Google.org Aspires To Charity, Profits
Google.org has been getting a fair amount of attention lately. “The philanthropic arm of Google” was formed in late 2004, and, unlike most charitable ventures, is a for-profit entity. Although that sounds somewhat troubling, a recent interview with Dr. Brilliant, the Google Foundation’s executive director, should put any fears to rest.
|Googling The Charitable Side Of Life|
Katie Hafner of The New York Times recorded some of Dr. Brilliant’s comments on what Google.org is and where it’s going. In reference to the former, he said, “Google.org can play on the entire keyboard. It can start companies, build industries, pay consultants, lobby, give money to individuals and make a profit.”
Addressing one potential concern, Hafner then wrote that “all of Google.org’s spending, Dr. Brilliant said, will be in keeping with its mission, and there is to be no blowback.’ That is, should Google.org make a profit with one of its ventures, those funds will not go to the search engine business, but will stay within Google.org.”
Onlookers can also expect quick, and hopefully meaningful, action from the Google Foundation. At one point during the interview, Dr. Brilliant noted, “Poor people can’t wait. Dying people can’t wait for some 20-year plan. It’s not what we’re doing here.” Later, he asked, “Why would we put Wi-Fi in a place where what they need is food and clean water?”
Dr. Brilliant’s comments weren’t targeted insults – Hafner described him as “an affable man generous with bearhugs and self-deprecating humor whose unlikely rsum looks like a composite career summary of multiple high achievers.” He also apparently “studied for two years with Neem Karoli Baba, a famous Hindu guru.”
In terms of Google.org’s future, the organization’s homepage features a quote from Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page that indicates its potential: “We 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.”