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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[…]

Mandela, who forgave his captors after 27 years in prison.

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 12 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