Designer+Developer. Started Pixelapse. Love fine food+drinks, great photography, and art. Occasionally write about #tech, #entrepreneurship, #philosophy and #life.

Melinda Gates at Stanford - “Travel to developing countries when you get the chance. Once your eyes are opened, you cannot turn away.”

“You didn’t come to Stanford if you don’t like difficult. Figure out where your passion is and pursue it with vengeance.

Gather experts. Fill in your uncomfortable. Do something now. If you believe in innovation, there are things you can do.”

Today, at Stanford University, Melinda Gates ended her talk urging students to do something now. With innovation, she believed that we can change the world to make it a better place. This was my first time listening to her in-person and I was inspired by her deep passion to help others in need.

Audio podcast:

“All lives have equal value”

Melinda Gates repeatedly emphasized the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s deep belief that all lives have equal value and everyone should be given the same chance.

It takes 10-15 years for drugs innovation to reach developing world. It should be within 1 year.

2 million children were dying from diarrhea years ago. Why were kids dying from simple illness that we could easily cure in developed countries just by going to the drug store? Innovations that we take for granted in developed countries take 10-15 years to reach the developing country. We need to improve the infrastructure to make sure innovations in developed countries can get into the hands of those people in need quickly.

40% of childhood deaths (in 2004) occurred within 30 days after birth.

We can help to significantly reduce childhood deaths with vaccines. However, to reduce babies deaths within 30 days of birth require behavior change. Mothers had to be taught how to keep their babies warm and that they should feed them breast milk.

Family planning can help avert 20 million unsafe abortions and prevent 3 million newborn deaths.

Contraceptive use in Sub-Saharan Africa is only 4 times less than the average developed countries. This causes a 45 times increase in maternal mortality rate.

This info graphic is really good:

Before we can even fix education in developing countries, we need to first make sure newborns can live healthily.

Health is the most important issue. Making sure newborns in developing countries can stay alive healthily is the number priority before other help can come in.

“Travel to developing countries when you get the chance. Once your eyes are opened, you cannot turn away.”

She recalled her story of going to South Africa for a tour to see the wild animals. But it was the people she met that had the most impact on her. “Once my eyes were opened,” she said, “I cannot turn away from what I saw.”

I think traveling more to different countries, to experience different cultures, see different lives, interact with different languages, is the best gift you can ever give yourself.


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