- Lex Mundi – Lex Mundi is a global non-profit that leverages a worldwide network of 160 law firms to support social entrepreneurs around the world on a pro-bono basis. Managing Director Dave Roll, former chairman of DC power firm Steptoe & Johnson, and board member Ben Greer talked about their work to aid innovative organizations in developing countries using the first-rate legal talent of their enormous roster of attorneys. Absolutely a first rate idea.
- The Elders, a new initiative being developed by Richard Branson. It has not (yet) been officially unveiled, but it sounds a bit like a real-life Justice League. Imagine a team of celestial personalities headed up by Nelson Mandela and who are called on by world leaders in times of great need (no word on whether they will use the Bat signal) to help solve difficult global challenges. I am not making this up: Branson himself discussed the concept in a meeting in Toronto last September.
- GoogleSoft At an afternoon panel on Monday, Larry Brillant casually mentioned that he had just met Akhtar Badshah who manages the global community affairs program for Microsoft and suggested they work together. Badshah confirmed today that, when they met, a conversation in Urdu ensued (this itself seems noteworthy) and the two counterparts decided to explore a possible corporate alliance. Their focus will be to develop technology to enable early warning detection of natural disasters. Amazing what a casual meeting in this setting can muster. I wonder whether this partnership will have NOAA crying antitrust…