This post is actually an entry in my company’s blog, written by me. I just re-post it here
When I fired up my feed reader for today, one particular post from Mashable captivated me. There, Stan Schroder wrote that Google.org has donated USD 14 million “in various grants to partners in Southeast Asia and Africa to help predict and prevent the next pandemic.”
First of all, ( I am aware that I am slow on this one ), – it’s refreshing to note that Google has its very own philanthropic arm. From its site, I learnt that in 2004, when Sergey Brin and Larry Page wrote to prospective shareholders about their vision for the company, they outlined a commitment to contribute significant resources, including 1% of Google’s equity and profits in some form, as well as employee time, to address some of the world’s most urgent problems. That commitment became Google.org.
Now, it aspires to use the power of information and technology to address the global challenges of our age: climate change, poverty and emerging disease. For this, I think they deserve some applause. When it comes to philanthropy and charity acts, a commitment fulfilled tells us that this world still has some hope. My hats off for them.
About the news itself, apparently their Predict and Prevent initiative is supporting efforts to identify hot spots where diseases may emerge, detect new pathogens circulating in animal and human populations, and respond to outbreaks before they become global crises. Further, “Business as usual won’t prevent the next AIDS or SARS. The teams we’re funding today are on the frontiers of digital and genetic early detection technology. We hope that their work, with partners across environmental, animal, and human health boundaries, will help solve centuries-old problems and save millions of lives,” said Dr. Larry Brilliant, Executive Director, Google.org.
Among the terrible crises that is looming globally over our economy, this particular news has cracked a smile on my face today.. 🙂