The Gates’ challenging "philanthropic conspiracy"

Bill Gates and Melinda Gates recently received the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding. Visit after visit to remote spots around the globe has compelled the Gateses to use their $35 billion foundation to target global health and international development.

Ann Stock, assistant secretary of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the State Department says, "Bill and Melinda Gates exemplify shared responsibility. They are stepping up to the plate and charting a new path for philanthropic giving. They are putting their giving all together in a way we haven't seen before."

And this year, the couple and fellow billionaire Warren Buffett threw out a challenge to other wealthy people to give at least half their worth to charity. Asked about the gambit, Bill Gates laughed, saying: "A group has chosen to work together and decide how to get more effective. ... We are amazed that 40 have signed up so far."

Melinda Gates then smiled at the effect of their philanthropic conspiracy.

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