The world’s wealthiest people are taking the lead in solving pressing global problems. For many, accumulating such wealth has required endless effort, perseverance, and, most of all, innovation. Given their vast financial resources and creative minds, these multimillionaires and multibillionaires are both capable of, and invested in, radical global change.
These figures don’t just speak of change with no follow-through. They actively put their money where their mouths are. In doing so, they educate the broader public on how a person with vast knowledge and understanding of science, social matters, global economies, and humanitarian crises can lead by example and make the world a better place. Without them, certain defining issues of our time might not be receiving the attention they are today.
A remarkable example of using one’s wealth and knowledge for good comes from Hansjörg Wyss. The Swiss philanthropist and conservationist last year pledged to invest $1 billion into efforts to conserve the planet’s land and oceans. In doing so, Wyss is aiming to make clean air and drinking water more available to all people on earth, a measure urgently needed in the wake of the ongoing global water crisis.
Wyss, a multibillionaire who ranks among Europe’s chief conservational voices, wrote upon announcing his investment that his goal is to conserve 30 percent of our planet by 2030. In his eyes, his goal is best achieved by investing in efforts to turn at-risk lands and waters into wildlife refuges, public national parks, or marine reserves.
Wyss based his actions both on his own scientific knowledge and recent news that demanded action. Not long before he announced his plan, Brown University researchers determined that human activity is directly correlated with the rapidly-increased rate of global species extinctions. Wyss also noted that scientific reports have stated that a full half of the world needs to be conserved to reverse these accelerating extinctions, and at the time of his pledge, only 15 percent of global land and 7 percent of oceans were conserved.
Elon Musk is arguably the modern name most closely associated with the future of technology. Musk has used his years of formal physics education to build businesses and devise products that combat automotive carbon emissions, expand the potential for humans to live on other planets, and make solar energy more readily accessible to the average person.
Musk first gained his wealth in the early days of online journalism and via the online bank that would eventually become PayPal. After acquiring a net worth of millions of dollars (now billions, following the success of his companies Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity), Musk began using his resources to fund research and products that provide practical, widely-applicable solutions to the problems caused by climate change. Millions of Americans have used and invested in his products, so not only has Musk poured his fortune into solving global crises, but he’s also made plenty of money in doing so.
Richard Branson has made his fortune in a number of industries, all under the banner of his wide-spanning, now-ubiquitous Virgin brand. Among the industries in which Branson has led the way include aviation via his Virgin Airlines company. Air travel, however, is among the strongest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, so Branson has used his fortune to implement efforts that establish low-carbon economies.
Branson and other entrepreneurs launched the Carbon War Room at the turn of the decade. Now a part of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Branson’s initiative combined his expertise in business matters, the wealth he amassed from his many businesses, and the need for practical solutions to a massive global crisis. His investment has led to, among other achievements, Caribbean nations pledging to reduce their fossil fuel use and Miami expanding its use of green energy production methods.
Global millionaires and billionaires see the solving of global crises as worthy of their time and money. Wyss, for example, is pouring more money than most people will earn in their lifetimes into combating the global water crisis.
At TUAFI, we too are determined to find innovative solutions to the global water crisis. Our atmospheric water generation (AWG) factory is our boldest solution, a massive system that turns air into potable, properly sanitized water and reliably distributes massive quantities of that water to the regions most in need every single day. Our factory will have the potential to provide water to the millions of people around the world who have struggled to access it for decades. You can explore our AWG factory project on Fundable by clicking this link.