14 Oct 2008
Bill Gates Speaks at Harvard Business School Global Business Summit
ShareBar

BOSTON — Bill Gates, cochair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has donated more than $16 million dollars to help improve global development, global health, and U.S education, spoke yesterday at the Harvard Business School (HBS) Global Business Summit, the culmination of the School's Centennial celebration. He offered his views on what he called "creative capitalism," or the ability of companies to tap into their powers of innovation to empower the poor.

Gates urged more than 2,000 HBS alumni and their guests to engage in activities that expand opportunities for the world's most disadvantaged people. "American business has powers of innovation that are unrivaled," he said. "The idea is to take more of that innovation and think about it in terms of philanthropy."

"Capitalism is incredible," he said, but it fails in that the poor don't have a voice. In addition, measuring the benefits of capitalism in areas such as healthcare and education can be difficult.

According to Gates, every company, from mobile phone makers to food companies, has expertise in specific areas that they can bring to bear on the most important issues facing society around the globe. "It's not just about dollars," he said.