IMPACT

Bill Gates Asks Young People To Fight Climate Change And Sexism

And here are 10 ideas he has to go about it all.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released their annual letter on Tuesday -- and this one's for the kids. 

The Gates addressed this year's note to the people they see as having some of the greatest impact when it comes to changing the world: high schoolers. Calling upon the next generation of world leaders, the letter asks young people to think about how they can be a force for good in the world.

The Gates pose the question, "If you had one superpower what would it be?" and ask young people to think about their #superpowerforsocialgood.

The annual letter lays out the founders' hopes, plans and the next destination for their funds to address global problems. In previous years they've focused on the next frontier in international development, such as mobile banking for the poor or the value of foreign aid

Here are 10 world problems Bill and Melinda Gates challenged young people to help solve in this year's letter: 

1. Change Your Lifestyle To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

"Many people, and you may be one of them, are also changing their lifestyles to conserve energy. They’re biking and carpooling to save gas, turning down the heat a couple degrees, adding insulation to their homes.

All of these efforts help cut down on energy use." - Gates letter

2. Challenge Sexist Stereotypes 

"This is 2016, not the 1970s or the 1950s. If you’re an American, three out of four moms at your school have a job. Your father probably does at least some cooking. The world has changed a lot.

I know from listening to my kids and their friends that most girls don’t think they will be stuck with the same rules that kept their grandmothers in the home. And most boys agree with them." - Gates letter

3. If It Interests You, Pursue STEM In School

"If you’re someone with some crazy-sounding ideas to solve our energy challenge, the world needs you. Study extra hard in your math and sciences. You might just have the answer." - Gates letter

4. Value Unpaid Work, Which Is Mostly Done By Women Globally. But Then Work To Create More Opportunities For Them As Well.

"Unless things change, girls today will spend hundreds of thousands more hours than boys doing unpaid work simply because society assumes it’s their responsibility.

Unpaid work is what it says it is: It’s work, not play, and you don’t get any money for doing it. Who packs your lunch? Who fishes the sweaty socks out of your gym bag?" - Gates letter

5. Learn About Why Energy Matters When It Comes To Helping The World's Poorest 

"If I could have just one wish to help the poorest people, it would be to find a cheap, clean source of energy to power our world.

You might be wondering, 'Aren’t people just trying to stay healthy and find enough to eat? Isn’t that important too?' Yes, of course it is, and our foundation is working hard to help them. But energy makes all those things easier. It means you can run hospitals, light up schools, and use tractors to grow more food." - Gates letter

6. Give Girls More Time To Dream Big

"[Think of] the other things women could be doing if they didn’t spend so much time on mundane tasks. What amazing goals would you accomplish with an extra hour every day? Or, in the case of girls in many poor countries, an extra five or more?

Many women would spend more time doing paid work, starting businesses, or otherwise contributing to the economic well-being of societies around the world." - Gates letter

7. Grasp The Reality Of Climate Change

"I’m sure you have read about climate change and maybe studied it in school. You might be worried about how it will affect you. The truth is, the people who will be hit the hardest are the world’s poorest.

Millions of the poorest families work as farmers. Changes in weather often mean that their crops won’t grow because of too little rain or too much rain. That sinks them deeper into poverty." - Gates letter

8. Help Advocate For Paid Leave For Moms And Dads

"Studies show that when fathers are able to take time off from paid work when their children are born, they spend more time with their kids and doing other kinds of housework for years to come.

As a result, they form a stronger bond with their partners and children. That’s one reason why I think access to paid family and medical leave is so important for families." - Gates letter

9. Invent New Tech To Help Improve Lives In Small Ways

"In poorer countries, most women still haul water, clean clothes by hand, and cook over an open flame. The solution is innovation, and you can help.

Some of you will become engineers, entrepreneurs, scientists, and software developers. I invite you to take on the challenge of serving the poor with cheap, clean energy, better roads, and running water. Can you imagine a machine that washes clothes using no electricity and very little water?" - Gates letter

10. Allow Yourself To Make Mistakes -- That's How The Best Ideas Come To Life!

"Many of these ideas won’t work, but that’s okay. Each dead end will teach us something useful and keep us moving forward.

As Thomas Edison famously said, 'I have not failed 10,000 times. I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.'

But to find thousands of ways that won’t work, you first need to try thousands of different ideas. That’s not happening nearly enough." - Gates letter

CONVERSATIONS