July 18, 2019

Bill Gates On the Future

“Every year, Bill and Melinda Gates write a letter describing what they see in their philanthropic efforts around the world — the opportunities, the challenges, and the things that need more attention. (For 2015’s letter, Bill guest-edited The Verge.) This year, that letter is focused on things that have surprised the pair; even as the news is dominated by headlines of scandal and conflict, Bill and Melinda are focused on the many areas around the world in which innovation is driving surprising positive change. “Using innovation to improve equity is what brings it all together,” Bill says.

Bill came on The Vergecast to talk about the letter, his work as a philanthropist, and how he and Melinda choose which initiatives to focus on with their foundation’s impressive team and enormous resources. It was a wide-ranging conversation, matching the letter itself: we touched on everything from measuring the contributions of women to data privacy to the rise of nationalism, and landed on a discussion of just how we should design a tax system around billionaires. It was a pretty deep 33 minutes.

You can listen to the entire interview on The Vergecast, and read the full transcript below, which has been lightly edited for clarity.”

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