Sir Richard Branson*
Virgin Group
Speaker at Copenhagen Democracy Summit 2024

Sir Richard Branson founded Virgin, one of the world’s most admired brands, in 1970. Since then, it has expanded into many diverse sectors from travel to telecommunications, health to banking, and music to leisure. Having started Virgin as a mail order record retailer in 1970, Richard founded Virgin Records, which became the world’s biggest independent record label. There are now more than 40 Virgin companies worldwide in over 35 countries. Since starting Student magazine in his teens, Richard has found entrepreneurial ways to provoke positive change in the world for over 50 years. In 2004, Richard established the non-profit entrepreneurial foundation Virgin Unite to help tackle tough social and environmental problems. The founding principle of Virgin Unite is to make business a force for good. Richard became an astronaut in 2021, flying on board VSS Unity as part of the first fully crewed Virgin Galactic mission, Unity 22. In 2022, Richard released the updated edition of autobiography Finding My Virginity. This was followed by HBO Original’s BRANSON, a four-part docuseries on his life. Richard maintains a regular blog on www.virgin.com and has more than 41 million followers across his social networks. Richard was awarded a knighthood in 1999 for services to entrepreneurship. He lives in the British Virgin Islands with his wife Joan and has two children, Holly and Sam. He is a proud grand-dude to five grandchildren – Etta, Artie, Lola, Eva-Deia, and Bluey.