Bill Gates has said repeatedly that he doesn’t have aspirations to hold public office, but he has some common-sense advice for the country’s political leaders: be more analytical.
After participating in a on-stage Q&A with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, the Microsoft chairman and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair last week continued the conversation on his Gates Notes site, addressing questions posted by Dorsey’s followers on Twitter.
One of the questions: What does Gates think about the way the U.S. government works?
“Personally, I’d like to see more of our leaders take a technocratic approach to solving our biggest problems,” responded Gates, in part. He continued …
I know some people use “technocrat” as an insult, but I mean it as a compliment. We should be asking ourselves: Given the things that the country wants to get done, what’s the most efficient way to accomplish them? In areas like our energy supply or the budget, the current course won’t get us where we want to go. So the debate should be focused on the choices that are available to us. What are the facts? What do the numbers tell us about what’s working and what isn’t?
That’s essentially what we try to do with the foundation. For example, we’re trying to help improve the U.S. education system. I wake up every day asking myself, how can we provide some examples of what works? How can we identify what makes a teacher really effective, and help all teachers be as good as the best ones? I think the country would have healthier political debates if more of our leaders brought a similar analytic approach to their work.