The corporate sector must play a lead role in helping to change priorities, to save our planet and create more hope. But this can only be accomplished if individuals within the corporate sector, and for that matter the government sector, are willing to change their attitudes, not be overly greedy and consider what might be best for those most impacted, those living in poverty and asking "them", and civil society, what they want.
This week, Tate's original building re-opens after a £45million face-lift. Tate Britain is glamorous once more, a temple of cool and contemplation. Tate was a gift to the public from Henry Tate, a sugar baron. He donated his great collection of British art to the nation as well as £110,000 to pay for a new gallery on condition that the state would look after it.
Nowhere is this more necessary than the hedge fund sector, which has in the past often been happy for most people to remain in the dark about what it does and why. Its most successful participants have, with a few exceptions, been reluctant to talk about their business, and cautious about engaging directly in a wider social agenda.
I intended to write a book to promote giving but the donors I spoke to are so engaged with tackling problems and determined to change life for the better, that they have given us a template for living as well as giving. These are people who are not daunted by difficulty and who demonstrate that it is possible to make a difference.
With global economic uncertainty still with us, and sovereign states struggling and cutting back on their spending, expectations of philanthropists, charities and aid agencies are immense. We are trying to practise cost cutting and to find new ways of helping because we are frustrated with the old ways.
We are caught in a spiral of fear, leading to more violence and not leaving enough room for love. So a big real part of the 'war on terror' is one which takes place within us. It is one where we let our fears lead us to hate. 'Fighting' our own fears then becomes the war worth fighting and the way we can stop this cycle of violence. And we need to start uplifting others along with us.
Currently, UK businesses (excluding banks) are hoarding cash to the tune of £318bn. As valuable as investing in expanding their own production is, whilst demand remains deflated businesses simply have no incentive to do so. Instead of stockpiling this cash for a rainy day that's already upon us, business should be investing in philanthropic ventures.
I know that one person cannot change the world. But if other graduating students follow my lead and pledge their graduation presents to charity, we can truly make a difference. If we look deep inside our hearts, I'm sure most of us will realize we do not necessarily need the tokens of appreciation brought by our families.