Saturday, September 26, 2009

Interview: Allan Weis on The Business of Changing Lives

From my interview series at

Date: Thursday, October 1st, 2009
5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern / 12am GMT (next day) (international times here)
Duration: 1 hour
Location: In Elluminate. Log in at The Elluminate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early. To make sure that your computer is configured for Elluminate, please visit Recordings of the session will be posted within a day of the event.

Allan H. Weis is the author of The Business of Changing Lives: How A High-Tech Company Invested in Kids and Creativity (Greenleaf Book Group, September 2009), a new book that details the creation and growth of his company, Advanced Network & Services (ANS). He celebrates two decades of social entrepreneurship, as ANS has earmarked all of its resources - $128,000,000 – to build national networking infrastructure and foster significant social change.

He is the founder and president of ANS, a company he started in 1990 to advance education and science by accelerating the use of computer networking technology. An Internet pioneer, Mr. Weis led the ANS team that built the largest and fastest part of the Internet , which provided the underlying network for the National Science Foundation. In 1995, the assets and operations of ANS were sold to America Online Inc. With the proceeds of that sale, ANS became a preeminent force in education and philanthropy.

A passionate believer in the power of the “Net” to revolutionize learning and close the educational resources gap among students, Mr. Weis founded ThinkQuest® in 1995. A philanthropic initiative designed as a competition, ThinkQuest honored its annual winners with up to $2,000,000 in scholarships and cash awards, and became the fastest growing Internet-based educational program in the world. ThinkQuest helps students and educators learn computer and networking technology as they create educational Web sites that are used as teaching tools. In 2002, ThinkQuest was donated to the Oracle Foundation, except for a successful spin-off, ThinkQuest NYC.

Mr. Weis was also instrumental in creating the Internet2 project, a collaborative program between universities and corporations to construct the next generation of the Internet. In addition, he started the National Tele-Immersion Initiative, the most challenging network application that integrates virtual reality and networked computing.

Prior to his work with ANS, Mr. Weis spent 30 years with IBM. Before he retired in 1990, Mr. Weis served as vice president of IBM’s Engineering & Scientific computing business, where he had worldwide responsibility for strategy, development and technical support for IBM’s high performance systems and applications. His department served the nation’s top research labs and universities.

Mr. Weis has served on many national committees that deal with the future of communications and computing technologies, such as the panel on Information Technology and the Conduct of Research of the National Academy of Sciences. He has been a member of the World Technology Network since 2002 and was a member of the CEO Forum on Educational Technology.

Mr. Weis attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, where he earned a Master of Science degree. He resides in Sarasota, Florida. For more information, please consult:
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