Last month, we celebrated the milestone of ten million Raspberry Pi computers sold to date. That’s quite extraordinary, and we’re thrilled to have reached so many people, not just through selling computers, but through our educational programmes and outreach activities. Our successes come in no small part from the support of our wonderful community, and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the great work that you do to further our mission to put the power of digital making in the hands of people around the world.
One of the things I love most about our community is the mix of people from different backgrounds. When Jams started to appear in mid-2012, all sorts of people came together to learn with Raspberry Pi: hardware hackers, software developers, electronic engineers, teachers, kids, parents, and grandparents.
It’s our great privilege to have the Duke of York as Patron of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and we benefit enormously from his support. On Wednesday evening, he kindly hosted an event at St. James’s Palace to celebrate the Raspberry Pi community. We couldn’t invite everybody we wanted to be there, but we were lucky enough to be able to share the evening with 150 community members.
When we launched the first Raspberry Pi computer four-and-a-half years ago, we had very modest goals. Our founders wanted to inspire more young people to go to university to study computer science. Today, our reach is far greater, and we’re touching the lives of people of all ages in communities around the world.
It’s amazing to reflect on how far we’ve come in such a short space of time: not only are we now the best-selling British computer in history, but we’ve made a real impact in education by making programmable computers affordable, training teachers, and providing free learning resources. Tens of thousands of young people have taken part in our educational programmes and competitions. Astro Pi, our very own space mission, has seen young people from the UK design experiments and apps that have run on Raspberry Pi computers on the International Space Station; this marvellous feat will continue with our newly announced European-wide competition.
Everybody in the community contributes in a different way. Whether they help run Raspberry Jams, CoderDojos or Code Clubs, write tutorials and lesson plans, share their projects on GitHub and social media, or create open-source software libraries, it all helps us reach more people. It’s amazing how something an individual can do, no matter how small it seems, can make such a big difference. I followed the Raspberry Pi blog through 2011 and bought a Pi on launch day. If you’d have told me that 5 years later my Python library would be in Eben’s top 5 software projects in The MagPi, I’d never have believed you!
I ran a workshop for Jam organisers last weekend, and at the start of the day I asked everyone why they run their Raspberry Jams. The responses really sum up how amazing our community is:
Thank you from all of us at the Foundation to everyone participating in activities which help us to extend the opportunity to learn computing and digital making to millions of people around the world. You really are making a big difference, and we’re incredibly grateful to have you all as part of our community.