Google.org To Announce Five Strategic Initiatives Today
Today, Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 9:00am PST (12:00pm EST), Google.org will be holding a conference call to discuss the launch of five strategic initiatives for the organization. The conference call participants include Sheryl Sandberg, Vice President, Global Online Sales and Operations, Google Inc. and Board Member, Google.org, and Larry Brilliant, Executive Director, Google.org. Google […]
Today, Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 9:00am PST (12:00pm EST), Google.org will be holding a conference call to discuss the launch of five strategic initiatives for the organization. The conference call participants include Sheryl Sandberg, Vice President, Global Online Sales and Operations, Google Inc. and Board Member, Google.org, and Larry Brilliant, Executive Director, Google.org.
Google said the announcement includes discussion on $25 million in new grants and investments to initial partners.
If you want to listen in on the conference call, you can find the phone numbers and confirmation code at this release.
Postscript: Twitter, Facebook called on for higher purpose from News.com seems to discuss at least one of those five initiatives.
Google.org supports efforts to empower communities to predict and prevent events before they become local, regional, or global crises, by identifying “hot spots” and enabling a rapid response. Rapid ecological and social changes are increasing the risk of emerging threats, from infectious diseases to drought and other environmental disasters. Google.org is initially focused on Southeast Asia and tropical Africa. In Southeast Asia, a hot spot for SARS and potentially bird flu, Google.org is working with partners to strengthen early warning systems and build local capacities to prevent the next pandemic. Initial grants include:
- $5 million to InSTEDD (Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases and Disasters)
- $2.5 million to the Global Health and Security Initiative (GHSI)
- More than $600,000 to Clark University, with equal funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
Google.org works with partners to improve the flow of vital information to improve basic services for the poor in India and East Africa. In many countries in the developing world, essential public services are failing, especially for the poorest members of society. Google.org supports efforts to provide information to empower citizens and communities, providers, and policy makers to improve the delivery of essential public services such as education, health, water and sanitation. Initial grants include:
- $2 million to Pratham, a non-governmental organization in India
- $765,000 to the Centre for Budget and Policy Studies, a Bangalore-based analysis group
- $660,000 to the Center for Policy Research, an action oriented think tank based in India
Google.org supports efforts to lower transaction costs to invest in SMEs, create opportunities to access larger financial markets and make investments in this sector. SMEs are critical for inclusive economic growth and job creation in the developing world, but lack the capital and tools necessary to succeed. Many micro-enterprises and most large businesses have access to capital through microfinance institutions, banks and capital markets, but SMEs remain extraordinarily underserved, creating a “missing middle.” Google.org wants to help increase the flow of capital to “the missing middle” by tackling some of the root causes that prevent these firms from becoming profitable investment opportunities. Technoserve is an initial partner:
- $4.7 million grant to TechnoServe
This cross-Google collaboration has set a goal of producing one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal, within years not decades. The initiative, known as RE
- $10 million to eSolar, a Pasadena, CA-based company
RechargeIT is a Google.org initiative that aims to reduce CO2 emissions, cut oil use and stabilize the electrical grid by accelerating the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and vehicle-to-grid technology. Google.org launched a $10 million request for investment proposals this Fall, and will invest amounts ranging from $500,000 to $2 million in selected for-profit companies whose innovative approach, team and technologies will enable widespread commercialization of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, electric vehicles and/or vehicle-to-grid solutions.