eBay Founder Shares 1 Billion for a Better World

Do your English learners know the meaning of “giving back”?

eBay founder Pierre Omidyar created a platform that allowed many people to have their own online businesses based on individual passions, such as sports or crafts. When his online business began to pay off, this Internet Entrepreneur began to give back.
Online Shopping Lesson Do you enjoy using authentic materials in the classroom? This  Huffington Post article describes how Pierre Omidyar has used his success to help better the world. Pierre and has wife have created charities to give other people opportunities to live their dreams. In the past ten years they have spent $1 billion to help others in need. They received the Carnegie Mellon Philanthropy Award for their commitment to using their wealth to help others achieve success.
Share this article with your students and discuss the idea of “philanthropy”. You can print out the article and have the students read it, or read it out loud to them for listening practice. For lower level learners, simply summarize the main points and teach a few key expressions, such as “giving back”. After introducing the topic, discuss the issues.
Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • What does it mean to “give back”? What about “pay it forward”?
  • Which celebrities do you know who “give back”?
  • The article mentions a business called D.light. Describe this company and how it came about.
  • How does it make you feel when you donate money, time, or service to a charity?
  • What is the difference between a “non-profit” and “for-profit” organization?

“I created [eBay] with the belief that people are good. If you give people the opportunity to do the right thing, you’ll rarely be disappointed.”
Pierre Omidyar for the Huffington Post

Do your students agree with the quote above? Why or why not?

Our Business in English section features a full-length lesson on Internet Entrepreneurs as well as a lesson on Online Shopping. If your students are interested in these related topics, be sure to print out these lessons.

Go to Business English lesson on Internet Entrepreneurs
Go to Business English lesson on Online Shopping
Go to Discussion Starters lesson on Consumerism
Go to Discussion Starters lesson on Athlete Salaries

While our Something to Talk About suggestions are useful for getting your students involved in a group or pair discussion or debate, the topics, articles, and videos can also be used if you are looking for something for your students to blog/Skype/or write an opinion essay about.

Recent “Something to Talk About” Ideas

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Steve Jobs: How to Live Before you Die
The Cost of Cancer
Cellphones in Classrooms
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Street Musician Experiment
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Leave a Comment ↓

  1. Butterfly says:

    Oct 30, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    You raelly found a way to make this whole process easier.

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