Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Google Takes Up A New Socially Useful Way of Harnessing their Profits and the Web

We live in an exciting age where good ideas can come from everywhere and anywhere not just from the ivy towers. The web can be used not just to gather the ideas but to enable them to go quickly to scale if they are designed correctly.  Google, Yahoo, AOL, Facebook etc etc maybe one of the first of a long line of innovations to transform the world. In later years we might be referring to these developments as those who transformed us into a socially and globally networked species, perhaps the most important transformations, led by such creations as Kickstarter will launch a new wave of socially useful ways to tap into that massive connectivity.  As web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee,  has stated “The Web’s contribution to economic progress has been much celebrated, but I believe that we are only scratching the surface of its potential to solve social and political problems."Berners-Lee was among those who persuaded Google to set up a competition in which four organisations will be awarded   £2 million ($3 million) in the UK that are using technology for social good in areas like education, economic development, health, environment and community service. The challenge is being piloted in Britain ahead of a "global rollout" “Google believes technology can help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges, and is eager to back innovators who are using technology to make an impact,” a spokesman said. Doubtless it is good for Google's PR image to be associated with something  so socially useful as  Tech Crunch states

"The Global Impact Challenge is an extension of the Global Impact Awards, $23 million award that Google gave out in December among seven non-profits using technology to solve world problems like clean water (charity:water) and endangered species (Consortium for the Barcode of Life).

A Google spokesperson says that the difference between that round of awards and this newest Global Impact Challenge is that the latter features a competitive element, with the prize open to any non-profit in the UK that chooses to apply. On the other hand, with the earlier grants, “there was no entry criteria, rather, [the] grants [were] awarded to exceptional orgs doing amazing things with tech.”

Now if Apple can be persuaded to follow Google's example and just a fraction of its profits that it parks off shore in shady accounts  then we might begin to see some impact. Go vote on the latest set of innovative ideas by clicking here!