Years ago, I had the good fortune of getting to know the Nobel Prize winner professor Albert Sabin, whose oral polio vaccine saved tens of millions of children globally. He was a soft-spoken, lovely and humble man. While all the global pharma giants are chasing potential solutions to COVID-19, we should remember that professor Sabin refused to patent his vaccine, waiving all commercial potential by pharmaceutical industries so the low price would guarantee a more extensive use of the treatment.
From the development of his life-saving vaccine, professor Sabin did not gain a penny and continued to live out his years on his regular and modest salary as a professor. He was a humble giant among his peers.
As the world’s attention is focused on the pandemic, a multitude of questions arise while science, medicine, artificial intelligence, academia, and research are all looking for answers on how to get the coronavirus under control globally.
As Lifestyles recently entered our 48th year of serving the cause of high philanthropy, we are happy in the knowledge that we are looked upon as the trusted meeting place for the private sector’s leading philanthropists and scientific minds. Our publication and networking platforms have also become a respected exchange of ideas, especially in challenging times like these.
In the current edition of our magazine, we give our loyal readership an opportunity to gain an intimate look into the mindset of those leading philanthropists and global experts who are at the forefront of research and social efforts, unprecedented in history.
Our current cover profile on Twitter founder Jack Dorsey has been in the making for many years, ever since I had the opportunity to get to meet him in person. His recent $1 billion commitment to address the health and social issues facing our world came at a time when governments alone are not able to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Our good friend, Canadian-born, American mega-philanthropist and social entrepreneur Jeff Skoll (who is a member of the board of our Lifestyles Magazine/Meaningful Influence) was one of the first to raise the alarm of a forthcoming pandemic when he made his film Contagion a decade before the coronavirus reared its head.
As the current health crisis unfolded, Jeff made an additional $100 million commitment towards finding answers to the unprecedented challenges posed by the coronavirus, bringing his personal philanthropic commitment to $500 million, with more to follow next year.
Here is a brief look at just some of the inspiring personal initiatives we have been witnessing among our friends and supporters in recent weeks:
Bill Gates, who has been warning of a pending pandemic for years and whose guest editorial appeared in our previous issue, just upped his virus-related philanthropic commitment to over $300 million for vaccine development and treatment, with more to come.
Our Lifestyles cover interviewee Richard Branson, who more recently appeared on our NextGen cover with his daughter Holly, donated $250 million toward the well being of his Virgin Group employees.
George Soros, whose children are part of our NextGen network, committed $150 million for finding solutions to the challenge, particularly in relief for most vulnerable populations, low-income workers, and other causes.
Johann Rupert, the low-profile philanthropist whose companies have been sponsoring our publication for well over three decades and whose children are part of our NextGen network, in partnership with Nicky Oppenheimer, contributed nearly $114.2 million for general relief efforts.
Michael Dell, who with his wife Susan, was one of our most popular cover subjects and whose family members are also part of our NextGen network, committed $100 million for vaccine research and general aid.
Canadian philanthropists, and our longtime supporters and readers, Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman’s $100 million commitment to finding new ways of using artificial intelligence is a very significant development towards making our world a better place.
A member of our Lifestyles Magazine’s board, Ronald Lauder and his brother Leonard, together with their family, donated over $95 million to support the COVID-19 response in developing countries and provide frontline workers with personal protective equipment.
Our previous cover subject Michael Bloomberg, whose NextGen daughter Georgina was also on our recent Lifestyles Magazine/Meaningful Influence NextGen cover, committed $75 million to help contain the virus and control the infection rate, and to provide meals for healthcare workers.
First- and second-generation mega-philanthropists Lynn and Stacy Schusterman committed to contributing over $70 million toward COVID-19 related causes.
LVMH and Bernard Arnault, who graced the cover of our Lifestyles Magazine in an exclusive interview, ordered 40 million face masks to help France deal with a shortage of essential medical supplies in addition to helping in several other ways.
A person frequently featured on our pages, Phil Knight, just donated $10 million for general aid.
Another NextGen member of Lifestyles Magazine/Meaningful Influence’s board, Adam Rockefeller Growald, through his board seat with the Rockefeller Foundation, helped contribute $20 million in COVID-19 related efforts as well as through his board membership of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund helped allocate an additional $12 million of that fund’s annual $16.9 million to help with the fight against the virus.