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Bill Gates: “Creative Capitalism” against poverty and disease


Guest Mark Adams
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Guest Mark Adams

Microsoft chairman and co-founder Bill Gates has called for ‘’creative capitalism’’ as a new approach for businesses to help stamp out global poverty and diseases.

 

Addressing the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008 in a session entitled "A New Approach to Capitalism in the 21st Century," Gates said: "The world is getting better, but it is not getting better fast enough, and it is not getting better for everyone.”

 

Gates told the civil society and business leaders present: “We have to find a way to make the aspects of capitalism that serve wealthier people serve poorer people as well. I like to call this idea creative capitalism."

 

He listed several ways for corporations to "stretch the reach of market forces to bring the benefits of science and technology to everyone," and urged CEOs to have their top brains devote a part of their time to solving problems faced by the world’s poor.

 

He cited the example of a partnership between the World Health Organization and an Indian pharmaceutical company to sell meningitis vaccines to poor people in African countries at a controlled price which is lower than competing vaccines.

 

Gates said by harnessing the basic factor that drives capitalism, self-interest, creative capitalism can enhance the interests of the giver and the recipient. He added that it will also help companies to make money through tapping uncharted markets.

 

Gates pointed out that longer life expectancy and advances in science have improved people’s lives. But he added that much needs to be done. One billion people in the world today live on less than US$ 1 a day and have no access to clean water, electricity and other essentials that most people take for granted. He noted that cures for malaria receive less attention than cures for baldness.

 

‘’I am an optimist but I’m an impatient optimist,’’ Gates said. He was delivering his last speech at Davos as a full-time employee of Microsoft. He retires from his full-time Microsoft position at the end of June to concentrate on charitable work through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

 

http://www.weforum.org/en/index.htm

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