I've spent the last 12 months on an expedition that has taken me to the far corners of the world trying to crack the code of the future of philanthropy. I've talked to visionaries, academics, space entrepreneurs, Afrofuturists, MacArthur Geniuses, and comment page trolls to try to get to the bottom of what philanthropy can do to create a future we can be excited about, instead of the dystopian wasteland of environmental and economic ruin that Hollywood has taught us to fear.
One of my most exciting conversation along this journey was with Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Companies and the Virgin Unite Foundation. We had a wide ranging discussion about his philanthropic impulses. From his first act of charity- giving the clothes off of his back to a homeless man as a teenager to his hopes on his legacy- an end to international conflict.
Richard is a walking, breathing signal of the future philanthropy. The same entrepreneurial spirit that grew Virgin Companies from Student Magazine to a 400 company juggernaut is now being used to identify solutions for humanity's toughest challenges.
Richard's Signals of the Future:
Leverage Cross Sector Partnerships
Follow Your Passion
Create Room for Others to Align with your Big Vision
See the conversation below
Special thanks to the Council on Foundations, Virgin Companies, and the Minnesota Council on Foundations for making this interview possible.