Question: Why are you really giving your money away-what's in it for you? There are two reasons to do something like this. One is that it’s meaningful work. Even before we got married, we talked about how we would eventually spend a lot of time on philanthropy. We think that’s a basic responsibility of anyone with a lot of money. Once you’ve taken care of yourself and your children, the best use of extra wealth is to give it back to society. The other reason is that we have fun doing it. Both of us love digging into the science behind our work.
No. It’s not fair that we have so much wealth when billions of others have so little. And it’s not fair that our wealth opens doors that are closed to most people. ... But there is nothing secret about our objectives as a foundation. We are committed to being open about what we fund and what the results have been. ... We do this work, and use whatever influence we have, to help as many people as possible and to advance equity around the world.
When more children live past the age of 5, and when mothers can decide if and when to have children, population sizes don’t go up. They go down. Parents have fewer children when they’re confident those children will survive into adulthood. Big families are in some ways an insurance policy against the tragic likelihood of losing a son or a daughter.