As believed that to be a great leader your must know how to speak to convince and attract people to your course. So, we now bring to you some of the great speeches in the history of this world such that you can learn from them that may be an attribute to your success.
1. I have a dream speech
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. Rev.Dr.martin Luther king JrBut one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today. have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.” And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy’s ‘Ich Bin Ein Berliner’ Speech
Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was “civisRomanus sum”. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is “Ich bin ein Berliner”. I am proud to come to this city as the guest of your distinguished Mayor, who has symbolized throughout the world the fighting spirit of West Berlin. And I am proud to visit the Federal Republic with your distinguished Chancellor who for so many years has committed Germany to democracy and freedom and progress, and to come here in the company of my fellow American, General Clay, who has been in this city during its great moments of crisis and will come again if ever needed. Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was “civisRomanus sum”. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is “Ich bin ein Berliner”. I appreciate my interpreter translating my German! There are many people in the world who really don’t understand, or say they don’t, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass’ sienach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin. Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us. I want to say, on behalf of my countrymen, who live many miles away on the other side of the Atlantic, who are far distant from you, that they take the greatest pride that they have been able to share with you, even from a distance, the story of the last 18 years. I know of no town, no city, that has been besieged for 18 years that still lives with the vitality and the force, and the hope and the determination of the city of West Berlin. While the wall is the most obvious and vivid demonstration of the failures of the Communist system, for all the world to see, we take no satisfaction in it, for it is, as your Mayor has said, an offense not only against history but an offense against humanity, separating families, dividing husbands and wives and brothers and sisters, and dividing a people who wish to be joined together. What is true of this city is true of Germany – real, lasting peace in Europe can never be assured as long as one German out of four is denied the elementary right of free men, and that is to make a free choice. In 18 years of peace and good faith, this generation of Germans has earned the right to be free, including the right to unite their families and their nation in lasting peace, with good will to all people. You live in a defended island of freedom, but your life is part of the main. So let me ask you as I close, to lift your eyes beyond the dangers of today, to the hopes of tomorrow, beyond the freedom merely of this city of Berlin, or your country of Germany, to the advance of freedom everywhere, beyond the wall to the day of peace with justice, beyond yourselves and ourselves to all mankind. Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great Continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe. When that day finally comes, as it will, the people of West Berlin can take sober satisfaction in the fact that they were in the front lines for almost two decades. All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words “Ich bin ein Berliner”.
Our Finest Hour-speech
The disastrous military events which have happened during the past fortnight have not come to me with any sense of surprise. Indeed, I indicated a fortnight ago as clearly as I could to the House that the worst possibilities were open; and I made it perfectly clear then that whatever happened in France would make no difference to the resolve of Britain and the British Empire to fight on, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. During the last few days we have successfully brought off the great majority of the troops we had on the line of communication in France; and seven-eighths of the troops we have sent to France since the beginning of the war–that is to say, about 350,000 out of 400,000 men–are safely back in this country. Others are still fighting with the French, and fighting with considerable success in their local encounters against the enemy. We have also brought back a great mass of stores, rifles and munitions of all kinds which had been accumulated in France during the last nine months. We have, therefore, in this Island today a very large and powerful military force. This force comprises all our best-trained and our finest troops, including scores of thousands of those who have already measured their quality against the Germans and found themselves at no disadvantage. We have under arms at the present time in this Island over a million and a quarter men. Behind these we have the Local Defense Volunteers, numbering half a million, only a portion of whom, however, are yet armed with rifles or other firearms. We have incorporated into our Defense Forces every man for whom we have a weapon. We expect very large additions to our weapons in the near future, and in preparation for this we intend forthwith to call up, drill and train further large numbers. Those who are not called up, or else are employed during the vast business of munitions production in all its branches–and their ramifications are innumerable–will serve their country best by remaining at their ordinary work until they receive their summons. We have also over here Dominions armies. The Canadians had actually landed in France, but have now been safely withdrawn, much disappointed, but in perfect order, with all their artillery and equipment. And these very high-class forces from the Dominions will now take part in the defense of the Mother Country. Lest the account which I have given of these large forces should raise the question: Why did they not take part in the great battle in France? I must make it clear that, apart from the divisions training and organizing at home, only twelve divisions were equipped to fight upon a scale which justified their being sent abroad. And this was fully up to the number which the French had been led to expect would be available in France at the ninth month of the war. The rest of our forces at home have a fighting value for home defense which will, of course, steadily increase every week that passes. Thus, the invasion of Great Britain would at this time require the transportation across the sea of hostile armies on a very large scale, and after they had been so transported they would have to be continually maintained with all the masses of munitions and supplies which are required for continuous battle–as continuous battle it will surely be. Here is where we come to the Navy–and after all, we have a Navy. Some people seem to forget that we have a Navy. We must remind them. For the last thirty years I have been concerned in discussions about the possibilities of oversea invasion, and I took the responsibility on behalf of the Admiralty, at the beginning of the last war, of allowing all regular troops to be sent out of the country. That was a very serious step to take, because our Territorials had only just been called up and were quite untrained. Therefore, this Island was for several months particularly denuded of fighting troops. The Admiralty had confidence at that time in their ability to prevent a mass invasion even though at that time the Germans had a magnificent battle fleet in the proportion of 10 to 16, even though they were capable of fighting a general engagement every day and any day, whereas now they have only a couple of heavy ships worth speaking of–the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau. We are also told that the Italian Navy is to come out and gain sea superiority in these waters. If they seriously intend it, I shall only say that we shall be delighted to offer Signor Mussolini a free and safeguarded passage through the Strait of Gibraltar in order that he may play the part to which he aspires. There is a general curiosity in the British Fleet to find out whether the Italians are up to the level they were at in the last war or whether they have fallen off at all. Therefore, it seems to me that as far as sea-borne invasion on a great scale is concerned, we are far more capable of meeting it today than we were at many periods in the last war and during the early months of this war, before our other troops were trained, and while the B.E.F. had proceeded abroad. Now, the Navy have never pretended to be able to prevent raids by bodies of 5,000 or 10,000 men flung suddenly across and thrown ashore at several points on the coast some dark night or foggy morning. The efficacy of sea power, especially under modern conditions, depends upon the invading force being of large size; It has to be of large size, in view of our military strength, to be of any use. If it is of large size, then the Navy have something they can find and meet and, as it were, bite on. Now, we must remember that even five divisions, however lightly equipped, would require 200 to 250 ships, and with modern air reconnaissance and photography it would not be easy to collect such an armada, marshal it, and conduct it across the sea without any powerful naval forces to escort it; and there would be very great possibilities, to put it mildly, that this armada would be intercepted long before it reached the coast, and all the men drowned in the sea or, at the worst blown to pieces with their equipment while they were trying to land. We also have a great system of minefields, recently strongly reinforced, through which we alone know the channels. If the enemy tries to sweep passages through these minefields, it will be the task of the Navy to destroy the mine-sweepers and any other forces employed to protect them. There should be no difficulty in this, owing to our great superiority at sea. Those are the regular, well-tested, well-proved arguments on which we have relied during many years in peace and war. But the question is whether there are any new methods by which those solid assurances can be circumvented. Odd as it may seem, some attention has been given to this by the Admiralty, whose prime duty and responsibility is to destroy any large sea-borne expedition before it reaches, or at the moment when it reaches, these shores. It would not be a good thing for me to go into details of this. It might suggest ideas to other people which they have not thought of, and they would not be likely to give us any of their ideas in exchange. All I will say is that untiring vigilance and mind-searching must be devoted to the subject, because the enemy is crafty and cunning and full of novel treacheries and stratagems. The House may be assured that the utmost ingenuity is being displayed and imagination is being evoked from large numbers of competent officers, well-trained in tactics and thoroughly up to date, to measure and counterwork novel possibilities. Untiring vigilance and untiring searching of the mind is being, and must be, devoted to the subject, because, remember, the enemy is crafty and there is no dirty trick he will not do. Some people will ask why, then, was it that the British Navy was not able to prevent the movement of a large army from Germany into Norway across the Skagerrak? But the conditions in the Channel and in the North Sea are in no way like those which prevail in the Skagerrak. In the Skagerrak, because of the distance, we could give no air support to our surface ships, and consequently, lying as we did close to the enemy’s main air power, we were compelled to use only our submarines. We could not enforce the decisive blockade or interruption which is possible from surface vessels. Our submarines took a heavy toll but could not, by themselves, prevent the invasion of Norway. In the Channel and in the North Sea, on the other hand, our superior naval surface forces, aided by our submarines, will operate with close and effective air assistance. This brings me, naturally, to the great question of invasion from the air, and of the impending struggle between the British and German Air Forces. It seems quite clear that no invasion on a scale beyond the capacity of our land forces to crush speedily is likely to take place from the air until our Air Force has been definitely overpowered. In the meantime, there may be raids by parachute troops and attempted descents of airborne soldiers. We should be able to give those gentry a warm reception both in the air and on the ground, if they reach it in any condition to continue the dispute. But the great question is: Can we break Hitler’s air weapon? Now, of course, it is a very great pity that we have not got an Air Force at least equal to that of the most powerful enemy within striking distance of these shores. But we have a very powerful Air Force which has proved itself far superior in quality, both in men and in many types of machine, to what we have met so far in the numerous and fierce air battles which have been fought with the Germans. In France, where we were at a considerable disadvantage and lost many machines on the ground when they were standing round the aerodromes, we were accustomed to inflict in the air losses of as much as two and two-and-a-half to one. In the fighting over Dunkirk, which was a sort of no-man’s-land, we undoubtedly beat the German Air Force, and gained the mastery of the local air, inflicting here a loss of three or four to one day after day. Anyone who looks at the photographs which were published a week or so ago of the re-embarkation, showing the masses of troops assembled on the beach and forming an ideal target for hours at a time, must realize that this re-embarkation would not have been possible unless the enemy had resigned all hope of recovering air superiority at that time and at that place. In the defense of this Island the advantages to the defenders will be much greater than they were in the fighting around Dunkirk. We hope to improve on the rate of three or four to one which was realized at Dunkirk; and in addition all our injured machines and their crews which get down safely–and, surprisingly, a very great many injured machines and men do get down safely in modern air fighting–all of these will fall, in an attack upon these Islands, on friendly soil and live to fight another day; whereas all the injured enemy machines and their complements will be total losses as far as the war is concerned. During the great battle in France, we gave very powerful and continuous aid to the French Army, both by fighters and bombers; but in spite of every kind of pressure we never would allow the entire metropolitan fighter strength of the Air Force to be consumed. This decision was painful, but it was also right, because the fortunes of the battle in France could not have been decisively affected even if we had thrown in our entire fighter force. That battle was lost by the unfortunate strategical opening, by the extraordinary and unforeseen power of the armored columns, and by the great preponderance of the German Army in numbers. Our fighter Air Force might easily have been exhausted as a mere accident in that great struggle, and then we should have found ourselves at the present time in a very serious plight. But as it is, I am happy to inform the House that our fighter strength is stronger at the present time relatively to the Germans, who have suffered terrible losses, than it has ever been; and consequently we believe ourselves possessed of the capacity to continue the war in the air under better conditions than we have ever experienced before. I look forward confidently to the exploits of our fighter pilots–these splendid men, this brilliant youth–who will have the glory of saving their native land, their island home, and all they love, from the most deadly of all attacks. There remains, of course, the danger of bombing attacks, which will certainly be made very soon upon us by the bomber forces of the enemy. It is true that the German bomber force is superior in numbers to ours; but we have a very large bomber force also, which we shall use to strike at military targets in Germany without intermission. I do not at all underrate the severity of the ordeal which lies before us; but I believe our countrymen will show themselves capable of standing up to it, like the brave men of Barcelona, and will be able to stand up to it, and carry on in spite of it, at least as well as any other people in the world. Much will depend upon this; every man and every woman will have the chance to show the finest qualities of their race, and render the highest service to their cause. For all of us, at this time, whatever our sphere, our station, our occupation or our duties, it will be a help to remember the famous lines: He nothing common did or mean, Upon that memorable scene. I have thought it right upon this occasion to give the House and the country some indication of the solid, practical grounds upon which we base our inflexible resolve to continue the war. There are a good many people who say, ‘Never mind. Win or lose, sink or swim, better die than submit to tyranny–and such a tyranny.’ And I do not dissociate myself from them. But I can assure them that our professional advisers of the three Services unitedly advise that we should carry on the war, and that there are good and reasonable hopes of final victory. We have fully informed and consulted all the self-governing Dominions, these great communities far beyond the oceans who have been built up on our laws and on our civilization, and who are absolutely free to choose their course, but are absolutely devoted to the ancient Motherland, and who feel themselves inspired by the same emotions which lead me to stake our all upon duty and honor. We have fully consulted them, and I have received from their Prime Ministers, Mr. Mackenzie King of Canada, Mr. Menzies of Australia, Mr. Fraser of New Zealand, and General Smuts of South Africa–that wonderful man, with his immense profound mind, and his eye watching from a distance the whole panorama of European affairs–I have received from all these eminent men, who all have Governments behind them elected on wide franchises, who are all there because they represent the will of their people, messages couched in the most moving terms in which they endorse our decision to fight on, and declare themselves ready to share our fortunes and to persevere to the end. That is what we are going to do. We may now ask ourselves: In what way has our position worsened since the beginning of the war? It has worsened by the fact that the Germans have conquered a large part of the coast line of Western Europe, and many small countries have been overrun by them. This aggravates the possibilities of air attack and adds to our naval preoccupations. It in no way diminishes, but on the contrary definitely increases, the power of our long-distance blockade. Similarly, the entrance of Italy into the war increases the power of our long-distance blockade. We have stopped the worst leak by that. We do not know whether military resistance will come to an end in France or not, but should it do so, then of course the Germans will be able to concentrate their forces, both military and industrial, upon us. But for the reasons I have given to the House these will not be found so easy to apply. If invasion has become more imminent, as no doubt it has, we, being relieved from the task of maintaining a large army in France, have far larger and more efficient forces to meet it. If Hitler can bring under his despotic control the industries of the countries he has conquered, this will add greatly to his already vast armament output. On the other hand, this will not happen immediately, and we are now assured of immense, continuous and increasing support in supplies and munitions of all kinds from the United States; and especially of aeroplanes and pilots from the Dominions and across the oceans coming from regions which are beyond the reach of enemy bombers. I do not see how any of these factors can operate to our detriment on balance before the winter comes; and the winter will impose a strain upon the Nazi regime, with almost all Europe writhing and starving under its cruel heel, which, for all their ruthlessness, will run them very hard. We must not forget that from the moment when we declared war on the 3rd September it was always possible for Germany to turn all her Air Force upon this country, together with any other devices of invasion she might conceive, and that France could have done little or nothing to prevent her doing so. We have, therefore, lived under this danger, in principle and in a slightly modified form, during all these months. In the meanwhile, however, we have enormously improved our methods of defense, and we have learned what we had no right to assume at the beginning, namely, that the individual aircraft and the individual British pilot have a sure and definite superiority. Therefore, in casting up this dread balance sheet and contemplating our dangers with a disillusioned eye, I see great reason for intense vigilance and exertion, but none whatever for panic or despair. During the first four years of the last war the Allies experienced nothing but disaster and disappointment. That was our constant fear: one blow after another, terrible losses, frightful dangers. Everything miscarried. And yet at the end of those four years the morale of the Allies was higher than that of the Germans, who had moved from one aggressive triumph to another, and who stood everywhere triumphant invaders of the lands into which they had broken. During that war we repeatedly asked ourselves the question: ‘How are we going to win?’ And no one was able ever to answer it with much precision, until at the end, quite suddenly, quite unexpectedly, our terrible foe collapsed before us, and we were so glutted with victory that in our folly we threw it away. We do not yet know what will happen in France or whether the French resistance will be prolonged, both in France and in the French Empire overseas. The French Government will be throwing away great opportunities and casting adrift their future if they do not continue the war in accordance with their treaty obligations, from which we have not felt able to release them. The House will have read the historic declaration in which, at the desire of many Frenchmen–and of our own hearts–we have proclaimed our willingness at the darkest hour in French history to conclude a union of common citizenship in this struggle. However matters may go in France or with the French Government, or other French Governments, we in this Island and in the British Empire will never lose our sense of comradeship with the French people. If we are now called upon to endure what they have been suffering, we shall emulate their courage, and if final victory rewards our toils they shall share the gains, aye, and freedom shall be restored to all. We abate nothing of our just demands; not one jot or tittle do we recede. Czechs, Poles, Norwegians, Dutch, Belgians have joined their causes to our own. All these shall be restored. What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.
Nelson Mandela’s Inaugural Address
Today, all of us do, by our presence here, and by our celebrations in other parts of our country and the world, confer glory and hope to newborn liberty. Out of the experience of an extraordinary human disaster that lasted too long, must be born a society of which all humanity will be proud. Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity’s belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all. All this we owe both to ourselves and to the peoples of the world who are so well represented here today. To my compatriots, I have no hesitation in saying that each one of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld. Each time one of us touches the soil of this land, we feel a sense of personal renewal. The national mood changes as the seasons change. We are moved by a sense of joy and exhilaration when the grass turns green and the flowers bloom. That spiritual and physical oneness we all share with this common homeland explains the depth of the pain we all carried in our hearts as we saw our country tear itself apart in a terrible conflict, and as we saw it spurned, outlawed and isolated by the peoples of the world, precisely because it has become the universal base of the pernicious ideology and practice of racism and racial oppression. We, the people of South Africa, feel fulfilled that humanity has taken us back into its bosom, that we, who were outlaws not so long ago, have today been given the rare privilege to be host to the nations of the world on our own soil. We thank all our distinguished international guests for having come to take possession with the people of our country of what is, after all, a common victory for justice, for peace, for human dignity. We trust that you will continue to stand by us as we tackle the challenges of building peace, prosperity, non-sexism, non-racialism and democracy. We deeply appreciate the role that the masses of our people and their political mass democratic, religious, women, youth, business, traditional and other leaders have played to bring about this conclusion. Not least among them is my Second Deputy President, the Honorable F.W. de Klerk. We would also like to pay tribute to our security forces, in all their ranks, for the distinguished role they have played in securing our first democratic elections and the transition to democracy, from blood-thirsty forces which still refuse to see the light. The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come. The time to build is upon us. We have, at last, achieved our political emancipation. We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination. We succeeded to take our last steps to freedom in conditions of relative peace. We commit ourselves to the construction of a complete, just and lasting peace. We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the millions of our people. We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world. As a token of its commitment to the renewal of our country, the new Interim Government of National Unity will, as a matter of urgency, address the issue of amnesty for various categories of our people who are currently serving terms of imprisonment. We dedicate this day to all the heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free. Their dreams have become reality. Freedom is their reward. We are both humbled and elevated by the honor and privilege that you, the people of South Africa, have bestowed on us, as the first President of a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa, to lead our country out of the valley of darkness. We understand it still that there is no easy road to freedom. We know it well that none of us acting alone can achieve success. We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world. Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Let each know that for each the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves. Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world. Let freedom reign. The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement!
God bless Africa!
- Obama’s Second Inaugural Speech
Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens: Each time we gather to inaugurate a president; we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed. For more than two hundred years, we have. Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together. Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers. Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play. Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune. Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, these are constants in our character. But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people. This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together. For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own. We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed. We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great. We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared. We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well. We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice. We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth. It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm. That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time. For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, we must act knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall. My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride. They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope. You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course. You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals. Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom. Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America
6 .Bill Gates Speech at Stanford University
mong great speeches is that of bill gates , a university drop out
Well, it’s great to be back here at Stanford. You may know that Microsoft’s CEO went to Stanford, but I induced him to drop out. So, he never got a degree from Stanford. He did get an undergraduate degree, but I still think of him as a fellow dropout. (Laughter.) We have lots of great people who’ve come from Stanford: Rick Rashid, who runs our research; Chris Jones, tons of great people, so we owe a lot to the school. And the collaboration that’s going on today, whether it’s between Microsoft and Stanford in areas of software advances or between my foundation and Stanford on global health things, really are fantastic. I spent the afternoon meeting with faculty, talking about the progress on those things, and sharing our ideas about where we go from here. Really it’s exciting because my optimism about technology is deeply underscored when I meet these brilliant researchers, and see that they are going to get the resources, and take on these ambitious goals. John mentioned that the middle of this year is a change for me, that I’ll switch to being full time at the foundation, and part time at Microsoft, and that could be traumatic for me. I was 17 years old when I started working full time on Microsoft work, and I’ve done it basically every day of work since then. So, who knows what it will be like to make the change? I’m looking forward to it, and some friends said that they’d like to volunteer to help make a little video so that I’d understand what my last day will be like, and how things will change. So, let’s take a look at the video they helped make. BILL GATES: Well, we certainly had a lot of fun making that, but the transition is going very well. You saw Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie in the video, who are taking over a lot of the things I’ve been doing. And I’ll still be very involved in some things I’ve had a lot of passion about, including natural user interface, some things about how we structure knowledge, and really take on the big frontiers in software. Let me talk now about what I think software will do in the decades ahead. Certainly if you go back to the start of Microsoft, nobody thought of software as being important at all. There was no software industry. The little software that there was, was simply bundled along with the mainframe for the very expensive computers. And computing itself was almost thought of as a threatening scary thing, where governments and large companies would use it to track information about you and to print bills that were never right. People talked about stapling the punch cards that came with your bill, if you’ve ever heard of a punch card, and messing up these evil computers. And so it’s a real mind shift change to say that computing was going to be about individuals, that it was going to be about empowerment, and that even more important than the hardware would be the software that was available, and that a gigantic industry would group up around that. Now, that dream required some heroic assumptions. We had to believe that the cost of the hardware would come down. We had to believe that the volume would go up. And only then would the economics of being able to spend tens of millions of dollars to write a software package, and yet being able to sell it for say $100 or less, actually make sense. And so we undertook the idea of reaching out to other people, getting them to start software companies, and making sure that the personal computer became that high volume platform. In fact, today the software industry is gigantic, and the range of solutions and creativity in that industry is absolutely phenomenal. That’s really changed the way we think about computing. Today, we think about computing as affecting almost everything. Ten years ago, I talked about the start of the first digital decade. That’s about the time where the Internet was just showing up, and nobody was doing their photography in digital form or banking online or organizing their trips or looking at stock results. Well, today, 10 years later, many of those activities, certainly in the rich countries, we almost take for granted. The idea of a printed phone book or a CD or a record almost seems antiquated. My daughter doesn’t know what a record is. I keep meaning to go find one and show her, but they’re hard to find nowadays. Soon enough things like the phone book or a print-based encyclopedia will be equally antiquated. So, we’re now at the start of what we call the second digital decade, and I think the changes, the impact of this second digital decade will be far more dramatic than the first; in fact, as dramatic as all the things that software has done in this entire 30-year period since the personal computer came along. Part of that is because of the foundation we have. We have over a billion personal computers out there, and several billion people who’ve had a chance to use those. We have several billion people who use cell phones. We have somewhat less, about 300 million people connected up to the broadband Internet, but that’s a number that keeps growing quite dramatically. We reached an interesting milestone just recently where China now has more broadband users than the United States. You can be sure that the United States won’t catch up, because China has a lot of people who are going to be connecting up. In fact, of all the IT related markets, the personal computer itself and software are the only ones where the U.S. market is still much bigger than the market in China. So, it’s a very, very global business in terms of where the talent is, where the innovation is, where the markets are, and different ways of using these tools to have an impact. I think it’s fantastic that the Internet has made the world a smaller place. The growth of the personal computer from a device that you create documents and you edit them to one where you can do a little bit of e-mail to one where you could get a little bit of content to now where almost everything should be digital by default, that is a big mind shift change. For any industry it has huge implications. Even for education, which we think of as being about the same for the last several hundred years, if somebody said to you, the best math teacher lived in 1890, you could say, well, maybe that’s true. You couldn’t say that about the best person who understands physics because there’s been an accretion of knowledge, and people are building on each others’ understanding. In some areas the ability to watch people who practice very well, to see their results that are numerically analyzed, to understand what those techniques are, it’s been difficult to create that learning cycle. And now that we have things digitally, that we can store videos digitally, that we can look at test scores and correlate things, and other teachers can see what those teachers are doing and try out those best practices and find out how well they’re working, then even in that area we get a fairly substantial change. Education will probably split into different things. For example, how many universities should have to give lectures on subjects like physics? Well, the answer is very few, because whoever does that well can put it out on the Internet, make it available for free — and there’s certainly a trend towards doing this — and everybody the world over, assuming it’s localized into different languages, which again using labor across the Internet again should be a very straightforward thing that even volunteer labor in most places would be able to achieve, then you have the best teachers of all the college curriculum available on a worldwide basis. I personally go up and watch courses about physics or chemistry or anything that I want to know about — I have to admit they’re mostly MIT courses at this point, but I look forward to seeing more Stanford courses up there — and I feel so privileged to be able to do that. Not a week goes by that my children aren’t asking me some question that I go up to the Internet and say, okay, what is it about stars or different animals that I can take a story back and actually be a dad who knows the answers to these questions, and encourages their curiosity. None of that would have been possible before. The ambition level we can have for different realms of activity should be much higher, and it’s because of what software can achieve. If we think of somebody who works in an office, today they are really information starved: their ability to navigate, to understand customer trends and quality and costs and opinion, even to survey information and look at how that’s changing over time, look at key indicators that make sense to them, to collaborate with people at a distance. You can just talk to these what we call information workers about how valuable their time in meetings is spent, how hard they find it to get data, and you understand they are not yet fully empowered. The way that even just communications works, where they think about phone numbers and busy signals, and shall I send e-mail or instant messaging, the way that when you’re at a distance you can’t really meet and collaborate in a rich way, it is very, very antiquated. It’s way better than it was say 10 or 20 years ago, but it’s nowhere near to what it can be. When you start to take products like cars and planes or any physical product, do the design digitally, share those plans around, let people try out simulation models, what might happen with that product over a period of time, you’re shortening design cycles. So, you take the fact that there are more educated people on a global basis, that they’re connected, and that the power of software will give them better tools, not just to work together but also to model and understand the nature of the product work they’re doing, then innovation will accelerate, and it will accelerate on this foundation of the advances in computing and software. Why can we be so sure about this? I mean, after all, when Gordon Moore first predicted that the number of transistors would double every two years or so, it was just a prediction. Well, we can see that that prediction in transistors will remain true for the next 10 years. We can see that the storage capacity will also grow at exponential rates, that optic fiber bandwidth will go up at exponential rates. If we look for bottlenecks in this, we only see them in a few places. We see a bottleneck in terms of clock speed of the microprocessor. So, finally we have to deal with programming computers to work in a parallel fashion. It’s one of those great problems that when I was in computer science we thought, hey, maybe we’re about to solve this. Well, now we really have to solve it. The brute force of clock speed scaling is not likely to come and bail us out the way that it has in the past. There are some issues of modularity and proving programs correct both for just reliability and security things that are also now very required as we’re taking all of society and connecting it up digitally, with financial records and product orders and private medical data, all of these things being stored digitally. So, the basic foundation of how we understand the way that software works to say does this software maintain privacy, does this software control this information properly, there are some fundamental advances in computer science that we need to drive. Most of the things we want — cheap screens that for US$30 or $40 you can take every wall in your room and project up something at very high resolution; cameras that when combined with software can recognize the kind of gestures that you make, and who’s in the room doing what — these things will be very inexpensive. And, in fact, we’re on the verge of a big change of how you interact with all these devices. It’s been the mouse and keyboard overwhelmingly. It was just the keyboard, but then the mouse became mainstream, actually invented not far from here in the ’60s by Douglas Engelbart, but then with graphics interface that came and it was standard. That is the way we interact: You sit down at a chair, it’s really just one person. You’re starting to see the beginnings of a change to a broad range of interaction techniques I call natural user interface. You see it in the 3D controller that the Wii has. You see it in the touch that the iPhone has. You see it in products like Microsoft Surface where we have cameras that can look at any gesture, any object that’s appearing, and seeing what you’re doing. You see it in RoundTable that sees who’s in the room and decides who’s speaking by taking these multiple camera feeds. You see it in products like the TellMe software that runs in mobile phones where instead of trying to use that keyboard, you simply say what you’re interested in, whether it’s a directory lookup or a software interaction, and it recognizes that speech. We now have the power to perform natural user interface. A form factor that I’m a big believer in, that I’m excited to make sure we keep investing in, to drive it so it’s attractive to the mainstream, is the tablet device. This is where you can read off the screen, that it’s light, cheap, long battery life; eventually a replacement for paper-based textbooks. My daughter goes to a school where they use that Tablet PC, and they use the pen, and they’re very adept at it, and it’s amazing to see how they kind of learn in a different way, because they have that tool. There’s still a lot of work to be done to get that down to the say several hundred dollars and the lightness and battery life that we need, but that is absolutely coming. It’s a fundamental tool that will change the consumption of learning material, and even in the office place will be the device that you have as you go off to meetings. We now talk not just about computers on the desk but computers in the desk, because we can recognize what you’re putting there, and let you touch and expand things. Your desk will just be a horizontal surface display, your whiteboard will just be a vertical surface display. So, the ability there to take business information or project schedules and touch and manipulate and see those things, and then have a portion of it that’s a videoconference with another person where you’re working together and interacting, that will just be commonplace. When that’s cheap, people will go to that, and we need a whole new generation of software that can interact and use those things. In the consumer space experiences like TV, which are very passive today, very channel oriented, will change to be very personalized and very interactive. The dichotomy of broadcast video that you have say through your cable or satellite provider, and the video on the Internet, those will be brought together, so that if I have a child who’s in a sports even and somebody with an HD camera just happens to go and film that, when I go back to my TV menu, based on my interests, that will show up as one of the top big choices that I might be interested in. There’s nothing that will divide those two worlds. The advertising will be targeted, the shows will be interactive. Something like watching the Olympics and picking which sports you’re interested in, or the election and seeing the background and the breakdown of what’s going on with different votes; we are so used to a very limited TV experience, that this revolution that is literally on the verge of happening, people don’t really appreciate how dramatic that’s going to be. Today, there’s a few million people that are getting their popular mainstream video through pure Internet feeds that can be individualized, and so that infrastructure is starting to get out there. As we get it to the tens of millions and hundreds of millions, then all the content programmers will realize that the dividing line between what’s kind of a set-top box in this environment and what’s been a videogame, there is no dividing line; it’s just a spectrum of content. So, many of the things that will be available on TV in terms of watching together and chatting with your friends who are at a distance, or trying different things out, some of those you see more in the videogame world today than in the TV world, but we think they’ll be very broadly adopted. Things like organizing the memories of your children as they grow up, and having the images and the homework and the exchanges with them, and being able to go back and view that in rich and fun ways, that can happen very automatically. Today, we’re still very device-centric, and we rely on the user to move information between their phones, and their phones and their PCs, and their PCs and their PCs. Well, as we get this sort of unlimited power in the cloud, both in terms of computation and storage, the ability to move that data automatically so that if you buy a new phone your information just shows up, if you borrow a PC your data is there but only available to you, that will become commonplace. So, the willingness to work with multiple form factors, even in the car where it’s more voice oriented, or in the living room where it’s more distance, 10-foot oriented with gestures and a simple remote control, or using your phone to control things, those experiences will not be bifurcated like they are today. Now, we also need to revolutionize how we write software, where we can define things at a much higher level. That really hasn’t changed much in these last 30 years. We’re still writing declarative code that can take something like two banks whose products are 90 percent identical, and you can end up literally with a million lines of code that are different between these two banks. And yet if you describe say in English their products, you’d only find like 40 pages of difference. And so you say, what is that explosion of complexity that is expensive, it’s fragile, it’s hard to prove it’s correct? Well, it’s a failure of abstraction. We have not changed that level of abstraction. And finally we have the computing power and some of these ideas that can create runtime environments that particularly in domains that you focus on like the business domain that so much software is written to, we can make some huge breakthroughs. This is part of the reason why one of the best investments I think any company makes is in its research group and in the way that research group connects up with universities. It’s something that Microsoft looked forward to doing, and about 15 years ago we were successful enough we were able to start down the research path. People like Nathan Myhrvold, Rick Rashid came in and built something really phenomenal that not just in terms of the research it does but in terms of the way it lets us understand the brilliant ideas at places like Stanford, it has made a huge difference for us. Every one of our products is dramatically better because of that work. New things we do like ink recognition in tablet or all this visual recognition stuff that is just coming to the mainstream was totally developed there, our machine translation stuff. The breakthrough work that gives us the belief that we can take what search is today and so something that’s dramatically better than that, that optimism comes because we have great people in our research group who are doing very advanced things. We spend a bit over $6 billion a year on R&D, but it’s really this long term piece that ranges from graphics techniques to quantum computing to natural user interface that really define what the future is going to be. We’ve now spread that activity across the globe. When people come to me and say, hey, would you put a research center in a certain place, I used to say, well, if you have a billion people, we’ll put a research center there, because we have one in China, one in India, one in the United States — now we have three in the United States, so obviously I’m breaking my criteria that you have to have a billion people. So, it will be a little harder to exactly say the criteria, but it really has to do with where the top universities are. That research activity is risk-oriented, and it’s actually fairly surprising to me how little research is funded by businesses. Even here in the United States, if you take what Bell Labs and Xerox PARC did, which are some of the foundational work that Microsoft benefited from immensely, the entire personal computer industry had a huge boost by that work. And unfortunately those companies didn’t get an economic advantage; the way they managed the research and thought about it actually set an example that may have set back the willingness of companies to make these investments. I think now you see a range of companies like GE coming around and saying that this is an important thing, but that’s a huge challenge. Those are the kinds of jobs and breakthroughs that really are going to change the world. Now, when we think about the sciences broadly, the role of software is becoming more important. In the past you could say, well, what was the language of science? You could say mathematics, and it was very important for physicists, chemists, biologists to have some understanding of particular parts of mathematics to express their ideas, to write down formulas, and to make predictions. Today, the amount of data in most of these sciences is large enough that we can say that computer software and databases and pattern matching that come out of software breakthroughs are really important for what is going on in the sciences, particularly in biology, but I’d say almost as strongly for astronomy where the amount of data and taking a theory about the density of things, the creation of things, it’s not just one telescope, it’s not just being there at midnight and seeing something cool and writing it up and getting the Nobel Prize; rather it’s deep analysis across massive amounts of data. So, we are sort of the handmaiden of those advances, and making sure that we’re reaching out and collaborating with the sciences, and understanding from them how do they want to process that genomic data, how do they want to take and get insights into it, that’s very important. We’re doing our best to reach out to scientists, so getting ourselves out of just pure computer science, which is very important, lots of tough problems there, but to play a role in this more interdisciplinary activity that’s happening in a very deep way in the top universities. In fact, in my discussions with faculty this afternoon I was really pleased to see how Stanford is really trying to push the limits of getting departments to work together, and particularly bringing in computer science. One area of complexity that I’m sure fascinates all of us is studying the brain. There’s a lot of great research going on in that. One of the people we’re working with and providing software to is [Jeff] Lichtman at Harvard. So, I wanted to take just a quick look at a short video about how what he’s doing, and then show how software fits into that. BILL GATES: Yeah, I’ve got the HD View running right here, so you can get a little sense of it. Processing lots of image data now it turns out with the right algorithms we can do this very well to let you scan in and out, and even apply a lot of recognition algorithms to understand. Here what we really want is a database of all the neuron connections inside the brain, and eventually understanding exactly what’s being connected. So, if we look here, this is the layer diagram, and I can go in and look at individual layers at any time, try and understand exactly what’s changing as we go through that. A lot of data, but processed very quickly. Then here’s where we take an algorithm that’s trying to understand exactly what the patterns are, and then map that, as was being said, into those structures. Now, obviously this is just the beginning of this type of capability to really get the model and understand what the meaning of the messages are all the way up to the highest level, that’s going to take a lot of time, but that’s a very software driven activity. One thing that’s amazing is in the computer industry and sciences broadly is how much students have really been at the heat of a lot of breakthroughs. John mentioned a lot of the great companies that Stanford alum or dropouts have started, and there are other examples as well. So, it’s very interesting that at a young age people are very open-minded about new approaches. We announced a new program today to actually let students have all the same tool software, things like Visual Studio or Expression, the same software for free that professional developers use, really trying to broaden that out, both to not only the computer science department where we’ve already had grant programs, but to the other departments and even down to a younger age level, so that this access to the very best tools is there from the beginning. Some of these people will go on and start companies, some will just be a lot better in whatever activities they engage in. This level of interest is very high. We have a contest every year we call the Imagine Cup. Last year, it was about 100,000 students. This year it will be about 150,000 students. The United States is the third biggest country, where Brazil and India have a higher enrollment, but the U.S. at 15,000 is very significant. And the quality of these entrants are really unbelievable. In fact, we had a thing where people won a programming contest, we would just basically give them a job and some of the people who have come out of that have been really phenomenal in terms of what can go on. And what we’re seeing is we’re really getting to the point where your level of education is what defines your opportunity. It’s less about where you grew up and simply having access to these tools, if you’re lucky enough to get access, then really the sky is the limit in terms of what can be done. So, this brings us to my final topic, which is the question of as we have all these advances, how are benefits of those advances spread in terms of the richest 2 billion on the planet, say the middle 2 billion, and the bottom 2 billion? In fact, our record to date is that although there’s benefits in terms of improved medicine and food and electricity to a high percentage of people, that the relative benefit has been overwhelmingly to essentially the people who need it the least, where the marginal benefit is lower than it is say in the poorest 2 billion, where literally for not spending a few hundred dollars a child’s life is lost. Of the 12 million children that die every year, less than 1 percent of them are in the rich countries, and yet if you look at medical research that’s related to those things, over 90 percent would relate to the conditions that are in the richest countries. So, you have this big disparity. Consider how much money should be spent on baldness versus on malaria. Well, the ratio is about 50 to 1 for baldness. Malaria, of course, kills over a million a year. I was pretty stunned when I found out about these statistics, and I have to say it was after I dropped out of Harvard, actually quite a bit, over 10 years, I read about a disease called rotavirus that was killing a half a million children a year, and I thought, what the heck is rotavirus; I’d absolutely never heard of it, this must be — this article must be wrong. You can’t have a disease that’s killing a half a million children and not have had courses. I flipped through the course catalogue; I never saw anything, any of this stuff. In fact, the one medicine there was for that disease, the one vaccine was taken off the market because of things that really it shouldn’t have been taken off the market for, for the key target market, which was the poor countries. So, we have this disparity that as great as our system is, if there’s not a market need, it doesn’t drive the innovation to the particular requirements of the poorest. And yet I think that’s a very solvable thing, and, in fact, I think there’s an increasing awareness, a desire of people working at companies, of companies, and of universities to have an impact that’s measured slightly in an additional way besides what the pure market incentives are. Our research group in India has a special group with a lot of social scientists in it that goes out to the poorest and is looking and talking to them, and very quickly you realize for that segment there’s no electricity, there’s widespread illiteracy; you’re not going to give them a personal computer. I don’t care if it’s a 10 cent personal computer; the problem is very different than that. So, some of the solutions they’ve come up with in terms of using cell phones or even just using DVDs have been amazing. They take these agriculture extension workers who go out and help farmers, tell them what to do, and they come with a TV set and a DVD, and the very best farmers have been filmed doing these things. Think of it as like American Idol, except this is “Farmer Idol” and they really want to be the ones to choose on the video. That technique has done more for improving the productivity of those farmers, it’s three times as effective as just sending that person out, and yet they don’t need to be nearly as trained. So, some technologies like a DVD player carried out to a village, when used in the right structure, can have a very dramatic impact. So, at every tier — the bottom 2 billion, the middle 2 billion — we have to think through what technology can work. For vaccines, you have to keep them cold as they get out to these rural villages; that’s a very tough thing. One of the things I’ll be spending time on is reaching out to both universities and companies, and encouraging them to get more involved in this: food companies on micro nutrients and the ideas they have about buying food and helping the small holder farmers who represent the majority of the abject poor in the world; the pharma companies in terms of doing more on these things. I absolutely think universities have a big role to play here. One element of it is that I don’t think students should graduate without having some sense, ideally both learning about it and having some direct experience of it, of the average human condition in the world, as opposed to the condition that we experience normally by living here in one of the very richest countries in the world. So, I think we can apply ourselves to this. I don’t think it requires a revolution, but it does require a focus, it requires some value system that gets expressed, and some measurement, both in terms of who’s doing it well and who’s not doing it well, that’s really going to drive more rapid change. So, overall I hope you get a sense of my optimism about how technology broadly and software in particular will become an enabling element in the years ahead. I think it’s a wonderful time to be a student and to have gathered these skills, and so I’ll be very excited to see the great work that you can do.
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