Google is celebrating 10 years of operation with the Google 10^100 Project, calling for ideas that will change the world. 10^100 is another way of writing a Googol, or ten to the hundredth.
Google is calling for ideas to be submitted by October 20, 2008. Members of the public will be able to vote on the best ideas from January 27th 2009. A panel of judges will then review the top 20 ideas and announce up to five winners in mid-February. Funding, from a pool of $10 million, will be awarded in May. If the judges decide to reward five winning ideas, each will receive $2 million. If only two ideas are chosen, each will receive $5 million.
An animated commercial, set to Joy Zipper’s song, “Go Tell The World”, presents the concept of scale for ideas that help one person. Helping a lady cross the road helps one person. Teaching a class may help 100 people. Designing a local technology may help 10,000 people. Designing cleaner engines may help a million. Designing clean electricity production could help 100 million. So what could make the difference for 10^100?
Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube
CNN is working with Google to cover the project, including profiles of ideas and the people who submit them from around the world. See Brandon Grigg’s introduction at CNN and the CNN Impact Your World site.
Andy Berndt, Managing Director, Google Creative Lab, started the ball rolling at the Google blog a few hours ago…
“If you could suggest a unique idea that would help as many people as possible, what would it be? It’s a question worth considering. Never in history have so many people had so much information, so many tools at their disposal, so many ways of making good ideas come to life. Yet at the same time so many people (in all walks of life) could use some help, in small ways and big. In the midst of this, new studies are reinforcing the timeless wisdom that beyond a basic level of material wealth, the only thing that seems to increase individual happiness is… helping other people. In other words, help helps everybody.
But what would help, and what would be most helpful? We don’t believe we have the answers, but we do believe the answers are out there. Maybe in a lab, or a company, or a university — or maybe not. Maybe the answer that helps somebody is in your head, in something you’ve observed, some notion that you’ve been fiddling with, some small connection you’ve noticed, some old way of doing something that you’ve seen with new eyes.”