Bill Gates has seen the light

By Murray Bourne, 27 Jun 2007

Check out Bill Gates’ commencement speech at Harvard when he was awarded an honorary degree on 7 June. It is a powerful message of someone who has finally got it - that our lives, our opportunities, our money and our learning should ultimately be about making sure everyone else in the world has similar opportunities.

Some quotes:

I do have one big regret.

I left Harvard with no real awareness of the awful inequities in the world − the appalling disparities of health, and wealth, and opportunity that condemn millions of people to lives of despair.

I totally agree with the following:

When an airplane crashes, officials immediately call a press conference. They promise to investigate, determine the cause, and prevent similar crashes in the future.

But if the officials were brutally honest, they would say: “Of all the people in the world who died today from preventable causes, one half of one percent of them were on this plane. We’re determined to do everything possible to solve the problem that took the lives of the one half of one percent.”

The bigger problem is not the plane crash, but the millions of preventable deaths.

This is an excellent challenge to Harvard’s management:

Let me make a request of the deans and the professors − the intellectual leaders here at Harvard: As you hire new faculty, award tenure, review curriculum, and determine degree requirements, please ask yourselves:

Should our best minds be dedicated to solving our biggest problems?

Bill has moved up a notch or two in my estimation...

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