Looking to the Future: Innovation, Philanthropy, and Global Leadership
March 24, 2017, was a special day for Peking University. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Honorable Trustee of Peking University, visited PKU for the second time, giving a speech entitled Looking to the Future: Innovation, Philanthropy, and Global Leadership.
The event of the night was entitled The Gates to Success 2.0. The “2.0” here expresses that it is Mr. Gates second time visiting PKU; his last visit was in 2011. During The Gates to Success 2.0, Professor Lin Yifu, a prestigious Chinese economist, Dean of the PKU Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, and Honorary Dean of the National School of Development of Peking University, held a dialogue with Mr. Gates. In his introduction, Professor Lin quoted Gates, “the market cannot and will not address all the issues in the world today… and we have the possibility and opportunity to make a difference”.
Professor Lin Yifu introducing Bill Gates
Gates expressed his appreciation for China’s work, also holding high expectations that China will take a leading role in solving many of the future global crises. His speech was further divided into health, agriculture, energy, and technology, which illustrates how we should utilize our passion and knowledge to contribute to human development. He pointed out that China’s close relationships with other developing countries is beneficial, as China will help bring about a better world via cooperation. To conclude his speech, Mr. Gates encouraged all of us to strive for our dreams and to make the world a better place, “...this is the best time and the best place to do it, and all of you have a great opportunity.”
Bill Gates giving his speech
After Gates speech, Professor Lin read a letter from Doctor Tu Youyou, the 2015 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine. In her letter, Dr. Tu expressed her gratitude to the Foundation on their continued efforts on combating diseases like malaria and tuberculosis. She also reported on her team’s progress on artemisinin research as well as the development and application of traditional Chinese medicine. She explained that China’s successes could serve as a model in assisting other developing countries to save more lives, which echoed Mr. Gates’ sentiments.
Next, Mr. Gates and Professor Lin engaged in a dialogue. During thedialogue, Gates delved further into China’s important role in foreign aid. Moreover, he revealed his Foundation’s close collaboration with China, that they are not only helping China eradicate extreme poverty, but also assisting other countries that are facing similar challenges. Thus, the Foundation has already established a partnership with the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Agriculture to promote sustainable agricultural development throughout the Africa. Gates also commented on recent global news by explaining that countries should not look inwards, but that they should build a better world together; countries should reach out to help each other, no matter through money, resources, or by sharing experiences.
The dialogue between Professor Lin and Mr. Gates
After the dialogue, Mr. Gates held a question and answer session with PKU students. Students were mostly interested in Gates’ philanthropy and the global issues that we face.
Kolawole Omole, Special Assistant to the Vice-President of Nigeria, student of the Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, PKU
Ai Xinya, School of Journalism and Communication
At the end of the event, Liu Wei, a former table tennis world champion and current PKU professor, on behalf of PKU, gave Mr. Gates a giant table tennis bat signed by China’s table tennis world champions.
Former table tennis world champion Liu Wei presenting a gift to Mr. Gates