Many brilliant people with promising ideas are never discovered or given a chance to succeed. Through the generosity of Eric and Wendy Schmidt, Schmidt Futures CEO Eric Braverman, is working to fulfill a $1 billion commitment to change that.
Through their philanthropic initiative’s flagship program, Rise, they scour the globe for visionaries ages 15-17 and bet early on powerful ideas that will serve others and solve hard problems in science and society.
The goal: to create a network — currently theirs is more than 200,000 people in 190 countries — connecting innovators across fields, bringing multiple types of capital to bear, and applying modern tools and technology thoughtfully. Examples of their targeted impact include:
- Working with New York State to create the first-ever law ensuring universal, affordable broadband for all New Yorkers to improve education, health care and job opportunities for the disadvantaged.
- Promoting household electrification and leveraging more than USD50 billion of U.S. public funds to increase access for lower-income communities.
- Successfully evacuating students, civil rights leaders, women’s advocates, and journalists from Kabul and launching the Qatar Afghan Scholarship Program —now the largest single-country scholarship program in the world — to resettle the Afghan students evacuated to Central Asia into U.S. schools.
- Improving the accuracy and utility of climate models – with more than 100 papers published by 151 researchers from 44 institutions in 13 countries.
Braverman was named by Fortune magazine in 2010 as one of the “40 Most Influential Leaders in Business” worldwide. Prior to creating Schmidt Futures, Braverman oversaw all philanthropic and noninvestment efforts for the Schmidts and directed the family office. He previously served as CEO of Rex Group and of the Clinton Foundation. He was also a Partner and Co-founder of McKinsey & Company’s government practice.