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.