The giving

This program has been made possible by Viewers like you, and the following foundations…..

We all heard that line on PBS or NPR.

Now we will see it on Fortune magazine that Giving is back in an organized way (like Barn Raising in an Amish community,

or Cognitive Surplus giving at Wikipedia).

This time. wealthy people from India and China will learn how to be rich (by giving away their new-found wealth).

In other words, to acquire money is just a first step to be admitted to the table.

Then, there is a curriculum: Giving 101 (preparing your will)  Giving 102 ( Giving away to help out the bottom Billion) before graduation at Davos.

Bono has advocated Poor Nation’s debt (for)giving. Jeffrey Sachs argues in similar vein.

And in India, bankers to the poor have tried mobile bank branches, mobile phone booths, and micro-lending.

I am sure these necessary steps will lead to a thoroughly vaccinated population and hopefully a more productive and peaceful world.

This is not the kind of  civic charity we have been accustomed to (Red Cross, Salvation Army, YMCA etc…).

This is new and very 21st-century. It’s the Third Wave’s giving (as opposed to Industrialist philanthropy such as Henry Ford and Rockefeller whose fortune was amassed due to the rise of the Machine). Now we have The Gates and Mr Buffett take the lead in a Round table (Hi, my name is so and so. And I am an anonymous donor AD and not OD).

This time, we have a confluence of  information technology , health and bio technology and environmental technology (clean tech) to point us in the right direction (Kevin Costner‘s congressional testimony yesterday for one). Foundation and funding will back those who can best leverage donated dollars, and the best part is it’s pre-meditated and pro-active, not reactive or under relief pressures.

If anybody can do it, this trio can. After all, at the speed of thought, they can transfer shares by a click of a mouse. I hope they and their nouveaux-riches won’t suffer from after-thought which is mirror image of buyer’s remorse.

(As of this edit, only percentage of the pledges actually went through). But during this past Recession, non-profit dollars have been on the rise (Warren Buffet’s son had a nice piece on the NYT about this subject). It’s more blessed to give than to receive.



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