Bill Gates, the world’s richest man and perhaps the most famous person in technology, turns 60 today on the 28th, October 2015.
His parents wanted him to be a lawyer; but imagine how different the world would be without Microsoft
The entrepreneur and inventor made computers more accessible for all by spurring the rise of the home-computing market – normal people, with Microsoft’s operating system, could easily use and afford a technology previously limited to businesses, tech-geeks and academics.
And now his sights are set beyond PCs. Here’s how he wants to change the world:
He wants to get everyone in the world on the internet
This is still related to computing, and an extension of his lifelong pursuit of getting everyone on the computer, but more about equality.
Gates, Bono and Mark Zuckerberg were among influential figures who signed a declaration to get the internet to those who have been left behind by the 21st century.
“The Internet is critical to fighting injustice, sharing new ideas and helping entrepreneurs create more jobs,” reads the declaration, hosted by the advocacy group ONE. “But right now half the people on this planet don’t have access, especially women and girls.”
He wants to solve global warming with a carbon tax and by developing nuclear reactors
Gates has been working with China on apioneering nuclear reactor. The Travelling Wave Reactor (TWR) will be the first of its kind and uses cheaper nuclear fuel and produces less radioactive waste than current designs.
The company behind the reactor, TerraPower, says its TWR would help solve safety, environmental and cost issues that bedevil nuclear power.
Lee McIntire, chief executive of TerraPower, told the Global Construction Review: “The TerraPower-CNNC collaboration on advanced nuclear technology aims to benefit the world by pioneering new options in civilian nuclear energy that address safety, environmental and cost concerns.”
Gates is also pro-carbon tax. He said: “Without a substantial carbon tax, there’s no incentive for innovators or plant buyers to switch” to renewable energy.
He wants gender equality in the workplace
The issue of maternity and paternity leave has been cause for debate recently, and some companies have been aiming to close the pay gap and end traditional gender roles around caregiving and breadwinning by offering equal maternity and paternity leave.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) October 8, 2015
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which employs 1,382 people, has done just this, offering up to 52 weeks of paid leave for both mothers and fathers.
This may cause other companies to follow his example.
He wants to change the way we eat
Photo: Impossible foods
Gates has invested in a company, Impossible Foods, which wants to make meat and cheese products, such as burgers, without using any animal products at all.
Digital technology is a powerful tool that can transform the way Africa grows its food. Here’s how:http://t.co/AG71RU1ds1
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) October 16, 2015
Impossible Foods was founded by Patrick Brown, who spent 25 years as a biochemistry professor at Stanford, and it wants to make products which are almost indiscernable from meat and cheese, are more sustainable to make and contain absolutely cholesterol, hormones, or antibiotics.
If this company succeeds, it could help with food shortages around the world, global warming, and public health.
He wants to combat infectious disease
Gates has contributed towards the world’sfirst ever malaria vaccine, which has now been given the green light to be used on babies in sub-Saharan Africa.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) October 23, 2015
Unlike other vaccines that tackle viruses and bacteria, Mosquirix has been designed to prevent illness caused by a parasite. It works by stopping the malaria parasite maturing and multiplying in the liver, after which it would normally enter the patient’s bloodstream and trigger the disease symptoms.
He’s also recently been aiding the fight against polio in developing countries.