Sunday, June 29, 2008

The best is yet to come

Bill Gates’ retirement from Microsoft has resulted in an outpouring of retrospectives and articles on the meaning of his achievements. Most are plaudits, panegyrics, and encomia, interspersed with a few brickbats… This blogger will leave this topic to others to plumb, a few related links can be found below…

However, this blogger would argue that Bill Gates’ greatest contributions to the world are yet to come, in the next ‘half’ of his life. As profound a difference that the computer revolution (and thus Bill Gates) has made in the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the globe, there are huge swathes of the world where this is meaningless and where the far greater need is for basic sanitation, access to clean potable water, basic healthcare, electricity, and the most basic needs for life that most of us take for granted. In his new incarnation and working actively with his fund Bill Gates now has the opportunity to touch more people in much more fundamental ways than he ever has before!

Yes, providing technology to poor countries is important, and efforts such as OLPC are worthwhile. However, while the OLPC project reflects an abiding belief in the power of technology to change lives, its positive effects on its target countries pale into insignificance compared to the life and death issues related to basic sanitation and health care. If developing countries spent even half of the $100 OLPC cost per child they would be immensely better off than they are today. It’s here that Bill Gates has an opportunity to make his mark…

Bill Gates’ big send off
Bill Gates photo gallery
Bill Gates' Retirement: It Won't Last Long
What Does The Gates Retirement Really Mean?

Gates legacy filled with good, bad and ugly
End of an era as Bill Gates leaves Microsoft
Bill Gates’ Retirement Brings Forth End of 2 Eras
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Wikipedia
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Challenge of Global Health
Unintended victims of Gates Foundation generosity

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