Change Magazine January 2018 Issue - Page 48

THOUGHTS WE CAUGHT A SHORT INTERVIEW WITH SUSAN DESMOND-HELLMANN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION WHO WILLINGLY SHARED HER THOUGHTS ON SCALING UP GRASSROOTS INITIATIVES. Change Mag: CHANGE magazine works to promote grassroots innovations and values community based projects that strive to improve the status of health. How does the Gates Foundation support bottom-up initiatives? Susan: In the early stages, the Gates Foundation also had some bottom-up processes and efforts. I also frequently communicated with Melinda about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a bottom-up process that starts with the grassroots and mothers. Ebola prevention is also a bottom-up process. The Gates Foundation is thinking that we can help through impact investment, through working with our partners, and then empowering partners at the grassroots level to further promote good projects. In the United States, we have also conducted many dialogues on how to further foster the entire bottom- up process and promote changes in the world. Let’s make it possible for communities to create a catalog of their own, and then get support to make things happen. Susan Desmond-Hellmann Chief Executive Officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Board member of Facebook 44 Change Magazine January 2018 Change Magazine January 2018 45