Trending: Taste-testing the Cosmic Crisp, Washington state’s star-studded ‘apple of the future’
University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce and student Sukhdeep Singh participate in the Hour of Code. (UW Photo by Dennis Wise)

An educator, a nerd farmer, a former president: these are a few of Bill Gates’ favorite things.

As the holidays and new year approach, the billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder is thinking about people who give him hope for the future. He landed on five “fanatics” who inspire him, including University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce.

“Dr. Cauce, the president of the University of Washington, saw the need to help the university’s medical school, school of public health, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, environmental scientists, and dozens of other partners to collaborate together more effectively around common health-related goals,” Gates wrote on his blog. “The effort, called the Population Health Initiative, has incredible potential to unlock the power of health research and data for the benefit of all.”

Washington State Teacher of the Year Nate Bowling. (Twitter Photo)

Gates also included President Jimmy Carter, climate researcher Ken Caldeira, Indian entrepreneur and philanthropist Nandan Nilekani, and Washington State Teacher of the Year Nate Bowling on his list.

These leaders in their fields remind Gates of himself when he was equally “fanatical” about putting a computer in every home.

“Looking back over 2016, I had the opportunity to meet with many gifted individuals trying to change the world,” writes Gates. “Their hard work and dedication fuel my optimism that our world’s best days are still ahead of us.”

Read the blog post, titled “My Favorite Fanatics of 2016” to find out why these five people give Gates hope for the future.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


Job Listings on GeekWork

Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.