Ive heard some people describe the economy of the future as post-corporatist and post-capitalistone in which large corporations crumble and all innovation happens from the bottom up. What nonsense. People who say things like that never have a convincing explanation for who will make drugs or low-cost carbon-free energy. Technology is unlocking the innate compassion we have for our fellow human beings. In the end, that combinationthe advances of science together with our emerging global consciencemay be the most powerful tool we have for improving the world.
I hope people let their representatives know that aid works and that they care about saving lives. Bonos group ONE. Org is a great channel for getting your voice heard. Companiesespecially those in the technology sectorcan dedicate a percentage of their top innovators time to issues that could help people whove been left out of the global economy or deprived. One way you can find that leverage point is to look for a problem that markets and governments arent paying much attention to. Thats what Melinda and I did when we saw how little notice global health got in the mid-1990s.
Catalytic philanthropy doesnt replace businesses. It helps more of their innovations benefit the poor. Look at what happened to agriculture in the 20th century. For decades, scientists worked to develop hardier crops. We need a lot more of this kind of innovation. Otherwise, Big Data will be a big wasted opportunity to reduce inequity. People often ask me, What can I do? How can I help?
But you dont necessarily need to find a problem thats been missed. You can also discover a strategy that has been overlooked. Take our foundations work in education. Government spends huge sums on schools.