Richard Branson is a British entrepreneur known for his philanthropic projects and his taste for adventure. He is the founder and chairman of Virgin Group Ltd., a conglomerate of separately run companies which include radio stations, airlines, and mobile phones. The Virgin Group now owns around 200 companies in over 30 countries. Virgin also plans to launch commercial space flights over the next few years in a venture called Virgin Galactic.
Branson was born in 1950 in Surrey, England, and was educated at Stowe School, where he established a national magazine, Student, at the age of 16. He is married with two children and lives in London and Oxfordshire.
Richard Branson: The kinds of people I aspire to be like are people like Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela is the best example living in this world.
He was imprisoned for 27 years. He forgave his captors. He came out of prison. And he embraced his captors. He brought them into his government.
He set the most brilliant example to the rest of the world. And through his inspiration . . .
With Peter Gabrielle, we’ve been looking to see if there are twelve other elders in the world who can look at issues of the world that national governments are not looking at, and look at issues of the world that the United Nations can’t look at.
Who can maybe try to avert wars before they happen? If there are conflicts, maybe they can use their moral authority – their global moral authority – and the respect that they have from the world community to go in and sort these problems out.
And that’s something I’ve been working and planning on for about seven years, and it’s now coming to fruition.
Recorded on: July 5, 2007