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Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.
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In this University podcast, Larry Brilliant, executive director of Google.org, asks whether we should be optimistic or pessimistic about the future of humanity and its ability to engage in social enterprise for positive ends. He cites megatrends in the areas of poverty, public health, and global warming, which could lead us toward pessimism. Yet, he also cites reasons to be optimistic, including unprecedented acts of generosity and altruism that are all around us. Ultmately, Brilliant is upbeat about our species and the opportunities for social enterprise that lie before us.
Larry Brilliant is the executive director of Google.org. In this role, he works with the company's cofounders to define the mission and strategic goals of Google's philanthropic efforts, and oversees the Google Foundation and Google Grants program. Brilliant is an MD and MPH, board-certified in preventive medicine and public health. He is a founder and director of The Seva Foundation, which works in dozens of countries around the world, primarily to eliminate preventable and curable blindness. In 1985, he cofounded The Well, a pioneering virtual community, with Stewart Brand. He also holds a telecommunications technology patent and has served as CEO of two public companies and other venture-backed startups. The author of two books and dozens of articles on infectious diseases, blindness, and international health policy, Brilliant has worked at city, county, state, federal, and international levels. He earned a master's in public health in health planning and economic development from the University of Michigan, and an MD from Wayne Medical School.