United Nations Stories January 14, 2016

Google thinks we can end global poverty in 15 years, is inviting tech entrepreneurs to figure out how

Google has never been a company to shy away from the big challenges in life, whether it’s creating self-driving cars, beaming the Internet from balloons, making human skin or abolishing death. Its latest example is a summit at the company’s Campus London space to try to figure out how world poverty could be eradicated within 15 years.

While it may sound a huge challenge, much progress has already been made. In 1990, the United Nations set a goal of halving global poverty levels by 2015, and the goal was actually reached five years early in 2010. Google now wants to complete the job – starting with an afternoon’s worth of ideas from tech entrepreneurs.

Google for Entrepreneurs is co-hosting a Tech Against Poverty summit on January 22 from 1pm to 6pm at Campus London, a Google shared office space specifically created for start-ups. Its partner in the event is Dreamstake, a support and investor platform for start-ups.

Google and Dreamstake want to test the hypothesis that the start-up culture will have a major positive impact on the poorest communities in the world. The event is open to Scientists, inventors, engineers, artists, thinkers and doers, and hopes to create some effective new thoughts in this space, with Google for Entrepreneurs actioning any ideas they see as innovating and taking a step closer to solving the problem.

The event is free, and you can register to participate at Dreamstake’s Solve for X website.

United Nations Stories March 7, 2014

Google starts celebrating International Women’s Day a day early with Doodle & video


A Google doodle appearing on the company’s homepage in some countries (though not yet the U.S.) celebrates tomorrow’s International Women’s Day, leading to a video when you click on it.

The video features brief clips of women from all around the world, in support of the United Nations theme that “Equality for Women is Progress for All.” The doodle is likely to appear on the U.S. site at some point today.

The full message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appears below.

This International Women’s Day, we are highlighting the importance of achieving equality for women and girls not simply because it is a matter of fairness and fundamental human rights, but because progress in so many other areas depends on it.

Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support.

The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all.

This simple truth must be central as we work to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals by next year’s deadline and craft an agenda for the years beyond 2015.

Important gains have been made in access to primary education for girls and political representation by women. But progress remains far too slow and uneven.

A baby girl born today will still face inequality and discrimination, no matter where her mother lives. We have a common obligation to ensure her right to live free from the violence that affects one in three women globally; to earn equal pay for equal work; to be free of the discrimination that prevents her from participating in the economy; to have an equal say in the decisions that affect her life; and to decide if and when she will have children, and how many she will have.

I have a message for every girl born today, and to every woman and girl on the planet: Realizing human rights and equality is not a dream, it is a duty of governments, the United Nations and every human being. I also have a message for my fellow men and boys: play your part. All of us benefit when women and girls – your mothers, sisters, friends and colleagues — can reach their full potential.

Together, let us work for women’s rights, empowerment and gender equality as we strive to eliminate poverty and promote sustainable development. Equality for women is progress for all!

Via Mashable

United Nations Stories May 4, 2013


From the Beeb:

In a statement given to the BBC on Friday, Google spokesman Nathan Tyler said: “We’re changing the name ‘Palestinian Territories’ to ‘Palestine’ across our products. We consult a number of sources and authorities when naming countries. “In this case, we are following the lead of the UN, Icann [the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers], ISO [International Organisation for Standardisation] and other international organisations.”

The Palestinian Authority (PA) welcomed Google’s decision.

“This is a step in the right direction, a timely step and one that encourages others to join in and give the right definition and name for Palestine instead of Palestinian territories,” Dr Sabri Saidam, advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told the BBC.”Most of the traffic that happens now happens in the virtual world and this means putting Palestine on the virtual map as well as on the geographic maps,” he added.

Agree this is a bigger deal than it would immediately appear…for Palestinians especially. The Google Maps folks aren’t yet on the same page:

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United Nations Stories December 3, 2012


Father of the Internet and Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf took to the company’s Public Policy Blog today to urge people to join the freeandopenweb.com petition hours before a closed-door meeting with governments and the International Telecommunication Union in Dubai. Google launched the Free and Open Web campaign in response to what it called the ITU and governments attempts to “further regulate the internet.” As noted by Cerf in the post, the ITU is holding a conference in Dubai from Dec. 3 to Dec. 14 that would “revise a decades-old treaty, in which only governments have a vote.” Late last week, Cerf outlined some of the topics rumored to be discussed at the meetings:

Some of these governments are trying to use a closed-door meeting of The International Telecommunication Union that opens on December 3 in Dubai to further their repressive agendas. Accustomed to media control, these governments fear losing it to the open internet. They worry about the spread of unwanted ideas. They are angry that people might use the internet to criticize their governments. expand full story

United Nations Stories June 8, 2012

UN’s ITU wants to tax biggest US websites including Google and Apple

The United Nations is considering a new internet tax for U.S. websites and content providers including Google and Apple, according to leaked proposals from the European Telecommunications Network Operators Association:

The United Nations is considering a new Internet tax targeting the largest Web content providers, including Google, Facebook, Apple, and Netflix, that could cripple their ability to reach users in developing nations…The European proposal, offered for debate at a December meeting of a U.N. agency called the International Telecommunication Union, would amend an existing telecommunications treaty by imposing heavy costs on popular Web sites and their network providers for the privilege of serving non-U.S. users, according to newly leaked documents.

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