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Innovators through history: Tim Berners-Lee

To mark the launch of the NZ Innovators Awards for 2012, we're celebrating a series of vaunted innovators and inventors throughout time.

Tim Berners-Lee, innovator and inventor of the internet

Wikimedia Commons, Enrique Dans

Who: Tim Berners-Lee – that’s Sir Timothy to you though

What: The internet.

When:  December 25, 1990, a date we can all think of fondly while on Twitter, Facebook and Stuff.co.nz  at work.

Impact: Huge. It is synonymous with the digital age and progressed all aspects of communication, business and even relationships into a new era. Despite the monstrosity of the design, Berners-Lee describes its creation as a logical and even an easy step. “"I just had to take the hypertext idea and connect it to the Transmission Control Protocol and domain name system ideas and ta-da, the World Wide Web." See, we all could have done it.

Power, Fame and Money: Berners-Lee was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2004. He also is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees the web's continued development, as well as a senior researcher and holder of the Founders Chair at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.  As you might guess, he has an alphabet of letters and acronyms following his name. To top all of that, Berners-Lee got a huge tribute piece in London’s Olympic opening ceremony.

Legacy: A heavyweight in his field and an innovation hero for his homeland, Berners-Lee set in motion a chain of events that led to both huge efficiency gains and the world best procrastination tool. Talk about covering all your bases.

Love the internet? Whether you’re an online whiz kid or creating buzz in e-retailing you should use it this second to enter the NZ Innovators Awards. The entry phase is entering its final days so enter yourself, your company or your innovation now (a far better use of company time than surfing the blogosphere) by 5pm on Monday, August 20.