During a TED conference in 2009, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates made a memorable impact by releasing a swarm of mosquitoes on the unsuspecting audience.
In a persuasive manner, he pointed out how issues like malaria should concern everyone, even if they don’t directly affect us. Gates humorously highlighted the disproportionate amount of research funding directed towards hair loss drugs compared to malaria. By using presentation tactics like visual aids and audience interaction, Gates left a lasting impression.
Reflecting on the success of his 2009 presentation, Gates returned to TED a year later to discuss the future of the world’s energy. He replicated the demonstration, this time using fireflies to exemplify gimmicky solutions to the energy crisis. The audience responded with laughter and an enthusiastic standing ovation.
Since 2009, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has made significant progress in the fight against malaria. Gates highlighted the foundation’s impact in a blog post, citing a report from The New England Journal of Medicine that showcased a remarkable decline of 57 percent in the malaria death rate in sub-Saharan Africa since 2000. While acknowledging that there is still much work to be done with almost half a million children dying from malaria each year, Gates expressed optimism and called the progress a miracle – an extraordinary achievement in the history of global health.
Currently, Gates has turned his attention to fighting the neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimer’s. He recently announced a $100 million investment in researching the cause of Alzheimer’s and developing effective treatments.