Inspiration and Fresh Perspective at Google Chicago

By: Riley
Riley participated in Allowance for Good's summer 2014 Global Philanthropy Summit program. 

I was lucky enough to take part in the Global Philanthropy Summit last week.  It was a riveting and insightful experience, and I now feel like a more engaged citizen!

Thursday was definitely the most exciting day of our week, with several important activities in downtown Chicago.  After taking the train in from Evanston, we trekked downtown and settled in our destination.  Soon after we arrived, so did our presenters: representatives from A Better Chicago, a venture philanthropy group, and one of its funded programs.  They told us all about the great projects they were involved in currently, and where they hope their programs will be in the future.  The impact that these programs had made on the community of Chicago and its young people was obvious.  It was inspiring for us to be presented with some of the greatest philanthropic work going on in Chicago!

After the presentation, we walked to Google's Chicago headquarters, probably the highlight of our week at the GPS.  This was definitely my personal favorite place we visited in our two days downtown.  Besides taking a tour of Google's progressively-designed workplace and its fascinating employees, we participated in a Google+ Hangout with an AFG affiliate at Liger Learning Centre.  We also learned about all of Google's philanthropic work, which was simply amazing.  Google already has a reputation as a very socially responsible business, and its philanthropy was no exception to this principle.  The company has helped get thousands of people out of slavery, donated technology, and otherwise helped people in ways big and small.

I cannot describe how personally inspiring the visit to Google was for me.  The trip taught me that philanthropy can truly be on any scale and that even helping a few people is great philanthropic work.  Google's work with spreading technology and knowledge about it showed great promise for the future of the world and technological progress in it.  Google has encouraged me to be more aware of the world around me and to use my skills to help the people that I can.

I'd like to thank everyone who worked to make the GPS happen and my classmates for making the entire week a great experience for us all!