The world is in crisis, a loss of confidence in institutions or humanitarian values once thought widely shared that has confused those who want to emphasize global progress against poverty and inequity. As one of the thousand or so attendees at the Skoll World Forum in lovely old Oxford last week, I went as a journalist hoping to gain some reassurance that the emphasis on progress was justified – that there was consensus on the cause of this turmoil, and on the best strategies for moving forward out of crisis.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The annual public letter from Bill and Melinda Gates has become a much-celebrated event in the global development calendar. But the self-described ‘impatient optimists’ paint a picture that is so selective in its use of facts that it amounts to little more than propaganda for a failing industry, and indeed a failing ideology. The 2017 letter is especially striking for just how out-of-sync it feels with the current zeitgeist.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual letter is out, crafted as a thank-you note to fellow billionaire and foundation donor Warren Buffett about the benefit and promise of foreign aid. No big surprises in the 2017 Gates Foundation always optimistic annual letter, repeating many of the gains made in global health through expansion of child vaccinations, reductions in child and maternal mortality and the continuing global trend seeing much less of the more extreme forms of poverty. What’s not said in the letter, or is only referred to somewhat obliquely, is perhaps of more significance.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest philanthropic organization in the world, and is by no means short on funds. But it has been flooded by enough inspired donors to warrant a newly launched public charity, Gates Philanthropic Partners, as a vehicle for individuals who want to further the foundation’s ongoing work.
For today’s Humanosphere podcast, we talk about food and agriculture with Nathanael Johnson, a writer for the entertaining and insightful environmental news website Grist.org.
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For today’s Humanosphere podcast, we are talking to Bernard (Bern) Guri, chairman of an organization in Accra, Ghana, called the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa.
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