$2.1 billion commitment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced one of its largest commitments in its history: a pledge of $2.1 billion to advance gender equality around the world. The funds will be distributed over a five-year period and focus on health and family planning, economic empowerment, and women in leadership. Some goals the pledge will support include expanding access to contraceptives, reducing barriers to paid work, increasing women’s financial inclusion, and increasing the number of women in leadership roles, specifically in the fields of health, law, and economics. The area of gender equality has been of interest to Melinda over the last few years—she helped expand the foundation’s focus to include women’s empowerment initiatives and through her own company, Pivotal Ventures, has invested in organizations that support social progress for women and people of color in the United States.
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Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan at the Appeal of Conscience Foundation Award Presentation to Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla
Bank of America Chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan, Tribute Chair of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an interfaith organization dedicated to religious freedom and human rights, presented the 2021 Appeal of Conscience Award to Dr. Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, at the 56th Annual Appeal of Conscience Awards held virtually in New York City.
The Appeal of Conscience Award is presented to visionary business executives with a sense of social responsibility who use their resources and vast reach across boundaries to better serve the global community.
In his remarks of the Foundation’s founder and Lifestyles Magazine/Meaningful Influence Governing Board Member Arthur Schneier said: “Dr. Albert Bourla was recognized for his leadership in helping to heal a world wounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and for his tireless work in service of the global community.”
Click on the cover for Brian Moynihan’s remarks.
Elon Musk offers $100 million for big ideas
Lifestyles Magazine’s editors had many great choices for cover story candidates back in February 2008—then our 36th year of publishing. There were a great number of world class philanthropists interviewed in that edition. But our editor at the time, Vanessa Valkin, put forward a suggestion about a relatively unknown 36 year old, who “showed great potential.”
After some deliberations, we moved ahead and selected this young man for our front cover, based on his potential. Elon Musk who was born to a Canadian mother and South African father and raised in Pretoria, South Africa. Thirteen years later our decision appears well validated. Today, with unprecedented success stories like SpaceX, Tesla, The Boring Company, Neuralink and OpenAI. Elon is one of history’s most successful entrepreneurs—and now—philanthropists.
These days Elon Musk is spending a lot of money—but it’s not on the items you’re probably imagining. The Tesla founder, and sometimes world’s wealthiest individual, is betting big on philanthropy. And like everything Mr. Musk does, he’s doing it bigger, and potentially better, than everyone else.
Over just the first four months of 2021, Musk has committed almost $150 million directly to charities—and that’s not all: according to sources, behind the scenes over the last few months, Musk’s foundation has been spending more time reaching out to other major philanthropists and intermediaries to try and find ideas for grants and learn best practices.
Of all the gifts he’s given recently, perhaps none are as significant—or as splashy—as the one he announced today. In conjunction with the XPrize, Musk offered $100 million to the entrepreneurs who come up with the best technologies to capture carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and lock it away permanently. Peter Diamandis, the XPrize founder, tweeted the suggestion to Musk a few months ago and, typically, Musk moved more quickly than one of his Teslas. “One of the attributes about Elon is when he’s clear about wanting to do something, he moves very fast,” said Diamandis. The prize, announced in a glitzy rollout live from Cape Canaveral, Florida, will be a four-year competition.
As Elon is on his way to become the world’s wealthiest individual, we are confident that his success in his philanthropic endeavors will also be history-making.
Bill Gates explains what variants mean for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic
The virus that causes COVID-19 is mutating. Here is what you should know if you want to understand how variants are (and aren’t) complicating the pandemic.
MacKenzie Scott donates
an additional $4.2 billion
Just months after giving away $1.7 billion, MacKenzie Scott has announced an additional donation of $4.2 billion to 384 organizations that focus on operating in communities dealing with food insecurities, high poverty rates, racial inequality, and that aren’t typically considered for philanthropic contributions.
Funds were given to more than 30 educational institutions, over 40 food banks, and almost 50 local affiliates of Goodwill Industries International. It seems that no group applied for a grant—Scott’s team simply reached out to the organizations. As she did with her last massive donation, Scott wrote a post and listed every group that received a contribution online.
In her post, Scott asked her team to help her figure out how she can give her fortune away faster. Her wealth has been increasing as its primary source, stocks in Amazon, continue to surge as the pandemic continues. She has been praised, not only for how quickly she is giving away her wealth, but how she is doing it. By sharing the results of her research and criteria, people can learn about the organizations Scott is donating to and why they are worth supporting. In her post, she encourages others to learn about and donate to one of the organizations she has contributed to with this donation.
“Though I’m far from completing my pledge, this year of giving began with exposure to leaders from historically marginalized groups fighting inequities, and ended with exposure to thousands of organizations working to alleviate suffering for those hardest hit by the pandemic,” Scott wrote. “Witnessing the determination, creativity, and compassion of people in a crisis has been inspiring.”
We at Lifestyles Magazine/Meaningful Influence are fortunate to have close relationships with the world’s leading philanthropists and medical experts.
One of our recent cover stories featured Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a renown surgeon, professor, inventor, and leading philanthropist. He is an adjunct professor of surgery and executive director of the Wireless Health Institute at UCLA and a visiting professor at Imperial College London and Dartmouth College. Dr. Soon-Shiong has published more than 100 scientific papers and has more than 230 issued patents worldwide on advancements spanning numerous fields in technology and medicine.
Dr. Soon-Shiong created some very informational videos about the COVID-19 pandemic for the Los Angeles Times (which he owns) and in the interest of our readership he agreed to share those videos on our website.
To access the videos, please click on Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong’s Lifestyles Magazine/Meaningful Influence cover.
A $500 Million Gift to Bard College
It has been announced that multi-billionaire George Soros pledged $500 million to the private liberal arts college in New York, one of the largest single donations given to a university in higher education history.
Katalin Karikó (pictured) and Drew Weissman receive the Rosenstiel Award for their work in mRNAs, which was used in the development of COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.