Bill Gates: A New Approach to Capitalism in the 21st Century

Transcript of Gates speech, and a Q&A at World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

Schwab: Would you see -- you speak about a transformation, a gradual transformation, hopefully gradually in a very fast sense, but what could governments do in order to enhance this transformation, for example, tax regimes or do you see any -- would you have any advice for governments?

Gates: Well, I mentioned in the speech the thing that happened in the United States. It didn't get much visibility, which is this fast track grant in the FDA.

I didn't mention this idea of advanced market commitment, which has now been applied to a particular vaccine for pneumonia and pneumococcal vaccine there's a fund of a billion and a half dollars -- virtually all government money, a little bit of foundation money -- that is out there for any manufacturer that can meet the product specification. And in that case we picked a development that should be reasonably within the reach of a couple of the drug companies, and so it should get them to make the leap to make the modifications to the rich world vaccine to add a few things to it and make it suitable for the developing world markets, and yet be able to tier that so it's not taking away from what they're doing today.

So, advance market commitment is one of the great new ideas, and I think we'll see that applied in a number of new ways.

You know, we have the Doha trade agreement which has some provisions that are to help the developing countries, so it would be kind of tragic if those things can't be resolved. I mean, the benefits of allowing trade over time accrue to be even bigger than a lot of the direct aid that gets done.

Schwab: Let me ask you a last question, Bill. Now you are doing yourself this transition into a new function, and you leave behind a legacy of having transformed the world into I would say an information society.

Now if you look forward at your next career step -- career may be not the right word here -- but at your next life phase, what would you like to see as your legacy in 10, 15 years?

Gates: Of the new work?

Schwab: Of the new work, of your new function.

Gates: Well, I've set very ambitious goals, because I'm quite optimistic. If you look at say the 20 diseases that our global health program goes after, I'd hope that within 15 years over half of those we could have had a very dramatic impact.

Some of them will prove to be harder than others. For example, AIDS we will have made an improvement, but not the dramatic improvement probably in that timeframe. Malaria perhaps, and a number of the other ones we have things in the pipeline.

So, huge change in the mortality rates in the developing countries, which then has this effect of reducing population growth. That's this big benefit that then makes everything like education and nutrition a lot easier.

So, I have very high expectations there, and we actually use these dashboards internally at the foundation to make everything be quite numeric. We're trying to be rigorous about that, and even share those so that people can see, oh, you fell short of what you had in mind, and then we get to explain if we have any lessons that might be learnable from other foundations.

So, I think there are some things about how we go about things that I hope those learnings can have an impact. There is the specific work in different divisions: health, development, and the U.S. education work.

But in 15 years, boy, by then we will have spent a lot of money. At US$3 billion a year, and 15 years, that adds up, and for that people should have a very high expectation of what we can do.

Schwab: Thank you, Bill, for having brought to us this evening a very enlightened view of capitalism. I hope many will follow you. We will facilitate it in any case, because that's the mission of the World Economic Forum. And I'm looking forward to, if I may say so, to welcome you back in your new incarnation next year. Thank you.

Gates: Thank you.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Bill Gates

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?