A brilliant benefactor
Larry Brilliant is executive director of Google's philanthropic arm. Tony Delamothe talked to him
In their first founders' letter, Larry Page and Sergey Brin said they wanted to “make Google an institution that makes the world a better place.” They committed 1% of the company's equity and 1% of its annual profits to philanthropy and set up Google.org as the main route to disburse these funds. Two years ago, they put Larry Brilliant in charge, and earlier this year he announced the five core initiatives that will provide the focus of Google's philanthropic efforts over the next 5-10 years.
“We tried to pick areas that allowed us to bring the energies and talents of Google engineers and Google resources to bear,” says Brilliant. Altogether, $75m (£38m; €47m) has been committed to projects in three areas—global health, poverty, and climate change.
Unsurprisingly, given Brilliant's background (of which more later), the initiative on global health is called Predict and Prevent. It “supports efforts to empower communities