Bill and Melinda Gates Make a Big Bet in Their 2015 Annual Letter

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released its 2015 Gates Annual Letter this week. The letter, titled “Our Big Bet for the Future,” makes a bold prediction: “The lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history. And their lives will improve more than anyone else's.”

The letter envisions four major areas in which new innovations will lead to substantial improvements in the lives of people living in poor countries, specifically: childhood deaths will go down and more diseases will be wiped out, Africa will be able to feed itself, mobile banking will help the poor transform their lives, and better software will revolutionize learning.” The tone of this year’s letter is different, arguably bolder, than their 2013 and 2014 Annual Letters, which focused on the importance of using metrics and measurement to assess progress in combatting poverty and myths about poor people respectively.