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Gates' speech on creative capitalism creates stir

Microsoft chairman's call at World Economic Forum for a new way of thinking among businesses has elicited a wide range of commentary.

Ina Fried Former Staff writer, CNET News
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried

It remains to be seen how much Bill Gates' plea for creative capitalism changes the face of business, but it has certainly sparked a considerable amount of discussion at Davos and elsewhere.

It is common for the topic of the poor to come up at the gathering of the mega-rich known as the World Economic Forum. But the notion that businesses themselves are responsible, at least in part, for solving poverty has gained increased attention at this year's forum, according to reports coming out of the Swiss ski resort town.

According to Marketwatch, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced a May summit in London where business leaders will explore ways in which corporations can work to combat poverty.

While many are applauding Gates' call, others say that the role of business is making money, not curing societal ills. For those wanting to hear more on each argument, check out our point-counterpoint on the matter, with CNET News.com's Michael Kanellos arguing that Gates is right, while Declan McCullagh says the Microsoft chairman is off-base.