), Google is entertaining entries for their 10 to the 100th Project: a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible. Yesterday, I submitted my entry, including a 30-second YouTube video. While the odds are great, with a little luck my entry just might make it into the finals. So here for your personal edification is my full entry. Enjoy! And, if my idea should make it into the top 100 (A selection of Google employees will review all the ideas submitted and select 100 for public consideration), I'll let you know at the end of January, 2009, how you can help push it into the top 20! Again Google's Project
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. Yet at the same time, so many people, of all walks of life, could use so much help, in both little ways and big. In the midst of this, new studies are reinforcing the simple wisdom that beyond a certain very basic level of material wealth, the only thing that increases individual happiness over time is helping other people.
In other words, helping helps everybody, helper and helped alike.
The question is: what would help? And help most?
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.
If you have an idea that you believe would help somebody, we want to hear about it. We're looking for ideas that help as many people as possible, in any way, and we're committing the funding to launch them. You can submit your ideas and help vote on ideas from others. Final idea selections will be made by an advisory board.
Good luck, and may those who help the most win.
Q: What criteria will be used to select the winning ideas? The following five criteria will be considered by the advisory panel in evaluating and selecting the winning ideas: Reach: How many people would this idea affect? Depth: How deeply are people impacted? How urgent is the need? Attainability: Can this idea be implemented within a year or two? Efficiency: How simple and cost-effective is your idea? Longevity: How long will the idea's impact last?
Served Your Country Now Let Us Serve You... Project
08. Your idea's name (maximum 50 characters):
Served Your Country Now Let Us Serve You... 10. What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum 150 characters)
Served your country, many benefits exist, yet learning of and getting to these benefits can be daunting - we can help put you on the right track. 11. Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)
Having served your country, your service entitles you to many benefits provided by a variety of public and private sources. Yet the process of learning about and getting to these benefits can be daunting, with the 'directions' you are given often overwhelming and the 'answers' you obtain time and again misleading or downright wrong. The result, many veterans never learn of the benefits to which they are entitled. Or, once known, the veteran throws up their hands in disgust over their inability to cut through the red tape they must deal with.
As a current service-member or a veteran of military service, or as a veteran service officer to help your fellow veteran, using the information made available in the "Let Us Serve" project can efficiently assist you in locating the federal, state, county, and local government, veteran and non-profit organizations, universities, businesses, and (fellow) veteran service officers, all who have a personal interest in helping obtain the benefits the current service-member or veteran deserve, as quickly and as completely as possible.
The demographics of just Nassau and Suffolk counties (New York State) include a population of over 2.7 million that includes over 227,000 veterans (all population data from the 2000 Census), who live in over 295 communities; with over 20 veteran organizations, and; over 60 organizations whose purpose it is to provide services to military service members, veterans, and their families.
The services provided include: Addiction / Gambling; Bereavement Counseling; Children's Services; Educational Services; Emergency / Crisis Care; Emotional Support; Employment / Vocational; Era Specific Illnesses; Family Support; Homelessness; Housing; Military Sexual Trauma; Military Unit Organizations; Nursing Home / Adult Day Care; Social Security Issues; Traumatic Brain Injury; VA Medical Centers; Veteran Specific Services. 12. What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)
While governmental and private business organizations exist whose function it is to provide military service members and veterans with the variety of benefits military service entitles them to, all too often many of the individuals at these organizations, with whom the service member and veteran have initial contact, are not fully aware of the nature or extent of the benefits their organization offers. Further, military veterans are often very opinionated as to from whom they will turn in order to receive the benefits they and their family need.
Yet there exists a nucleus of veteran advocates who, for the want of easily obtainable accurate and updated information, would be able to guide the veteran in obtaining the knowledge about, and the actual services available to them. 13. If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? ( 150 words)
In the USA (Phase III and IV, see item 15), 8% to 15% of the population has served in the military -- over 26 million individuals. Looking at veteran family-units this increases to 25% to over 33%, or over 70 million, closer to 100 million individuals.
Phase I: Over 227,000 veterans with family units approaching 900,000.
Phase II: Over 1,300,000 veterans - family units approach 5 million.
As to Phase V, the sky is virtually the limit.
The project is designed to benefit US military, veterans, and their families (Phases I through IV) by efficiently and effectively providing benefit information. Eventually, this could be extended to any country who wants to participate (Phase V).
Further, this 'model' could extend into other areas as well. Any instance where everyday people are trying to navigate through an 'institution' that is supposed to help them, but.... 14. What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)
In order for "Served Your Country Now Let Us Serve You..." to get off the ground and become a reality, the initial steps must include the development of a scalable online organizational unit whose functions include the ability to identify and compile a managed, searchable resource for those who will use it services and of those who will provide the services.
This online organizational unit must be kept free from the 'overhead' that prevents the lack-of-understanding of services available and miss-information concerning for whom the services are available that plagues many existing hard-asset sources.
Looking at the USA, existing services are available at the hamlet or community level, the Town or aggregated community level, the County level (in Alaska it's Boroughs, in Louisiana it's Parishes), the Cross/Multi-County level, the sub-state Local Regional level, the State level, the Multi-State or National Regional level, and the National level. 15. Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)
The optimal outcome, and its measure of success, would be the achievement of the initial four phases, followed by phase five.
Phase I: the development of online resources to provide 'services' at the community, Town, County, and the Cross/Multi-County levels for Nassau and Suffolk counties New York.
Phase II: Based on the positive results of Phase I, Phase II would include the development of additional Phase I sets throughout New York State and the expansion of Phase I sets within New York to include the sub-state Local Regional and the State level sets.
Phase III is the development of Phase I and II sets, in other states of the United States of America.
Phase IV is the development of the Multi-State and National Regional level sets, and the development of a National level set of resources.
Phase V, other countries. 17. You may also submit 1 YouTube video (max 30 seconds long) explaining your project.
"As a veteran who has health issues as a result of my service in Vietnam, I am all to aware of the difficulties facing others as they attempt to obtain answers to even the simplest of benefit related questions. As a veteran service officer my own experiences help provide those missing answers to others. If only I had the information from this project available to me, when my benefit journey began." 18. If you'd like to recommend a specific organization, or the ideal type of organization, to execute your plan, please do so here. (maximum 50 words)
Veterans Health Alliance Of Long Island (Phase I) is comprised of representatives from state and county government, the VA, veterans organizations, mental health and substance abuse providers, universities, and business who have a personal interest in supporting Long Island veterans through advocacy, and a broad array of services.