Kicking off a three-state tour of five college campuses, Bill Gates encouraged students at the University of California, Berkeley to get involved in efforts that can change the world, CNET reports.
In his talk, the Microsoft chairman and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said that, with their youthful idealism and open minds, college students represent an important opportunity to get more people working on the world's most challenging issues, including access to health care and broken school systems. At the same time, said Gates, too many students are going into fields such as entertainment, while even those who go into science usually do not end up working on issues relating to global health.
Gates echoed that sentiment at Stanford University, where he noted that while anti-baldness drugs proliferate in America, there is a lack of vaccines to prevent millions of young children from dying in developing countries. "Are the brightest minds
working on the most important problems?" asked Gates. "My view is that we could do a lot better on this, and it would make a huge difference....It's unbelievable how few smart people [are working on global health issues]. You'd be amazed at how little work there is in this area."
During his presentations, America's wealthiest individual showed a single slide depicting the rate of decline in childhood deaths following the advent of key vaccines. What's needed, he said, are more vaccines and broader distribution of those that already exist.
He also gave some advice to those looking to launch a career in philanthropy: Get hands-on experience and commit to it for a while. "When we look at people's resumes [at the Gates Foundation]," he said, "we look to see if there was a long amount of
time that they were willing to get their hands dirty and do the work."
Fried, Ina. "Bill Gates Kicks Off College Tour." CNET 4/19/10.
Gorlick, Adam. "Bill Gates Pushes Students to Focus on the 'Important Problems'." Stanford Report 4/19/10. http://bit.ly/coNS9q