08Mar

Bill Gates on Innovation: Technology Changing World

The outlook of Bill Gates on innovation is a far cry from his adversaries. The Gates Foundation and Microsoft co-founder has dedicated a good part of his life as well as his wealth towards making the planet a better place to live in – right from combating climate change to technological synthesis into the disease control & eradication. 

Last month, MIT Technology had invited the business magnate to become their first guest curator for their research paper on – “10 Breakthrough Technologies, 2019”. Apart from sharing the views of Bill Gates on innovation,  the interview extensively lays out Bill’s take on how technologies and digital transformation solutions have the potential to bring about real change in the world. 

Bill Gates isn’t budging from his incessant ranking as the world’s richest person in tech and second richest billionaire in the world with a net worth of $91.5 billion, he is only $20 billion less rich than Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. It’s hard to imagine what to do with this whopping amount of money, but Gates is pretty much clear about how to make the most of it.  

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He mainly spends his billions on charity through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and plans to give away most of his fortune. 

The couple has also pledged to donate most of their fortune through the Giving Pledge, which they launched in 2010. This is what sets Bill Gates apart from Silicon Valley parasites like Mark Zuckerberg.

When someone on Quora had asked if Bill Gates is the greatest living philanthropist, the answers were overwhelming. 

Here is a screenshot –  

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Bill Gates on innovation and his life-changing philanthropic projects

  1. Global Health Division

This is one of the most proactive projects, which is dedicated to eradicating malaria.  Some of the many areas this division focuses on include: HIV, Malaria, diarrhoea diseases, pneumonia, tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases, vaccine development, maternal and child health, epidemiology, and research and discovery sciences. 

2. Global Development Division

This project focuses on developing parts of the world. It identifies and funds the solutions for leading a healthy lifestyle by people who are most in need. 

3. Global Growth & Opportunity Division

The Gates Foundation has a simple outlook for poverty issues. The foundation encourages innovative products and policies which can break down barriers to creating economic opportunities for the poor and underprivileged people across the world. 

4. United States Division

The primary focus of this division is ensuring all the students complete their high school and get prepared for college and earn an opportunity to obtain a postsecondary degree. 

5. Global Policy & Advocacy Division

The focus of Bill Gates on innovation is accentuated with engagement in promotion efforts to aid public policies. This division is focused on building strategic alliances and foster public awareness of global issues.  

Here is what Bill Gates had to say when asked about his potential list for the next years – 

“I would hope to see technologies that center almost entirely on well-being. I think the brilliant minds of the future will focus on more metaphysical questions: How do we make people happier? How do we create meaningful connections? How do we help everyone live a fulfilling life? I would love to see these questions shape the 2039 list because it would mean that we’ve successfully fought back disease (and dealt with climate change). I can’t imagine a greater sign of progress than that.”

When Bill Gates was asking about the most disruptive and innovative technologies being developed in Silicon Valley right now, this is what he had to say, 

“Many of Silicon Valley’s innovative ideas mostly help the middle income and rich countries. And so you are talking about robots, autonomous driving, computer with vision, computers that have learning capabilities, etcetera. And there is not just the digital, but also the biological world. There are many interesting things going on there, like gene editing. Which can be used for either human health or for making plants better so they can avoid problems with climate change. There’s recently been some huge breakthrough there. The question for me is: how do we take these things and make them relevant to poor people in Africa? You know they have cell phones. Not nearly as good as the latest cell phone, but enough to give them some advice about their farming. Or ask them: when you went to the clinic, did they try and charge you for something? Did they have the medicines you asked or? We can use mobile technology in these countries to really get the measurement we need to get a great feedback loop to make government services really good in these countries. That’s a very, very important thing. Almost all these innovations can be shaped to help the poorest. That’s what I’m most excited about.”

Bill Gates on innovation and big data’s role in improving the lives of poor people, here is a snippet – 

“We do need to gather more data about the poorest. Right now most big data stuff is in the rich world. But we have a long way to go to get for example digital money. Kenya’s a country where they’re doing most transactions digitally on a cell phones. And that’s spreading to other countries. And even India and Pakistan will be using that technology. That’s super helpful because then new ways will exist for a farmer to borrow money. But first you have to get the government to approve banking over cell phones, and make sure the technology has a super competitive low fee structure. Big data now is mostly about rich world consumer preferences. Over time, yes some medical things will be explored that way. But we’re dealing more with the basics in these countries.”

To conclude – 

The vision behind Bill Gates on innovation to unlock the risk capital that is required to “take the creative ideas out of the laboratory and build them into successful companies. 

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