When investor Warren Buffett announced he was leaving the bulk of his fortune to philanthropy, his son, Howard G. Buffett, set out to help a billion individuals who lack basic food security. Howard has given himself 40 years to put more than $3 billion to work on this challenge. All farmers can expect to have about 40 growing seasons, giving them just 40 chances to improve on every harvest.
On October 22, 2o13, a new book was published by Simon & Schuster that captures Howard’s journey. Beginning with his love for farming, we join him around the world as he seeks out new approaches to ease the suffering of so many. Each of the 40 stories here provides a compelling look at the lessons Howard learned, ranging from his own backyard to some of the most difficult and dangerous places on Earth.
But this message goes beyond the pages of this book, it’s also a mindset: a way of thinking that speaks to every person wanting to make a difference. It’s about reasons to hope and actions we can take.
In order to encourage that kind of high-impact and solution-oriented thinking, Medora Ventures supported the Howard G. Buffett Foundation in developing a suite of programs and awards. The 40 Chances Programs advocate for the best ideas that seed sustainable, transformational change in accomplishing global food security. These programs will empower our next generation of leaders to develop market-based solutions to some of society’s most pressing challenges in the areas of poverty and hunger.
In partnership with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, high school students across the country competed for innovation awards based on solutions they designed to combat local food insecurity.
In collaboration with the White House OSTP, the USDA, and UW-M, college and grad students nationally competed for over $200,000 in prizes for developing a food system innovation for the ag sector.
In partnership with Tony Blair’s Africa Governance Initiative and the World Food Prize, individuals aged between 18 – 40 from around the world applied to be named a 40 Chances Fellow.
In partnership with ASU’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation, social entrepreneurs and nonprofits applied for small grants to scale their innovative solutions.
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