The search giant announced project 10^100 (ten to the hundredth) live on CNN as part of its 10th birthday celebrations and invited users from all over the world to submit ideas. The company agreed to fund winning ideas and has set aside $10 million to do so. In a promotional video, Google cites the Hippo Water Roller as one such project that has noticeably impacted people’s lives. Developed in Africa, the Hippo Water Roller is a water barrel that allows villagers fetching water to roll the water home rather than carrying the full weight. It’s this caliber of idea that Google is looking for.
The closing date for 10^100 submissions is October 20 and users must fill out an application form detailing who would benefit most from their idea and how. Ideally submissions should also fit certain criteria and categories. These are, Community, Opportunity, Energy, Environment, Health, Education and Shelter. However, Product Marketing Manager at Google, Bethany Poole told CNN that the company was reluctant to limit people in the kind of ideas they submit and so, there is also an Everything Else category. Google has asked that users consider certain things when submitting an idea such as how many people it will reach, how urgent is the need, how attainable the idea is (can it be done in a year or two), how cost-effective it is and how long the impact of your idea would last if implemented.
The best 100 ideas will be whittled down to 20 by vote put to the general public. These 20 will then be narrowed down to five finalists. Depending on the ideas, a panel of judges will select between one and five ideas and the $10 million will be distributed evenly among the winners. While Poole admitted that Google has not determined how the projects will be financially sustained once the money runs out, she told CNN that Google also hopes to connect people with good ideas to charitable organizations who could help implement them.