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As the world's richest person, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos could transform how philanthropy works. Bezos is now far ahead Bill Gates as the world's richest person.

With a net worth of $105 billion, Bezos is likely to retain the title for the foreseeable future, and it could upend how billionaires view charity. Unlike Bill Gates, who has focused on long-term projects, Bezos could focus more on the short-term.

Read more in Business Insider

Peggy Dulany, the founder and chair of Global NGO Synergos Institute, on the role of leadership and how family shapes attitudes towards philanthropy

Philanthropists often go in with an assumption of what is the most important need of a community. For example, education. Of course, it is an important need always. But somehow without that intermediary process of consultation, things that are simply donated are often passively accepted and you don’t get the community engagement that you need. The main thing for philanthropists is to learn to respond to the needs that the community diagnoses as its problems. But if you just go in and talk to the village leader, you will not, for example, include women in the diagnosis and you get a very different image.

That’s why I often advocate that philanthropists should engage for greater impact. 

Read more in Livemint

President and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies, Christopher G. Oechsli, takes a deep dive into lessons learned while executing the $8 billion philanthropic vision of entrepreneur Chuck Feeney, aka the ‘James Bond of Philanthropy’.

The Atlantic Philanthropies believes in making big bets for a better world. Since its establishment in 1982 by self-made billionaire and co-founder of the Duty Free Shoppers Group, Chuck Feeney, The Atlantic Philanthropies has invested US$8 billion across eight regions, including Australia.

With an investment of US$368 million between 1998-2016, Atlantic’s support of knowledge, research and innovation and the advancement of social equity in Australia helped fund 28 capital projects and resulted in $1.5 billion in funding leveraged from government and the private sector.

Read more in Philanthropy Australia

Every year Avance Media names the Top 100 Most Influential Young South Africans. With their nominations announced for 2017, who are SA's top 10 most influential philanthropists? The awards release the names of 100 young South Africans who have been nominated for the ranking. The public then votes for South Africans within specific categories, which contributes to their ranking. This article looks at the nominees in the Social Enterprise & Philanthropy category -- South Africa's most influential young philanthropists for 2017.

Read more in LeadSA

 It is widely accepted that South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world. The top 10 percent of the population earn about 60percent of all income and own 95percent of all assets. But there are significant and critical gaps in the understanding of how this inequality is produced, and the systems of power that supports its reproduction.

There has been no significant reduction in inequality in post-apartheid South Africa. At the start of the 1990s, South Africa had the highest Gini coefficient of all 57 countries for which there were data at that time, at 0.66.

Soros has long been one of the leading donors to progressive causes in the United States and is the most generous financial supporter of pro-democracy organizations around the world. And his giving will likely only increase in the years to come. In October, Soros disclosed that over the last few years, he has turned over around $18 billion to the institutions through which he has channeled his philanthropy, the Open Society Foundations (OSF).

The enormous gift was met as a confirmation of all the darkest fears stoked by his antagonists. Pointing out that Soros’s foundation would now rank as the second largest behind the Gates Foundation, the right-wing website Breitbart announcedthe news by referring to OSF as the “Death Star.”

Given the failure of the state, continuing deep levels of poverty, unemployment and inequality, the act of giving by business, and wealthy and skilled individuals can make important contributions to solving our pressing problems. Philanthropy could be divided into three basic forms: giving by companies, wealthy individuals and ordinary citizens. In many emerging democracies and markets such as South Africa, corporates and rich individuals, may sometimes have acquired their riches on the back of exploitation of the poor, through state capture and even corruption.

Philanthropy can lead to greater social solidarity between the well-off and the poor, trigger positive social change, and overall make citizens more resilient in the face of state collapse. The act of giving can be described as a form of active citizenship.

When Jean Tirole won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Economics, he suddenly found himself being stopped in the street by complete strangers and asked to comment on issues of the day. His transformation from academic economist to public intellectual prompted him to reflect on the role economists and their discipline play in society. The result is Economics for the Common Good, a passionate manifesto for a world in which economics is a positive force for the common good. 

Watch his talk at the London School of Economics

A recent personal donation of R1bn is just the beginning of an even bigger dream PSG founder Jannie Mouton has for his philanthropically orientated Jannie Mouton Foundation. "I have a huge dream to increase the foundation by donating more and more of my PSG shares to it. I have donated R1bn now, but in years to come I want to increase that amount substantially," Mouton told Fin24.

Asked why he did not - like Buffet - just donate money to the Gates Foundation, Mouton said he would rather focus on needs in South Africa. "I want to create something in South Africa. I see a need in South Africa," said Mouton. "My family and I think education is very important and that could be the basis of the foundation. There are a lot of disadvantaged people and education can play a big role in years to come," he explained.

A recent study showed that generosity changed the activity in people’s brains in ways that increase feelings of happiness, even if the generous act is small or only imagined. In effect, the pledge to be generous primed people to be more giving. There are probably evolutionary undercurrents to this process, says Thorsten Kahnt. Though the experiment lasted only a short time and involved only simulated gains and losses, Kahnt says that “it does show a mechanistic linkage in the brain between doing something nice for someone and feeling better about yourself.”

Through her South Africa-based Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, in its 10th year, the media mogul and self-made billionaire is developing leaders positioned to play a key role in Africa. In this exclusive interview with FORBES WOMAN AFRICA, Oprah Winfrey talks about where it all started – in Mandela’s home where she spent 10 days and shared 29 meals with the statesman and pledged to build a school for girls and invest in the people of South Africa.

South African high earners gave away a combined R7 billion in cash, goods and services to charities last year, according to Nedbank’s The Giving Report released yesterday. The report analysed giving behaviours, patterns and trends of high-net-worth (HNV) South Africans.

Nedbank surveyed 400 HNV individuals, individuals who earned at least R1.5 million a year or own investable assets of more than R5 million, excluding primary residence. About 63 percent of the respondents’ total net worth was in the range of R5m to R10m, while 19 percent of them were worth R10m to R20m and 7 percent were worth R20m to R50m.

A number of leaders in philanthropy were asked to answer the following questions: How does a 21st-century philanthropy contend with the economic system that both produces its conditions of possibility and makes its lofty aspirations necessary? Should it address the structural inequality of which it is a symptom—and if so, how?

The Knowledge Hub is a logo initiative. (c) 2017.