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BILLIONAIRE 05 - Time 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

1 min
a word from the ceo

On the basis of humans living to a global average life expectancy of 71, we would each have had 2.2 billion seconds to invest, making us all ‘time billionaires’. A few years ago, when asked by one of my children if I had time to play, I answered I had to finish some work. But as the response left my lips I realised that it was only a question of priorities. I had the time but I was prioritising completing work over spending time with my children. At that moment I chose to change my priority and went and played, knowing it was likely only going to be a few minutes until the child’s interest waned anyway and it was only going to be another year or two that they would…

2 min
editor's note

“Do I dare Disturb the universe? In a minute there is time For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. For I have known them all already, known them all: Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons…” — The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, by TS Eliot We get wrapped up in our daily routine all too easily; like Eliot’s Prufrock, the distraction of minutes and hours lets us postpone what we really want to achieve. We procrastinate, we waste our time, we forget it is our most precious commodity. While Isaac Newton thought of time as a river flowing at the same rate everywhere, Albert Einstein claimed time is elastic and can be stretched like a rubber band, depending on your perspective. More…

4 min
watch this space

IN 1905 ALBERT EINSTEIN THEORISED THAT TIME IS distorted by both gravity and relative speed in his General Theory of Relativity. He predicted that particularly violent galactic events create gravitational waves that radiate across our universe distorting time, like ripples emanating from a pebble thrown in a pond. But only this year was his theory proven. In February, gravitational waves were detected for the first time, and they do warp space-time. It has taken 100 years and cost more than a billion dollars but proves Einstein correct, helping vindicate the science behind time travel. An Advanced LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) is a device made up of two 4km, perpendicular, vacuum tubes down which high-intensity lasers in perfect alignment are shone. Minute variations in distance are detected when the lasers’ particular wavelengths…

4 min
world wide water

KAMPONG TRACH IS A RURAL VILLAGE IN CAMBODIA with a broken road running through it. Of its community of 5,000 townspeople, nearly 1,000 attend the local primary school. Up until recently, the school had no access to clean water. Water for drinking, washing, cooking and cleaning had to be brought in each day from a neighbouring house but there was never enough. Students were frequently missing school due to sickness caused by poor sanitation and worse. It took just three days to install a water pump funded by the Whole World Water (WWW) foundation, partnered with Water Charity and in association with Peace Corp Volunteers. Combined with five other projects that the US non-profit has carried out in poor Cambodian villages, approximately 30,000 more people have access to safe water compared to…

4 min
second thoughts on cities

IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO THINK ABOUT the world as a network of supply chains. The actual distribution of humanity is about cities, infrastructure and supply chains; not nations, borders and states. Therefore, you should think of a person’s wealth as a distributed pool of capital that touches lots of different lives, not something contained within a single billionaire. China is the only country with a state-led approach towards urbanisation, infrastructure investment, healthcare and education at the national and imperial level. In most other countries, it depends on the decisions and goodwill of individual businessmen, entrepreneurs and so forth. In countries such as India, Indonesia and Africa, when we ask ourselves who are the heroes of those societies, the ones doing the most to combat poverty and inequality, we always name…

5 min
laying the foundation

IN THE RUSTIC VILLAGE OF LE MUY IN SOUTHEASTERN FRANCE is an old mill where Jean Marais shot a scene in the The Hunchback of Paris (also known as Le Bossu). More recently it has become the Venet Foundation, the personal collection of conceptual artist-turned-collector Bernar Venet. It has been open to the public for free since 2014. Here he describes the process that led to its establishment. Billionaire: How did you first start collecting art? Bernar Venet: When I started acquiring works of art, it wasn’t with the goal of starting a collection. As an artist, it was easy to exchange my unsellable works of art for works by my ‘avant-garde’ artist friends who at the time weren’t selling their artwork either. I was 22 when I lived in Nice and started…