Conclusion I still can’t predict precisely how, or when, these changes will take hold. The beauty of innovation is that once the technology and tools are widely available, people with every possible insight and point of view start working on solutions to problems others can’t even see. Ultimately, it’s the way human beings, with our vast stores of ingenuity, deploy the power of the technology and tools that makes the biggest difference.
AUTHOR’S PERSONAL STORY I’m a city boy at heart. I grew up in Seattle, spent most of my free time reading and writing software, and probably didn’t set foot on a farm until I was in my forties. But for the past fifteen years I’ve been spending more and more time with farmers, especially in the world’s poorest countries, and learning lots about agriculture. The Gates Foundation is trying to reduce inequity, and there’s no better place to see inequity in action than on a farm in, say, Rwanda. The farmers are ingenious and optimistic, but the seeds are poor. The soil is poor. Pests and disease are prevalent. The yields are low. The reasons for this have everything to do with circumstances, or bad luck. Change the circumstances, and farmers can change their lives. I’ve seen many examples of farmers who’ve become prosperous because they finally got access to the tools and training they need. I’m still a city boy at heart, but now I also get excited about how things like crop rotation can improve the future for hundreds of millions of people.
Bill Gates is Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation