26January

Bill & Melinda Gates' 'Big Bet'

Bill and Melinda Gates are willing to bet their credibility, time, and money that the lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history.

Bill and Melinda Gates discuss the breakthroughs in health, farming, banking, and education that will make that progress possible.

Here are some of the breakthroughs they see coming: 

  1) Child deaths will go down, and more diseases will be wiped out
  2) Africa will be able to feed itself
  3) Mobile banking will help the poor transform their lives
  4) Better software will revolutionize learning

The driving force behind these innovations will be technology. This is perhaps not a surprising conclusion from one of the founders of the computer age. Still, his predictions seems attainable, even reasonable – new vaccines, hardier crops, much cheaper smartphones and tablets, and better delivery systems to bring those things to more people.

Amidst reports of the growing gap between the rich and poor throughout the world, concerns for global food security, and the dire predictions around climate change, the Gates’ provide a refreshing burst of optimism to our newsfeeds. Mostly, they remind us that the resources to achieve such goals are already available, or soon will be. 

Time will tell if we have the will needed to meet the Gates’ challenge.