Two-time Lifestyles Magazine/Meaningful Influence cover subject philanthropist and adventurer Sir Richard Branson has successfully completed his historical—and arguably greatest—adventure with his brief flight to the edge of space aboard his Virgin Galactic spaceplane.
Sir Richard called it the “experience of a lifetime” in a staticy radio transmission from aboard Unity as it began to glide back to Earth.
The craft then returned for a picture-perfect landing near the same spot his VMS Eve launched from almost exactly an hour earlier.
VMS Eve is named for Branson’s late mother Eve, who passed away due to COVID-19 complications in January.
Sir Richard Branson is Founder and Chairman of the Virgin Group. Virgin is one of the world’s most recognized and respected brands and has expanded into many diverse sectors from air and ground travel to telecommunications, health, space travel and renewable energy through more than 200 companies worldwide, employing approximately 50,000 people in 30 countries.
Branson has pledged to commit $3 billion, all profits from his travel firms over the next decade, to the reduction of global warming.
He has previously donated to educational charities in Africa.
Branson started his first charity, “Student Valley Centre”, when he was only 17.
He is Patron of the International Rescue Corps.
In 2007, Branson formed The Elders—a small, dedicated group of leaders, working objectively and without any vested personal interest to solve difficult global conflicts—with Peter Gabriel, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, and Jimmy Carter.
In March 2008, he hosted an environmental gathering with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales, and Larry Page of Google at his private island in the Caribbean to discuss global warming-related problems facing the world.
In 2004, Branson established Virgin Unite, his nonprofit foundation. It mobilizes the talent and resources from across the Virgin Group and beyond, to tackle tough social and environmental problems in an entrepreneurial way. It is built on the belief that the only way we can address the scale of the challenges facing the world today is by revolutionizing the way businesses, government and the social sector work together—driving business as a force for good.
Branson has been working closely with Virgin Unite to bring together the right partners to help create new global leadership models to address conflict, climate change and disease. These include the Carbon War Room and The Elders, as well as a number of others.
Branson and Virgin Unite also support a number of initiatives that lead to economic empowerment and healthy communities. These initiatives range from creating sustainable healthcare models in Africa, like the Bhubezi Community Health Center and the Rural Transport Network, to supporting young entrepreneurs through the Branson School of Entrepreneurship in South Africa and Jamaica, to creating opportunities for disadvantaged young people in the US and the UK.
We are proud to have been given the opportunities by Sir Richard to help shape the next generation of philanthropists.