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BILLIONAIRE 07 - 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

For many years I was married to the most wonderful Spaniard, Laura, and she is the most incredible mother to our three children. I am thankful for these gifts, more than any others. The Spanish celebrate Christmas Eve. Christmas Day is more ‘the morning after the night before’ and, in fact, gifts are traditionally only given on 6 January, the day of The Three Kings. If you subscribe to the whole Christian ‘thing’, then you would know they didn’t arrive on the day of his birth. Christmas in Spain is therefore far less about gift giving and far more a time for families to gather. And eat. But then the Spanish do that almost every day — it’s part of the joy of the Spanish way of life. Truth be told, I’m not…

2 min
editor’s note

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead Let’s face it — 2016 has been a rough year for the status quo. Brexit, Trump, terrorism, gyrating equity and currency markets, ongoing conflict in Syria and the largest flow of refugees since the Second World War. It seems that the only certain thing this year was uncertainty. As disturbing as these times may be, we should remember that positive change is often born out of trauma. When tragedy occurs, help often follows. For example, following the Ebola epidemic last year, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded research that has identified the first step to neutralising future outbreaks. The US$1 million raised through the ‘ALS Ice Bucket Challenge’…

1 min

Why do 59 million children worldwide (equivalent to nearly the population of France) lack access to primary education? Why are children from the wealthiest 20 percent of the population still four times more likely to be in school than the poorest 20 percent? And why does the social background of parents still determine a child’s educational success? It comes as no surprise that education is one of the most important targets of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It is also, after religion, in many countries, the number-one cause people donate money to. And often with amazing impact: Bridge International Academies shows how private schools in Kenya can provide high-class, affordable education for all. The colourful premises of Sport dans la Ville in Paris illustrate how sport ignites successful education for disadvantaged…

4 min
many happy returns

Believe it or not, one of the world’s best investment opportunities is actually a philanthropic one: funding long-term girls’ education in countries across the developing world. After 15 years as a full-time philanthropist, I believe this often-overlooked area has the potential to forever change the future for communities, societies and entire countries. More than 100 million children wake up every day and don’t go to school. Seven hundred and seventy three million people are illiterate. Two-thirds of those two groups are girls and young women. They are trapped in a vicious cycle: too poor to gain an education; but without an education they will always remain poor and will be one more generation to live in poverty. Too many girls, through no fault of their own, have lost the lottery of life.…

5 min
say hello to steve

Everyone remembers their favourite schoolteacher. For the children of Prior’s Court school in Newbury, UK, their teacher is particularly memorable. Nicknamed Steve, he can sing, dance, and canter along to ‘Gangnam Style’ with the best of them. Steve also happens to be a robot. All of the 80 students at Prior’s Court suffer from profound autism, a developmental disorder. Most cannot speak; they have no sense of danger; very little understanding of the world around them; and they may bite or hit themselves or others when they get anxious. “Usually they join Prior’s Court when their current school is unable to provide the specialist expertise and environment they need, says Dame Stephanie Shirley, a British entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist who spent £37 million developing the innovative school after the tragic death of her own…

5 min
shining a light on africa

As billionaires go, Mo Ibrahim is pretty modest. “Why are you calling me Dr Ibrahim?” he laughs, a shade embarrassed, during our conversation. “Please, call me Mo!” When asked to name a moment in his life of which he is most proud, he hesitates for the first time during the interview. “Proud moments, I don’t know; maybe my three children. I've had happy moments, yes.” Had he been any less humble, he could have taken his pick. There was the time he was named the most powerful black Briton; or when he joined Bill Gates’ Giving Pledge; or Nelson Mandela praising his foundation’s work in Africa (more of that later). But possibly his most remarkable achievement to date has been to put mobile phones and the Internet into the hands and…