At the end of May, 2017, the Giving Pledge announced that 14 new couples and individuals had added their names to the list of people who vow to give away a majority of their wealth. Bill and Melinda Gates, together with Warren Buffett, established the Giving Pledge to encourage the wealthiest individuals around the world to make a real difference by reinvesting in their communities. Individuals who sign the pledge make a great personal sacrifice in an effort to make the world a better place.
Many of the new signatories come from countries outside of the United States. Some of the countries represented by these 14 signatories include Australia, Cyprus, Monaco, Tanzania, Slovenia, and Norway. In total, 168 individuals have now signed the Giving Pledge and these individuals range in age from 31 to 93. Altogether, 21 countries are represented, as well as 27 American states and District of on the bed Columbia. The diverse backgrounds of the new signatories is an indicator of how important giving is becoming in cultures around the world, as well as in different industries.
In addition to holding signers to a high standard of philanthropy, the Giving Pledge provides a platform for individuals to discuss the most pressing problems facing their communities and undertake an orchestrated response. Furthermore, the forum created by the organization allows individuals to share important lessons that they have learned and gain valuable insight from outside experts. Some of the issues most recently brought up include early childhood education, criminal justice reform, refugee aid, and poverty alleviation.
The new signatories include:
A businessman from Tanzania, Dewji oversees MeTL Group, which operates in nearly a dozen countries in Africa. For 10 years, he served as a member of parliament. In addition, he is the founder and trustee of the Mo Dewji Foundation.
Highly educated, Fanjun holds a doctorate in economics from Beijing Jiaotong University as well as two other graduate degrees. He chairs Dongfang Huiquan Financial Holdings and belongs to the standing committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Shandong Provincial Committee.
A Greek national, Haji-Ioannou now lives in Monaco. Individuals will recognize him as the founder of easyJet, which he established at the age of 28. Today, easyJet is a top 100 company on the London Stock Exchange.
Nick and Leslie Hanauer
A venture capitalist and proven entrepreneur, Mr. Hanauer founded Civic Ventures, a public policy incubator in Seattle, Washington. He was an early investor in Amazon.com and the owner of aQuantive, a digital advertising agency purchased by Microsoft. As a philanthropist, he has remained very outspoken about income inequality in the United States.
Nat Simons and Laura Baxter-Simons
This couple has worked together in finance for more than two decades and currently heads Meritage Group. Together, they created Sea Change Foundation, which tackles the issue of global climate change. They also established Prelude Ventures, which invests in cleantech startups.
The chair of Shenzhen Seaskyland Investment Holdings Group Ltd., Zhonghui has emerged as a leader in the education examination evaluation industry in China. In addition, she is involved in big data theory and has earned recognition for her philanthropic dedication.
Robert Frederick Smith
Smith is the founder of Vista Equity Partners, which invested in enterprise software, technology, and data. Outside of work, he chairs the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and belongs to the Columbia Business School Board of Overseers.
Leonard H. Ainsworth
For more than 60 years, Ainsworth has defined much of the gaming machine industry. He is widely known in Australia for his philanthropy and has gained international renown for his role in producing gaming machines used in casinos and hotels around the world. Currently, he is executive director of Ainsworth Game Technology Limited.
The widow of Ray Dolby, founder of Dolby Laboratories, Dagmar now lives in San Francisco although she was born and raised in Germany. She remains heavily involved with the brain health and Alzheimer’s disease research fields.
Anne Grete Eidsvig and Kjell Inge Rokke
A worldwide leader in the fishery business, Rokke now chairs Aker ASA, an industrial investment company in Norway. Aker has emerged as one of the largest private employers in the country.
Iza and Samo Login
Iza serves as deputy CEO of Outfit7, which she founded after running a center focused on improving quality of life. Samo helped design the Talking Tom and Friends franchise, which is extremely popular in Slovenia. Their two sons have also taken the pledge.
Terry and Susan Ragon
Mr. Ragon is the founder and CEO of InterSystems Corporation, which is a leading in healthcare applications and databases. Actively involved in the Boston community, he is a trustee of Massachusetts General Hospital and a fellow at the Harvard Medical School, as well as a member of the MIT Corporation.
Dean and Marianne Metropoulos
Mr. Metropoulos is a leader in private equity, especially in the consumer space. Meanwhile, Mrs. Metropoulos has been actively involved with a wide variety of charities, such as Campaign to End Childhood Hunger and Hole in the Wall camps.
Stine is the owner of Stine Seed in Iowa. This company has become the largest private seed company in the entire world. Once a farmer, he is now worth $3.4 billion.