Forbes started tracking the world’s wealthiest in 1987. Back then, Japanese Yoshiaki Tsutsumi was the world’s richest and there were 140 billionaires worldwide. Now, 25 years later, the Berlin wall is gone, there are over 7 billion people on the planet and the number of billionaires has multiplied tenfold.
There are 1,426 billionaires worldwide – a record number. Some inherited their fortunes, but the vast majority of the world’s richest are self-made individuals who built their fortunes from scratch. In 2013, 210 people joined the club of the world’s richest. There are 27 new billionaires just in the US. This year Forbes also unveiled the first African female billionaire, Isabel dos Santos, daughter of Angola’s president, worth $2 billion.
The next generation of self made billionaires will be entrepreneurs who understand that their fight may also be to eliminate poverty and hunger and bring clean water to all. I believe that the next billionaires will be those who focus on what really matters, instead of focusing on building some kind of Instagram or any other app. The next billionaires will solve our world’s most urgent needs, create tools to fundamentally transform people’s lives, and will be financially compensated in exchange. James “Jim” Rogers, who co-founded and administered investment fund Quantum QTM -1.96% with George Soros, told Brazilian magazine VEJA, that “People working with agriculture will be the world’s next billionaires! Wealth will come from farms. Farmers will be the owners of Lamborghinis in the future, not the smart guys working in finance.” Rogers said that in 2009 when agricultural commodities prices were peaking. Roger’s fund Quantum returned more than 4,000% in 10 years so it is clear he understand a thing or two about trends.
Many of my colleagues here at Forbes have written about the next generation of billionaires. For instance, Brian Solomon’s piece Nexus Summit Inspires Next Generation of Billionaires to Give Back reveals that many young entrepreneurs understand the importance of giving back to society.Natalie Robehmed wrote about Kairos Society, an invitation-only global community comprised of innovative collegiate entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists, and designers from around the world. Personally, I believe that the next generation of billionaires will be well connected and well educated. An invitation-only incubator like Kairos Society could be the launch platform for the world’s next billionaires, since it helps young people to turn dreams into business by providing an incredible network of mentors and fellow entrepreneurs.
Kairos Society mentors in the past included such notables as Bill Clinton, former president of the USA; Phil Condit, former CEO of Boeing BA +0.32%; Duncan Niederauer, CEO of the New York Stock Exchange; Richard Saul Wurman, Founder of TED; Peter Diamandis, Chairman of the X-Prize Foundation, Sander Noordende, CEO of Accenture Consulting; and Peter Thum, founder of Ethos Water.
When the insight of today’s global leaders merges with disruptive ideas of tomorrow’s emerging entrepreneurs, wealth has more chance of being generated and quickly multiplied. Kairos, founded in 2008 by Ankur Jain, who was just 21 then, provides such a platform. Kairos fellows come from all over the world and they all share the ambition, optimism, and entrepreneurial drive that fueled the success of the previous generation of billionaires.
A few examples of Kairos companies:
The bottom line is that I believe Kairos fellows have what it takes to make it big time because they have been proving so. Successful Kairos companies you may already be familiar with:
Levant Power Corporation
A shock absorber developer co-founded by Forbes 30 under 30 members Zack Anderson and Shakeel Avadhany.
As Ankur Jain, the founder, says:
“through new organizations like the Kairos Society, entrepreneurs are able to bridge the worlds of innovation, government, and industry to overcome many of the barriers they would otherwise face when bringing such disruptive global solutions to market, and in the process create billions of dollars in value.”
I am not the only one bullish about Kairos Society. Richard Branson, who has himself created some 400 companies and is always looking for the next big idea, said:
“We need creativity and innovation to continue to push the world forward—who better to challenge the status quo than the next generation of entrepreneurs? This is why some of the world’s most influential leaders, individuals and corporations alike, are looking to Kairos fellows for a fresh perspective on how to tackle the next generation of global problems.”
Article written by Ricardo Geromel, Forbes Contributor.
Please note, this article has been reposted. You can find the original Forbes article here.