Bono’s TED Talk has compacted twenty-five years of anti-poverty campaigning into a ten minute presentation for a TED conference which was held this past February. The result is a passionate call for people to stay involved and stay informed about all the great work that is and has been happening in the fight against extreme poverty.
Much of the progress that has been made does not make the news but Bono sees how people, technology, and the sharing of information is turning inequality on its head; sighting the Arab Spring as a momentous shift in history. He emphasizes how facts change minds and hearts, bring new awareness and action, bring better action, and bring change in a phenomenon he names “factivism.”
Here are some facts. Since 2000:
- Eight million AIDS patients have been receiving retroviral drugs
- Malaria deaths have been cut in some countries by 75%
- Child mortality rate of children under the age of 5 is down by 2.65 million deaths per year
- 7,256 children’s lives are saved each day
The global rate of extreme poverty has declined from 43% in 1990 to 21% in 2010.
The population of people living on less than $1.25 per day has been cut in half in the last 20 years, and the facts show that this extreme poverty can be cut to virtually zero within a generation — worldwide. Bono encourages everyone to continue their efforts for lasting progress by:
- Telling politicians not to cut foreign aid funding
- Join campaigns that make sure all natural resources (and their profits) are shared with the people of that country
- Continue citizen participation by demanding transparency of government spending (anti-corruption)
- Become a “factivist” – share the facts with others about successes and hardships within global inequality
– Mary Purcell