Full Frame Newsmaker: Howard G. Buffett Wants to Put Himself out of Business in 40 Years

Full Frame

Howard G. Buffett

What would you do if you had unlimited resources to accomplish something great in the world?

This is the challenge that legendary investor – and the second wealthiest man in the United States  – Warren Buffett posed to his children in 2006 when he announced that he was leaving the majority of his fortune to philanthropy.

Full Frame Newsmaker Howard G Buffett

Full Frame Newsmaker Howard G Buffett

With a $3 billion endowment from his father, Buffett’s oldest son, Howard G. Buffett, has taken on the challenge of helping the nearly one billion people worldwide who live with hunger every day.

With a $3 billion endowment from his father, Buffett’s oldest son, Howard G. Buffett, has taken on the challenge of helping the nearly one billion people worldwide who live with hunger every day.

“You got to give people choices,” Buffett told CCTV America’s Mike Walter in an exclusive interview. “If people are trying to survive, day by day, week by week, then they don’t care what resources they destroy. So the exit strategy has to be to take people permanently out of poverty.”

The Howard G. Buffett Foundation is dedicated to achieving Buffett’s vision of eradicating world hunger and in his new book, 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World, Buffett says that philanthropists only have 40 chances to “get it right”. So Buffett is determined to put his foundation out of business in the next 40 years.

“If you have this attitude that you’re going to be out of business in 40 years or 20 years or whatever number you pick, then you’re going to behave differently,” Buffett said. “The clock is ticking. If we can’t get it done by then than someone else ought to try it.”

Buffett also told Full Frame that the driving force behind any successful philanthropy has to be the willingness to take risk and accept failure.

“One of our biggest goals at the Foundation is to take that risk and then let people know what didn’t work,” Buffett said. “We need to think differently and we need to more innovative in ways that most models of philanthropy don’t usually support.”