Melinda Gates Says “Reject The Cynics” Who Tell Us We Can’t Make A Difference Because Of Technology


It’s graduation time in many countries in the Northern Hemisphere and one in particular got quite the media attention because of it’s famous guest speaker.

Duke University in North Carolina was the school for billionaire wife Melinda Gates, and she was the guest speaker this week. Her speech was poignant to the next generation and she gave a special message to the graduating students.

The theme of her speech was about “being connected” and how these days the older generations come down hard on the younger for being so involved in technology saying we are all disconnected from reality. Her message was to ignore this. “I want to encourage you to reject the cynics who say technology is flattening your experience of the world,” she said. “Please don’t let anyone make you believe you are somehow shallow because you like to update your status on a regular basis.”

The wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates makes an important point that while it is easy to complain about what technology does to the youth, it is also just a tool for communication, and a very powerful one. In fact, it has revolutionized the way we all communicate, no matter what generation or background we are from.

On the other hand she counter-balances the technology aspect with deep human connection. She says it is not a tool, like technology, nor is it just a means to an end. Rather it is the purpose to a meaningful life.

She goes on to encourage her audience to remember that we are all human and essentially are all made up of the same things, despite those little differences. And once we start realizing that, we will begin to be inspired to reach out to other people and making a real difference in the world. Deep human connection is like nothing else in this world, and is more meaningful than technology. We have the ability to love. Technology should be used as an aide to do good in our lives. In fact, the technology you used will make it easier!

Melinda issues a callout to students which can apply to all of us “I don’t want you to connect for connection’s sake. I want you to connect because I believe it will inspire you to do something. To take action. To make a difference in the world.”

Just like she asked all the graduating students at the end of her speech, we want to ask “So what will you do?” How will you use technology as a tool to create something great? How will you view deep human connections as a way to make a difference in the world?

Watch the full speech below:


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