Wednesday, 18 December 2019

able to show that a program is vaccinating millions

able to show that a program is vaccinating millions more children.You have to 

be able to show a decline in the number of children dying from these

diseases.This is essential not just to improve the program, but also to help

draw more investmentfrom business and government.But if you want to inspire

people to participate, you have to show more than numbers; you haveto convey

the human impact of the work – so people can feel what saving a life means

tothe families affected.I remember going to Davos some years back and sitting

on a global health panel thatwas discussing ways to save millions of

lives.Millions!Think of the thrill of saving just one person’s life – then

multiply that by millions.… Yet this was the most boring panel I’ve ever been

on – ever.So boring even I couldn’t bear it.What made that experience

especially striking was that I had just come from an event wherewe were

introducing version 13 of some piece of software, and we had people jumping

andshouting with excitement.I love getting people excited about software – but

why can’t we generate even moreexcitement for saving lives?You can’t get

people excited unless you can help them see and feel the impact.And how you do

that – is a complex question.Still, I’m optimistic.Yes, inequity has been with

us forever, but the new tools we have to cut through complexityhave not been

with us forever.They are new – they can help us make the most of our caring –

and that’s why thefuture can be different from the past.The defining and

ongoing innovations of this age – biotechnology, the computer, the Internet–

give us a chance we’ve never had before to end extreme poverty and end death

frompreventable disease.Sixty years ago, George Marshall came to this

commencement and announced a plan to assistthe nations of post-war Europe.He

said: “I think one difficulty is that the problem is one of such enormous

complexitythat the very mass of facts presented to the public by press and

radio make it exceedinglydifficult for the man in the street to reach a clear

appraisement of the situation.It is virtually impossible at this distance to

grasp at all the real significance of thesituation.”Thirty years after

Marshall made his address, as my class graduated without me, technologywas

emerging that would make the world smaller, more open, more visible, less

distant.The emergence of low-cost personal computers gave rise to a powerful

network that has transformedopportunities for learning and communicating.The

magical thing about this network is not just that it collapses distance and

makeseveryone your neighbor.It also dramatically increases the number of

brilliant minds we can have working togetheron the same problem – and that

scales up the rate of innovation to a staggering degree.At the same time, for

every person in the world who has access to this technology, fivepeople

don’t.That means many creative minds are left out of this discussion — smart

people with practicalintelligence and relevant experience who don’t have the

technology to hone their talentsor contribute their ideas to the world.We need

as many people as possible to have access to this technology, because these

advancesare triggering a revolution in what human beings can do for one

another.They are making it possible not just for national governments, but for

universities, corporations,smaller organizations, and even individuals to see

problems, see approaches, and measurethe impact of their efforts to address

the hunger, poverty, and desperation George Marshallspoke of 60 years

ago.Members of the Harvard Family: Here in the Yard is one of the great