The Elders show we can all make a difference
- By Richard Branson -
- Jul 03, 2012
Enjoyed a wonderful evening celebrating The Elders’ fifth birthday in London last night. President Carter, Arch and former President Mary Robinson spoke profoundly to a rapt audience on all manner of subjects.
Arch encouraged everyone to “go on dreaming, go on being idealistic”, and reminded us that we “belong in one family. One race – the human race”. President Carter shared his views, noting “the future of the world depends on the young people retaining their idealism and hope.”
Mary Robinson made some crucial observations on inequality in the world. “The fact that a billion people out of seven billion in this world wake up every morning hungry is wrong,” she said. “Unlimited money is a corruption at the heart of the political system.”
She voiced my feelings eloquently when discussing social business too. "Social business is a hugely important addition to how we do business. Its time has come. People who give back, gain far more than they have given."
There was fun to be had too - not least Arch’s highly visual representation of the war on drugs and President Carter calling the US Supreme Court “stupid” for their decision to allow corporations to give unlimited political donations!
Host Jon Snow summed up in the best possible way. He said: "Leaving this room we should all feel that we can make a difference." This is one of the most beautiful effects of The Elders: as well as imparting their own wisdom wherever they go, they can bring out the best in others. Let’s follow The Elders’ example and show we can all make a difference in the world.
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group