The villa community, Google & Mr. Obama…

This pitch to the villa alumni group was sent to us by Cliff Thompson, vsj 1967.. In our Fribourg world, neither Mr. Obama nor Google were remotely conceivable..

— the editors

Hi Alumni,

I’m writing to inform you of a contest I participated in, to submit ideas to a Google 10th birthday special project called “Project 10100”, about which Google writes, “Project 10100 is a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible…We’ll help bring these ideas to life…We’re committing $10 million to implement these projects, and our goal is to help as many people as possible”.

 It turns out Google adapted the Project 10100 technology to develop a similar project for Barack Obama’s Open Government website called “Citizen’s Briefing Book”, where people can “Share…ideas on any issue facing the new administration, then rate or comment on other ideas. The best rated ideas will be gathered into a Citizen’s Briefing Book to be delivered to President Obama.”

 I submitted several ideas to the Google site, the 1st of which offers a recommendation to end global warming, & I also submitted just the end global warming idea to the Obama site. There will be online voting for the top ideas on both websites. I was wondering if I could interest you in participating & spreading the word on the voting. For the Obama site, you can just go to the idea webpage & click a “Vote Up” button next to the idea title, to add 10 points to the total vote count. For the Google site, voting begins shortly – to be informed when voting begins, on the site you can click on a link that reads “Send me a reminder to vote” – the voting begins January 27th, 2009.

My involvement with the project is a result of having worked after-hours the last several years as Appropriate Technology (AT) Evangelist for NGO “Paths of Native Africa”, assisting developing nation villages with AT Projects. To develop AT skills, I recently completed a years’ worth of Solar Living Institute (SLI) bootcamp engineering workshops focused on the whole AT spectrum including Water Management, Bio-Intensive Agriculture, Natural Building, BioFuel, Solar Thermal, Solar Photovoltaic/Wind/Micro-Hydro Power & Electric Vehicles. Lately I’ve been turning my attention to developing standard low-cost AT system designs that can help the most people globally, starting with Solar Photovoltaic (PV) power systems. I’ve just begun reporting progress on a new AT website I’ve recently created named “VillageTech.”

A while back my wife Toni, who works at Google, emailed me about the Google Project 10100. Because of my AT activities, I took this call from Google as a solicitation to describe my AT ideas, so, under my NGO Nickname Cliff_”High-Tech”, I submitted nearly a dozen ideas, arranged roughly in descending order of “fraction of global population helped”, the first affecting 100% (a global warming CO2 extraction AT), the second affecting 40% (a water contaminant extraction AT), & so on. Later on Toni emailed me about Google Project 10100 being adapted for Obama’s “Citizen’s Briefing Book”, so, under my regular Nickname “clifftrobot”, I submitted just the global warming CO2 extraction AT idea.

For the Google Project 10100, Google adds, “Thank you to everyone who submitted an idea. We received over 100,000! [Toni says it reached 150,000]…We’ll post a selection of one hundred ideas and ask you, the public, to choose twenty semi-finalists. Then an advisory board will select up to five final ideas…Once we’ve selected up to five ideas for funding, we will use an RFP process to identify the organization(s) that are in the best position to implement the selected ideas. We will be providing funding to these organizations to implement the ideas…[& NOT to the person who submitted the idea, as explained in the Project 10100 FAQ “Submitting Entries” section question “Q: What do I get if my idea is chosen?  A: You get good karma and the satisfaction of knowing that your idea might truly help a lot of people” – BUT, the person who submitted the idea can recommend an organization on the submit form field “18. If you’d like to recommend a specific organization…” that may in turn lead to Google identifying as a candidate for implementing & funding]”.

So, I’d like to encourage everyone to spread the word (feel free to forward this email) & vote up the idea on the Obama site,  & vote for the best ideas on the Project 10100 website, because, for the Project 10100 website, though I don’t know if any of my ideas will make it to the finals, whichever idea(s) make the finals, the most people will be helped with the best idea(s), as funded by $10 million, which is a win for us all.  Because the Project 10100 website idea submissions are not, at the time of this writing, listed & searchable, I’ve placed a copy of my submitted ideas on a Project 10100 webpage on VillageTech, & included a “Send me a reminder to vote” link on the page. Here are the links:
Obama Citizen’s Briefing Book idea “End Global Warming & Climate Change Now”:  (click the “Vote Up” button by the title)

Google Project 10100 “Voting Begins: January 27th, 2009”: (vote here on Jan. 27)

• Google Project 10100 “Send me a reminder to vote:”
• VillageTech Google Project 10100 ideas submissions page:
• VillageTech Projects included as references in the Google Project 10100 idea submissions (click on the Navigation links “Solar Power for School PC”, “Solar Power Mini-PV”, & “Solar Powered OLPC”):

Alrighty Then!
Thanks in advance, appreciate any help you can provide,

Cliff Thompson
Appropriate Technology Evangelist
Paths of Native Africa

(fyi, more on Cliff can be found here)

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About villastjean

Villa St. Jean was a Marianist school in Fribourg, Switzerland, from 1903-1970. This blog site is intended as a forum for Villa alumni to share memories, pictures and connections.
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