Fortune: World’s Greatest Leaders

Fortune Magazine’s World’s Greatest Leaders

 

  1. Bill and Melinda Gates
    For evidence of what happens when an unstoppable force — Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates — meets a profoundly movable human being, the empathetic Melinda Gates, one has simply to measure the impact of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  2. Jacinda Ardern
    Jacinda Ardern had already broken new ground as a pregnant woman—and then a new mother—leading a nation. And this year, the 38-year-old Prime Minister showed the world her fullness as a leader as she deftly, empathetically, and humbly navigated New Zealand through the worst terror attack in its history, after 50 were killed at two mosques in Christchurch in March.
  3. Robert Mueller
    Few people on either side of the partisan divide seem satisfied with the outcome of Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections. But that very dissatisfaction speaks to the nobly impartial example the former FBI director set as he led an arduous, sensitive investigation. He and his team didn’t uncover the smoking guns that President Trump’s critics craved, nor did they grant the President the exoneration he demanded. Instead, sticking to the evidence and tuning out the hype, they exposed serious wrongdoing and shed light on systemic flaws that the nation is now more likely to address.
  4. Pony Ma
    Compared with others in China’s boisterous tech scene, Ma keeps a low profile. But his influence has gone global thanks to WeChat, Tencent’s billion-member instant messaging service. WeChat is the epitome of the super-app model, a single interface through which users can pay bills, order food, book tickets, play games, and more.
  5. Satya Nadella
    Under Nadella, Microsoft has generated incredible growth from new businesses like its Azure cloud platform. And Nadella recently showed that he could put principles first while navigating employee unrest, as he stood by a contract to supply the U.S. Army with augmented reality headsets. He argued that Microsoft shouldn’t withhold technology from institutions that protect our democracy.
  6. Greta Thunberg
    Greta Thunberg isn’t here to inspire you; she’s here to give you anxiety. “I don’t want your hope,” the 16-year-old climate activist said in a speech at the World Economic Forum this year. “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.”
  7. Margaret Vestager
    At a time when U.S. lawmakers are divided over reining in Big Tech, Vestager has shown how it can be done. She “Apple-converted-space” fined Google a total of $9 billion for alleged anticompetitive behavior, sought $15 billion in back taxes from Apple (both moves are being appealed), and is investigating Facebook. Dismissive of industry excuses, Vestager says: “If it’s your algorithm, it’s your responsibility.”
  8. Anna Nimiriano
    South Sudan has lost five years and an estimated 383,000 souls to civil war, and the challenges of speaking truth to power at Nimiriano’s newspaper range from gas shortages to death threats. When security forces hauled a colleague to jail and told her to shut down the paper, she persuaded them to release him and let her publish.
  9. José Andrés
    In March, chef José Andrés descended on Manhattan to prepare for the launch of a fresh addition to his restaurant empire—a 35,000-square-foot Spanish food hall in the sparkling new Hudson Yards complex. Here, alongside other A-list chefs such as the French Laundry’s Thomas Keller and Momofuku’s David Chang, Andrés’s New York City culinary concept would ply patrons with cured meats and cheese, tapas and paella, and a selection of a dozen sherries.
  10. Doug McMillon and Lisa Woods
    Health care costs in the U.S. have reached astronomical levels—spending hit $3.7 trillion in 2018—and they continue to climb, weighing on patients and the employers who help foot the bill. As America’s largest employer, Walmart is all too familiar with these trend lines—which have led McMillon and Woods to innovate to do health care better. For the company’s 1.1 million U.S. employees and their families, Woods launched the Centers of Excellence (COE) program in 2013, enabling workers to travel to top hospitals Walmart contracts with for select procedures.
  11. Aliko Dangote
    Dangote is Africa’s richest person—worth $16.4 billion, according to Bloomberg—and the four publicly traded companies under the umbrella of his Dangote Industries now account for about a third of the value of the Nigerian stock exchange. He’s now converting his wealth into impactful philanthropy: Dangote’s foundation, the largest in Africa, has helped establish a top-tier business school at Nigeria’s Bayero University; it’s also teaming up with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fight chronic malnutrition in Nigeria.
  12. Masayoshi Son
    Son has become a tech kingmaker. He upended venture capitalism in 2016 by launching the $100 billion Vision Fund, and his backing often proves ­pivotal in battles between rival startups. Son personally vets CEOs of potential portfolio companies and spurs them to scale up dramatically, even if profit is elusive. Ride sharing as we know it might not exist without his avid backing of Uber, Grab, and Didi Chuxing.

There are 50 leaders on the list. Ardern stands out as a politician – there are few of any others.

 

Gates on climate change

As an aside in his (and Melinda’s) 2015 Gates Annual Letter Bill Gates addresses climate change.

It is fair to ask whether the progress we’re predicting will be stifled by climate change. The most dramatic problems caused by climate change are more than 15 years away, but the long-term threat is so serious that the world needs to move much more aggressively — right now — to develop energy sources that are cheaper, can deliver on demand, and emit zero carbon dioxide.

The next 15 years are a pivotal time when these energy sources need to be developed so they’ll be ready to deploy before the effects of climate change become severe. Bill is investing time in this work personally (not through our foundation) and will continue to speak out about it.

Regardless of the arguments about the degree of climate change we are causing and experiencing working as quickly as possible towards a low carbon energy future is something that has to happen and the sooner the better.

We should work on energy conservation to reduce energy needs.

And it makes sense to move as much and as quickly as possible towards more renable energy sources without crashing society.

Bill’s big bet

Bill and Melinda Gates have posted 2015 Gates Annual Letter and in it they bet that in the next 15 years the lives of poor people will improve more than at any time in history.

In many parts of the world, including New Zealand (especially New Zealand) it has never been as good for humans on average and as a whole. SOme people still struggle but even they have better healthcare, nutrition and education than ever in history.

Billions of people in many other parts of the world still have major problems with quality of life.

Our Big Bet For The Future

Forty years ago, Bill and his childhood friend Paul Allen bet that software and personal computers would change the way people around the world worked and played. This bet wasn’t exactly a wager. It was an opportunity to make computers personal and empower people through the magic of software. Some people thought they were nuts. But the bet turned out well.

Fifteen years ago, the two of us made a similar bet. We started our foundation in 2000 with the idea that by backing innovative work in health and education, we could help dramatically reduce inequity. The progress we’ve seen so far is very exciting — so exciting that we are doubling down on the bet we made 15 years ago, and picking ambitious goals for what’s possible 15 years from now.

OUR BIG BET

The lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history. And their lives will improve more than anyone else’s.

Obviously that doesn’t address the ‘poverty’ in New Zealand but addresses much bigger problems in much bigger populations.

WE SEE AN OPPORTUNITY AND WE WANT TO MAKE THE MOST OF IT.

We’re putting our credibility, time, and money behind this bet — and asking others to join us — because we think there has never been a better time to accelerate progress and have a big impact around the world.

Some will say we’re irrational to make this bet too. A skeptic would look at the world’s problems and conclude that things are only getting worse. And we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that a handful of the worst-off countries will continue to struggle.

But we think the next 15 years will see major breakthroughs for most people in poor countries. They will be living longer and in better health. They will have unprecedented opportunities to get an education, eat nutritious food, and benefit from mobile banking. These breakthroughs will be driven by innovation in technology — ranging from new vaccines and hardier crops to much cheaper smartphones and tablets — and by innovations that help deliver those things to more people.

The rich world will keep getting exciting new advances too, but the improvements in the lives of the poor will be far more fundamental — the basics of a healthy, productive life. It’s great that more people in rich countries will be able to watch movies on super hi-resolution screens. It’s even better that more parents in poor countries will know their children aren’t going to die.

If the rich in the world doubled their riches it would affect them far less significantly thatn if the poorest in the world doubled theirs.

A small improvement for the poorest can make a big difference to their lives.

Note that ‘rich’ is a very general term, and ‘poverty’ definitions can be misleading. For example in straight financial terms a solo parent in South Auckland with six kids is richer than someone graduating from university with a medical, dental or law degree and a large student loan.

A rural peasant in China or a subsistence farmer in Africa can have more net assets than a business entepreneur up to their eyeballs in debt but rolling in an opulent lifestyle.

But improvements with basics like safe water, adequate food and reasonable healthcare can make a huge difference to many millions of very poor people.

The letter links to five topics: We’re excited to see how much better the world will be in 15 years. Here are some of the breakthroughs we see coming.

ONE: HEALTH

Childe disease will go down, and more diseases will be wiped out

TWO: FARMING

Africa will be able to feed itself.

THREE: BANKING

Mobile banking will help the poor transform their lives.

FOUR: EDUCATION

Better software will revolutionize learning.

CONCLUSION

A call for global citizens

China’s huge building boom compared to USA

Huffington Post points out a how huge China’s building programme has been in Bill Gates Just Blew Our Minds In A Single Tweet.

@BillGates

The most staggering statistic in @VaclavSmil’s new book: http://b-gat.es/1oYsC7G 

This points to:

Huff Post also point out:

Between 1901 and 2000, the U.S. built an entire interstate highway system, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hoover Dam and just about all of its skyscrapers — to name just a few concrete-intensive things. China did all that, and almost half again, in just three years.

That’s massive in comparison.

UPDATE: One of the costs.