Google improves the world with 10^100

katie hoesley

This year, Google has decided to celebrate its 10th anniversary by using its global-reaching network to make the world a better place. Google’s project 10 to the 100th is a challenge they initiated, and it began on October 20, 2008. It allows anybody anywhere to submit an idea that could potentially make the world a better place. Google’s role in the project is the $10 million dollars that they will contribute to fund up to five ideas which they believe to have the most potential.  The project’s goal is to help the largest group of people in the most profound way possible.

The challenge was initiated because our current society has the incredible ability to change and improve, and Google wants to take advantage of that. According to the Google Web site, “There has never been a time where there is so much knowledge and so many resources, yet so many people in need.” Because of their immense resource pool, Google is determined to find the most widely impacting idea and allow the creator or creators to act it out. They are committing $10 million to fund the ideas and allow the creators a jump start. In order to qualify for a grant from Google, the ideas need to help the local or global society, and the idea that is bound to be most far-reaching and effective will win.

Google’s goal is to set as few rules as possible. They created loose guidelines to encourage creativity, believing that the less structured the project is, the more people will be able to think outside the box and come up with a solution to issues facing our society today that have not already been thought of. The only regulations are categories the project has to fit under: community, opportunity, energy, environment, health, education, and shelter. The idea must also meet certain criteria: reach, depth, attainability, efficiency, and longevity.

Application for the competition is very simple as well. One just needs to go to the “Google 10^100” Web site and fill out an online application. This allows everybody to submit their idea for selection. The first deadline was October 20, 2008. This date was the deadline for initial submission: The idea. Following the submission of all the ideas, Google will choose 100 and open the selection to the public. Beginning on January 27, 2008, people will be allowed to vote for their favorite idea. The voting will determine 20 semi-finalists. Once these 20 are chosen, an advisory board will select up to five finalists, receiving at least $2 million each.

According to Google, “New studies are reinforcing the simple wisdom that beyond a certain very basic level of material wealth, the only thing that increases individual happiness is helping others. Helping helps everybody, helper and helped alike.” Their attempt to use their power to make the world a better place is inspirational to many. This challenge has potential to truly change our world, and that is Google’s goal: Making the world a better place, one idea at a time.