Category Archives: Philanthropists

Why Jason Hope Is Invested In The Internet Of Things

What exactly is this “internet of things” that we keep hearing about, and why do people seem to be getting so excited about something as vague as “things”? While the term is misleadingly vague, it’s actually referring to one of the digital domain’s biggest and exciting concepts-one in which the internet can be used as a tool with infinite possibilities, thanks to the technology of connections.

And no one is a bigger proponent or educator on how these technologies can be harnessed than Jason Hope. Through various media outlets, Hope has educated businesspeople and everyday consumers alike on why it’s not just cool that street lights can talk to each other, or that equipment can track and log its own maintenance. Developing this ability not only makes everything from computers to coffee makers run more efficiently. It also reduces waste both in terms of time and the type that puts a strain upon resources. Hope has indicated that he’s so convinced that the Internet Of Things is with us to stay, that consumers would be wise not only to acquire these “things”, but to invest with companies that produce them as well.

And Hope’s passion for connectedness doesn’t just apply to smartphones or cars. He recently pledged $500,000 to the SENS Foundation, a non-profit organization that employs advanced technologies in medical research. Hope’s donation will allow Dr. Aubrey deGrey to apply nanotechnology experiments towards the effects of aging and diseases associated with it, such as Alzheimer’s, atherosclerosis, and diabetes. Hope’s donation was singled out for praise at a recent “Breakout Philanthropy” breakfast.

And in addition to philanthropy, Hope continues his work as a “futurist“. Under Hope’s tutelage, the public will continue to be educated and provoked as to the many possibilities of the internet. The results will be faster, safer, and more environmentally responsible technologies and products for all to benefit from.

Dick DeVos Looks To Have A Greater Influence On Education And The Success Of Michigan

I have been aware of the work Dick DeVos and his wife Betsy have completed in terms of education reform for a number of years after the married couple arrived in Florida to assist in publicizing education reform in the state; Dick DeVos had already become well known in Florida for leading the resurgence of the Orlando Magic NBA franchise in the early 1990s. I was recently impressed with an interview I read with Betsy DeVos detailing the way the couple have gone about their work in reforming the education sector of the U.S. For more than 30 years Dick and Betsy DeVos have completed a series of campaigns backed by their own money that have crossed party lines and allowed these well known conservatives to work with politicians and reformers from a wide range of the political spectrum. The article went on to explain how the work of Dick and Betsy DeVos does not stop with the passing of new legislation in the states they have tried to bring education reform to, but continues with marketing campaigns to provide information about how best to make sure as many local people as possible know about school choice and voucher options.

I have also been pleased to note the philanthropic work of Dick and Betsy DeVos has not been limited to the single subject of education reform, but through the work of the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation a wide range of philanthropic options have been explored. The Wikipedia page of Dick DeVos explains the couple do provide a large amount of funding for various educational institutions, including college’s such as Princeton University. Dick DeVos is a well known aviator and has been instrumental in the establishment of the West Michigan Aviation Academy that allows young people with an interest in flying to base their education in this area; the business side of the life of Dick DeVos is represented in his philanthropic work through the Thunderbird School of Global Management that provides education for students around the globe. DeVos shares many of the moral and religious beliefs of people across America and has done much to push forward these values through his leadership of the Willow Creek Association, in my opinion.

See School Choice as a Dick DeVos Improvement

There is a major difference in the quality of education received attending a particular school over another. Paramount to quality, the twelve year experience may be improved. School choice is important as in my case when I graduated from public school I was illiterate. I could not read, write, spell, pronounce, and I had never read a book. I did however receive a diploma from the public school system. So you ask what went wrong and how did that happen? The answer is I could not visually see; I had not been diagnosed with needing eye-glasses. Henceforth since my last name is somewhat in the middle of the alphabet I was assigned seating in the back of the classroom compounding my unable to see.

To understand this dilemma: since no one ever told me I could not see, how was a six, seven, or eight year-old supposed to know they can’t see like someone who has perfect vision. In my situation I just accepted everyone could not see the blackboard just like me. It never occurred to me that I was the only one that saw nothing on the blackboard. Subsequently in public schools, if a kid is not alert and a bookish, then they become nobody in the masses of children. That is what I become; I just existed in a classroom, in a school, for six hours unnoticed.

I honestly can say I never did homework, but more realistically I never knew I was supposed to read the book I took home. This is a fact. Now one can complain where were your parents? And I say to you I got satisfactory grades. Actually it is truly amazing what you can absorb by pure instincts, I just mimicked other kids.

School choice is a general term used to define alternative ways to education other than the standard public school system and I say that is virtuous. I am not alone with school choice. Philanthropist Dick DeVos is one who supports school choice. Dick DeVos is heir to the Amway Dynasty. Four years ago Forbes magazine put him in the top hundred richest people. Touting a net worth over five billion dollars shows he is a money-maker making a difference in education. Today educational voucher are gaining strength as well as alternative choices like charter and home schooling. This momentum to unconventional forms of education is contributed to by Dick DeVos. They have many foundations to support and shift public opinion toward school choice. I applaud Dick’s efforts; it is a wise decision to make unique educational avenues to graduation. 

I was finally diagnosed by an optometrist for corrective lenses, and a new journey in edification was bestowed upon me. I actually, as an adult, educated myself and received a bachelor in engineering from a notable university. So if you visit the foundation website you will find the DeVos family manifesto is published. It is their desire to seek choice and access to education. See Education

Learn more about Dick DeVos by visiting his LinkedIn profile.

Strong, Value-based Parenting Drives The Charity Of The Devos Family

Parenting is one of the most important and honorable pursuits a human being can undertake. When you parent a child correctly, that child grows up and adds something to the world. That child becomes a productive member of society, but more importantly, that child becomes a shining example unto others; an inspiration to follow; a beacon of light in an otherwise grim world. There is no better example of what strong parenting, rooted in conservative values, can do for one person and the world around them than the DeVos family.

Dick DeVos is the patriarch and he grew up in Western Michigan. He was raised by strong parents who imbued a sense of social responsibility on the young man. Their strong conservative values gave Dick a moral compass as he set off into the world after graduating from Northwood University in Midland, Michigan (http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/about/). And that moral compass would lead him to giving away over $1 billion of his own wealth in 2014.

Behind every great man is a great woman, and Betsy DeVos stands as an example of this in her philanthropy that mirrors Dick’s. Betsy was also raised by parents guided by strong conservative values in the state of Michigan. She attended a Christian college and went on to start a career in conservative politics, becoming a mover-and-shaker in Michigan’s Republican party. And when she met Dick, she knew that they both had a sense of social responsibility.

DeVos would go on to have a prosperous career in business, leading Amway International to record profits and becoming the President and CEO of the booming Orlando Magic in the early 1990’s during the beginning of the Penny Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal era. Wealth came to the DeVos family through the hard work of Dick and Betsy, but through it all they never forgot those deeply rooted values imbued upon them by their parents. To read more about Dick’s long career studded with impressive title’s and accomplishments, click here.

That is why Forbes has ranked the DeVos family 20th on its list of 50 Top Givers in 2014. But the DeVos family did not want the attention. Only after being hounded by the magazine did they divulge their charitable giving in 2014, totaling over $1 billion. Most of the givings have stayed in their home state of Michigan. The DeVos family, through five different family foundations, aim at giving to conservative leaning charities that will carry on the torch of promoting values to future generations. In Dick and Betsy DeVos’ case, strong parenting has helped hundreds, if not thousands of people through charitable giving.

Minaj Ignores Warning from The Human Rights Foundation

Niki Minaj is stirring up controversy. Minaj has flown to Angola, Africa to prepare for a performance at a Christmas Festival sponsored by Unitel. The issue is that The Human Rights Foundation has posted an open letter requesting Minaj cancel the performance because Unitel is a company under control of the family of Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos who has been labeled a dictator.
The Human Rights Foundation has openly warned Minaj that her monetary compensation from sponsors comes from government corruption and human rights violations. The foundation goes on to point out that under three brutal decades of this family’s ruling they have exploited both Angola’s diamond and oil wealth in order to amass their own illegitimate fortune. They have controlled all branches of the government, military, and civil society and have made their political policy to harass, imprison, or kill politicians, activists, and journalists who protest him. At the time of publication, the concert was still planned and Minaj was still on the schedule to preform.
The Human Rights Foundation is led by Thor Halvorssen. He is an advocate of human rights as well as a film producer, and he founded the organization in he spring of 2005. He began fighting for human rights back in 1989 in London by organizing against South African apartheid. In 1993, his father who was an ambassador and a diplomat, was falsely imprisoned, beaten, and tortured while imprisoned in Venezuela. His release came when numerous human rights organizations like Amnesty International stood up and fought for his release. Halvorssen’s mother, who was a child psychologist, was gunned down by the Venezuelan government security apparatus during a peaceful gathering in 2004.
Along with founding The Human Rights Foundation, Halvorssen also founded the Oslo Freedom Forum and is a member of On Own Feet; the Centipede Children. He was the cofounder and executive director of Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. He has appeared on major news outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, CNN, Fox News, and BBC. He has also created and produced a few films that educate on freedom and human rights. He received concurrent undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science and history from the University of Pennsylvania.