Posts Tagged ‘Giving Pledge’

Elon Musk, Hyperloop, and Giving

Hyperloop image: SpaceX

Hyperloop image: SpaceX

Today was a big day in the forward thinking department. Elon Musk, who has already wowed us over the years with dreaming up the Tesla Car, SpaceX (bailing out NASA and sending missions into space when they couldn’t), generating the everybody-uses-it-for-online-commerce site PayPal, and chairing the board of Solar City, today¬† announced his design for the Hyperloop, an 800-mile-per-hour train that could connect San Francisco and Los Angeles in a fraction of the time previously even imagined. The mag lev train will also transport cars, like a ferry system, along with people, somewhere not too far south of the speed of sound…and his plan is for a ticket to cost about twenty bucks.

I’m so pleased with so much of the recent future thinking that is not exclusively profit-driven…so I wanted to see what Mr. Musk is up to on the philanthropic and charitable side of things.

His main thrust in giving is The Musk Foundation, and its focus on aerospace, clean energy, science education, and pediatric health. Big actions of the foundation include bringing usable and inexpensive energy to disaster-hit regions (Gulf-Coast Alabama after Katrina and the BP Oil Spill, and the area near Fukushima, Japan devastated by the earthquake and tsunami) along with plenty of grants to organizations with missions falling under the umbrella focus of the Musk group.

He has also signed on for the Warren Buffet/Bill Gates Giving Pledge (pledging, along with other billionaires, to give at least half of his fortune to charitable causes), and he serves on multiple boards of foundations and organizations.

I dig the future thinking–more for the thinking of the future of people and the planet than anything else. By the way, when he published his extremely detailed plans for the high speed train today–he gave it away for free, with no patents, under open-source licensing. That, is how to be rich.