April 7, 2014
1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy
Mountain View, CA 94043
Dear Mr. Page,
We are writing to you on behalf of a group of over 100 student leaders from around the country to express our support for Paul Polak’s ambitious challenge to Google to help end poverty.
We are the University Innovation Fellows. We believe that poverty can be ended, and we are thrilled with the opportunity that Mr. Polak has presented you. By taking on this challenge, Google can help change the lives of over 100 million people, and can inspire millions more to address one of the world’s greatest challenges in a revolutionary way.
We do believe, though, that time is of the essence. By responding to this moonshot challenge now, Google can bring a spirit of optimism to the global community and spur a grassroots movement of innovation that spreads around the world. Too often, compelling ideas aren’t ever brought to life due to a lack of funding or problems with scaling. Google could address this challenge head on by paving the way for innovators to invest their time and talents in designing better solutions rather than writing grant proposals.
How many moonshot-sized ideas lie dormant inside the minds of people who have limited access to technology and resources? By focusing on access to education, healthcare and technology, Mr. Polak is offering simple solutions that will equip people with the tools and skills with which they can not only survive, but begin working creatively toward solutions of global consequence.
Many of us had the opportunity to meet Mr. Polak at the NCIIA OPEN Conference after spending time at Google and meeting with partners from Google Ventures. We were inspired by his message, which is why we are dedicating our time and talents to the effort of ending poverty in our lifetimes. In light of your mission to increase access to the world’s information, we invite you to join us in helping the world attain the basic means to access it, and we would gladly contribute anything we could towards coordinating such an effort.
The future depends on us. The time is now.
The University Innovation Fellows
The University Innovation Fellows are part of a national movement to ensure that students gain the necessary attitudes, skills and knowledge required for them to compete in the economy of the future. These student leaders from schools around the country work with their peers to catalyze innovation and venture activity on their campuses. Our program is sponsored by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter), which is funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA).