By Restructuring it's Philanthropy, Google Reveals the Future of Global Business
There's a shake-up happening at Google.org, the philanthropic arm of search giant Google. The intended mission is to more closely align the interests of the foundation with the core interests of the company itself, according to Forbes.com.
Google.org director Lawrence "Larry" Brilliant, "a charismatic and visionary figure," not renowned for acumen in day-to-day operations, will become Google's Chief Philanthropy Evangelist. Megan Smith, current head of new business development, will now become general manager of Google.org.
According to Forbes, "such shared roles in a private company and a corporate philanthropy, while unusual for most charities, are in keeping with the structure of Google.org. The organization, which is funded with 1% of Google's equity and profits and relies on Google.com engineers for many of its projects, lobbies and makes investments in for-profit companies as well as dispersing traditional philanthropic grants. The idea is to maximize flexibility in such projects as global health, renewable energy development and access to information and capital."
Brilliant has said that by focusing his energy outwards, he hopes to be able to "spend more time motivating policy makers, encouraging public and private partnerships and generally advocating for the changes that we must make as a global society."
As usual, Google stands at the forefront of what it means to build a successful global enterprise. Sure, all that money makes it easy. But the incredible global social, economic and environmental challenges ahead require a fusion of corporate interests with the interests of the planet broadly.
Megan Smith, a former MIT engineer, will now be focusing on operations inside the philanthropy, "particularly the management of engineers producing products like communications tools for disease specialists in the field or Google maps identifying geothermal fields...Most recently, Google.org developed software to monitor home energy consumption."
It's this kind of forward thinking that may save the planet, philanthropy and private enterprise from sinking into an economic hole that could only be found by Google Earth itself.
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The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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