Billions in Change

2015 ,    »  -   56 Comments
Ratings: 9.16/10 from 380 users.
Billions in Change

Entrepreneur Manoj Bhargava unexpectedly found himself a billionaire with the worldwide success of his own concoction - the popular 5-hour Energy drink. Possessing more money than he could ever hope to spend on himself, he set out to discover ways in which his wealth could assist him in making a meaningful and lasting difference in the world. The inspiring new documentary titled Billions in Change shows the fruits of these efforts.

The film chronicles the journey to achieving his lofty goals starting with the recruitment of an eclectic team of designers, inventors and innovative thinkers. Their collective mission is to create simple solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

Take, for instance, the scarcity of one of our planet’s most precious resources in the poorest segments of the globe: electricity. Half the world exists with little to no electricity, and this presents severe limitations to the quality and longevity of life in those regions.

In response to this profound challenge, his team has constructed a stationary hybrid bicycle which produces energy just through the act of pedaling. Simple in design and function, this extraordinary invention can provide badly needed electricity even under the most extreme of conditions. Best of all, the rudimentary and easy-to-use technology can be integrated into the poorest areas and produces absolutely no pollution or other ill effects to the environment.

Billions in Change also portrays his company's quest to produce clean water, an effort that could transform the plague of drought, illness and food shortages across the globe.

During the film's exploration of these mammoth efforts, Bhargava's unique philanthropic philosophy comes into focus. It all begins with the talented people with which he surrounds himself. His team is not comprised of corporatized types. Instead, these are innovative minds who refuse to recognize and be ruled by the limitations of common thinking. Empowered by the freedom to create the simplest and most practical solutions to complex dilemmas, they might just have the power to improve living conditions throughout the world. The underlying theme of the film lies not only in its call to other members of the elite class to follow Bhargava's example, but also in its belief that we all have the power to affect positive change in our own modest ways.

More great documentaries

56 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Don

    Out and out amazing. You are smarter then Einstein, Edison and Tesla. Thank YOU.

  2. Faisal

    wow. this guy is doing a great job. I was very worried about our planet but now i am very hopeful. I can see light now at the end of the tunnel. Thanks Manoj

  3. Eric Meyer

    This man is making a difference...

  4. Sha'Tara

    Sounds good, looks good - put when I run it through the bigger picture analysis I see a lot of problems with this golden presentation. In the water project, I have one question: where do the impurities go? Where does the salt go? If you take water out of a salt reservoir and remove the salt, then put the salt back in the reservoir, shouldn't you consider the problem of entropy?

  5. Nick

    Very noble but mental health is a greater issue now. a shorter free life is better than a slave for years. Inequality is the issue, if the bloody poor had money they wouldn't need this! Stop gathering wealth in vast amounts and the people will be happier with that. Give the capital out and we will have a mass of inventors not just a few. The rich will always want the good guy image it produces and hide the fact that is vast wealth that cause this poverty issue in the first place. The poor don't want pity they want equal rights and justice.

  6. jason

    Manoj is full of himself and seems shortsighted in his thinking. poor people won't be able to afford his inventions even if they were as revolutionary as he seems to think they are. as for pulling heat up from the earths core; use water! it's called geo-thermal and we've already done it all over the world. use the heated water/steam to turn a turbine and voila! pollution free energy. the desalinization machine has been done a millions times before, it's old technology. and the massage table, again, is going to be too expensive for those that cannot afford healthcare. Manoj has a very elementary understanding of the human body and the ailments that impair it. he seems to be solving problems and a very elementary level. Call me hater but it seem to me like he is out for glory, like the ego wants to be known as this grand humanitarian and philanthropist more than he would ever dare mention.

  7. Josie

    Fantastic documentary.

    There are so many energy alternatives than the environmentally disastrous forms of energy that we most commonly use. It's unbelievable actually. Energy can and should be free - with zero consequence to the planet, job creation and the overall health of humans. It's lethargic to think otherwise.

  8. Oliver K

    Another sociological HERO!


  9. Victor

    Heey, I have a good question:
    If the guy really wants to make a difference, he should give away all the plans for constructing the machines they created in a diy fashion.
    Now please don't start with intelectual property discussion, get over yourself.

  10. Elaine Davis

    Is there any danger to the core of inner Earth from drilling for grapheme? i.e. fracking?

  11. don duncan

    The invention is just a first step. Production/distribution is necessary or the idea is useless. That is where the free market excels. No govt. can do it. No philanthropist can do it. But, one benefit I see to his research would be to make his prototypes available as open source. If it's truly a good idea, people will invest to produce/distribute.

  12. Terry Kerans

    Reading some of these comments I ask who is the fool, the one that tries and maybe fails or the one that throws stone at the one trying and does nothing?

  13. booboogirl

    ask yourself, what have you done in your garage? maybe you should go out there and get to work instead of criticizing people who are already doing so...

  14. Hansel de Sousa

    Appealing approach to solving the world's ailments. However, the projects described are merely a rehash of existing technology or junk science. e.g. Human powered electricity generators are as old as electricity itself. Problem is, even a fit amateur cyclist will be hard pressed to maintain an output of 200 watts for an hour. Despite effective storage, how is 0.2 kwh sufficient electricity for 24 hours?

    ECP - enhancing blood return to the heart helps only if normal circulatory function is impaired. To suggest, with no supporting facts, that ECP is therapeutic in normal subjects, is disingenuous.

    Graphene's thermal conductivity is not as remarkable as was presented. Despite heat recovery from condensing steam, desalination by distillation requires an enormous quantity of electricity, especially if the effluent is "hot enough to brew tea". What's new there, floating distilleries and a 2 mile long pipeline to shore?

    One has to wonder if the "no aggravation" policy is an excuse to quash dissenting opinion.

  15. Jean Kisarl

    Love this guy, hate the rich, but this guy is the real stuff. Love him... Just wish we had more human beings on this planet. Brilliant docu. Should get into my scope of ultra violet radiation and irradiation.... Wish I had known this guy before. Wouldn't have my work diverted to other peoples pockets. Still the tech is now out there and mass produced in RF and China...

  16. Jean Kisarl

    "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need." Karl Marx

  17. Marcella


  18. Nico

    Wow some of these comments are blowing my mind. Its almost like the people that would loose money to his inventions came here to paint a Getlucky this man is a fortune hunter picture. He made billions from an energydrink, then he decided to Invent things that could benefit the entire human race. Instead you take hes inventions a part to find some negative aspect, doubting his intentions and just skribeling nonsens. Are you jealous of hes succees?

    The fact is this kind of inovation is not beeing distributed via the mainstream, All the mainstream media is showing us is the trubble aspect of everything, but not any clear picture on how to solve anything. Maby he didnt invent it in the first place but he is trying to make it as cheap as possible to produce. We need more people like him and less fortune hunters with with quick profit as prime goals nomatter what.


  19. Dean

    Just watched this doc = thumbs up!
    It gives me gives me hope :)
    That there's people who care about a better world for all to live on - much respect.
    And as for those negative critics who have commented (sigh)
    I guess, that's the Bell-Curve in action
    After all, it takes all sorts to make a world

  20. Nikhil VJ

    Simple. Beautiful. Doable.

  21. sandy

    WOW! Great Job

  22. John

    What a self obsessed douche. This reminds of that bizarre documentary made by John Dupont. Let professional engineers and firms do their jobs and stand aside. None of these inventions will accomplish anything that other people haven't already thought of. If you think this is amazing you are scientifically illiterate.

  23. Sandesh naik

    Biggest Surprise . We Salute Manoj !!!

  24. Saptarshi

    We need more people like him in our mother earth. I will continue to follow him and his team's innovation. Sounds very prommising.

  25. Patty

    I'm off two minds. On one hand I want to cheer for such research being done. Knowing that people with far more money than they need are willing to invest for the world at large makes me happy. On another... I see a few idea's I've seen a dozen times before, others which are just not practical and some which are both.

    Take the energy bike for example. This idea is nothing new. The main problems with it were:
    - inefficient production of electricity (most of the energy you put into it by cycling is lost rather than converted)
    - energy needed to produce the bike in the first place
    - few people like the idea of having to cycle for their electricity
    Yet in the video it's presented as "the big solution for those poor folks" and "during disasters". Which raises at least two more issues:
    - access to the bikes
    - access to maintenance of the bike

    Judging from the video they resolved the first. Cheers for that. That will definitely be useful.
    But the second? Just how much 'electricity' is needed to make the bike and how long until that has been earned back? And how are you going to convince 'western' people to actually go cycle for an hour per day? Their 'own bloody health' has already proven to be not enough of a motivator. Do you honestly think that "you'll help the world" will fare better? And before say "but they'll safe money too!", sure... after they've earned the initial investment back. As for the poor people... how are they going to afford your bike? How are they going to maintain it? How are they going to convert that electricity into light and warmth or whatever it is they need when they don't have the infrastructure or tools to do so? As for helping during another big disaster,... are you going to fly your bikes in by helicopter or something? Because otherwise that's off the table as well.

    What each and every one of the ideas in the video lacks is true ingenuity and practical application. Yes, it looks awesome when you first watch the video. But when you think about it, really think about it,... and the issues that go unmentioned and what needs to be done in order to get it to work...


    Show me a single good idea, just one, you've really thought out from start to finish and I'll cheer for you. But this kind of propaganda? No thanks.

  26. eddie

    A feel good, promising piece. Fantastic job. I will be following this man and his company. He seems smart enough to take pre-existing technology and making it simpler and available to those who need it the most. I hope all the ideas arefollowed through with and soon.

  27. Jim

    We can't wait for governments to solve the worlds problems, these solutions start with the individual. Watching these people make such a tremendous change that will last generations and beyond, simply inspirational.
    We all have a responsibility to help our world around us in any way we can, and be the change we want to see in the world.

  28. maneet

    Totally loved it. It Shows the power of simplicity. Bigger problems can be solved if we approach things with determination.

  29. Esoteric

    Pfff.... to all the people complaining about the bike idea, have you even been listening to what he said ?
    First off all he was talking about POOR ppl, where most of them live in WARM countries, and do not have luxery items like pc's, tv's, refrigerators and what not. Its about giving them light in the dark, to be able to have a phone and some cooling via the ventilators.
    Its not about giving your house full of equipment free energy.
    2nd, when he mentioned a disaster like Katrina, he never once mentioned you could go to your house and be able to play computer games, watch tv and what not, he said you still have light and a be able to charge a phone. To me thats more important then a vacuum cleaner thats working or be able to watch nonsense on tv.
    And about not being healthy enough, well you always have people around you who are healthy enough... ow wait, in these times people are so egocentric that you don't even know your neighbor let alone help them right. Welcome to the Alienated century.
    This idea is still very good in africa and what not.
    And even helps all the fat lazy ppl.

  30. Roger Andout

    Like the theories about thorium and abundant energy, this man's biggest opponents are Vested Interest and Politicians. The nay sayers, ( "John" and his ilk) who leave negative comment, miss this man's point and I'm pretty sure Manoj Bhargava is familiar with the concept of the free lunch. The perpetual motion machine still awaits completion.
    At the very least, he is putting his money to other purposes than initiating/continuing a political career. God/Allah/the Force, loves a tryer

  31. David Hubbard

    I agree wholeheartedly. It's a pleasure to see the beginning of the end of the world's most important needs. I know others will follow.

  32. Das Gunt

    This doco left me with a positive feeling. I'm not an engineer or scientist. Manoj talked about the poor parts of the world - not converting westeners to cycle for an hour. I'm sure most people in the developing world would appreciate these efforts if they are able to benefit from them.
    All the power to Manoj and people like him who put themselves into the service for the common good - not just building his own and his families fortunes, big palasts, and all the rest of the self-indulgent, boring sh*t we see all over the place! Go Manoj!

  33. Nicky Hopper

    The people who can afford them should rack up enough electricity to power there homes for a month then borrow them to the people who can't

    Money saved all over people getting healthy = win win

  34. Ely Slade

    Reading these comments, it is fairly easy to see who would watch the blind man fall into the well. I think a few of the negative commenters might be capable of pushing someone into the well.

    I am all for someone who wants to spend his own money helping others. He seems to be offering a "hand up", not a "hand out". Maybe he has some ideas on fixing our corrupt political system!

  35. Karen Nauyokas

    This makes me cry with happiness for the future! Thank you for making me cry. Successful entreprenuers, engineers and people with good hearts are what will bring us to a higher level in this life!

  36. loretta

    In reply to the person who says he's just doing it for egoist attention. I disagree, but even if it were true, it's not becoming a serial killer for it! I would love to try the blood circulation machine!! Inspiring, wonderful documentary!

  37. James Thomas

    I have a new hero. Truly one of the most inspiring documentaries.
    If you have a genuine progressive bone in your body that yearns for the betterment of all people and planet, you will love this.

  38. john

    c'mon what poor have obtained your bike??? you got a tackle only one problem that has two parts -world population should decrease drastically, not stop BUT DECREASE, and ppl have to become more aware that that is the only problem in the long run, of course the only way to do that is to raise awareness about our planet, ourselves, and fellow beings on the planet (animals and their habitat), everything else is bullshit and prolonging the agony, and in that sense -COUNTERPRODUCTIVE!!!

  39. john

    it is sad, that so many people are fascinated that only one guy with money is tryin to do something -that should have become standard a long time ago, yet no one cares, it's NOT ENOUGH JUST TO LIKE THIS DOCUMENTARY, AND IT'S NEVER GONNA BE ENOUGH -as long as you live -this planet wont change, how can you ppl not see that???? and please dont tell me 'i am a vegetarian' i mean thats very good, but it is simply NOT ENOUGH!!!! you must think that only you can save this planet, and act accordingly, all the time and in all spheres of your life, it's a hard job, it's a really hard job, but someone got to do it, everything else are excuses and bull

  40. john

    so with 4 billion dollars, all you came up with is this bike??? tesla wake up, please!!!

  41. john

    capitalistic solution for capitalistic problems, completely wrong (and useless) approach. need i say that this will change absolutely nothing in the world? and that's me being optimistic!!!

  42. Matt

    The bike is absurd because solar PV is already better in every regard. It is cheAper to buy, requires no human input, and lasts 50 years with no moving parts. The bike will break down quickly and require maintenAnce and poor hungry people in very hot countries will avoid their turn pedalling the damn thing. We can tell he made billions on a very unhealthy stupid product and carries that intellect with him. Manoj just ask around first and you will find answers.

  43. Matt

    Some people think people in the poorest village will enjoy this stationary bike, go ask them first. Don't impose dumbass technologies that are based on ignorant assumptions. Fitness is not a burning problem in rural India.

  44. Pankaj Jena

    Mr. Manoj is simple and profound. I loved his approach and ultimately one of the best human being i have heard in recent times.

  45. Mary

    I think this is a great idea. Who else is doing something like this? Shame on those making negative comments instead of providing suggestions in positive ways that would add to the discussion or solve a problem where they see it. I wish these people will rethink their posts and redo them! Join the movement. Your brilliant brain can be a put to good use! Your idea are no doubt valid!

  46. Alex

    I liked this, hard to be know whether any of the 'inventions' discussed are going to make any difference but it's good to see someone at least giving it a go. Hopefully this video will inspire others to do same and (eventually) we'll solve these problems.

  47. Wilma Heiskala

    Cool dude, loved the bike!

    Gotta be careful with our ocean life though, it is in trouble as it is. The agriculture needs huge quantities of water. If the industry keeps growing, added with direct human consumption and excessive pumping of water from the oceans, the oceans will not be able to keep up and absorb the amounts of co2 produced by the industry, which it's struggling with already. Am all for your ideas, but questions of sustainability have to be answered beneath the sea also, not solely on land. We can't afford to puncture the lungs of this planet.

    But hey, once you get that into consideration, you'll be flying!

  48. Wilma Heiskala

    But yeah it's not like it hasn't been invented before and it doesn't help to put money into inventions, but to get them to these people. Also maybe a more practical, realistic way to get energy to poor spots in Africa in present day, is f.ex a urine fueled generator invented by the 4 teenage girls in Nigeria, than your bike. But i could have one.

  49. winfred

    love your approach to some of these problems. willbe on my way farmington in acouple of weeks to share my research to make the deserts of the world feed the coming world.

  50. Nessim

    This is such a good documentary which informs you on how business can benefit humanity in so many different ways. Inspirational.

  51. Nessim

    A man is watching. A blind man falls of a cliff. Who is to blame ? The blind man ? Or the man watching ? Simply brilliant.

  52. CommonSense

    Suspiciously good intentions. The whole 5-hour energy thing was a blatant ripoff to consumers fueled by heavy marketing/manipulation, one has to wonder if Manoj has a guilty conscience from it's success and is trying to atone for deceiving the public. Much like Bill Gates recent philantrophy knowing he stole programs from his peers and copyrighted them into Windows. Either way, it is good for Manoj to at least attempt to give back to humanity regardless if his ideas are somewhat rudimentary.

  53. Keith

    Concerned with raising energy from the earths core. I don't doubt that there is lots of heat there. There was lots of oil at one point, now there's not. My concern is from this transference of heat and the cooling of the core. What will this do to the earth in the long term. They say that ice caps are melting. Will this cause them to melt faster. Will there be more environmental effects. What effects are our desire for more energy going to lead to.....

  54. mike m

    this man is what God had in mind when God planed out evolution

  55. keith b

    the world is a better place for what manoj does.
    hats off to a true human hero.

  56. Teedy

    Yes, Manoj really understands simple physics. Once these "poor" people will be willing to power a light in their house by biking some first world bike that doesn't go anywhere, it's clear that the worlds problems will be solved. "The poor wouldn't be poor"

    Entropy is our limit, the Sun is your God.

Leave a comment / review: