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Bougainville News : Will the next 15 years see a major breakthrough for most people in poor countries
They will have unprecedented opportunities to get an education, eat nutritious food, and benefit from mobile banking. These breakthroughs will be driven by innovation in technology — ranging from new vaccines and hardier crops to much cheaper smartphones and tablets — and by innovations that help deliver those things to more people.
We see an opportunity and we want to make the most of it.
We’re putting our credibility, time, and money behind this bet — and asking others to join us — because we think there has never been a better time to accelerate progress and have a big impact around the world.
Some will say we’re irrational to make this bet too. A skeptic would look at the world’s problems and conclude that things are only getting worse. And we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that a handful of the worst-off countries will continue to struggle.
But we think the next 15 years will see major breakthroughs for most people in poor countries. They will be living longer and in better health. They will have unprecedented opportunities to get an education, eat nutritious food, and benefit from mobile banking. These breakthroughs will be driven by innovation in technology — ranging from new vaccines and hardier crops to much cheaper smartphones and tablets — and by innovations that help deliver those things to more people.The rich world will keep getting exciting new advances too, but the improvements in the lives of the poor will be far more fundamental — the basics of a healthy, productive life. It’s great that more people in rich countries will be able to watch movies on super hi-resolution screens. It’s even better that more parents in poor countries will know their children aren’t going to die.It is fair to ask whether the progress we’re predicting will be stifled by climate change. The most dramatic problems caused by climate change are more than 15 years away, but the long-term threat is so serious that the world needs to move much more aggressively — right now — to develop energy sources that are cheaper, can deliver on demand, and emit zero carbon dioxide. The next 15 years are a pivotal time when these energy sources need to be developed so they’ll be ready to deploy before the effects of climate change become severe. Bill is investing time in this work personally (not through our foundation) and will continue to speak out about it.
We’re excited to see how much better the world will be in 15 years.
Here are some of the breakthroughs in Education we see coming.
Arizona who are getting their college degrees through online schools.
One of them, Shawn Lee, is a former construction worker who went back to college so he could build a better life for his young son. Shawn told Bill how he had struggled in a traditional school — and how learning online made it much easier to balance school and work.
Yet if we went to a poor country and asked a street vendor about taking online classes, she would just laugh. The idea would seem ridiculous.
It shouldn’t. And one day, it won’t.
Our foundation gives more money to education than to any other cause in the United States because it’s the best lever we’ve seen for giving every child in America a chance to make the most of their lives. Some of the work we fund is focused solely on U.S. students and teachers. But a core piece of it — online courses — will be a global asset, available to anyone with a smartphone or tablet.
As high-speed cell networks grow and smartphones become as cheap as today’s voice-only phones, online education will flourish. For people in rich countries, it will be an important step forward. For the rest of the world, especially in places where growth is creating demand for educated workers, it will be a revolution.
Think back 15 years, to when online education was first gaining traction. It amounted to little more than pointing a camera at a university lecturer and hitting the “record” button. Students couldn’t take online quizzes or connect with each other. It wasn’t interactive at all.