Le C.I.E.L. Foundation

Since you have found le ciel, I welcome you to the sky. CIEL is the firmament foundation under which our chosen projects thrive.

There are two projects: Open Source and E-Governance for Developing Countries; Digital Reading Portal.


Multilingual Internet Website.

Open Source and E-Governance

Today, many developing countries are acquiring IT budgets. The money must be spent on IT, however the choices are often overly confusing and manipulative. Without adequate representation, Open Source has been intentionally marginalized or erased from the list of global financial partners.

In order to compete on the 'e-government' policy level against other sourceware, Open Source must be prepared to advise governments who do not have policies, to present the menu of projects best suited to the entity, and to assist with bids. Only by following these lines will Open Source take away the current players' advantages and finally help the people who so badly need these projects.

IFISI Slides, Paper.

The Digital Reading Portal

Christine Hansen | Managing Partner, Hansen Partnership
with research by:
Mark Bauerlein | Former Director of Research, National Endowment for the Arts


The mission of the Digital Reading Portal is to create digital platforms on which literature will be delivered into the lives of children everyday, without reference to educational opportunity nor social status.


The National Endowment for the Arts' research report, Reading at Risk (1994), was the catalyst for the concept of the Digital Reading Portal. It is a straight-forward concept: If children are playing on the Internet, then, take literature to the Internet. For example, where an advertisement would appear on the right of a Google search page, so would a Digital Reading Portal quote (or, to please the IP lawyers, Quoat). Then, there is a link to a landing page, created with best-of-breed technologies from IBM, opening the world of literature and reading to everyone who comes through.


Research on the extent and nature of teen and young adult reading is beginning to accumulate from both public and private sources. Reading scores and literacy rates have been documented for decades, but studies by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Book Industry Study Group, among others, have documented what percentage of (and how frequently) teens and young adults read various materials. The portrait that emerges is that of a generation of young Americans that spends little time reading books for pleasure or enlightenment. Other activities have taken its place, with the result that the knowledge and skills of young adults are slipping to critically low levels.

The problem is felt all across the society. Universities find that 53 percent of entering students must undergo some form of remedial coursework. Small businesses and manufacturers rank poor reading skills as a leading hindrance to productivity and innovation in the workplace. Corporations devote $3.1 billion per year to remedial writing training for employees. In publishing, unit sales of books fell 23 million in 2003, newspaper reading rates among young adults has fallen from 46 percent in 1972 to 21 percent in 2002, and magazine circulation has dropped by 25 million since 2000.

What do teens and young adults do in their leisure time? Watch television, mostly, but rising quickly are Internet use and video games. Reading has slipped to a mere 8 minutes per day for 15-24-year-olds. Boys play games and computers six times that amount, girls five times that much, and the shift is growing. In the future, it will continue, as screen technology filters into the toddler and infant realms.

Today, children 0-6 years old spend three times as many minutes in front of a screen as they do reading or being read to.


The two most popular approaches to technology and education, in general, come from the side of Education and Government; and there is little understanding of the capabilities and limitations of digital technology. (1) Most discussions of reading and digital activities treat them as opposites. This is a futile approach. Nothing will stop the growth of screen habits, nor will the value of books decline. What is needed is a strategy to unite the two, to the benefit of both. (2) The second approach is the 'if it's new it must be purchased' approach: to generate 'educational computerware' for everyone everywhere. While it this has been expensive, colorful, and entertaining, the net result is that taxes have risen and the students (and taxpayers) have lost. Poor, expensive decisions were and are being made to buy just for the sake of throwing money at the problem.


Unite the two, to the benefit of both.

How can we give literature and books a larger presence in this creative digital world?

The Digital Reading Portal takes the very technologies which have competed with time given to reading by, simply, insignuating literature into children's digital activities. In partnership with leaders in digital technology and in discussion with the department of research at the National Endowment for the Arts, we are developing projects for integrating literature with online habits.

During the Ottawa Linux Conference, approximately twenty of the world's best Linux developers signed on, expressing an interest in advancing and expanding the goals of the Digital Reading Portal's Foundation.

The Digital Reading Portal and Industry: A Distinguished Partnership

Industry and the Digital Reading Portal is, indeed, a distinguished partnership. As partners: (for example)

  • We are looking for known international business leaders, now digital leaders, as catalysts; children will grow up with them as a part of their digital day.
  • Both are committed to Linux/Open Source and its creative development.
  • The more literate the work force, the lower education/training costs.
  • The Digital Reading Portal has already begun accumulating research on an IRS deduction/tax credit for employee education/training, as a part of its industry/education research.


The Digital Reading Portal helps industry highlight responsible uses of its technologies. Not only to a handful of insiders, but to a massive audience its own audience daily. The task is formidable, and important. The Digital Reading Portal recognizes and acknowledges the miracle of new technologies, and provides the missing connection between technology and literacy.