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Hey, Google: What’s your purpose?

It’s hard to go a day—and for some, even an hour—without interacting with a Google product or service. The global internet company, which is best known for its flagship search console but now sells everything from education software to smart home speakers, has another, lesser-known arm: is aimed at bringing “the best of Google to help solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges” with a focus on leveraging Google’s people, products, funds, and world-class innovation to better our world. To learn more, we welcomed to the show Megan Wheeler, global project manager at In her role, Megan leads global giving and volunteering campaigns across the enterprise.

Listen for Megan’s insights on:

  • How Google’s well-known “20% time” initiative, which has launched some of the company’s most successful products, services and solutions, enables Googlers to find their personal purpose while driving organizational impact.
  • The importance of localizing and humanizing opportunities to give or volunteer, especially in an organization as massive as Google, and how doing so can result in deeper employee engagement.
  • How to balance reactive giving campaigns (such as those in response to natural disasters) with planned campaigns—and how to develop a program framework that allows for both.

Links & Notes

  • 00:00 – Welcome to Purpose 360
  • 01:06 – Intro to Megan Wheeler, Google.Org
  • 02:45 – Megan’s Journey to Google
  • 07:02 – Three Insights
  • 09:07 – Mobilizing Googlers
  • 15:27 – How to Get Colleagues Involved
  • 19:18 – The 20%
  • 20:53 – Global Impact Challenges
  • 24:20 – 20 Hours of Piad Work Time for Volunteering
  • 25:01 – Employee Match
  • 25:32 – Pandemic
  • 29:25 – Funding Pop Up Vaccination Sites
  • 31:24 – India
  • 33:20 – Googler Ethos
  • 35:15 – Racial Justice
  • 36:49 – Getting the Message Out
  • 39:06 – Being Direct in Email
  • 40:16 – Challenges
  • 42:31 – Volunteering Hours
  • 45:03 – Upcoming Plans
  • 47:11 – Getting on Google’s Radar
  • 48:09 – Wrapping Up

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Business is an unlikely hero: a force for good working to solve society's most pressing challenges, while boosting bottom line. This is social purpose at work. And it's a dynamic journey.

Purpose 360 is a masterclass in unlocking the potential of social purpose to ignite business and social impact. We illuminate the growing impacts of purpose, from engaging employees and fostering deeper consumer loyalty to inspiring product innovation and increasing market share.