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BILLIONAIRE 03 - Giving Issue

BILLIONAIRE is an award-winning magazine not available on newsstands, but offered to a distinguished group of the most powerful, influential, high net worth readers across the world. Join them to receive special subscriber-only invitations. We go the extra mile to report on important topics such as the future of technology, world health, philanthropy and humanitarian work. We bring you incredible travel experiences, the very best in elegant living, the arts, culture and craftsmanship. We exclusively interview some of the world’s most illustrious billionaires, from Ted Turner to Nicky Oppenheimer to Joe Gebbia to Mo Ibrahim, about the problems keeping them up at night, their passions and projects. We speak to some of the planet’s most inspiring change-makers, from Jimmy Carter to Buzz Aldrin to Kofi Annan, about their visions for the future and how they are making the world a better place. Each quarterly issue of BILLIONAIRE is carefully curated with unique content that other magazines simply do not offer.

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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min
a word from the ceo

As the gift-giving season is upon us, it is only right that we focus on philanthropy, which lies at the very heart of Billionaire. I’ve just communicated with my dear friend Petra Nemcova, founder of the Happy Hearts Fund and survivor of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. She’s touched down in Nepal to review the situation on the ground and will be heading on to the Philippines to open two more schools there. People like Petra make a real difference. We are honoured that former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan is highlighting leadership through philanthropy in this issue (p20). Here is a man who continues quietly, but with great conviction, to work for the betterment of so many. His article is very worthy of your time and consideration. This summer, I…

3 min
the world of good

SELF-KNOWLEDGE WAS MUCH PRIZED BY GREEK THINKERS AND MYSTICS – THE DELPHIC Oracle famously charged its votaries to ‘know thyself’; and Socrates, Plato’s teacher, and so Aristotle’s intellectual grandfather, went round Athens preaching that ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’. But Aristotle thinks that one sort of self-knowledge is particularly essential to our flourishing: knowing our motives for acting in the ways we do. The point is this: our motives aren’t arbitrary whims; they embody our in-built conceptions of what is good, they express our ‘core values’ (as we would put it nowadays). To understand what sort of life we are leading we need to study not only our actions but also what drives them; we need to know whether we have chosen the right actions out of the…

4 min
leading question

GROWING UP IN GHANA IN THE MIDST OF MY COUNTRY’S struggle for independence, I was part of a generation that believed that, with inspired leadership, change, even dramatic change, was possible. I witnessed it first hand. This experience profoundly shaped my outlook on life and gave me a sense that nothing was impossible until proven otherwise. It was an experience that was to become very powerful many years later when, as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I would go to bed with a major crisis on my desk and wake up to two more the next morning. Staying hopeful in such a situation can be difficult and some people have ‘accused’ me of being a hopeless optimist but the truth is that I know what is possible when the right people…

4 min
money no object

IN LIFE, IT IS ALL ABOUT ENCOUNTERS AND HAVING A SENSE OF CURIOSITY. The Parisian meeting between Corinne Muller, a renowned textile designer who had run the licensing office for the house of Dior in Paris, and Piotr Oleszkowicz, a Polish artist who wanted to work in Paris, was certainly an encounter. Together, they decided to embark on an adventure combining their passion for travel and a certain sense of ethics, in particular, reviving artisanal know-how facing extinction and supporting communities in need. From time immemorial, women, in particular, have woven, knitted, made pots or utensils with local materials for their own usage. Developing the savoir-faire inherited from their mothers, they produced artisanal objects from home while fulfilling their domestic obligations. The women would then sell the little they produced at…

8 min
compassion catalyst

HERE AT BILLIONAIRE WE ARE INSPIRED by those who make social consciousness an integral part of their lives and Melissa Kwee, CEO of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), is certainly one of them. In this interview, she shares with our editor-in-chief about the work of the NVPC. Melissa Lwee-Ramsay: How did you come to be involved with the NVPC and what made you decide to take on the role of CEO? Melissa Kwee: The American theologian Frederick Buechner once said: “Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.” The idea is to find that intersection between what you feel most strongly about and what society needs. I’ve always felt incredibly blessed in that I have a solid family, I had a good education, my health…

4 min
heart in the right place

MANY PEOPLE SAY THAT IF YOU WANT TO start a charitable foundation as a sideline, you should do what you know best — and, for me, that is to get something done within the travel industry. I studied hotel management and have worked in the hotel industry for more than 10 years, building up a network in Singapore, Hong Kong and other parts of the world. I wanted to make a difference with my connections in this industry and the idea of setting up a philanthropic travel agency came to my mind — Holidays With Heart. Over the past years, I have engaged in a fair few philanthropic efforts, such as volunteering as a pro bono consultant for Singapore’s National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre. Working with it on an annual campaign…