Imagine if you could have a Board that had Bill Gates as the Chair and included well-known billionaire entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Reid Hoffman, Michael Bloomberg and Marc Benioff, and the leading entrepreneurs in their countries, China’s Jack Ma, Japan’s Masayoshi Son and India’s Ratan Tata to advise you?
This isn’t a fantasy, but a real life board that was announced this week to run the new billion dollar fund, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. The goal of the fund is to invest in companies that reduce greenhouse emissions.
And the board members – who have a combined net worth of $170 billion – are all committing their knowledge and networks to the future sustainability of the planet.
Put another way, Planet Earth just got itself a new billion dollar board.
Started by Bill Gates, this is his biggest new initiative since the launch of the Gates Foundation.
As he said today: “We need affordable and reliable energy that doesn’t emit greenhouse gas to power the future – and to get it, we need a different model for investing in good ideas and moving them from the lab to the market.”
“That is why today, I, along with an incredible group of people who care a lot about energy innovation, am announcing the launch of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a fund that will invest more than $1 billion in scientific breakthroughs that have the potential to deliver cheap and reliable clean energy to the world.”
The board will focus on “five grand challenges, corresponding to the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions around the world:”
1) Electricity: How can we deliver reliable, affordable zero-carbon electricity to the world?
2) Buildings: How can we eliminate emissions from our homes, offices, hospitals, and schools?
3) Manufacturing: How can we make everything we use without emitting greenhouse gases?
4) Transportation: How can we get around our communities and the world without emitting carbon?
5) Food: How can we feed the planet without contributing to climate change?
You can download a PDF that explains the board’s mission and how they aim to achieve it through these five grand challenges and 55 technical quests here: http://www.b-t.energy/landscape
Lesson from Bill:
If you work on the biggest challenges, you attract the brightest minds.
Which means by thinking bigger, one day you can have a board like this thinking on your behalf.
In fact, given that they’re working on behalf of Planet Earth, you already do.