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07.08.2009 11:44

Meeting with The Bill Gates Foundation

David Saura (enviat especial)

Just before leaving Seattle, Joan Laporta had a meeting with Bill Gates’ father William Henry Gates, co-president of the Bill& Melinda Gates Foundation, with the aim of interchanging opinions concerning the social work done by the two organitzations.

In addition to Sr Laporta, present at the half hour meeting were Fundació Director General Marta Segú and corporate director Joan Oliver for the club and William Henry Gates and Foundation research analyst Adam Gerstenmeier for the Seattle based Foundation.

The Barca model

During the meeting, the Barca delegation explained the model of the club and its solidarity work through the Fundació. Bill Gates’ 83-year-old father was clearly impressed with the club’s work and also congratulated the club on their decision to accept have the UNICEF logo on the club shirts, despite losing potential income from other sponsors.

Points of common interest

The delegation also informed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation of the work the Fundació is carrying out and compared points of common interest, such as the programmes to help children’s health and education, areas of special interest to the Foundation, which employs 700 people.

Possible collaboration

One result of the interest expressed by the two organisations is a possible collaboration which Joan Laporta offered Mr Gates whereby the ability of football to reach even the most remote of areas can be exploited to deliver some of the Gates Foundation programmes. The meeting ended with the presentation of a number of club mementoes to the Foundation.
Meeting with The Bill Gates Foundation
Not really a football fan
During the visit to the Foundation headquarters, William Henry Gates was clearly much more interested in the club’s solidarity work than in their sporting success, although as a Washington State native he was naturally disappointed with the Sounders’ 0-4 defeat against Barca earlier this week.

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