X Prize Founder Bets On Billionaires For Cleantech Breakthrough

Feb 27 2009 | 7:55am ET

Peter Diamandis, founder of the X Prize Foundation, the self-proclaimed mission of which is to “bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity,” says philanthropists, rather than government, may be best positioned to tackle climate change.

“It’s great that governments the world over have woken up to the need for finding new ways to generate energy and extract carbon from the atmosphere,” Diamandis told the BBC, “The question is will they take the kind of risks needed because to have a fundamental breakthrough requires real risk taking.”

Diamandis was speaking on the sidelines of the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco, a gathering of nearly 800 industry leaders representing about $3 trillion in capital.

"The day before something is really a breakthrough,” said Diamandis, “It’s a crazy idea.”

Diamandis told the BBC he believed a growing army of billionaire philanthropists might be best placed to take the necessary risks.

“There are more than 1,000 individual billionaires who all of a sudden have the power to change the world for the better.

“These are people trying to transition from success to significance and now they can use that capital to try and change the world,” said Diamandis.


In Depth

GSAM's Papagiannis: Liquid Alternatives For The Long Run

Apr 21 2017 | 8:44pm ET

Interest in liquid alternatives cooled a bit last year amid a broad shift in investor...

Lifestyle

Aston Martin Returns To Debt Market As DB11 Drives Turnaround

Mar 31 2017 | 5:21pm ET

James Bond’s preferred carmaker is returning to the public debt markets for the...

Guest Contributor

Debunking Conventional Investment Wisdom (Part II)

Apr 17 2017 | 5:56pm ET

The alternative investment industry is currently replete with buzzwords around data...

 

From the current issue of