A humanitarian grid -- and a tempting "Grid Scholars Challenge"
One important open technology today is grid computing. developerWorks has an entire section devoted to grid. Also of note is the World Community Grid, designed to support humanitarian research that might otherwise not be completed due to the high cost of the computer infrastructure required in the absence of a public grid. Members can contribute to individual research projects by donating unused computer time. The forums also encourage member-to-member support with grid-related issues.
Also of note: Last week IBM announced the Grid Scholars Challenge. University students can participate by creating an innovative grid open standards architecture proposal, evaluating an existing grid standard or making a prototype implementation or improvement to an open source grid implementation for services, middleware components, or application development. University students in the United States and Canada, check it out. You might end up with a new ThinkPad.