Bill Gates recently spoke at the TED2010 conference where he unveiled his vision for the world's energy future. If you have not heard of TED, it is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas “Worth Spreading”. It started out as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, and Design and has broadened its scopeclip_image002 to explore ideas on issues like energy and the climate.

In his talk, Gates explained why he is interested in energy and how it relates to his foundations main stream activities such as health care and agriculture. Gates went on to explain why we need “energy miracles” as well as his “wish” for the next 50 years.

His talk was certainly provoking and demonstrates someone that is thinking about the big societal issues and connecting the dots to try to make a better planet for humanity.

For me, this brings back memories from 2006 while on a vacation in Italy when I looked at my mobile phone during dinner and saw a message from my CEO, Bill Gates, asking me what we were doing in utilities. You can imagine that my cell phone was ringing all night as a result of his email and I spent most of the next day in my hotel room in Positano creating a full briefing document. It’s been one of many exchanges I’ve had with senior leadership at Microsoft about our role in the industry, and its future direction.  Certainly things have changed a great deal since that email.  

You can view Gates’ conference video by clicking here. – Jon C. Arnold