Solve for X: Google gathers top minds to solve everything

Solve for X: Google gathers top minds to solve everything

Summary: This past weekend, Google quietly held the first-ever Solve for X conference, gathering top minds to tackle the world's problems.

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TOPICS: Google
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Never one to ignore its social conscience, Google has announced the existence of Solve for X, a conference that gathers the world's top thinkers, inventors and innovators to discuss real solutions to disease, hunger, poverty, and other global-scale problems.

The conference first became publicly known with today's launch of the Solve for X site. It's currently inaccessible to non-attendees, but a landing page contains a YouTube video that explains the conference's mission and the following statement of intent:

Solve for X is a place where the curious can go to hear and discuss radical technology ideas for solving global problems. Radical in the sense that the solutions could help billions of people. Radical in the sense that the audaciousness of the proposals makes them sound like science fiction. And radical in the sense that there is some real technology breakthrough on the horizon to give us all hope that these ideas could really be brought to life.

Intriguingly, Google's Richard DeVaul - a self-described "mad scientist" - indicates on Google+ that the inaugural Solve for X conference was actually held over this past weekend, featuring "short, technology rich presentations on topics ranging from low-energy, low-cost water desalinization to stretchable silicon biosensors." It sounds a lot like the vaunted TED conference, with a Google twist.

On that note, DeVaul seems to indicate that we can expect the conference presentations to be online in a YouTube channel any minute now - the Solve for X site has a form to enter your e-mail and get an alert when it's open to all. In the meanwhile, hopefully Google won't let future conferences run in this kind of stealth mode.

Topic: Google

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  • RE: Solve for X: Google gathers top minds to solve everything

    Why not just donate some of their billions to existing charities and have an immediate impact?
    lippidp
    • RE: Solve for X: Google gathers top minds to solve everything

      @lippidp Good idea, throwing money at problems always works.
      xxl3ww@...
  • Barking up the wrong tree

    Hmm, couple of centuries of "technology" and it hasn't really helped the real problems and somehow its going to work now? Color me skeptical.
    NoAxToGrind
    • RE: Solve for X: Google gathers top minds to solve everything

      @NoAxToGrind My grandmother told me that the coming of automobiles was hailed as a big step forward in public health, because there wouldn't be so much horse shit all over the streets. My mother survived breast cancer for quite a few years, because of improvements in medicine. I (and my son) survived childbirth, where one or the other (or both of us) might not have 200 years ago. The telegraph, telephone, television, and internet has allowed greater communication and collaboration than ever before. I agree there are still real problems to solve, but I disagree with your opinion that "[technology] hasn't really helped...".
      mmorrison
  • Tax evasion

    Google could start by stopping its own tax evasion practices. The use of tax havens is a major problem *everywhere*, even though 3rd world countries have it the worst. If Google would truly not be evil, it wouldn't use tax havens.
    spuge
    • It's all about who steers investment

      People have this weird idea that corporations and "the rich" bury their money underground. Don't you worry your little head, it's invested in something, creating jobs someplace. If that's not here, maybe you should ask yourself whom you would rather have investing [i]your[/i] money... Larry Page or Barney Frank? Maybe if Barney would leave Larry alone, the next 900 programmers would be hired in Austin instead of Belfast.
      Robert Hahn
      • RE: Solve for X: Google gathers top minds to solve everything

        @Robert Hahn
        As we learned a few years ago you are wrong. Many wealthy U.S. Citizens were identified as having dropped money in Swiss Banks. Those banks were doing little with the money (maybe lending out a bit of it), but essentially it was a tax haven and doing little for anyone other than the Swiss banks. If you think it STILL isn't going on you are mistaken.
        jkohut
      • RE: Solve for X: Google gathers top minds to solve everything

        @Robert Hahn
        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-21/google-2-4-rate-shows-how-60-billion-u-s-revenue-lost-to-tax-loopholes.html
        Yes, it's definitely creating jobs - for the same people who also enable money laundering.
        I wish you would worry your cranium with the puzzling question of why are we spending money on development aid when at the same time the tax systems in developing countries are completely broken. Having a real social conscience would mean manning up and setting an example. Come on Google, Apple and Microsoft, show us what you've got!
        spuge
      • I'll be gone

        We appear to have spawned a generation that believes it would be a good idea to have politicians allocate investment capital. That must be because they weren't around to see how the Soviet Union turned out after 50 years of having the government plan their economy. Too bad. Such people will at some point re-create the Soviet Union here, all the while thinking they are Doing Good. The Universe's revenge will be that they will have to live in what they created.

        Go for it, guys. Vote it in. Give your politicians more money to play with so they can do even more good stuff for you. Then vote in more of it. And more still. Yay government!
        Robert Hahn
      • RE: Solve for X: Google gathers top minds to solve everything

        @Robert Hahn
        Sir, I am actually from the Soviet Republic of Finland and I forgot how far right America is.
        spuge