Log out
My profile and settings
My bookmarks
Comment history
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 in 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
Back to profile
Comment Items
You have not left any comments yet.
title
you replied to a comment:
name
description
Saved Posts
You haven’t bookmarked any posts yet.

We need to adapt to the climate change that is already affecting the planet, and develop new tools that will keep the problem from getting worse.

read post
Become a Gates Notes Insider
Sign up
Log out
Personal Information
Title
Mr
Mrs
Ms
Miss
Mx
Dr
Cancel
Save
This email is already registered
Cancel
Save
Please verify email address. Click verification link sent to this email address or resend verification email.
Cancel
Save
Email and Notification Settings
Send me updates from Bill Gates
You must provide an email
On
Off
Send me Gates Notes survey emails
On
Off
Send me the weekly Top of Mind newsletter
On
Off
Email me comment notifications
On
Off
On-screen comment notifications
On
Off
Interests
Select interests to personalize your profile and experience on Gates Notes.
Saving Lives
Energy Innovation
Improving Education
Alzheimer's
Philanthropy
Book Reviews
About Bill Gates
Account Deactivation
Click the link below to begin the account deactivation process.
If you would like to permanently delete your Gates Notes account and remove it’s content, please send us a request here.

“Let Your Heart Break”

What we told Stanford’s senior class

Our commencement speech at Stanford University.

|
0

Melinda and I spoke at Stanford University’s graduation ceremony today. Below the video, I’ll explain a little of the story behind the speech.

When the invitation to speak at Stanford arrived, we were eager to accept. For one thing, I hadn’t given a commencement speech since 2007, when I went back to Harvard. There’s also a lot of overlap between work that our foundation is doing and research being done at Stanford. Plus, Melinda and I had never given a commencement speech together and we thought it would be fun.

We knew going in that commencement speeches come with their own challenges. The seniors are eager to start celebrating and don’t necessarily have the patience for a long speech. And the subject is wide-open—you can talk about whatever you want—which actually makes it harder.

We spent a lot of time talking about what we wanted to say. We’d heard about the #nerdnation meme that’s sweeping campus, so we thought we could have some fun with that.

More seriously, Melinda and I wanted to talk about our optimism, and how it has evolved over time. We used to have an almost blind faith that technology would improve people’s lives. Our optimism about technology hasn’t diminished, but today it is more informed, and less naïve. We concluded the speech by asking the graduating seniors to apply their intelligence and empathy in ways that will improve lives around the world.

The key is for them to open their eyes to suffering. As Melinda says, “Let your heart break. It will change what you do with your optimism.”

Thanks to Stanford for inviting us, and congratulations to the class of 2014.