Bono has long been known for his activist efforts, as well as his amazing talent in the music industry. Now the famous celebrity is teaming up with Bill Gates to tackle the issue of AIDS, something Bono insists hasn’t disappeared.
— Gates Foundation (@gatesfoundation) January 23, 2016
The World Economic Forum was held last week in Switzerland and during the annual conference, Bono and Gates sat down to speak with CNBC about Project (RED). The two seemed like an unlikely duo, but it seems Bono is a big fan of Gates.
“Yeah, no it wasn’t like we met them after the U2 show. No, we care about the same things, and I was very excited to meet them. Bill had already changed the world once with, you know, the digital revolution, and we wanted to be with him when he changed the world twice. That’s probably it.”
— u2verdadero (@u2verdadero) January 20, 2016
Bono also took the time to explain the cause that he and Gates are supporting.
“So we invented RED as a sort of gateway drug to activism, really simple, you know? People were very upset about what they were seeing with this AIDS crisis. And whole countries, you’d have a third of the people in the country HIV positive. And I witnessed that up close and I realized that this problem is so big that we need to use everything. The United States is now leading the greatest intervention in the history of medicine, it is the remarkable — and I don’t think Americans know just what you’ve done.”
Bono is very adamant that RED is about taking on a single fight, a fight they are certain they can win – the fight against AIDS.
“RED is example of being just clearly taking on one fight, a fight that we know we could win. It was madness that an accident of longitude and latitude, you know, where you live decided whether you would live. You’ve got this disease, AIDS, somewhere around where we live, you just took two pills. You’ve got this disease over there, you died. The Gates Foundation is investing in a vaccine, we hope there will be a vaccine in 10, 15 years. I don’t know if you’re optimistic?”
The Irish Times also spoke with Bono and about how he has returned to the World Economic Forum after a decade. Bono originally established Project (RED) with Bobby Shriver ten years ago, and the initiative has raised $350 million during that time.
— (RED) (@RED) January 22, 2016
His goal with Gates is to keep the momentum of RED going strong.
“The battle against AIDS is not a last decade issue. It’s going to be the next decade issue. We need to finish the job, get new companies, new interest. It’s kind of annoying and sometimes upsetting that these global health issues can become creatures of fashion. People think AIDS is done — it’s not done.”
The initiative seems to be working as companies are committing renewed support for Project (RED). There has been a commitment of $5 billion from Salesforce, and Weiss and Philips are also talking about investing. In fact, so far, Project (RED) has seen over 60 companies show their support.
— Anne Finucane (@AnneFinucane) January 22, 2016
— (RED) (@RED) January 22, 2016
— The Coca-Cola Co. (@CocaColaCo) January 22, 2016
But as present as Bono was at the conference, the Independent reports that he missed out on the Irish delegation’s IDA dinner this year, something he has attended in the past. The IDA dinner attracts top corporate executives from around the world.
Bono continues to makes waves in the world of activism, taking on challenges that are significant and important and bringing the world to help solve them together. Thank you, Bono, for all that you do.
[Photo by Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images]