Google.org – The Philanthropic Arm of Google
Google.org includes the work of the Google Foundation, some of Google’s own projects using Google talent, technology and other resources, as well as partnerships and contributions to for-profit and non-profit entities. While they continue to define the goals, priorities and approach for Google.org, they will focus on several areas including global poverty, energy and the environment. The Google Foundation has made some initial commitments, which include: a) Acumen Fund: a non-profit venture fund that invests in market-based solutions to global poverty. The Fund supports entrepreneurial approaches to developing affordable goods and services for the 4 billion people in the world who live on less than $4 a day; b) TechnoServe: helps budding entrepreneurs turn good business ideas into thriving enterprises. With funding from the Google Foundation, they are launching a Business Plan Competition and an Entrepreneurship Development Program in Ghana; c) Water Research: The Google Foundation plans to support research in western Kenya to identify ways to prevent child deaths caused by poor water quality and to better understand what works in rural water supply. The research is being conducted by Alix Zwane and Edward Miguel of UC Berkeley and Michael Kremer of Harvard University; and d) PlanetRead: an organization seeking to improve literacy in India using same-language subtitling. By adding subtitles to films and videos of popular folk songs, PlanetRead gives people who have low literacy skills regular reading practice. As it expands, this approach has the potential to reach hundreds of millions of people.