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Melinda Gates is the co-founder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private foundation in the United States. With more than $40 billion in assets, the Gates Foundation works on a dizzying array of issues, from eradicating polio to feeding the world to treating HIV to stopping climate change to reforming the US education system.

Gates has also been working, in recent years, on increasing diversity in the technology industry. “If you [only] have products created by white guys in their 20s, you’re gonna miss the mark,” she says.

I sat down with Gates at South by Southwest for an interview that covered a lot of ground. We talked, among other things, about bioterrorism, comic sans, climate change, the culture of Silicon Valley, the Damore memo about gender and technology, the future of food, the problems money can and can’t solve, what makes America culturally distinct, and more.

Books:

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker

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