I had the opportunity to meet Mitch Altman in Tokyo a few years ago, at the Tokyo hackerspace. Mitch is a rare breed; he's got world class level of smarts, as well as a generous serving of social skills, eager to help anyone interested in learning. It was because of him I soldered together a Brain Machine, which I've since hacked further into a 4 person device which made it into the Victoria Open Source Art gallery which I enttitled the Community Experience Exhibit.
Mitch's probably most known for his involvement in creating Noisebridge, the first official hackerspace, based in San Fransisco. I've been fortunate to have my second visit this year only two weeks ago, with a group of some of the world's top DIY bio-tech hackers. If you've not heard of him from Noisebridge, which is a must visit if you're ever in the area, he was the inventor of TV-B-Gone which has financed his lifestyle of travelling the world, teach people electronics and how to solder. How motivating!
Having just seen Mitch being interviewed on what is a hacker, I see today he's doing an IaMa on Reddit this afternoon, as well having an exciting active kickstarter project, the NeuroDreamer sleep mask. If you're in the U.S, he's currently part of the "hackers on a train" project, see if he's coming to your town. If you support awesome, and idealism, I can't think of someone more apropos. Thanks Mitch, for being awesome.