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On Tuesday, Bill Gates posted a short Tweet: “Headed to TED – – I will be sending notes and taking your questions. Send them to @BillGates and tag them #BillatTED.” On Friday, some of those questions will be answered via a video feed following his TED presentation on energy and climate change. (UPDATE: The video link is here.)

As is typical with a Bill Gates Tweet, the post was retweeted and referenced a lot. The questions submitted have also been interesting to review. Using the webstie What the Hashtag?!, I  pulled together a listing of most of the questions submitted in advance of Friday’s presentation at TED. Of the nearly 500 tweets using the Hashtag, approximately 70 or so where actual questions. The rest were retweets, nonsensical questions or personal pleas, and comments.

Below, I’ve categorized the many of those questions into categories. Not surprisingly, many focus on energy and climate change. Some even focus on nuclear policy, a likely focus of the TED presentation. Philanthropy and the Gates Foundation, on the other hand, only generated a few questions, which to me is a bit disappointing.

Hopefully, Bill Gates will offer an opportunity to submit more questions to him in the future. In the meantime, there’s still a few more hours to submit your question on Twitter before his scheduled presentation around 11:00AM PST.

Climate Change

  1. Can the text donation movement generate cash-flow for green science as a sustainable, proactive model?
  2. Do you think it is worthwhile to pursue a solution of the climate crisis through politics?
  3. What is the most sustainable low tech solution for the developing world with respect to climate change?
  4. How do you see your foundation work on issues related to climate change
  5. What role do you believe geo-engineering plays in curbing climate change?
  6. what do you think about sustainable energy projects? Are they currently viable?


  1. How does the approach typified by Esther Duflo (randomized studies of development work) influence Gates Foundation?


  1. How do you jumpstart an economy with no basics? Construction sector? Education? Communication?


  1. What do you think can be done towards keeping art in public schools when it’s the first programs they cut?


  1. Why aren’t all public schools set with solar power?
  2. What do you think are the most viable alternate energy sources & climate change initiatives?
  3. What do you think needs to be done to improve public knowledge about global warming and the need for energy reform?
  4. With the demand for electricity so high, will there be any viable clean alternatives to nuclear in the near future?
  5. Countries of third world has some way of generating sustainable energy and jobs in some odd way, what u think about it?
  6. What are your thoughts on Kurzweil’s assertion we are only 8 doublings of solar efficiency away from our global needs?
  7. What major steps should the automotive industry take to help drive innovation for energy and climate solutions?
  8. With the potential Nuclear Power (Fission or Fusion) has, what’s being done to support it? Do you support it?
  9. How can individuals push towards clean, renewable energy into their own hands, thus promoting market change?
  10. Are you interested in/going to discuss investigating liquid thorium fission reactors as a new green energy source?
  11. How can IT reduce energy consumption rapidly ?
  12. What about technology and investment towards in-house energy scheme, localized for efficiency?
  13. What about the willingness to start Energy projects in AFRICA? Isn’t the time to start thinking about them?


  1. What type of NPO would be your ideal partner in eradicating childhood hunger?


  1. Your thoughts about microfinance? Is there a place for collaboration between MFI groups and traditional philanthropy?


  1. How does your experience and knowledge in the computer world transfer over to help with your Philanthropic work?


  1. How can we promote sustainability and progress in 3rd-world economies with realistic technology?


  1. What do you think will be the next big technological advancement?
  2. Should Internet use be regulated/licensed?
  3. Is there any technology problem that if solved could make a big a difference in the world as your humanitarian work?

Tags: Climate ChangeDevelopmentEconomyEducationEnergyBill GatesHungerNuclear PolicyMicrofinanceNonprofitsPhilanthropySustainabilityTED2010Technology

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