Nathan Eagle is an Omidyar Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute. His research involves engineering computational tools, designed to explore how the petabytes of data generated about human movements, financial transactions, and communication patterns can be used for social good. As a Research Scientist at MIT and Fulbright Scholar in 2006, he launched MIT’s EPROM initiative, developing a mobile phone programming curriculum that is currently being taught across Sub-Saharan Africa. He holds a BS and two MS degrees from Stanford University; his PhD from the MIT Media Laboratory on Reality Mining was declared one of the ’10 technologies most likely to change the way we live’ by the MIT Technology Review. Recently, he was named one of the world’s top mobile phone developers by Nokia and also elected to the TR35. His academic work has been featured in Science, Nature and PNAS, as well as in the mainstream press.

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Early in 2009, the number of mobile phone users exceeded 4 billion— with the majority of users living in the developing world. The implications of this fact are profound: most people on Earth are carrying computers that continually transmit information about their relationships, movements, and even financial decisions to closed databases …

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