"I believe in myself. I believe in the hands that work, in the brains that think, and in the hearts that love." - Richard Branson
Richard Branson, the king of all Virgins. The brilliant entrepreneur behind Virgin United, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Brides, and many many more! Although admirable what he's done with his commercial Virgin empire, more impressive is what he's done with his non-profit arm - Virgin Unite. I'm lucky to have had the opportunity to see him speak recently. This man is incredibly humble despite all he's achieved. The quote above is one of my favorite quotes by Branson...but when asked about it he couldn't remember that he actually made the quote. Branson also jokingly said he was probably stoned when he came up with that quote.
The premise of Branson's visit to Orange County, CA was to discuss peace and his non-profit arm of Virgin. Their mission?
"We unite people to tackle tough social and environmental problems with an entrepreneurial approach. Our aim is to help revolutionise the way businesses and the social sector work together – driving business as a force for good. This is based on the belief that this is the only way we can address the scale and urgency of the challenges facing the world today. Virgin Unite also works on behalf of vulnerable young people across the globe."
Virgin Unite attempts to tackle tough problems/topics such as AIDS, carbon emissions, and creating a sustainable economy for impoverished nations. Virgin Unite also tackles other less publicized social issues.
I had a chance to ask Branson about Virgin Unite and how Virgin Unite dealt with the evolution of philanthropy across different cultures. Branson's answer was that they only went where their lines of businesses operated. Once they determine a need, they partnered up with local organizations to ensure the philanthropic acts are a cultural fit.
It's hard to describe the vibe Richard Branson gives off, but he is definitely a revolutionary thinker and makes you want to "do good." So the call to action this week is to think about how you can make a difference in someone's life. How are your actions bettering the world? Step by step we can be better neighbors(globally and domestically)and create a better world to live in.