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19th October 2014

Virgin Unite: Incubating Disruptive Collaborations

Virgin Group has created an innovative, catalytic engine, Virgin Unite, to invest in tackling some of the most pressing global challenges of our time. To that end, it brings together the best people and organizations from all sectors to change business for good, protect the planet (and beyond) and create better global governance. Virgin Unite incubated The B Team in our early stages as well as:

The Elders

In 2007 Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel, Peter Gabriel and Richard Branson founded The Elders, a remarkable group 11 visionary leaders who speak freely, are fiercely independent, and use their collective experience and influence for peace, justice and human rights worldwide. Virgin Unite was instrumental in incubating this initiative, from developing the initial concept and bringing together a group of passionate and influential partners who provided funds to support it, to recruiting a strong management team to support the Elders work. Working both publicly and through private diplomacy, the Elders engage with global leaders and civil society to help resolve conflict and address its root causes, to challenge injustice, to promote good governance and to inspire ethical leadership.

Carbon War Room

The Carbon War Room was created in 2009 as a catalyst for market-based solutions to deliver gigatons of carbon reduction. Virgin Unite supported Richard Branson in bringing together the right people and partners to accelerate the adoption of industry-based business solutions to advance a low carbon economy. Among its success to date, CWR has worked with the shipping industry—an industry responsible for some of the world’s worst pollution and over one billion tons of carbon emissions every year—to deliver both real cost savings and carbon emissions reductions. As a result of the first global eco-labeling efforts for maritime vessel fuel efficiency, 23% of the global market now uses CWR’s rating to inform vessel chartering decisions, which translates to over 1.8 billion tons of cargo per year moving across our oceans on cleaner ships. CWR recently merged with the Rocky Mountain Institute to create a new alliance dedicated to the acceleration of a low carbon energy future.


OceanElders is a group of independent global leaders, serving as a collective catalyst in the conservation and protection of the ocean and its biodiversity. Launched by Sylvia Earle and Gigi Brisson and supported by Virgin Unite, the group collaborates with and leverages the work of other ocean organizations to encourage initiatives to protect the ocean’s ecosystems.

You can learn more about Virgin Unite here.