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Archive for the ‘Philanthropy’ Category

Amanda Palmer

English: Amanda Palmer Live 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After reading repeatedly about Kickstarter and this new era of creative philanthropy, it’s interesting to see how the mechanics of such coin-in-cup operations are continuing to develop. The music industry has seen an unprecedented shift in business in the last fifteen years, attempting clumsily to keep up with technology and the public’s desire for immediate (and free) music via downloads. The industry’s indecision has also created a burgeoning DIY propensity amongst artists and also the desire on behalf of the public to fund them. The fact that said public doesn’t actually want any tactile or physical evidence of their expenditure is even more baffling – they just want to give!

There have been several recent cases that are quite extraordinary; one concerns the Kickstarter drive of musician Amanda Palmer, who in reaching out to the public to help finance her tour, ended up receiving $1m in donations and then proceeded to not pay the musicians in her band! On a more humanitarian (and Hollywood) level, CNN recently featured an article about a homeless man who found an expensive diamond ring in his coin cup, proceeded to save it and give it back to the lady who unwittingly left it with him. Read the rest of this entry »

Gandhi

Gandhi believes in “Being the change you want to see in the world”

Our collective desire to accumulate and consume seems more prevalent than ever. The notion of success, money and ‘stuff’ has been fostered since the days of capitalism’s founding father, Adam Smith, began espousing his economic theories in the 18th century. The world now is, of course, a very different place but we can see that the maxim of ‘more is more’ is firmly rooted in much of the western world’s psyche. So, it’s refreshing to see a new breed of philanthropist emerging in the last decade – using wealth as a tool for social betterment. In short, it has become trendy to leave the world with nothing left in your account because you’ve given it all away. And this is a good thing.

This Zen-like stance has been propagated and loudly trumpeted by some of the biggest financial players in the world – Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Charles Feeney. The latter has had an interesting interview with the New York Times, and elaborated on his Buffett-esque philosophies and giving nature. Like the Midwestern values of Buffett, this billionaire flies coach class, wears unostentatious clothing and has been donating his billions to good causes – “medical care, education, criminal justice advocacy and peace-building initiatives,” since the early 80s, according to the article. Read the rest of this entry »

Greece Flag

“Shipping billionaires like Thanassis Martinos are doing their part by providing jobs to young people whose unemployment stands at about 50%…”

It was interesting to read recently in the New York Times how immensely wealthy Greek tycoons are helping their countrymen in these difficult times. The news has been full of heartbreaking stories of children left to orphanages, a huge surge of homelessness in Athens and other major cities and an exodus of the rich to the more hospitable climes of France or the UK (only just). But, there are those that have stayed and vowed to fight – politically and financially – to help bring their country back from the brink. Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Branson

“Richard Branson was reported to be sponsoring a twenty-five million dollar purse, called Virgin Earth Challenge, to the group of researchers, academics or scientists that could implement the most cost effective carbon capture storage (CCS) idea …”

Energy issues are increasingly in the press, and politicians are under more pressure than ever to find solutions to our planet’s finite resources, increasing population (and one that is living longer) and the inability to reconcile the costs of ‘going green.’ Luckily a new generation of engineers and entrepreneurs are being trained at top schools, and are eager, to deal with the things that policymakers won’t – namely effective alternatives to a rapidly changing landscape of energy requirements.

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Bill Gates and Warren Buffett

Today’s philanthropists are getting involved, as if it were a personal business venture, ensuring that they feel the benefits of their actions

Much has been made of the philanthropic pursuits of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in the last few years, and the extent of their financial muscle only highlights the disparity between the ‘haves and have-nots.’ The world is mostly living through intensive economic turmoil right now, but this belies the huge amount of money that was generated in many corporate circles in the last decade or so. Essentially, the people that have money, have A LOT of it.

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Wikipedia

"This is an exciting development for the site, allowing more nations, previously limited, to share, update and edit new data..."

It’s easy to take the enormous volume of information we’re all now privy to, for granted. A transformative global information network exists online – but somewhere, someone is collating, editing and e-publishing the ‘facts,’ attempting to minimize the conjecture. Wikipedia is a tremendous public service resource – seemingly getting stronger everyday – and it still seems incredible that we have jettisoned the library in favour of the iPad. Oh how the mind boggles!

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Just when you thought that money ruled everything, along comes a story that gives you hope. It seems the age-old gripe

Sir Andrew Witty

Sir Andrew Witty, chief executive of Britain's GlaxoSmithKline, said this, "The biggest achievement over the last year, I think, has been to get some of the companies to really massively increase their commitments, so that everybody is kind of at this at an industrial level..."

against the pharmaceutical industry of inflated prices and restricted patents for third world health care has just had a volte-face – and it doesn’t seem like a PR stunt! The Guardian newspaper reports that a new initiative to rid the poorest countries of antiquated diseases that still kill millions is moving briskly ahead, thanks to the philanthropic pursuits of the Bill Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization.

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