Thursday, June 25, 2009

I know more of the stars and sea than I do of what's in your head

I love Richard Branson.  I've known this for a while but was reminded of it once again.

As you may know, he owns "Virgin" company, including Virgin airways, Virgin records, and Virgin megastores, grossing him a net worth of around two and a half billion dollars.  He often appears of the Forbes Richest list, last year being number 236.

Twenty years ago, he helped form a collaborative peacemaking group called "The Elders" in South Africa, after post-apartheid unrest.  They now discuss peaceful solutions regarding global issues.

More recently, he set up a challenge where he is asking someone to find a way to extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere with a reward of some enormous sum of money from Branson, personally.  This is not the first environmentalist-friendly challenge Branson has set up.

The thing that I really appreciate is this "Virgin FreeFest" taking place in Maryland at the end of August.  It is a concert completely free to anyone with almost 40,000 tickets available.  Instead of VIP lounges, the special lounges are reserved for anyone who got laid off this year, or anyone who has devoted significant time to community service this year.  The acts are huge like Franz Ferdinand and Weezer.  

Richard Branson is someone else that makes me smile for humanity.

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