Lately I‘ve been finding myself taking a more philosophical view about many things in life. I’m not sure if this new bent is a symptom of my entering my senior years or whether I have just become much more aware of the pressing problems that we face as a global society. Certainly on this blog we spend a lot of time talking about the solutions we have today that can help companies meet challenges that they face. But there is a bigger picture of the really tough societal issues, the ones that are more systemic in nature, that we have not been able to address. That’s why I think you might have some interest in what some big thinkers at Microsoft are up to right now.

I wasn’t aware of it till recently but ever since he stepped down from his daily activities at Microsoft to focus his energies on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft founder and former CEO Bill Gates has been sharing his thoughts with the world on an Internet site called “The clip_image002Gates Notes”. Typical posts include the types of issues that Gates and Microsoft Chief Research Officer Craig Mundie spend a lot of time thinking about, especially the systemic issues involved in big issues such as education and health care as well as energy and the environment.

Since energy is so often the topic of this blog, you might be interested in a podcast series where Bill shared his thoughts on energy and climate change. He talks about why we need to develop new sources of energy that provide power without generating CO2. Among the topics he covers are the challenges with potential solutions such as carbon capture and sequestration, nuclear, wind, and solar; and why he believes the U.S. government should increase its funding for basic research in energy.

While many of the thoughts won’t be new to the readers of this blog, I believe that Bill’s perspectives are very interesting in terms of the societal and economic impacts that energy has and the need for increased R&D funding to find the “breakthrough” solution which we clearly are not investing in today.

You can get to Bill’s Notes by clicking here. – Jon C. Arnold