In Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!, Ralph Nader imagines a coalition of billionaires who join forces to answer the question: "What if several of America's wealthiest individuals decided it was time to work for the collective good?"
On May 4th, two billionaires, Ted Turner and Peter Lewis, portrayed in the fictional narrative will appear on the stage in real life for a taboo-free exchange with the author.
The two "billionaires against bull" as Ralph Nader charaterizes them, and one of America's leading provocateur will envision how philanthropy can spark key redirections of our society, our country, and the world.
PETER LEWIS is the non-executive Chairman of Progressive Corporation where for 45 years, 35 as CEO, he has overseen the transformation of the 100 employee company into a full-line auto insurer with 26,000 employees and annual sales of $14 billion. Retired since 2000, Lewis invests through his philanthropy. Lewis serves on the Board of Princeton University, his alma mater (Class of 1955), where he is its largest ever contributor (over $220 million) including the largest gift in Princetonâ€™s history ($101 million) to expand its programs in the creative and performing arts. Lewisâ€™ other gifts to Princeton include $60 million for a Gehry designed science library and an endowment for the Lewis/Sigler Genomics Institute. He supports the American Civil Liberties Union and helped finance the beginnings of the Democracy Alliance, Media Matters, the Center for American Progress, as well as other progressive efforts.
RALPH NADER has helped us drive safer cars, eat healthier food, breathe better air, drink cleaner water, and work in safer environments for more than four decades. The crusading attorney first made headlines in 1965 with his book Unsafe at Any Speed, a scathing indictment that lambasted the auto industry for producing unsafe vehicles. Many lives have been saved by Nader’s involvement in the recall of millions of unsafe consumer products, including defective motor vehicles, and in the protection of laborers and the environment. By starting dozens of citizen groups, Ralph Nader has created an atmosphere of corporate and governmental accountability. Ralph Nader’s books include, In Pursuit of Justice, The Ralph Nader Reader, The Good Fight and The Seventeen Traditions. Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! is Nader’s first work of fiction.
Ted Turner has received recognition for his entrepreneurial acumen, sharp business skills, leadership qualities, and his unprecedented philanthropy. Turner is co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a charitable organization working to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; chairman of the Turner Foundation, Inc., which supports efforts for improving air and water quality, developing a sustainable energy future to protect the earth's climate, safeguarding environmental health, maintaining wildlife habitat protection, and developing practices and policies to curb population growth rates; chairman of the United Nations Foundation, which promotes a more peaceful, prosperous and just world.
Voluntary, organized efforts intended for socially useful purposes. Philanthropic groups existed in the ancient civilizations of the Middle East, Greece, and Rome: an endowment supported Plato's Academy (c. 387 BC) for some 900 years; the Islamic waqf (religious endowment) dates to the 7th century AD; and the medieval Christian church administered trusts for benevolent purposes. Merchants in 17th- and 18th-century western Europe founded organizations for worthy causes. Starting in the late 19th century, large personal fortunes led to the creation of private foundations that bequeathed gifts totaling millions and then billions in support of the arts, education, medical research, public policy, social services, environmental causes, and other special interests. SeeAndrew Carnegie; B'nai B'rith; Bill Gates; George Peabody; Rockefeller Foundation; Straus family.