Eric points to Clifford Stoll’s (of The Cuckoo’s Egg fame) TED Talk. While I enjoyed the book, I think it suffered from the problem you see in his talk; Stoll is a bit scatterbrained. While something has his interest he can maintain a maniacal focus, but when he loses interest, he no longer wants to be bothered by it. He isn’t a bad guy, I just don’t think he makes a very good folk hero.
Instead, by way of the African Geek weblog, check out Neil Turok‘s TED Talk. He uses Worldmapper to good effect, graphically illustrating how all those aid dollars western governments have been giving to Africa have failed. The money quote: There are just tons of bright kids in Africa… and if Africa is going to get fixed, it is by them, not by us.