The world’s richest man shares his thoughts on the big issues…and how he helps 57



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Bill Gates is one of the world’s richest people however the focus is rarely on his philanthropic efforts – he’s an example of someone who uses their abundance of money for good. In a recent Reddit Ask Me Anything (a forum where anyone can ask questions to famous, influential and interesting people), Bill took the time out to talk to people and talk about the issues our media lets fall by the wayside.

Recently, Bill Gates created a sewage water system called Omniprocessor (affectionately know as the ‘poop water machine’) which can turn raw sewage into clean drinking water with no difference to tap water at all…other than it has no chemicals or nasty bacteria. When asked what the main obstacle to the success of the system in third world country is, Bill said, “Sewage is a problem. Since it costs money to process it just gets dumped in slums in poor countries. The system the rich world uses of pumping in clean water and pumping it to a processing plant is too expensive. One team… is send[ing] a prototype machine to Senegal later this year. Getting rid of sewage helps a lot to reduce disease and improve living conditions”. He hopes to have his sewage water processor in dozens of cities within 5 years however “the timeframe is longer than I would like…but we can scale up fast after that”.

Other users, who clearly care about world issues and Bill’s opinion on them, asked about agricultural practices in Africa and how the average person can help Africa’s starvation problem. Bill Gates believes that government aid is making a huge difference but African productivity needs to be raised to avoid malnutrition and to lift themselves out of poverty.

But how does a busy man like Bill decide on what causes he and his wife Melinda focus on? “There are a lot of great causes”, Bill says. “It is important not to be frozen trying to pick since it is important to specialise and really learn the area you are trying to help. We picked health inequity as our global thing and educational inequity as our national thing and most of our projects fit into these areas. Part of the beauty of philanthropy is the diversity of causes and approaches that get tried. It is far more risk oriented than government or private sector spending which makes it special when it is done right”.

Lately, there has been more and more debate on vaccination against common diseases. Bill said that vaccines have improved life in poorer countries and that being able to grow up healthily is a basic need. He also shared why he believes it’s important to eradicate diseases such a polio, and said that polio is a big focus for him as he works with African countries.

While some may think that technology is making us less intelligent, one of the pioneers of today’s technological advances doesn’t think so. Bill says that “Technology is not making people less intelligent. If you just look at the complexity people like in entertainment you can see a big change over my lifetime. Technology is letting people get their questions answered better so they stay more curious”.

And what has been his hardest challenge so far? The fight against HIV and the tough scientific issues.

It really makes you think when someone so influential could choose to talk about anything he wanted or to self promote, yet Bill Gates is out there doing and giving. There are more issues out in the world than who our Prime Minister is or what that celebrity is wearing…. but what do you think?


Is Bill Gates setting a good example? Should more focus be on the bigger world issues rather than what’s going on in Canberra? Should the news report on more world problems than what it does now? 

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  1. It is a shame that people like Gina Rinehart did not help Australia more, Bill Gates has done much good with his money and will be remembered for that

    4 REPLY
    • Her wealth is inherited and she has the hide to critise the unemployed! She knows she can’t take it with her so give her family her due and do good with the remainder.

    • Yes it was inherited , and her children’s inheritance , so not handing it over to her family makes her what ? Thief or what ?
      I don’t agree with her , but I don’t know her personally or what really happened in that family . But it’s her money and her children’s . So WHY do YOU think she should give it away . No- one has the right to tell people what they should do with their money . People who work for her are well paid . Maybe if you have extra money you should give some away .

      1 REPLY
      • Gina’s inheritance stemmed from the earth in WA’s northwest. How about she gave something back to the state!! With our water problem which is only going to get worse over the years, there are trillions of gallons underground in the northwest. How about she paid for a pipeline from the northwest to the city, which could be tapped into other regional centres. It could be called ‘the Gina Rinehart’ or Hancock/Rinehart pipeline. She has more than enough money for this, and would be remembered for future generations. Give something back to the state. Could only make you feel good.

    • Gina sees australians as lazy slothful wasreful people whi do not deserve one cent of HER HARD WON WEALTH except for the obligatory donations for tax reduction and even that hurts mightily.

  2. Have the greatest admiration for Bill Gates but why “Aids” why not Cancer which affects a great deal more people and is not preventable. Doesn’t seem to matter what we do Cancer has affected so many people and creates such a big ripple effect amongst families.

    7 REPLY
    • I am guessing this ..ok this is not fact, but from what I can gather the Aides virus keeps mutating, I think they are trying to eradicate it so it does not mutate into something that is air borne and can infect us all

    • I believe that if you look a bit further into the Gates Foundation you will find they also support cancer research.

    • Aids isn’t limited to the gay elements of the worlds populace. It’s way more complicated and has a greater death rate than Ebola

    • Are you saying that children’s cancer is due to lifestyle? If there was a reason for cancer then we would have a cure.

    • Aids in africa is a hetrosexual disease not a homosexual disease and thousand and thiusands of children are being orphaned by this plague and many of these .npoor helpless little souls are also infected by this insidious disease …and ….that is why Bill Gates has elected to try and help eradicate this scurge.

    • Julie Claire De Somer please read a book and become informed young children and babies get cancer cardiovascular disease and diabetes it can hardly be blamed on “POOR LIFESTYLE”

  3. I am so impressed that his actions seem to speak louder than his words. True philanthropy. The top 10% ers could change this world for the better.

  4. So what is he, SOS? The “the world’s richest” or “one of the world’s richest”? Contradiction in headline and also in linked article! I believe the richest is a Mexican – can’t remember his name.

    4 REPLY
  5. Bill Gates has chosen well, sewerage and the food bowl. I am glad he is helping others, it is nice his money is being used….other people in great financial positions could do so much. We are just middle class but would love to be able to help as well

  6. He puts his money where his mouth is. Ok he’s wealthy. But puts his money to good use. And talks sense.

  7. What a wonderful man. He and his wife have dedicated their lives to help others. We need more of his ilk. I saw him interviewed a while ago, he said he will not be leaving his wealth to his children, wants them to find their own way. Bravo!

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