To be clear, the risks we take are different from the ones the true heroes of global progress take all the time: the health workers who brave war zones to get vaccines to children who need them, the teachers who sign up to work in the most challenging schools, the women in the world’s poorest places who stand up against cultural norms and traditions designed to keep them down. What they do requires personal sacrifices we never have to make—and we try to honor them by supporting innovations that might one day make their lives easier.
Altogether, our foundation has spent $53.6 billion over the last 20 years. On the whole, we’re thrilled with what it’s accomplished. But has every dollar we’ve spent had the effect we’ve hoped for? No. We’ve had our share of disappointments, setbacks, and surprises. We think it’s important to be transparent about our failures as well as our successes—and it’s important to share what we’ve learned.
In this year’s letter, we write about the work we’ve done on health and education and why we think the risks we’ve taken have set us up for future progress. We also write about two issues that have emerged as priorities for us—the climate crisis and gender equality—and how they will factor into our next twenty years.
We hope you’ll take a moment to read the full letter at GatesLetter.com