zones. Jigsaw worked with a group of
organizations that investigates human
rights violations and atrocities in war
zones, using video content to attribute
attacks after the fact. Syria was the most
prominent, especially during the worst of
its civil war. The Carter Center (https://
www.cartercenter.org/) uses Montage.
Another is Storyful (https://storyful.
com/), which does social news telling and
is incorporating the technology into its
own development. Jigsaw worked with
both to further develop the tool, as well as
to evangelize it within their communities.
These partners, which helped bring these
communities to Jigsaw, are examples of
partners with networks, expertise, and the
ability to scale and put the product into the
hands of the people who need it most.
How does Jigsaw get involved in these
potentially dangerous situations?
DK: The Jigsaw team visits places and
meets people confronting problems of
press freedom and political repression
in dramatic ways. This is an important
principle for the team, and everyone
who works in the organization travels
a robust infrastructure for protecting
against them. It also turned out that so
much data was collected for this purpose
it could then be used to defend other
organizations as well.
How does Jigsaw pick projects?
DK: Jigsaw looks for situations where
technology might play a clear constructive
role and where there is some competitive
advantage and unique expertise to offer.
As is, many global challenges involve
solutions that are not necessarily
technological. Jigsaw first identifies
challenges it wants to address. More time
then goes into understanding them, along
with the overall role technology will play.
To prioritize among many such options,
Jigsaw engineers work on solutions that
are scalable so they can contribute to a
broader ecosystem of effort. Along the
way, they also identify organizations
working on similar issues that might later
How does Jigsaw choose partner
DK: As an incubator, Jigsaw has no
interest in accumulating a large permanent
stable of products. With nearly all its
products, Jigsaw either looks into the
research or builds them with partners
that are usually external from Google.
Only occasionally are they organized as
teams within Google itself. Looking to
partner, Jigsaw aims for organizations
with unique expertise, experience,
networks, or existing foundation on the
ground wherever the product is designed
to perform. In almost all cases, whatever
product is being built or challenge
addressed, Jigsaw is not the world’s top
expert. So recognizing the people who are
the world experts and figuring out how to
work with them collaboratively becomes
an important part of the development of
Under the process of product
graduation, projects or products are
handed over to a partner or to another
organization. This model ensures the
sustainability, scale, and growth of
Jigsaw’s products. For example, one
project, a program called “Montage,”
enables correspondents to analyze
video footage, especially from conflict