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Home > Press > Richard Branson named 2011 Lifeboat Foundation Guardian Award Winner

The Lifeboat Foundation Guardian Award is annually bestowed upon a respected scientist or public figure who has warned of a future fraught with dangers and encouraged measures to prevent them.

Richard Branson named 2011 Lifeboat Foundation Guardian Award Winner

Minden, NV | Posted on December 27th, 2011

The 2011 Lifeboat Foundation Guardian Award has been given to Richard
Branson in recognition of his creation of Virgin Galactic, the $25
million Virgin Earth Challenge, the Virgin Green Fund, and of Virgin

Virgin Galactic is working to provide sub-orbital spaceflights to the
paying public, along with suborbital space science missions and orbital
launches of small satellites. Further in the future Virgin Galactic
plans to offer orbital human spaceflights as well. With luminaries such
as Stephen Hawking saying "It is important for the human race to spread
out into space for the survival of the species", visionary companies
such as Virgin Galactic may end up making the difference between the
human race enjoying a renaissance as it expands beyond its home planet
or going extinct. This is related to the Lifeboat Foundation Space
Habitats program at

The $25 million Virgin Earth Challenge is similar in concept to other
high technology competitions, such as the Orteig Prize for flying across
the Atlantic, and the Ansari X Prize for spaceflight. The prize will be
awarded to the first plan that is capable of removing one billion metric
tons of CO2 from the atmosphere per year for 10 years. Such innovative
plans could prove crucial if the Earth‚s climate became unfavorable to
human life. This is related to the Lifeboat Foundation ClimateShield
program at

The Virgin Green Fund is a leading, independent private equity firm
investing growth capital in the renewable energy and resource efficiency
sectors in North America and Europe. Long-term, civilization will
require both renewable energy and energy efficiency in order to be able
to flourish in the future. This is related to the Lifeboat Foundation
EnergyPreserver program at

Virgin Unite is the independent charitable arm of the Virgin Group.
Created by Richard Branson and Virgin employees in September 2004,
Virgin Unite pools volunteering efforts from across the Virgin Group and
its hundreds of subsidiaries and associated companies to grow the
efforts of smaller grassroots charitable organizations. Partnered with
more than a dozen charities worldwide the company also provides a
resource through the Internet by serving as an online donation centre
for those wanting to contribute.

The primary aims of the foundation are to make sustainable change
through economic development towards tough social and environmental
issues. These include addressing the issue of delivering healthcare to
rural parts of Africa. Richard Branson and Virgin underwrite all the
operating costs of the organization, so 100% of contributions can be
applied towards causes. The Lifeboat Foundation Human Trajectories
Board, Social Factors Board, and Sustainability Board are concerned with
such issues.

These boards are at: , , and .


Richard was born in 1950 and educated at Stowe School. It was here that
he set up Student magazine when he was 16.

In 1970 he founded Virgin as a mail order record retailer, and shortly
afterwards he opened a record shop in Oxford Street, London. In 1972
Virgin built a recording studio in Oxfordshire where the first Virgin
artist, Mike Oldfield, recorded "Tubular Bells."

In 1977 Virgin signed the Sex Pistols and went on to sign many household
names from Culture Club to the Rolling Stones, helping to make Virgin
Music one of the top six record companies in the world.

With around 200 companies in over 30 countries, the Virgin Group has now
expanded into leisure, travel, tourism, mobile, broadband, TV, radio,
music festivals, finance, and health and through Virgin Green Fund they
are investing in renewable energy and resource efficiency.

In February 2007, Virgin announced the Virgin Earth Challenge - a $25
million prize to encourage a viable technology which will result in the
net removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In July of the same
year Richard had the honor of joining his good friends Peter Gabriel,
Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel, and Desmond Tutu to announce the formation
of The Elders, a group of leaders to contribute their wisdom,
independent leadership, and integrity to tackle some of the world's
toughest problems.

Richard is also very proud of the work of Virgin Unite, his
not-for-profit entrepreneurial foundation, which continues to focus on
entrepreneurial approaches to social and environmental issues and enjoys
supporting their work in every way he can.


About Lifeboat Foundation
The Lifeboat Foundation is a nonprofit nongovernmental organization
dedicated to encouraging scientific advancements while helping humanity
survive existential risks and possible misuse of increasingly powerful
technologies, including genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and
robotics/AI, as we move towards the Singularity.

For more information, please click here

Lifeboat Foundation News office
1638 Esmeralda Avenue
Minden, NV 89423, USA
+1 775-329-0180
Foundation News office
1638 Esmeralda Avenue
Minden, NV 89423, USA
+1 775-329-0180

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