Blog, Designing The Future

How To Save The World: Bill Gates On A Formula For Innovation

Bill Gates is a game-changer. His companies, business grants and numerous philanthropic ventures, help the world over. Recently Gates and other billionaire game-changers have been focusing their attention on the future of energy – a daunting and exciting topic.

In this video Gates outlines the things that he believes are necessary in order to solve the problems of global warming & climate change. He calls it, “creating an energy miracle.”

3-Steps to an Energy Miracle:

Step 1. Create agreements between world governments.

(Aka: get everyone on the same page)

The Paris Agreement made last year were a step in the right direction, more work is still needed but now we have a basic game plan of what the next century should look like. 

Step 2. Increase R&D spending in countries around the world

Gates uses the example of the early internet, demonstrating that government spending on basic research made the internet a possibility.

Step 3. Fund high-risk investments

The Breakthrough Energy Coalition was founded on the principle that the world needs a widely available form energy production that doesn’t create carbon emissions (CO2 & CH4). They are focusing on “early stage companies that have the potential of an energy future that produces near zero carbon emissions.”


The group has outlined some of their core investment principles:

  • Invest Early

    The most transformative ideas are emerging out of research institutions and the great capital gap is in getting these ideas out of the lab and on the path to commercialization.

  • Invest Broadly

    We don’t know where the best ideas will come from to transition the world to a near zero-emissions energy future, so we will invest across a number of sectors:

    • a. Electricity generation and storage
    • b. Transportation
    • c. Industrial use
    • d. Agriculture
    • e. Energy system efficiency
  • Invest Boldly

    We are looking for outliers both in developing novel technologies AND in innovations which enable current technologies to be dramatically more efficient, scalable, or cheaper.

  • Invest Wisely

    One of the challenges to effective financing in this area is a lack of depth in terms of technical review and analysis of underlying science and technology to guide investment decisions. To tackle this, we will work with a coalition of the world’s best minds, in partnership with leading public and private institutions, to guide investment decision-making.

  • Invest Together

    Because the foundation of these innovations will likely come through government research pipelines, we will focus our investments on those countries that have committed to increase the size of those pipelines by participating in the international initiative known as Mission Innovation.

The Formula:

More government R&D spending coupled with a smart investment strategy will result in major solutions to global problems