Bill Gates and Gates Notes

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As a source of inspiration from one of the most successful men on the planet,  Gates Notes is an interesting mix of philanthropic call to action and technology innovation reportage.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is well-known for both his legacy on the home computer market and the wealth this brought him. However, in recent years, as his focus shifted from Microsoft, he has become increasingly involved with philanthropic causes, most notably through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In 2013, this was the world’s wealthiest charitable foundation, with assets valued at more than $34.6 billion. Much of its work is featured on Gates Notes.
Bill Gates shares his notes

A big fan of taking paper notes, it makes sense that Gates should call his blog “Gates Notes”. The website is ten years old this year. It was launched in 2010 by Gates, to create a platform where he could share his thoughts on matters from philanthropy to the climate.

The topics of AI, energy innovation, and the role of technology in improving health outcomes and education opportunities predominate. Inspired by Rockefeller – who Gates met several times with his father – Gates is keenly focused on tackling global problems that are often under-prioritised or ignored by Governments.

Gates writes regularly for the website, with readers invited to sign up to join the Gates Notes community to access and comment on content. He says, “This is my personal blog, where I share about the people I meet, the books I’m reading, and what I’m learning. I hope that you’ll join the conversation.”

Articles range from thoughtful articles about new robotic tech, such as this one based on a visit Gates made to his alma mater, Harvard. Elsewhere, he raises questions about the ethical questions about gene editing, pointing out: “the technology could make inequity worse, especially if it is available only for wealthy people.”

In the same new year message, Gates acknowledges: “Although I have never been one for New Year’s resolutions, I have always been committed to setting clear goals and making plans to achieve them. As I get older, these two things look more and more like the same exercise. So I am making a resolution for 2019. I am committing to learn and think about two key areas where technology has the potential to make an enormous impact on the quality of our lives, but also raises complex ethical and social considerations.”

In this spirit, a large section of the blog is given over to book recommendations – with featured books ranging from post-cancer diagnosis inspiration, mindfulness, biography, fiction and science subjects.

If you fancy joining Gates in a 2019 resolution to commit to learn, you could do worse than by starting with Gates Notes.

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