A Lesson in Giving Back
In an impassioned speech that continues to inspire audiences, BONO speaks out about the devastating issues plaguing Africa and the difference that one voice can make.
Corporate Responsibility and Social Accountability
BONO encourages corporate executives to step outside their normal roles and consider larger issues to try and understand how they can more positively impact the world.
As the lead singer of U2, one of the most popular and influential rock bands of the last 30 years, Bono is a figure adored and admired both within and outside of the music industry. As a rock star, his music with U2 has earned him legions of devoted fans across the world, whilst as a humanitarian and crusader for the world's poor, co-founder of organizations such as DATA and the ONE Campaign, he has gained deep respect from politicians and global statesmen as well as music fans. His rare ability to effectively straddle the spheres of both entertainment and politics remains rivaled by few in the realm of popular culture, and his determination to change the world for the better continues to inspire millions on both sides of the political divide.
Bono has long been involved in a variety of causes outside of U2. His work as an activist, due largely to his Christian beliefs, began in earnest when, inspired by Live Aid, he traveled to Ethiopia to work in a feeding camp with his wife Ali and the charity World Vision. Bono also went to Central America in 1985 to see the damage wrought by US-backed operations in Nicaragua and El Salvador, after which he and U2 toured as part of the Amnesty International benefit tour, A Conspiracy of Hope.
In the 1990s, he campaigned with Greenpeace against the nuclear power plant Sellafield in the north of England, and drew attention to the conflict raging in Bosnia by collaborating with the US journalist Bill Carter during the Zoo TV tour to create the award-winning documentary, Miss Sarajevo.
Since the millennium, he has rallied numerous actors, artists and campaigners to the cause of ending Third World debt in his role as spokesman for the Jubilee 2000 project, as well as trying to end AIDS and extreme poverty in Africa by co-founding the lobbying organization DATA (Debt, Aid, Trade, Africa) in 2002, the ONE Campaign to Make Poverty History (USA) in 2004, and the Make Poverty History movement (UK) in 2005. The latter two are coalitions of NGOs, faith groups and individuals working to end extreme poverty. Bono was equally key in performing in and helping to organize (along with friend Bob Geldof) the Live 8 concerts in 2005, a series of events across the globe designed to pressure world leaders to increase aid, cancel Third World debt and improve the terms of trade with the world's poorest countries.
Also in 2005, Bono and Ali, along with fashion designer Rogan Gregory, created the socially conscious clothing line EDUN. This range of clothes for men and women seeks to promote fair trade and sustainable growth by basing their means of production in poor communities, without the use of sweatshop-like conditions, encouraging them to use their skills in an environmentally friendly way to create garments that can be sold at a fair price.
In 2006, Bobby Shriver and Bono co-founded the Product (RED) campaign. This initiative seeks to persuade large companies with global brands to sell specific lines of products from which a portion of the profits will be donated to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
As well as illustrating Bono's energy and commitment, these initiatives have earned him numerous honors and awards. He was presented with the Free Your Mind Award at the MTV Europe Awards in Dublin, in acknowledgement of his work on behalf of the Jubilee 2000 project; he received a knighthood in Britain, the Légion d'honneur in France, and at least two nominations on separate occasions for the Nobel Peace Prize. He has also had various degrees bestowed on him from some of the world's top universities, and has sat as the editor for the publications Vanity Fair (USA) and the Independent newspaper (UK).
Bono lives in Dublin with his wife Ali and their four children.