Bill Gates doesn’t run into burning buildings or fight crime with his bare knuckles so we tend not to think of him as a superhero. But, after hearing Jon Stewart of the Daily Show refer to Gates as Batman on a recent television program, Frugaldad.com created a startling infographic to reveal Gates’ superheroesque contributions to the world.
According to the numbers, Gates has saved the lives of 5,812,000 children by delivering improved vaccines and supporting healthcare initiatives across the globe. During his lifetime, he’s also donated more than $28 billion to charitable causes which translates to nearly half of his net worth. More importantly, he’s recruiting his wealthy peers to do the same through the Giving Pledge, a public commitment to donate half of their fortunes to charitable efforts. Already people like Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet and Ted Turner have taken the pledge.
These collective donations are translating to significant healthcare, education and infrastructure investments world-wide. It’s impressive almost beyond measure. I was particularly intrigued by a Gates’ quote in the infographic that read, “If you show people the problems and you show people the solutions, they will be moved to act.”
I think that quote also speaks to our purpose as a design firm. Every day we identify problems and seek solutions to the challenges our clients face in education (see The Third Teacher), sustainability and the built environment (see any number of our innovative projects) and healthcare design and delivery.
The work of Gates, the design profession and countless individuals committed to improving the world continues to change the definition of superhero. We may not wear capes and drive Batmobiles, but we can all make a difference.
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