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For the first time in the 94-year history of the magazine, TIME has welcomed its very first guest editor, and it’s none other than billionaire, creative, and philanthropist Bill Gates, who also happens to be an avid reader of TIME.

Having already graced the front cover 10 times, Gates’s first attempt at editing emphasizes a familiar subject that corresponds with every new year: optimism.

He writes, “On the whole, the world is getting better. This is not some naively optimistic view; it’s backed by data. Look at the number of children who die before their fifth birthday. Since 1990, that figure has been cut in half. That means 122 million children have been saved in a quarter- century, and countless families have been spared the heartbreak of losing a child.”

He continued, “I’m not trying to downplay the work that remains. Being an optimist doesn’t mean you ignore tragedy and injustice. It means you’re inspired to look for people making progress on those fronts, and to help spread that progress more widely. If you’re shocked by the idea of millions of children dying, you ask: Who is good at saving kids, and how can we help them do more? (This is essentially why Melinda and I started our foundation.)”

Gates’s choice on covering the subject corresponds to the featured front cover of TIME above, highlighting a 5-year-old Ethiopian boy named Mohamad Nasir, who Gates previously met in 2012.

For a further look and additional details, be sure to read the full story at TIME.

In related news, Bill Gates is investing $1.7 Billion in U.S. public schools.

  • Source: TIME
  • Main / Featured Image: Al Bello / Getty
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