In his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Gates calls for a new approach to capitalism that uses market forces to the benefit of all.
There are billions of people who need the great inventions of the computer age, and many more basic needs as well, but they have no way of expressing their needs in ways that matter to the market, so they go without.
If we are going to have a chance of changing their lives, we need another level of innovation. Not just technology innovation, we need system innovation,
We have to find a way to make the aspects of capitalism that serve wealthier people serve poorer people as well.
The challenge here is to design a system where market incentives, including profits and recognition, drive [a company’s principles and its commercial competence] to do more for the poor.
I like to call this idea creative capitalism, an approach where governments, businesses, and nonprofits work together to stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit, or gain recognition, doing work that eases the world’s inequities.
If you don’t have time to listen to his full talk, here’s video of him speaking to the Wall Street Journal about “Creative Capitalism” prior to Davos.
Just for Fun
Not to take away from the seriousness of his talk, but to show Gates as a well-rounded philanthropist with a great sense of humor, here is the video that preceded his speech at CES 2008. Gates has stepped down from his full-time role at Microsoft.
Video: Bill Gates Last Day CES Clip
Duration: 7min 9sec
World Economic Forum in Davos on YouTube