Home > Uncategorized > From those to whom much is given, much is expected…

From those to whom much is given, much is expected…

When Bill Gates addressed the graduates of the Class of 2007 at Harvard, here is what he had to say among many other things…

I learned a lot here at Harvard about new ideas in economics and politics. I got great exposure to the advances being made in the sciences. But humanity’s greatest advances are not in its discoveries – but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity. Whether through democracy, strong public education, quality health care, or broad economic opportunity – reducing inequity is the highest human achievement.

… if you believe that every life has equal value, it’s revolting to learn that some lives are seen as worth saving and others are not.

“This can’t be true. But if it is true, it deserves to be the priority of our giving.”

I believe we have more caring than we know what to do with. The barrier to change is not too little caring; it is too much complexity. To turn caring into action, we need to see a problem, see a solution, and see the impact. But complexity blocks all three steps.

If we can really see a problem, which is the first step, we come to the second step: cutting through the complexity to find a solution.

Finding solutions is essential if we want to make the most of our caring. If we have clear and proven answers anytime an organization or individual asks “How can I help?,” then we can get action – and we can make sure that none of the caring in the world is wasted. But complexity makes it hard to mark a path of action for everyone who cares — and that makes it hard for their caring to matter.

Cutting through complexity to find a solution runs through four predictable stages: determine a goal, find the highest-leverage approach, discover the ideal technology for that approach, and in the meantime, make the smartest application of the technology that you already have — whether it’s something sophisticated, like a drug, or something simpler, like a bednet.

But if you want to inspire people to participate, you have to show more than numbers; you have to convey the human impact of the work – so people can feel what saving a life means to the families affected.

Compiled from Bill Gates’ graduation address – Full text available at Harvard University Gazzette Online

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  1. breakingkeyboards
    March 27, 2009 at 12:31 am

    The tecnology and welfare is a consequence of democracy and euqlity and no the cause.

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