Bill Gates: It doesn't take cutting-edge tech to solve world's problems

Bill Gates: It doesn't take cutting-edge tech to solve world's problems

Summary: You might expect that tech would be the center topic when Facebook Chief Operating Office Sheryl Sandberg sits down with Microsoft founder Bill Gates for a short interview. But at the World Economic Forum today, a 15-minute chat between Gates and Sandberg had very little to do with tech and far more to do with the work of the Gates foundation.

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You might expect that tech would be the center topic when Facebook Chief Operating Office Sheryl Sandberg sits down with Microsoft founder Bill Gates for a short interview. But at the World Economic Forum today, a 15-minute chat between Gates and Sandberg had very little to do with tech and far more to do with the work of the Gates foundation.

As a philanthropist, Gates focused in on reproductive health, recognizing that things like pre-natal care, as well as vaccinations for children, could help reduce the diseases that inflict people around the world. He also recognized that things like disease prevention for children doesn't always get the most attention among world governments and that it's up to philanthropists to make these issues their priorities.

He spoke of the world's food supplies and how farmers can work to increase nutritional levels and increase the output of food around the world. Is that where technology comes in to play? In some ways, yes, he said. But it doesn't even have to be the most cutting edge technology that's used, he said. Even a DVD of farmers sharing their best practices with other farmers can make a difference.

He also noted that the power of the Internet opens the world's eyes to the things that are happening in other countries. People who visit these countries can share photos to not just illustrate how bad conditions can be in some places but, more importantly, how the world's efforts to combat problems are finally making a difference.

At the same time, through the Internet, children of today are empowered to learn about anything that grabs their attention. Gates recalled asking his father questions about things that piqued his interest - only tyo have his father tell him to go to the library to learn about it. Today, that kids have the Internet. He said:

I envy kids growing up today where they can connect with people at a distance... all their curiosity. They can preserve and collaborate around that. It's a very positive story.

An archive video of the full interview is embedded below.

Watch live streaming video from worldeconomicforum02 at livestream.com

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  • He would know about lack of cutting edge tech...

    ...his whole mantra at MS (still is) copy, sue, steal.
    james347
    • RE: Bill Gates: It doesn't take cutting-edge tech to solve world's problems

      @james347 At least MS does not steal/copy Java files and change the licence
      OxBAADFOOD
      • LOL...

        @HalfAKilo Amen that.
        LBiege
    • your a friggin idiot james!!

      @james347
      here we have something on someone trying to do something good with their money and all you can do is insult them for doing more then you do?!?

      you sound like the kind of guy that steals off his family and neighbors - just another stupid little theif with a nothing life!!

      have fun!!
      Ron Bergundy
      • RE: Bill Gates: It doesn't take cutting-edge tech to solve world's problems

        @Ron Bergundy Shut up moron. You fail at imitation.
        Ron Burgundy
      • who says i was imitating on that one?

        @Ron Bergundy?
        I stand behind those words - if you want to dismiss the fact that people in the world are trying to do something for others because you dont like them then so be it !!

        i for one appluad ANYBODY who takes even a minute to help out someone less fortuneate then themselves but them there will allways be people like james347 - way to jelous of everyone else around them that all they can do is insult people for caring probally because nobody cares about people like james347 they just go through life alone and angry and uncaring for no body but themselves - the word is "selfish"!

        maybe you should spend some time working with those not as fortuneate as you instead of insulting anyone who owns a linux or M$ product???
        Ron Bergundy
      • *Schlong play* Oh so clever

        @Ron Bergundy

        Maybe the phony Ron Bergundy would do us all a favor and get an act of their own? Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but geezuz, you're taking ACTING LIKE A TWIT to regal heights. Blow with the juvenile spiel already. You need to find your own identity at ZDN.

        Last time I saw such clever poser shtick was at a seminal warez crib littered with corpse crawlers, dating back before the turn of the century.

        BTW we all know who you are big boy; so let it go and grow your own pair (again). They always fit better that way. [But then, do I have to tell you that?]
        klumper
  • Charity begins at home.

    If Bill Gates wants to be philanthropic that is fine. I think that is wonderful.<br><br>But we need to clean up our own back yard before helping the world. In fact, we are 'faltering' and people like Buffett, Gates can and do make significant contributions to human betterment needs. <br><br>But let's focus on taking care of good old U.S.A. for a switch, yes?
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
    • RE: Bill Gates: It doesn't take cutting-edge tech to solve world's problems

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate

      I don't see why he can't address both at the same time.

      He was recently on an Oprah show that focused on the American education system (along with that Washington DC school superintendent who cleaned out all the bad teachers and then got fired for political reasons). That's what he seems to be focusing on the most when it comes to local issues. Which is a good thing, because once that gets addressed it becomes easier to address everything else.
      Michael Kelly
      • I guess I feel we've devoted too much money and resources

        @Michael Kelly

        to trying to 'save the world' to our own detriment.

        Unprecedented Budget Deficit spending
        2008 Wall Street/Banking collapse
        Car Company Bailout
        Unprecedented Unemployment (people off the govt rolls aren't being counted who have been out of work one, two, three years aren't being measured)
        States teetering on defaulting on their ability to pay bills

        And the list goes on.
        How much more can and should we be doing for 'the world' in light of that?

        Very bad Michael.
        Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
      • RE: Bill Gates: It doesn't take cutting-edge tech to solve world's problems

        @Dietrich T. Schmitz

        The biggest reason we reach out is to prevent wars from happening. Dealing with wars would cost far more than the help we give them otherwise. And besides, we have enough wars going on as it is. So it is self-preservation to an extent. That it also happens to appeal to our moral standards is bonus.
        Michael Kelly
        • Following in Daddy's footsteps

          @Michael Kelly <br>The Iraqi invasion and ensuing war was based on faulty (fradulent) intelligence.<br><br>We threw billions of dollars at it and many Americans died as well as exacting untold death pain and suffering on the Iraqi citizenry, all for what exactly?<br><br>No WMD. Stop terrorism? It continues to this day.<br><br>Micheal I can go on and on and on. Don't get me going.<br><br>I am proud of our American soldiers but we didn't belong in Iraq to begin with and I honestly don't believe democracy will prevail there. Instead, there will be religious sectarian violence/terrorism until one religious group takes hold of government.<br><br>It was a shame we got involved there and now the US is paying for it.<br><br>Afganistan is yet another hopeless cause and the sooner we pull out, the better.
          Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
      • All aboard for a midnight shopping spree!

        @Michael Kelly
        <i>He was recently on an Oprah show...</i>

        Whenever someone cites or quotes fat Oprah, I <s>instinctively</s> reflexively cringe.

        Well, that is, unless I'm dusting off the old Lear out in the hanger for a red-eye fashion flight, destination: Avenue des Champs-Elysees. Then it's ALL ABOARD OPRIE! [Life as we learn is nothing if not<font color="#FFFFFF">..</font>E X C E P T I N G<font color="#FFFFFF">..</font>T H E<font color="#FFFFFF">..</font>R U L E S.] :p
        klumper
    • It'd be most helpful if ...

      people can simply get off the "someone takes care of me" entitlement mentality. This nation will recover organically when that day comes.
      LBiege
      • RE: Bill Gates: It doesn't take cutting-edge tech to solve world's problems

        @LBiege
        If it had come from Google or its executives, DTS would have said differently. You are right every one should come out of the mentality that 'Govt. takes care of me', and that itself boosts our country. Instead of buying cheap stuff, buy genuinely made in US stuff, and that helps and promotes genuine US companies instead of the multi-nationals that move jobs and money outside.
        Ram U
    • why? we can take care of ourselves but like you, chose not to

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate instead stepping on our heighbors in a quest to own ore then them.

      why don't YOU help out out home and let others help out those that don't have a home OK?
      Ron Bergundy
      • What? Good Lord. Get a dictionary.

        @Ron Bergundy nt
        Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
    • Maybe Bill Gates can develop some software...

      Maybe Bill Gates can develop some software that gets rid of Jenny McCarthy and intelligent design.
      olePigeon
    • Comment for you below

      @DTS

      In the meantime, someone is paying attention. Chops.
      klumper
  • Oh great, we do not need cutting-edge technology. Legacy Windows can still

    be used. He had me scared for a while there.
    DonnieBoy