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Melinda Gates

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Are You an Impatient Optimist?

Posted: 08/12/11 08:33 PM ET

In my work at the foundation, I'm proud to highlight voices of the global effort to alleviate poverty, promote health and ensure that every student in the U.S. has an effective teacher. Witnessing this life-saving work firsthand has made me an optimist.

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For this reason, I'm thrilled about our newest social media effort, Impatient Optimists. Impatient Optimists is our new blog, a place to find out more about these issues, share your own thoughts and become part of a community working to change the world.

On Impatient Optimists, you'll hear from our extraordinary partner organizations working on the ground every day, as well as amazing individuals whose stories need to be told.

Take, for example, the woman I met when I visited Tanzania last year. She had walked for six hours to deliver her fourth child at a health center, carrying enough water for her stay. I was so moved by her experience I knew I had to share it far and wide. Here is a woman who saw so much value in the health center that she literally put one foot in front of the other for miles.

When I hear her story, I want to know what I can do and how I can help. Educating myself -- for example, about the challenges most women similar to this one face in helping her child survive to age five -- is the first step. Telling others is the second, so that they can share her perspective as well.

I am convinced that through the telling of these stories, we discover what connects us. We can work together to create new ways of addressing the world's most pressing problems. Social media is a tool for dialogue, community-sharing and action.

If you care about these issues, let's work together. Visit Impatient Optimists, and when a story resonates with you the way this woman's situation did with me, will you share it with others?

Impatient Optimists is your community space -- and I hope you'll find the stories and conversations on the site that inspire hope, give you information and insight you wouldn't find elsewhere, and motivate you to make change in the world as well.

I encourage everyone to visit some of my favorite social media for social good campaigns including Save the Children's Good Goes campaign (shown below) on the importance of health workers to newborn health in poor countries, and the Living Proof campaign. I dare you not to be inspired!

 

Follow Melinda Gates on Twitter: www.twitter.com/melindagates