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Gordon Brown looks for a boost speaking at Google conference
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Tue May 20, 2008 4:47 pm Reply and quote this post
GORDON BROWN will arrive at tomorrow’s Zeitgeist event hoping that some ofGoogle’s magic will rub off on him, just as it did on Conservative leaderDavid Cameron.
The prime minister is the opening speaker at the internet giant’s third annualconference at The Grove hotel complex in Chandler’s Cross, Hertfordshire.
What began as a simple gathering for Google’s advertising partners hasmushroomed into an event to see and be seen at for politicians and businessleaders professing to be in tune with the digital age.
The Google phenomenon has ensured that Zeitgeist has become much more than acustomer conference.

For those who attend, it is a reminder of Google’s limitless ambition. Aschief executive Eric Schmidt put it: “Zeitgeist is not about Google, but theworld.”
The 350 hand-picked delegates can expect big ideas and blue-sky thinking.
On the platform will be Queen Rania of Jordan, mobile-phone entrepreneur MoIbrahim and Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former prime minister of Norwayand a climate-change advocate. Also speaking is Chad Hurley, co-founder ofthe video website YouTube, which is owned by Google.
The company is keen to burnish its green credentials. It has vowed to make itsgiant computer servers carbon neutral and is hiring scientists to hunt forways of making renewable energy as cheap to produce as coal.
The subject of advertising may also be raised. Google has not been immune fromconcerns over a downturn in spending. Its shares are 22% below theirNovember peak, although the business still has a market value of £93 billion.
Previous Zeitgeist delegates include foreign secretary David Miliband and SirMartin Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP.
Cameron has attended twice: two years ago in Britain and last year inCalifornia. His close association has made him appear more in touch thanBrown with new technologies, using a webcam to broadcast from his breakfasttable.
The links run deep: Cameron was a special adviser to Michael Howard alongsideRachel Whetstone, Google’s European communications director. Whetstone isgodmother to his eldest son.

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
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