Monday, March 13, 2006

What is bigger than a Google?

Google’s kudos for ‘not being evil’ took a bashing recently when it decided to help prop up the Great Firewall of China. As a fully fledged multi-billion dollar corporation it seems Google is in danger of drifting into the Microsoft league of growing, old, big and hated. However it is worth noting that like Bill Gates the founders of Google, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, have serious philanthropic plans. A couple of weeks ago Larry Brilliant was named as the Executive Director of Google.org - the company’s one billion dollar philanthropic arm. Brin and Page raised some eyebrows when they declared they
‘hope that someday this institution will eclipse Google itself in overall world impact by ambitiously applying innovation and significant resources to the largest of the world's problems’.

Google.org supports the Acumen Fund, TechnoServe and PlanetRead.
The Acumen Fund has had much success with a new generation of mosquito bednets, called "Long-Lasting Insecticide-Treated Bednets." Unlike existing nets these do not need to be re-treated for their entire lifespan of five years, and are made of polyethylene, which is much stronger than polyester, preventing damage to the net.
Google also run Google Grants has donated $33M in free Google advertising to more than 850 non-profit organizations in 10 countries.

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