Technology has always promised to change the world. However, the world of today demonstrates that it can change technology too.
This was the main thrust of the conversation between Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, and José Antonio Fernández-Carbajal, chairman of the board of Tecnológico de Monterrey. “Rethinking society” was the title of this talk, in which Gates emphasized the importance of applying technology to addressing new global challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic, through a joint effort between government, private companies, and educational institutions.
Gates, who is also co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said that nobody knows exactly how the pandemic will evolve in the future. However, it is essential to continue coordinating efforts to solve the problem.
“We have to invest for the future with the aid of government and private companies. We’re lucky that the internet works better than it did 10 years ago. Back then, everything would have been harder than it is now,” said Gates during the conversation, which was broadcast online exclusively for the community of this institution and presented by Raul Rodríguez-Barocio, Associate VP for International Affairs at Tecnológico de Monterrey.
According to Gates, the main goals on which countries and institutions should collaborate are making the right investments, particularly towards making prompt medical diagnoses, implementing innovative strategies for solutions, and obtaining a vaccine as soon as possible.
“Innovative people and universities have to be supported by government so that they can develop on the right track,” he emphasized. He also declared himself to be an optimist in terms of humanity becoming better prepared to face global challenges such as the pandemic and climate change, thanks to novel instruments from the modern age.
“We have better artificial intelligence tools and greater understanding of biology. This situation is a test for the technological development that we have achieved so far,” said the co-founder of the Microsoft software company.
The future of the pandemic
According to this visionary from the United States, “contagion will fall as a larger number of people get infected, and the vaccine is necessary to accelerate this immunity.”
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation operates by providing financial support to research institutions that are focused on this goal, which must also be accompanied by appropriate decisions from government.
“There have to be policies and resources to achieve the goal. I think the pandemic will be reduced in 2021 and maybe come to an end in 2022. Meanwhile, the damage is enormous. Certain sectors such as tourism are going to be severely affected, and they’ll have to be rebuilt,” explained the businessman.
The word “innovation” came up often in the message that Gates shared with the members of the Tec community, in the sense that global issues cannot be solved successfully without it. He said it should be clear to humanity that hard times only bring out the best in us, as we’ve seen throughout history.
Likewise, Gates said he expects society will become more compassionate and support more altruistic projects.
“I hope that people will be more philanthropic in future. If people are more empathetic, everyone benefits,” said Gates.