Daniel Petre is an insightful no-nonsense conversational partner, so be ready for some frank talk in these musings. 

A former Microsoft executive, who worked closely with Bill Gates and later founded several highly successful venture capital funds. Daniel has worked and lived among high-powered, monied individuals. He has been struck by how “old rich, white men” do not want to part with their money, while young tech entrepreneurs, who don’t feel as entitled to their wealth, are more generous.

Daniel decided to focus the next stage of his life on philanthropy, so in 2022 he founded StartGiving to inspire a culture of giving in the innovation community. StartGiving encourages tech founders to start their giving journey early and to give to charities they care about now.

Daniel’s view of philanthropy has been impacted by reading Peter Singer’s The Life You Can Save – the same book that inspired host Charlie Bresler’s non-profit of the same name.

In that book, a particularly motivating story is “the girl in the pond,” which Daniel and Charlie reference in this episode. Humans often freeze when confronted by the true scope of inequality and desperation in the world. But ask someone if they passed by a pond and saw a little girl drowning, would they try to save her? Of course they’ll answer yes. Helping people make the connection between the girl in the pond and all the girls (and boys) worldwide who need help is critical to unfreezing people – and their generosity.

Enjoy Daniel, a most fascinating, intelligent and humble individual.


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