Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/taxonomy/term/6893/all en Does the Gates’ Letter 2017 answer Warren Buffett’s questions? http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/does-gates-letter-2017-answer-warren-buffett-s-questions <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <a href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/bill_and_melinda_gates_foundation_0.jpg" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img alt="" height="270" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/bill_and_melinda_gates_foundation_0.jpg" style="float:left" title="By Simone D. McCourtie/World Bank" width="180" /></a>Melinda and Bill Gates have made an annual tradition of publishing their thoughts on their work in global development, the challenges they face, and their goals for the future. These letters are a manifesto for their philanthropic work, most of which is channelled through the <a href="http://www.gatesfoundation.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation</a>.</p> <p> The Gates structured their <a href="https://www.gatesnotes.com/2017-Annual-Letter?WT.mc_id=02_14_2017_02_AL2017GFO_GF-GFO_&amp;WT.tsrc=GFGFO" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">2017 Annual Letter</a> as a response to Warren Buffet’s (CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.) letter to Melinda and Bill Gates, where he asked them to reflect on their work so far – on what had gone well, and what hadn’t; and to describe their goals for the future. He further said:</p> <blockquote> <p> <em>There are many who want to know where you’ve come from, where you’re heading and why. I also believe it’s important that people better understand why success in philanthropy is measured differently from success in business or government. Your letter might explain how the two of you measure yourselves and how you would like the final scorecard to read.</em></p> </blockquote> <p> Buffet’s questions assume great significance given that in 2006, he pledged to donate 85% of his wealth to charity, and allotted a sum of about <strong>$31 billion</strong> to the Gates Foundation. These questions, from one of the most successful investor of our times, are essentially about how well his philanthropic investment in the Gates Foundation was doing. What had he helped them achieve?</p> </div></div></div> Mon, 06 Mar 2017 20:36:00 +0000 Suvojit Chattopadhyay 7645 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere The 2016 Gates Letter is all about power http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/2016-gates-letter-all-about-power <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img alt="Solar energy is used to light village shop, Sri Lanka" height="278" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/1987589759_29eec0ca28_z.jpg" style="float:right" title=" Dominic Sansoni / World Bank" width="180" />The Gates have now made an annual tradition of publishing their development manifestos – they are in the form of letters that they write early in the calendar year. These letters contain not only their personal vision, but presumably, that of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Broadly, my reaction to the letters in 2014 and 2015 were that they reflected an inordinate focus on technology-driven solutions. By those standards, I was in for a surprise this year as I read the <a href="https://www.gatesnotes.com/2016-Annual-Letter?WT.mc_id=02_22_2016_00_AL2016_GL-GN_&amp;WT.tsrc=GLGN" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">2016 Gates Letter</a>.<br /><br /> In his section, Bill Gates outlined his dream of an “energy miracle”. This is easily one of the most important priorities for the globe. Experts are united that clean energy is the way forward. Falling oil prices might just present a serious challenge to this push, but hopefully this is a temporary glitch that will not derail investments in research and development in the search for clean energy. This search also ties in with the Gates’ traditional areas of strength, which are science and technology-driven, looking to extend the frontiers of knowledge in an effort to improve human welfare.<br /><br /> As critical as advances in science and technology are, Gates does well to remind us of the power that governments have and thereby, points to the importance of generating a political consensus:<br />   <blockquote> <p> <em>“Governments have a big role to play in sparking new advances, as they have for other scientific research. U.S. government funding was behind breakthrough cancer treatments and the moon landing. If you’re reading this online, you have the government to thank for that too. Research paid for by the U.S. government helped create the Internet.”</em></p> </blockquote> </div></div></div> Wed, 23 Mar 2016 20:40:00 +0000 Suvojit Chattopadhyay 7347 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Technology Alone Will Not Save the World: Lessons from the 2015 Gates Letter http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/technology-alone-will-not-save-world-lessons-2015-gates-letter <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" height="187" src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/1117767635_9d624e5836_o.jpg" style="float:right" title="" width="280" />Melinda and Bill Gates have made an annual tradition of publishing their thoughts on international development and its key challenges. Given the substance, I assume these letters reflect an annual manifesto for the organisation they head, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Last year, I wrote about how the Gates Annual Letter was <a href="http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/Latdd3YuiTtLJcdAJBXpCK/Why-the-2014-Gates-Annual-Letter-on-global-poverty-fails-to.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">disappointing</a>, perhaps not in the context of what the BMGF itself does, but what it ought to be doing, given its $42 bn muscle and its influential promoter, Bill Gates.<br /><br /> This year, <a href="http://www.gatesnotes.com/2015-Annual-Letter?page=1&amp;lang=en" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">the letter</a> makes four “big bets” for 2030: child deaths will go down by half, and more diseases will be eradicated than ever before; Africa will be able to feed itself; mobile banking will help the poor radically transform their lives; and better software will revolutionise learning. In short, fast-tracking the identification ­technological fixes and expanding their reach over the next fifteen years will deliver a better world.<br /><br /> Unfortunately, these bets seem to me to be wildly optimistic. I may be quibbling, but from what we have learnt from research, there seem to be many reasons to suggest that we should be cautious with our optimism regarding what we can achieve with technology. The complexities of working on power, politics and implementation find no mention in the letter. Let us look a little more closely at each one of the bets to find out why that matters so much.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 03 Feb 2015 19:18:00 +0000 Suvojit Chattopadhyay 6951 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Weekly Wire: the Global Forum http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/weekly-wire-global-forum-110 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG border=0 hspace=0 alt="" align=left src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/weekly_wire_photo_8.jpeg" width=130 height=129></P> <P>These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.</P> <P><STRONG>Mashable<BR></STRONG><A href="http://mashable.com/2013/03/18/google-reader-censorship/" target=_blank>Will Killing Google Reader Increase Global Censorship?</A></P> <P>“After Google unceremoniously announced it would be killing Reader later this year, much of the outraged response focused on its use in the U.S.</P> <P>But there's a whole other aspect to the service: for thousands of users around the world, it's one of the few ways they can get around their country's censors.”&nbsp; <A href="http://mashable.com/2013/03/18/google-reader-censorship/" target=_blank>READ MORE </A></div></div></div> Thu, 21 Mar 2013 15:31:32 +0000 Kalliope Kokolis 6276 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Weekly Wire: the Global Forum http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/weekly-wire-global-forum-81 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=120 alt="" hspace=0 src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/weekly_wire_photo.jpeg" width=121 align=left border=0></P> <P>These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.</P> <P><STRONG>Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation<BR></STRONG><A href="http://www.impatientoptimists.org/Posts/2012/08/Building-a-Toilet-Fair--Day-1" target=_blank>Building a Toilet Fair - Day 1</A></P> <P>“Usually, Sunday would see the Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation's Seattle campus empty save for a duck or two, and maybe a few zealous weekend workers. However, this last week was another story entirely. The campus was buzzing as exhibitors from around the world started to set up toilet prototypes for the upcoming Reinvent the Toilet Fair.</P> <P>The Reinvent the Toilet Fair held August 14-15, 2012 at the Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Wash. showcases innovations from around the world that are creating a new vision for the next generation of sanitation. The fair aims to inspire collaboration around a shared mission of delivering a reinvented toilet for the 2.5 billion people worldwide who don’t have access to safe and affordable sanitation.</P> <P>Here's a look behind the scenes during day 1 of transforming our campus into a toilet fair.”&nbsp; <A href="http://www.impatientoptimists.org/Posts/2012/08/Building-a-Toilet-Fair--Day-1" target=_blank>READ MORE </A></div></div></div> Thu, 16 Aug 2012 15:01:19 +0000 Kalliope Kokolis 6072 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Weekly Wire: the Global Forum http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/weekly-wire-global-forum-79 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=120 alt="" hspace=0 src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/weekly_wire_photo.jpeg" width=121 align=left border=0></P> <P>These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.</P> <P><STRONG>Nieman Journalism Lab<BR></STRONG><A href="http://www.niemanlab.org/2012/07/deutsche-welle-and-how-its-taking-advantage-of-the-mobile-boom-in-africa/" target=_blank>Deutsche Welle’s trying to use Africa’s mobile-phone boom to spread news by new&nbsp;means</A></P> <P>“As the fastest-growing mobile market on the planet, Africa is facing huge opportunities — and distinct challenges — in news dissemination.</P> <P>By the end of the year, it’s estimated that more than three-quarters of the population will be cell phone subscribers, including in places where literacy rates are low and electricity is unavailable. To better serve that demographic, German media giant Deutsche Welle is using over-the-phone voice technology to deliver news.</P> <P>No Internet access necessary: Just dial a number to access the program Learning by Ear, an educational show for teenagers that mixes news and explainers having to do with health, politics, the economy, the environment, and social issues.”&nbsp; <A href="http://www.niemanlab.org/2012/07/deutsche-welle-and-how-its-taking-advantage-of-the-mobile-boom-in-africa/" target=_blank>READ MORE</A></div></div></div> Thu, 02 Aug 2012 14:43:40 +0000 Kalliope Kokolis 6058 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Weekly Wire: the Global Forum http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/weekly-wire-global-forum-76 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=120 alt="" hspace=0 src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/weekly_wire_photo.jpeg" width=121 align=left border=0></P> <P>These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.</P> <P><STRONG>Journalism<BR></STRONG><A href="http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/report-principles-delivering-trust-in-digital-age/s2/a549753/" target=_blank>Report published on 'delivering trust' in digital age</A></P> <P>“Former director of BBC News Richard Sambrook has called for "new ways to place a premium" on reporting that shows a focus on evidence, diversity and transparency, in a bid to "help rescue the core of what impartiality and objectivity delivered in the past" in a digital world.</P> <P>In a report published today by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Sambrook asks whether there is a need for "different codes or journalistic norms for the digital age" in order to ensure trust in the media, particularly in light of the Leveson inquiry into the press in the UK and "debate about a ‘post-truth’ political environment in the US".</P> <P>He identifies that the journalism industry is ‘in transition from the old analogue world of limited supply, where professional codes and regulation were effective in ensuring quality, to the digital age of plenty’.”&nbsp; <A href="http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/report-principles-delivering-trust-in-digital-age/s2/a549753/" target=_blank>READ MORE</A> </div></div></div> Thu, 12 Jul 2012 14:33:28 +0000 Kalliope Kokolis 6039 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Weekly Wire: the Global Forum http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/weekly-wire-global-forum-53 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=120 alt="" hspace=0 src="http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/medium_weekly_wire_photo_3.jpeg" width=120 align=left border=0>These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.</P> <P><STRONG>One<BR></STRONG><A href="http://www.one.org/international/blog/the-african-charter-on-democracy-elections-and-governance-%E2%80%93-you-better-take-it-seriously/" target=_blank>The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance – you better take it seriously!</A></P> <P>“In three weeks, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance will enter into force. The Charter was adopted by the African Union (AU) five years ago. Now that fifteen member states have ratified it, the Charter becomes legally binding and operational. Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria and Cameroon were the 13th, 14thand 15th countries to ratify the Charter. Why should we bother about this document? A Charter that was ratified in majority by countries that don’t lead by example in terms of good governance; a Charter that might be just another paper tiger without any teeths; one of a range of legal documents that don’t change anything about the real lives of African citizens?</P> <P>Not quite.</P> <P>The African Charter actually doesn’t contain many new elements. But, much more important, it summarizes and reconfirms existing African engagements on good governance that the continent’s leaders have taken over the last thirty years or so. And the Charter takes them a step further, in operationalizing their implementation. So instead of adding to the pile, it tries to rationalize the African good governance architecture and improve its translation into reality.” <A href="http://www.one.org/international/blog/the-african-charter-on-democracy-elections-and-governance-%E2%80%93-you-better-take-it-seriously/" target=_blank>READ MORE</A></div></div></div> Thu, 02 Feb 2012 15:46:20 +0000 Kalliope Kokolis 5896 at http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere