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.