The blog of Bill Gates
gatesnotes
The blog of Bill Gates

A Packed 36 Hours in Berlin

Log in
|
Sign up
 
GO
Your search for "", with selected filters, does not match any posts. Please try again with a different search term or reset filters.

Popular searches include: Books, Malaria, and Future of Food.
RELATED ARTICLES ON
Logout:


Become a Gates Notes Insider
Become a Gates Notes Insider
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.
Already joined? Log in
spacer
LOG IN
SIGN UP
Sign up with your social account:
Sign up
Sign up
Or sign up with email:
TITLE
FIRST NAME
LAST NAME
EMAIL
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
PASSWORD
ADDRESS
Why are we collecting this information? Gates Notes may send a welcome note or other exclusive Insider mail from time to time. Additionally, some campaigns and content may only be available to users in certain areas. Gates Notes will never share and distribute your information with external parties.
ADDRESS LINE 1
Bill may send you a welcome note or other exclusive Insider mail from time to time. We will never share your information.
ADDRESS LINE 2
CITY
STATE / PROVINCE / REGION
ZIP / POSTAL CODE
COUNTRY
Sign up
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, subscribe to your favorite topics and more. We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign Up FAQ. By clicking "Sign Up" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
Street address
City
postal_town
State Zip code
administrative_area_level_2
Country
Data
Personal Information
Title
First name
Last name
Save
Cancel
Email address
This email is already registered
Save
Cancel
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Password
Save
Cancel
Address
ADDRESS LINE 1
ADDRESS LINE 2
CITY
STATE / PROVINCE / REGION
ZIP / POSTAL CODE
COUNTRY
Save
Cancel
Email & Notification Settings
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
Send me comment notifications via email
On-screen comment notifications
Interests
+ Saving Lives
+ Energy Innovation
+ Improving Education
+ Alzheimer's
+ Philanthropy
+ Book Reviews
+ About Bill Gates
Deactivate Account
Click the link below to begin the account deactivation process. Deactivate account If you want to permanently delete your account and remove its content, please send us a request here.
Ok
Gates Notes Insider Sign Up FAQ

Q. How do I create a Gates Notes account?

A. There are three ways you can create a Gates Notes account:

  • Sign up with Facebook. We’ll never post to your Facebook account without your permission.
  • Sign up with Twitter. We’ll never post to your Twitter account without your permission.
  • Sign up with your email. Enter your email address during sign up. We’ll email you a link for verification.

Q. Will you ever post to my Facebook or Twitter accounts without my permission?

A. No, never.

Q. How do I sign up to receive email communications from my Gates Notes account?

A. In Account Settings, click the toggle switch next to “Send me updates from Bill Gates.”

Q. How will you use the Interests I select in Account Settings?

A. We will use them to choose the Suggested Reads that appear on your profile page.

spacer
BACK
Forgot your password?
Enter the email you used to sign up and a reset password link will be sent to you.
EMAIL
This email is already registered. Enter a new email, try signing in or retrieve your password
Reset Password
Bill's Suggested Posts
I've read this book
Books to Read
Reset your password.
Set New Password
Your password has been reset. You will now be redirected to the sign in page, or you can click here
Ok
Get emails from Bill Gates
Send me updates from Bill
You must provide an email
Send me comment notifications via email
On-screen comment notifications
This email is already registered
Continue
We will never share or spam your email address. For more information see our Sign up FAQ. By clicking "Continue" you agree to the Gates Notes Terms of Use / Privacy Policy.
You're in!
You're in!
Please check your email and click the link provided to verify your account.
Didn't get an email from us? Resend verification email
spacer
Update Your Profile Information
UPLOAD A PROFILE PICTURE
your image
Uh Oh!
The image you are trying to upload is either too big or is an unacceptable format. Please upload a .jpg or .png image that is under 25MB.
Ok
Title
First name
Last name
Save
Cancel
Email address
This email is already registered
Save
Cancel
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
EMAIL AND NOTIFICATION SETTINGS
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
Send me comment notifications via email
On-screen comment notifications
SELECT YOUR INTERESTS
+ Saving Lives
+ Energy Innovation
+ Improving Education
+ Alzheimer's
+ Philanthropy
+ Book Reviews
+ About Bill Gates
Continue
Confirm Account Deactivation
Are you sure you want to deactivate your account?
Deactivating your account will unsubscribe you from Gates Notes emails, and will remove your profile and account information from public view on the Gates Notes. Please allow for 24 hours for the deactivation to fully process. You can sign back in at any time to reactivate your account and restore its content.
Deactivate My Acccount
Go Back
Your Gates Notes account has been deactivated.
Come back anytime.
Welcome back
In order to unsubscribe you will need to sign-in to your Gates Notes Insider account
Once signed in just go to your Account Settings page and set your subscription options as desired.
Sign In
Request account deletion
We’re sorry to see you go. Your request may take a few days to process; we want to double check things before hitting the big red button. Requesting an account deletion will permanently remove all of your profile content. If you’ve changed your mind about deleting your account, you can always hit cancel and deactivate instead.
Submit
Cancel
Thank You! Your request has been sent
Please complete your account verification. Resend verification email.
This verification token has expired.
Your email address has been verified. Update my profile.
Your account has been deactivated. Sign up to re-activate your account.
View all newsletters in the newsletter archive
You are now unsubscribed from receiving emails.
Sorry, we were unable to unsubscribe you at this time.

Thanks for visiting the Gates Notes.
We'd like your feedback.

Yes, I'll take the survey No thanks
Become a
Gates Notes Insider
Join the Gates Notes community to access exclusive content, comment on stories, participate in giveaways, and more.
SIGN UP
The blog of Bill Gates
A Packed 36 Hours in Berlin
Follow
Next
 
Profile & Settings
Sign Out
Profile & Settings
Sign Out
Hello,
Profile & Settings
Comment History
Sign Out
Please complete your account verification. Resend verification email.
today
This verification token has expired.
today
Your email address has been verified. Update my profile.
today
Your account has been deactivated. Sign up to re-activate your account.
today
View all newsletters in the newsletter archive
today
You are now unsubscribed from receiving emails.
today
Sorry, we were unable to unsubscribe you at this time.
today
0
0
0
Please complete your account verification. Resend verification email.
today
This verification token has expired.
today
Your email address has been verified. Update my profile.
today
Your account has been deactivated. Sign up to re-activate your account.
today
View all newsletters in the newsletter archive
today
You are now unsubscribed from receiving emails.
today
Sorry, we were unable to unsubscribe you at this time.
today
Back to profile
Comment History
You have not left any comments yet.
title
in reply to
name
description
It looks like you're using an older version of Internet Explorer which may not display all the features on this site. Upgrade Now » close
Black Tie at Bambi

A Packed 36 Hours in Berlin

I spent two days in Berlin this week. My visit brought me into contact with artists and activists, politicians, scientists, actors, and even rock stars. Not bad for 36 hours.

The main reason I’d come to town was to accept a Bambi Millennium Award that was being given to Melinda and me for our work in global health and development. The Bambis are a bit like the German Oscars, though they honor people in the arts, culture, and politics. (You can learn a bit more about the awards and their background here.) It’s televised live across Germany and has some categories where the audience votes during the show for the winners.
 
It was a real honor for Melinda and me to be recognized. Melinda is in Ethiopia this week, so I represented us both, and spent my few moments on stage thanking Germany for their leadership in foreign aid and their support of exactly the kind of work we were being recognized for. I also asked the audience to stay involved, and keep working for better health and well-being for people in poor countries who are benefiting so directly from foreign aid.

Bill Gates accepting Bambi award in Berlin, November 2013

The event included a traditional red carpet walk, with a whole lot of spectators and photographers. I was a little surprised at the cheers that went up when I got out of the car, but then I realized that most of the screaming from many of the young people lined up (mostly teenage girls) was for Robbie Williams, who’d arrived just ahead of me. It still was a lot of fun and not the kind of thing I get to do very often.

Bill Gates and Robbie Williams in Berlin, November 2013

It’s a particularly interesting time to be in Berlin because recently reelected Chancellor Angela Merkel is deep in negotiations to form a coalition government since elections in late September. She’s tremendously busy doing this, but took time to meet with me privately. It was a great meeting.

Angela Merkel and Bill Gates in Berlin, November 2013 

Germany’s support of foreign aid has produced remarkable outcomes for poor people around the world. In 2007, they pledged to work toward getting to 0.7 percent of their GDP in foreign oversees assistance. In the meantime, the world economic crisis and the euro crisis intervened, and in 2011 their aid spending was 0.39 percent instead of 0.7. So there is a great opportunity for Germany to increase its commitments and impact.  Still, in 2011 Germany was second overall in total foreign aid, behind only the United States. (The U.K. overtook Germany this year.)

Official Development Aid Infographic 700px

Chancellor Merkel cares a lot about Africa, and as a scientist, she is keenly interested in developments in disease and global health. We agree on a great many things, and I hope this next term of office and her presidency of the G8 in 2015 will present the opportunity for even more results-oriented investments for the poor.

Our foundation has worked very closely with ONE over the years, and I spent some time with Youth Ambassadors from ONE. They are working to promote Article ONE in Germany, which is a statement of principle that commits the government to extend its commitments to the world’s poorest by working to end extreme poverty by 2030 through engagement on health and agriculture, transparency, and new energy. The Ambassadors have been working throughout the summer to line up support for Article ONE —particularly from members of the newly elected Parliament—and to remind political leaders of the needs of the poor, often in very creative ways. Our meeting was hosted by world renowned artist and architect Olafur Eliasson at his studio in Berlin. He’s been a passionate advocate for development and has worked with ONE for a number of years. Earlier this year Melinda visited with him, and so it was my turn, and he gave me a tour of his studio and architecture offices. He’s also developed a LED solar powered light for use in the developing world, called Little Sun

Bill Gates and Olafur Eliasson, November 2013

Another great part of my trip was an event held for digital entrepreneurs and poverty advocates at a cool coffee house and digital workspace called BaseCamp. I spent an hour talking about the impact of technology on the world, particularly the poor, and got to learn about some digital startups in Berlin that are trying to provide social goods as part of their businesses. I encouraged even more innovation that can help drive development, and listened to a number of the participants’ own thoughts about where that might lead. 

Bill Gates at event held for digital entrepreneurs and poverty advocates in Berlin, November 2013

The day before, I’d gone over to visit ResearchGate, a company that I’m personally supporting, that is a kind of LinkedIn for scientists around the world. It allows them to upload data and papers, ask questions, look for source materials or expertise, and connect with scientists studying similar topics. I’d been enthusiastic about the company when I made my investment, so it was a chance to get updated on their progress. One of the cool aspects of ResearchGate is the way they encourage their users to upload failed experiments. Other researchers really benefit from knowing about previous failures, but traditionally, the way you publish papers in journals doesn’t encourage researchers to publish their failures. ResearchGate is dramatically improving scientific collaboration, so it was exciting to check in with them. All in all, I got to meet some very cool and committed digital entrepreneurs in Berlin and I was impressed by how vibrant that scene is here. 
 
Besides Chancellor Merkel, I also met with a number of other politicians and ministers. Notably, newly elected President Joachin Gauck made time for me. While much of his role is ceremonial, the position plays an important role in Germany’s public life. President Gauck is a former Lutheran minister and was a vocal human rights advocate in East Germany, so I was interested to meet him. We both care a lot about advocacy for the very poor, and he was extremely supportive of the work the foundation is undertaking. I hope we get the chance to work more with him going forward. I also met with Johanna Wanka, the Research Minister, and Germany’s finance minister, Dr. Wolfgang Schauble, who was mildly optimistic about increasing aid in next year’s budget given that Germany (and Europe) seem to have overcome the worst. I also spent some time with Jörg Asmussen, Executive Board Member of the European Central Bank.

In the end, it was two days of talking about innovation and development with people who share many of the passions that motivate the work that Melinda and I are involved in. In that, Berlin was a lot of fun and quite energizing for me (even if I had to put on a tuxedo for part of it). Later next week, I’ll post some thoughts on my time in Nigeria, which came just before Berlin.

Also on Gates Notes