Google Ideas, Google's initiative that "convenes unorthodox stakeholders, commissions research, and seeds initiatives to explore the role that technology can play in tackling some of the toughest human challenges," is now taking on illicit networks.
There are many kinds of "illicit networks" operating around the world, most of which have devastating effects on those involved. Things like organ trafficking, sex trafficking, drug cartels, and forced labor rings generate and estimated $2.1 trillion a year, money that is a direct results from the victimization and brutalization of millions of victims.
Today, Google announced that they are partnering up with the Council on Foreign Relations and the Tribeca Film Festival to gather like-minded individuals and groups for the first ever INFO summit in L.A. "INFO" stands for Illicit Networks: Forces in Opposition.
Here's what Google has to say in a blog post:
Too often illicit networks are seen only in the silos of those who study them. This summit aims to break down those silos by bringing together a full-range of stakeholders, from survivors of organ trafficking, sex trafficking and forced labor to government officials, dozens of engineers, tech leaders and product managers from Google and beyond. Through the summit, which lasts until Wednesday, we hope to discover ways that technology can be used to expose and disrupt these networks as a whole—and to put some of these ideas into practice.
Check out this preview video of the event below:
Google launched Google Ideas about a year and a half ago, and up until now its main focus has been counter-radicalization. Last summer, Google held a summit for former gang members, religious extremists, and other radicals. The result of that summit was Against Violent Extremism, "a network of former violent extremists, survivors of violent extremism, NGOs, academics, think tanks, and private sector executives who share a common goal: to prevent youth from committing violence."
You can track the summit as it happens on the INFO 2012 Youtube channel as well as the Google Ideas Twitter account.