Emily Tweed profiles one of the world's largest philanthropic organisations, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
When you or I daydream about being the richest person in the world, chances are that spending it all on health initiatives in developing countries rather than luxury cars and high fashion isn't what first springs to mind. But that's exactly what Bill Gates-who made that daydream reality in the early 1990s, thanks to the success of Microsoft-has dedicated a sizeable chunk of his fortune. And in so doing he is changing the face of both philanthropy (or Billanthropy, as the Economist put it) and global health.
Gates is most famous for his role as the cofounder of Microsoft, the company widely credited with bringing about the revolution in information technology that put a personal computer in every home and office. The extraordinary success of Microsoft has made him the world's richest person for the past 12 consecutive years.1 But, as he stated in a speech to the Global Foundation