Summary of 40 Chances

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40 Chances book summary

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  • Innovative


Do you know that you’ll have dinner tonight? If so, you’re lucky. Nearly a billion people around the world are “food-insecure.” Howard G. Buffett – an Illinois farmer and president of an eponymous foundation endowed by his famous father, billionaire Warren E. Buffett – scours the globe for projects that will help end world hunger. Just as a farmer brings in about 40 harvests over a lifetime, author Buffett tells 40 stories about lessons he’s learned in philanthropy about trying to make a difference. He travels to dozens of countries, funds programs that work and diagnoses efforts that don’t succeed. He and his son Howard W. Buffett describe their work and their findings in this engaging book. getAbstract recommends their illuminating treatise to budding philanthropists; to those interested in conservation farming, sustainability, social issues and food security; and to everyone who knows what’s for dinner.

About the Authors

Howard G. Buffett, son of Warren E. Buffett, chairs the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and oversees 1,500 acres in Illinois. He farms in Illinois with his son, Howard W. Buffett, who is also active in conservation.


Solving World Hunger

Howard G. Buffett runs “a private foundation focused on addressing global food insecurity.” He also notes, “I farm 1,500 acres in central Illinois.” His father, billionaire investor Warren E. Buffett, gave Howard an enormous grant to start a philanthropic foundation. The elder Buffett challenged his son, asking: “If you had a billion dollars to do something important, what would you choose?” In response to that question, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation has given “more than $200 million in grants” globally to programs combating world hunger that he hopes will help make a difference – not by mounting temporary fixes but by generating “self-sustaining solutions.”

Over a lifetime, a farmer has about “40 chances to plant” a crop. Buffett thinks he has a similar number of years to tackle the problem of world hunger. Worldwide, approximately “879 million people” live in a state of “food insecurity.” Persistent hunger lies at the root of so many of the world’s problems – for instance, lack of education, terror threats, prostitution, armed conflicts and destruction of natural habitats.

Food Insecurity

Over the past decades, the developed...

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