How We Got To Now

Steven Johnson Interviews Bill Gates

On optimism, ideas, and grand challenges

40 sec read

Steven Johnson and Bill Gates sit together at a table, talking.
Steven Johnson (left) and Bill Gates (right) in conversation.
The logo for the How We Got To Now book

As part of the launch of How We Got To Now on PBS, and his book, Steven Johnson sat down to talk with Bill Gates about innovation and problem-solving. You can watch the two parts below.

The first part looks at society’s relationship with the notion of progress. Are we happy about it? Or are we hard-wired to think negatively about progress?

The second part discusses the idea of grand challenges, and how they inspire people to push thinking and innovations to solve global problems. How can we encourage makers, companies, and markets to stretch their thinking and come up with the ideas that are going to shape our world?

The logo for the How We Got To Now book

How We Get To Next was a magazine that explored the future of science, technology, and culture from 2014 to 2019. Steven Johnson’s How We Got To Now was published by Riverhead Books in 2014, and adapted into a six-part TV show by Nutopia for PBS in 2015. Click the logo to read more about how the show was made.