Serious World Problems: Don’t worry, Google is on it

There are a variety of problems these days; Global warming, poverty, Illiteracy, debt crises, these are just a few. Google has elected to give solving these problems a try and created the “Solve for X” initiative. This project brings together some of Google’s finest minds and asks them to imaginatively tackle some of the most perplexing global issues. The hope is that the “Solve for X” brain trust will come out with radical solutions using today’s technologies in a way previously unthought-of.

Tackling the biggest global issues

It will not be simple however the individuals behind the project are enthusiastic and eager. They believe that our technologies are untapped resources and they compare the forward thinking happening in the “Solve for X” project to the revolutionary thinking that was required to get humans on the moon. Google describes it this way: “This combination of things—a huge problem to solve, a radical solution for solving it and the breakthrough technology to make it happen—is the essence of a moonshot.”

Tackling water scarcity

Last month Mashable.com ran a story on the “Solve for X” project. Mashable cited the account of an individual who took part in a “Solve for X” retreat. He said they were focused on the issue of water scarcity. What resolutions did they come up with on this retreat? One involved forward osmosis with recycled ammonium salts. It’s fine if you don’t know what that means, fortuitously the people at “Solve for X” do.

The need for technology brain trusts

Whether “Solve for X” does develop any real solutions for the globe’s biggest problems, the brain trust idea is unquestionably one with value. Technology has the power to change the world for good. Yes, new tech entertains us. It makes it easier for us to enjoy our music, watch movies, and read our favorite magazines. But technology can do much more. Maybe brain trusts like “Solve for X” will help us truly tap the potential of technology.


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