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Google's global approach to innovation
Posted: 16 January 2011

I find this initiative by Google interesting for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it is recognition by Google that the geeks shall inherit the earth. It also puts emphasis on supporting young minds to flourish and succeed, but more importantly stresses the role of Science and Engineering in society, both now and in the future. In previous centuries, a good classical education was a worthwhile ambition for young people to pursue. These days, a scientific or technological background or skill set is arguably of greater value - for entrepreneurs, innovators or anyone else who wants to change the world.

Another facet which intrigues me is the global nature of the Fair. Anyone can participate. Not only people from a country or state, but anyone. This is not only acknowledging the 'flat' nature or the modern world, but also not providing 'special' circumstances for the disadvantaged. It's a level playing ground - your opportunity to succeed or fail on your own merits.

But it's more than that. It's also a tacit move toward the new order where geographic and national boundaries are increasingly irrelevant. Just as in the case of Wikileaks, rules, ethics, governance and categorization are increasingly in the hands of groupings not defined by nation states. The rise of powerful entities like Google and Facebook that command a global influence, if not a power base, will be a subject for intensive social study.

In my mind, it's one of those weak signals that points to a possible tsunami of change in the future.

Google Launches Worldwide Science Fair
16 January 2011
The Google Global Science Fair 2011 is open to students aged 13-18 years old, working solo or in groups of up to three. Applicants should come up with their own hypothesis, create an experiment to test it, and present the results and conclusion in either a two-minute video or a 20-slide presentation. Current entries from offline local science fairs will also be accepted when embedded into ...
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