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Following his presentation, Wes Jones, chair of the Danforth Leadership Council and moderator for the event highlighted Raikes’ role on Microsoft’s leadership team and contributions to their rapid development from an entrepreneurial company to industry leader while maintaining a culture of continuous learning.
“It takes a lot of great people to build that kind of culture and I was incredibly lucky. Bill Gates is great about having high standards and recognizing we may make mistakes as well. Part of that means being open and listening to what we see out in the world, learning from others.”
While serving as the CEO, Raikes led the Gates Foundation’s efforts to promote equity for people throughout the world. During his tenure, he set strategic priorities, managed significant growth and facilitated relationships with key partners. He then co-founded the Raikes Foundation in 2002 as a vehicle to help others by partnering with innovative organizations and creative thinkers who are making lasting, positive changes in the lives of young people.
“Raikes reiterated a valuable sentiment to scientists and the St. Louis public alike — that effective change begins with creative ideas, basic research, and a dogged passion for refusing to accept that the limits of a field are immovable,” stated Alex Harkess, postdoctoral fellow at the Danforth Center who attended the event.