In this recent TED Talk, Bill and Melinda Gates were interviewed by Chris Anderson and discussed the power of philanthropy and their Giving Pledge:
Chris Anderson: When you’re done, 90% of your wealth will be given to the foundation, yes?
Bill Gates & Melinda Gates: Yes.
CA: As you’re trying to convince others to do similarly, how is that going?
BG: We have about 120 people signed on to the Giving Pledge, to give more than half of their assets to philanthropy. We’re not trying to homogenize. The beauty of philanthropy is this mind-blowing diversity.
MG: These are brilliant people. If they put their own minds behind philanthropy, that’s incredible.
CA: So, what’s the pitch?
BG: It’s the most fulfilling thing we’ve ever done. You can’t take it with you. If it’s not good for your kids, let’s get together and brainstorm what can be done. Part of the reason I’m so optimistic is I think philanthropy is going to grow and work on things government is just not good at shining a light on.
CA: There is a terrible inequality problem that seems structural. If more of your peers sign on, will that help?
BG: Yes. If you take from the most wealthy and give it to the least wealthy, that’s good.
MG: But you also change systems. We’re trying to change the education system so it’s just for everybody and it really works. That really changes the inequality balance.
You can check out an abridged transcript here on the TED blog.