Today, we introduce you to Philip Tomlinson, CEO of Different Life, the Life Insurance company which is the business engine behind Different.org.
Briefly tell us what Different Life does and how it fits in with Different.org.
Different Life is a technology company which does two main things: firstly, it sells Life Insurance products by using technology; and secondly, it aims to change the world for the better by running the Different.org crowdfunding philanthropy platform.
Tell us more about your journey leading up to the founding of Different Life.
I’ve been involved in the Life Insurance industry my whole career. I’m passionate about this industry but I’m even more passionate about South Africa. I wanted business to play a bigger role in addressing the problems in the country and it became clear to me that there was a way to build a Life Insurance business and change the country at the same time.
How did you come upon the idea of combining business and philanthropy?
I’m a great believer in the power, scale and sustainability of business, and in the heart and purpose of philanthropy – together you have the key components to change the world.
What is your hope for business in South Africa?
I hope that business in South Africa will step up and bring their vast resources to bear on the problems facing our country.
Any advice for people wanting to make more of a social impact using business?
Encourage shareholders to adopt a holistic approach: a business supporting a broader range of stakeholders which includes the community, will have the support of the community. Although this may require sacrificing short-term profit, it will have a significant impact not only on the community, but also on the long-term success of the business.
What do you love about South Africa?