Yesterday was a historic moment for the annual creative and technology festival, South by Southwest. The POTUS was in attendance. Having him in Austin, Texas was patriotic, chaotic and interesting to say the least. The city was buzzing, streets were closed (in an already crowded setting), and virtually all other sessions were halted so they could use the meeting rooms to simulcast the keynote.
One interesting topic that came up in his talk, and I’ve never really thought about this much, was the idea that in the future if private companies (or citizens as well) were to donate their time to helping the government tackle big technology problems then they in return could receive a tax break, or write off. I thought about this more and, if structured correctly, this could bring some resources off the sidelines to really help tackle big things going on. Corporate America has some margin to give, citizens have some margin to give.
They are currently testing this idea. President Obama has assembled a team of some the great minds from Google, Facebook, etc. to work under his direction to tackle big problems and in return he is providing them, what he called, “flyover coverage” so as not to get hung up by bureaucratic red tape.
Think about it, if corporate American were to allocate just a small percentage of their employees’ free capacity to help solve some of the biggest problems in the world, we would get to the finish line so much faster.
What problems do you think we should tackle first with these incremental resources?