Social Responsibility: Social Philanthropy
A New Way of Giving/Living
Given what appears to be a unique opportunity to bring our massively disruptive technology to the world market, we have decided to look for equally unique ways to build the enterprise. Inspired in part by the dramatic sustainability initiatives by Walmart to leverage their global power into creating a better world, we hope to follow suit by teaming up with like-minded philanthropic organizations such as the Clinton Global Initiative, Warren Buffett’s “Hiving Pledge”, Forbes 400 Summit On Philanthropy, Singularity University etc.
The following are excerpts from their respective websites:
Clinton Global Initiative
The mission of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) is to turn ideas into action.
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which have improved the lives of over 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at more than $73.1 billion.
The CGI Annual Meeting is held each September in New York City. CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting devoted to economic recovery and job creation in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which hosts an annual meeting for undergraduate and graduate students who are developing commitments in their communities and around the world.
Warren Buffett’s “The Giving Pledge”
The Giving Pledge is an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in America to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to the philanthropic causes and charitable organizations of their choice either during their lifetime or after their death.
Each person who chooses to pledge will make this statement publicly, along with a letter explaining their decision to pledge. At an annual event, those who take the pledge will come together to share ideas and learn from each other.
The Pledge is a moral commitment to give, not a legal contract. It does not involve pooling money or supporting a particular set of causes or organizations.
While the Giving Pledge is specifically focused on billionaires, the idea takes its inspiration from efforts in the past and at present that encourage and recognize givers of all financial means and backgrounds. We are inspired by the example set by millions of Americans who give generously (and often at great personal sacrifice) to make the world a better place.
Forbes 400 Summit On Philanthropy
Exactly 30 years ago Malcolm Forbes’ most enduring brainchild–a ranking of the richest people in America–came to fruition. The Forbes 400 proved a phenomenon as soon as it launched. Three decades later it’s an American icon. Each of the 400 stories testifies to the American Dream. When measured together, they serve as an annual marker for the dynamism of free enterprise.
For this 30th Anniversary Issue, we decided to raise the bar : Rather than congregate only on the printed page, what if we actually summoned the 400 to come together in person? Specifically, what if the most financially successful people in America, leveraging their resources and the results-driven mind-set that created that success, tried to solve the world’s most intractable problems? To literally change the world?
So on June 26, 161 billionaires and near-billionaires gathered at the New York Public Library for The Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy, the greatest-ever meeting of its kind. Oprah Winfrey kicked off the day, and Warren Buffett and Bill Gates also gave keynote talks. Melinda Gates, Diane Von Furstenberg and Jacqueline Novogratz headlined a panel about giving to women and girls. Marc Andreessen, Marc Benioff and Jim Breyer talked about using tech-driven metrics to improve philanthropic efficacy. Jon Bon Jovi chatted with Steve Forbes about using fame as a force for good. (And he ended the event with a once-in-a-lifetime ukelele duet for charity with Buffett.)
The highlight of the day was a roundtable featuring six all-time great philanthropists — Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates, Steve Case, David Rubenstein and Leon Black — who have collectively pledged or given over $100 billion to charity (with the heaviest lifting from the first three, who also spearheaded The Giving Pledge). With just the smallest nudging from yours truly, this historic sextet provided one of the great primers on how to give back effectively — and why it’s important.
Singularity University was jointly founded by Dr. Peter H. Diamandis and Dr. Ray Kurzweil. The concept of a new university that could leverage the power of exponential technologies to solve humanity’s grand challenges was proposed by Diamandis to Kurzweil and to International Space University colleagues Dr. Robert D. Richards and Michael Simpson in April 2007. An exploratory meeting was held at NASA Research Park, Moffett Field in November 2007, followed in September 2008 by a Founding meeting also hosted at NAS.
A number of exponentially growing technologies will massively increase human capability and fundamentally reshape our future. This warrants the creation of an academic institution whose students and faculty will study these technologies, with an emphasis on the interactions between different technologies. Our mission is to assemble, educate and inspire a new generation of leaders who strive to understand and utilize exponentially advancing technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges.
With the support of a broad range of specialists in academia, business and government, Singularity University creates a global network of like-minded entrepreneurs, technologists and young leaders to participate in crafting a road map to guide the evolution of these disruptive technologies. SU helps create solutions and applications of these technologies for the benefit of humanity through its Graduate Studies and Executive Programs. SU is based at the NASA Research Park campus in the heart of Silicon Valley.
Walmart Sustainability Index
The Secret Life
How much do you know about what’s behind a product’s label? Walmart is examining the life cycle of products to find ways to conserve natural resources.
By looking at the supply chain as a whole, we can find ways to makes products more sustainable — from farm to shelf. This is only one of many stories.
Developing a sustainable standard for products
Since 2009, we, along with some of our largest competitors, have worked alongside The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) to develop measurement and reporting systems for product sustainability. Intended to establish a global retail standard for the 21st century, this tool will help us: •improve the sustainability of the products our customers love •integrate sustainability into our core business •reduce cost, improve product quality and create a more efficient supply chain •strengthen customer trust in Walmart and the brands we carry by leading our industry in product transparency .
TSC is delivering research, metrics and reporting systems that help us engage our suppliers and better understand the products we sell. With the support of leading retailers, government agencies and universities around the world, TSC is establishing the “common language” necessary to evaluate product and supplier sustainability performance and drive innovation.
Walmart is integrating TSC’s work into our merchandising business. In 2011, we used The Consortium’s metrics to develop an Index for six product categories. We used those results to create category scorecards, which allow our buyers to evaluate supplier performance against the biggest challenges across the life cycle of their products. Then we gave suppliers actionable recommendations for how they could improve. We’ll expand those six pilots to develop scorecards in up to 100 categories by the end of 2012 and will integrate them into our core merchandising processes.
We believe the work of TSC will one day allow us to provide our customers industry-leading transparency into the products we sell. It will provide them with information about products in a simple, easy-to-understand manner, helping them save money and live better.