Google swamped with ideas to change the world

Finalist picks delayed as Google says more time needed to sift through 150,000 ideas

So many ideas to change the world -- and so little time.

To mark its 10th anniversary last September, Google Inc. launched a search to find the best ideas for projects that can "change the world by helping as many people as possible." Known as Project 10^100 (pronounced 10 to the 100th), the initiative called for ideas to be submitted until last Oct. 20. After that, the company said it would post what it determined to be the top 100 ideas by today. Those projects would be eligible to receive funds out of $10 million pool set up by Google.

However, Google now says that it received so many ideas that it can't review them all and complete a list of finalists by today, said Andy Berndt, managing director of the Google Creative Lab in a blog post.

"The response we received has wowed and humbled us," wrote Berndt. "People sent in over 150,000 ideas, with submissions in all of the 25 languages for which we had a submission form. All of this reviewing and sorting has kept Googlers around the world quite busy."

The list of finalists is now slated to be posted on the project's Web site on March 17. Once the list is posted, users will be able to vote on their favorite project.

Google noted that the ideas can be big or small, technology-driven or not.

"Never in history have so many people had so much information, so many tools at their disposal, so many ways of making good ideas come to life," Google says on its Web site. "Yet at the same time, so many people, of all walks of life, could use so much help, in both little ways and big. At Google, we don't believe we have the answers, but we do believe the answers are out there. Maybe in a lab, or a company, or a university -- but maybe not. Maybe the answer that helps somebody is in your head, in something you've observed, some notion that you've been fiddling with, some small connection you've noticed, some old thing you have seen with new eyes."

Categories for the competition include the following: community, energy, environment, shelter, health, opportunity, education and "everything else."

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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