World Scouting launches technology partnership with World Community Grid
Geneva – 2 August 2007 – If you associate Scouts only with camping and tying knots, think again! As part of its Centenary celebrations, World Scouting has today launched a partnership with World Community Grid™ in a joint effort to create a better world through information technology.
World Community Grid's mission is to create the world's largest public computing grid to tackle projects that benefit humanity. Scouts with access to the Internet are to be encouraged to sign-up as members of the new 'SCOUTS' team created on World Community Grid, contributing their computers' unused processor cycles to the global effort.
Millions of personal computers sit idle on office desks and in homes worldwide. While they wait, hundreds of people contract and die from infectious diseases every hour. As screen savers run, millions die from hunger, or environmental disasters devastate whole communities. But it doesn't have to be that way and World Scouting is taking up the challenge!
World Community Grid uses grid technology to establish a permanent, flexible infrastructure that provides researchers with a readily available pool of computational power that can be used to solve problems plaguing humanity. Grid technology utilises many individual computers, creating a large system with massive computational power that far exceeds the power of a few supercomputers. Donating the time your computer is turned on but idle supports projects that benefit us all! Since its launch in 2004, this virtual community of volunteers has achieved over 100,000 years of run time, providing over 100,000,000 results to research scientists to help in the fight against cancer, muscular dystrophy, AIDS and other types of disease.
"We are calling upon current and former members alike to join the 'SCOUTS' team in the World Community Grid as part of our movement's contribution to creating a better world," announced Dr. Eduardo Missoni, Secretary General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, at the launch of the partnership. "World Community Grid provides our members with an efficient and effective way in the modern world to make a real difference on problems that plague humanity. And it's educational - young people can learn more about why those research projects are so important for all of humanity."
FightAIDS@Home is one such example. The Scripps Research Institute's sponsored project uses computational methods to identify new candidate drugs to block HIV protease, a key molecular structure that when blocked, stops the virus from maturing and thus is a way of avoiding the onset of AIDS and prolonging life.
To join, individuals should go to www.worldcommunitygrid.org and simply download and install a free, small software programme on their computers.
"Once you have installed the software, you can join our 'SCOUTS' team and participate in World Community Grid projects whenever your computer is turned on," explains Ray Saunders, World Scouting's Director of Information Technology. "The free software is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux/BSD operating systems. Most importantly, World Community Grid is easy and safe for young people to use."
When idle, computers request specific project data from World Community Grid's server. After performing computations on this data, it send the results back to the server, and asks for a new piece of work. Every computation provides scientists with critical information that dramatically accelerates the pace of research! Completed tasks are added to the 'SCOUTS' team score, which will be used to measure the contribution Scouts worldwide are making to global research projects.
"IBM is delighted to welcome the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) as a World Community Grid partner," announced Mark Wakefield, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Manager, IBM UK at the launch. "WOSM has global reach - and World Community Grid is assisting with research programmes that have the potential to benefit every citizen of the world. For individual Scouts, World Community Grid is an excellent opportunity for them to individually participate and to demonstrate their personal commitment to addressing global citizenship issues. Given the reach of World Scouting, we hope that their participation will lead to significant numbers of PCs joining the World Community Grid."