Oprah: Do you ever chill?

Richard: I do. I'm fortunate to have Necker Island [Branson owns this 74-acre isle in the British Virgin Islands], and I bring friends and family there. I kite surf, which is very relaxing. I play a lot of tennis and do some sailing. It's important to keep the body fit, and rather than doing that in a gym, I like being active.

Oprah: Last question. The Elders have the potential to do powerful work in the world. But what is your hope for ordinary citizens at home?

Richard: Peter Gabriel's desire is to use the Internet to connect leaders and citizens everywhere. In particular, we'd like to use retired people as a resource. There are so many incredible people who have knowledge that is often wasted in their later years; why shouldn't a doctor continue using his or her expertise? We want to create local groups of respected elders who can play a part in their communities. I think every person can make a difference. You don't have to be one of the Elders. You don't have to be well known. You just have to be determined to care about people. That's all it takes.

Former presidents and ambassadors. Nobel Peace Prize winners. Humanitarian heroes. Richard Branson's global dream team of conflict mediators is a force to be reckoned with—and grateful for.


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