Technology can play an important role in helping us tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time. From using AI to detect wildfires to efficiently mapping cities’ carbon footprints, combating climate change and broader sustainability issues are proven fields in which technological innovation can have significant impact. While progress is being made, great challenges ahead of us remain and the urgency to accelerate and grow efforts on creating solutions for the planet has never been more important. At Google, we’re strong believers that collaborative efforts are key to making that happen.
As a country of origin for ambitious entrepreneurs and nonprofits, Sweden is a special place for finding innovative solutions to complex issues, with tremendous potential for scaling sustainable solutions far beyond country borders. We know, however, that these efforts often require resources — both in workforce and in funding. That’s why we want to support, and help transform untapped potential into reality.
Today, supported by social entrepreneurship initiative Samhällsentreprenörskap Sverige and Swedish Incubators & Science Parks (SISP), we’re launching the Google.org Impact Challenge: Tech for Social Good — the first open call for non-profit organizations, academic or research institutions and social enterprises in Sweden and other European countries to apply for technical help and funding for charitable projects particularly focused on climate and sustainability.
Recipient organizations will receive up to six months of pro bono support from a full-time team of Google.org Fellows — ranging from software engineers and product managers to user experience experts — and up to €3 million in funding to help develop and grow their projects. Whether it’s organizations working to find new energy solutions, facilitate emission reductions or tackle other complex social impact issues, we hope this initiative will help overcome critical barriers of turning innovative ideas into important projects.
Shortlisted applications will be reviewed by a Swedish panel of experts, including Gustav Lind (WWF), Victor Galaz (Stockholm Resilience Center), Mala Valroy (Industrifonden) Sara Öhrvall (Axel Johnson) and Kristian Rönn (Normative). The selected recipients will be announced by the end of the year in Stockholm.
While this is the first ever open-call for Fellowships in Sweden, Google’s philanthropic arm Google.org has been working for many years to support social innovators on an international level. During a 2020 European Google.org Impact Challenge, Normative, founded in Sweden, was selected for funding and support from Google.org Fellows. Making use of these resources, Normative developed a business carbon emissions calculator that has now helped thousands of small and medium enterprises calculate their carbon emissions for free.
We’re looking forward to seeing all the exciting projects Sweden’s social impact organizations are working on. Working side by side, we’re positive we can help progress the climate agenda for individuals, businesses and society together — in Sweden and beyond.
Applications are now open on http://g.co/ImpactChallenge/Sweden.