In his annual end-of-the-year essay, Bill Gates looks ahead to 2023 and the global challenges he hopes to help combat through his philanthropic work. Childhood disease and death, education, climate change and more concerns make the list.
The Microsoft co-founder said he’s looking at all of it — and the world — through a new lens.
“My older daughter gave me the incredible news that I’ll become a grandfather next year,” Gates wrote of Jennifer Gates, who married Nayel Nassar in October. She announced her pregnancy news three weeks ago on Instagram.
“Simply typing that phrase, ‘I’ll become a grandfather next year,’ makes me emotional,” Gates wrote. “When I think about the world my grandchild will be born into, I’m more inspired than ever to help everyone’s children and grandchildren have a chance to survive and thrive.”
Gates outlined some of the work being done at the Seattle-based Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. And he highlighted areas of attention, particularly in global health, where there have been setbacks as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine and economic instability.
His efforts on clean energy are done through Breakthrough Energy, a fund that targets climate tech startups in the tech-development and company-building phases.
“We need to eliminate global emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050,” Gates wrote. “Getting to zero will be the hardest thing humans have ever done. We need to revolutionize the entire physical economy — how we make things, move around, produce electricity, grow food, and stay warm and cool — in less than three decades.”
The essay is peppered with Gates’ usual optimism for solving big problems and ultimately envisioning a better world. But he does admit that he hit some “personal low points” over the past few years, including the death of his father and the end of his marriage to Melinda French Gates.
“Being wealthy makes my life much more comfortable, but not more fulfilling,” he said. “For that, I need family, friends, and a job where I work on things that matter. I’m grateful to have all three.”