Obayashi PrizeRecipient of the Twelfth Obayashi Prize

Audrey TANGDigital Minister in Charge of Social Innovation (Taiwan)

Audrey TANG

Audrey is known for revitalizing the computer languages Perl and Haskell, as well as building the online spreadsheet system EtherCalc in collaboration with Dan Bricklin.

In the public sector, Audrey served on the Taiwan national development council's open data committee and the 12-year basic education curriculum committee, and led Taiwan's first e-Rulemaking project.

In the private sector, Audrey has worked as a consultant with Apple on computational linguistics, with Oxford University Press on crowd lexicography, and with Socialtext on social interaction design.

In the social sector, Audrey actively contributes to g0v ("gov zero"), a vibrant community focusing on creating tools for civil society, with the call to "fork the government".

Reason for receiving the prize

As Taiwan's Digital Minister, Audrey Tang has contributed to digitalization and IT policy in many ways, most notably by leading the development of the Mask Map app, which displayed the latest information on stocks of government-supplied face masks on Google Maps and enabled equal access to a limited supply of masks at the stage of the coronavirus pandemic when Taiwan was experiencing a serious shortage of masks. By mapping the infosphere onto the real-world urban sphere, Mask Map reinforced the capacity to provide necessary supplies and expanded the world's horizons in terms of enhancing safety from infectious disease. The work has demonstrated new potential for using IT to conduct crisis management in cities while protecting anonymity, rather than using it to stringently monitor citizens' behavior, and we believe that Minister Audrey Tang's achievements in this regard merit the award of the Obayashi Prize in accordance with the purpose for which the Obayashi Foundation was established.