Giving Compass' Take:

• Bill and Melinda Gates wrote a letter this year titled, “We Didn’t See This Coming,” which discusses issues and innovations in global development that surprised them. 

• What is the Gates Foundation (or other donors) doing to address the problems they find shocking, such as the prevalence of sexist data and climate change? 

• Read about these nine global issues to watch out for in 2019. 

Every year since 2009, Bill and Melinda Gates have written a letter about the issues and innovations most striking to them. The goal is to bring important global issues to people’s attention so that more minds can work to create solutions and improve life for everyone on the planet.

Here are five of the nine innovations and issues highlighted in this year’s letter from Bill and Melinda Gates.

  • Low-tech violence prevention: One initiative that caught the Gateses’ attention this year is a school- and neighborhood-based behavior program called Becoming a Man, which helps young men in high-crime areas learn skills for avoiding violence and controlling potentially dangerous impulses.
  • Africa’s young population: Africa — while an ancient continent with man’s earliest evolutionary ancestors — is today one of the youngest in terms of average age. This demographic phenomenon is a huge opportunity, she says, “to help them not only survive but thrive and add to the global economy.”
  • Climate change fueled by building: Another surprise they highlight is the fact that the equivalent of a new New York City is being built every month globally, and this rate of development will continue for the next 40 years. That’s furthering concern over climate change, Bill writes in the letter.
  • Public health at the global level: By encouraging people to think globally, the Gateses also make a globalist case for nationalism, noting that peace and stability around the world contribute to security at home.
  • Sexist data: To do almost anything to improve global health requires solid and reliable data, and that’s still lacking in a number of key areas, especially women’s health.

Read the full article about global issues by Alice Park at TIIME