TODAY’s article will not be about technology, albeit it has roots in it because of the project started by Bill Gates, who is still Microsoft chairman and one of the five richest men in the world. For 10 years, he was the world’s richest man. He is still a poster person on technology.

Gates is planning to donate over 95 percent of his wealth, as does his good friend Warren Buffet. The two have created a foundation that can have assets and grants of over $60 billion.

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But they did not stop there.

A well-researched article by Fortune magazine a few months ago revealed both Gates and Buffet have been going the rounds of billionaires, encouraging them to pledge at least half of their wealth to philanthropy.

It turned out it isn’t too difficult to convince people to part with their money.

As of today, over 40 of the wealthiest people have signed up and the list is still growing. Based on the pledges, they stand to generate an additional few hundred billion dollars or even up to a trillion dollars that will be spent for doing good, making it by far the biggest movement for philanthropy.

The amount of money involved is huge and is bigger than probably the gross domestic product of almost all countries, except a few.

The list is in the website givingpledge.org and while there are familiar names who have been giving a lot, like e-Bay founder Piere Omidyar, CNN founder Ted Turner and David Rockefeller, there were some surprising ones. Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, has also pledged money as well as John Doerr, a well known Silicon Valley Venture capitalist. There is also Michael Bloomberg, New York mayor and founder of Bloomberg; and George Lucas, producer of Star Wars and founder of Industrial Light and Magic, a leading visual effects company.

One of the more surprising ones has certainly been Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, the world’s largest database company and one of the top three software companies in the world.

Ellison is a long time critic and nemesis of Bill Gates and is known to be a flamboyant executive, at times even earning a playboy image. He is known also for his acerbic statements and has certainly taken a lot of potshots at competitors, including Microsoft.

He is known also as a lover of the good life and therefore spends a lot of his money on cars and sailboats. He is known as a true-blue capitalist and nobody quite expected that he would warm up to the movement but he signed up.

Gates said in an interview that he has been exchanging emails with Ellison recently.

Ellison said in a statement that he already gave hundreds of millions of dollars privately to fund medical research and education and pledged that he will eventually donate up to 95 percent of his wealth to charity.

The movement is certainly encouraging and it warms the heart.

In the recent One Cebu Business and Sustainability Conference, bestselling author Alex Lacson, Gawad Kalinga founder Tony Meloto and award-winning architect Jun Palafox revealed how they shared their time and money to help others.

Gawad Kalinga, for instance, was able to get thousands of hectares of land donations as well as pledges to build over a hundred thousand houses.

It is not difficult to get people to give, I think we just need to establish credibility and give them a great and credible vehicle for it, something Gawad Kalinga, Gates and Buffet have established.

(www.ngkhai.net/bizdrivenlife)