Partnership to Convert 1.5 Billion PCs into SDG Funding

Fabio Nehme • 1 February 2019
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      Despite the many positive advancements seen in modern society in the last few decades — from advancements in health treatment to communication technologies, progress has not been uniformed; and many challenges, both specific and systemic, remain. Specific challenges include billions of people still not having access to drinkable water and sanitation, proper schooling or health services, or modern energy services. Contrary to popular belief these problems are not exclusive to developing countries. Many areas in developed countries also have citizens who are unable to have access to  many basic human rights. Systemic challenges climate change, loss of biodiversity and the precarious conditions in the world’s oceans. These issues pose fundamental risks to all of us and often require a global solution.

      There is no shortage of ideas and goodwill to solve these problems. In fact, there is so much understanding of the problems and motivation to tackle them, that 193 countries agreed in 2015 under the auspices of the United Nations on the Sustainable Development Goals — the SDGs. The SDGs include 17 objectives to be met by 2030 across a range of issues — from poverty reduction and improvements in education to climate change mitigation and greater gender equality. In practice, the SDGs created a global roadmap to guide our collective actions to solve our world’s biggest problems.

      Yet, good ideas and goodwill are not enough. It costs real money to implement real solutions. Lasting solutions often require multi-year actions, and therefore, require a sustained flow of funds. A sustained flow of funds is only possible if there is a true, long-term partnership between those who can and want to finance and those who need the funds to implement world-changing solutions.

     We are currently falling short on building those kinds of long-term partnerships and mobilizing that kind of large-scale funding to organizations on the frontline. No other metric speaks as loud about such a problem than the fact that, according to the United Nations, the funding shortfall for the SDGs is no less than $2.5 trillion per year.

      Can we change that?

      Is it possible to find new ways to build the kind of long-term partnerships that are needed to create and direct large-scale recurrent funding to organizations implementing solutions to advance the SDGs?

      At Givv, we believe we can.

      Our answer combines technology, markets, and citizenship towards solving the world’s biggest problems.

      Our starting point is one of the most underutilized resources in the world today. The 1.5 billion of computers, in homes and offices, that sit idle for the majority of the hours in any given day. If all such idle capacity was sold in cloud computing markets in order to process data for large corporations, gaming enterprises, 3D rendering, and other sectors, each computer would earn up to US$10 per month or US$120 per year. Depending on the application and availability, some applications may enable a higher revenue than that. In other words, the idle capacity in computers around the world represents a potential source of up to US$ 180 billion per year in revenue.

      To put that into perspective, that is 3 times more than the total annual private donations today to developing countries, and nearly 30% more than all government aid transferred to help other countries each year. It is about 3 times the total annual flow of funds to developing countries supplied by the World Bank Group, the largest international financier to developing countries. It is roughly 90 times larger than the largest ‘impact’ private equity fund in the world today, TPG’s US$2 Billion Rise Fund. These numbers give us some perspective on the immense opportunity in front of us all.

      Yet, an important question remains: if we were to aggregate and sell such individual computational power as cloud computing services, could we really get customers? The answer is yes.

      For starters, decentralized cloud computing service will be cheaper than centralized, mainstream services such as Microsoft, Google or Apple. There is no infrastructure investment since the individual computers are already in operation. The computational capacity would be enormous and many times larger than the total computational capacity available in the market today. Lastly, it would be more secure and resilient because it is decentralized. In short, a well operated, large-scale decentralized cloud computing service can offer a superior and cost-competitive solution to companies demanding computational capacity.

      Such a model could capture a large share of the cloud computing market, which grows at 20% per year and by some accounts will exceed US$400 billion by 2020. Therefore, a successful, decentralized cloud computing services platform could eventually earn revenues of tens of billions per year.

      Here is where we at Givv see the opportunity: what if all of us supplied the idle capacity of our computers to a tech platform that could aggregate all that capacity, market it successfully as cloud computing services, and then direct all those revenues earned to non-profits of our choosing that are implementing solutions to the problems targeted by the SDGs?

      If we do that, we will build something truly ambitious and unprecedented: a global community of cause-minded citizens, coming together to build one of the largest cloud computing service enterprises and at the same time one of the largest sources of funding to the solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

Welcome to Givv!

     Givv’s technology aggregates idle capacity from individual computers, and markets that as cloud computing services. The revenues all go to non-profit organizations working on causes aligned with the UN-backed SDGs. As you supply your idle capacity, you can choose up to 5 non-profit organizations anywhere in the world which are working on causes that matter to you. As the non-profits are advancing priority areas set forth by the UN-backed SDGs, you know that your support is part of a larger, international movement involving 193 countries and people all over the world to address some of the biggest international development challenges. Now you don’t have any cash cost to contribute, and the contribution earned by your computer will greatly matter as it is an integral part of our global, collective, sustained effort.

      Our tech provides several tools for you to stay informed and in touch with your causes and other like-minded individuals around the world. You can see how much you and those supporting the same cause are donating in real-time to your chosen causes. You can select new causes from time to time. You can receive information from the organizations you are supporting their projects and achievements.

      There is absolutely no cost for you or for the non-profit receiving your funds. The only party that pays is the purchaser of computational capacity, a large company for instance. Givv charges a transaction fee to cover its operations and fund growth. We aim to attract individuals willing to supply their computers’ idle capacity and to partner with organizations such as universities or corporations that can mobilize their staff and students to supply the idle time in their computers to Givv’s platform.

      We believe our model can be transformational, offering a realistic example of how new technology, if well aligned with market trends and citizens’ motivations, can create lasting social impact. All this in an open, transparent and inclusive community where everyone, regardless of financial conditions, can engage and remain engaged for years to come.

Join our Movement!

      We are launching a beta phase in February 2019 and looking for individuals, corporations and non-profits to participate in the beta program to help us improve our platform and make it the most useful and impactful. There is no cost to join and here is how you can participate in our journey. 

      For individuals interested in learning more on how to supply idle capacity, please register here:

      For non-profits interested in joining the list of approved entities to receive funds, please register here:

     For universities and businesses interested in partnering with your idle capacity, please contact us at:


The views expressed in this article and the report attached are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the SDG Philanthropy Platform. The SDG Philanthropy Platform is a global initiative that connects philanthropy with knowledge and networks that can deepen collaboration, leverage resources and sustain impact, driving SDG delivery within national development planning. It is led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), and supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Ford Foundation, Oak Foundation, Brach Family Charitable Foundation, and many others.