iPad advertisement, 2011: “If you asked”

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An Apple advertisement for the iPad, November 2011. You can find the original here on the Apple website.

VoiceoverIf you ask a parent, they might call it intuitive.

If you ask a musician, they might call it inspiring.

To a doctor, it’s groundbreaking.

To a CEO, it’s powerful.

To a teacher, it’s the future.

If you ask a child, she might call it magic.

And if you asked us, we’d say it’s just getting started.

iPad Introduction, 2010 (8 mins)

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An Apple advertisement for the iPad.

A full transcript can be found on the RealTimeTranscription.com website. Like the Protranscript.com website, it offers companies accurate transcriptions of videos they own. Both sides have some example videos with transcripts.

Jony Ive, Senior VP, Design: You know, it’s true, when something exceeds your ability to understand how it works, it sort of becomes magical. And that’s exactly what the iPad is.

It’s hard to see how something so simple, so thin and so light could possibly be so capable.

Phil Schiller, Senior VP, Worldwide Product Marketing: The iPhone was a revolution, and we learned so much from it and developed so many amazing technologies and all the applications, the multi-touch user interface. It was truly an incredible breakthrough product. We wanted to take all of that and apply that to a whole new class of product. The iPad is the best web surfing experience, the best e-mail experience, the best photo and movie watching experience. It’s going to change the way we do the things we do every day.

Jony Ive, Senior VP, Design: The face of the product is pretty much defined by a single piece of multitouch glass, and that’s it. There is no pointing device. There isn’t even a single orientation; there’s no up, there’s no down, there’s no right or wrong way of holding it. I don’t have to change myself to fit the product; it fits me.

Scott Forstall, Senior VP, iPhone Software: We looked at the device and we decided, let’s redesign it all. Let’s redesign, reimagine and rebuild every single app from the ground up, specifically for the iPad. And with this large a display you get apps that aren’t just a little bit better than their smaller counterparts. You get apps that are order of magnitude more powerful! iPad is the best way to browse the web. For the same reasons that it just feels right to hold a book or a magazine or a newspaper in your hands as you read them, it just feels right to hold the Internet in your hands as you search it. And with a screen this large, you can just see more of the web as you’re surfing it. Take the New York Times. You can see all the top stories. They are all just right there. If you see something, you just reach out and tap it. It’s completely natural. You don’t even think about it. You just do.

iPad is a world class e-mail client that’s incredibly fun but very productive. You can go through huge quantities of e-mail really quickly, and it’s fun because you’re doing it all with your hands. When you want to compose a new message, the keyboard automatically slides up from the bottom. And this keyboard is practically the same size as a laptop’s keyboard. If you want to focus on a single message, just rotate to portrait and everything else gets out of the way so you can concentrate on the content you care about.

iPad is absolutely the best way to view and share your photos. You see every one of your albums there, as just a stack of photos, and you can just pinch open to peek in a stack, or just pinch it open and look at all your photos. If you want to share with a friend, you can just flip over the iPad, and the iPad automatically flips the photo to the correct orientation.

This is an unbelievable device for watching video. The user interface we built for this is just fun. When you see something, you touch it with your finger and it starts playing. There is no delay. The quality of this video is amazing. You can double tap, fill the whole screen. We also built an incredible map application on here. It’s really fast. And we created a calendar application like nothing you’ve ever seen on a computer before. Another app we’re really excited about is called iBooks. When you couple books with a hi-res color display, reading an e-book is just such a pleasure. Not only can you read books on it, but the UI actually flips over to reveal a bookstore behind it. And with a tap of your finger, you can purchase and download a book and immediately start reading it. So now we have three phenomenal stores on the iPad: The iTunes store, the App Store, and now the iBook store. We built the iPad to run virtually every one of the more than 140,000 apps available in the App Store as well as the ones you’ve already downloaded on your iPhone. So the apps you use every day and all the games you love playing are right on your iPad right out of the box. Plus, with the release of the iPad SDK, developers will be building apps specifically for the iPad. So there’s going to be a whole new gold rush for app developers.

Bob Mansfield, Senior VP, Hardware: The iPad is the most advanced piece of technology that I’ve ever worked on at Apple.

The innovation of the product really starts with multitouch itself. This multitouch is the largest that we’ve ever built in a product. And it’s on multitouch of this size that you really feel the power and performance that multitouch can offer.

By putting well over 1,000 sensors in this multitouch design, the level of multitouch accuracy that the customer will experience is unprecedented. When you take the product out of the box and hit the power button, the display immediately comes to life. And I think our customers’ experience with that will be, Wow, this is a really vibrant display. The back lighting system is LED, and LED is what gives you the crispness and color quality in the display itself. Beyond that we use IPS technology. IPS is a premium display technology that gives you not only a great experience looking directly at the device, but also off angle, when you’re sharing the device with someone else.

The reason why this product responds so well and you really feel the performance of it is because of the custom silicon that we designed for this product. That silicon is called A4, and it’s really built by our hardware team in concert with our software team. What that gives you is a level of performance that you can’t achieve any other way. It also gives you the efficiency to achieve a battery that lasts all day long. Apple’s the one place that you can really do this. We build battery technology, we build chip technology, we build software, and we bring all those things together in a way that no one else can do it.

Phil Schiller, Senior VP, Worldwide Product Marketing: One of the most important features we designed in the iPad was an affordable price. Usually when you get the brand-new latest technology it starts at a high price, and over time it gets more affordable, works its way down. We wanted to do it differently. We wanted to take all this advanced technology of hardware and software, do everything we could to get it into the hands of as many people as possible right from the start. The iPad starts at just 499. That’s really exciting.

Jony Ive, Senior VP, Design:The iPad on one hand is clearly way bigger than just a new product. This is a new category. But yet, millions and millions of people are going to be instantly familiar with it; they’re going to know how to use it. In many ways this defines our vision, our sense of what’s next.

iPad Advertisement, 2011: “Love”

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An Apple advertisement for the iPad, November 2011. You can find the original here on the Apple website.

VoiceoverFor some, it’s a life long passion.

For others, it’s something discovered yesterday.

We all have things that speak to us. They drive us to get up early, and stay up late.

Getting lost in the things we love has never felt quite like this

Larry Page: University of Michigan Commencement Address, 2009

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Larry Page’s University of Michigan Commencement Address, May 2009. Larry Page is one of the co-founders of Google

The transcript is from the google press website

Larry Page: Class of 2009! I don’t think I heard you! Class of 2009! First I’d like you to get up, wave and cheer your supportive family and friends! Show your love!

It is a great honor for me to be here today.

Now wait a second. I know: that’s such a cliché. You’re thinking: every graduation speaker says that – It’s a great honor. But, in my case, it really is so deeply true – being here is more special and more personal for me than most of you know. I’d like to tell you why.

A long time ago, in the cold September of 1962, there was a Steven’s co-op at this very university. That co-op had a kitchen with a ceiling that had been cleaned by student volunteers every decade or so. Picture a college girl named Gloria, climbing up high on a ladder, struggling to clean that filthy ceiling. Standing on the floor, a young boarder named Carl was admiring the view. And that’s how they met. They were my parents, so I suppose you could say I’m a direct result of that kitchen chemistry experiment, right here at Michigan. My Mom is here with us today, and we should probably go find the spot and put a plaque up on the ceiling that says: “Thanks Mom and Dad!”

Everyone in my family went to school here at Michigan: me, my brother, my Mom and Dad – all of us. My Dad actually got the quantity discount: all three and a half of his degrees are from here. His Ph.D. was in Communication Science because they thought Computers were just a passing fad. He earned it 44 years ago. He and Mom made a big sacrifice for that degree. They argued at times over pennies, while raising my newborn brother. Mom typed my Dad’s dissertation by hand, kind of ironic in a computer science dissertation. This velvet hood I’m wearing, this was my Dad’s. And this diploma that I have here, just like the one you’re are about to get, this was my Dad’s. And my underwear, … oh never mind, sorry.

My father’s father worked in the Chevy plant in Flint, Michigan. He was an assembly line worker. He drove his two children here to Ann Arbor, and told them: That is where you’re going to college. Both his kids actually did graduate from Michigan. That was the American dream. His daughter, Beverly, is also with us today. My Grandpa used to carry an “Alley Oop” hammer – a heavy iron pipe with a hunk of lead melted on the end. The workers made them during the sit-down strikes to protect themselves. When I was growing up, we used that hammer whenever we needed to pound a stake or something into the yard. It is wonderful that most people don’t need to carry a heavy blunt object for protection anymore. But just in case, I have it here.

My Dad became a professor at uh… Michigan State, and I was an incredibly lucky boy. A professor’s life is pretty flexible, and he was able to spend oodles of time raising me. Could there be any better upbringing than a university brat?

What I’m trying to tell you is that this is WAY more than just a homecoming for me. It’s not easy for me to express how proud I am to be here, with my Mom, my brother and my wife Lucy, and with all of you, at this amazing institution that is responsible for my very existence. I am thrilled for all of you, and I’m thrilled for your families and friends, as all of us join this great, big Michigan family I feel I’ve been a part of all of my life.

What I’m also trying to tell you is that I know exactly what it feels like to be sitting in your seat, listening to some old gasbag give a long-winded commencement speech. Don’t worry. I’ll be brief.

I have a story about following dreams. Or maybe more accurately, it’s a story about finding a path to make those dreams real.

You know what it’s like to wake up in the middle of the night with a vivid dream? And you know how, if you don’t have a pencil and pad by the bed to write it down, it will be completely gone the next morning?

Well, I had one of those dreams when I was 23. When I suddenly woke up, I was thinking: what if we could download the whole web, and just keep the links and… I grabbed a pen and started writing! Sometimes it is important to wake up and stop dreaming. I spent the middle of that night scribbling out the details and convincing myself it would work. Soon after, I told my advisor, Terry Winograd, it would take a couple of weeks to download the web – he nodded knowingly, fully aware it would take much longer but wise enough to not tell me. The optimism of youth is often underrated! Amazingly, I had no thought of building a search engine. The idea wasn’t even on the radar. But, much later we happened upon a better way of ranking and we made a really great search engine, and Google was born. When a really great dream shows up, grab it!

When I was here at Michigan, I had actually been taught how to make dreams real! I know it sounds funny, but that is what I learned in a summer camp converted into a training program called Leadershape. Yeah, we got a few out there. Their slogan is to have a “healthy disregard for the impossible”. That program encouraged me to pursue a crazy idea at the time: I wanted to build a personal rapid transit system on campus to replace the buses. Yeah, you’re still working on that, I hear. It was a futuristic way of solving our transportation problem. I still think a lot about transportation – you never loose a dream, it just incubates as a hobby. Many things that people labor hard to do now, like cooking, cleaning, and driving will require much less human time in the future. That is, if we “have a healthy disregard for the impossible” and actually build the solutions.

I think it is often easier to make progress on mega-ambitious dreams. I know that sounds completely nuts. But, since no one else is crazy enough to do it, you have little competition. In fact, there are so few people this crazy that I feel like I know them all by first name. They all travel as if they are pack dogs and they stick to each other like glue. The best people want to work on the big challenges. That is what happened with Google. Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. How can that not get you excited? But we almost didn’t start Google because my co-founder Sergey and I were too worried about dropping out of the Ph.D. program. None of you had that issue, it seems. You are probably on the right track if you feel like a sidewalk worm during a rainstorm! That is about how we felt after we maxed out three credit cards buying hard disks off the back of a truck. That was actually the first hardware for Google. Parents and friends: more credit cards always help. What is the one sentence summary of how you change the world? Always work hard on something uncomfortably exciting!

As a Ph.D. student, I actually had three projects I wanted to work on. Thank goodness my advisor said, “Why don’t you work on the web for a while”. He gave me some seriously good advice because the web was growing with people and activity, even in 1995! Technology and especially the internet can really help you be lazy. Lazy? What I mean is a group of three people can write software that millions can use and enjoy. Can three people answer the phone a million times a day? Find the leverage in the world, so you can be truly lazy!

Yeah…

Overall, I know it seems like the world is crumbling out there, but it is actually a great time in your life to get a little crazy, follow your curiosity, and be ambitious about it. Don’t give up on your dreams. The world needs you all!

So here’s my final story:

On a day like today, you might feel exhilarated — like you’ve just been shot out of a cannon at the circus – and even invincible. Don’t ever forget that incredible feeling. But also: always remember that the moments we have with friends and family, the chances we have to do things that might make a big difference in the world, or even to make a small difference to the ones we love — all those wonderful chances that life gives us, life also takes away. It can happen fast, and a whole lot sooner than you think.

In late March 1996, soon after I had moved to Stanford for grad school, my Dad had difficulty breathing and drove to the hospital. Two months later, he died. I was completely devastated. Many years later, after a startup, after falling in love, and after so many of life’s adventures, I found myself thinking about my Dad. Lucy and I were far away in a steaming hot village walking through narrow streets. There were wonderfully friendly people everywhere, but it was a desperately poor place – people used the bathroom inside and it flowed out into the open gutter and straight into the river. We touched a boy with a limp leg, the result of paralysis from polio. Lucy and I were in rural India – one of the few places where polio still exists. Polio is transmitted fecal to oral, usually through filthy water. Well, my Dad had polio. He went on a trip to Tennessee in the first grade and caught it. He was hospitalized for two months and had to be transported by military DC-3 back home – his first flight. My Dad wrote, “Then, I had to stay in bed for over a year, before I started back to school”. That is actually a quote from his fifth grade autobiography. My Dad had difficulty breathing his whole life, and the complications of polio are what took him from us too soon. He would have been very upset that polio still persists even though we have a vaccine. He would have been equally upset that back in India we had polio virus on our shoes from walking through the contaminated gutters that spread the disease. We were spreading the virus with every footstep, right under beautiful kids playing everywhere. The world is on the verge of eliminating polio, with 328 people infected so far this year. Let’s get it eradicated soon. Perhaps one of you will do that.

My Dad was valedictorian of Flint Mandeville High School in 1956 class of about 90 kids. I happened across his graduating speech recently, and it blew me away. 53 years ago my Dad said: “…we are entering a changing world, one of automation and employment change where education is an economic necessity. We will have increased periods of time to do as we wish, as our work week and retirement age continue to decline [and we wish that were true]. … We shall take part in, or witness, developments in science, medicine, and industry that we can not dream of today. … It is said that the future of any nation can be determined by the care and preparation given to its youth. If all the youths of America were as fortunate in securing an education as we have been, then the future of the United States would be even more bright than it is today.”

If my Dad was alive today, the thing I think he would be most happy about is that Lucy and I have a baby in the hopper. It’s here.. I think he would have been annoyed that I hadn’t gotten my Ph.D. yet (thanks, Michigan!). Dad was so full of insights, of excitement about new things, that to this day, I often wonder what he would think about some new development. If he were here today – well, it would be one of the best days of his life. He’d be like a kid in a candy store. For a day, he’d be young again.

Many of us are fortunate enough to be here with family. Some of us have dear friends and family to go home to. And who knows, perhaps some of you, like Lucy and I, are dreaming about future families of your own. Just like me, your families brought you here, and you brought them here. Please keep them close and remember: they are what really matters in life.

Thanks, Mom; Thanks, Lucy.
And thank you, all, very much.

Bill Gates: Harvard, June 2007

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Bill Gates at Harvard University’s commencement (graduation) ceremony, June 2007.

You can find the full transcript at NetworkWorld.com. Visit the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation website to see some of the work of the Foundation.

(Speaker: “After a 33-year leave of absence from his alma mater, I am pleased to present to you – Dr William Gates.”)

President Bok, former President Rudenstine, incoming President Faust, members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers, members of the faculty, parents, and especially, the graduates:

I’ve been waiting more than 30 years to say this: “Dad, I always told you I’d come back and get my degree.”

I want to thank Harvard for this honor. I’ll be changing my job next year … and it will be nice to finally have a college degree on my résumé.

I applaud the graduates today for taking a much more direct route to your degrees. For my part, I’m just happy that the Crimson has called me “Harvard’s most successful dropout.” I guess that makes me valedictorian of my own special class … I did the best of everyone who failed.

But I also want to be recognized as the guy who got Steve Ballmer to drop out of business school. I’m a bad influence. That’s why I was invited to speak at your graduation. If I had spoken at your orientation, fewer of you might be here today.

Harvard was just a phenomenal experience for me. Academic life was fascinating. I used to sit in on lots of classes I hadn’t even signed up for. And dorm life was terrific. I lived up at Radcliffe, in Currier House. There were always lots of people in my dorm room late at night discussing things, because everyone knew I didn’t worry about getting up in the morning. That’s how I came to be the leader of the antisocial group. We clung to each other as a way of validating our rejection of all those social people.

Radcliffe was a great place to live. There were more women up there, and most of the guys were science-math types. That combination offered me the best odds, if you know what I mean. This is where I learned the sad lesson that improving your odds doesn’t guarantee success.

One of my biggest memories of Harvard came in January 1975, when I made a call from Currier House to a company in Albuquerque that had begun making the world’s first personal computers. I offered to sell them software.

I worried that they would realize I was just a student in a dorm and hang up on me. Instead they said: “We’re not quite ready, come see us in a month,” which was a good thing, because we hadn’t written the software yet. From that moment, I worked day and night on this little extra credit project that marked the end of my college education and the beginning of a remarkable journey with Microsoft.

What I remember above all about Harvard was being in the midst of so much energy and intelligence. It could be exhilarating, intimidating, sometimes even discouraging, but always challenging. It was an amazing privilege – and though I left early, I was transformed by my years at Harvard, the friendships I made, and the ideas I worked on.

But taking a serious look back … I do have one big regret.

I left Harvard with no real awareness of the awful inequities in the world – the appalling disparities of health, and wealth, and opportunity that condemn millions of people to lives of despair.

I learned a lot here at Harvard about new ideas in economics and politics. I got great exposure to the advances being made in the sciences.

But humanity’s greatest advances are not in its discoveries – but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.

[Please click the second video]

Whether through democracy, strong public education, quality health care, or broad economic opportunity – reducing inequity is the highest human achievement.

I left campus knowing little about the millions of young people cheated out of educational opportunities here in this country. And I knew nothing about the millions of people living in unspeakable poverty and disease in developing countries.

It took me decades to find out.

You graduates came to Harvard at a different time. You know more about the world’s inequities than the classes that came before. In your years here, I hope you’ve had a chance to think about how – in this age of accelerating technology – we can finally take on these inequities, and we can solve them.

Imagine, just for the sake of discussion, that you had a few hours a week and a few dollars a month to donate to a cause – and you wanted to spend that time and money where it would have the greatest impact in saving and improving lives. Where would you spend it?

For Melinda and for me, the challenge is the same: how can we do the most good for the greatest number with the resources we have.

During our discussions on this question, Melinda and I read an article about the millions of children who were dying every year in poor countries from diseases that we had long ago made harmless in this country. Measles, malaria, pneumonia, hepatitis B, yellow fever. One disease I had never even heard of, rotavirus, was killing half a million kids each year – none of them in the United States.

We were shocked. We had just assumed that if millions of children were dying and they could be saved, the world would make it a priority to discover and deliver the medicines to save them. But it did not. For under a dollar, there were interventions that could save lives that just weren’t being delivered.

If you believe that every life has equal value, it’s revolting to learn that some lives are seen as worth saving and others are not. We said to ourselves: “This can’t be true. But if it is true, it deserves to be the priority of our giving.”

So we began our work in the same way anyone here would begin it. We asked: “How could the world let these children die?”

The answer is simple, and harsh. The market did not reward saving the lives of these children, and governments did not subsidize it. So the children died because their mothers and their fathers had no power in the market and no voice in the system.

But you and I have both.

We can make market forces work better for the poor if we can develop a more creative capitalism – if we can stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit, or at least make a living, serving people who are suffering from the worst inequities. We also can press governments around the world to spend taxpayer money in ways that better reflect the values of the people who pay the taxes.

If we can find approaches that meet the needs of the poor in ways that generate profits for business and votes for politicians, we will have found a sustainable way to reduce inequity in the world. This task is open-ended. It can never be finished. But a conscious effort to answer this challenge will change the world.

I am optimistic that we can do this, but I talk to skeptics who claim there is no hope. They say: “Inequity has been with us since the beginning, and will be with us till the end – because people just … don’t … care.” I completely disagree.

I believe we have more caring than we know what to do with.

All of us here in this Yard, at one time or another, have seen human tragedies that broke our hearts, and yet we did nothing – not because we didn’t care, but because we didn’t know what to do. If we had known how to help, we would have acted.

The barrier to change is not too little caring; it is too much complexity.

To turn caring into action, we need to see a problem, see a solution, and see the impact. But complexity blocks all three steps.

Even with the advent of the Internet and 24-hour news, it is still a complex enterprise to get people to truly see the problems. When an airplane crashes, officials immediately call a press conference. They promise to investigate, determine the cause, and prevent similar crashes in the future.

But if the officials were brutally honest, they would say: “Of all the people in the world who died today from preventable causes, one half of one percent of them were on this plane. We’re determined to do everything possible to solve the problem that took the lives of the one half of one percent.”

The bigger problem is not the plane crash, but the millions of preventable deaths.

We don’t read much about these deaths. The media covers what’s new – and millions of people dying is nothing new. So it stays in the background, where it’s easier to ignore. But even when we do see it or read about it, it’s difficult to keep our eyes on the problem. It’s hard to look at suffering if the situation is so complex that we don’t know how to help. And so we look away.

If we can really see a problem, which is the first step, we come to the second step: cutting through the complexity to find a solution.

Finding solutions is essential if we want to make the most of our caring. If we have clear and proven answers anytime an organization or individual asks “How can I help?,” then we can get action – and we can make sure that none of the caring in the world is wasted. But complexity makes it hard to mark a path of action for everyone who cares — and that makes it hard for their caring to matter.

Cutting through complexity to find a solution runs through four predictable stages: determine a goal, find the highest-leverage approach, discover the ideal technology for that approach, and in the meantime, make the smartest application of the technology that you already have — whether it’s something sophisticated, like a drug, or something simpler, like a bednet.

The AIDS epidemic offers an example. The broad goal, of course, is to end the disease. The highest-leverage approach is prevention. The ideal technology would be a vaccine that gives lifetime immunity with a single dose. So governments, drug companies, and foundations fund vaccine research. But their work is likely to take more than a decade, so in the meantime, we have to work with what we have in hand – and the best prevention approach we have now is getting people to avoid risky behavior.

Pursuing that goal starts the four-step cycle again. This is the pattern. The crucial thing is to never stop thinking and working – and never do what we did with malaria and tuberculosis in the 20th century – which is to surrender to complexity and quit.

The final step – after seeing the problem and finding an approach – is to measure the impact of your work and share your successes and failures so that others learn from your efforts.

You have to have the statistics, of course. You have to be able to show that a program is vaccinating millions more children. You have to be able to show a decline in the number of children dying from these diseases. This is essential not just to improve the program, but also to help draw more investment from business and government.

But if you want to inspire people to participate, you have to show more than numbers; you have to convey the human impact of the work – so people can feel what saving a life means to the families affected.

I remember going to Davos some years back and sitting on a global health panel that was discussing ways to save millions of lives. Millions! Think of the thrill of saving just one person’s life – then multiply that by millions. … Yet this was the most boring panel I’ve ever been on – ever. So boring even I couldn’t bear it.

What made that experience especially striking was that I had just come from an event where we were introducing version 13 of some piece of software, and we had people jumping and shouting with excitement. I love getting people excited about software – but why can’t we generate even more excitement for saving lives?

You can’t get people excited unless you can help them see and feel the impact. And how you do that – is a complex question.

Still, I’m optimistic. Yes, inequity has been with us forever, but the new tools we have to cut through complexity have not been with us forever. They are new – they can help us make the most of our caring – and that’s why the future can be different from the past.

The defining and ongoing innovations of this age – biotechnology, the computer, the Internet – give us a chance we’ve never had before to end extreme poverty and end death from preventable disease.

Sixty years ago, George Marshall came to this commencement and announced a plan to assist the nations of post-war Europe. He said: “I think one difficulty is that the problem is one of such enormous complexity that the very mass of facts presented to the public by press and radio make it exceedingly difficult for the man in the street to reach a clear appraisement of the situation. It is virtually impossible at this distance to grasp at all the real significance of the situation.”

Thirty years after Marshall made his address, as my class graduated without me, technology was emerging that would make the world smaller, more open, more visible, less distant.

The emergence of low-cost personal computers gave rise to a powerful network that has transformed opportunities for learning and communicating.

The magical thing about this network is not just that it collapses distance and makes everyone your neighbor. It also dramatically increases the number of brilliant minds we can have working together on the same problem – and that scales up the rate of innovation to a staggering degree.

At the same time, for every person in the world who has access to this technology, five people don’t. That means many creative minds are left out of this discussion — smart people with practical intelligence and relevant experience who don’t have the technology to hone their talents or contribute their ideas to the world.

We need as many people as possible to have access to this technology, because these advances are triggering a revolution in what human beings can do for one another. They are making it possible not just for national governments, but for universities, corporations, smaller organizations, and even individuals to see problems, see approaches, and measure the impact of their efforts to address the hunger, poverty, and desperation George Marshall spoke of 60 years ago.

Members of the Harvard Family: Here in the Yard is one of the great collections of intellectual talent in the world.

What for?

There is no question that the faculty, the alumni, the students, and the benefactors of Harvard have used their power to improve the lives of people here and around the world. But can we do more? Can Harvard dedicate its intellect to improving the lives of people who will never even hear its name?

Let me make a request of the deans and the professors – the intellectual leaders here at Harvard: As you hire new faculty, award tenure, review curriculum, and determine degree requirements, please ask yourselves:

Should our best minds be dedicated to solving our biggest problems?

Should Harvard encourage its faculty to take on the world’s worst inequities? Should Harvard students learn about the depth of global poverty … the prevalence of world hunger … the scarcity of clean water …the girls kept out of school … the children who die from diseases we can cure?

Should the world’s most privileged people learn about the lives of the world’s least privileged?

These are not rhetorical questions – you will answer with your policies.

My mother, who was filled with pride the day I was admitted here – never stopped pressing me to do more for others. A few days before my wedding, she hosted a bridal event, at which she read aloud a letter about marriage that she had written to Melinda. My mother was very ill with cancer at the time, but she saw one more opportunity to deliver her message, and at the close of the letter she said: “From those to whom much is given, much is expected.”

When you consider what those of us here in this Yard have been given – in talent, privilege, and opportunity – there is almost no limit to what the world has a right to expect from us.

In line with the promise of this age, I want to exhort each of the graduates here to take on an issue – a complex problem, a deep inequity, and become a specialist on it. If you make it the focus of your career, that would be phenomenal. But you don’t have to do that to make an impact. For a few hours every week, you can use the growing power of the Internet to get informed, find others with the same interests, see the barriers, and find ways to cut through them.

Don’t let complexity stop you. Be activists. Take on the big inequities. It will be one of the great experiences of your lives.

You graduates are coming of age in an amazing time. As you leave Harvard, you have technology that members of my class never had. You have awareness of global inequity, which we did not have. And with that awareness, you likely also have an informed conscience that will torment you if you abandon these people whose lives you could change with very little effort. You have more than we had; you must start sooner, and carry on longer.

Knowing what you know, how could you not?

And I hope you will come back here to Harvard 30 years from now and reflect on what you have done with your talent and your energy. I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you have addressed the world’s deepest inequities … on how well you treated people a world away who have nothing in common with you but their humanity.

Good luck.

You can find the other videos for the rest of this speech here.