The Other Side of Google

google.orgEveryone is familiar with largest search giant in the world. But do you know about ? If not, this post is for you.

What is ? is the philanthropic arm of Google Inc. which, according to home page, “uses Google’s strength in information and technology to build products and advocate for policies that address global challenges.”

How it started?

In 2004, when Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin decided to go public, they made a commitment to prospective shareholders to contribute significant resources, equity and profits, as well as employee time, to address some of the world’s most urgent problems. This commitment saw the birth of in 2004. Google follows 1 percent rule which means that 1 percent of Google’s equity and profits as well as one percent of employee’s time is devoted towards making world a better place to live in.

Projects Launched By

Over the time has started many independent projects as well as some projects in collaboration with other companies. Some of the projects launched by are:

Google Flu Trend This uses Google’s search data to indicate flu activity in real time in 20 countries, thus helping public and officials to detect disease outbreaks in time.

Google Power Meter This is free software that uses information from smart meters installed in your house to display your home’s energy consumption in your personalized iGoogle homepage. Using this information you can understand how you use energy throughout the day and reduce your electricity usage to lower your bills.

RE<C This was started with an aim to produce electricity from renewable energy sources which would be cheaper than that produced by coal.

Apart from having its projects, also helps other organizations. One interesting project in India backed by is Planet Read. This is an NGO started by Dr. Brij Kothari of IIM-A with an aim to improve literacy through a unique method Same Language Subtitling (SLS).

Looks like Google wants to take its motto “Don’t Be Evil” to a next step by being philanthropic. Though skeptics might say that there is nothing great about it, as every organization comes up with such projects as a part of social corporate responsibility, credit must be given to Google for starting the philanthropic work at an early stage of its life. It was 25 years after Microsoft started that Bill Gates set up “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation”. Larry and Brin should be applauded for their early start.

One Comment

Namit Gupta February 22, 2010

Nice initiative by Google. Thanks for sharing!!!