Yesterday, I listened to most of Nick Yeo’s conversation over at the social innovation center’s conversations network. He is the communications director for Taking ITGlobal, a youth- and development-oriented social networking pllatform.
One thing that stood out (and that I think Vishant might like) is that he discussed how they discovered that their users in places like Africa were often huddled five or six aroudn a computer using the site, and they thought of ways to cross leverage that liittle face2face net with the networking of their platform.
Their official elevator pitch:
TakingITGlobal.org is an online community that connects youth to find inspiration, access information, get involved, and take action in their local and global communities. It’s the world’s most popular online community for young people interested in making a difference, with hundreds of thousands of unique visitors each month.
The other link is to google.org. Read this in Fast Company’s Fast list for 2008. They seem to combine corporate philanthropy, R&D, and wiki-type decision making (letting lots of people propose and rank ideas for grants and investing). Also interesting to see that Hal Varian, whose book Network Rules was one of the better strategy books i read at IESE, is their chief economist.