and apply.  

About CHM 

The Computer History Museum’s (CHM) mission is to decode technology--the computing past, digital present, and future impact on humanity. From the heart of Silicon Valley, we share insights gleaned from our research, our events, and our incomparable collection of computing artifacts and oral histories to convene, inform, and empower people to build a better world.

About the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation 

A global, 21st century philanthropy, the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation is committed to bridging the frontiers of artificial intelligence, data science, and social impact. The Foundation invests in the exploration, enhancement, and development of AI and data science for good. 

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