back to article Branson, Berners-Lee, Google, £2m: LET'S SAVE THE WORLD

Google is waving £2m in front of charities, promising to donate dollops of the dosh if the orgs develop tech that improves people's lives. The not-for-profit bodies are invited to apply and compete for the cash; four "data-driven" projects that successfully prove their worth will each get a £500,000 cheque from the advertising …


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  1. Shasta McNasty

    Good idea but it has some drawbacks

    The basis of the idea is a good one, but I can't help but think that they're missing out on a raft of potentially great ideas by limiting themselves to only accepting submissions from a charity.

    Sometimes the best solutions are generated by people who aren't necessarily involved with the problem.

    1. Shannon Jacobs

      Big donor model of charity

      I think the main problem with the big donor model of charity is that the big donor will insist on calling too many of the shots. Natural enough, but it can go far south. For example, take Ubuntu. Please.

      I write that as someone who had high hopes for Ubuntu. They have been dashed--but as a small donor, there was nothing I could do about it.

      Imagine a charity model in which small donors could pool their donations in a way similar to a stock market, but with the brokerage providing project management support. Kind of like Kickstarter, IndyGoGo, and CrowdRise, but with more accountability so the small donors could know how their money would be used and even what results would count as success for the project. My version is called "reverse auction charity shares", but I should change that to "was", since even I have pretty much given up hope on it.

      As for any charity funded by the google, I way whoopee. As evil as the google is becoming, they cannot buy my favor with their donations. The google needs to stop the censorship and maybe even do something to make the world better outside of PR games.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "along with a number of Google wonks"

    Surely I'm not the only one who read that wrong...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google being charitable again

    1. PR stunt (we DO contribute to the well-being of the UK population, even if we pay fuckall in taxes)

    2. orgs develop tech to improve lives, google brands it and sells it to the world. What's not to like?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Google being charitable again

      Well they know Android's accessibility is shite, so maybe they're hoping to get some help with that?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Aren't those just used so people can get a tax break.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Charities?

      No, you are thinking of "companies"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Charities?

        And wealthy individuals.

  5. AceRimmer


    A mere accounting error in Google's world

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: £2million

      It might be an accounting error to you, mate, but it's life or death to some poor wretch!

      1. hplasm

        Re: it's life or death to some poor wretch!

        The chief exec of a UK charity?

    2. LinkOfHyrule

      Re: £2million

      They spend more than that annually on lava-lamps!

  6. frank ly

    Am I being cynical .....

    .... or does anyone else think that the Terms & Conditions of entry will be that Google can use any ides that are presented? Maybe I'm wrong; maybe the T&C will say that the intellectual property of the entries will remain with the charity submitting them and that Google will not use the information or pass it on to any third party.

    1. STGM

      Re: Am I being cynical .....

      Here's the weaselese from the rules:

      13. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS: The Organisation retains ownership of all intellectual and industry property rights (including moral rights) in all materials submitted to the Challenge Site or to Google or its representatives as part of its Application, including, without limitation, photographs, comments, information, text, video, feedback, creative ideas, suggestions, or other materials (each a “Submission” and collectively, the “Submissions”). Organisation hereby grants Google and its affiliates, partners, and representatives a nonexclusive, royalty­free, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, copy, and display any Submission, in whole or in part, throughout the world in any form, media, or technology now known or hereafter developed, including all promotion, marketing, publicity, and any other uses thereof, without notice or attribution to you, the Organisation, or any other entity or person and without obtaining any further permission or license or making any payment whatsoever, and you acknowledge that Google has no obligation to use your Submission.

      Not sure if that'll make you more or less cynical though..

      1. STGM

        Re: Am I being cynical .....

        Should have added the privacy section too. Naturally they slurp as much data as they can.

      2. Steven Roper

        Re: Am I being cynical .....

        Translation of the above weaselese into common English:

        Technically, you retain the copyright to your work. However, you give us the everlasting right to do whatever the fuck we want with it, including making money from it, without paying you a cent, or giving you any credit, so you may as well have given us the copyright since it's now worthless to you anyway.

  7. Turtle

    Improving People's Lives

    "Google is waving £2m in front of charities, promising to donate dollops of the dosh if the orgs develop tech that improves people's lives."

    The implication here is that charities need to be induced into improving people's lives and that's not wrong - although it's not strictly correct: charities often need to be induced into improving the lives of people who are not executives and directors at said charities.

  8. Seanmon

    2 mil?

    For "a technology-based project that has the potential to change society on a large scale?"

    Come on!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was cynical the moment Branson's name was mentioned.

    If he was so big on charity - he wouldn't be hoovering up the income from the Virgin brand and stashing it on a Caribbean island. I suspect he know has enough money to build a volcano there just so that he can then have it hollowed out for his secret base.

    The man's self-promotion knows no limits.

    (and as for Virgin "Galactic" - at least Musk would get you into actual space, not just a very long way up)

  10. southpacificpom

    Do more with less

    Saving the world with two million - obviously they've been to too many Microsoft presentations...

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