What is Google: Solve for X

Global warming? Poverty? Illiteracy? Debt crises? They are all big global problems. And they have drawn the attention of the technology pros at Google. Google recently presented its new “Solve for X” initiative, a project in which Google’s greatest minds take on the world’s most vexing challenges. The aim is for “Solve for X” minds to suggest revolutionary suggestions for eliminating some of the biggest challenges facing the Earth.

Tackling the biggest global issues

Of course, it’s not all that simple. The “Solve for X” brain trust will be tackling problems that have long befuddled world leaders. However, the folks behind this project are nothing if not determined. They claim the work taking place here is akin to the innovative thinking that was required to send humans to the moon. On the “Solve for X” website, 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

The Mashable.com recently ran an interesting feature story on the “Solve for X” project. Mashable cited the account of a participant in a “Solve for X” retreat who said that the minds gathered with him were working on the huge issue of global water scarcity. What type of solutions are “Solve for X” members creating to handle this issue? One involved forward osmosis with recycled ammonium salts. If you have no clue what that means, don’t fret—the folks at “Solve for X” do.

The need for technology brain trusts

Whether or not “Solve for X” results in real remedies for the world’s problems, the concept certainly has value. Technology is generally developed with a single objective in mind, usually for entertainment. That said, it’s likely there are many ways we could use current technologies that we haven’t considered. With luck ,, “Solve for X” will help us take advantage of that potential.


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