Wired Magazine handed over the reins of the December issue to guest editor Bill Gates. The results is a fascinating collection of articles, ideas and dreams shared by a man deeply respected for disrupting two industries: personal computers and global philanthropy.

Most of the articles are now free to read on Wired’s Website and I can only encourage you to have a look. Here are my favorites:

Bill Gates: Here’s My Plan to Improve Our World — And How You Can Help


Despite the sensationalist title, this is a great article! Bill Gates takes us with him through his journey for a brighter future empowered by technology & innovation. I am really interested by the concept of philanthrocapitalism (or Venture Philanthropy).

I began seeking out other areas where business and government underinvest. [...] I have been sharing my idea of catalytic philanthropy for a while now. It works a lot like the private markets: You invest for big returns. But there’s a big difference. In philanthropy, the investor doesn’t need to get any of the benefit.


The Hyper-Efficient, Highly Scientific Scheme to Help the World’s Poor


Jan Kallwejt on wired.com

Jan Kallwejt on wired.com

A/B testing, user analytics, randomized controlled trial are concepts widely used by online businesses or in the scientific world. This article is about using those technique to assess if philantropic efforts are efficient and to mesure their impact.

 As Kremer was realizing, the campaign for free textbooks was just one of countless development initiatives that spend money in a near-total absence of real-world data. Over the past 50 years, developed countries have spent something like $6.5 trillion on assistance to the developing world, most of those outlays guided by little more than macroeconomic theories, anecdotal evidence, and good intentions. But if it were possible to measure the effects of initiatives, governments and nonprofits could determine which programs actually made the biggest difference.

It made me think about those two great TED talks:


5 Maps That Could Help Solve Some of the World’s Most Daunting Problems

The maps were made possible by a nonprofit called Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. [...] Altogether, they mapped 6,000 buildings. Now Indonesia’s National Disaster Management Agency is integrating this data with a free software plug-in called InaSAFE, which creates “impact scenarios” of future hazards. When the next flood rushes in, Jakartans will have better contingency plans in place.

The surge to end polio

In 1988 there were 350,000 cases of polio worldwide. Last year there were 223. But getting all the way to zero will mean spending billions of dollars, penetrating the most remote regions of the globe, and facing down Taliban militants to get to the last unprotected children on earth.

 7 Brilliant Designs That Save Lives- Design for the developping world

Photo by Christian Weber – Wired


You can visit Bill and Melinda Foundation’s website for more infos.