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Tim Berners-Lee named No.1 Agenda Setter by silicon.com

Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Silicon.com has named ECS Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, as its No.1 Agenda Setter.

The annual list chooses the top 50 most influential individuals in the worldwide technology and IT industries – business leaders, CEOs, CIOs, techies, open source gurus, security experts, visionaries, entrepreneurs and political figures. Although Sir Tim has been featured on the list for many years, this is his first time at the top spot.

His citation reads:

"His win reflects the profound impact the web has on how we live and work today.

Berners-Lee is as relevant now as he was when he invented the world wide web back in 1989. He continues to push the boundaries of innovation as well as work tirelessly to bring the web to developing countries and maintain its openness.

It's the breadth and depth of his efforts that earn him the title of the most influential individual in the tech industry. As one Agenda Setters judge put it: "When he talks others listen."

Berners-Lee is a leading advocate of the development of the next-generation semantic web, in which 'intelligent' computers will be capable of analysing everything on the web and automatically performing tasks done today by humans, such as finding, sharing and combining information.

He heads up the Web Science Research Initiative with colleagues from MIT in the US and the University of Southampton in the UK to promote the study of web science and help lay the foundations for the future development of the web.

Through his directorship of the World Wide Web Consortium, which he founded in 1994, Berners-Lee is at the forefront of the development of web standards. He has also been an outspoken campaigner for net neutrality, arguing against restrictions on content, sites or platforms and the introduction of tiered services by ISPs.

Earlier this year Berners-Lee unveiled the World Wide Web Foundation to spread the web to developing countries and maintain its openness. He says the foundation, which was launched with a $5m grant, is needed to ensure the web serves humanity by connecting people.

The Agenda Setters panel praised Berners-Lee for being "a guardian and promoter of the fundamental social and technical innovation of our era, who is still pushing its boundaries and continues to set the agenda".

Here is an Agenda Setter about whom one can honestly ask: what would life be like without him?"

Other Agenda Setters in the top five were: Steve Jobs, Apple CEO (2); Richard Thomas, UK Information Commissioner (3); Jimmy Wales, Wiki Media Founder (4); and Mike Lynch, Autonomy Founder and CEO (5).

See the full list.

Posted by Joyce Lewis on 10 Oct 2008.