Bill Gates, co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Founder & CEO of Microsoft, at Deptford Green School

Image of Bill Gates speaking at Deptford Green School

Themes: Future Citizens, Challenging the Status Quo

Topics: Business Management, Charities & Not-for-Profit

Bill Gates, co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Founder & CEO of Microsoft, spoke at Deptford Green School to all of year 8 and 9, who were only told in advance that an important entrepreneur and tech figure would be visiting.

Bill Gates spoke about the Annual Letter he writes as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the ‘whys and hows’ of tackling Hunger, and the important role young people have to play in that battle.

Bill’s talk gave students an understanding of key issues in the debate surrounding global poverty and disease prevention. Keely Wilson, an English teacher who applied to Speakers for Schools, explained that her school had strong international links and a long-standing partnership with a school in Africa, so the focus of the talk was ideal.

In fact, Deptford Green’s sister school in Kampala, Uganda joined via Skype for the event, giving both groups of students a unique chance to exchange views on the critical issue and talk with Bill.

He responded to a selection of letters by the students and engaged in an interactive discussion about their “world-changing” ideas. Explaining his support of Speakers for Schools, Bill said “It’s vitally important to listen to young people about the urgent issues facing us all and I enjoyed hearing directly from them about how they would make the world a better place.” Due to the rigorous preparation before the day, the students had a lot prepared for their speaker to hear!

The talk was followed by a broadcast of BBC World’s Have Your Say featuring Bill and the students, in addition to students joining the show from Russia, Paraguay, Uganda and the US.

BBC News: “Bill Gates tells school pupils about giving it all away”

Brian Lightman, General Secretary, Association of School and College Leaders blog: “A truly educational experience”