Google's interesting social innovation

My buddy Anthony Baxter has been a Googler for a while and has worked on many fascinating projects. But what he’s working on now is not just interesting from a technology perspective, it is interesting from a social innovation perspective too.

He’s working on the Google Crisis Response Team, which is part of Google’s philanthropic activities, and he’ll be talking about this at the next Social Innovation Sydney Unconference on 13 August 2011.

The Crisis Response team is an excellent example of social innovation. Google set it up to focus on technology-driven philanthropy via Google.org.  It is a practical way of helping people who have experienced some kind of disaster or humanitarian crisis.  They work to make critical information more accessible during times of crisis.

As they explain it:

The types of activities we might initiate include:

  • Organizing emergency alerts, news updates and donation opportunities, and making this information visible through our web properties
  • Building engineering tools that enable better communication and collaboration among crisis responders and among victims such as Person Finder and Resource Finder
  • Providing updated satellite imagery and maps of affected areas to illustrate infrastructure damage and help relief organizations navigate disaster zones
  • Supporting the rebuilding of network infrastructure where it has been damaged to enable access to the Internet
  • Donating to charitable organizations that are providing direct relief on-the-ground

Read more about past efforts.

If you’re interested in this kind of thing then register now for Social Innovation Sydney Unconference 13 Aug 2011.