Three Billionaires Who Made A Difference In 2015

Three Billionaires Who Made A Difference In 2015

With their help, the world is not completely falling apart.
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2015 was filled with both thorns and roses. In reflection of the year 2015, what you may have neglected to think about is the fact that billionaires seemed to do more charitable, innovative and just plain sweet things with their money than recognized or seen before. Take a moment to look into three billionaires who pledged to do something meaningful with all of that dough.

1. Bill Gates turns yucky to yummy

In January of 2015, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation used its funds to execute a machine that can turn human waste into drinkable water. It can produce a little over 10,000 liters of water a day! The machine was named "The OmniProcessor", built by Janicki Industries. A large percent of our global population both neglect to properly treat sewage and lack adequate drinking water. This invention is surely going to act as a catalyst for further breakthrough in solving the world's clean water epidemic.



2. Manoj Bhargava funds three inventions (so far) to alleviate global suffering

Manoj Bhargava may be an unfamiliar name to you, so to catch you up: he is the founder of the very well-known company Five-Hour Energy. He also just so happens to be worth $4 billion. In October of 2015, Bhargava announced he would be giving away the majority of his wealth. Bhargava has stated most consistently that he wishes to "alleviate global suffering". Although alleviating global suffering seems like a daunting task, Manoj condenses it by putting his money toward water, energy and health. Bhargava's money has already been put toward three innovative inventions: The Rain Maker which creates safe drinking water, Free Electric which provides free electricity, and the Renew ECP which promotes good blood flow for wellness. Manoj Bhargava wants to change the world, and he is determined not to allow anything to stand in his way.

3. Maxima Zuckerberg makes a difference before even making an appearance

On Dec. 1, 2015, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan announced they will be giving ninety-nine percent of their Facebook shares to charity throughout their lives. Mark and Priscilla's daughter, Max, inspired the decision. Max was born one week before the announcement of the Facebook founder's philanthropy. In a video released by Facebook, Mr. Zuckerberg said: "Having this child has made us think about all of the things that should be improved in the world for her whole generation."

Dr. Chan stated: "We need to make sure that there are investments and programs that ensure that the future isn't going to be like today... the future is going to be better than today." There is some controversy about the intentions of the Zuckerberg family, but only time will tell if this is truly a pledge that will make a difference. For now, let's celebrate that Mark and Priscilla have promised to do something amazing with the shares from the social media medium we all know and love. The beautiful baby, Maxima Zuckerberg, has already changed the world by inspiring her powerful parents to make a difference, and she is just under one month old!



Cover Image Credit: The Telegraph

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Pride? Pride.

Who are we? Why are we proud?

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This past week, I was called a faggot by someone close to me and by note, of all ways. The shock rolled through my body like thunder across barren plains and I was stuck paralyzed in place, frozen, unlike the melting ice caps. My chest suddenly felt tight, my hearing became dim, and my mind went blank except for one all-encompassing and constant word. Finally, after having thawed, my rage bubbled forward like divine retribution and I stood poised and ready to curse the name of the offending person. My tongue lashed the air into a frenzy, and I was angry until I let myself break and weep twice. Later, I began to question not sexualities or words used to express (or disparage) them, but my own embodiment of them.

For members of the queer community, there are several unspoken and vital rules that come into play in many situations, mainly for you to not be assaulted or worse (and it's all too often worse). Make sure your movements are measured and fit within the realm of possible heterosexuality. Keep your music low and let no one hear who you listen to. Avoid every shred of anything stereotypically gay or feminine like the plague. Tell the truth without details when you can and tell half-truths with real details if you must. And above all, learn how to clear your search history. At twenty, I remember my days of teaching my puberty-stricken body the lessons I thought no one else was learning. Over time I learned the more subtle and more important lessons of what exactly gay culture is. Now a man with a head and social media accounts full of gay indicators, I find myself wondering both what it all means and more importantly, does it even matter?

To the question of whether it matters, the answer is naturally yes and no (and no, that's not my answer because I'm a Gemini). The month of June has the pleasure of being the time of year when the LGBT+ community embraces the hateful rhetoric and indulges in one of the deadly sins. Pride. Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the figures at the head of the gay liberation movement, fought for something larger than themselves and as with the rest of the LGBT+ community, Pride is more than a parade of muscular white men dancing in their underwear. It's a time of reflection, of mourning, of celebration, of course, and most importantly, of hope. Pride is a time to look back at how far we've come and realize that there is still a far way to go.

This year marks fifty years since the Stonewall Riots and the gay liberation movement launched onto the world stage, thus making the learning and embracing of gay culture that much more important. The waves of queer people that come after the AIDS crisis has been given the task of rebuilding and redefining. The AIDS crisis was more than just that. It was Death itself stalking through the community with the help of Regan doing nothing. It was going out with friends and your circle shrinking faster than you can try or even care to replenish. Where do you go after the apocalypse? The LGBT+ community was a world shut off from access by a touch of death and now on the other side, we must weave in as much life as we can.

But we can't freeze and dwell of this forever. It matters because that's where we came from, but it doesn't matter because that's not where we are anymore. We're in a time of rebirth and spring. The LGBT+ community can forge a new identity where the AIDS crisis is not the defining feature, rather a defining feature to be immortalized, mourned, and moved on from.

And to the question of what does it all mean? Well, it means that I'm gay and that I've learned the central lesson that all queer people should learn in middle school. It's called Pride for a reason. We have to shoulder the weight of it all and still hold our head high and we should. Pride is the LGBT+ community turning lemons into lemon squares and limoncello. The lemon squares are funeral cakes meant to mourn and be a familiar reminder of what passed, but the limoncello is the extravagant and intoxicating celebration of what is to come. This year I choose to combine the two and get drunk off funeral cakes. Something tells me that those who came before would've wanted me to celebrate.

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