Kimberly King-Burns

Digital Media and Clean Technology Practices, convergenz/solutions

From Online Bulletin Board Pioneer to Enthusiastic Technology Philanthropist

In our generation, many people with secure gigs are afraid to move on from them and take a chance, because they are afraid what others will say behind their back if they fail. I blame my parents for raising such a nonconformist: They gave me a really healthy ego. You really can’t listen to the naysayers: If they aren’t going to support the cause, they can’t be part of the solution. There is so little time, and there is so much to get done. Fortunately, I grew up in the middle of nowhere, on a small island in the Bahamas that was three miles long and a half mile wide, in the 1960s and 1970s, where you pretty much created your own entertainment and educational resources for decades. In my hometown of 1,800, if you weren’t collaborative you got absolutely nothing done.

The funniest example of not taking no for an answer likely happened around 2007, 2008. Political conventions in the Bahamas were in full swing, and I was asked to meet with the then prime minister of the Bahamas, Perry Christie, at the Crystal Palace in Nassau. During the course of the meeting, the PM discovered to his surprise that our little Briland Modem Fund foundation was building technology centers around Harbour Island and Eleuthera with ten seats each for computers and Internet access in an air-conditioned room. At that point, we already had eight centers online and operational, located in various odd spaces around the island: wings of libraries, reading rooms of churches, spare office space at local government offices, and refurbished fire engine houses. IBM Nassau, Royal Bank of Canada, several Rotary Clubs in Nassau, Bacardi Nassau, Microsoft Caribbean, Wadsworth Holdings, and Bahamas Fast Ferries were our first corporate sponsors, as they recognized early on that we were training government workers, kids, and young adults and creating real jobs in an otherwise tourism-focused market that typically only needed gardeners, housekeepers, and the occasional bank teller.

Get Going Supernova: The Bold Paths of 101 Superachievers to read the rest of Kimberly King-Burns’s Story.
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