"Bill Gates' college road trip"
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CNET News Video
CNET News Video
Bill Gates' college road trip
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>> We have a couple of questions that are sort of personal. What made you decide to create a philanthropic organization? What moved you to do that? And how do you imagine your life 20 years from now?
>> Well, fortunately the challenges that the foundation has picked -- the inequities of global health, improving education -- these aren't problems that are likely to be completely solved even in a 20-year period. We should have a Malaria vaccine and TB vaccine with luck in that timeframe, an AIDS vaccine. So a lot of the specific things we will have made immense progress on. But the inequity of health between the rich and the poor will still be pretty substantial. Likewise, education I think they'll be here to be done. So, you know, the rest of my life's work, as long as I'm capable, is trying to help the foundation take the resources and give them back in the best way. I wasn't sure exactly what I would do. I knew that as I got into my 50s or 60s I would want to shift in this direction. I actually was 52 when I chose to make that change. I'd known for about 20 years that I had the wealth created by my ownership of Microsoft and that I had a view that giving that to your children is no favor to them or society, and I didn't just want to write a check to the government so I knew there was something philanthropic that I was going to do. But you know, I was thinking well, is it to do with science? Is it to do with poor countries? And I was learning about that and then it was in the 90s when I saw the disease stuff. I said, boy, is it terrible there's so little work on this? But in a sense, you know, in terms of being a clear thing to work on it became quite obvious. In that area of our work if -- we save lives for less than $2,000 per life. And we have so many things we can do. We're gonna save a life for 2,000 per life that you shouldn't do things that are 20,000, 200,000, 2 million which the U.S. healthcare system does things that are 2 million, 20 million. And so you're treating that life as being worth more than 10,000 times as much. I mean, society's just doing that by the way it trades off how resources are spent. And so you know this foundation thing, I'm lucking it's as interesting as software. So I won't need a third career.
>> As a graduating senior with no job and ever mounting financial concerns, how can I still make a difference in the topics you spoke of today?
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>> Well, you're probably not going to be too picky about the gigantic salary so that's good. It means that many of these areas that aren't as remunerative, you know, you can get not as much financially but the [inaudible]. Certainly I don't, you know, minimize in any way the tough challenge people have. It's a tough time to graduate and, you know, I'm sure that creates a lot of turmoil. I do hope that some opportunities open up in these areas. You know, certainly if the foreign aid stays high, there's lots of opportunities there. The U.S. just USAID just to take one agency has such a need for expertise. I mean, they have tons of open positions. Now, whether that's a fit for what people want to do and their background I don't know. But it's certainly a great example. Is it a time in your life where you could go off and go to one of these developing countries and spend a year or two and do some work and get immersed. How would you make that budget work? That's tricky, but there are opportunities like that so maybe that you can turn that into a positive thing.
>> You mentioned teach for American in your talk.
>> That's right. And what's amazing is, you know, Berkeley was one of the schools with the most applicants. Even there their capacity to accept people -- Berkeley actually had a fairly high percentage, about 15 percent of those who applied got in, but it was only, you know, 15 percent. And so we're trying to get the capacity of that program up, you know, I think 69 were accepted which is phenomenal. And you know, it's been a very catalytic program because it's getting these school districts to think differently because they have talented committed personnel.
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