Entrepreneur Manoj Bhargava unexpectedly found himself a billionaire with the worldwide success of his own concoction – the popular 5-hour Energy drink. Possessing more money than he could ever hope to spend on himself, he set out to discover ways in which his wealth could assist him in making a meaningful and lasting difference in the world. The inspiring new documentary titled Billions in Change shows the fruits of these efforts.
The film chronicles the journey to achieving his lofty goals starting with the recruitment of an eclectic team of designers, inventors and innovative thinkers. Their collective mission is to create simple solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.
Take, for instance, the scarcity of one of our planet’s most precious resources in the poorest segments of the globe: electricity. Half the world exists with little to no electricity, and this presents severe limitations to the quality and longevity of life in those regions.
In response to this profound challenge, his team has constructed a stationary hybrid bicycle which produces energy just through the act of pedalling. Simple in design and function, this extraordinary invention can provide badly needed electricity even under the most extreme of conditions. Best of all, the rudimentary and easy-to-use technology can be integrated into the poorest areas and produces absolutely no pollution or other ill effects to the environment.
Billions in Change also portrays his company’s quest to produce clean water, an effort that could transform the plague of drought, illness and food shortages across the globe.
During the film’s exploration of these mammoth efforts, Bhargava’s unique philanthropic philosophy comes into focus. It all begins with the talented people with which he surrounds himself. His team is not comprised of corporatized types. Instead, these are innovative minds who refuse to recognize and be ruled by the limitations of common thinking. Empowered by the freedom to create the simplest and most practical solutions to complex dilemmas, they might just have the power to improve living conditions throughout the world. The underlying theme of the film lies not only in its call to other members of the elite class to follow Bhargava’s example but also in its belief that we all have the power to affect positive change in our own modest ways.