They’re calling it The Year of Fear, for good reasons — 2015 will be remembered as a year marred by vicious terrorist attacks across the globe, climate-change-linked natural disasters and killer storms, and countless wars. The year also saw hundreds of thousands of desperate refugees leave their homes, sparking waves of anti-immigrant xenophobia.
But, at the same time, the world is, in many ways, becoming a better place. Human beings are living longer than ever and technology is lifting millions out of poverty. The year just passing was an important one for giving back to society and sustainability, for example, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s pledge to give US$45 billion to charity, and the landmark COP21 climate-change forum.
With 2015 nearly over and 2016 in sight, now is a time for reflection and planning. Billionaire has asked some of our UHNW friends to contribute their personal resolutions for the New Year.
Arun Pudur, serial entrepreneur and billionaire founder of Celframe
My philanthropic New Year resolutions are to raise Pudur Foundation’s coffers from US$400 million to US$1 billion by internal and external fundraisers, and to start our first free holistic centre in Africa. We want to create 100 schools with solar power and free computers.
I plan to finally give in to my mum’s pressure to have an heir for the Pudur fortune; she wants at least a dozen but what my wife thinks is another story. I also want to learn to make a decent breakfast my wife will be proud of; I have mastered cutting fruits, the rest is in progress.
Binod Chaudhary, billionaire founder of Cinnovation/CG Group
In this New Year, I resolve to contribute from my side to ease the current crisis of Nepal and to drive the country’s economy to prosperity. I resolve to take CG Corp Global to new heights in the global arena, especially on its CSR commitments. I resolve to provide much-focused leadership to Chaudhary Foundation on its work of building 10,000 transitional shelter homes and 100 schools for the earthquake-hit communities in Nepal.
Iwan Sunito, UHNW CEO of developer Crown Group
My 2016 resolution is to create our first vertical city development; complete with medical, health and education facilities, a hotel, shopping centre and residential apartments. My 2016 personal resolution is to take my wife on our second honeymoon. We are hoping to match the 2.5 months of honeymoon that we did 25 years ago.
Mikael Kraemer, fifth-generation Parisian antiquarian
I actually don’t wait for the New Year to make resolutions, but instead I like to continually challenge myself day after day. Pressure is important to give the best of yourself each day. But in 2016 I need to focus more on my personal time, to have more time for myself and spend more quality time with family and friends. And I should also try to stop attempting to please everybody!
David Leppan, serial entrepreneur and founder of Billionaire
My New Year resolution is to continue to support charities focused on refugees and the homeless. I struggle to accept that in 2016 in the UK and across Western Europe, children go to bed at night hungry, cold and in fear. We have a responsibility to ensure this does not continue. This festive season I chose to support MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station — moas.eu), a private initiative that has saved almost 12,000 people from the sea as they flee their homelands. I can honestly think of no greater terror than trying to keep my children afloat and alive. This is my principal resolution, apart from losing weight and buying less.