Google will reportedly be launching a "global think tank" called Google Ideas at some point. This according to Fortune's Seth Weintraub. To lead the initiative Google is reportedly hiring none other than Jared Cohen of the Secretary of State's Policy Planning staff.
Cohen is known for is role in last year's Iran protests and Twitter's relationship to them. From Wikipedia:
In the midst of the June 2009 post-election protests in Iran, Cohen reached out to Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and urged the company to reschedule its planned maintenance of the website so that Iranians could keep tweeting. Given that all other forms of communication had been blocked or shut down, Twitter was one of the only ways for people inside of Iran to get information to the outside world. It also became an important way for people around the world to join the protests by disseminating proxy and circumvention tools. When the New York Times broke the story, it came at a time when the Obama administration declared that there would be no meddling in Iran. Cohen's involvement drew international interest not just because at the time it was the most robust action taken by the U.S. government in response to the protests, but also because Cohen had spent time in Iran and written about the possibility of technology being used for social upheaval in his book Children of Jihad.
"We've been told that Cohen is busy building a new entity for Google which is tentatively called Google Ideas," writes Weintraub. "Ideas is a global initiatives 'think tank' office inside of Google and will be run out of New York. Cohen will be working for Google full time by this fall. His job will be to spearhead initiatives to apply technology solutions to problems faced by the developing world."
Unsurprisingly, no commments on the subject have been offered by Google, but if this is true, and there doesn't appear to be any reason to doubt it (as other sources informed Weintraub that Hilary Clinton is aware of Cohen's impending departure), Google will no doubt have an announcement explaining its goals for Google Ideas in time.