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You might think of philanthropy as giving back, but you can also think of it as a way to move the world forward, as Bill Gates points out in the latest issue of Forbes.
[W]hen you come to the end of the innovations that business and government are willing to invest in, you still find a vast, unexplored space of innovation where the returns can be fantastic. This space is a fertile area for what I call catalytic philanthropy.
Philanthropy’s role is to get things started. We used foundation funds to set up a system to make market forces work in favor of the poor, guaranteeing purchases so drug companies could make a little bit of money or at least not lose their shirts.