Fifteen years ago, Bill and Melinda Gates started a foundation with the idea that they could dramatically reduce inequity in the world by supporting innovative work in health and education. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has seen amazing progress since 2000, but 15 years later, they are making their biggest bet yet.
On January 22nd, Bill and Melinda Gates released their 2015 Annual Letter. Their one big bet for the next 15 years: The lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history. And their lives will improve more than anyone else’s.
Even if you’re not into geeking out on global development like I am, the Gates Letter is a great read. I am sharing the four main breakthroughs and call to action included in the letter, but this post only scratches the surface. I highly encourage you to take a few minutes to read through it. I promise you will learn something.
The breakthroughs they envision include:
Half as many kids will die, far fewer women will die in childbirth, and people will live healthier lives because we’ll beat many of the diseases that sicken the poor.
By growing more varied and nutritious food and getting it to the people who need it at the right time, Africa can achieve food security by 2030.
By 2030, 2 billion people who don’t have a bank account today will be storing money and making payment with their phones.
As the cost goes down and incomes go up, more people will have the means, and we’ll be well on our way to providing high-quality education for everyone.
While it will take innovative technology and ways to deliver it to those who are in most need to accomplish these breakthroughs, another key component is having global citizens. People who care about helping those in the world’s poorest places improve their lives and who will work together for change. If you’ve read this far into my post and click on over to read the 2015 Gates Annual Letter, you are probably a global citizen.
- Bill and Melinda Gates have started Global Citizen, where you can sign up and get updates on how you can help, share what you’re learning, and connect with other people and organizations who care about similar issues. Some of my favorite organizations are part of this global movement, including, Save the Children, the ONE Campaign, Oxfam and Greenpeace.
- Read the 2015 Gates Annual Letter in its entirety
Photo credits go to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation