The recent days have seen several announcements and pledges made by the UN and global leaders to ... well, to make a world a better place asap. Why should we trust them particularly this time? In the past years, most global companies - mostly tech ones - have launched their own programmes to support what they're best at. Mark Zuckerberg's speaking at the UN yesterday was a hugely symbolic event. With both companies and their leaders spending billions not only on charitable causes but also on development opportunities, we have reasons to believe this could make a difference this time. Here's a quick overview of what to keep an eye on. Do not hesitate to contact me if you've heard of more interesting projects!
Facebook wants to #connecttheworld
Mark Zuckerberg achieved the incredible task to connect over 1 billion people on this planet. At his latest Townhall Q&A session on 16 September he admitted that he could only think about the 6 billion remaining. Let's face it: the first 1 billion were definitely the easiest to drag onto social media. Now Zuckerberg and Facebook want to offer internet access to remote and disadvantaged areas of the planet. Yesterday him and Bono stated:
"When people have access to the tools and knowledge of the internet, they have access to opportunities that make life better for all of us." (The Connectivity Declaration)
By empowering people and peoples with access to the internet we will offer an incredible commodity just as important as clean water or electricity.
Facebook has two main projects: internet.org (to offer essential internet services, country by country) and Aquila, a giant drone flying over remote areas and offering them
Google: sun, roofs and maps
Google has been involved in many projects for years, especially environmental ones. You can access Google Green for more information. A new fantastic project has caught my attention recently: Project Sunroof, which proves that we already have most of the tools to make those changes happen.
Project Sunroof uses Google Maps as well as other factors to map which houses, streets and neighbourhoods offer the best opportunities to install solar panels. As those are becoming cheaper and cheaper, Google wants to offer each and everyone an opportunity to make that transition as easy as possible. When I discovered Google Earth and Maps (that must have been nearly 10 years ago...) I was astonished by how many houses I was able to virtually spy on. Now imagine that each of those houses and gardens that you can observe on satellite and street images get a chance to potentially save on their energy bills and go carbon neutral. Now you see why this project is a golden one.
Sadly, mapping and analysing each house on this planet is a tedious task, and the project is only available in the Boston and San Francisco bay areas as well as Fresno, CA at the moment. All we can hope is for the team to grow and for them to cover as many places as possible soon! (come do Scotland, I'm sure you'll find a way to get us solar power across those thick clouds).
Visit the website and watch this video!
Virgin & Richard Branson on a green war
Richard Branson's Necker Island is not only a place for great kitesurfing and decadent holidays, it is also the home to many exciting projects. As the island is going completely carbon neutral this year, it is also where two great projects were born. Firstly the Elders, a group of global actors and leaders formed in 2007 and behind the #GlobalGoals announcements earlier this week. Secondly the Carbon War Room, an organisation promoting the reduction of CO2 emissions and offering prizes to whoever will find ways to extract carbon out of the Earth's atmosphere. More reasons to remain optimistic and get involved.
I will be adding more global projects soon. Please contact me or drop a comment below if there's anything you believe is worth adding!