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Dec20
The Rock Star and the Nerd
Strange bedfellows indeed -  rock start Bono of U2 and famed nerd Bill Gates of Microsoft. Gates and his wife Melinda and Bono were named persons of the year by Time magazine.
 
Time noted that while sudden disasters grab the headlines, other tragedies unfold daily. time bono gates.jpg

"And who is proving most effective in figuring out how to eradicate those calamities? In different ways, it is Bill and Melinda Gates, co-founders of the world's wealthiest charitable foundation, and Bono, the Irish rocker who has made debt reduction sexy," Time's managing editor Jim Kelly writes.

It is fascinating to me that such an odd couple could share this distinction. What is important is not their differences but their shared commitment to make the world a better place. In this they are one. Their hope for a better world brought them together in 2002. At that time, Bill and Melinda happened to be two of only a handful of baby boomers that did not know and worship U2. Maybe that is why it worked.

Gates and Bono play their hands well and use their strengths. Bono uses his celebrity, influence, charisma and unworldly energy to meet and cajole world leaders. His ability to gain access to top world leaders resulted in the forgiveness of $40 billion in third-world debt owed by the poorest countries of the world. To his credit, his issues have not been political. He is equally comfortable and passionate talking to liberal, conservative and in between. His agenda is a solution not an ideology. His aim, an equal right to food and health for everyone.

Gates on the other hand has money. Lots of it. And to his credit, in 2005 he gave a bunch away for good causes. His concerns are education, global health, improving public libraries and supporting at-risk families.

As two pop icons from two different worlds, their reach and influence is far and diverse. Their message resonates as noted at Chingy84

“The coming 12 months are a test for us all - especially the leaders of G8 nations, whose vision and resolve have never been more on the line…..History's judgment will be harsh if we fail, precisely because we are the first generation with the power to succeed.”

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