How to become a socially responsible businessman? The story of Bill Gates
Bill Gates, is the founder of Microsoft and one of the wealthiest individuals in the world, with an estimated net worth of $90 billion. Along with being a genius, inventor and businessman, he is also dubbed as being the single most charitable person in the world.
His way of thinking can be attributed to the fact that over the years, Bill Gates has made it a culture to embark on a biannual seven-day isolated retreat to a Pacific Northwest two-story cabin. Here, he detaches himself completely from the outer world. No technology, family, friends and staff, except for a caretaker that keeps him stocked with two simple meals and Diet Orange Crush sodas.
During this time, he reads newspaper articles, books, industry news and Microsoft reports, jotting down responses and actively thinking on new ideas. This strategy has helped him come up with innovative ideas, including the “Tidal Wave” memo, in which Gates figured out how internet would change everything, giving a comprehensive analysis on what might happen and how Microsoft would respond. This was circulated throughout Microsoft. His “Think Week” has also led to the innovations in the idea for Microsoft’s Tablet PC and other well-known innovations.
He was the CEO of Microsoft Corporation until the year 2000 and is currently in an advisory position to CEO Satya Nadella. His main focus has now shifted from Microsoft to his philanthropic efforts, mostly through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Well known for his giving nature and charitable efforts, that span at a global level, he is also one of the most generous people, trying to make the world a better place.
Along with having his own Foundation, he is also the co-founder of “The Giving Pledge,” which encourages other billionaires to give back to the society as well.
He has, at times, reiterated his wish to have had his technical talents sooner, through which he could have helped people at an early age, further calling on people with background in science, technology, engineering and math to steer the world in a better direction through global health and development.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Even though over the years, Bill Gates has been supporting numerous charities, his philanthropic achievement is owed to creation of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The unique perspectives with which the foundation uses vast resources available at their disposal, helps them to look at issues and challenges on a global level rather than it being regional.
During the past few years, Bill Gates has donated over 30 billion dollars through just his foundation alone.
The Foundation was a way for Bill and his Wife, Melinda Gates to further push their passion for child welfare. The foundation, which is the largest private charity in the world, aims to improve healthcare, reduce global poverty and provide educational opportunities to Americans.
The Foundation operates under different sections, catering to projects and programs globally.
· Global Health
The Global Health program focusses on ensuring that advanced health practices are reached to the people who need it the most. This effort aims to bring advancement in science and technology to developing countries, by saving lives through supporting easy access to healthcare for all people. This also includes funding research and the eradication of harmful diseases like Diarrhea, HIV, Malaria, Tuberculosis, Pneumonia, tropical diseases, along with the development of vaccines, maintaining maternal and child health and epidemiology.
· Global Development
The Foundation helps countries to overcomes challenges of poverty and hunger by focusing on efforts advocate for policy changes to help reduce and ultimately eliminate poverty in the world.
The Global Development Division helps in reducing health inequities, providing everyone the opportunity to lead a healthy life via innovative infrastructures to reach people in need.
This division also focusses on providing emergency response development efforts, family planning, delivery of integrated health services, eradication of polio and delivery of vaccines.
· United States Programs
The U.S. programs are focused on ensuring that all students graduate from high school, well-prepared for college and postsecondary education. The main issue that the program works to address is social inequity and poverty, providing equal opportunities to allow people to attain better education and libraries. The program also provides grants and community partnerships to individuals in Pacific Northwest to avoid homelessness.
The foundation supports a number of individuals through this program and provides special incentives including emergency relief services and postsecondary education grants.
Bill & Melinda Gates’ Foundation Core Values
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation operates based on four core values that describe their charitable work:
Bill Gates’ Charity Work
Bill Gates has been an avid philanthropist ever since he gained recognition as the founder of Microsoft. A few highlights of how he has impacted the globe with his charitable efforts:
· Children with Aids
Bill Gates has supported the Children With Aids Charity (CWAC), aimed at working towards helping young HIV/AIDS victims to bring them out of poverty and help them maintain a high quality of life through proper healthcare and emotional healing. The UK-bases charity was established in 1992.
· Children’s Vaccine Program & The Lunchbox Fund
Bill Gates, in an effort to bring focus to the importance of children’s health, contributed seed money for a fund aimed at providing vaccines to children all around the world. The program operates through GAVI, with Gates Foundation being an important partner in helping realize the projects true purpose.
Bill Gates found The Lunchbox Fund in 2004, to help improve health and academic performance of children, by providing them free lunch at schools. The fund provided these disadvantaged children with healthy meals.
The Gates Foundation continues to support people in need all around the globe and continues to expand with each passing day. The Foundation has been honored with countless awards, including the Prince of Asturias Award and the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development.
Gates explains: “The vast majority of the wealth, over 95 per cent, goes to the foundation, which will spend all that money within 20 years after neither of us are around anymore.”
Even Warren Buffet, an American businessman, investor, philanthropist and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has so far given away $17.5 billion via the Gates Foundation. Buffets Net worth is approximately $82 billion.