Posts Tagged 'social entrepreneurship'

Kristof on Gates

Nicholas Kristof’s (recent nominee of the prestigious Natsios Award) most recent NYT op-ed discusses his interview with Bill Gates. Money quote:

I think the Gates Foundation has missed the chance to leverage the revolution in social entrepreneurship, hasn’t been as effective in advocacy as it has been in research, and has missed an opportunity to ignite a broad social movement behind its issues.

But if Mr. Gates manages to accomplish as much in the world of vaccines, health and food production as he thinks he can, then the consequences will be staggering. Squared. In that case, the first few paragraphs of Mr. Gates’s obituary will be all about overcoming diseases and poverty, barely mentioning his earlier career in the software industry.

I actually agree with Kristof here. It really is too bad that they didn’t invest more in social entrepreneurs with the drive and passion to improve the communities in which they live. Can you imagine Ashoka with the kind of resources at Gates’ disposal? However, I’m not convinced that by simply creating a vaccine for HIV or malaria, the world will magically become a more just and equitable place. Vaccines and technology are not enough. A broad social movement building solidarity and value for fundamental human rights is absolutely necessary. Lets get to work.

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