Eeyore has lost his tail, and Winnie the Pooh and his friends hold a contest to get him a new one. These days I get to spend a lot of time trying to advance innovation that improves people’s lives in the same way that fertilizer did. We went on a Safari to see wild animals but ended up getting our first sustained look at extreme poverty. There’s no single lightbulb moment when I changed my mind about that, but I tend to trace it back to a trip Melinda and I took to Africa in 1993. That was the beginning of our education in the problems of the world’s poorest people. One way you can find that leverage point is to look for a problem that markets and governments aren’t paying much attention to. We work to draw in not just governments but also businesses, because that’s where most innovation comes from.
Rich-world governments need to maintain or even increase foreign aid, which has saved millions of lives and helped many more people lift themselves out of poverty. Here are just a few examples of recent designs from the Keep Calm-o-Matic creative community. Please fill out the form below and tell us why you're bringing this poster to our attention. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Two out of every five people on Earth today owe their lives to the higher crop outputs that fertilizer has made possible. It can be easy to conclude otherwise—as I write this essay, more than 100,000 people have died in a civil war in Syria, and big problems like climate change are bearing down on us with no simple solution in sight.
If we want to accelerate progress, we need to actively pursue the same kind of breakthroughs achieved by Haber, Sabin, and Salk. We want to give our wealth back to society in a way that has the most impact, and so we look for opportunities to invest for the largest returns.
The success of Microsoft provided me with an enormous fortune, and I felt responsible for using it in a thoughtful way. We went on a safari to see wild animals but ended up getting our first sustained look at extreme poverty. In 1996 my father sent us a New York Times article about the million children who were dying every year from rotavirus, a disease that doesn’t kill kids in rich countries. Although aid from the rich world saves a lot of lives, governments habitually underinvest in research and development, especially for the poor. That’s what Melinda and I did when we saw how little notice global health got in the mid-1990s.
To me one of the great tragedies of our education system is that teachers get so little help identifying and learning from those who are most effective. It helps when policymakers hear from voters, especially in tough economic times, when they’re looking for ways to cut budgets.


Click through to see more designs, create your own, share designs and purchase customised products. It's a relief to know that my hair can go from short to long in just a matter of minutes! It’s a relief to know that my hair can go from short to long in just a matter of minutes! It helped fuel the Green Revolution, an explosion of agricultural productivity that lifted hundreds of millions of people around the world out of poverty.
Another example: Polio cases are down more than 99 percent in the past 25 years, not because the disease is going away on its own but because Albert Sabin and Jonas Salk invented polio vaccines and the world rolled out a massive effort to deliver them. But if you take the long view, by almost any measure of progress we are living in history’s greatest era. That means tackling the world’s biggest problems and funding the most likely solutions. I remember peering out a car window at a long line of women walking down the road with big jerricans of water on their heads. A friend gave me a copy of a World Development Report from the World Bank that spelled out in detail the problems with childhood diseases. Corporations weren’t working on vaccines or drugs for diseases that affected primarily the poor.
I saw firsthand just how wide that gap was when I visited a slum in Durban, South Africa, in 2009. For one thing, they’re averse to risk, given the eagerness of political opponents to exploit failures, so they have a hard time giving money to a bunch of innovators with the knowledge that many of them will fail. Together Melinda and I found a few areas that cried out for philanthropy—in particular for what I have called catalytic philanthropy. Children were dying of measles for lack of a vaccine that cost less than 25 cents, which meant there was a big opportunity to save a lot of lives relatively cheaply. As we talked with instructors about what they needed, it became clear that a smart application of technology could make a big difference. We fill a function that government cannot—making a lot of risky bets with the expectation that at least a few of them will succeed.
I hope people let their representatives know that aid works and that they care about saving lives.
Og MandinoEveryday, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.
This system is responsible for many of the great advances that have improved the lives of billions—from airplanes to air-conditioning to computers. Seeing the open-pit latrine there was a humbling reminder of just how much I take modern plumbing for granted.
At that point, governments and other backers can help scale up the successful ones, a much more comfortable role for them. People who say things like that never have a convincing explanation for who will make drugs or low-cost carbon-free energy.


Right now researchers are using satellite images to study soil health and help poor farmers plan their harvests more efficiently.
I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. When we made our first big grant for malaria research, it nearly doubled the amount of money spent on the disease worldwide—not because our grant was so big, but because malaria research was so underfunded. The state of California alone budgets roughly $68 billion annually for K-12, more than 100 times what our foundation spends in the entire United States.
And if they want, they should be able to record themselves in the classroom and then review the video with a coach. They funded Norman Borlaug’s research on new strains of high-yielding wheat, which sparked the Green Revolution. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. You could make a good case for poverty, disease, hunger, war, poor education, bad governance, political instability, weak trade, or mistreatment of women. I figured, therefore, that I could help the most by creating an institute where the best minds would come to do research. You’re working in a global economy worth tens of trillions of dollars, so any philanthropic effort is relatively small. So now we’re working with teachers and several school districts around the country to set up systems that give teachers the feedback and support they deserve. If you want to have a big impact, you need a leverage point—a way to put in a dollar of funding or an hour of effort and benefit society by a hundred or a thousand times as much.
But today all the people who have escaped poverty represent a huge market opportunity—and now companies are flocking to serve them. If you begin with that premise, you quickly see where the world acts as though some lives aren’t worth as much as others.
That’s where you can make the greatest difference, where every dollar you spend is liable to have the greatest impact. UnknownDevelop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.
Brian TracyWhen you know what you want,and you want it badly enough, you’ll find a way to get it .
Jim RohnPeace is not something you wish for,  it is something you make, something you are, something you do, and something you give away.



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